Just Say No to the SF Recall Efforts

by Tommi Avicolli-Mecca on June 13, 2007

When did recalls of supervisors become all the rage in San Francisco?

First, so-called “average” citizens, who just happen to have the same consultant as the mayor’s re-election campaign, want to replace District 1 Supervisor Jake McGoldrick. Now a movement’s afoot in District 3 to oust its Supervisor: Board President Aaron Peskin.

The group that wants McGoldrick out of office cites two primary gripes: His support for Healthy Saturdays, which closes parts of Golden Gate Park to cars, and his willingness to study a faster public transportation system for the Geary Boulevard area. Both are opposed by business interests in the district. The anti-McGoldrick group has the support of one major San Francisco political group, the Republican Party, which in San Francisco should be the kiss of death. The Small Properties Owners Association, which consistently opposes tenants rights, has contributed money to the effort.

The Democratic County Central Committee recently voted unanimously to oppose the recall. People may have issues with McGoldrick’s style or with something he voted on, but he has served his district well these past seven years.

Which raises a big question: Why now? McGoldrick is in the final year of his last term in office. Why bother recalling him in the eleventh hour? Could it be that the real objective is to send McGoldrick packing so that Mayor Gavin Newsom can appoint a replacement? Incumbents always have an advantage, even in Instant Runoff Elections. If that’s the case, it’s a dirty trick on District 1 voters and if it makes it to the ballot, they should reject the recall big time.

The Peskin recall seems to be pure spite work. According to the SF Examiner, it’s the brainchild of one individual who doesn’t even live in the supervisor’s district. Los Angeles transplant Rex Reginald is angry with Peskin because the Board President opposes his proposal to raise rents for tenants who want pets, an idea that is not supported by tenant’s rights organizations. Peskin made his stance known during a recent Board of Supervisors hearing on appointments to the Commission on Animal Control and Welfare. The Commission had previously approved Reginald’s proposal and sent it to the Board for consideration.

The Department of Elections told BeyondChron that the petition to recall Peskin was rejected on a technicality, which of course doesn’t stop the group from starting all over again and resubmitting its paperwork.

I have nothing against recall efforts. In a democracy citizens have a right to use the recall process to oust politicians who are not serving their needs or who are abusing their power. George Bush comes to mind. As does California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Jake McGoldrick and Aaron Peskin don’t deserve to be recalled.

Tommi Avicolli Mecca is a radical, southern Italian, working-class, atheist queer performer and writer with a webpage: www.avicollimecca.com

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