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A new Democratic Party majority in SF shifts left

August 19, 2016

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Big victories in supes races — except for D5, where the Reform Slate is missing the big picture

The San Francisco Democratic Party showed a dramatic political shift last night as the progressives won most of the key endorsements – but not without a fair amount of drama and enough Parliamentary procedure to give Henry Martyn Robert a few posthumous heart flutters.

In the end, after several arguments about the rules, the DCCC endorsed progressive candidates in four of the six supervisorial districts and – in a victory for Kimberly Alvarenga – blocked any endorsement of real-estate-industry favorite Ahsha Safai in D. 11.

The vote in D5 – to endorse Sup. London Breed for re-election and snub tenant advocate Dean Preston – was expected, but still a bit embarrassing for the left, since several of the members of the Reform Slate that took control from the real-estate interests in June decide to support Breed.

The D11 vote was razor close:  In the end, since most of the “ex officios” on the panel were supporting Safai, Alvarenga knew she wouldn’t get the nod, so she pushed for a No Endorsement. The vote was 15 for Safai, and 15 for No Endorsement, with Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s proxy absent.  A tie vote means nobody wins, which meant that Alvarenga won…

Public comment, as we all expected, went on more more than 90 minutes, with the supporters of the soda tax well represented – and Alvarenga supporters also out in force. A delegation from the Latino Democratic Club, led by former Sup. Christina Olague, made a presentation about D11 that directly challenged the new members of the panel and the progressive leadership:…

District Five went to Breed overwhelmingly – with some of the candidates that the progressives supported in June joining the conservatives and going with Breed. Bevan Dufty, Pratima Gupta, Leah Lacroix, and Sophie Maxwell all voted for Breed. Peskin abstained. When the vote came to consider Preston as a second choice in ranked-choice voting, Gupta and Lacroix voted to endorse Preston; Peskin abstained again…

District 9 was a resounding victory for Hillary Ronen. In the first round, she wound up with 17 votes – and her main opponent, Josh Arce, got only 3. There were 8 votes for No Endorsement. On the vote to endorse Arce as a second choice, most of the ex officios went with Arce – but he still got only 13 votes, and No Endorsement got 15…

So generally a victory for the progressives and a sign that all of the work to elect a new DCCC majority made a difference. But still: None of this matters if the mayor’s allies get six votes on the Board of Supes in the fall. And they know that the left needs to win all six seats – including D5 – to be sure of that majority.

Which means there are still some members of the Reform Slate and the progressive movement who are missing the larger geopolitical message here. If you can’t count to six after November, then things go back to the way they were before everyone put all their time and money into electing Peskin and changing the DCCC and creating a progressive majority…(more)



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