Interview for Mayor
2003, the citizens of San Francisco get to make their biggest decision for
the next four years. They will select the person who will occupy Room 200
at City Hall — the mayor.
has the final decision for 90% of the city’s budget. The mayor has the
final decision in hiring the executive managers of the city’s 70
departments. The mayor implements the day-to-day decisions of running the
city, providing services to its 800,000 residents, and making sure that
its businesses are humming and bringing in revenue.
BOS has some power over city policy, the top of the ticket and the El Jefe
of the city is the mayor. [ed. note: Beryl Magilavy describes this
unbalance of power in "San Francisco
Government Reform Is Long Overdue."]
So, on Friday, February 21, the SF Call will sponsor a “"Job
Interview for San Francisco Mayor" at the Goodwill Industries’ Atrium, 1500 Mission (11th
Street) from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. A suggested donation of $10 for the SF Call
is requested, but no one will be turned away at the door. RSVP at
of this forum is to allow voters to help frame the issues that will be
addressed in the campaign. At time of print, Susan Leal, Angela Alioto,
Tom Ammiano, Jim Reid, Tony Ribera, Michael Denny, and Dave Giessen are
confirmed. Gavin Newsom is tentative. During the first 20 minutes members
of a media panel will pose questions to the candidates. They will have one
question each — and the candidates will have three minutes to answer.
remaining minutes will be devoted to questions submitted by the audience.
Audience members get to choose three candidates they want their question
directed to. The moderators, Betsey Culp and Malik Looper, will ask the
questions provided by the audience — and they will also have the choice of
changing whom they will ask in the event some candidates get more
questions than others.
In the past,
the campaigns have only superficially addressed the key issues that
everyone was truly concerned about — such as homelessness, health care,
education, quality of life, neighborhood issues, transportation, and the
economy. Candidates prefer to address issues that don’t cause controversy,
issues that won’t alienate voters.
as we face the uncertain future of a down-turned economy and war looms on
the horizon, we can’t afford to allow candidates to skate through a
campaign on looks, sound bites, and past glories.
I don’t know
about you. But I want a mayor who is committed to helping as many San
Franciscans as possible. I want someone who is committed to making San
Francisco a great place to live, work, and visit. I want a mayor who can
lead every one of us to a better future. That means making hard decisions:
How can you
provide quality health care for the homeless and the working poor with a
$300 million deficit? How do you clean up the streets when the Department
of Public Works’ budget has been cut? How do you provide housing to the
homeless when federal and state funds for housing have been slashed?
Let us hope
that, on Friday, February 21, at the Mayoral Candidate Forum at the
Goodwill Industries, 1500 Mission (11th Street) from 7:00 to
9:00 p.m., we will find mayoral candidates who are willing to talk about
these hard decisions. And let us hope that whomever we elect in November
2003 will implement those hard decisions.