Happy New Year 2005!
Happy New Year 2005! In my family, we make a list of
what we are grateful for -- and then we make a list of New Year's
resolutions. So here is what made me happy in 2004:
1. Mark Sanchez and Eric Mar's School Board
reelection Okay, I am biased. I was Mark's acting campaign manager (from
June till the day after the election) and served on Eric's steering
committee. In fact, their campaigns consumed my time from dawn to midnight
for eight months. But Eric and Mark are both considerate, wonderful
advocates for children, parents, teachers, school staffers, and the
community. They are the incumbents (along with Sarah Lipson) who listen to
the community. Eric even sent an email thanking people for their support
and giving his phone number in case they had ideas about ways to help the
School District. Their supporters call Mark, Eric, and Sarah the Fabulous
2. Gay marriage and Jason West
In San Francisco, it lasted six glorious weeks. In
New Platz, NY, same sex couples are still being married, thanks to Mayor
Jason West. He's a Green, of course. While Mayor Newsom folded, Mayor West
figured out a way where the city could continue to issue marriage
licenses. And two ministers (who are lesbian partners) marry people each
Saturday at a friendly church in New Platz. Mayor Newsom might talk a good
line. Mayor West actually delivers it.
3. Renee Saucedo's excellent showing in D-9
Did you notice that, except for one, all of the
incumbents who ran in November 2004 won? The exception is Heather Hiles,
who was appointed by Mayor Newsom to the School Board and then was
defeated by someone who actually had experience in education, Norman Yee
(22 years in child care, one of the founders of Alice Fong Yu Elementary
School and the Chinatown Beacon Center, and former education program
manager for SF Foundation).
And except for one, all of the supervisors who won
were men. Jake McGoldrick won D-1. Aaron Peskin won D-3. Sean Elsbernd won
D-7. Tom Ammiano won D-9. Gerardo Sandoval won D-11. And Ross Mirkarimi
won D-5, the only seat that did not have an incumbent running for
relection. The only woman to win was Michela Alioto-Pier, in D-2.
I truly appreciate the courage and hard work it took
for Renee Saucedo to run against an incumbent. And I truly, truly
appreciate the way she helped remind women that we can't keep allowing
politics to be a male-dominated field.
4. First Annual Political Trivia Night
The first annual political trivia night, produced by
Boris Delepine and myself, was in May at Dylan's. It was lots of fun. It
was filled with laughter. And we'll do it again this spring. Keep an eye
on this column for updates.
5. San Francisco Sentinel
Every morning, I read the SF Sentinel. It tells me
what's happening at City Hall. Editor Pat Murphy always looks dashing in
his bow-tie and has a great ear for the latest gossip. And I get to read
Tommi Avicolli Mecca's wonderful stories about his childhood in Philly.
1. Listen more often.
I am always amazed at the number of wonderful mentors
that we have in San Francisco -- Joe Lynn, Betsey Culp, Brock Estes,
Tamara Bryant, Jeremiah Jeffries, Michael Goldstein, Vicki Leidner, and so
many others. But I notice that I learn a lot more when I listen. So that's
my No. 1 resolution.
2. Build more bridges.
This week, Van Jones was on KALW. As usual, he was
articulate, outstanding, and awe-inspiring. He spoke on one of the
downfalls of progressives. We are more cliche-driven than a gang of middle
If we are to change politics and the world to be a
more human-oriented community, then we need to honor other progressives
who are doing great work. This means building bridges -- working on their
issues -- helping them with their campaigns and learning to be supportive
of each other.
3. Encourage more people to run for office.
I certainly wasn't the only one to be disappointed in
the presidential candidates of the two major parties. So using the adage
of "Think Globally, Act Locally," I am going to spend this year
encouraging people that I admire to run for the office that is closest to
their hearts. I want my favorite city to have a choice of wonderful
candidates to choose in future races.
4. Read more.
Larry Roberts, another mentor of mine, asked me if I
was writing book reviews for the SF Call. Since I didn't have time to eat
(much less read), I was like an addict hitting the books after the
election was over. And I wrote articles about those books.
I even took a book ("Smartest Guys in the Room" by
Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind) on a romantic getaway to Yoshi's Jazz
Club on New Year's Eve!
But there are so many great books out there -- and so
many stories that we could put to use in San Francisco. So I am planning
to do a salon on political books starting in February. You'll be the first
ones to know!
Happy 2005! May it be filled with love, joy, peace,
and happiness for the entire world!
The question is not whether we can afford to
invest in every child; it is whether we can afford not to.
Marian Wright Edelman, The Measure of Our Success