The District 5 seat on the Board of Supervisors represents some of the most diverse and progressive neighborhoods in The City, including the Haight, Fillmore and Western Addition. Residents of the district deserve a representative who will be attentive to the needs of the area and a voice in key citywide issues.
Incumbent Supervisor Christina Olague was appointed to the seat by Mayor Ed Lee to fill out the term of Ross Mirkarimi, who was elected sheriff. Except in rare circumstances, we believe that the appointed caretaker of an elected seat should not turn around and run for that office.
Despite Olague’s background as a progressive activist and planning commissioner, her ties to The City’s political ruling class are worrisome. And despite her vote on Mirkarimi’s reinstatement, her independence remains questionable.
This progressive district deserves a supervisor who is free from political influence and was elected on merits beyond the name recognition that comes with being the mayor’s handpicked choice for the post. So while we thank Olague for her time in office, The San Francisco Examiner endorses, in alphabetical order, Julian Davis, John Rizzo and Thea Selby.
Davis stood out during meetings with our editorial board. His knowledge of policy issues trumped his competitors.
Although he is clearly aligned with the board’s most left-leaning members, Davis continually offered up ideas outside of the typical tax-or-cut mentality that often plagues candidates and elected officials.
Rizzo has been a leader on the board of trustees of the scandal- plagued City College of San Francisco. Rizzo is a policy person who can be heavy on the details and light on the political sizzle, but he clearly understands issues and can think independently on topics based on merits and not just feelings or ideology.
Selby is an energetic community activist and organizer as well as a supporter of families and small businesses in her district. She would arrive at City Hall with a neighborhood-centric viewpoint, but is smart enough to quickly take on a more citywide approach after a little time on a larger stage.
San Francisco faces major challenges in the next few years: keeping the economic recovery moving ahead while not displacing small businesses, keeping housing affordable for low- and moderate-income people and families, aligning government spending with future tax income and keeping vital transit reforms on track to better serve people of this transit-first city.
There is no race on November’s ballot in which ranked-choice voting is more likely to decide the outcome. For this reason, we are not naming a favorite in this race, but rather urging all supporters of Davis, Rizzo or Selby to vote for all three candidates in some order.
The current supervisor has been an adequate caretaker of this seat, but now is the time for the residents of District 5 to select their own representative at City Hall.