Backers of a November referendum of the contentious 8 Washington St. condominium development on the waterfront picked up a key endorsement Wednesday from the local Democratic County Central Committee.
An endorsement from the local Democratic Party is one of the most influential in San Francisco politics and is being celebrated by opponents of the 134-unit development.
Jon Golinger, who is running the referendum campaign known as No Wall on the Waterfront, said the endorsement can “make or break” ballot measures, especially in low-turnout elections, which is expected to be the case this year. He called it a “massive blow” to project developer Simon Snellgrove’s development, which was approved last year by the Board of Supervisors in an 8-3 vote. The referendum seeks to prevent the allowable height limit from increasing from 84 feet to 136 feet.
The DCCC, whose members include five supervisors, voted 15 to 11 to endorse the referendum during a well-attended meeting where members from labor showed up to back the development.
Golinger, former City Attorney Louise Renne and members of the Golden Gateway Tennis and Swim Club, which the project would replace without the tennis courts, were among those present backing the referendum. A motion to postpone an endorsement vote until August was tied and therefore failed.
Meanwhile, Snellgrove, of Pacific Waterfront Partners, has launched a signature drive to place a competing measure on the November ballot.
“Our mission is clear: We are going to lay out the clear choice,” said David Beltran, a spokesman for the development, adding that they plan to ask the DCCC for an endorsement of their measure too once it qualifies for the ballot.
Beltran described that choice as being between protecting an asphalt parking lot and a private club versus creating jobs, housing and park space.
How Democratic County Central Committee voted
Needed for Endorsement: Majority of the 32 members present and voting
Opposes 8 Washington height limit increase: 15 votes
State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano
State Sen. Leland Yee
Supervisor David Chiu
Supervisor David Campos
Supervisor John Avalos
Supports 8 Washington height limit increase: 4 votes
Supervisor Scott Wiener
Supervisor Malia Cohen
No endorsement: 7 votes
Attorney General Kamala Harris
Abstained: 3 votes
U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein
State Assemblyman Phil Ting
State Sen. Mark Leno
Absent from meeting:
U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi
U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier
Supervisor Eric Mar