Someone has got to say it … Supervisor Julie Christensen is hella mean. Like Dr. Laura, Rush Limbaugh, Sue Sylvester kind of mean.
If you haven’t heard of her yet, you’re not alone. Christensen suddenly appeared on the political scene less then a year ago when the mayor and Ron Conway picked her to replace David Chiu when he vacated his District 3 Supervisor seat for the state Assembly.
The mayor may be starting to regret choosing the conservative Christensen after her repeated, tone-deaf name-calling in the press has triggered story after story about a City Hall out of touch with a desperate and angry San Francisco.
Last week, Christensen gave an interview to the Chronicle, during which, unprovoked, she began attacking her colleagues, supervisors Jane Kim and David Campos, for their work against displacement. In her Chron interview, she blames the displacement of families from the Mission not on the policies of her backer Mayor Ed Lee, but weirdly on Campos himself. She then goes after Jane Kim for telling the stories of families who are being displaced from District 6 by saying they are “over blown” “horror stories — most of which have not taken place.”
Denying that there is massive displacement taking place in SoMa and the Tenderloin while simultaneously blaming displacement in the Mission on anti-displacement hero David Campos is both incredibly out of touch and unnecessarily nasty. Especially since Christensen represents a district that is almost entirely made up of renters but has repeatedly voted against legislation put forward by Campos and Kim to help tenants.
Christensen is currently in a tough race for supervisor against the famously sharp tongued Aaron Peskin, but in the “damn that’s cold contest,” Christensen is winning all the way.
Almost from day one her developer and tech-funded campaigns have been viciously attacking Aaron Peskin — ironically they often use the logic that he’s too mean and divisive. Mailers, hit pieces and videos, have attempted to paint Peskin as an abusive drunk and bully misogynist. His former colleagues on the board, even colleagues that disagreed with him politically, have repeatedly said these attacks are false. In fact, many of his former political “enemies” are now endorsing his reelection, saying he’s just what the City Hall of 2015 needs.
Christensen is employing a painfully obvious strategy used by bratty younger siblings everywhere. She’s looking around the room to make sure mom can’t see and then pinching Aaron really hard in the hope that he’ll pinch her back so she can pretend to cry and run screaming to mom that “he pinched me!”
Peskin to his credit has shrugged off the attacks, remained calm and collected, and brought the conversation back to the real issues that everyone should be talking about — the worst affordability crisis in America’s history.
Peskin has definitely mellowed out since he was first elected to the Board of Supervisors at the age of 35. He’s now more of the wiser elderly statesmen type that’s been missing from City Hall. He has a calm, seen-all-this-before approach that makes you feel confident that he won’t put up with Conway’s bullshit.
Back in the day Aaron was known for standing up to Willie Brown and Gavin Newsom and winning. So much so that the Chronicle began referring to him as The Napoleon of North Beach. Maybe that’s exactly what we need right now, an experienced general who isn’t afraid to stand up to money and power, and will fight for the people of San Francisco. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who has survived more battles and won more wars in this town than Aaron Peskin. He can handle a little meanness.
Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, TV host and poet. Follow him at BrokeAssStuart.com. Broke-Ass City runs Thursdays in The San Francisco Examiner.