On Tuesday we have the chance to decide what we want our neighborhoods to look like for our kids and for future generations. As a candidate for supervisor in the Richmond District, I want San Francisco to be a place for everyone — families, first responders, teachers, nurses, longtime residents and newcomers. I am running because I am raising my three young children here, and I am concerned that the policies we have pursued as a city for decades have led to an affordability crisis that will prevent my kids and others from returning to The City as adults or retiring here.
The issues that we face around housing affordability, rising rents, evictions and tenant protections can all be addressed. We need a leader who can tackle these challenges with a thoughtful and collaborative approach, while presenting a comprehensive vision for our future. This means not hiding our heads in the sand about population and job growth, not rooting for an economic downturn that will most strongly and negatively impact the most vulnerable, and not encouraging pro-sprawl growth policies that will increase both carbon emissions and regional traffic, but instead promoting a positive vision of a diverse and inclusive San Francisco.
You may have seen attacks against our campaign recently, including in the Examiner opinion section here, but also in mail pieces paid for by the soda industry but designed by my opponent’s campaign strategist. These attacks attempt to exploit the fears we all share about who gets to continue to live in San Francisco. I agree with President Barack Obama, independent analysts and the majority of San Franciscans that it is incumbent upon us to create more housing for Bay Area residents so that we don’t get priced out. I am deeply concerned by the growing strand of nativism and exclusion we see expressed in our politics in San Francisco.
My campaign has always been about keeping families and working people in the Richmond. If we want San Francisco to be affordable, we cannot continue to make the mistakes that got us into the current housing crisis — we need leadership. My priorities if elected are to address housing affordability by creating more housing, protecting rent control and fighting unfair evictions, while also investing in our aging transportation infrastructure, adequately staffing our police department, keeping our streets clean, and supporting the local businesses that are the engines of economic sustainability in the Avenues.
I hope I can count on your support tomorrow, as a vote for me is a vote for a Richmond and San Francisco that includes us all.
Marjan Philhour is a working mom, small-business owner, and candidate for Supervisor in San Francisco’s District 1 (Richmond District).