There are many influences over the course of my life informing my politics & priorities. As I have grown and developed, I find the best way in defining my political self is saying I have a liberal political philosophy and progressive ideals. That said, I strongly subscribe to the Socratic view that the one thing can I assert with confidence is that I know nothing; which is to say, I am ignorant of most things, for life is but a long journey of learning. For voters deliberating candidates, this means, while having strong convictions where I am most informed and most passionate, I nevertheless listen, learning along the way.
Below I outline the roots of my thinking, and the priorities emanating from there.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt laid out his "Economic Bill of Rights" in 1944. Since then, our nation implemented some of its ideals, such as unemployment insurance and MediCare. However, much remains to be done. These ideals establish a pillar supporting my political philosophy. For those unfamiliar, I highly recommend viewing the video.
Roosevelt inspired my maternal grandfather, who in turn inspires me. Representing the interests of District 6 residents and our City writ large, I will approach issues with such ideals in mind, including:
|Quality housing and access to housing is a right|
|A living wage & universal guaranteed income is a right|
|Quality healthcare with universal access is a right|
To this I include vigorously defending our status as a Sanctuary City, advocating access to banking, promoting a right to counsel in civil cases (such as asset forfeiture, domestic violence, and eviction), recognition the internet is a required utility, promoting debt-free access to higher education, and promoting the view that all public services should be that — thus free of charge.
Almost every issue we face as a society is rooted in one word: race. Our complicated and tragic relationship to it infects everything from the criminal justice system to housing to employment, and all in between. We live in a hemisphere stolen from those originally here, including genocide along the way, while living in a state taken by force from our neighbor. Our nation is built upon the backs of slaves, immigrants, and other minorities, almost exclusively for the benefit of white Americans. The "isms" of racism and sexism permeate all facets of our society. Thus all raised in a culture of white and male supremacy, whether conscious of it, whether abhorring it, are manipulated by it. Simply put, all white Americans are racists — though it does not mean we are bad people. We just benefit every day by the societal and institutional marginalization and oppression of others. All men are sexists, for similar reasons, and again, regardless if conscious of it or abhorring it.
"I am a racist and a sexist — vote for me!" is not a winning campaign slogan. Yet the first step to addressing a problem, and all the problems sprouting from it, is admitting there is a problem, while also acknowledging our part in it and personal responsibility for it. I like to think I have tried to do this; though I am neither angel nor ally of those marginalized or oppressed. I am, at best, a conscious and ever-learning co-belligerent. I do not fear a just society nor confuse any loss of privilege as oppression — I seek it — with forlorn hope in my lifetime we may dispense with white myths like "reverse racism", cease institutionalizing prejudice, and inaugurate a new era of men who can hear and properly respond to the word "no". As your Supervisor, a priority of mine is remembering my privileges as a healthy, straight white male citizen of this country, and striving to do my part in breaking all barriers impeding others from justice & equity in all its forms.
When I was a child, my mother signed me up as a member of Greenpeace, leading to one of my earliest memories — the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior. She also added my name as a donor to the World Wildlife Fund. Suffice to say, I have been environmentally conscious for my whole life, in an almost literal sense. I do not consider it opinion to say Global Climate Change is the greatest challenge facing the human experience. I see the economy as a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, recognizing that without an environment we can thrive in, there is no economy.
Our City, therefore, must continue our forward-thinking endeavors, acting as a laboratory for our state, our nation, and our world. The more our City can do in moving toward green energy, such as solar or wind-powered facilities, businesses, and homes, the better. To this goal I support denser housing developments while simultaneously ensuring they are environmentally sustainable. Though an idealized principal, I feel public services should be free, and in this I include Muni. The more we motivate our residents toward walking, biking, and public transportation, the better. The fewer cars, or at least green-powered cars replacing polluters, the better. As your Supervisor, I will promote clean energy and affordable rates, and will earnestly consider the environmental impact of any relevant proposal.
While my moral compass shows the direction I must go, it reveals nothing of the world spread before it. Though what I say here I hope for all, we must work within the world as it is. With that said; my father was a first responder. So too my uncle. Many in my family served our nation in arms. My gratitude for self-sacrifice is marrow deep. I strongly feel those serving our City should be afforded every privilege we can offer. We owe them — our first responders, our educators, our mechanics, our case workers, our lawyers, our bureaucrats, and so on. I loathe the thought of any public servant commuting to the City they serve. In addition to ensuring our public servants are handsomely compensated, they must receive ongoing support in training & career development. It serves our interests they are the best they can be. We must ensure their access to quality housing opportunities, including stipends or preferential and subsidized home loans, and their children must have access to quality schools. Our ongoing efforts at relieving unique stresses & burdens arising from public service includes child care, recreation, mental healthcare, and other services. The more we do for these people, the better talent we will surely attract to our City, while motivating our current residents to choose serving the City they love. The more our public servants choose residing in our City, the more connected to us they will be, and the more connected to them we will be — as our neighbor, customer, and friend. As Supervisor, I will partner with those representing our public employees, seeking & ensuring we serve them as well as they serve us.
As your Supervisor, my first task is addressing the individual needs and concerns of District 6 residents and assisting those throughout the City who might reach out to me. I not only represent you, I am your advocate. The endless possibilities of what constitutes an individual need — from citations to pot holes — demands patience, a willingness to learn, and an eagerness to step up on your behalf.
To this, I am committed.
Often, the candidate pool in San Francisco is filled with lawyers, professional activists, and former legislative aides (some hitting the trifecta). Nothing here is, by itself, particularly problematic. However, this cohort represents the bulk of the current Board along with most candidates througout the City seeking election. For a representative democracy — and I'm only spitballing here — maybe this group is a wee bit over-sampled? Additionally, some of these folks, owing to roles within political organizations, the trajectory of political careers, or simply convention, are committed to dogma or established interests. Though all is rather conventional, perhaps it may be worth considering a view completely outside this paradigm? Though having my worldview and moral compass, I am not personally committed to conventional wisdom or established interests. If it doesn't work, moving off the plan neither hurts my resume nor undermines groups for whom I'm beholden. I am open to hear and consider new approaches, regardless of the source. I am eager to sit down with constituents, stakeholders, and experts to better understand the myriad ways we may better address perennially vexing issues. My background ensures only an empathetic heart, with an eye trained toward those marginalized, struggling, or at the bottom. Nevertheless, there is no issue or concern I will approach as a public official without first seeking broad & diverse consultation from individuals including constituents, stakeholders, and policy experts, and for every issue I may pontificate upon, if not directly noting this, it is implicit.
Economic issues, civil rights & social justice, the environment, and public service are by no means the limit of my interests. If you have yet to do so, I encourage you to learn more of me. If having further questions or would like to comment, please reach out! I am eager to learn more of your concerns, your ideas, and your passions. Folks like you are helping develop me into a better citizen and better candidate.