Alioto-Pier, Michaela Avalos, John Baum, Terry Chiu, David Dufty, Bevan Herrera, Dennis Rees, Joanna Ting, Phil Yee, Leland
Why are you running and why should we vote for you? As a member of the Board of Supervisors, I worked hard to focus City Hall on the future. I wrote and led the effort to pass the cityÕs first long-term economic plan; I created the successful Biotechnology Tax Credit and the Film and Television Rebate Program, which have created thousands of Jobs. IÕm running for Mayor because I believe San Francisco needs an innovator in Room 200, not just a caretaker. We need a top to bottom review of the cityÕs budget to focus our spending on things that really matter. We need policies that encourage small business growth, and we need neighborhood schools, better parks and safe communities so families will stay in the city. I am running for Mayor to put San FranciscoÕs neighborhoods first, and to support our CityÕs unique diversity. Every single one of our neighborhoods deserves safe and clean streets, accessible public transit, parks, culturally competent services and diverse housing opportunities. City Hall needs to prioritize small businesses, which are the engine of our local economy. As Mayor, I will defend neighborhood-serving businesses, revitalize our commercial corridors, and promote community arts. I'm running to make San Francisco the first truly Green city in the US. I reject the current "realism" that has led our city government to give tax breaks to corporations, at the same time it forces people
to pay more to enjoy Golden Gate Park. The way we are living and doing politics right now is not sustainable.
Throughout my career in San Francisco - as a civil rights attorney, a criminal prosecutor, a small businessman, a community leader, and President of the Board of Supervisors - IÕve seen what is possible when city government works hand-in-hand with people of every background and from every neighborhood.
Whether weÕre leading the fight for marriage equality, providing health care for all residents, or cultivating a 21st century economy, we achieve great things when we come together around our shared San Francisco values. I ran for office in 2008 because I saw that City Hall wasnÕt doing its part. There were times when the Mayor and members of the Board of Supervisors couldnÕt even be in the same room, let alone work together on the difficult issues of the day.
I want to lead a dynamic, responsive and effective City government for all San Franciscans. San Francisco can be the first city to bridge the opportunity gap by building new economies in the fields of biotech, clean and green tech, and digital media. We need to create opportunities for our young people to receive the education and training they need for their careers- from Pre-K to Ph.D.- so they can stay and thrive in San Francisco.
As Mayor, I will pay attention to the basics so we fix the big picture. During my over 18 years of City services as Supervisor and Director of Neighborhood Services, IÕve listened to neighborsÕ and merchants concerns, then brought my colleagues from City government into a team to address these problems and make San Francisco better. I believe we can build these same coalitions and partnerships to address the biggest challenges
For nearly a decade, IÕve been more than a lawyer as your City Attorney. IÕve been a leader.
IÕve done the heavy lifting behind the scenes. IÕve shepherded projects to create thousands of jobs. IÕve negotiated tough agreements, and drove hard bargains to maximize the public benefits to San Franciscans. IÕve defended our City from fraud and corruption. IÕve protected our neighborhoods from gang violence and worked to make neighborhoods safer. IÕve done more than anyone else in the race for Mayor to take on powerful interests Ń and even other governments Ń to protect our interests and values. I filed the first government lawsuit in history for marriage equality, and I negotiated the shutdown of MirantÕs filthy Potrero Power Plant.
Leading an award-winning law office for nine-and-a-half years has given me an

IÕm a progressive independent and IÕm running for mayor to put school improvement and job creation on the top of the agenda. ItÕs time for an innovative and transparent approach to problem solving. IÕve achieved success by focusing on practical ideas where the cutting edge meets common sense. I have taken the same approach as a mother, mentor, educator, and advocate for public school reform and thatÕs what IÕll do as a Mayor for all of San FranciscoÕs diverse neighborhoods.
My moment of obligation, and the reason I am running for mayor, came upon learning that only 49% of San Francisco public school students graduate from high school. That number is even lower in some neighborhoods. This is simply unacceptable and is representative of a broken system. Education reform is the primary reason I am running for
IÕm running to be San FranciscoÕs next mayor because I know we can do better as a city. But to do better, we all have to become more engaged and hold all politicians accountable (including me) Š and hold our government accountable.
We need tools to get involved. We need to have facts. We need to understand what other cities are doing Š so we can ask our government why we canÕt implement those ideas as well. Why canÕt we do better? And we need to build a better sense of community Š both online and offline.And thatÕs what is about Š creating the tools to help all of us stay engaged in a better government. Not just now, in this campaign, but for the next four years and beyond.
WeÕre lucky. We already live in the best city in America. The best city in the world, I think. We have the most
I ran for the San Francisco Board of Education because I wanted to give back to the city that has given my family and I everything we have. I was raised here, went to public schools, attended UC Berkeley, then San Francisco State to earn my Masters in Child Psychology. IÕve raised my four children hereŃall of them attended San Francisco public schools and two went on to San Francisco State. Every opportunity IÕve had in life IÕve gotten from this city.
I have always been motivated by the opportunity to advocate for young people by working with them in the classroom, social service centers, counseling, educational forums, job and health fairs. All these experiences have made me a better public servant -- from Žghting for school funding or against increasing tuition, to working for better nutrition in school lunches, or providing mental health counseling
        I'm proud that since I took office as President of the Board, things have changed for the better. WeÕre putting results ahead of rhetoric and getting things done. But thereÕs more to be done, and IÕm running for Mayor to keep us moving in the right direction. IÕve shown that I can bring people together to make government work for the people it serves, and as your next Mayor, thatÕs exactly what facing San Francisco. Working together, we can create the a thriving and multifaceted economy while honoring our responsibility to provide effective services, including Muni, public safety, parks and schools. We can embrace opportunities and expand initiatives to make ourselves into the greenest, most environmentally-conscious City in the world. an opportunity unique in this race to prove my mettle for executive leadership. I know local government Ń run honestly, and well Ń can earn the trust of the people it serves. In fact, I think San Francisco can be a model city for the 21st Century. But itÕs going to take a Mayor whoÕs experienced enough to lead it. ThatÕs the leadership IÕve demonstrated, and thatÕs why mayor, I cannot imagine anything more important than our young peopleÕs future. We can and must do better for them. As mayor, I will be San FranciscoÕs Chief Education Advocate.
We need to gain control of our budget, grow our way out of the deficit and create good paying jobs. We need to address the budget deficit and make the budgeting process more
creative people. We are the capital of innovation in technology. We are diverse and dedicated. And we have a lot of fun. So why canÕt our city government be as good as the people of San Francisco? As creative? As innovative? As effective?
I think it can
in underserved communities.
My Žrst commitment as Mayor will be to ensure that everyoneŃworking families, middle class folks, students Ńwho lives here like I do can work and thrive here. ThatÕs why I ran for school board, the Board of Supervisors, the State Assembly and Senate, and itÕs why IÕm running for mayor.
What sets you apart from your opponents? I am the only candidate in this race with a record of proposing and passing job-creating legislation. I did it by building trust and solid working relationships on an ideologically divided board, and I can do the same as Mayor. As a Supervisor, I worked on issues that were important even if it took me outside my district. I fought to close dirty power plants in Bayview, and I worked to keep St. LukeÕs open in the Mission. I have, and have always had, a city-wide view. I have the most experience working on a city budget than any of the other candidates currently running; before serving as the Chair of the CityÕs Budget and Finance Committee, I spent several years staffing the then Chair as a Legislative Aide. Additionally, through my work as a community and labor organizer, I have demonstrated wholeheartedly my commitment to social justice. I have a genuine interest in public service and am not driven by ambition, but rather by a higher political calling to improve the lives of everyday people. Lastly, our campaign has already differentiated itself as the most community-based, grassroots campaign in this cycle. Rather than hire a campaign consultant, we opted for a committee of veteran and new organizers and activists, representing key constituencies, all sharing the various campaign responsibilities. I'm the only progressive woman running, the only artist, the only lesbian, and the only member of the Green Party (or any other non-corporate party). It's no secret that San Francisco is facing serious challenges, but I think that we're headed in the right direction with our current Board and interim Mayor. To keep moving forward, our next Mayor will have to focus on building bridges, seeking common ground, and looking to solve problems rather than score political points.
Over recent years, I have proven that I am that kind of leader - whether it be balancing significant budget deficits or crafting legislation to keep jobs in San Francisco. My record of fighting for San Franciscans -- which you can find at -- is unique among the candidates, and I look forward to sharing it with San Franciscans during the course of our campaign.
What also sets me apart are my experiences outside of public office. I have experience as a founder of a business. I've worked as a civil rights attorney and a criminal prosecutor. And I've volunteered as a leader of my neighborhood association and chair of an affordable housing organization. All these experiences have given me
IÕve always believed that an angry customer is my best asset. I am committed to collaborating, innovating and working harder-- thatÕs what IÕve done all my life. IÕm scrappy enough to roll up my sleeves every day to make this promise real ŠthatÕs what IÕve always done Š and thatÕs what I love to do. As City Attorney for almost a decade, IÕve led an office that American Lawyer magazine praised as Ņone of the most aggressive and talented city law departments in the nation.Ó IÕve been recognized among CaliforniaÕs top lawyers, and the American Bar Association honored my office with its prestigious lifetime achievement award for outstanding excellence.
There arenÕt many City departments that are nationally recognized for excellence and professionalism. But mine is, under my leadership. More than anything else, thatÕs what sets me apart from every candidate in the race for Mayor.
Every day, I represent City departments, boards and commissions in cases with millions of tax dollars at stake. IÕve brought groundbreaking litigation, and won landmark decisions. Yet despite all the cases IÕve won, what IÕve told voters since announcing my candidacy is this: donÕt just judge me on the cases IÕve wonŃjudge me also on the cases IÕve resolved. Because the leadership skill IÕve demonstrated again and again as City Attorney is my ability to sit down with the toughest
IÕm an entrepreneur and I will bring that spirit with me to City Hall.
IÕm a teacher, mentor and education reform advocate. I teach at Santa Clara University and have served for eight years on the Bay Area Board of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, which brings business building skills to students in low-income communities. IÕm an advisory board member of the San Francisco School Alliance and I serve on the board of the New Schools Venture Fund, which helps education entrepreneurs ŌscaleÕ their enterprise to affect systems change in San Francisco and across the country.
I managed a family owned 42-room hotel and brought it back from the brink of bankruptcy. When I moved to San Francisco in 1993, I opened a restaurant in Rincon Center. Unfortunately, after just two years, the business was forced to shut its doors, providing a valuable long-term lesson in the practical realities and challenges of running a small business.
In 1996, I took the risk of a lifetime, plunging headlong into the traditionally male-dominated world of
I am dedicated to listening to the people of San Francisco. We have spent the past five months hosting community events to bring the people of San Francisco together and hear what you have to say on the issues. We have then taken those conversations, looked at how we can address your concerns, and have continued the conversation online on This is whatÕs different about my campaign.
Our campaign to Reset San Francisco is about using online tools to engage San Franciscans to encourage San Franciscans to make their voices heard at City Hall. By crowdsourcing your ideas, we can have more voices, more ideas and more choices in city government Š and thatÕs a good thing. Our campaign will continue to host both online and offline conversations with San Franciscans to do what we can to make sure the next Mayor of San Francisco is truly a mayor for San Franciscans.
No other candidate in this race can match my almost 25 years of experience at three levels of government spanning every issue area. I am also unmatched in my proven track record of getting results and ability to forge coalitions and compromises. A few examples:
„ After Governor Schwarzenegger eliminated all state funding for domestic violence shelters in 2009, I responded by partnering with over 25 individual domestic violence groups across the state to Žnd alternate funding, and within a week passed emergency legislation to reinstate over $16 million back into shelterÕs vital health and support services.
„ I fought efforts to suspend CEQA in order to develop in Half Moon Bay after a settlement against the city. Despite facing one of the most difŽcult situations IÕve encountered as a legislator, I eventually found a compromise bill that balanced the interests of Half Moon Bay residents with state and local environmental protection.
„ During my 9-year tenure in Sacramento, IÕve successfully passed 133 pieces of legislation, of which 100 were signed into law.
Forging partnerships and creating innovative
        perspectives on the challenges that everyday San Franciscans face - perspectives that I would bring to the MayorÕs Office.   adversaries, and resolve differences.
ThatÕs exactly the skill San Francisco needs in its next Mayor to solve the problems we face, and create a City that works.
venture capital, and with $50,000 cobbled together from savings and personal debt, I formed VSP Capital. I have invested in more than 60 Bay Area companies.   solutions requires experience and a demonstrated understanding of how government works at all levels. I am the only candidate with a demonstrated
Have you qualified for public financing? I have qualified for public financing. Public financing is crucial to our grassroots campaign. In just six weeks time, we qualified for public financing, garnering over $25,000 from the individual donations of 329 San Franciscans. No; although I would like to have public financing, it is realistically too difficult to collect sufficient donations from my base of artists and activists during this economy. As in my race for Supervisor in 2008, I am participating in San FranciscoÕs limited public financing program. I have already qualified for and received public financing. I believe that public financing will allow me to spend more time doing the real work of campaigning - talking with residents about the issues that matter in their lives - rather than raising money. Yes-- My campaign has qualified for public financing. Yes, I have qualified for public financing. I think itÕs a system that has largely liberated me and the other publicly-financed candidates from the need to focus primarily on fundraising, so we can meet voters, hear their concerns, and make our campaigns about what we can do to best serve all San FranciscansŃnot simply about appealing to donors. Our campaign has qualified for public financing. We have received over $440,000 in matching funds to date Yes, we are going through that process now. Yes.
What do you view as the top three issues facing San Francisco? Please describe your solutions for those issues. First, we have to address the long-term deficits that continually plague
the city. Every year, we patch together a budget using one-time fixes, which means that people who use city services never know from one year to the next if their programs will be properly funded. Second, we need neighborhood schools, to provide anchors in our communities and keep more families in San Francisco. And third, we have to find innovative ways to create jobs across all income levels and in all parts of the city. IÕm proud of my efforts as a Supervisor to pass legislation that helped small businesses as well as large ones, and I know we can use targeted incentives to bring more jobs to our city.
I believe the most pressing issues facing our City are jobs, affordable housing, health care, violence, education, and public transportation.
Jobs, housing, and education are all critical to keeping our families in San Francisco. As Mayor, I will expand upon the local hiring legislation I crafted, which will not only provide work for the many San Franciscans who need it, it will ensure that our dollars are spent in our local stores, and serve our local tax base. As Supervisor I have secured tens of millions of dollars for the development of affordable housing in San Francisco, and as Mayor I will put the full weight of my office behind more creative solutions to the budget crisis, like the real estate transfer-tax I championed, which has brought in more than $40 million in new revenue already this year. If elected, I aim to ensure greater opportunity, access, and support for working families; affordable housing; economic justice and workersÕ rights; a commitment to public health, transit, recreation and parks; and protecting our safety net through an equitable budget.
The first problem is the corruption of municipal government that has resulted from one-party rule. One party rule didn't work in the USSR, Egypt, or Syria, and it doesn't work here. There is a "pay to play" policy in SF that has continued at least as far back as the days of Willie Brown. City contracts go to corporations, non-profits, and individuals who make the right "donations" or pay off well-connected political consultants. Outrageous contracts, often with "golden parachute" clauses, are given to politically connected cronies (some
of whom were called "special assistants" under Willie Brown and "municipal executives" today). Many City contracts serve as shields to avoid Sunshine laws and appropriate public oversight of funds. One-party corruption has directly led to many of the other major problems in SF: environmental racism, crumbling infrastructure and public transit, and unsustainable development.
The solution is to build a strong opposition party, such as the Green Party. Greens do not take corporate donations (i.e., bribes).
We fight for stronger Sunshine laws,
First, we must rebuild our economy and create jobs. I helped lay the groundwork to bring billions of dollars and thousands of jobs to the city through the AmericaÕs Cup and significant development projects. I also sponsored legislation to give more city business to local firms, and eliminated fees that impair small business growth. Going forward, we must look at creative ways to ensure that businesses stop leaving San Francisco.
Second, we must make sure that city government works smarter and better for our people. That means crafting balanced budgets that ensure that our city provides basic services that better protect our public safety and public health, and commits to community-based budgeting, community-based planning, and community-based policing. It also means building a world-class transportation system, with a Muni system that runs on time, safe pedestrian and bicycling experiences, and clean streets without potholes.
Third, we must ensure that families donÕt continue to leave our city, and that our young people receive a world class education. Our City must prioritize
Securing our economic future: When I talk to people around San Francisco, their primary concerns are jobs, and the future of our cityÕs economy. As Supervisor, I worked with many local entrepreneurs Ń from restaurateurs to biotech startups Ń who spend too much time and money jumping over hurdles. I co-sponsored legislation to support three targeted payroll tax exemptions focused on creating biotech jobs for San Franciscans, and allowed biotech firms to pay permit fees once they had their certificate of occupancy rather than at groundbreaking. These measures increased the biotech presence from 2 firms to 72 firms and created over 3,000 new jobs. As Mayor, I will continue to leverage my years of experience with City processes to focus on common sense reform and streamlining regulations so that businesses can open faster.
● Preparing our kids for the 21st Century economy: Our education system can support our youth to excel in the growing fields of biotechnology, clean and green technology and digital media. As Mayor I will align our cityÕs
Having talked with thousands of voters over the last several months, and having worked as the chief legal counsel to three different mayors and 26 members of the Board of Supervisors over the last decade, these are the three preeminent challenges I think are facing the next Mayor of San Francisco.
To create jobs and expand economic opportunity;
To govern more effectively and run a City that earns back the confidence of the people it serves; and
To have an honest, forward-looking conversation about the kind of city ours will beŃbecause we are failing future generations by not doing so.
Now, it would probably be simpler and more predictable to list a few poll-tested discrete issues with pat answersŃletÕs balance the budget, letÕs address homelessness, etc. But the reality is we will make little progress on any single issue if we donÕt meet the larger challenges of growing economically, governing more accountably, and pursuing a forward-looking vision of a San Francisco that starts living up to its potential as a
IÕm focused on education, jobs and transparency.
Education needs to be a citywide endeavor that is treated as one of our core civic priorities. We cannot afford for our Mayor to stand on the sidelines and allow public schools to fend for themselves. Too many kids are being underserved and too many families are leaving the City, because education has not been a priority. We must take bold steps to support our teachers and our schools, making San Francisco a leader in education innovation.
Every San Franciscan deserves the strong feeling of community that is achieved when people work close to home and have their children go to neighborhood schools. We must bring quality, high wage jobs back to San Francisco, so that workers who ride buses everyday to Silicon Valley can instead walk or take public transportation to jobs in the City. ItÕs time to fundamentally rewrite the CityÕs economic equation with a long-term strategy focused on job creation.
Most people are willing to pay for support and services to make the City
1. Creating jobs
2. Making public transportation, like MUNI, more reliable and efficient
3. Making government more effective and responsive
Our economy needs to be stronger Š there is no singularly more important quality of life concern than unemployment. Economic growth starts with removing senseless barriers to job creation, and frequently that growth calls for government-led investments, like broadband infrastructure and Universal Internet Access, to unleash the power of the web 2.0 economy in every neighborhood. ThatÕs why I have proposed universal access in SanFrancisco and thatÕs why I am running my campaign for mayor on a core platform of dramatically improving the efficiency of government through a series of Gov 2.0 reforms.
With over 92% of Bay Area residents living near a transit stop, it can be understood that our economy, and our overall quality of life, rest in creating a safe, fast, and reliable transit system to make San Francisco easily navigable without a car. That means implementing Muni reforms now Š not ten years from now. That means creating a comprehensive transportation plan that addresses a transit system as well as acknowledging the need for walkable and bikable streets.
To improve city government, we all have to
My top priorities as mayor will be reviving our local economy, bringing our local budget into balance and improving access to quality public education.
To Žx our cityÕs budget, we need to look at both increasing revenues to support vital services and look within to Žnd ways to do more with less. We need fair but meaningful pension reform. We need to start with making sure core services like MUNI, public safety, and healthcare better serve our citizens.
Reviving our local economy is the key to increasing the local revenues necessary to preserving our vital infrastructure. Helping small businesses navigate complicated permitting processes, IÕm proposing to revamp the cityÕs small business assistance services into an outreach- and casework-centered philosophy and restructure our business taxes so as to encourage job creation.
My number one priority as mayor will be making sure our schools have support and resources to provide a quality education for every student. Access to quality public education is the key to helping working families stay here by creating pathways to
      audits of all City contracts, and an end to the current culture of corruption.
The second major issue is a lack of good public transit, in an era of Peak Oil
funding for our schools and teachers, build affordable housing, and invest in child care, after-school programs, our parks and our libraries. resources to support the academic goals of each school in SFUSD so that students and families get the full range of services available- from school security to the arts- model American city for the 21st Century. Within 200 words, I canÕt expand on that, but it begins with my Jobs Plan at feel safe and clean. But people want to know what they are paying for and where the money goes.
An effective government must communicate its goals
  higher education, creating jobs and reinvigorating our economy. I believe that neighborhood- and school-centered services and expansion of programs like SF Promise will help us get there.
What are some specific public safety strategies currently being implemented in San Francisco that you agree or disagree with? With these strategies in mind, what do you intend to do about public safety if elected mayor? One of the biggest challenges to public safety in San Francisco is the number of first responders who live somewhere else. Police officers who live in the city are more invested in the city, fire fighters and paramedics who live in the city will be here if an emergency strikes. We need to expand homeownership opportunities to keep more public safety personnel in town and part of the community. I was opposed to Prop L, last yearÕs Sit/Lie measure; and now it has become clear that the city is spending precious resources to apply this new vagrancy law that many in the Police Department find difficult, if not impossible, to implement. Instead of creating new laws targeting low-income people who have little alternative to the streets, San Francisco can implement community-policing programs that are based upon relationship building with merchants and residents Š including youth Š and people who are on our streets and sidewalks.

As Supervisor, I have responded to neighborhood crime and violence by bringing neighbors together sponsoring neighborhood watch groups, and conducting forums with the Police Department and residents, including youth. I am in favor of more engaged beat patrols, and as Mayor I would make sure there are sufficient standards in place as to how they interact with merchants and residents; they should all be on a first-name basis.
I'm strongly opposed to "sit/lie," which is a violation of civil rights and a tool for police profiling. I also oppose cooperation with ICE. I support community policing and foot patrols, and I would mandate more of these as Mayor. I would let neighborhoods set priorities for police time (e.g., prioritizing burglaries or murders, rather than harassing homeless people). I would replace ROTC in schools with similar leadership program built around "1st responder" and earthquake response skills--this will also encourage more SF kids to join our police/fire rather than the military. I would create incentives for 1st responders to live in SF, since bridges will be down in an earthquake. I would put police under control of the elected Sheriff. I would relocate police from the airport to neighborhoods that need more foot patrols. I would also save money by "civilianize" jobs that don't require special training (i.e., desk jobs), as well as elimate money that's spent on toys for police (such as segways and tasers). As a former criminal prosecutor and judge-arbitrator for a neighborhood
community court, I know that public safety requires extensive collaboration between our police department, District Attorney, court system, probation and social service programs that can prevent crimes in the first place. No single strategy will solve all problems, but there are several things we can do to make San Franciscans more secure.
First, I believe strongly in community policing, and will make it a cornerstone of our CityÕs public safety strategy as Mayor. That means promoting formal and informal mechanisms for residents to collaborate with the police department, and supporting beat patrol officers to build effective relationships.
Second, good data analysis is crucial to effective policing. The SFPD should continue to integrate the CompStat model into its everyday policing, and we need to implement our JUSTIS program to share data between law enforcement agencies.
Third, with many police officers retiring, we need enough trained professionals to replenish the ranks. In this yearÕs budget, I supported funding for a new Police Academy class because itÕs critical for long-term public safety.
Fourth, the SFPD must continue to implement ongoing reforms and
modernization. I strongly support our police
ItÕs frustrating to me that success in community policing heretofore has not been rewarded in terms of promotions or assignments. Chief Suhr is very committed to community policing and we have to figure out how to reward officers in the promotional process for being strong community policing practitioners. As City Attorney, IÕve worked hard to make San Francisco streets safer by taking on criminal street gangs, and securing civil gang injunctions that have made real progress in dramatically reducing gang-related violence and nuisance conduct in several City neighborhoods. These injunctions bar known gang members from engaging in intimidation, graffiti vandalism, trespassing, and associating with other gang members inside of court-ordered Ņsafety zones.Ó

IÕve also pursued lawless, violence-plagued nightclubs, and stood up for the vast majority of San FranciscoÕs entertainment venues that take the public safety of their patrons and neighbors seriously. IÕve worked with regulators and law enforcement to protect nightlife and tourism, and IÕve been an active collaborator with the MayorÕs Office, District Supervisors, the District Attorney, Police, and state ABC regulators to keep San Francisco a safe, vibrant entertainment Mecca.

What IÕve learned as City Attorney Ń and what a Herrera Administration will reflect in the public safety strategies it pursues in Room 200 Ń
Every San Franciscan deserves to live in a safe and secure neighborhood, and as mayor, I will work with our police and community leaders to improve neighborhood safety. I believe that we need a well-funded police department that focuses on building relationships with every community and uses technology to prevent and investigate crime.
Police foot patrols are one of the keys to strengthen the bonds between law enforcement and our communities. Foot patrols turn police officers into members of the community and promote open communication between neighborhood residents and law enforcement. I also support increasing coordination between law enforcement and community and neighborhood watch groups.
Technology has allowed for the development of crime-fighting initiatives like Compstat, the Bay Area Regional Crime Center, and the Shotspotters program. I support full adoption of these programs and will
Keeping our neighborhoods safe is a priority. Our city needs to be a place where families can flourish. And by utilizing online tools and web 2.0 technology, like the SFPDÕs CrimeMaps, we can work to lower crime, to increase communication (especially in earthquakes and other crises) and to keep our city safe.
And while we work to improve public safety throughout the city, we can forget to simultaneously increase transportation safety.
One of my concerns regarding the safety of our residents is improving bicycle safety. The 2009 San Francisco Bike Plan outlines action needed to secure safer bicycle transportation. Targeted goals include greater cooperation with SFPD to enforce violations that endanger bicyclists, encouraging bicycle safety campaigns throughout the city, expanding bicycle access to transit and bridges, and ensuring plentiful high-quality bicycle parking. I would continue to ensure that this plan is carried out and that the plan continues to meet the needs of our residents.
I believe we should focus our law enforcement resources on constructive community policing and prevention strategies that improve relations between police and the community and give at-risk youth the resources to get themselves out of the cycle of violence.
As mayor I will support and work to expand community-based policing because real face-to-face relationships between police and the communities they serve and protect is the best way to foster mutual trust and work collaboratively to reduce crime.
I will also work to expand prevention programs that give people pathways out of violence and crime, especially youth violence prevention programs like Changing the Odds and Back on Track. Providing at-risk youth with the education and tools to empower themselves to change their future is the best way to stop the cycle of violence.
I will also do everything I can in the budget process to ensure that afterschool programming, summer job programs, and transitional-age youth support structures are sufŽcient to meet the needs of San FranciscoÕs kids and
        chief in making this progress.   is that effective public safety strategies require collaboration and engagement. Not just among other law enforcement offices, but also among neighborhood stakeholders and community organizations. push for the police department to find cutting-edge ways to combat and prevent crime and make San Francisco as safe as possible.   families.
What does the term Ņaffordable housingÓ mean to you? What, if anything, will you do to increase the quantity of affordable housing in San Francisco? Affordable housing means housing options for people across the income
scale. If we take a balanced approach to reforming the condo conversion
process in the city, we can expand both homeownership and rental
opportunities for people at all income levels. It is also important that we
continue the cityÕs rent control policy.
To me, Ņaffordable housingÓ means the preservation of our CityÕs economic, cultural, and racial diversity. This is why affordable housing has been one of my top priorities during my years as Supervisor; I worked to secure $30 million for new affordable housing opportunities, drafted the first effort to create a sustained funding source for affordable housing, and created the CityÕs Rental Subsidy Program for Low-Income Families, which provides rental assistance for those struggling to stay in their homes.
During my four years as Legislative Assistant in the District 6 SupervisorÕs office, I shared in green-lighting more development than anyone else in a similar period, while ensuring that an unprecedented level of community benefits would be included in the development agreements. My support of the various development projects was based on the Community Benefits Agreement negotiated by labor and other community groups. This is the development philosophy I would carry into the MayorÕs Office.
This November, I plan on introducing a bond
"Affordable" means that a single person holding a typical service sector job in San Francisco can afford to pay rent or mortgage on a safe place to live. As detailed above, I support a requirement that ALL new housing built in SF be affordable, and I also support community land trusts (which allow people to pay for only the building, not the land) and City support for cooperative housing. To me, the fight for affordable housing is the fight to give working families from low and middle income backgrounds a real choice to make San Francisco their home. It also allows San Franciscans to consider becoming first-time homebuyers, and promotes neighborhoods that are socioeconomically integrated.
Throughout my career, I have taken an active role in advocating for affordable housing. Prior to becoming a Supervisor, I served as the board chair of one of the cityÕs leading affordable housing organization that has developed over 2,000 units of housing for tenants, seniors, immigrants and working families.
As Supervisor, I am proud to have sponsored legislation that protected our cityÕs Inclusionary Affordable Housing Program against recent court decisions. I have also passed legislation that facilitated the creation of housing cooperatives, incentivized the construction of senior housing, created permanently affordable rental housing for homeless veterans, and protected tenants facing Ellis Act evictions by owners who wanted to replace housing
Access to high quality affordable housing is key to keeping families, teachers, nurses, police officers and first responders in the City. As Supervisor, I sponsored legislation to allow in lieu fees to be congregated in order to acquire land in more expensive neighborhoods such as the Castro to be developed for affordable housing. I have
championed Open House, the development of affordable housing for LGBT seniors. I strongly supported the two unsuccessful bond campaigns, and as Mayor will pledge to go to voters in 2012 with an affordable housing bond.
I support building new high quality affordable housing throughout San Francisco, including major developments like ParkMerced and the recently approved Treasure Island plan. I believe that such projects must utilize skilled union labor and have a high percentage of affordable and workforce priced housing and be sustainable in terms of
transit and efficiency. My record speaks to working with developers, labor, affordable housing advocates, and neighborhood leaders to make new projects reflective of
In a public policy context, I understand Ņaffordable housingÓ to mean housing that is economically accessible to a broad range of income categories. And I believe our efforts to make housing more affordable to San Franciscans must recognize that affordable housing policies range from protecting habitability conditions in SRO hotels and public housing developments for low-income residents, to protecting rent control and expanding infill development for middle-income families.
Among the current mayoral candidates, no one has fought harder or more successfully to protect affordable housing, broadly defined, than I have. IÕll be a Mayor for whom affordable housing is a top priority because it has clearly been a top priority of mind as City Attorney.
I filed suit against CitiApartments, one of the largest, most corrupt landlords in San Francisco, to successfully end their outrageous pattern of corporate lawlessness.
I defended San FranciscoÕs Hotel Conversion Ordinance, which protects long-term residents from being evicted in favor
Producing affordable housing and creating stronger neighborhoods for working families will be a high priority if I am elected mayor. I will provide leadership in fostering public private partnerships to find innovative ways to provide more affordable housing. We can modify building and planning regulations to encourage smaller and more efficient housing units, support mixed use developments such as housing units above retail, change parking space requirements, and promote secondary units on existing residential lots. We can also make use of inclusionary zoning to require developers to build moderate income housing units in market rate developments and use zoning to increase the number of housing units within walking distance of public transportation. In addition, I support bringing an affordable housing bond to voters.
I support rent control, particularly for the elderly and other residents on fixedincomes, and I will work to ensure that our city has enough affordable housing for low-income and fixed-income families and individuals. I also support efforts to
I have always supported affordable housing in the past and will do so in the future. ThereÕs not enough housing in the city for low-income residents and families, and so we need more money to build them. I will support affordable housing bonds as mayor. Affordable housing means, to me, a challenge that must be met if San Francisco wants to be a healthy, thriving city for people and families from all economic levels.
The city needs to make affordable housing a priority.
As mayor I will create an affordable housing budget set-aside that the city can bond against, creating a necessary stream of dedicated funding for affordable housing.
I am committed to enforcing inclusionary housing requirements as part of any development agreementŃto that end, I voted for Senator LenoÕs bill to clarify the cityÕs right to enforce inclusionary housing following a recent court decision.
Additionally, new affordable units must be affordable to a range of income levels, and a portion of them must be large enough to house families.
I would also support expanding the CityÕs Downpayment Assistance Loan Program and the lesser-known City Second Loan Program, in which the City pays a portion of the downpayment for a new home and monthly mortgage, then recoups its investment when the home is later sold.
    measure to fund affordable housing. Over the past 15 years, a stagnating economic climate and a lack of availability of funds has contributed to fewer and fewer San Francisco renters and a decrease in development in affordable housing; the   units with garages. As Mayor, I am committed to continuing to bring together public, private and nonprofit stakeholders so we can prioritize the creation of affordable housing. the needs of the neighborhoods, and inclusive of services like childcare to make the developments truly livable. of tourist rentals, all the to the U.S. Supreme Court. And I won.
I doubled the size of my officeÕs Code Enforcement Unit, to aggressively police violations of building, planning and fire codes and protect tenants and neighbors from abusive landlords.
streamline housing development processes while ensuring that community needs are met.    
What issues do you see in the changing demographics of the City, and how as mayor do you plan to support racial, economic and cultural diversity? Fixing the school assignment system will give more families the peace of mind they need to continue living in the city. We need proximity to be a key factor in determining school assignments, meaning more people will stay in San Francisco when their children reach school age. Over the past ten years, San Francisco has lost thousands of families due to rising housing costs and lack of accessible and affordable health care and education, which has contributed greatly to the narrowing of our CityÕs diversity. I have always prioritized the preservation of neighborhood character and community, a philosophy that was proven when I championed the Ņcommunity-actionÓ grants program, which supports projects such as community gardens, murals, and issue summits to empower neighborhoods, when I organized Ņart walkÓ events in my district, or when I created the Ocean Ave Community Benefits District, which focuses on local business retention and neighborhood beautification.
As Mayor, I would put the full weight of the office behind keeping those departing families here, through expanding local hiring, green-lighting affordable housing developments that maintain community, and exploring innovative solutions to generating revenue, such as the voter-approved Real Estate Transfer Tax mentioned above, as well as my affordable housing bond measure
Ethnic cleansing of African American communities has been the unofficial City policy since the days of Willie Brown, and it continues today with the Lennar development. To counter these trends, we need more affordable housing, support for small businesses (as opposed to multi-billion dollar corporations like Twitter), and real local hiring / contracts with local businesses (not just the current system of political patronage). Throughout our history, San Francisco has been a beacon of diversity to the rest of the world. But in recent years, I have heard from too many San Franciscans who arenÕt sure if they have a place in our City anymore. Whether it is day laborers from the Mission, African American families in the Bayview, or Chinese seniors in public housing, if weÕre going to succeed as a city, we need to make sure people of diverse backgrounds can live here.
To do that, we must acknowledge that this is a problem worthy of government attention, then take concrete steps to solve it. First, we must make economic development of neighborhoods a priority, which is why I championed the Tenderloin/Mid-Market tax incentive to revitalize those neighborhoods. Second, we must provide truly affordable housing for low-income and middle-class families, which is why IÕve spearheaded efforts to facilitate the creation of housing cooperatives and ease the requirements for purchasing units at belowmarket rates. Third, San Francisco cannot continue to lose families because our schools struggle. I am committed to
As Mayor I am committed to appointing a diverse and representative cabinet of advisers and senior staff, and to recruit and train people from across San Francisco to serve as Commissioners. I have engaged City College to help build a training program for aspiring City leaders so that they can learn how the CityÕs budget works and have a policy tool-kit and professional network to draw on should they be tapped for City service.
I have supported a number of innovative and successful programs that give young people the opportunity to attend college, and get skills to prepare them for the changing economy. As Mayor I will continue to support programs I helped create like the Athletic Scholar Advance Program at Mission High and Kindergarten to College, which provides
a college savings account to every entering Kindergartener.
One way we can foster more socio-economic diversity in our city fabric is by creating Life Colleges at the Big Four public housing developments. By providing on-site access to higher education, job training,
As Mayor, I intend to build consensus around a unified urban and economic strategy that recognizes racial, economic and cultural diversity as one of San FranciscoÕs most critical assets. I support development policies that will protect the unique character of individual San Francisco neighborhoods, provide economic opportunity for all San Franciscans. I want to pursue an economic development strategy that does more to encourage diverse employment opportunities across the socio-economic strataŃnot just the new and trendy sectors for high-wage earners.
ThatÕs why creating jobs will be job number one if IÕm elected Mayor. IÕll use every tool at our disposal to revitalize our economy. That means getting people back to work who are unemployed, and also creating better, more rewarding opportunities for those who are underemployed. Our city needs to do more to provide long term, sustainable economic opportunity for people with many different skills. That will help ensure that families of all income levels and cultures can continue to live and
San Francisco is losing families at an alarming rate. I will work to improve quality of life and affordability issues for our residents so living in the city is a viable option.
That starts with fixing our schools and continues with the way we budget and allocate resources for the basic quality of life issues important to our community: clean, well maintained streets, good public transit, comfort in safety and security, accessible parks and open space, support for the arts and a strong sense of local communities reinforced by vibrant merchant corridors and good public schools. To have a strong city we must focus on school improvement and get our economy moving in the right direction by creating jobs and growing our way out of the constant cycle of budget deficits and harmful cuts.
This shift in the Bay AreaÕs ranking is not necessarily a question of a loss of diversity. Between the 2000 Census and 2010 Census, there was a national increase of 27.3 million people residing in the United States, or an overall 9.7% increase. There was a 43% increase alone in the national Hispanic population. While the Bay Area may have dropped in diversity rankings, it is likely because other cities became relatively more diverse in the course of the past decade.
Some San Francisco neighborhoods, like the Mission, are certainly seeing a decrease in racial and ethnic diversity, at least partially exacerbated by the tough economic times that have hit the Bay Area. We should all work to make sure this city can continue to be the home for all the people who live here, and part of that effort is making sure people can afford to continue living here.
As Executive Director of the Asian Law Caucus, an organization founded in 1972 to advance and promote the legal and civil rights of the Asian Pacific Islander community, I work hard to ensure that all San Franciscans receive fair treatment
A recent survey of SF residents found over 40% of parents with children under age 5 said they plan to leave the city in the next few years to raise their families due to the cost of living. We must do better to make our city family-friendly.
In order to retain families we must provide Žrst-class public schools, increase job and job training opportunities, ensure quality healthcare, expand affordable housing, and dramatically improving public transit systems.
Access to quality public education is the key to helping working families stay here, to creating pathways to higher education, to creating jobs and reinvigorating our economy. ThatÕs why IÕm proposing a community school model to foster more community involvement and expand available services to help underperforming schools turn things around.
Encouraging affordable family-sized units and density along transit corridors will help combat this trendŃcoupled with improvements to public transit Ń and make it easier for families to live here without needing to own a vehicle. Proper
    I plan on introducing on the November 2011 ballot.   working with SF Unified School District to build the strongest education system in the state. and apprenticeship programs we can cultivate a new cohort of leaders and a workforce that better represents the diversity of our City. thrive in San Francisco.
For more than 150 years, San Francisco has drawn its character, creativity and economic vitality from its diversity. It is deeply disconcerting to see that trend reverse. Fixing it must be a priority.
  under the law.
One basic human right Š access to
environmental cleanup in neighborhoods such as the Bayview is also key, which will improve health and lower costs for low-income families and communities of color.
Ultimately, the integration of cheaper, cleaner energy, transportation, air and water
What is your position regarding privatization of the public sector, i.e., contracting out public land and services to for-profit or private entities? I believe that most of the services provided by the city are things city
government does better, or needs to do to ensure they are done right. In
some cases, like concession stands, it makes more sense to contract those
facilities. But it must always be done in a fair, open and transparent way, and done rarely.
I do not support the privatization of essential government services, or the outsourcing of public and private sector jobs. In fact, I sponsored Parks for the People, which will be on the November ballot; recently we have been paying too much for the creation and the renovation of new parks and subsequently weÕve had less access to existing parks because they are being leased out to private entities. If elected I would throw the full weight of the MayorÕs office behind opposing new entrance fees to public goods, such as those being proposed for the Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park. Lastly, IÕm of the impression that our healthcare system should be about public health, not profit, and IÕm against our jailhouse services being contracted out to the private sector; our government has the opportunity to set the standard for the private sector to follow regarding wages, benefits, and accountability. Greens have vigorously opposed privatization of the Presidio, Yerba Buena Park, fees on the Arboretum (including the "temporary" fees originally enacted by Supervisors Chiu and Avalos), leases of public
playgrounds to for-profit sports franchises, formula retail in public parks, golf course givaways, and private parking garages in public parks. The current head of Rec & Park should be fired. We will continue to oppose such policies in the future.
Public land and services must contribute to the common good. Any private use of public space, or private service in an otherwise public setting, should be consistent with the underlying purpose of the public good. I have consistently voted against contracting out public services, and would only consider shifting work to private entities when such a shift would not result in public employee layoffs and when such shifts would prevent more sweeping privatization proposals.
I do believe that it is essential that our parks and public lands are maintained as free and accessible places for all San Franciscans to enjoy. I do not believe that concerts and concessions, to cite two recent practices, constitute privatization of our public spaces. Rather, they offer another way for San Francisco residents and visitors to enjoy city life, just as food trucks in Civic Center and UN Plaza have activated empty spaces and provided appreciated options for nearby workers.
Preserving civil service positions ensures greater quality control in the services provided to the public. I have consistently opposed contracting out, including the most recent effort to privatize security at SF General. I have spent more time at SF General than any other candidate- visiting constituents, victims of crime and police officers harmed in the line of duty. It is unthinkable to me to hire private security with no benefits to protect doctors and nurses working in one of the most intense workplaces in the City.
As Mayor, I will continue my successful track record of working with neighbors, advocates, City employees, Labor and others to find solutions that donÕt involve privatization. Recreation and Parks continues to struggle with difficult budget decisions which have prompted a shift to the current revenue focus. I do not believe this is a wise long-term direction for our City and for a healthy park system. I opposed the Conservatory fee, and advised Blue Bottle to pull out of Dolores Park. I do, however, oppose the ballot measure about
I categorically oppose the privatization of basic public services. There is no place for the profit motive when it comes to the essential functions of protecting and serving San Franciscans. Privatization brings significant problems in terms of lack of accountability and diminished effectiveness. Indeed, my experience as a City Attorney who has pursued numerous cases of public contracting fraud has made me deeply suspicious of privatization generally. It too often shunts public responsibilities to private concerns whose interests are not shared with the public.
Of course, San Francisco supports many worthy private community-based organizations. Yet even here, accountability can be a cause for concern. ThatÕs why I served as co-chair of the 2009 CBO Task Force along with the San Francisco Foundation's Dr. Sandra Hernandez.
We offered numerous recommendations to enhance the performance and effectiveness of city-funded nonprofits that fulfill public interest services, including improved oversight and closures to eliminate wasteful overlap. I am glad to see Interim
Our public employees serve our community and deserve respect for the services they provide. Public employees are under assault from the right wing across the country Š and as Mayor, I will stand up to this unfounded aggression and stand by our public employees. Generally speaking, I do not support approving a private contract for work currently performed by public employees. I will seek a balance that respects public employees and meets our need to adapt to a rapidly changing world.
I support innovation and cutting red tape to make progress on important issues. For example, our city technology and data systems are outdated. There are many open source and free or low cost solutions to the challenges we face in this area, but procurement procedures and other contractual obligations prevent us from moving forward quickly. We need to be able to respond better to our changing world Š and save taxpayer dollars by utilizing technology.
It would be a rare occurrence that I would support contracting out to private entities for public services. I have consistently fought contracting out of government services. I have opposed every privatization and contracting-out effort in my nine years as a legislator in Sacramento, including efforts to privatize elements of our corrections system and court services, as well as UC and CSU proposals to contract out for maintenance, busing, and certain trades. As mayor, I will continue that commitment.
More specifically, I was the most vocal opponent to the University of California attempting to contact out maintenance work and bus drivers. Contacting out does not make sense and does not save the taxpayer money.
I strongly oppose the Recreation and Parks DepartmentÕs focus on revenue generation over the past two budget years to privatize the cityÕs parks and to limit access to only those who can afford it. I have spoken out against charging entrance fees at the Arboretum, and will continue the fight to protect public access to parks as mayor.
Most recently, I opposed contracting out at SF General. I publicly declared that security at SF General requires highly specialized
          Parks because I believe the language goes too far, and impedes the ability of the General Manager to identify new revenue opportunities that are aligned with Mayor Lee implementing some of those recommendations currently.     training and experience with sensitive patient populations -- something private security would be grossly ill-equipped to provide.
Do you support reforming the 1932 Refuse Collection and Disposal Ordinance to allow the City to contract out its garbage services through competitive bidding? This is an issue that will require a great deal of negotiation between the next mayor and the Board of Supervisors. As Mayor, I will deal with those negotiations in the best interest of the city. I absolutely support reforming the 1932 Refuse Collection and Disposal Ordinance; the current system is outdated and has been reduced to a monopoly. I advocate establishing a competitive bidding system for our garbage collection and transfer services, which would contain commercial rates for the first time, as well as generate a substantial franchise fee and provide as much as $40-50 million a year to the General Fund. Yes. However, we must then choose a contract that is enviromentally sound and just, rather than dumping our garbage on poor communities of color on the other side of the state. While I understand the impetus behind the effort to overturn the 1932 ordinance, and agree that competitive bidding generally an important principle, I do not believe that this issue is a priority for our city and for many San Franciscans at this time. Our existing garbage services company has been an industry leader when it comes to waste diversion through recycling and composting, and we have a realistic opportunity to reach the goal of zero waste by 2020. No. While I am generally supportive of competition, I have not yet been convinced by arguments IÕve seen on the CityÕs Landfill Disposal Agreement process that reissuing RFPs is warranted or advisable, especially given the already-extensive RFQ/RFP process and the relative urgency of securing a new landfill for the City and CountyÕs use by 2015.
While procedural changes for these contract bids may well have merit in the future, the amount of time necessary to begin a wholly new bidding process would put the City and its taxpayers in an extremely disadvantageous negotiating position with regard future bidders, given the CityÕs 2015 deadline.
My understanding of the Budget and Legislative AnalystÕs two-fold recommendation on the Recology waste disposal contract was: (1) that the existing process, though different from other bidding processes, was both proper and an appropriate policy decision for the Board; and (2) that the Board may consider presenting future changes for voter approval, though not necessarily before
I believe in competition and a fair process when awarding city contracts. The waste disposal contract negotiations provide us with an opportunity to evaluate our long standing relationship with Recology and to review our trash collection and disposal ordinance. We should take time to review all of the available options relating to waste disposal and trash collection before entering into a long term contract. Recology is a valued city partner and it might make sense to contract with them for waste disposal, but we should take time to study all of our options before making a final decision. Yes, I believe that there are occasions where private sector and public sector cooperation can greatly benefit the people of San Francisco, but that these contracts and collaborative efforts should not be arranged behind closed doors. Competitive bidding would, potentially, reduce the rates residents and businesses face for trash collection, and it would go to opening up government processes for residents. I am currently neutral. The results of ongoing negotiations between Recology and the city on the issue of a greater franchise fee will be an important factor in my position.
            awarding the current proposed contract. I think this may have been an appropriate reform to initiate earlier. But the urgency of securing a new landfill for City use by 2015 risks putting us over a barrel to reopen the process now.      
Do you believe that San Francisco should be a Sanctuary City, and will you remove San Francisco from the Secure Communities Program? I support our sanctuary city policies. During these times of economic crisis, we need to do everything we can to support our immigrant communities, not just those from outside the country, but from anywhere in the United States. I will honor our status as a Sanctuary City, and ensure San Francisco can serve, protect, and provide for our immigrant population.
I consider the Secure Communities Initiative an indication that the country needs comprehensive immigration reform; the nation is passing laws that stand at odds with our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Our Police Department already has an effective system in place for reporting individuals charged with serious crimes to the ICE, and although there are many obstacles that stand in the way of opting out of the Secure Communities Program, I will undoubtedly plan on looking into what removal options are available.
Of course. I oppose all cooperation with ICE. As a former criminal prosecutor who knows firsthand the importance of building trust between law enforcement and immigrant communities, I have been a strong supporter of San FranciscoÕs status as a Sanctuary City. As Mayor, I would work with the appropriate law enforcement officials, including a new Sheriff, to explore removing San Francisco from the Secure Communities Program. As the son of an immigrant, I saw firsthand the indignity of our current system. I am a strong supporter of keeping San Francisco a Sanctuary City. IÕve met with and been touched by my conversations with immigrant families. Sanctuary City recognizes the humanity and dignity of each individual, and as important is its role in protecting public
safety. The current federal policy leads to a two-tier system of justice, and that's a threat to all of us when people are afraid to go to police and report crimes. As Mayor I would work closely with my Police Chief and other law enforcement officials to keep San Francisco safe for immigrant families.
I support San FranciscoÕs Sanctuary City policies, and will protect them if elected Mayor. I support Sup. David CamposÕs 2009 amendment to that ordinance to restore due process rights to undocumented juveniles, and I believe it correctly affirms the principle of confidentiality that has been a cornerstone of our juvenile justice system since it was first established. I intend to implement that, too, if elected Mayor, while assuring that necessary steps are taken to protect city employees from criminal prosecution similar to what federal authorities threatened two years ago.
I also believe San Francisco should be more than a sanctuary for immigrants, but a national advocate. As Mayor, I will join with other mayors throughout the United StatesŃin much the same way that IÕve successfully enlisted the support of attorneys general, county counsels and city attorneys for dozens of issues as City AttorneyŃto aggressively drive immigration reform to the top of the national agenda. The injustices of our immigration laws are seen with particular clarity in our
I support our status as a Sanctuary City. I will not allow municipal funds or resources to be used to enforce federal immigration laws. I support policies that make it easier for undocumented immigrants to contribute to the diversity of our neighborhoods, like making it easier to obtain identification, get an education and earn a living. Our neighborhoods would not be nearly as culturally and sociably rich without our immigrant families.
I am opposed to implementation of S-COMM and support our SheriffÕs decision not to implement it. S-COMM undermines trust between local law enforcement and immigrant communities and oversteps the constitutional authority of the federal government. If police use this program as an excuse to round up immigrants, immigrants will avoid the police. When immigrant communities know or believe that police are involved with ICE, seeking aid from police becomes too risky. This leads to unreported crimes and victims go unprotected.
I unequivocally support San Francisco as a Sanctuary City and the universal right to due process. As controversial as it is to be a Sanctuary City, I think we should all remember that Angel Island is an integral part of our cityÕs heritage, and the immigrants who came through there helped to shape the San Francisco we have come to know and love today. I am a longstanding supporter of immigrant rights, and I fully support the cityÕs sanctuary policy. In fact, I would go further than Mayor LeeÕs policy that shields juveniles booked for felonies if they have family here and go to school here. I believe in innocent until proven guilty, and would shield juveniles until or unless they are actually convicted of a felony.
I am opposed to the Secure Communities program, and supported the resolution at the DCCC in 2010 that expressed support for allowing San Francisco to opt-out of the program.
            citiesŃand cities must inform the debate.
IÕm the son of an immigrant, and I take this issue seriously. ItÕs a responsibility I intend to lead as Mayor of San Francisco.
What will you do as mayor to fulfill the promise of Hope SF and improve substandard public housing conditions? What changes, if any, would you make to the San Francisco Housing Authority? As Mayor, I will carefully review all city departments, including the Housing Authority, to ensure they are focused on their core missions, spending wisely and listening the people they serve. As I mentioned above, I am introducing an affordable housing bond measure on the November ballot to provide sustainable, permanent funding for the development and rehabilitation of affordable housing in San Francisco. I have a proven record of ensuring under-serviced communities and neighborhoods received their fair share of services and investment from the City, and I will champion this bond measure, which focuses in large part on the redevelopment of public housing projects, in the months to come.
As Mayor, I would want to appoint new commissioners who will create greater access to the Housing Authority, and hold it to a greater standard regarding their community members. Commissioners ought to be advocates for the agency to provide higher level of habitability of housing under their authority.
The SFHA is hopelessly corrupt, a den of political patronage, and is a disservice to the residents of public housing. As Matt Gonzalez suggested in 2001, it should be taken over by the Board of Supervisors in order to bring more accountability to the agency. As the former board chair of an affordable housing nonprofit, I believe that public housing is essential to retaining our diverse populations, and it is a moral imperative that we make our public housing truly habitable for those who live there. The most important thing our next Mayor can do in that regard is to ensure that federal, state, and local monies continue to flow to San FranciscoÕs public housing improvement projects. As Mayor, I will aggressively lobby Washington DC and Sacramento for full funding to rebuild San FranciscoÕs public housing and fulfill Hope SFÕs promise. With the major recent changes to Redevelopment, we also need to ensure that work of the Housing Authority, the MayorÕs Office of Housing and what Redevelopment has been doing are better integrated.
Our next Mayor needs to provide better leadership in integrating public housing projects with the surrounding community. In my supervisorial district, I have championed neighborhood councils - where residents, merchants and city staff come together to tackle local problems - and I
As Director of Neighborhood Services, I spent a lot of time at public housing developments. I will be a Mayor who meets regularly with residents of public housing, brings my Department Heads and Commissioners, and creates the responsive City government that all our residents deserve. As I mentioned in a prior response, I would provide on-site job training and access to higher education through the creation of Life Campuses. I would also like to work with small property owners to increase the acceptance of Section 8 vouchers throughout the cityÕs rental housing stock. As Mayor, I will be fully committed to seeing through the important mission of HopeSF, and my appointees to the San Francisco Housing Authority will reflect that commitment.
As City Attorney, I worked closely with Sup. Sophie Maxwell (who has endorsed my candidacy) and the San Francisco Department Building Inspection to assert for the first time in City history San FranciscoÕs local authority to inspect and hold SFHA accountable for code violations that threaten the safety and health of residents.
Because SFHA is a legally separate entity that carries out state and federal functions at the local level, it was previously considered immune from local authority. And while its board members are Mayoral appointments, the Mayor has limited ability to directly change the authority itself. That said, the Mayor has enormous power to unite parties and identify HopeSF as an important citywide priority, and I will do so as Mayor.
I have great hope for HopeSF to revitalize eight of San FranciscoÕs most distressed public housing sites by creating thriving,
I support HOPE SF and the goal of replacing distressed public housing sites into thriving mixed-income communities. Programs like HOPE SF will be a priority in my administration because they benefit all levels of the community, and contribute to unique culturally rich neighborhoods. Instead of isolating certain income levels to a specific geographic location, HOPE SF embraces the unique diversity of San Francisco.
The goal of HOPE SF is to rebuild eight of San FranciscoÕs most distressed public housing sites as mixed-income communities with minimal displacement to current residents. The programÕs intention is to focus not just on real estate, but also on improving the quality of life for residents. The first phase of the program is supposed to rebuild 1,800 units at four of the sites into 3,000 homes for sale and rent.
Hunters View is the pilot site for the HOPE SF initiative. The site includes 267 units on 20 acres, but only 148 families live in the development because so many of the units have become uninhabitable. The rebuilt development will include 700-800
The economic challenges that have befallen our city have stalled the efforts of Hope SF. It is our hope that this is a temporary set back given the imminent need for quality public housing. HopeSF is essential to transforming the cityÕs deteriorating public housing sites into livable units again. It is our responsibility as a city to ensure that our residents and our children are not forced to continue living in unsafe conditions. As someone who has fought so vigilantly for full cleanup in the Bayview, this is a very serious issue for me. We must Žnd the money to continue funding the program and move these projects forward in a way thatÕs fair, equitable, and empowers tenants to be involved in the process and revitalizes the conditions that will foster their ability to stay in San Francisco.
As mayor, I will be committed to appointing knowledgeable individuals to the Housing Authority and do away with the practice of political appointments, which has contributed to controversy in previous administrations. I would rely on the cityÕs established communities of interest to help identify those experts, and will commit to employing an open-door policy and seeking earnest input from all interested parties.
It is important that the cityÕs boards and
        believe the model should be applied citywide. It can be a particularly effective method to bring together residents of public housing projects with their neighbors to tackle long-standing issues.   mixed-income communities. It is based on successful, proven models that have benefited whole communitiesŃby investing in schools, services, safety, and supportŃbeyond simply new construction. mixed-income units, public parks, semi-private tot lots, a senior center, and an expanded child care center.   commissions be represented by capable minds and able managersŃI am committed to seeking experts with demonstrated ability to resist political gamesmanship and do what is right
What, as mayor, will you do to fulfill the CityÕs Transit First Policy for todayÕs San Franciscans? How will you prepare for tomorrowÕs Muni riders? Every MUNI route needs to be regularly evaluated to make sure we are serving the maximum number of riders in the most efficient way. We need to provide accurate information to riders, and we need to create channels for riders to give feedback that can be used to improve MUNI quickly. MUNI should be free for public school students, and we should be doing all we can to get young people to make a lifetime habit of mass transit. Public transit has been a continual priority for me during my years of public service, having been a supporter of Proposition 1 for High Speed Rail, and MUNI would most certainly be front and center in my Mayoral administration. Immediately I will collaborate with Supervisor David Campos to pass his Charter Amendment for comprehensive MUNI reform, and will be able to follow through on Supervisor MirkarimiÕs proposal to increase the parking tax or another commuter tax to generate revenue.
I support smart transportation projects, like both of MUNIÕs bus rapid transit proposals and the Transbay Transit Center, and as Mayor I will build on efforts to reduce conflict created by automobile use, by expanding car-free Market Street and implementing the Transportation AuthorityÕs congestion pricing proposal for downtown San Francisco. MUNI service also needs to be expanded to those neighborhoods whose populations are growing and therefore need it most; with these revenue reform proposals I plan on ensuring that every community benefits from accessible and
We need transit so good, most residents won't need a car! I support an elected MTA board (to avoid corruption and patronage). I also support significant increases in Muni funding via a local gas or carbon tax, sale of "park in front of your own driveway" permits, transit assessment districts, and more developer fees. I also support making Muni more fast and efficient by adding more traffic signals that give priority to buses, allowing boarding on all doors, and eventually elminating fares altogether to speed boarding. I regularly take Muni, ride my bike, walk and use car sharing to get around the city, so I know our cityÕs transportation challenges first hand. To me, improving public transit is an absolute priority, and I would prioritize it more than any Mayor in recent history.
On the Board of Supervisors, IÕm proud to have been a leader in reversing Muni services cuts, expanding car sharing, and making our streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians - but we can do more. In my opinion, implementation of the MTAÕs Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP) would go a long way toward helping us fulfill our CharterÕs ŅTransit FirstÓ mandate. I support more transit-only lanes for rail and bus, giving buses priority at traffic signals, and implementing all-door boarding. I support changes to encourage people to use the bicycle as an everyday form of transportation and to promote vibrant and safe pedestrian corridors. And I support following through with the TEPÕs recommendation to add direct bus service between Potrero Hill and downtown. I strongly subscribe to smart growth
Muni requires a MayorÕs daily attention and dedication as well as long-term vision. I will be a Mayor standing at the bus and rail divisions, talking with Operators as well as regular riders, insisting that we not just be a transit first city in words but in deeds.
I ride Muni every day, and have dedicated a large part of my working life to transportation policy at the federal level in Los Angeles and San Francisco. I am excited to lead our City toward High Speed Rail, the Central Subway, Transbay Terminal, and increased transit-oriented housing and commercial development.
My record speaks for itself. I successfully pushed hard to get Muni to build a new central control facility next to their headquarters. I launched the Transit Effectiveness Project after a Controller audit of the J Church line revealed significant structural defects in the system as a whole. As Mayor I will implement trip time reduction measures outlined within TEP and make sure that Rapid Bus service is a priority along these corridors.
These larger policy goals must be supported with a strong commitment
Public transportation is a core public function that will succeed or fail by City leadersÕ ability to govern effectively, and fund it adequately. San FranciscoÕs transit-first policy establishes public transportation to be an economic and environmental policy imperative. San FranciscoÕs voter-enacted policy is to recognize reliable public transportation as an environmental linchpin to improve air quality, limit suburban sprawl, arrest global climate change and more. ItÕs also a cornerstone of our economic policy to create a City that attracts jobs, retains middle-class families and remains livable for generations to come.
If we can create a problem-solving culture in San Francisco City Hall Ń from the Mayor on down Ń IÕm convinced we can fix anything, including bringing our budget and revenue into balance. Including meeting the core obligations of our local government. And including having a public transit system that offers a reliable, accessible alternative to driving. As Mayor, I will vigorously advance the CityÕs transit-first policy and prioritize intelligent transit
San Francisco should have a world-class public transportation system and funding for Muni will be a priority in the budgets I propose. State budget cuts have hit our public transit system particularly hard. In addition to other structural reforms, new revenue is required to get Muni on solid ground. I will investigate ways to increase revenue and support a $100 vehicle mitigation fee. Once we provide Muni with a reliable source of revenue, we can make progress on other important transit issues like improvement of ontime performance, cleanliness and expansion of service.
Use of pubic transit will increase if it is convenient, reliable and safe. I will work to improve the flow of Muni vehicles and increase on time performance. I support several ideas to make that happen including implementation of Bus Rapid Transit lanes and synchronization of traffic lights on major transit corridors for buses and light rail to give them priority.
ŅTransit-FirstÓ means more than having a world-class public transit system. We need more dedicated bike lanes and additional
As San Franciscans, we depend more on public transportation than individuals from any other county in the Bay Area. With over 200 million passengers a year who ride MUNI to commute to work and get around in our city, our transit system is one of the most heavily used transit systems in the nation. However, our system was designed almost 40 years ago, when our city was a very different place. We need public transportation that reflects where San Francisco is today Š and where we are heading tomorrow.
We have all experienced the frustration of Muni and public transportation in the city. It is unreliable, inefficient, and, at times, even unsafe. Our fees have increased while services continue to decrease. Muni mistakes not only waste taxpayer dollars on costly repairs and lawsuits, but also risk lives.
The MTA developed a Transit Effectiveness Plan that has been barely implemented. If a bus route can become just five minutes more efficient per route, it would be similar to adding 20% more buses to that route. So while, we need more money for MUNI,
Muni will be a top priority in my administration, because San Francisco requires a public transit system that can deliver on the basicsŃsafety, adequate service, on time performance. Muni is falling short on meeting those basic needs for San Franciscans, and needs some major improvements.
One answer for Muni is a mayor who wonÕt pass off leadership to the MTA and its high paid bureaucrats, but will work to implement small but meaningful changes that increase convenience and reliability, thereby increasing ridership and increasing revenue within the same basic cost structure.
I will focus on increasing budget transparency and opportunities for cost savings such as work order spending, which arguably costs Muni $30 million a year.
I will also focus on instituting measures that improve reliability, speed of service, and rider experience, because before we can talk about long-term revenue solutions that require voter approval, we must Žrst restore public conŽdence in the system. That includes things like sidewalk bulb-outs, easier prepayment, prepaid boarding areas,
    convenient public transportation.
I am also an avid cyclist, and in that spirit, I have unapologetically pushed our CityÕs Transit First Policy, advocating the use of bicycles as an alternative to automobile use. As Mayor I
  principles of investing in transit where we have population growth - and that includes the zip code of 94107. to basic maintenance of our fleet. planning in all future development projects. bike storage. We need pedestrian friendly sidewalks and street crossings. Our land use policy needs to reflect our transportation values as well. we also need to be more efficient. The MTA needs, strategically, to evaluate bus stop locations, utilize stoplight technology and physical separation of transit lanes where appropriate to prevent delays.
I also support transit-oriented development, such as neighborhood-appropriate density improvements along transit corridors, which will serve to make transit-oriented areas more efŽcient.
What are the biggest issues related to public education in the City, and what factors contributed to these issues? What will you do in your term as mayor to improve education in the City? In addition to the neighborhood schools initiative, I support more vocational academies in our school system. The Biotech programs that were part of the Biotech tax credit I passed as a Supervisor have helped young people learn real skills and develop a passion for science. We can do the same with more industries to keep young people interested in school and prepare them for life as productive adults. My wife Karen is a school teacher at SF Community School in the Excelsior Neighborhood and has been an SFUSD teacher for the past 15 years; therefore quality education is an issue close to my familyÕs heart. Funding is the biggest issue; if elected I would seek creative solutions to our cash flow problem and ensure that our CityÕs schools receive their fair share of funding, through proposals such as my aforementioned Real-Estate Transfer Tax. I have always believed that early childhood education is instrumental in enabling children to become successful lifelong learners, and therefore I have been a supporter of both childcare and afterschool programs. As Mayor, I would seek to expand universal childcare and after school programs in our public schools.
I believe that, ultimately, the most important person in a childÕs education outside of their immediate family is their schoolteacher. It is critical that public school teachers be supported as professionals and that they have the support they need to do the important job of
There are almost no public preschool slots available for middle class families, even for parents willing to pay for them. The current school assignment system requires middle class parents to enroll their children in the nearest elementary and middle schools, even if the child would prefer to join a program available at a different school.
The change from the old lottery system is the fault of the School Board, but the Mayor's office could work with the School Board to provide additional funds and more enjoyable programs (such as the 1st responders training program mentioned in Question 5).
I believe that our city government must be the moral authority in taking care of our students. While the Mayor does not have direct governance authority over the SF Unified School District, I would use the bully pulpit to build the strongest education system in the state.
To start, that means ensuring that our schools are equitably funded. Sacramento has failed to produce a sustainable solution for school funding, and we cannot tolerate more failing schools or fleeing families. I am proud to have supported the passage of the June 2008 parcel tax, which increased teacher salaries and make infrastructure improvements to San FranciscoÕs schools, but we must do more.
We also must begin to seriously address the achievement gap for many of our cityÕs students. This means using city resources to invest in early education, summer school and after-school programs for under-performing students, and strengthening the relationship between SFUSD and the Department of Children, Youth and Families. I would also ask the private sector to
My child starts public school this August Š I will the nationÕs most active Mayor collaborating for great public education. I was a strong supporter of Prop H, and will champion the passage of the School Bond Measure on the ballot this fall. As Mayor, I will align our cityÕs resources to support the academic goals of each school in SFUSD.
Currently, only one out of every five families ranks their neighborhood school first when choosing a kindergarten. To me, this means that parents value choice Š but also that we must work harder to make every neighborhood school a great choice. Creating more language immersion schools is definitely one means to expand quality school choices and keep families in our City. I believe the new student assignment system will improve longstanding frustration with the lottery, and as Mayor I will work closely with the SFUSD to be responsive to concerns about the new system.
The State budget is a huge challenge for our schools. I will work with the Superintendent to shield our schools from continued cuts to
We must certainly fix whatÕs broken with our public schools, but thereÕs also a lot thatÕs working and we should recognize that. As City Attorney, I helped the SFUSD eliminate its dysfunctional student assignment system, which frustrated many young families into leaving the City in search of a public school system to better serve their needs. My office provided guidance to the District in the creation of its new systemŃbeing implemented this year for the first timeŃwhich makes a greater effort to place children in their neighborhood schools while maintaining a commitment to countering racial isolation.
SFUSD and the City are separate entities, and the MayorÕs power to change schools is limited. Still, as Mayor, IÕll work with school officials to secure greater resources from the state and federal government to recruit, retain, support and empower high-quality teachers and administrators for schools that need improvement. IÕll also propose a ballot measure to extend Proposition H after it expires in 2015, and perhaps increase its allocation to $90 million per
To prepare the next generation of San Franciscans for the innovation economy, we have to change the equation in our public schools. I know from over a decade working in the trenches on the issue of education reform, systemic change is possible when you ignore conventional wisdom and start with two basic building blocks: the expectation that every child can succeed and the belief that our schools must become synonymous with innovation. Small increments of improvement are just not good enough as more children slip through the cracks. Only 49% of San Francisco public school students graduate from high school on time. We need to support our Superintendent and school district with the resources to meet their goals. We can and must do much better.
San Francisco's economic future depends on its schools. Too many families leave the City every year for better educational opportunities elsewhere. Meanwhile, facing a massive shortfall, the San Francisco Unified School District was recently forced to make more cuts. We
According to a recent ProPublica report, students of the SF Unified School District are ahead of their Californian peers in numbers who take advanced math, AP courses, chemistry, physics, and are in Gifted/Talented programs. That said, SFUSD has its weak points, including that nearly 20% of the teachers in SFUSD are in their first or second year of teaching, nearly five times the same figure for LAUSD. Inexperienced teachers leave our students in the hands of qualified individuals, but these teachers may not necessarily have the experience to be the best teachers they can be. Budget constraints can explain some of this problem, and unfortunately the fiscal reality facing our schools is one, which cannot be solved easily. As mayor, I will rely on experts, but also, you, the residents of San Francisco, to assist in trying to save our schools from their dire straits. Public education in San Francisco is an issue for some parents when deciding whether to stay or leave the city. For some itÕs an issue of quality. For others, itÕs the hour-long bus ride their child must take to their school across townŃthatÕs why I support the Neighborhood Schools Initiative. For most, affordable housing is a contributing if not leading factor in the equation. When a family leaves San Francisco, our local schools lose money. Less money means less adequate schools which causes more families to leave. ItÕs a cycle we need to stop.
That cycle of dwindling resources and quality is why I have always fought for our school children throughout my public service. ItÕs also why IÕm proposing a movement toward community schools to increase academic performance, school quality, parent involvement, and community engagement. And by leveraging resources and fostering partnerships between schools, non-profits and the City, we can save money at the same time.
I will be a mayor who champions public
    educating our children. I plan to work closely with the teacherÕs union and the administration of the San Francisco school district to broker relationships and be a collaborator in finding solutions to the fiscal   partner with underperforming schools, as I recently did with Twitter vis-a-vis Tenderloin schools, so that companies can provide resources to teachers and classrooms, as well as expose students to 21st century work environments. education, support authorizing Rainy Day Funds for our schools, and connect private sector resources to schools. year. The $90 million could provide support for multilingual programs, teacher retention and development, preschool programs, SLAM and still retain an undedicated tranche for contingencies and pilot programs. can do better. We must begin attracting families back to the public schools by making sure every child can attend a quality neighborhood school within walking distance of his or her home.   education in San Francisco, and I am uniquely qualified to be that mayorŃ I am the only candidate who went to public school in San Francisco, who sent all my children to public schools in
How, as Mayor, would you facilitate better dialog and collaboration between City departments, such as SFMTA or Recreation and Parks, and neighborhood organizations? As Mayor, I will make responsiveness a top priority and IÕll work to find
department heads and senior staff who share that vision.
As Mayor, I would create greater transparency of the budgets and policies of the City department, and create meaningful ways for citizens to participate and provide input into how these departments function. I also plan on holding biannual forums for the SFMTA and Recreation & Parks, since these are two departments that have the greatest connection to the widest diversity of San Franciscans, and need to have the flexibility and accountability to meet the needs of our neighborhoods and residences throughout our City. Greens support decentalization of power, and the empowerment of communal councils such as those exist in Venezuela. SF should pass laws the formalize the creation of such councils and empower them with authority on local issues (e.g., local development and zoning, policing priorities as mentioned in Question 5). The councils would be an improvement over existing neighborhood organizations, which often are not representative of the opinions of the local residents, and which do not cover all neighborhoods. Many residents feel a significant disconnect between their $6.8 billion dollar, 26,000 employee, 50 department bureaucracy known as the City and County of San Francisco. We need to evolve our city government to be one that is truly community based - and this why I support community-based budgeting, community-based planning, and community-based policing. Since it is so critical that city residents have a real dialogue with city agencies, especially those that touch their lives as directly as the MTA and the Recreation and Parks Department, I would like to replicate a model of collaboration that I have championed. In my Supervisorial district, residents, merchants and city staff come together on neighborhood councils to tackle local problems, and this model should be applied citywide in every neighborhood to tackle tough issues. I would also use technology and new open government tools to get direct citizen feedback on everything from the lateness of a Muni bus is to the latest repair needed in a neighborhood park. During my over 18 years of City services as Supervisor and Director of Neighborhood Services, IÕve listened to neighborsÕ and merchants concerns, then brought my colleagues from City government into a team to address these problems and make San Francisco better. I believe we can build these same coalitions and partnerships to address the biggest challenges facing San Francisco. Working together, we can create the a thriving and multifaceted economy while honoring our responsibility to provide effective services, including Muni, public safety, parks and schools.
Throughout my career I have successfully built coalitions to get things done. I have taken the time to get to know my colleagues in City government- particularly those whose jobs impact the daily lives of San Franciscans- and by engaging them weÕve been able to find solutions to problems that have plagued neighborhoods for years. Some examples of this are the renovation of Duboce Park, incorporating the first mixed use off-leash dog play area in the City; crafting a solution to rebuild Trinity Plaza
As much as any other candidate in the race for Mayor, I know the intricacies and operations of city government. And more than any other candidate in the race for Mayor, I have the proven record of success over many years to facilitate dialogue and collaboration between City departments, neighborhood organizations and other diverse interests.
IÕve done it as City Attorney for nearly ten years, and I did it as president of the San Francisco Police Commission, too.
The fact is, it would be impossible to succeed in either roleŃas IÕve doneŃwithout a well-honed ability to bring multiple, often resolutely hostile stakeholders to the table to reach agreements, resolve differences, and find common ground. ThatÕs exactly what San FranciscoÕs next mayor needs to do solve our problems, and IÕm the candidate with the proven record of accomplishment to lead the kind of collaborative problem solving City Hall needs.
When I am mayor, I will work to change the way we look at city government. I believe government exists to serve people and deliver critical services to its citizens, but we can do more than that. We need to improve communication, increase transparency, make it easier for employees to give feed back, and collaborate with neighborhood organizations.
City employees should be constantly thinking of ways to make its resources more readily available to the public and deliver them in a way that allow citizens to build and create things on their own to solve challenges. We already pay to create and collect data. We will get more value out of the price we have already paid if we completely open our data and encourage people to innovate using this data.
Improving the availability of data and information through the Gov 2.0 effort can go a long way in improving the collaboration between city departments. So often the same convoluted bureaucratic processes that prevent residents from accessing their government, also prevent departments from effectively communicating or effectively working on projects together. By facilitating the open exchange of data, we can make remarkable improvements in the collaborative functionality of our government. I believe that collaboration starts with transparency, accountability, and accessibility. As mayor I will promote this culture change across all departmentsŃthere should be open and collaborative dialogue between departments just as there should be between the public and their government.
When I was on the Board of Supervisors, I took the budget hearings into the neighborhoods for the very first timeŃany way we can increase participation and community engagement, especially within traditionally marginalized/underserved communities, is something we should do. As Mayor, I will continue that practice and merge fundamental open government practices with technology to foster increased engagementŃall meetings and hearings should be broadcast; all supporting documents and reports available online in a timely manner; public comment via youtube, ustream, email; engaging the public through social media and crowdsourcing. And the old-fashioned open door policy to ensure any neighborhood group or individual can be heard.
          that improved the lives of tenants and helped revitalize the MidMarket area; and championing the Muni Central Control Facility that was just approved by the Board of Supervisors.        
Given forecasts of difficult budgets for the next several years, how do you propose that we fund the aforementioned policies and programs while maintaining other vital City services and programs? There is no doubt that we have to make some tough choices. The first thing IÕll do is implement a zero-base budget, to make sure that every dollar is being used as effectively as possible. The less we spend on overhead the more we can spend on vital programs. As a Supervisor, I effectively worked with the private sector to build partnerships that funded parks, preserved historic buildings and helped in the classroom. I will do the same as Mayor. We are currently facing a $9.6 billion deficit; whoever is sitting the MayorÕs seat must be comfortable making the difficult choices of cutting programs. As Budget Chair, I worked with partners in labor and the community to minimize budget cuts, in particular to health and human services, recreation and parks, and community services. My budget philosophy has always been to more evenly share the pain and to chop from the top, rather than gutting the line services.
Of all the candidates currently seeking the office of Mayor, I have the most experience negotiating a cityÕs budget. I served as the Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee for fiscal years 2009-2010 and 2010-2011, each of which were years where the country was crippled by recession and the City faced a half billion dollar budget shortfall.
In collaboration with my administration, community groups, and local businesses, I intend to champion many more creative solutions to our revenue problems. As proven by my 2010 voter-approved Real-Estate Transfer tax on downtown
Two major new source of public revenues would be Public Power and the creation of a City-owned, City-run Municipal Bank of San Francisco.
The benefits of (and revenues from) public power have been extensively discussed in the Bay Guardian, so I don't need to review them here. A Municipal Bank is an old idea whose time has come again. It would bring in revenue by investing public pension money, allow borrowing by City residents at below market rates, and fund local business development. The presence of a state-owned bank in North Dakota helped shield that state from the current economic collapse, and a similar bank here in SF would do wonders for both our economy and City finances.
Other possibilities for increased funding include the creation of a Downtown Transit Assessment District. Businesses downtown benefit disproportionately from MUNI, which is structured as a commute system, to get people to and from jobs downtown. Therefore, it would be fair for downtown businesses to contribute more to MUNI operations. Also, at this time, many
I passed the law to create our cityÕs first 5-year financial plan, which shows that revenue growth will be vastly outpaced by increasing costs, driven largely by rising pension and health care costs. This is not sustainable, which is why I partnered with Mayor Lee to develop a consensus pension reform measure for the November 2011 ballot. This measure will save the City up to $1 billion over the next decade, while preserving a dignified retirement for our workforce.
To adequately fund programs and services, we must grow our tax base by stimulating our economy. For years, I have advocated replacing our current business payroll tax, which is viewed by economists as a job-killer, with a gross receipts tax to increase revenue. I helped bring over a billion dollars in economy activity and thousands of jobs to the city through the AmericaÕs Cup and projects like the HunterÕs Point Shipyard and Treasure Island.
We should seek new revenue streams, which is why I have strongly advocated for legislation to allow San Francisco to reestablish the Vehicle License Fee to its
Budget management is a daily task: controlling department spending, monitoring overtime, comparing revenue receipts versus projections. Funding for basic public services like street repaving should be based on a quality index, rather than on political maneuvering. My budget strategy will include several key points:
Establish Reserves. I supported legislation that will create additional reserves by saving prior year surpluses and setting aside one-time windfalls for a rainy day. These actions will allow the City to use reserves to make up future financial deficits, rather than require reductions to vital services in future budgets.
Carefully Manage Growth of Services. As our CityÕs economy grows over the next four years due to increased jobs and expansion of economic development in the Mid-Market, Mission Bay, and Bayview-HuntersÕ Point areas, we must strategically balance the cost of City services by managing the size and cost of our workforce, and respond to the current and future needs of our neighborhoods.
Seek and Expand State and Federal Grants.
IÕll concede up front that accomplishing this wonÕt be easy. But we should acknowledge, too, that the roadmap isnÕt especially complicated, either.
Assuming we enact pension reform in this election to begin getting a handle on spiraling retirement and health care costs, IÕll pursue three reforms as Mayor to bridge San FranciscoÕs persistent gap between its expenditures and revenues.
First, IÕll push all the proposals from my Jobs Plan to grow the economic pieŃbecause more and better jobs are our most effective strategy to grow the CityÕs revenue pie, too. The plan is too lengthy to summarize here, but itÕs on my campaign website at .
Second, IÕll implement zero-based budgeting to justify every expenditure against our priorities. ThatÕll include taking a hard look at bureaucracies and having the political courage to merge functions to improve efficiencies and cut costs.
Third, as IÕve mentioned, IÕll push to reform our business payroll tax, which is too unfair
I am a firm believer in bottom-up budgeting. I support complete transparency in the budgeting process. In my budget proposals, each department will start at $0 and must justify all expenditures. Each program will be evaluated on its merits with results tied to accountability. Programs that are working will be maintained and expanded.
Programs that are not performing well or no longer serving the needs of our community will face reductions in spending or elimination. City government is not nearly transparent or accountable enough. The city must hold itself to the highest standards while measuring the success of its many programs.
Our tax policy discourages job creation and must be reformed. I support wholesale reform of our payroll tax, which discourages companies from hiring new employees.
San Francisco is the only city in California with a payroll tax. In 2004, San Francisco instituted a payroll tax exclusion for biotechnology companies. This exclusion has proven to be a success and has attracted companies and jobs to San Francisco. It has kick-started an entire new
Given the number of variables in such a decision, such as finances and immediate resident needs, it is difficult to make projections like these so far out. There, however, are a handful of programs, which I will consider to be priorities if elected. Among them are GoSolarSF, improving our transit system, increasing pedestrian and bike safety, and funding public housing reforms, in addition to others. My core philosophy is that we must prioritize safety net services for the neediest first. But we must also exercise fiscal prudence. My record shows my commitment to both principles. As Finance Chair on the Board of Supervisors, I championed Žscal responsibility and accountability, and passed a budget that both preserved essential services and created the biggest reserve in city history. In Sacramento, IÕve opposed cuts to education and essential services, and instead pushed for innovative solutions to bring in more revenue.
As Mayor, I will take the same approach to the budgetŃI will protect front line services and education and cut redundancies in city bureaucracy, beginning with the bloated supply of city managers.
We will also have to look for opportunities to increase revenue. I would support (not a full list):
„ A local version of my tax break claw back bill to ensure the city gets what it pays for through tax breaks for community benefits
„ Shifting away from payroll tax to a more equitable gross receipts system that grows the budget pie while making taxation more
    commercial buildings, which has already generated tens of millions of dollars, I have experience not only in maintaining funding for vital city services and community programs during difficult times, but also in San Francisco corporations avoid increased property taxes by failing to report when a commercial building changes ownership after a corporate merger. We could increase property tax revenue pre-2003 levels. I recently proposed leasing some of our CityÕs unused high-speed communications infrastructure -- called dark fiber -- to The City has been a leader in maximizing funds to support transit and public works projects, green energy innovations, job creation for the poor, and progressive public health and social service initiatives that promote social justice and to the 10 percent of businesses that pay it, and too unstable for discretionary programs first in line for budget cuts. We need business tax reform that makes everyone pay a fair share. industry in the city. Since the exclusion was passed, the life science sector has expanded by over 2000 jobs and it has created new revenue for   equitable.
„ Passing a vehicle license tax locally
„ The alcohol fee passed by Supervisor Avalos (but vetoed by Newsom)