Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Da Mayor - He's More Than His Hair
or "How I Learned to Not Let A Good-Looking Man Sway Me From 'hatin' "
Let me start by saying I have a few posts to add about my time at NetRoots Nation. They're coming. I am still recovering from the extra long flight back to San Fran fraught with delays due to fog! Typical. I went from 100 degrees in Austin to 50 degrees here and took 3 vitamin C packets today because I already feel a cold coming on. I haven't had any coffee yet either. Blah....
So it's Saturday and I'm chilling in the floor because it has an available outlet and I need to keep my laptop charged. I saw a woman with an Obama '08 balloon and suddenly morph into a 5 year-old at the carnival, 'ooh ooh ooh can I have a balloon mommy?'. I introduce myself to a few people when I see Gavin Newsom walking down the hall towards us. I immediately pounce into action.
I did not support his candidacy when he ran for his first term as Mayor of San Francisco. He was considered the 'establishment' candidate [although not part of the Willie Brown machine] as opposed to Matt Gonzalez, who was the Green Party candidate. I felt then and still today wish we could have received enough support to upend the political machine with a 3rd party candidate. Also being the nephew [by marriage] of Speaker Nancy Pelosi certainly doesn't hurt.
I oppose the Cash Not Care program, but I will give him props for not pulling a Giuliani and black-bagging [yes that's a V for Vendetta reference] all the people who are homeless as proof of 'fixing' the lack of housing and medical services for the poorest amongst us. Out of sight out of mind. Sigh. I voted against Proposition G last month due to my concerns about a stadium for the 49ers being built in an underserved neighborhood and the rising costs of housing.
So when I approached Newsom I was admittedly going to be tough on him, but he smiled at me and asked how I was doing and offered other pleasantries. Then I noticed how tall he is and goodness gracious the man is gorgeous. I was there there to criticize his policies though so I had to focus. He answered all of my questions with rapid-fire precision and offered stats that differed from the supporters of Proposition F. So be it, but he did talk about the millions that have been appropriated for affordable housing not just in the Hunter's/Baypoint area but the rest of the City. He showed his knowledge of the history of the city by mentioning his plans at bringing back those Black families that had been displaced by the racist housing policies of the 50's and 60's.
I wasn't giving up quite yet and threw in a quick one about the closing of homeless shelters and decrease in low-income/free clinics. One was closed and is being upgraded/replaced. Some of the largest entities offering social programs like Glide and Agape are still being funded. Ok, I'm almost convinced. I've got one final salvo: the long-promised free wifi for the City. He told me his efforts were being thwarted by certain members of the Board of Supervisors. Probably the same one[s] that try to thwart nearly everything he does. My neighborhood will be the first to get it though - whopee! I'm still not convinced his support of gay marriage wasn't somehow a long-term plan towards shoring up support for his rumored run for Governor in 2010 but I can't wait to say bye bye to Ah-nold. Thank the stars that there were enough of us to smack some sense into Mr. Terminator when he tried to go all right-wing on us.
All in all I am glad I got to speak with Hizzoner. He is intelligent, didn't pawn me off to a subordinate, stood his ground and I can certainly see how he's gotten into some trouble in the romance department. He exudes power and people will always be drawn to and envious of that. I think I want a job with the City now!
Update July 29, 2008: Congrats to the Mayor on his recent nuptials!