|Campaign Kick-off Speech
|Thank you Assemblyman Yee …Leland, for your generous introduction and greatly appreciated words of
support. Leland Yee has been a tireless public servant since his early days on the Board of Education
and then as a Supervisor to his present service as Speaker Pro Tempore of the California State
Assembly. And all the while, Leland has remained an unflinching and stalwart supporter of our southeast
communities. As such, it is my honor to have such a true statesman like Leland Yee as my counsel as I
prepare to face the challenges that lie ahead.
Thank all of you, too, my friends and neighbors, for joining me here today. Over the last six years, I have
had occasion to work shoulder to shoulder with many of you on some of this district’s most serious
problems. And I have shared in your frustration as we had reached out for a supporting hand, but instead
we were met with either "indifference" or "incompetence".
The promise of District elections was that this would no longer happen. And it was with the expectation of
fulfilling that promise that we had elected Sophie Maxwell our supervisor … ever hopeful that we, at last,
would have one of our own at City Hall standing up for our interests. But six years later, where are we? I
ask you, are our schools any better, are our small businesses any stronger, are our streets any safer?
When violent crimes and killings raged in our streets, Maxwell incredibly focused her attention on
cigarette sales regulation. When our local business leaders sought her help to stop harmful laws being
crafted by her colleagues, Maxwell not only turned a deaf ear, but would not even return their phone calls.
And most shockingly Maxwell, the self proclaimed environmentalist, publicly flipped her position against
our very own residents, on the day before a crucial California PUC vote to finally allow for the closure of
polluting city power plants.
Failed promises? Sure, but worse yet, ours has been a crisis of leadership! Maxwell’s six year legacy has
been one of wasted opportunities. Now as I look over at my daughter, Sabrina, I am reminded that she
was in kindergarten when Maxwell was first elected, while today Sabrina is in Middle school and by the
next election she will be in High school. That’s why I feel so strongly when I say, we can afford to waste no
You, the residents of the Southeast, have real problems and you want real solutions. Well I believe that
you deserve better than the last six years and that is why I stand before you, here today, to announce my
candidacy for Supervisor of District 10 and to ask you for your support.
Those of you who have worked with me are well aware that I have little patience for the usual politics of
empty words or fence-sitter decision making. Those are the tactics hopelessness, used by politicians, who
don’t possess the vision to see that our problems can, in fact, be solved. And like the words I had once
read in Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision the people will perish …”
Well I have a vision of this District, a vision that many of you share and have strived for. And you have
shown me that when we stand together, our problems are indeed solvable.
My vision is one of a District 10 with top-notch neighborhood schools that adequately prepare
our children to successfully compete for good, high paying jobs. As a parent of two children, this is what
first moved me to community service. I am a strong supporter of our schools’ “Aim High” and “College
Bound” programs, but I’ve also been a vocal advocate for the reallocation of school district resources to
raise the quality our southeast schools to the level of those schools across town.
My vision is one of safe neighborhood streets, free from drugs and violence, where our seniors can
walk without fear for their lives. As a strong supporter of community policing, I have worked through the
District 10 Council with some success towards forging a partnership between our southeast communities
and our local police.
My vision is one of our local small businesses thriving in beautified commercial corridors. I have
worked along side many of you for a number of years through the San Bruno Avenue Merchants
Association, through the Portola Neighborhood Steering Committee and the San Francisco Organizing
Project to revitalize our commercial corridor. I believe our local small businesses are the backbone of our
community; they employ half of our city’s workforce and provide 80% of its revenue. That is why as your
Supervisor, I will be committed bringing real tax relief and other incentives to our small businesses to
encourage their long term investment to our community.
My vision is one of a District 10 with a superior quality of life standard, like that enjoyed by the
rest of this city. And it is my conviction that we can improve city services, while still balancing the budget
by simply exercising the same fiscal discipline and accountability we are compelled to use at home. And
unlike Maxwell, I am committed to keeping our city government from digging deeper into our pockets, by
making it more efficient and effective.
And also unlike Maxwell, I will not side-step problems by calling for more study groups. I have learned well
that we cannot afford to be quiet because you don't change the world by whispering. That’s why I intend
to be the kind of supervisor who places himself into the very thick of the fight, unfettered by concerns of
This is the vision that you have inspired in me and my campaign will rely upon the strength of its message
… a message of leadership, not salesmanship … of courage, not complacency. Join me and together we
can make our vision for a better future, our reality.