The next D5 supervisor

Who will replace Ross?

Now that it appears Sup. Ross Mirkarimi will be the next sheriff -- and Ed Lee will be mayor for the next four years -- the speculation is starting over who Lee will name to replace Mirkarimi as District Five supervisor. There are an abundance of qualified candidates, but my sources tell me the Mayor's Office is looking right now primarily at two people -- London Breed, director of the African American Art and Culture Complex and a former redevelopment commissioner, and Malcolm Yeung, an attorney who is president of the Asian American Bar Association and longtime policy person at the Chinatown Comminity Development Center.

Both, of course, were Lee supporters.They have a history of working on progressive causes (Yeung, at CCDC) and strong ties to the community (Breed at AAACC). Breed has spent more time as an activist in D5 (and was appointed to her job by former mayor Willie Brown), but Yeung is reportedly popular with Rose Pak, who clearly has the mayor's ear.

I don't know who Lee will be taking to about the appointment, but you can be sure both Brown and Pak will be giving their advice. And so far -- although it's still early -- nobody has been talking to the current supervisor.

I called Mirkarimi and asked him who he would suggest, and he told me there were plenty of people -- although neither Breed nor Yeung would be on his short list. He didn't want to name names, but I can: queer/labor activist Gabriel Halland and Community College Board Member John Rizzo are both eminently qualified for the job, and Julian Davis would also be on a lot of short lists. So would Christina Olague, a planning commissioner (and Lee supporter) -- but one City Hall insider told me that "Willie would never let that happen."

Mirkarimi did suggest that he ought to be consulted. "I would think after all the work I've done in the district over seven years and two administration that  Mayor Lee would at least want my input," he said. We'll see.


At a stroke that will deflect much of the criticism that might otherwise have been made if, as expected, Lee picks a moderate.

Lee will surely feel, with over 60% of the final votes, that he has a mandate for picking a Supe who embraces city-wide values.

Tuesday's sole victory for the left might prove Pyrrhic if it turns the BofS into a fairly conservative group.

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 3:26 pm

D5 is a very liberal/progressive district. If Lee appoints someone who doesn't fit the district they will get creamed when they try to run for election next year.

Since district elections returned the D5 seat has only been held by a Green and a Green who re-registered Democrat long after getting elected, which should tell you something.

Posted by Matt on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 4:15 pm

And the D5 supe gets to vote on all city-wide issues. so Lee isn't going to appoint a Green, even assuming the Greens had anyone good left (Baum? Give me a freaking break).

Lee will support someone who isn't extreme, which is exactly what the voters told him they wanted this week.

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 4:20 pm

had a year- got beat?

I've learned to appreciate the power of incumbency - it's huge.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 4:37 pm

What's the rush? Why should Mirkarimi take the oath of office until late next year? Why not take a page from the estimable Gavin Newsom and delay taking office? Mirkarimi has every justification based on set precedent--and serious worry that another Willie Brown "mistress" will be appointed to have his or her strings pulled through the sorts of threats and browbeating Brown is famous for. Let's think about the good of the city. Mirkarimi should hold off. Hennessey should stay for now.

Posted by Alan Collins on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 6:40 pm

I'm sure Hennessey wouldn't mind delaying retirement for few months!

Posted by Greg on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 7:24 pm

He's in an elected office and his term for that elected office is ending. There would be no legal way for him to just continue to act as if he were still sheriff when his term is over. Newsom still had another year on his term when he was elected Lt. Gov - Hennessey does not. Newsom also delayed his swearing in by days - not by nearly a year.

Ross can, of course, choose to decide not to take the office to which he was (narrowly) elected in favor of some wild-eyed scheme to delay the appointment of a non-progressive supervisor for D5. But it's not an option for Ross to stay on as supervisor while simultaneously claiming he's the legitimate sheriff without actually taking the oath of office - the sheriff's office would eventually be declared vacant and a new election held to fill it.

Sorry - you need to come up with something more realistic than this harebrained scheme.

Posted by guest on Nov. 15, 2011 @ 3:48 pm

Outstanding idea, Alan. Outstanding!

Posted by Guest on Nov. 15, 2011 @ 1:03 pm

It will be the black guy he'll pick if he's smart, not the Asian guy, because D5 won't turn against the black guy but they will against the Asian guy in a heartbeat.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 8:11 am

Written Monday evening before the election.
Anticipating Ed Lee will become Mayor and Ross Mirkarimi will be Sheriff. This probability illustrates another major flaw in our electoral process, and a major reason why it is so difficult to break the stranglehold that the powerful have on us all.
Our two most recent Mayor's will then have been appointed, not truly elected, as they had the advantage of incumbency when they ran in their own right, not a 'fair contest'. Willie>Newsom>Lee. As if that's not bad enough these pre-selected individuals then get to fill the vacated elected positions with more un-electeds, thus further solidifying their hold on power. There has to be a better way of ensuring that the people's wishes are honored and that their votes do count. I don't pretend to have the answer, but I do have suggestions. There are pros and cons to many options but, assuming we retain RCV in some form, this is the best I can come up with right now.
In the event that a vacancy occurs in an elected position, for whatever reason, the results of the most recent election are retabulated with the votes of the departing office holder treated as though they were eliminated in the first round, the process of further elimination continues until a 'winner' emerges. Only candidates who participated in the previous election are eligible. This should be a reasonably cost effective solution and would at least ensure that the new office holder has been voted in by and serves the will of the people, not "the criminal enterprise that controls San Francisco'". ( Thanks to Paul Currier for that quote, one of the pithiest of this campaign).
You colonials have once before thrown off the shackles of a Monarchy, don't you think it may be time to cut the ties that now bind us.
No Taxation Without Representation.
One Wo/man One Vote.
Live Free Or Die Trying.
Occupy your life - Free your mind.
Just my 2c

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 9:27 am

If a vacancy occurs, just have a special election like they do for congress and the state legislature.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 9:46 am

"queer/labor activist Gabriel Halland"

At the end of the day, Mr. Articulate aint going nowhere. He will stay in the public-sector city-family money-pit.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 9:39 am

@greg. That was one of the suggestions I included in my original draft but rejected.
Very briefly.
>Hold a special election immediately, within..1-2 months?.. of date position was officially vacated. Candidates must have run in previous election. Expensive, time consuming, even lower turnout, more garbage in the mail box; but would allow them to recycle glossy propaganda that didn't end up in the landfill. Could leave us short of one or two politicians in the interim, actually maybe that might be a good thing.
>The candidate who placed 2nd would automatically fill position. Could be problematic especially in the even of a 'landslide' where #2 received very few votes and did not truly represent a significant number of voters.
>Departing office holder selects his/her replacement. Not necessarily a reflection of the vote; choice could be untried/ineffective; nepotism; but at least should ensure some continuation of principle and philosophy.
Obviously these are just bare bones top of the head musings. One other 'advantage' of my preference is that we could get a result in a few days and then get right back to 'business as usual".
Just my 2c

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 10:16 am

The city charter is odd on this point -- nowhere else does the executive get to pick the legislature. The governor doesn't appoint to vacant slots in the state Assembly and Senate. The president doesn't appoint members of Congress. In other counties, the supervisors themselves fill vacancies by majority vote.

So I've thought for years that this ought to change, and a special election is probably the best process.

Posted by tim on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 10:39 am

Think y'all know me well enough by now. I'm not a details dude and leave that to wiser heads who can wade through the bullshit. I'm just an old pamphletering agitator who shoots from the hip, the heart and the gut. If it smells like a duck - roast it.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 11:20 am

She lives in Mark Farrell's district, Michela Alioto-Pier's district, Gavin Newsom's district. She has done so since 2000, notwithstanding the make-believe that she lived in the Mission. And now lots of people who should know better are making believe that she lives in Five.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

A very few people are making believe that she lives in Five. Also making believe that she's just so dangerous to the powers that be that Willie Brown has it in for her. She campaigned for his puppet, for chrissakes. She'd sell her soul to get big, powerful men to make her their special girl. In fact, she already has - many times.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 2:41 pm

I think it would be great if Mirkarimi's legislative aide Vallie Brown completed the remainder of the D5 supe term.

Posted by Hope Johnson on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

@Hope: That...would be awesome. She has done so much for our district in the past ten years!

Posted by Guest Felice Ana Denia on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 3:07 pm

Indeed that would be good if we can get Ed Lee to appoint her.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 3:32 pm

Not Ross. And Gabriel Haaland will never be appointed or elected in this district as long as Ed Lee's in charge - or anywhere else in SF for that matter. Haaland placed 5th the last time he ran - clearly people don't want him. He should stick to mooching off SEIU members while simultaneously gang-pressing San Franciscans for more money and benefits to enrich his union masters.

Posted by guest on Nov. 15, 2011 @ 2:00 pm