Daly is back in a progressive leadership role

Chris Daly has been named interim political director of SEIU Local 1021.
Steven T. Jones

Chris Daly, a pivotal organizer of progressive politics during his decade on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, has returned to a high-profile role in the movement. Last month, he went to work for Service Employees International Union Local 1021, the city's largest public employee year. And today, he was named its interim political director.

“I'm excited and I think everyone here is excited to have Chris's talent and experience and energy on this team,” local President Roxanne Sanchez, who was elected as part of a progressive reform slate in 2010, told the Guardian. “Part of the vision of the executive board, and the mandate that we were elected on, is to build a long-lasting sense of power at the rank-and-file level.”

Even before lending support to the Occupy movement and its challenge to the power of the richest 1 percent of society, Local 1021 was targeting banks and other downtown financial institutions with its Fight for a Fair Economy campaign. Now Daly can continue pushing that agenda and connecting the dots between the consolidation of wealth and the hardships faced by workers and local government.

“The spark has been the Occupy movement, but it's been 1021 that has been helping to instigate some of these possible next steps...It has an opportunity to be successful if there's some institutional support for it,” Daly said of San Francisco's progressive movement, which suffered a setback when he and other board progressives were termed out, and a bit of a revival in the fall with the emergence of OccupySF.

“Occupy is going to need some foundation to continue its work,” Daly said. “Without organizational or structural support, that could have been a one-time thing.”

But now, during an important election year when the union's contracts with the city expire, Daly sees an opportunity to forward the interests of both union members and the broader progressive movement. Both Daly and Sanchez say educating their members and the general public about the importance of progressive issues is essential to advocating for their members, who are among the city's lowest paid workers and those who have suffered the most layoffs in recent years.

“If there's not a notion of the distribution of wealth and the 99 percent, we won't be successful,” Daly said. “Downtown is powerful, and labor needs to be here to offset the power of downtown. Without that, we're stuck.”

Sanchez said the reorganization now underway in her union, of which hiring Daly is a key component, is about turning the clock back on the labor movement and returning to an agenda of broadly building working class power, as unions did in the '30s and '40s before becoming more bureaucratic institutions in the '50s.

“Chris, and his perspective of building community strength, is our focus,” Sanchez said. “This is the time when unions have to help move a working family agenda and to push back on the opportunistic wealthy interests in this society.”

In the year since he left the board, Daly has been running the bar he purchased, The Buck (formerly Buck Tavern) – which became like a progressive clubhouse and gathering spot – as well as helping John Avalos's mayoral run and other campaigns. Daly says he wants to maintain that role by continuing to tend bar on Friday nights, but he plans to pour most of his energies into a new role that is really a continuation of his old role.

“For me, it was never about being on the Board of Supervisors. It was about trying to make the progressive movement strong and more effective...In some ways, I was one of the unofficial political directors of progressive San Francisco,” Daly told us. “I have a strong motivation to build a progressive political program, and now I have the opportunity to do that.”


How appropriate for someone like Daly.

And if there were ever a sign of the SEIU's decreasing clout - it's this.

Posted by H. Monk-Brown CI on Jan. 05, 2012 @ 6:47 pm

My name is Danny Garcia,

I am a steward for local 287 I have work with this man very close many time and we have won some and lost some.

But I want all of you to know you have a strong Brother to get your local moving toward a better way so stand by this brother and work with him as I have and you will see your local has made a good choice.

Thank You,
Teamsters Local 287 Steward
Danny Garcia

Posted by Guest Danny G. on Jan. 06, 2012 @ 9:34 pm

I'm in SEIU against my will because of where I work and I have to say it is the worst excuse for a union I have ever seen. We have two other unions at my organization--both of which make more money and have better working conditions for their workers for pretty much the same work. SEIU is just a hand in my pocket. If it disappeared tomorrow I couldn't be happier.

Posted by Scott on Jan. 13, 2012 @ 2:15 pm

I would assume this is temporary as Haaland would likely want the job back after losing the D5 race.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 05, 2012 @ 7:03 pm

Haaland is in the same job he was in, and Daly is now his boss. The "interim" part is only because he was hired by Sanchez and hasn't gone through the full union hiring procedures yet.

Posted by steven on Jan. 05, 2012 @ 10:25 pm

Thanks for the clarification Senor Jones.

I'm sure all the usual suspects will be here to complain and concern troll about how this is bad for progressives. Let's see how it plays out. I don't see how this could make things any worse than they already are for the movement in this town since its all inside baseball and has very little to do with the electorate. On the other hand there is a potential upside. Best of luck Chris and 1021.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 05, 2012 @ 11:27 pm

Er, in the runoff, over 60% went for Lee - as close to an anti-Daly vote as you can conceive.

The electorate have decided. You just don't like the result.

Posted by Anonymous on Jan. 06, 2012 @ 8:54 am

You're a broken record. Re-read my post again and see if it makes better sense to you. If it doesn't I'll know never to engage you on here again. I always though you were fairly intelligent, we just disagreed. If that's the take away you have from what I wrote you clearly have reading comprehension issues among other things.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 06, 2012 @ 10:31 am

As a member of the electorate, I beg to differ. I feel very involved and that my wishes are being followed.

Posted by Anonymous on Jan. 06, 2012 @ 10:50 am

Please people. Almost all of Anonymous' posts are so ridiculous, that no one is taking them seriously anyway. You don't need to respond to posts like that with a logical argument. Only rebut Anonymous when he says something that is credible enough that people may believe it, if it is left unchallenged. Since Anonymous almost never writes a post of that level of credibility, this will save you, and readers, a LOT of time and energy.

This blog is being turned into an unreadable manure field because people are arguing with every stupid thing that Anonymous says as if it makes some sort of sense. (Which is EXACTLY the mayhem he wants to generate with his purposely inflaming nonsensical posts.)

So please, stop.

Posted by NetRunner on Jan. 06, 2012 @ 11:10 am

I agree, though I feel this is his lowest point ever in terms of failing to grasp simple concepts.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 06, 2012 @ 11:33 am

And you therefore wisely didn't debate him on the actual points of what he had just written (because he essentially didn't have any real points).

He does it on purpose. He is trying to be purposely stupid and provocative so that people keep replying to him in outrage, so that he can then keep beating them over the head with his fake stupid replies over and over again for the rest of eternity.

He doesn't care whether what he says makes sense or not as long as it creates stressful conflict; which he thrives on.

Posted by NetRunner on Jan. 06, 2012 @ 11:57 am

Then I guess you think that "Guest" is too?


Posted by Guest on Jan. 06, 2012 @ 12:41 pm

Debra Walker earlier was talking about the sexism that exists in the progressive community. This is yet another example of how the old, white boys crowd always maintains its position of power in the city's progressive establishment. Gabriel should be in the position Daly is in and Daly should be working under Gabriel - but we can't have a transman in charge over a straight, white man - now can we?

Posted by Trans Warrior on Jan. 05, 2012 @ 11:37 pm

Why is it every time a straight white male achieves anything, the card players come out?

Posted by Anonymous on Jan. 06, 2012 @ 8:56 am

umm, after the was Gabriel performed in her debate with Adachi on Prop. C vs. Prop D., you should be grateful that he wasn't given any more power, trans or not.

Posted by DanO on Jan. 06, 2012 @ 11:21 am

The "progressive" Chris Daly who buys a below-market condo then, a couple months later, votes to raise his salary from $30 to $100K, then moves his family to Fairfield so they won't have to attend SF's abysmal public schools. You mean that progressive Daly?

Posted by Scott on Jan. 13, 2012 @ 2:16 pm

Gabriel is retaining his present position at the union. Chris Daly is taking over the position of someone else.

Posted by Tamara Ching on Jan. 06, 2012 @ 1:09 am

It's the 2007 progressive convention all over again! Or maybe the SF People's Organization? Or any one of a number of progressive failures (Avalos 2011)?

Love how you all live in your cloud of self deceit. Keep it up. When Jerk Ass Ed Lee gets a vote in D5 you'll declare victory despite losing AGAIN!!

Posted by Not Eric Brooks on Jan. 05, 2012 @ 8:06 pm

..to corporate elites and the Downtown power structure.

The new movement can't fight the power, while at the same time kissing its ass.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Jan. 05, 2012 @ 9:04 pm

Although if Daly causes his usual ill-will, no doubt something like D will win next time.

Public sector units have a bad enough rep already with the silent majority, even before the "fumbler-in-chief" stuck his big fat oar in.

Posted by Anonymous on Jan. 06, 2012 @ 8:58 am


go away

Posted by anonymous on Jan. 06, 2012 @ 9:47 am

As far as I'm concerned, from a Progressive and an Occupy SF perspective, this is very very good news.

Posted by Guest carol harvey on Jan. 05, 2012 @ 11:06 pm

the train left the station.

Always a day late and a dollar short.

Posted by Anonymous on Jan. 06, 2012 @ 3:54 am

Local 1021 "progressive leadership" worked against their own members with their support of Prop C that was the crowning jewel of Ed Lee's election. As a retiree of Local 1021, it is more than evident that it's SF membership is fractured and has absolutely no trust or respect -just contempt-for the current leadership - the people that hired Chris Daly. This represents the insider politics at its worst-hiring their friends. Daly has no labor background but since other 1021 leaders do not either-he will fit right into the clique and encourage concessions - he is a friend of the union's ruling elite but not it's members.

Nancy Snyder

Posted by GuestNancy Snyder on Jan. 06, 2012 @ 10:07 am

C was a total copout. We're sick and tired of your bloated, unaffordable benefits. And of paying both for our own benefits and yours too.

You ain't seen nothing yet.

Posted by Anonymous on Jan. 06, 2012 @ 10:39 am

you ignorant prick

we're sick an tired of your irrelevant idiotic posts

Posted by anonymous on Jan. 06, 2012 @ 10:48 am

Who doesn't love this place?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 07, 2012 @ 1:17 am

We were told to accept no raises last time, then, in the fine print, found out that the union leaders gave themselves a 9% raise.

Posted by Scott on Jan. 13, 2012 @ 2:20 pm

That, in Daly, the leadership is hiring someone more radical and used to fighting for lower class empowerment, because they know they need to get their policies closer to the views of the rank and file.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Jan. 06, 2012 @ 10:40 am

Most normal middle class peeps in the United States do not have the health and retirement benefits of someone like Chris Daly - he's living on the public teat and going back for more.

City employees do very well and I had a friend on the day he retired took his stored up sick time money, cashed it out and bought a brand new car. That'd be nice for the folks in SF who work the crap retail jobs.

Posted by Daly is the 1% on Jan. 06, 2012 @ 12:48 pm

with unaffordable benefits are getting mighty pissed about the two-tier class system we have. Those with city jobs and the rest of us.

The bell has rung for the empty suits in city hall.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 06, 2012 @ 1:01 pm

in the city, that we are told is for families what want to stay in the city. When Daly's kids got old enough to suffer the progressive policies of SF schools he sent his kids to Fairfield to live in one of two houses Daly bought in foreclosure.

Daly threatened to move from his below market rate housing to district shop and run for the board of supervisors.

The SEIU uses their political power to pretend to speak for everyone, but that is a red herring, the SEIU's concern for basic services is really a concern that the city rakes in cash to pay SEIU employees and finance the ever increasing army of city workers. So carpet bagger Daly fits in well with SEIU.

This is the hero of the left in this city.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 06, 2012 @ 2:15 pm

I am so glad that I am no longer a member of SEIU 1021. Biggest ripoff were the 20 years of dues I paid them and got sold down the river. Now Daly gets to lobby without registering as a lobbyist, just like his nemesis, Willie Brown. Disgusting, both of them.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 06, 2012 @ 1:01 pm

I went to the cities web page where you can read up on what lobbyists were up to, and no mention of the cities biggest ones. The city department is a joke full of hacks, the rules were written by our progressives, so the "loop hole" for SEIU screamers is wide open.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 06, 2012 @ 1:58 pm

I am so glad that I am no longer a member of SEIU 1021. Biggest ripoff were the 20 years of dues I paid them and got sold down the river. Now Daly gets to lobby without registering as a lobbyist, just like his nemesis, Willie Brown. Disgusting, both of them.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 06, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

This will be interesting. When they inevitably have a fallout who will be most vicious and hateful toward the other?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 06, 2012 @ 1:05 pm

SEIU and Daly through constant repetition of talking points and self delusion have convinced themselves that they speak for everyone.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 06, 2012 @ 1:54 pm

Look at what senior Occupy folks are doing without any help from Daly. This story always shows how the former Supe is wrong to say the Occupy movement, without him, might be a one-time thing. From the SF Weekly:


What some healthy and spry Occupy Movements across the nation couldn't quite accomplish, San Francisco geriatrics have!

KCBS reports that a small group of senior citizens between the ages of 69 and 82 successfully shut down a Bank of America in Bernal Heights on Thursday with nothing more than walkers and oxygen tanks. That's right: No shouting, chanting, tear gas, or window-smashing.

The group, which dubbed itself "Wild Old Women" set up camp right outside the BofA, holding signs in what they were calling "a run on the bank."

While the protesters said they had no intention (or oxygen) of storming the bank, as occupiers in other communities have done, officials at Bank of America shut the doors and locked them as they spotted the slow-moving group make its way to the front of the bank.

So the seniors took a seat outside the bank where they explained their demands, which were no different than every other occupiers: They want lower fees, and they want the bank to pay higher taxes and stop the foreclosures.

"We're upset about what the banks are doing, particularly in our neighborhood and neighboring areas, in evicting people and foreclosing on their homes," 80-year-old Tita Caldwell told KCBS reporters. "We're upset because the banks are raising their rates, because it really affects seniors who are on a fixed income."

And that's just no way to spend your Golden Years.

Posted by MPetrelis on Jan. 06, 2012 @ 5:30 pm

I've not seen the poll numbers, but I'd imagine that Chris Daly and SEIU's numbers are down near the toilet. The combination seems more of a lightning rod than capable of bottling lightning, a piñata for the Chronicle as a foil to encourage more union bashing.

The rub here is that the professional organizers don't want people getting too organized because organized people threaten organizers' franchises. Yet without a massive increase in organizing and mobilization, we're going to continue to measure our losses.

If the people lead, the leaders will shoot them.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 06, 2012 @ 6:59 pm

is a mouthpiece for those for such a hated lobby group.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 07, 2012 @ 1:15 am

So long as labor and the nonprofits put their own narrowly constructed and short term interests before the general health of the progressive movement that is facing political wasting syndrome, then we will continue to see deterioration and the right wing will be quite pleased.

I do not believe, as I've stated before, that we'll see any other-centered consideration by the professional progressives for anyone not connected to them via some transfer payment.

To that extent, I am seeing no alternative to progressives continuing to ride the H bomb down from the bomber like Slim Pickens did in "Dr Strangelove," thinking that they are doing the lord's work.

I don't hate Chris or Gabriel, just don't see how this configuration of these organizations and these players are going to reverse the slide given the real world constraints.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 07, 2012 @ 9:07 am

How long until Chris and Gabbie start having hissy-fit screaming matches with each other the way that Daly and Ross "Domestic Violence" M. used to do at city hall?

Should be entertaining! ("fuck")

Posted by Guest on Jan. 07, 2012 @ 9:20 am

Chris Daly should run against Scott Wiener in District 8 next time around. I'd rather have a straight white liberal in here instead of a gay white sell-out.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 08, 2012 @ 7:33 pm

I am glad that Daly is back in a role where he can be most effective. Being in a progressive leadership role will flesh out his qualities, and put his years of experience to work. Though he might be young, his work with the Occupy movement and 1021 shows that he has what it takes to fit in the role.

Posted by Daniel Gibson on May. 23, 2012 @ 8:07 pm