Mecke joins crowded District 5 supervisorial race

Quintin Mecke declared his D5 candidacy this morning at the Department of Elections.
Luke Thomas/Fog City Journal

Progressive activist Quintin Mecke jumped into the District 5 supervisorial race today, echoing gentrification concerns raised this week by the Guardian and The New York Times and promising to be an independent representative of one of the city's most progressive districts, a subtle dig at Sup. Christina Olague's appointment by Mayor Ed Lee.

“The City is at an economic crossroads. As a 15 year resident of District 5, I cannot sit idly by while our City’s policies force out our residents and small businesses, recklessly pursuing profits for big business at whatever cost,” he began a letter to supporters announcing his candidacy, going on to cite the NYT article on the new tech boom that I wrote about earlier this week.

“What we do next will define the future of San Francisco; the city is always changing but what is important is how we choose to manage the change. One path leads to exponential rent increases, national corporate chain store proliferation, and conversion of rent-controlled housing. The other path leads to controlled and equitable growth, where the fruits of economic development are shared to promote and preserve what is great about this City and our district,” Mecke wrote.

Mecke came in second to Gavin Newsom in the 2007 mayor's race and then served as the press secretary to Assembly member Tom Ammiano before leaving that post last week to run for office. Mecke joins Julian Davis and John Rizzo in challenging Olague from her left, while London Breed and Thea Selby are the leading moderates in a race that has 10 candidates so far, the largest field in the fall races.

Although he never mentioned Olague by name, Mecke closed his message by repeatedly noting his integrity and independence, a theme that is likely to be a strong one in this race as Olague balances her progressive history and her alliance with the fiscally conservative mayor who appointed her.

“Politics is nothing without principles; and it’s time now to put my own principles into action in this race,” Mecke wrote. “District 5 needs a strong, independent Supervisor. I am entering this race to fight for the values that I believe in and to fight to preserve what is great about District 5 and the city. I have brought principled independence to every issue I’ve worked on and that’s what I’ll continue to bring to City Hall.”

In an interview with the Guardian, Mecke said he sees the campaign as a “five-month organizing project” to reach both regular voters and residents of the district who haven't been politically engaged, including those in the tech sector. He'd like to see the perspective of workers represented in discussions about technology, not simply the narrow view of venture capitalist Ron Conway that Mayor Lee has been relying on.

“Local politics needs new blood,” Mecke said, “it needs to hear from these people.”


thrilled that her opposition is further split by all these fringe candidates.

Breed is a far superior alternative and, from what I've seen of Mecke, he can't debate to save his life.

Major yawn.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 3:45 pm
Posted by Troll II on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 4:13 pm
Posted by Guest on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 4:40 pm

I'm in D5 --- heeeeelllllliiieeeuuuuu.

Posted by marke on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 4:45 pm

really not that long ago. D5 is breeder territory with the possible exception of Duboce Triangle.

Castro isn't in D5, just so you know.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 5:06 pm

if you think I'm a Castro queen, you're hilar. I lived at Divis and Grove for umpteen years, no problem. (I'm more scared of it now, in fact.)  I'm also from downtown Detroit. Don't let fear define your boundaries! 
Posted by marke on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 5:29 pm

Duboce Triangle is D8 BTW.

Posted by Triangle on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 1:16 pm

Newsom squeaked out the victory, 106K to 9K.

But it sounds good and to the casual reader it might sound like Mecke was a serious candidate for Mayor.

Wasn't Steven Jones challenging people to provide any examples of his biased journalism the other day? Should we keep examples coming or is it just piling on at this point?

Posted by Troll on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 7:05 pm

Being biased In their reporting is so second nature that half the time they don't even realize they are doing it.

Posted by D. native on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 7:52 pm

What makes you say Thea Selby is a moderate? In any case, I'm glad to see Mecke get into the race. This should be a contest not a coronation. Olague says she loves the job but hates campaigning. What's that all about? Pesky voters? Mecke is right: local politics does need new blood.

Posted by gust on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 5:31 pm

No incumbent in SF has ever lost since ranked choice voting came in. That doesn't amount to a ton of data points but it really doesn't look like Olague will become the first. With a number of lookalike candidates lining up we'll have a free for all, perhaps something like D10 in 2010.

But Olaque will have the best name recognition (the average voter doesn't know who Quintin Mecke is) and that will be enough to carry the day for her. Even if she somehow wound up 3rd after the first round she will be on enough 2nd and 3rd choice ballots to win.

So sorry, but RCV is going to work against the Progressives yet again and it serves them right for pushing such a joke of a system. Karma.

Posted by Troll on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 6:09 pm

Cheers! Let's get rid of the corporate shills! No more Olague, Lee or Weiner

Posted by Guest on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 6:23 pm

Mecke seems to be the candidate talking about issues that matter and taking a stand for development that benefits everyone, not just the few. I'm not D5 but the need for a serious anti-displacement effort is critical in D9 where I live so I want him on the board. San Francisco's diversity makes it great, and we need to cultivate that instead of courting the 1%.

Posted by guest on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 8:31 pm

Willie brown mentioned once that progressives love to eat their own.
The whole election is moot, even if Mecke gets elected. The minute he doesnt toe the party line 100% he will be hung out to dry by progressive INC and another "more" progressive candidate will be trotted out.

I love watching this stuff.

Posted by Coitthroat on Jun. 08, 2012 @ 8:15 am

then why aren't there any progressives challenging Eric Mar, David Campos, or David Chiu? Mar voted for 8 Washington, Campos voted to confirm Julius Turman for Police Commission over hardcore progressive David Waggoner, and Chiu voted for that Parkmerced deal? They each chose not to toe the party line, but they have not been hung out to dry by progressive INC, as you put it.

Posted by Common Sense SF on Jun. 08, 2012 @ 4:47 pm

fuming and bitter and twisting, which actually was entertaining. But apparently as long as Chui pays lip service to opposing 8Wash, knowing it will pass anyway, then he is off the hook.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 08, 2012 @ 4:57 pm

The way I see it, John Rizzo is the only one who could've potentially given Olague a run for her money. Julian Davis and Quentin Mecke have run before, and they didn't run very strong campaigns. Maybe they're ever so slightly to Rizzo's left, but so far Rizzo's the only one who's proven that he can put together a proper campaign.

I hope I'm proven wrong, but all I see them doing is scattering the vote. Don't get me wrong. I think IRV is a great system -it has it's issues like any system, but it's much better than the alternative. But one of those issues is that vote scatter does happen. Not everyone picks a second and third. And with multiple challengers both on Olague's left and her right, while Olague has the full weight of the mayoral money machine behind her, it's starting to look like she'll have it in the bag.

Posted by Greg on Jun. 08, 2012 @ 8:28 am

election outside of the gayest parts of England.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 08, 2012 @ 5:14 pm

Which parts of England are those?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 09, 2012 @ 12:45 pm
Posted by Guest on Jun. 09, 2012 @ 1:18 pm

Mecke, Olague, Rizzo et al agree with Mayor Lee on important issues: the Central Subway, the anti-car Bicycle Plan, Smart[sic] Growth (Rincon HIll, Market/Octavia Plan, UC development on lower Haight Street).

And then there are the quality-of-life issues: homelessness, graffiti/tagging, sit-lie, Critical Mass, all of which city progs have a poor record on.

What the city's left is facing is a massive intellectual failure on the issues.

Posted by Rob Anderson on Jun. 09, 2012 @ 8:22 am

Oh wait, you already did that. How much of the vote did you get again?

Posted by Greg on Jun. 10, 2012 @ 9:51 am

If only because he's a little different from the usual suspects.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 10, 2012 @ 4:22 pm

Where do these labels come from? Why are Olague and Mecke considered progressives, but Thea Selby is a moderate?

She's a working mother who supports ranked-choice voting, free Muni for youth, and working to make our streets safer for everyone. These are progressive policies, which D5 needs.

Posted by Michelle M. on Jun. 11, 2012 @ 5:49 pm

"Mecke came in second to Gavin Newsom in the 2007 mayor's race"

Too funny, Mecke got 6.33% of the vote, yeah that was SO CLOSE.

Posted by Triangle on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 1:19 pm

But then that was across 11 districts, so maybe not.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 1:28 pm