Endorsement interviews: John Rizzo (D5 supervisor)


We're underway with our endorsement interviews for the November election, and I'll be posting the full sound file of all the interviews as we finish them (and as I have time to upload them). First up: Community College Board member John Rizzo, who is running for supervisor in District 5.

Rizzo told us he has the political experience to take on the district's, and the city's, tough problems. Among other things, he wants to eliminate the fund that developer pay into for affordable housing and require market-rate builders to construct affordable units on site. He discussed a "scientific approach" to managing Muni and wants a closer audit of the $600 million the city gives to nonprofits providing public services every year.

You can listen after the jump.



Hope Johnson hasn't heard from you. Are you interviewing all candidates this year?


Posted by h. brown on Aug. 22, 2012 @ 4:21 pm

Sorry, h, I'm a bit behind on all of this and will call Hope.

Posted by tim on Aug. 26, 2012 @ 7:21 pm

John would make a fantastic supervisor. He's successfully led the charge to root out corruption at the CCSF to the extent that the Mayor undermined his governing coalition with his recent, disrespectful appointment to replace the late Milton Marks III.

Posted by marcos on Aug. 22, 2012 @ 5:35 pm

That CCSF might actually lose their accreidation. What a leader.

Posted by D. native on Aug. 22, 2012 @ 8:32 pm

The current mess CCSF is in, is the result of everything that happened under the Phil Day administration, and a board that covered up for them. That board was controlled by the faction led by Natalie Berg until very recently. By the time Milton Marks and John Rizzo were able to start doing anything about it, a lot of the problems were too far gone. They're dealing with the mess left over from the so-called "moderates." To blame them for it is as disingenuous as those who blame Obama for the economic meltdown of the Bush administration.

Posted by Greg on Aug. 22, 2012 @ 9:19 pm

He has been in office at CCSF for 6 years- and President of the Board for the past 2. He can't get a pass on responsibility for the meltdown. If he was only there a year or so, maybe, but not after being there so long.

Posted by D.native on Aug. 23, 2012 @ 8:13 am

Have you actually watched any of those Board meetings? The Board, led by Rizzo, comes to meetings unprepared. They are completely ignorant of things in the accreditation report even weeks after it came out. They do not even read the documentation that they are given before the meetings. They make decisions based on politics and even micromanage the hiring process, against recommendations of the hiring committee, when that is totally out of the purview of the Board. They fund things they want to fund, even when told there is no money (a daycare in Bayview/Hunters Point - why is CCSF subsidizing this? the Southeast "campus", where they can't fill classes, and more.) They are out of control. Just watch one of those meetings. It is pathetic that they are the elected leaders of CCSF. The only good thing that will happen if Rizzo is elected supervisor, is that CCSF will not have to deal with him any more. He's a light-weight, folks. Only in it for himself.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 29, 2012 @ 10:02 am

The SFCCC problem was already there before Rizzo became involved with SFCCC so got any more smart remarks to make here one brain cell wonder boy ??

Posted by Keith Kemp on Aug. 25, 2012 @ 3:10 pm

Marcos I can't say I agree with you about John Rizzo making a fantastic supervisor, the assessment done on C.C.laid a large percentage of the blame for the mismanagement on the board of trustees, John Rizzo is president in case you has forgotten.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 22, 2012 @ 7:31 pm

Do your research please before opening your mouth so we can know your not a total nim com pooper

Posted by Keith Kemp on Aug. 25, 2012 @ 3:13 pm

Correction, even though John's idea of the developers building affordable housing on site is a wonderful idea, per Westlaw it cannot happen.

Posted by DavidinSF on Aug. 22, 2012 @ 8:43 pm

Every contest has its own logic. In a normal contest, an engineer, middle aged incumbent college board member with a progressive voting record is a plausible candidate. However, there are some important nuances to consider:

-- As mentioned above, there is CCSF's accreditation problems, and what the accreditation team said about the leadership at CCSF. Key recommendations to save City College were ignored for years, and every CCSF trustee has to own that reality.

-- The appointed incumbent is bisexual Latina who had a progressive past but how many D5 voters are cognizant of what she has become in 2012? That is going to take as much ink as any bruise to exlpain. In terms of the "identity card" central to San Francisco politics how does a white, straight male overcome those dynamics in 2012? This dynamic could be especially acute in 2012 given the dynamics of the Presidential contest.

-- Can the progressive community given its diminished resources -- loss of figures at City Hall, the great fumble over the 2010 Mayoral appointment & the progressive community's ongoing Mirkarimi tragedy-- adequately support both John Rizzo and Julian Davis so one of them has a realistic shot at edging past either Christina Olague or London Breed. Both Olague and Breed raised more than $80K by June 30th.

I am skeptical progressives can adequately support even one candidate in D5.

Only the most orthodox of RCV backers hold that candidates within the same base maximize that vote share. The exhausted and sloppy second or third place votes bleed that vote share.

On the merits, John Rizzo is as good or better than other progressives who have been elected to City Hall but given these dynamics, but politics is not a merit based business. Does male ego and the alure of holding office, prevent progressives from successful organizing so they can get back in the political game in a district that John Avalos beat Ed Lee by 10 points? The answer to that question is still out.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 22, 2012 @ 9:53 pm

The progressive coalition has is politically exhausted due to macro structural deficiencies that have been exacerbated by corruption, not due to the acts of any one individual. If anything, John has not been an insider in the nonprofit corruption nexus.

Instead of asking why progs can't maintain more than one candidate in D5, the real question should be why have progressives become so weak that they are playing a back game in D5, the most progressive district?

But that question would be impertinent because it would hurt people's feelings and be disrespectful to all of the hard work they've done.

Posted by marcos on Aug. 23, 2012 @ 6:05 am

Progressives are weak because when they had 6 votes on the Board of Supervisors to choose Newsom's replacement they fumbled. With the Mayor's office comes appointment power, resources and campaign money. A Class of 2008 member was played by a master of the "36 strategies of the 3 kingdoms" to vote for "interim" Mayor Ed Lee. A male ego was deceived. That's why "they (progressives) are playing a back game in D5."

Posted by Guest on Aug. 23, 2012 @ 3:49 pm

The power of a coalition is not dependent upon the ego of any one individual.

Progressives have not had six votes on the Board of Supervisors since 2006.

They did not do due diligence in mentoring the next generation and Willie Brown and Rose Pak out maneuvered them with Jane Kim and David Chiu.

Had the progressive coalition not been dominated by short sighted single issue professional advocates then it would have maintained and nurtured instead of driven off the balance of the coalition that led candidates to victory from 2000 to 2006.

It is never your opponent's fault when you lose in politics.

Posted by marcos on Aug. 23, 2012 @ 5:08 pm

To be more precise it's the Palmer decision.

Posted by DavidinSF on Aug. 22, 2012 @ 10:00 pm

There are many ways to exact more concessions from developers other than on or off site affordable. If any of those policie proposals were raised during an election campaign, we'd be seeing a tsunami of developer dollars rolling into D5 to quash such discourse because the current arrangement of San Francisco taxpayers subsidizing luxury condo production is just too profitable.

So as it stands, the only time anyone rises up against inappropriate development is when the white peoples' views are threatened at 8 Washington. The Eastern Neighborhoods be damned, and those demographic shifts will nail the coffin shut on neighborhood political power, a self inflicted wound.

Posted by marcos on Aug. 23, 2012 @ 6:08 am

support Pussy Riot?

Posted by Orwell's Uterus on Aug. 23, 2012 @ 8:22 am

I want to hear all the candidates as well! And Eric Mar's opponents as well

Posted by Richard on Aug. 23, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

I'm planning to interview and post the sound file on many (poss not all, but many)of the candidates. Whether you hear from Eric mar's opponent will depend entirely on whether he choses to come meet with us. He will be invited.

Posted by tim on Aug. 26, 2012 @ 7:24 pm