[Photo: Bhautik Joshi]
Today's Board of Supervisor hearing marks the start of the new year, and politically it marks the start of two new faces on the Board. Since the hearing is all about introductions and welcome speeches, we thought we'd take the time to familiarize our readers with the newest folks crazy enough to dive into the San Francisco political pool and how they'll likely approach land use issues.
Even though this past year was plagued with a sh*t-show of ridiculous hearings (see: nudity ban, tie-your-dog-to-a-lamp-post legislation), 2013 is poised to be all about the land use drama, with huge development projects like 8 Washington, CPMC, and the Warriors arena all on tap. With more independents on the board than we've seen in a long time, the players are more important than ever.
This past fall's election brought back a bunch of familiar faces, like David Campos (District 9), Eric Mar (1), John Avalos (11), and David Chiu (3). But new to the party is Norman Yee (7) and London Breed (5). Yee comes from a Board of Education post, where he sat since 2004 and most recently as president, and served as executive director of Wu Yee Children's Services for 16 years. He's identified pedestrian safety and small businesses as his immediate focus. London Breed, known for her blunt style, grew up in her district's Western Addition at the Plaza East housing project, and has said improving the lives of the kids at those types of developments is her top priority, as well as helping adults secure steady long-term employment. She previously worked for Willie Brown during his mayoral tenure, and sat as a member of the Redevelopment Commission, where she says she voted on development projects not based on the developer but by "doing homework." Both seem to sway back and forth between progressive and moderate issues, so it'll be interesting to see where they land on development votes.
Things might get an additional mix-up later this week if the Mayor appoints Carmen Chu (4) to take over as Assessor for Phil Ting (who moved to the California Assembly), in which case the Mayor would appoint a new supervisor of the Sunset/Parkside district. They'll also vote on the next President of the Board, who will serve until the next general election. David Chiu is the incumbent, but you can expect some of the others to make a play. Word on the street is love-to-hate-him Scott Wiener, Malia Cohen, David Campos, and Jane Kim are all circling the president's seat.
· Development, budgets and political futures to headline 2013 [City Insider]
· Yee ready to bring independent attitude to San Francisco Board of Supervisors [SF Examiner]
· London Breed's emphasis: kids' lives [SF Gate]
· London Breed is S.F.'s election shocker [SF Gate]