Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Seeking SAFE Supervisor Endorsements
The SAFE California campaign to abolish the death penalty in California has collected enough signatures for a proposition vote this November, and now the real work begins.
Alex Cárdenas, above left, has been working for the campaign this summer and one of his tasks was to secure endorsements from various public officials, including individual San Francisco Supervisors. Weiner, Campos, and Avalos have already endorsed the proposition, so on Monday morning Alex visited the City Hall offices of the other supervisors to follow up on information he had sent them earlier via phone and email.
If the aide to Supervisor Mar in the top photo and the aide to Supervisor Kim above are any indication, the SAFE Campaign hasn't been very good at getting the word out about the upcoming vote because nobody in any of the offices had heard anything about the issue.
Each supervisor's office has its own individual layout, decorative scheme, paid staff and unpaid volunteers/interns, and it's always interesting to see how one is treated when walking in the door unannounced. The young lady above seemed to be holding down the fort by herself at Supervisor Farrell's office, and initially looked a little alarmed that leftists were trying to lobby her conservative boss on an issue, but I explained that the very Republican Ron Briggs, who helped his father craft the death penalty initiative in 1978, has now gone on record repudiating his own handiwork and supports the proposition. "That's very interesting," she replied, as she leafed through the information packet Alex handed her.
The entrance to David Chiu's office was staffed by an alert group of young people who promised to pass along the information...
...and the aide to Supervisor Carmen Chu above was polite but quite honest that nothing would be done until the crunch of San Francisco Budget Committee hearings were over.
In fact, the annual Budget Committee Kabuki Ritual Meetings were being held at that very moment in the Board chambers down the hall.
The kindest and most welcoming reception came from Supervisor Olague's aide above, who asked intelligent questions and promised to pass the endorsement request on.
The most bizarre reception came from the aide above in Supervisor Malia Cohen's office. "It's illegal to campaign or politick in City Hall offices, so we can't talk to you about this. You're going to have this same problem at every other supervisor's office because it's the law." Alex was much too polite to tell her that we had already been to everyone else's offices and had heard no such thing. She finally gave him the phone number of Cohen's "political consultant" who would talk to him about the issue, while I thought, "I hope the Supervisor isn't as clueless as her staff."