San Francisco is a small political town. The 49 square mile City-by-the-Bay is known for the bloodbath known as “local politics” that can chew up and spit out the most seasoned political minds. As a City and County with expanded responsibilities, San Francisco is also known as a training ground for some of the best politicians in the country, who work to pass critical legislation. At a hyper-local level, we battle over obscure elected positions like the Democratic County Central Committee (DCCC) and more known bodies like School Board and the Community College Board. Locally, these three elected bodies are considered training and stepping stones to run for bigger positions like the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and Mayor. Like many young people, I see the path of my political peers as they prepare to run for office in 2018 with the hopes and dreams of calling City Hall “The Office” sometime in the future. Unfortunately, a loophole from a 2001 ballot measure threatens to impede young people from taking that next step to critical leadership positions that will shape our future. In order to close that loophole, I’m proposing a ballot measure scheduled to go to voters next June.
The “Effective Lifetime Term Limits” ballot measure has a simple goal: to close the loophole that currently allows politicians to re-run for the same political office they previously held. The measure would only apply to the Board of Supervisors and Mayor, because that was the scope of the 2001 ballot measure, and would not impact any elected official currently serving our City. To be very clear, I have a tremendous amount of respect for our previously elected City leaders. Personally, their experience and wisdom has helped guide me to advocate for our City’s future. But I also don’t believe we can move into that better future if we keep electing people from the past. While experience is valuable, it’s also important for the next generation of Democratic leaders (with a capital D) to start gaining experience to prepare us for the 21st and 22nd Century problems. Climate change, housing affordability, and homelessness are just the tip of the iceberg challenges my generation is going to face in San Francisco, and our concerns will drive us to the best possible solutions.
You may be wondering, how exactly do the current rules prevent people like me from running (and winning) in office. The answer is simple to political insiders but perhaps a bit more confusing to others: name recognition and ability to raise money. Like it or not, more people know about lifetime politicians and it gives them a significant advantage in local elections. I’ve always considered running for District 5 Supervisor, as I believe I would have new ideas and fresh energy to help solve some of the most pressing problems facing our neighborhoods and our City. If I were to run against a previously elected Supervisor, I’d be at a significant and perhaps insurmountably disadvantage. That inability to give young people a chance threatens the ability of my generation to lead today, and into the future. For me, I want a say in my future. I want a say in what will happen in the City I call home. That’s why I’m supporting the Effective Lifetime Term Limit, for my generation and for generations to come.
I hope you will join me in supporting this measure. Like our page on facebook and sign the petition to get the measure on the ballot.