23 Reasons to Vote for John Avalos instead of Ahsha Safaí
There is no starker choice on the San Francisco ballot than District 11 for the Board of Supervisors. (Okay, maybe the Presidential election!) Back in 2016, we wrote about 9 Reasons Ahsha Safaí is shady. Unfortunately, he won (by only 413 votes), and he's been just as bad as we feared, so now we have twenty-three reasons to vote him out.
We're excited to support John Avalos, a proven leader with integrity. But because people keep asking us about Safaí, here are all the ways he's proven to be a failure, with plenty of receipts:
Safaí's COVID response has been too little, too late
- The contrast between the response in the Mission versus the Excelsior and OMI is pretty damning. The Mission has conducted groundbreaking studies and offered support for its vulnerable communities, with mass testing at BART stations.
- We're glad community groups have hustled to make testing available one day a week at Crocker Amazon park and on Broad Street in the OMI, but the hard-hit District 11 needs more. Why can't Safaí get large-scale testing at Balboa Park BART or on Mission Street, where vulnerable essential workers need it?
Safaí is shady
- He flip-flopped on 2018's Prop 10 that would have expanded rent control. He told tenant groups he supported it, but then turned around and opposed it. When tenant rights advocates brought him a golden flip-flop, he hid in his office and wouldn't talk to them.
- An ugly alliance of Republicans, billionaires, venture capitalists, and developers are spending millions to elect Safaí and defeat progressive revenue measures. Why? They don't want to pay their fair share, and they trust Safaí to protect their interests.
- He pushed to increase the rents for a two-bedroom at the affordable housing planned next to the Excelsior Safeway from $1,730 to $3,026. That's not affordable!
- In 2016, the leadership of the janitors union Safaí worked for pressured its members to campaign for him, and fined members who didn’t "volunteer" $150 a day. These are janitors who are barely earning a living wage!
- Safaí was an unregistered lobbyist for a real estate developer.
Safaí has been a failure on climate change
- In his role on the SF Retirement Board, he voted against divesting from fossil fuels in 2018 and 2019, and didn't even show up when they voted against divesting again in 2020. Even though in 2017 he voted for a non-binding resolution at the Board of Supervisors urging the Retirement Board to divest from fossil fuels (give him another golden flip-flop!), and even though oil companies have been some of the worst performing stocks on the market the last three years.
- He tried to get the City to pay for his City Hall parking space!
- He failed to support replacing a gas station and parking lot with affordable housing, and has taken at least $7K from gas station companies.
- He pissed off every sustainable transportation group in the City when he attempted to gum-up the City's ability to make transit, bike, and pedestrian improvements.
- No wonder the SF Bicycle Coalition, League of Conservation Voters, and Sierra Club have all endorsed John Avalos!
Safaí is a house-flipper
- Last year he bought a property in probate court, and the real estate company he used turned around and donated $5,600 to Safaí’s campaign a month later.
- He bought a house that was in foreclosure in 2005, and sold it less than a year later for a profit. The woman he bought the house from sued him for fraud, saying she was “frightened and intimidated” into accepting an unfair offer.
- He’s been involved in a number of questionable real estate deals over the years and made most of his money as a consultant for landlords and developers.
- No wonder nearly half of his campaign funds come from the real estate industry!
Safaí is a phony
- Safaí flat out lied to the District 11 Democratic club claiming that he supported June 2018’s “Baby Prop C” to tax office buildings for childcare. In fact, he supported the competing Prop D that had a poison pill to kill off the tax for childcare.
- Safaí claims that he "saved St. Luke's Hospital," but the California Nurses Association and others who led that campaign say he had nothing to do with it. Check out this damning video.
- Back in 2008, Safaí worked for Gavin Newsom, and he talked, dressed, and acted like a mini-Gavin. (Check out his pensive, pinstriped, hair-gelled glamour shot from a Chronicle puff piece). But when he came back to run again in 2016, he switched up his image to be a mini-Avalos! He dressed more casual and talked about working families, but we weren’t fooled.
- When he ran in 2016, he claimed to be a union organizer, but almost all of Safai's income came from being a consultant for landlords and developers. In 2012 and 2013, he earned less than $10,000 as a consultant for the janitors union, but more than $100,000 from his consulting firm.
Safaí won't stand up to for police accountability
- He was endorsed by the racist Police Officers Association (POA), who contributed $70,000 to an independent expenditure that supported him.
- He rewarded them in 2018 by derailing a resolution to limit the cops’ ability to drag their feet on reforms.
- He also tried to replace one of our strongest Police Commissioners, Petra DeJesus, who the POA despises.
- He was AWOL on June 2018's Prop H, the POA's reckless attempt to remove civilian oversight of the cops use of tasers.
- And now he's proposing legislation to crackdown on sideshows with harsher penalties. WTH? Didn't you get the memo, Ahsha? The Republican-style "tough on crime" approach to non-violent crime is ineffective and immoral.
District 11 is lucky to have a clear choice in November. Vote for John Avalos for a Supervisor who knows the district, has a track record of getting things done, and shares our values. Check out his detailed policy positions on criminal justice, government corruption, climate justice, housing affordability, and many more issues. You can also read all about our take on Avalos in our full voter guide.
We expect this race will be super close, so every vote counts. Can you help share this post and send it to everyone you know in the Excelsior, Outer Mission, and OMI?