UPDATED FOR 2020: we now have twenty-three reasons Ahsha Safai is a terrible Supervisor.
There is so much shady, awful, and downright illegal shit going on in this election, we're all struggling to keep up. With Donald Trump threatening the very fabric of our democracy, misleading political commercials dominating the airwaves, and Scott Wiener spending millions trashing Jane Kim, we're concerned the critical races for the Board of Supervisors aren't getting enough attention.
The race for District 11 (the Excelsior, Outer Mission, OMI) is one of the most contested. We're 100% supporting Kimberly Alvarenga, who is awesome. The big business slates are all supporting Ahsha Safai, who is hella shady. But if you haven't been obsessively reading every local paper and blog, you wouldn't know how shady. So here is a quick summary of nine reasons why we can't let Ahsha Safai anywhere near the Board of Supervisors:
- Safai is supported by the Police Officers Association, the biggest bullies in town and the biggest impediments to reform of the SFPD.
- He's supported by the Mayor, who has done several press events and press releases with Safai in the last few months.
- He’s a house flipper. He bought a house in foreclosures in 2005, and sold it less than a year later for a profit.
- Safai was kicked off the Housing Authority board after Executive Director Henry Alvarez was fired for gross mismanagement, discrimination, and intimidation, and the Authority was found to be in disarray. At the time Safai said Alvarez had “done a great job.”
- On the ballot he claims to be a union organizer, but almost all of Safai's income comes 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.
- The leadership of the janitors union pressured its members to campaign for Safai, and fined members who didn’t "volunteer" $150 a day. These are janitors who are barely earning a living wage!
- Safai 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.
- Safai is benefiting from at least $700,000 in independent expenditures from real estate and big tech companies. That is being funneled through the dubiously named Robert F. Kennedy Democratic club to pay for tons of TV commercials. TV commercials on CNN for a district supervisor election?? Why do LinkedIn, Facebook, and Airbnb care about District 11? They don’t. They care about electing Supervisors who will keep their taxes low and favor big business and developers over workers and tenants.
- Safai is an unregistered lobbyist for a real estate developer. Mayor Lee and the Chronicle recently trumpeted a press release about a new development that would be half rent controlled and half affordable housing, and they credited Safai as a “family friend” of the developer who came up with the idea and negotiated it with the Mayor’s office. But the thing is, the developer paid Safai as a consultant, which means his negotiations with the Mayor are lobbying. Safai has never registered as a lobbyist. And the developer’s promise of new rent control housing is hella catfish. There is nothing in writing to describe how it will work or to hold the developer to their sketchy campaign promise. Their announcement sounds awesome, but if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Wow, that's a lot of bullshit!
We're excited to vote for Kimberly Alvarenga, a queer Latina mom who worked in Tom Ammiano’s Assembly office, where she played a significant role in the campaign to Save CCSF, the California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, and Seth’s Law, which protects children who are bullied in California schools. She’s currently the political director for SEIU 1021, the most progressive union in San Francisco.
We also endorsed Francisco Herrera as our #2 choice, and we've heard from some allies who are also including Berta Hernandez (a socialist who seems to share our values, but didn't respond to our questionnaire) on their ballot. With ranked choice voting, you get to vote for up to three candidates. It's fine to include Herrera and Hernandez anywhere on your ballot, but this election will come down to Alvarenga vs Safai.
That's why it's critical to vote for Kimberly Alvarenga and to leave Ahsha Safai off your ballot! Can you please help us out by sharing this and forwarding it to all your friends in the Excelsior, Outer Mission and OMI?