Rebecca Solnit: Why I Want Jane Kim to Be San Francisco’s Mayor

Ready for something positive and inclusive and aspirational about the SF Mayor's race? Check out this piece by Rebecca Solnit.

I want a feminist mayor.

I want a mayor who is a champion of human rights.

I want a mayor who knows what it’s like to be a woman, an immigrant, a person of color, an outsider, a newcomer, a beginner, who stands with the dreamers and the old-timers, with the vulnerable and not just the powerful.

I want a mayor who’s passionately committed to keeping this place a sanctuary city.

I want a mayor who will be everyone’s mayor. A mayor who believes that San Francisco is for all of us, poor as well as rich, the baby born last week and the person who’s lived here nine decades, not just those of us in our prime working years. I want a mayor who knows that we need dishwashers and bus drivers and schoolteachers living here. I want the mayor with plans about how to close the widening gulf between rich and poor in in this town (and Jane Kim has them).

I want a mayor committed to justice. I want a mayor who won’t let the police get away with murder.

I want a mayor who is not an operative for billionaires with an agenda at odds with the needs of the rest of us. I want a mayor who Ron Conway sends out attack ads against, because if he thinks she’s bad for his agenda, she is clearly good for the rest of us. I want a mayor who’s not part of the Brown Machine or the city for sale to the highest bidder. I want a mayor who’s proven her independence.

I want a mayor who will move thoughtfully and not break the things we cherish.

I want a mayor who sees how brutal our housing situation is, not only to the homeless, but to the many who who fear losing their home and their place in this town, those who pay more than half their income in rent, to those who feel too insecure to make longterm plans and commitments, start a family, sink roots. I want a mayor who sees all that and has plans to remedy it (and Jane Kim does).

I want a mayor who has a vision of what this place can be and a recollection of its greatness. That greatness that was in our eccentricity, our generosity, our imagination, in the lesbian, trans, gay, bisexual, genderqueer people who sent a message to the world that they could stand up and be themselves, free and equal and proud. The greatness of the Bay Area as the place where Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, Fred Korematsu, Jose Sarria, Angela Davis, Harvey Milk, the young activists of the Alcatraz occupation and the Free Speech Movement, Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin changed the world. The greatness that has been our poets and environmentalists, our human rights advocates and rethinkers of race and gender, our carnivals and parades, our street parties and soup kitchens, our parks and our coastline and our old family businesses, and the often-invisible people who keep it all running and love this place.

I want a mayor who sees what climate change means for our city and for our planet, who knows that this can be a fossil-free city, a solar city, a public-transit paradise, a city leading the renewable energy revolution. I want a mayor who’s more afraid of climate change than the sweeping changes we need to make of climate change (and I know that’s Jane Kim).

I want a mayor who knows that this is St. Francis’s city, that it has been at its best a place of visionary compassion, and that it should never be anything else.

I want Jane Kim to be my mayor and I already voted for her (and Mark Leno). I want you to vote for her too.

Thank you.

Rebecca Solnit

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Paid for by the San Francisco League of Pissed Off Voters. Financial disclosures available at


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