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Take Back San Francisco

It's official. Aaron Peskin -- the best person to run our city, the mayoral candidate whom every thinking progressive wanted desperately to run -- has entered the race. 

At his kickoff rally today in San Francisco Chinatown's Portsmouth Square, Peskin gave a lusty speech attacking the tech and real estate billionaires who've taken over the city and given us nothing but an obscene wealth gap, vacant storefronts, more homelessness, drug addiction and other misery. And now they promise that AI will fix everything.

If you believe that, there some shares in Sam Bankman-Fried's cryptocurrency company I'd like to sell you.

As Peskin predicted, the billionaires will try to tear him apart. In fact, there was a gaggle of obnoxious and loud anti-Aaron protesters today on the fringes of Portsmouth Square, trying to drown out Peskin's speech. The raucous protesters were apparently paid by tech mogul Garry Tan, who issued death threats against both Peskin, who is president of the Board of Supervisors, and Dean Preston, another progressive board member (who was also at the rally today with Supervisor Connie Chan and former mayor Art Agnos, the last progressive to occupy City Hall's Room 200).

The anti-Aaron protesters carried signs that weirdly compared Peskin to Donald Trump, his political opposite, and called for him to be squashed like an insect. Tech billionaires like Tan have injected a poisonous rhetoric into the city.

In contrast, Peskin's speech was upbeat and positive. He wants to make San Francisco affordable again. He wants to make the city a beacon once again for teachers and nurses and social workers and firefighters -- and also for the creative dreamers who put the city on the map. The writers, poets, artists, musicians and other cultural renegades who made San Francisco great.

"We won't destroy the city to save it," Peskin pledged today. "Let's save our city without sacrificing our values."

That's the inclusive, inspiring vision I wanted to hear in the San Francisco mayor's race, which has been dominated until now by corporate sock puppets, including incumbent London Breed.

I'll be honest. I was one of those urging Aaron to run. So I'm very excited today. We have a good chance to take back the city we love. The city that came to mean so much to us during the Season of the Witch era that I chronicled. 

But it takes a lot of courage to run for public office these days. And money -- lots of it. 

“I have no doubt that this is going to be a difficult campaign; most of my opponents have at least one billionaire on their side, if not more,” Peskin said today. “This handful of billionaires pouring millions of dollars of dark money into ugly smear campaigns threatens to destroy what makes this a unique, vibrant and magical city. And while I thankfully don’t have any billionaires on my side, I have you. 

"We'll run a grassroots campaign" in every district, in every neighborhood, Peskin vowed -- "just like Art (Agnos) did" in his winning mayoral campaign in 1987.

I can understand why Aaron thought long and hard before entering the race. Politics, especially here in San Francisco, has become a dirty and expensive game.

But now Aaron is finally in, we need to support him. Please go to his website and donate your time or money or both.

Let's take back San Francisco.

One Comment

  1. Jonah Raskin April 18, 2024

    Good piece
    I tend not to be hopeful about San Francisco but Peskin running for Mayor gives me hope
    I’m with him and Talbot all the way!

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