Our neighborhood deserves leadership that is progressive, pragmatic, and puts the Richmond first. My name is David Lee and I believe that our district has been neglected by City Hall for too long. It is time for new leadership at City Hall. I am the only candidate with extensive civil rights experience and the proven leadership skills needed to effectively represent the Richmond District.
The Richmond can play a key role in the fight for social justice. As executive director, I have led the Chinese American Voters Education Committee, a civil rights organization, for more than 25 years. I registered more than 100,000 new Asian-American voters and funded English as a Second Language courses for immigrant parents. I have also led U.S. Census count efforts in California in Asian-American communities for over two decades.
As a San Francisco native, I have lived in the Richmond District nearly all my life. With my wife, we operate a small business on Geary Boulevard, and we raised our two kids here. I am deeply troubled by the deterioration of the Richmond. We now have more homeless encampments, closed businesses, and increased crime. Our political leaders have failed us.
Here are my ideas to make real change:
1. No New Taxes During COVID-19: I am the only major candidate in this race to oppose any tax increases during the pandemic. We should not kick people when they are down. We need to make the environment easier for small businesses to succeed along Geary, Clement, and Balboa. Our first priority is to stabilize neighborhood businesses to get people back to work. Let’s look at our current spending and find government waste before we increase taxes;
2. Build Affordable Housing: The Richmond, and San Francisco more broadly, must build more affordable housing. I will fight to ensure that developers set aside units and charge below market rate in order to open up thousands of units for working San Franciscans and families in the Richmond;
3. Bring BART to the Richmond: Nearly 115,000 Richmond residents rely on Muni to get downtown every day, which is more than a quarter of BART’s total daily ridership. The busiest transit line west of the Mississippi is the 38-Geary. We need better, quicker, and more environmentally friendly solutions to connect commuters from the Richmond to Downtown and the greater Bay Area. We can open up new opportunities for our local merchants and in our commercial corridors, and reduce traffic congestion and dependence on cars to add a more convenient transportation solution;
4. Government Accountability and Transparency: I have a record of championing open government. In 2015, I authored Proposition E (The Sunshine and Open Government Act) for stronger accountability and transparency in City Hall. The proposition would have required all city meetings to be broadcast live on the Internet;
5. Address the Homelessness Crisis: Our current homeless policies have been ineffective. We must consider alternative models to address this chronic issue. I support a supportive housing model for our homeless without turning our neighborhoods and our parks into homeless encampments;
6. Equality for All: I support the recent effort to redirect portions of the SFPD’s budget and reallocate the funding to community-based organizations, especially those that are involved with uplifting under-served communities with job training, providing security, health and wellness, and after-school programs. Our police officers should not be responding to non-violent calls like quality of life complaints or mental health concerns. We can recommit those resources from the SFPD’s budget and appropriately reallocate them to community-based organizations that are better trained to provide mental health, drug treatment, conflict de-escalation, and other solutions.
I want to bring an independent, experienced voice to City Hall. We must be bold and think big. I hope you will consider voting me as your #1, #2, or #3 choice for supervisor.
Link to list of candidates HERE.