From Resident to Supervisor, Gordon Mar and his first term as Supervisor
By: Maysem Awadalla
The Sunset District is a neighborhood with a diverse population of San Franciscans who are constantly involved with their city. These residents elected their supervisor, Gordon Mar in 2018. Since then, he has worked to represent the Sunset District in the best way that he can. He has accomplished a great deal throughout his term such as sponsoring legislation that extended Free City College tuition assistance for San Francisco residents, improving maintenance of Sunset Boulevard, and supporting the Back to Work Ordinance.
I had the honor of interviewing Mr. Mar to gain insight on his job as supervisor, his battle with coronavirus in July of 2020, and his plans to run for supervisor once more. Here are the highlights of our interview.
“What have been some of your toughest challenges as supervisor?”
“The challenges that have been throughout the neighborhood have been intensified during the pandemic with small businesses, homelessness, and housing affordability”
“What do you particularly enjoy about your job?”
“It’s an incredible honor representing the Sunset District and the amazing community we have here made up of diverse families. I enjoy seeing the reflection of solidarity and caring for one another during these challenges. I take a lot of pride in representing this neighborhood.”
“What are your proudest accomplishments, a little more than halfway through your term?”
- “I am proud of the work I have done to expand affordable housing in the Sunset District and in our City. It was one of the main reasons I ran for supervisor, so I am really proud that we have our first two affordable housing projects.” (Irving Street and 43rd Ave. near Judah)
- “My work to support small businesses, especially over the last year. We have helped to ensure that small businesses in the Sunset District are able to access economic relief programs. We also encouraged our small businesses to take on the shared spaces program and to close streets and expand to outdoor dining and shopping.”
“Do you plan on running for reelection?”
“Yes, I do, It has been a great honor serving and a lot of the work we have done is going to take years to follow through on. I am looking forward to a second term in order to continue the work that we have been doing to ensure that the Sunset District remains a thriving neighborhood for working families and seniors.”
“You had the coronaviru.. What was your battle with COVID like? How do you feel now?”
“Fortunately, my symptoms were very mild and my family stayed healthy and we got through it safely. I used that as an opportunity to remind everyone to follow our health orders and I recovered quickly.”
“What are your thoughts on closing the Upper Great Highway to traffic? How are you combatting any challenges that arise because of this?”
“I originally proposed to the City to keep the Great Highway closed to create more space for safe recreation. It has proven to be a great succes., There are many diverse residents using the Great Highway on a daily basis. It’s a great way for the residents to maintain their physical and mental health. This has led to significant traffic impacts that I have been working on with the City and residents to reduce. I have been convening meetings with the MTA, the Police Department, and the residents to implement more effective traffic diversion and traffic calming measures. The MTA has been slow to implement these regulations, but we have a plan to calm the traffic and we have been actively engaging with the community of the outer avenues. There is a plan in the coming weeks to help implement more robust traffic diversion. I am concerned about the traffic impacts and I want to ensure that the MTA follows through on their commitment to implement these measures.”
“What are your thoughts on the affordable housing project planned for Irving Street? What is the start date for this project? How do you plan on addressing the concerns of the residents throughout the area?”
“This is the first-ever affordable family housing development in the Sunset and it is very important. The Sunset has priced out many working-class families, and it is extremely important to create housing for working families in the Sunset.”
“The developer has yet to submit their plan to the City. They have committed to community outreach starting on Jan. 23. They will be sharing their project with the neighborhood and will be getting input from the community. We are projecting for construction to begin in 2023.
I am aware that there are questions about the height of the building and parking. I am committed to making sure that the developer goes through community outreach to address concerns. This will be a very high quality, well designed, and well managed property. It will serve families who work nearby, such as teachers, police officers, and other employees.”
Maysem Awadalla is a resident of San Francisco and a student at California State University, Fullerton studying political science and journalism. Maysem grew up in the Sunset District not as a resident, but as the daughter of a small-business owner. Follow her on social media:
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