Posted on October 17
Interim Mayor Ed Lee is poised to win San Francisco’s mayoral race handily, according to results of a Bay Citizen/USF Poll that shows Lee dominating his main rivals and ultimately cannibalizing their votes under a format that requires voters to rank the candidates by preference.
Lee, 58, a career bureaucrat who until January had never held office, would become San Francisco’s first elected Chinese mayor. The poll highlights the growing power of the city’s Chinese community, which now comprises one-fifth of the electorate and is increasingly flexing its political muscle.
Three weeks before the Nov. 8 election, Lee is the overwhelming choice of Chinese voters and the favored candidate of LGBT voters, according to The Bay Citizen/USF Poll, the most extensive independent survey of San Francisco voters during this election. (Source: The Bay Citizen)
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Posted on October 11
Sing Tao Daily: (Translated to English)
The San Francisco mayoral election will use instant runoff voting to elect the Mayor for the first time this year. Voters can choose their favorite three candidates. There are 16 candidates including 5 Chinese American candidates in the mayoral race. Sing Tao Daily recommends Ed Lee as the first choice, David Chiu as second choice and Bevan Dufty as the third choice.
Since Ed Lee was appointed as the first Chinese American mayor in the 160 years of San Francisco history, Ed Lee, an unassuming man, who has served the City for more than 20 years as public servant, had accomplished many important priorities for the City in the past 8 months to get things done. Some of his major accomplishments included closing over $300 million budget deficit with a balanced budget, keeping high-tech company such as Twitter in the City, revitalizing Mid-Market Street, appointing a well-loved, popular Police Chief and MTA Director; proposing a pension reform with support from labor unions, business and Board of Supervisors. These were all challenging tasks but kudos to Mayor Lee for overcoming the barriers and resolve these major issues in a short period of time as mayor.
Most importantly, with the overall economy recovery in the US is still unstable and the high unemployment rate in the State, Ed Lee’s priority on job creation and economic growth is exactly what San Francisco needs for the next four years. In addition, all the major capital improvement projects for infrastructure and the development plans along the bay to welcome the America Cup need a great leader who is not afraid of challenges to steer the City on. Also since Ed Lee became Mayor, he has set a new tone by establishing a new working relationship with the Board of Supervisors through communications, negotiations and collaborations instead of constant fighting. These are what San Franciscans love to see.
Posted on October 05
SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Calling it a “roadmap to good jobs and opportunity,” San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has unveiled a 17-point economic plan to keep the city on the right track.
Calling small businesses the heart of San Francisco’s economy, Lee outlined the growth plan at Rickshaw Bagworks on Tuesday.
It includes connecting small businesses in every neighborhood with the Board of Supervisors to develop a business tax structure that rewards job creation.
“We’re going to have a job squad that goes out there and works with the landlords and small business associations and links them up with the $5 million Small Business Revolving Loans Fund,” said Lee.
Also part of Mayor Lee’s plan are programs to link people with local colleges so they can get new skills sets and to aggressively implement San Francisco’s local hire ordinance.
Posted on September 23
Press Release - San Francisco
New Ad Defends Mayor Lee Against Taxpayer-Financed Attack Ads by Leland Yee and Dennis Herrera
San Francisco, CA: Ed Lee for Mayor today unveiled a new 30-second television spot that begins airing this evening defending Mayor Lee from taxpayer-financed attacks by City Attorney Dennis Herrera and State Senator Leland Yee.
You can watch the new spot here:
“Dennis Herrera and Leland Yee are wallowing in mud, using hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to attack Mayor Lee, with not one word about jobs or their own plans for San Francisco,” said Bill Barnes, Campaign Manager for Mayor Ed Lee. “This new ad defends Mayor Lee against these shameful, hypocritical, taxpayer-financed attacks.”
Both Yee and Herrera have been running taxpayer-financed attack ads over the last two weeks, trading almost-daily attacks on Mayor Lee that have become increasingly silly. The San Francisco Chronicle today reported that an independent expenditure committee set up to support Yee has now also joined in attacking Mayor Lee with a new $89,000 mailer. Though the group calls itself “City Residents Supporting Leland Yee for Mayor 2011,” the mailer is sponsored by two Sacramento political action committees and lists a Sacramento address.
And yesterday, in the SF Weekly’s “Snitch” blog, Leland Yee’s campaign manager even acknowledged that Yee and Herrera were coordinating their strategy of alternating taxpayer-financed attacks on Mayor Lee:
Asked if the attacks on Lee are coordinated, Yee’s campaign consultant, Jim Stearns, noted “not much in campaigning is random, except for people’s reactions.” He claimed, however, that the decision to come out swinging wasn’t much of a decision. “I’m hoping Michela Alioto-Pier and David Chiu and John Avalos will start doing the same.”
SF Weekly, “The Snitch”, 9/22/11
“Now one campaign is even shamelessly admitting that their entire, desperate strategy is based on encouraging other candidates to coordinate with them in wasting millions of tax dollars to finance attacks on Mayor Lee,” Barnes continued. “Mayor Lee believes in attacking problems, not people, and is 100% focused on creating jobs and bringing San Francisco together to get things done for every neighborhood.”
Posted on September 08
Appointed Mayor Ed Lee is maintaining a commanding lead in his bid to be elected to a full term, securing 31 percent of first-choice votes with none of the other serious contenders earning more than 8 percent in the first round, according to a recent poll conducted for his campaign.
The poll by Benenson Strategy Group shows Lee winning after an unspecified number of rounds under the city’s ranked-choice voting system, securing 51 percent of the vote while his closest competitors are still below 15 percent, according to a memo from the pollsters summarizing their findings.
Read more at the San Francisco Chronicle.
Posted on September 06
I recently sat down with several top mayoral candidates to discuss these and other technology issues. The interview series begins today with Mayor Edwin Lee and will continue over the next few weeks.
Lee’s tech resume stretches back to his days as director of the department of public works and city administrator. In those roles, he overhauled the city’s method of buying technology and helped implement services like the 311 information line and SFPark, an app that finds parking spots.
After being appointed interim mayor at the beginning of the year, Lee advocated for the payroll tax exemption for companies moving into the Mid-Market area, a measure principally designed to prevent Twitter from fleeing. He also backed a partial tax exemption on stock options for companies that go public over the next six years.
Without such exemptions, the tax kicks in at 1.5 percent of payroll once a company’s total goes above $250,000. Some argue this discourages companies from creating jobs here. More critically from a young tech company’s perspective (and their investors), it applies to the gains from stock options exercised after an initial public offering. This can add up to big numbers.
Read more at The San Francisco Chronicle
Posted on August 31
One of San Francisco’s most dangerous and run-down housing projects, Alice Griffith, will receive a $30.5 million federal grant that will jump-start work there and at the city’s huge Hunters Point Shipyard redevelopment project.
“This is likely to accelerate our schedule by up to one year,” said Fred Blackwell, executive director of the city’s Redevelopment Agency. “This is a fabulous deal that’s making for a lot of high-fiving and chest-bumping here.”
San Francisco’s grant, which will be officially announced today, matched those given to Chicago and New Orleans and was larger than those that went to Boston and Seattle. There were 42 applicants for the $122 million given out by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, with six cities reaching the finals.
Read more at the San Francisco Chronicle.
Posted on August 31
Four months after The City enacted a tax exclusion to encourage revitalization of the struggling Mid-Market neighborhood, the first tech company to benefit from the ordinance has moved into its new digs. Mayor Ed Lee announced Tuesday that Zendesk, which specializes in web-based help desk services, has settled into 989 Market St., near Sixth Street.
In April, the Board of Supervisors approved the Central Market and Tenderloin Area Payroll Tax Exclusion, which exempts companies operating in certain parts of the city’s Mid-Market and Tenderloin neighborhoods from paying payroll taxes on new employees.
The tax exemption was an effort by The City to staunch the attrition of tech companies and the talented workers they attract from migrating down the Peninsula to tax-free locations.
Read more at the San Francisco Examiner.
Posted on August 29