February 24, 2011
Dear San Franciscans,
A few weeks ago I opened an exploratory committee and announced that I was considering a run for San Francisco Mayor. On a wave of support from friends, family and colleagues alike, I am writing to announce to you that as of today my candidacy is no longer “exploratory;” I will run for Mayor to serve the people of San Francisco.
This was not an easy decision, but it is certainly a heartfelt one. I heard from literally hundreds of people via phone, email and post. I am deeply grateful for the tremendous outpouring of support and encouragement, and I am equally grateful for – and touched by – the concerns expressed by those who worry about my re-entering the rough and tumble world of politics.
In the end what is most important in my decision to run is to finally see this great City returned to its people from special interests that have abused, taken for granted, and ignored the common good in their quest for power and political expediency.
This past selection of an interim mayor represented exactly the type of backroom dealing that keeps our city from uniting – and moving forward. That is not intended to slight our new mayor Ed Lee, who I know to be a fine person and quite capable. It is intended to say that the process was continually about which faction would “win,” the status-quo political machine or the progressives. Did we ever hear who would be the best candidate for San Francisco? Rarely, because once again, the average San Franciscan’s interests were sidelined, while the insiders feasted.
My candidacy will be about unifying the city behind an agenda that serves the people of San Francisco – not the just the insiders and well-connected. While on the Board of Supervisors, I was known as a moderate and to some I was a conservative. If that means I was watching out for the fiscal health of this city, then that’s certainly true. It’s also true that I was able to work with the leading progressives in the city to build consensus on certain issues that were important to San Francisco. It will take that kind of coalition in this campaign as mayor to get things done.
I want a San Francisco that honors the taxpayers and their contribution by passing balanced, fiscally responsible budgets. And I want San Francisco to stay at the forefront of innovation and the tolerance derived from its diversity. I want San Francisco to see the revival of its economy, including the micro-economies of small business in each neighborhood. I want to see San Francisco streets safe and our government open and transparent for all to see, unafraid of scrutiny because it is always striving to serve its people.
There are many steps we must take to rejuvenate this City, and although the race for Mayor is later this year, it is incumbent on all of us to fully support whatever steps we can right away, regardless of who it benefits politically in this campaign. I will be offering solutions to our problems, and I will applaud anyone – including other candidates – who step forward with real ideas to move the city forward. I will have no tolerance for political posturing or cheap shots against myself or any other candidate who has the courage to offer ideas. The people demand that we have a civil dialogue that unites and elevates our City, and I believe we will.
But restoring San Francisco to its people couldn’t happen without your support and I am very thankful for the determination you have already shown to help my campaign make positive change for this great City.
Your support is helping me send a strong message that our campaign is going to be a force to be reckoned with – that the people of San Francisco can match the special interests when it comes to saving the future of our great city.
Thank you again for all of your words of encouragement, concern and support. I can’t do this without your ongoing friendship and participation. I will carry the flag, but in the end, I am sure we will look back on 2011 as the year that turned San Francisco around – because of you.