Rafael Mandelman BOS 8 questionnaire

Rafael Mandelman BOS 8 questionnaire

Postby Jeff_W on Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:21 pm

Candidate/Campaign Information:

Candidate name:

Rafael Mandelman

Contact person:

Stephany Ashley

Mail address:

2231 Market St, San Francisco, CA, 94114



Email address:


Web address:


Anticipated Budget:

$140,000 - $200,000+

Funds raised to date:


Percentage of donations under $50

Approximately 30%

Please write a brief response (less than 150 words) to each question. You will have additional opportunities to address these issues.

1. Why are you running? Why should we vote for you?

I am running for Supervisor because I believe everyone should have access to the same opportunities that I did growing up here. I am running to improve the daily experiences of District 8 residents, as well as to address the larger structural problems that our City must address. I am running to bring real change to our public transportation system, to expand the accessibility and quality of our public healthcare system, to seek real solutions to the problems of homelessness and poverty in our city, and to increase the livability of San Francisco for all of her residents. Now more than ever, we need thoughtful, dedicated progressives on the Board of Supervisors, and that is the type of leadership I will work to provide.

2. What sets you apart from your opponents?

While it is true that some of my opponents may have spent more time in City Hall, I believe I have the right experience to represent District 8 and help lead the City through the current challenges facing us. I grew up in San Francisco, and alone among the candidates, know what it is like to be a kid in the City. For the last ten years I have represented local governments and nonprofit housing developers throughout the Bay Area, helping build thousands of units of affordable housing and helping ensure that new development benefits existing communities. I have served on the Building Inspection Commission and Board of Appeals and have earned a reputation for standing up for neighborhoods, historic preservation, and tenants rights. As a member of the DCCC and Democratic Party activist I have a record of fighting for social and economic justice, and open and transparent government.

3. San Francisco for Democracy is committed to grassroots involvement. Please explain how you are involving ordinary citizens in your campaign?

My campaign is open, accessible, and truly grassroots. My staff and volunteers are primarily young activists new to electoral politics. My campaign phone banks 6 days a week, has precinct mobilizations 3 days a week, and sponsors mixers open to the public weekly at various venues across the district.

San Francisco for Democracy endorses fiscally responsible and socially progressive candidates. Please give examples of why you fit these criteria?

For years this City has closed massive deficits relying primarily on cuts. It is neither fiscally responsible nor socially progressive to cut the critical social service and healthcare services that our residents need; this approach is punitive to the most vulnerable and costs the city much more in the long run. Furthermore, the degradation of our public services (transit, parks, children’s programs, etc.) carries its own costs as public sector failure makes the City a less desirable place for people to live and work. We should prioritize frontline services that the public relies on and fund preventive health and social services to avoid even greater long term costs. In addition, even in tough economic times, this is still a city of great private wealth, and we should look for additional ways to tap that wealth for public needs.. My campaign collected signatures for the hotel tax on the November ballot.

4. What public safety strategies currently being implemented by the San Francisco Police department do you agree, or disagree with? What will be your agenda regarding public safety, if elected supervisor?

Keeping us safe is government’s most basic and important function. My priority will be to ensure that public safety resources are used effectively. I support Supervisor Mirkarimi’s Community Policing and Foot Patrols measure as well as cost-effective alternatives to reduce crime and improve quality of life. These include better street-lighting, graffiti abatement, expanded youth programs, more social service outreach to reduce concentrations of street people, and support for the community patrols and Patrol Special police that have been used with such success in several District 8 neighborhoods.

5. What do you believe is the correct percentage of units to be set aside for affordable housing, when property is redeveloped? Please explain why you believe that percentage is correct?

This is a complicated question, the answer to which will vary depending on the depth of affordability levels, and the other public benefits provided by a development. I do not believe that our current inclusionary requirements are adequate to ensure that San Francisco remains a City affordable to all, and I believe we need to make significant additional public resources available to create more and deeper affordability in all new developments.

6. Public transportation is dysfunctional in the City and County of San Francisco. Do you agree with that statement? If not, why? If so, what is your analysis of why it is dysfunctional? What will you do to make public transportation functional if elected?

The biggest obstacle to San Francisco having a great transit system is historic and ongoing underfunding of MUNI. Nat Ford has estimated that MUNI has a $100 million annual operating deficit. Having worked to pass Proposition A in 2007, I was frustrated last year to learn that most of the additional revenue we worked so hard for through that measure had been diverted to other departments through work orders. I believe in San Francisco’s “transit first” policy and one of my primary goals is making this policy a reality. Today we face a crisis, and what MUNI needs is more funding to prevent service cuts. I support the work of Dave Snyder and the San Francisco Transit Riders Union and have participated in TRU actions. I also support efforts to reform the governance structure for the MTA to more equitably share appointment authority between the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors.

7. What do you view as the top three issues in District 8? What are your solutions for these issues? Do you believe these issues are consistent throughout the city? If they are not consistent, what do you view as the issues outside your district that should be addressed in the coming years? Do you have solutions for those issues?

I think the top three issues for the District (and the City) are: managing our budget crisis to minimize impacts to our weakest and most vulnerable residents (children, the elderly, the sick and disabled) and essential public services upon which we all rely (transit, parks, public health, etc.), ensuring that all new development benefits existing communities and meets the city’s planning goals and finally, prioritizing our city’s “transit first” policy by increasing investment in public transportation.

8. What is your position regarding privatization in the public sector?

I oppose efforts to privatize the public sector.

9. Do you favor the use of Project Labor Agreements in the public sector? Please explain your position.

I favor the use of Project Labor Agreements in the public and private sectors because of the role they play in guaranteeing fair wages and benefits for workers.

10. What is your position regarding Sit/Lie?

Oppose - I believe existing laws already provide an adequate legal framework for law enforcement to address this problem. I generally do not support measures that unnecessarily limit liberty and/or leave the protection of our freedoms to the discretion of our police.

11. Do you believe San Francisco should be a Sanctuary city?

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