Political Notebook: Alice club endorses four out SF supervisor candidates

  • by Matthew S. Bajko, Assistant Editor
  • Wednesday August 24, 2022
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District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, left, District 4 supervisor candidate Joel Engardio, and District 6 supervisor candidates Matt Dorsey and Honey Mahogany were endorsed by the Alice B. Toklas LGBTQ Democratic Club. Photos: Mandelman, Rick Gerharter; others, courtesy the candidates<br><br>
District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, left, District 4 supervisor candidate Joel Engardio, and District 6 supervisor candidates Matt Dorsey and Honey Mahogany were endorsed by the Alice B. Toklas LGBTQ Democratic Club. Photos: Mandelman, Rick Gerharter; others, courtesy the candidates

The Alice B. Toklas LGBTQ Democratic Club has endorsed four of the five out candidates running for three San Francisco supervisor seats this November. It was able to do so because of the city's ranked-choice voting system.

It allows voters to rank their preferred candidates in a supervisor race. If no candidate receives more than 50% to win during the first round of counting then the candidate with the least amount of votes is eliminated. Their voters' second choice pick is then tabulated, and if there is no winner again, the process repeats itself until a winner emerges.

In the case of this year's contest for the District 6 seat on the Board of Supervisors, there are four candidates in the running. Alice members voted to give a first choice endorsement to gay Supervisor Matt Dorsey, who was appointed in the spring by Mayor London Breed to fill a vacancy.

The club gave a second choice endorsement to Honey Mahogany, seeking to be the first queer, transgender, and nonbinary individual elected a supervisor in the city, as well as the first out Black member of the board. She had worked as chief of staff to former District 6 supervisor Matt Haney, whose election to the state Assembly in April prompted Dorsey's appointment.

Failing to pick up a third or fourth choice endorsement from Alice were the other two candidates in the race: Black transgender advocate Ms. Billie Cooper and Black labor leader Cherelle Jackson.

It was the first major endorsement for Dorsey from an LGBTQ political group as he runs for a full four-year term representing the city's South of Market, Treasure Island, and Mission Bay neighborhoods.

"The last five or six years I haven't been as involved in local politics as Honey Mahogany has been, so it meant the world to me that a lot of people remembered the work we have done together over the years," Dorsey told the Bay Area Reporter. "It is a real honor, and I am excited to take my message to the voters."

Although she didn't get Alice's top endorsement in the race, Mahogany receiving its second-place support nonetheless means a full sweep for her of a trio of endorsements from political groups that are closely watched within LGBTQ political circles. As the Political Notebook column reported last week, Mahogany received sole endorsements from both the San Francisco Democratic Party, which she currently chairs, and the Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club, which she formerly led as its co-president.

"I think it is clear there is a consensus around having all three of those groups now endorse me," said Mahogany, who used to chair Alice's political action committee. "I take pride in being the only candidate in this race with endorsements from both LGBTQ Democratic clubs and the San Francisco Democratic Party."

Also securing a sweep of endorsements from the local party and two queer political clubs was gay District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, who received sole endorsements from the trio. Running against him to represent the city's central neighborhoods such as Cole Valley, the Castro, and Glen Park is political newcomer Kate Stoia, a lawyer who lives in Noe Valley with her husband, their two biological children, and a teenage foster son.

"I am grateful and I am honored with respect to the Milk and Alice club endorsements," said Mandelman, who also formerly led the Milk club as its president and was an active member of Alice's board for a decade in the early 2000s. "I have had an opportunity to work closely with both clubs prior to serving on the board and over the last four years during this term. For most of this term I was the only queer person on the board, and we got to do some great things together."

Mandelman pointed to investments the city has made in the local transgender, queer and HIV-positive communities, as well as its designating the now city-owned property at 1939 Market Street for a third affordable housing project aimed at LGBTQ seniors as just a few examples of those accomplishments.

"We have done a lot and we are proud of it. I am glad to see that work being recognized," said Mandelman.

In the race for the District 4 Supervisor seat that includes the Sunset District, the Alice club endorsed its former board member Joel Engardio, a gay former journalist who twice before had sought the District 7 seat on the board. Due to redistricting he ended up in a new district and decided to run against incumbent Supervisor Gordon Mar on the November 8 ballot. The local party and the Milk club solely endorsed Mar in the race.

"After serving 10 years on the Alice board, it is such an honor to have the board's and membership's support in this run for supervisor. Together, we're promoting Alice's values on the Westside," said Engardio, who would be the first out supervisor elected in a district west of Twin Peaks.

Other races

As for the other local contests on the fall ballot, the Alice club threw its support behind the reelection bids of District 10 Supervisor and board President Shamann Walton and District 2 Supervisor Catherine Stefani. It also endorsed Assessor-Recorder Joaquín Torres, a mayoral appointee seeking a full four-year term, and queer District 8 BART Board of Directors member and current Vice President Janice Li, who is running for a second term. Like Stefani, Torres and Li are running unopposed.

Alice backed Public Defender Mano Raju's reelection bid. Seeking to oust Raju from office is assistant district attorney and former deputy public defender Rebecca Young.

It also endorsed District Attorney Brooke Jenkins, whom Breed appointed following the recall in June of former district attorney Chesa Boudin. Running against her are former police commissioner John Hamasaki and attorneys Joe Alioto Veronese, and Maurice Chenier.

In the race for three seats on the board that oversees the city's public schools, Alice is backing two of the three women Breed had appointed following the recall of a trio of school board members in March. The club has called on Breed's third appointee, Ann Hsu, to resign for making racist comments on a candidate questionnaire that she has since apologized for and been admonished for by the school board.

Alice is supporting the candidacies of appointees Lainie Motamedi and Lisa Weissman-Ward and did not endorse anyone for the third seat. It was a snub of Alice member Phil Kim, a gay man now vying for a third time to be elected to the school board.

Kim informed the B.A.R. Wednesday evening that he decided to suspend his campaign amid the club's endorsement process last weekend. He officially notified elections staff of his decision on Monday.

As for the contest for three seats on the City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees, Alice endorsed incumbents Thea Selby and Brigitte Davila. It took no position on the third seat.

It did endorse appointed college board member Murrell Green, who is running in a separate race to fill out the remaining two years of the term Breed appointed him to earlier this summer. The vacancy was created when Tom Temprano, a gay man, resigned in order to become the political director of statewide LGBTQ advocacy organization Equality California.

UPDATED 8/25/22 to note that Phil Kim has suspended his school board bid.

Web Extra: For more queer political news, be sure to check http://www.ebar.com Monday mornings for Political Notes, the notebook's online companion. This week's column reported on a number of out local candidates for education posts who are running unopposed.

Keep abreast of the latest LGBTQ political news by following the Political Notebook on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/politicalnotes

Got a tip on LGBTQ politics? Call Matthew S. Bajko at (415) 829-8836 or e-mail [email protected]

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