City supervisors seek College Democrats’ endorsement

Two San Francisco Supervisors seek student endorsement in their campaign to represent San Francisco in the state Assembly.

Both District 3 Supervisor David Chiu and District 9 Supervisor David Campos recently met with the SF State College Democrats in February with the hope of being endorsed by the College Democrats in March. The group’s support will give that supervisor an advantage, as other Democratic groups in the city tend to follow the club’s lead, according to the club’s faculty advisor Jared Giarrusso.

Issues that the candidates discussed included job creation, housing, transportation and public education.

Chiu and Campos have very similar voting records, but the two candidates differ in how they engage with the business community, especially the booming tech industry, according to club president Naeemah Charles.

“Chiu is going to present himself as business friendly,” said the club’s advisor Jared Giarrusso. “Campos is not going to campaign on job creation. He’s more focused on services.”

David Chiu voted to give tax exemptions to companies that took up residence in the struggling Mid Market neighborhood, an initiative that Campos said he voted against.

“If San Francisco hadn’t changed the tax code, Twitter would have moved to Brisbane,” said Chiu, speaking to the College Democrats Feb 17. Chiu credits his business-friendly policies with creating 42,000 new jobs in San Francisco since the 2008 recession.

Campos says he is concerned about the effects that tech companies have on residents and small businesses in the neighborhoods they move into.

“Old businesses are being pushed out by companies that may not be there in five years,” said Campos. “I want to work with the tech industry. I think the tech industry should be here. I don’t think we should give them everything they want.”

Both candidates have focused heavily on housing issues in San Francisco, particularly the lack of affordable housing and recent spike in evictions.

“The city still has tremendous challenges that it faces,” said Chiu. “State law has made it way too easy to evict tenants.”

Chiu has tried to pass a ten-year moratorium on condo conversions and pushed for the building of more affordable housing units.

Campos has worked on laws to prevent evictions and advocated for tenants. If elected, Campos said one of his main priorities would be overturning the Ellis Act, in order to reduce evictions in San Francisco.

The College Democrats currently do not know which candidate they will endorse, although Giarrusso predicts that their pick will be Chiu. Many College Democrats are in favor of Chiu’s moderate position compared to Campos’ more left-wing policies, according to Giarrusso.

However, not all College Democrats support Chiu over Campos, with some feeling that Campos cares more about the people of San Francisco while Chiu favors big companies. Club member Marcus Ismael said that he doesn’t believe Chiu is going about job creation in the right way.

“It takes like 15 people to run a tech company. If you want to create jobs, you put in factories,” said Ismael.

Even though many members of the College Democrats like Campos, most of them agree that the club will most likely endorse Chiu. According to Giarrusso, Chiu is seen as more mainstream and therefore more likely to get elected. 

“He [Campos] is more open about his progressivism,” said Ismael. That’s good for San Francisco, but how it would play in Sacramento, I don’t know.”

The primary election will be held June 3, and the general election for State Assembly will be November 4.