Matt Gonzalez (J.D. 1990, Stanford University), worked on immigration issues at the East Palo Alto Community Law Project, pending death penalty cases at the California Appellate Project, and "gender discrimination and religious clause issues" as a student, later a politician, lawyer, and President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, now Chief Attorney in the Public Defenders Office.
David Ho’s development as a premier electoral field organizer took off with his work on Matt Gonzalez’s 2003 mayoral campaign. Ho volunteered to coordinate the Asian-American field campaign for Gonzalez, quickly putting an effective citywide team together for a candidate whose campaign did not begin until the filing deadline.
In 2004, local members of San Francisco Democratic Socialists of America worked on the mayoral election campaign of Matt Gonzalez, a "progressive Green running against a conservative Democrat". One DSAer’s opinion piece appeared in the leading local paper, several members worked on the campaign, and the local coordinated donations from DSAers around the country, raising over $1,100.
Gonzalez narrowly lost, though he remained president of the Board of Supervisors, and chose not to run for re-election.
San Francisco People's Organization
The political left in San Francisco, which lost its footing after progressive torchbearer Matt Gonzalez lost the 2003 mayor's race to more centrist Gavin Newsom, hoped to find solid ground with the the San Francisco People's Organization convention Saturday, June 11, 2005, at the St. Mary's Cathedral conference center, 1111 Gough St, when tenant activists, environmentalists, labor organizers and other crusaders for the underdog inaugurated a new coalition.
Organizers said they expect to draw 400 to 500 attendees.
Among the groups involved were the health care workers union, Senior Action Network, the San Francisco Day Labor Program, the Tenants Network, the San Francisco Child Care Providers Association, the Sex Workers Outreach Project and the Coalition for Transit Justice.
The new alliance's goal, according to its mission statement, is to "transform San Francisco into a city that places human needs and the common good above everything else."
In more practical terms, the organization was looking to build a political majority that carries clout at the ballot box and can set a successful agenda at City Hall, now dominated by Newsom.
"It's about creating strength in numbers, finding common ground and supporting each other," said Jane Kim, a Chinatown youth organizer who had been active in forming the new coalition.
"Progressives have found themselves in more of a reactive role," said Corey Cook, a political scientist at San Francisco State University.
Now, however, some political leaders on the left are trying to reclaim a bigger stake, and the San Francisco People's Organization is being viewed by some of its backers as the vehicle to achieve more power.
"This is an attempt to draw people together from various progressive causes and issues throughout the city to examine what issues matter most to folks and to figure out how we an continue to work together on a consistent platform," Adachi said.
- Democratic Left • Summer 2004
- [http://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/SAN-FRANCISCO-Left-pulls-together-to-get-on-2663545.php SFGate SAN FRANCISCO / Left pulls together to get on right track / Inaugural assembly set for new coalition of progressive groups Rachel Gordon, Chronicle Staff Writer Published 4:00 am, Friday, June 10, 2005]