San Francisco Group Drops Mayor Power Reform Amid Election Uncertainty

A San Francisco advocacy group, TogetherSF Action, has decided to retract a proposed reform measure that would have expanded the powers of the city's mayor. This measure, if implemented, would have given the mayor sole authority to appoint and remove members from most city commissions, allowed the creation of deputy mayor positions, and delegated specific responsibilities. However, the group chose to withdraw the measure due to concerns about voter confusion amid the looming mayoral election.

Kanishka Cheng, the founder of TogetherSF Action, stated that the initiative was retracted due to a "lack of clarity in voters’ minds" about who the city's next mayor will be. The upcoming election has gained momentum as Mayor London Breed, facing significant criticism and intense opposition, seeks re-election. Recent polls show that a majority of San Francisco voters view her unfavorably, mainly due to issues such as the city's sluggish post-pandemic recovery, homelessness, and the prevalence of open-air drug use on the streets.

Mayor Breed, a Democrat, has faced harsh criticism for the city's slow recovery from the pandemic, its ongoing homelessness crisis, and rising crime rates, leading to growing dissatisfaction among voters and local business owners. Her key opponents, Daniel Lurie and Mark Farrell, have openly criticized her leadership, while Aaron Peskin, the progressive candidate, has also taken aim at centrist groups with connections to powerful interests.

The decision to withdraw the proposed reform measure may reflect the increasing influence of Peskin, who is the president of the Board of Supervisors. He has been vocal in his opposition to TogetherSF Action's initiative, labeling it as an attempt to centralize power, potentially giving control to a preferred candidate. This strategic shift has fueled speculation about the impact of Peskin's candidacy, and political analysts are closely watching to see how this will shape the election.

The retraction of the reform measure underscores the complex dynamics at play in San Francisco's mayoral race and hints at the evolving political landscape. As the election approaches, key candidates continue to build support and challenge each other's policies, leading to intense scrutiny from political observers and community members.

Written by Staff Reports

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