As environmentalists, we at the San Francisco League of Conservation Voters are deeply and profoundly appalled as the Trump administration continues its assault on the environment at the federal level. California's leading role in confronting and countering Washington's disastrous policies is one of the few bright spots in these dark environmental times.
As we turn to the local level, and the fast approaching mayoral election, we find that we are in a similarly strong position, as all three front runners in the race have real environmental credentials. We can honestly say we would look forward to working with any of their administrations to advance the causes of climate protection, sustainable transportation, dense urban housing and land use, and natural resource protection.
In that light, the San Francisco League of Conservation Voters is pleased to endorse, in ranked choice order, 1. Mark Leno, 2. Jane Kim, and 3. London Breed.
#1 Mark Leno
We are proud to endorse Senator Mark Leno, our first choice for mayor of San Francisco. He is the strongest environmental leader on the ballot as well as the most proven administrator and politician, excelling in each office he has held from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, to the State Assembly, and most recently, the State Senate.
The sheer breadth of Leno’s environmental work over the past decades has been remarkable, from sponsoring the 2001 resolution for the first permanent bike lane on Valencia Street, to getting SB350 passed in 2015, setting the nation’s highest standards for fighting climate change by setting California’s goals for increasing electricity production from renewables to 50% by 2050 and doubling energy efficiency in buildings by 2030. His work on a wide range of environmental issues from toxic flame retardant chemicals reform, pesticide ingredient disclosure, fracking moratoriums, clean water, renewable energy, reducing methane gas emissions, community-choice power, and combating ocean acidification have simply been exemplary.
While other Sacramento stalwarts have returned home and been capable mayors (whether we agreed with them or not), our greatest concern regarding a Leno administration is whether he is prepared for the changes in San Francisco politics since his tenure on the Board of Supervisors. Similarly, we ask whether he is ready to risk tarnishing his nice-guy image by getting into the contentious melee of City Hall. Nevertheless, we believe he is up to the challenge.
#2 Jane Kim
Supervisor Jane Kim, our second choice, has championed a number of important environmental causes and is notable as the only candidate in the race (so far) who has shared a detailed transportation plan. Her leadership on Vision Zero, the ongoing effort to reduce vehicle related deaths on City streets to zero, has been critical. She is the only candidate who has publicly backed congestion pricing for San Francisco, demonstrating her ability for authoring bold new initiatives. This type of innovative transportation policy is perhaps the most important area where San Francisco can lead the nation in cutting-edge environmental action. Additionally, Kim has been a tireless champion for building affordable housing, a cornerstone in maintaining thriving, dense urban centers as a primary means to combat suburban sprawl and climate change.
While Kim brings a keen intelligence and a passion for progressive causes, she remains unproven in managing a bureaucracy as large and cumbersome as San Francisco’s. Because Kim has proven herself in every office she’s held to date, we believe she can do the job as mayor and do it well.
#3 London Breed
Board of Supervisors President London Breed, our third choice, has impressed us most with her championing CleanPowerSF*, San Francisco’s clean energy program. After 12 years of the program languishing, Breed took it upon herself to get CleanPowerSF off the ground, despite a significant effort by PG&E to prevent it, and she has continued to defend and advance CleanPowerSF. President Breed has also worked on a pharmaceutical take-back program, which helps our wildlife and waterways and passing the most far-reaching styrofoam ban in the country, a critical step to protecting San Francisco Bay and oceans from plastic pollution.
Despite her many accomplishments, Breed’s coalition remains cozy with many of the businesses interests that have slowed environmental progress over the past three administrations. That said, her track record is strong enough to earn an endorsement.
With these three candidates leading the race for mayor of San Francisco, the San Francisco League of Conservation Voters is optimistic for the next mayoral administration. We are proud to endorse Senator Mark Leno #1 and are pleased to endorse Supervisor Jane Kim as #2 and Board of Supervisors President London Breed for #3.
The San Francisco League of Conservation Voters
*We regret failing to recognize her environmental leadership on this issue in particular during her 2015 Board of Supervisors campaign when we instead endorsed her opponent.