The Road Ahead

After weeks of counting, the votes in the State Senate race are now final – with the total results 49% for our campaign and 51% for Scott Wiener’s campaign. As we anticipated, it was a very close contest and while I’m disappointed we didn’t get the outcome we wanted, I’m proud of the campaign we ran.

I’m so thankful for the support we received from over 200,000 voters, hundreds of volunteers and over 30,000 contributions averaging $47 each – all dedicated to the idea that we can have a City and a State that works for all of us.

In the face of over $5 million in special interest spending for our opponent we were unable to succeed in this campaign. But the struggle is not over – far from it.

I’m going to continue to fight for all of you: to end the evictions, create more affordable housing, bring good jobs to our City, expand access to higher education and help homeless residents. Given the frightening news of what is happening nationally, it’s more important than ever that we work together to strengthen our diverse community and protect it against those who would seek to divide, demonize and devastate everything that makes San Francisco special.

I wish Scott well in his work in Sacramento. But I know we still have a lot to do right here and right now in San Francisco to make our City more affordable for everyone.

I’m tremendously proud that voters passed Propositions W and X to help make City College free and to end many of the displacements that were threatening artists, community service organizations and small businesses. These are great steps forward, but there is more to do.

I’m ready for the challenge and I hope you are too.

We’ll be celebrating the holidays this Friday at 5:30pm at Tradition (441 Jones Street, SF) and I hope you can come! It’s been a long year and I want to personally thank you for how hard you worked to help our campaign and to save our City.

No Shelter from the Storm

As the rainstorm continues this weekend, there is no clearer way to see the difference between my campaign and my opponent’s than to think about the thousands of families trying to find some shelter from this storm.

Many of us walk by our neighbors who do not have a stable and secure place to call a home on our streets. We often feel helpless and wish we could do something more to reduce the suffering on our streets.

My opponent Scott Wiener, however, wants to take their only form of shelter and their belongings, and keep walking.

Now my opponent will say that it is inhumane to let people sleep in tent encampments — I agree. But it’s also inhumane to take away someone’s only form of shelter, even women and children, when we do not have an alternative to offer them.

I have visited our tent encampments and I have met working men and women, who leave their tents in the morning, to head to their jobs. I have met families and children. I have met seniors who were evicted from their long-time rent-controlled units. Between the 2013 and 2015 San Francisco Homeless Count, we saw a 10% increase in individuals who declared that eviction was the primary reason for how they wound up on our streets.

There are roughly 6,700 individuals, including seniors and families, who do not have a home to go to on any given night in San Francisco. Our city only provides 1,200 shelter beds — this means there are 35 shelter beds for every 100 individuals who call the streets their home.

I am supporting real solutions to address our homelessness crisis in San Francisco. I have fought for, and won, the most affordable housing on our Board of Supervisors. I strongly supported bold tenant protections, rental subsidies for families at risk of eviction and eviction defense funding. Last year, I won $6.6M to build out a 24-hour medical respite shelter in my district, a shelter that will be staffed by nurses, clinicians and psychologists to treat the sickest people on our streets who are now cycled in and out of General Hospital’s emergency room. I funded seven monitored pit stops in the Tenderloin and SoMa so that people can go to the bathroom with dignity and we can reduce urination and human feces on our streets. I have called to examine creative options like low-cost modular housing to more quickly and more cheaply build units for individuals who are insecurely housed. I negotiated and authored one of the strongest minimum wage ordinances in the country raising our minimum wage to $15 and am fighting to make City College free again for San Francisco residents so that we can put more income in the pockets of our everyday residents.

Finally, I believe our cities alone cannot solve homelessness — so I have asked Sacramento to declare a statewide emergency on homelessness so we can dedicate the resources we need to truly address this issue. This is not just a San Francisco issue. This is a California issue. And the LA City Council joined our call as well. With over 20% of the nation’s homeless count residing in the state of California — we must all do more together.

I stand for real solutions. I do not support “permanent” encampments as Scott claims. I support a compassionate solution that creates alternatives first.

Taking away shelter is not a solution. It is a cruel reaction to a terrible problem, and Scott Wiener is standing with a small group of billionaires who are funding a political campaign that is demonizing and criminalizing the homeless and demanding that we take away the little shelter they have with no real alternatives to offer them.

The big corporations and powerful interest groups behind my opponent, including Chevron and the real estate lobby, have launched yet another negative ad attacking me on my positions in regards to the homeless. In the world of politics you already know that is completely inaccurate. But we have prepared a response ad you can see here.

This issue is so important, and I wanted to do more than just post an ad that responds to their attacks. I wanted to share with you my actual record and my work helping people leave the streets and find permanent housing.

Real solutions involve rolling up our sleeves and truly taking care of our entire community comprehensively. I hope you will stand with me and join our fight.

SF Examiner: Integrated housing and transit policies are key for San Francisco’s future

By Jane Kim

We’re on the edge of a tipping point in the Bay Area — and in San Francisco especially. People move to great cities because of the opportunities, active networks, arts and vibrant culture cities offer. But as our cities have become more and more crowded, prices have jumped astronomically and everyone is feeling the pinch.

Our cities aren’t building enough affordable and middle-income housing. Longtime small businesses and arts venues are being forced to move out of the neighborhoods they have served as anchors in for decades due to rising rents. Transit options are limited, and many residents commute for hours because they can’t afford to live in the communities where they work. In fact, one million of the Bay Area’s 3.5 million workers commute over at least one county boundary every day on their way to work.

All of these problems are interconnected, and it’s impacting our region and city.

This is urgent, but we still have time to enact smart policies that can help us address these challenges.

I’m hosting a series of forums bringing together thought leaders on important policy topics. Our goal is to work toward real, concrete solutions.

Read the entire article here.

Homelessness: An Emergency We Cannot Ignore

Homelessness in San Francisco – and urban cities across the state – is a growing crisis that we can’t tackle alone.

Homelessness is a statewide issue – California’s homeless population is the largest in the nation and includes countless seniors, children, veterans and people with disabilities.

Make no mistake – we are in a state of emergency.

This is a statewide problem – and the entire state needs to help solve it. The top 5 cities in the United States with the highest rates of unsheltered homeless in 2015 are all in California. Los Angeles alone has seen a 20 percent rise in its overall homeless population from 2014 to 2015.

While big cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles can and should do more, and do better, the reality is that many homeless individuals on our streets are not from our cities, they are from other cities or even out of state.

So we must treat homelessness as a regional issue and ask the state for assistance in order to successfully and compassionately address homelessness as one connected challenge, not the sole responsibility of big cities.

That’s why I’m proposing we declare a California state of emergency on homelessness. Please sign my petition to support this declaration.

Sign the petition to ask California to declare a statewide emergency on homelessness.

The state recently took away funds for redevelopment that would have helped fund affordable housing to help those who need it most get off the street. But without the resources, cities are struggling to do more with less.

This problem is not a recent development. It’s been brewing for decades. The federal and state government have retreated their resources for homeless individuals and mental health services. And now with the cost of living in California skyrocketing, the problem has been exacerbated.

Progress is starting to be made. State Senate Democrats recently introduced a plan to provide up to $2 billion for local agencies to construct permanent housing for those living on the streets with psychological disorders. It’s a great first step, and we need to support their efforts to get the legislation passed.

But we need to go further. If California declares a state of emergency on homelessness, cities can receive state funding and staffing resources needed to build more affordable housing, funds to provide more shelter beds, funds for rent subsidies, personnel to provide mental health services and counseling and so much more.

No city in California has been immune to homelessness, and no city can successfully address this problem on its own. I’m proud of the work we’ve done to help our homeless population – especially by creating more affordable housing in our immensely expensive city – but it’s simply not possible to address homelessness in our current budget climate without state assistance.

It’s time to act. Please sign my petition to tell our state government that we need to declare a statewide emergency on homelessness.

Addressing homelessness is not impossible. There are solutions out there – we need to do it together.

Thank You District 11!

I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to the many voters in District 11 who cast their ballot for me and have supported our campaign for State Senate from the beginning. I especially want to thank the hundreds of dedicated volunteers who came out, rain or shine to knock on doors in every neighborhood of the district.

I have gotten this far because of you – and we will win in November because our campaign is the only one with the strong, progressive coalition behind it and the volunteer network that makes the real difference with voters on the ground.

My opponent declined the voluntary spending limit so he could continue raising an unlimited amount of money, and he outspent us by more than 2-1. He also had most of the traditional political establishment behind him. But the powerful coalition we have built has sent a clear message – that our city is not for sale and it’s not for rent either. It is time for voters, not big corporations and special interests, to have the biggest say in our government. What last night showed is that we are ready for a city and a state that work for all of us.

I am more determined than ever to keep fighting for the values we believe in – affordable housing for our low- and middle-income families, good jobs, humane solutions to the homelessness crisis and pathways to higher education for all students. I will continue to fight for you through November and in the State Senate.

Sincerely,

Jane Kim

The Sacramento Bee: Connecting the donor dots in California outside spending campaigns

By Jim Miller

Equality California’s name is synonymous with the years-long fight over civil rights for gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual people, with the Los Angeles organization’s influence extending well beyond California.

But it’s dentists, energy companies and the real-estate industry that have donated much of the money for Equality California’s six-figure spending in a pair of legislative races on the June 7 ballot.

The organization has spent almost $190,000 to support Scott Wiener, a Democrat running for the San Francisco-based 11th Senate District, and $52,000 for Anna Caballero, a Democrat running in the Salinas-centered 30th Assembly District.

“They’ve become a pass-through for corporate-backed interests,” Eric Jaye, the political consultant for Jane Kim, Wiener’s Democratic rival, said of the group. Not true, countered Rick Zbur, Equality California’s executive director. “We do take money from business interests. We determine our endorsements independently,” he said.

As of midweek, more than 50 outside spending groups had pumped more than $19.5 million of TV ads, mailers and other advocacy into almost four dozen Assembly and Senate races on next month’s ballot.

Bernie Sanders has endorsed our campaign!

We have some very exciting news – Bernie Sanders has endorsed our campaign for State Senate!

On Tuesday, Senator Sanders’s campaign announced the endorsement of eight progressive candidates, including myself, in an email to his supporters.

“No president, not Bernie Sanders, not the greatest president you could possibly imagine, can take on the billionaire class alone. And that’s because change never happens from the top down, it always occurs from the bottom up.

That’s why today I am announcing my support for eight progressive state legislative candidates who embody the spirit of our political revolution.”

I am so honored and humbled by Senator Sanders’s support and I have also enthusiastically endorsed his candidacy for President.

Senator Sanders and I share a common vision. A vision where our communities work for all of us – not just those at the very top. We’ve seen the consequences of so a few people having so much, while the rest are shuttered. The middle class is disappearing and the poor can barely survive.

It’s time to fight – time to fight for progressive, compassionate policies that lift all of us up, not just the ultra-wealthy. This means we need to fight for free community college, so everyone has a shot at entering the middle class. This means we need to ensure housing is a right, not a privilege, and create more affordable housing for our low- and middle-income families. And this means we need compassionate policies and services to house the homeless.

Senator Sanders speaks to all of these issues and is leading the fight for working and middle class families at the national level. He’s opened a dialogue that includes the most vulnerable among us who have long not had a voice in government. And he’s shined light on the gross amount of money in politics – something our campaign is struggling with as big corporations and special interests fund our opponent’s race.

Senator Sanders is taking a stand for all of us.

I’m so excited to have Senator Sanders as a supporter and an ally in this campaign. His support is evidence of just how important this race is in the future of the Bay Area.

Please share this great news with your friends and families and be sure to check out our new ad, “Our City.” You can see it here.

I’m running for California State Senate

For decades, the Bay Area’s strength has been in the diversity of innovators, immigrants, artists, and entrepreneurs who call the region home. But in recent years, many no longer feel they can afford to stay in the region. We are in grave danger of losing the backbone of the Bay Area — our middle-class families.

Today, I’m announcing my candidacy for State Senate District 11 to fight to keep the region affordable for the very people who make the Bay Area the place everyone wants to call home.

Will you help me by joining my campaign today?

I represent a compassionate vision — one that believes we must do more to lift families out of poverty and to protect families struggling to stay ahead.

In the last five years, I successfully passed the strongest and most progressive minimum wage ordinance in the country, raising our minimum wage to $15 per hour. I challenged San Francisco to make the City more affordable by mandating that 33% of all new housing built be affordable for low- and middle-income households. I established the forward thinking standard that 40% of housing built on public land be affordable to these same households. I passed the boldest tenant protections to counter frivolous and profit-incentivized evictions. I have also transformed blighted parks and pushed for protected bike lanes to help reduce traffic congestion and our carbon footprint. And I’ve worked to close the achievement and opportunity gap by increasing funds for our public schools.

These are my values, but they are also a reflection of my work as a community organizer, School Board member, and now San Francisco Supervisor.

Will you help me elevate these values and together bring our vision to Sacramento?

The communities of San Francisco, Colma, Daly City, and South San Francisco deserve a tireless and proven advocate in Sacramento. Housing the homeless, building more affordable housing, creating good paying jobs, relieving traffic gridlock, and providing educational opportunities are all statewide issues.

My record demonstrates that I am an effective and committed legislator. We have an important choice ahead — will we watch our neighbors move because they can no longer afford to live here or do we fight together to remain a diverse region of innovation and opportunity?

I invite you to join me.

Jane

#RunJaneRun