My Run for San Francisco Supervisor — District 6

cityhallshotToday, I am announcing that – with regret, and after months of consideration – I do not plan to be a District 6 candidate for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 2010.

It was not an easy decision to make, because there are many reasons for me to run. I have worked in the Tenderloin and South-of-Market area for almost ten years, and am passionate about the community – and doing what’s best for San Francisco. I know what organizing can do at all levels of government, and that decisions made by elected officials matter. I have been a tireless advocate for the poor, but could also effectively bring together the diverse constituencies of District 6. I also believe I would make a better Supervisor than the current candidates, and – with the right campaign – had a credible shot at winning.

But there are two reasons why I’m making this decision – which are mostly personal.

The first is financial. Not the fundraising, although that’s a daunting task. More simply, running a serious campaign requires a full-time commitment – which means quitting your job months before the Election. If I had substantial savings, a working spouse or lower living expenses, that would have been doable. But last year, I bought a Tenderloin studio condominium (with a down payment assistance from the City’s first-time homebuyers’ program.) My monthly expenses are high, and my non-profit salary means that I live paycheck to paycheck. I’m not at a point in my life where I can go without income for an extended period.

The second is my lack of enthusiasm for this race – at this time. Despite being passionate about what’s at stake, and attempts to hype myself about running, I could not get excited about doing what I needed to do to win. My question was – do I want to spend the next 18 months asking people for money, shaking hands with every voter in the District and talking with leaders to run a viable campaign? The answer became apparent to me two weekends ago at the California Democratic Convention. I was in my element organizing and speaking out, but I wasn’t focused on what was necessary to promote my candidacy.

I just couldn’t bring it all together right now. If it was May 2007 – and the District 6 race was still three years away – I probably could and would run. But it’s May 2009, and it’s time for me to really decide what’s best. I want to focus on my job, my personal life and the political work I do every day to push for change at all levels of government. I know I play a role in what’s going on, and I’m having too much fun to leave. I want to be more effective at pushing change, and thought running for District 6 in 2010 would be the way.

But running for office isn’t a job … it’s a calling. Right now, I’m not getting that call.

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3 Responses to “My Run for San Francisco Supervisor — District 6”

  1. Dan Says:

    Sorry to hear that, Paul, but it makes total sense. Hopefully another progressive will jump into the fray.

  2. Nikki Says:

    You are very honest and brave to say ‘not right now’ for now. Your decade of passion, commitment, and dedication to coopertive values are what make your neck of the woods a better place. ~Nikki

  3. Mike Sugerman "Not Really" Running for Mayor | Fog City Journal Says:

    […] Paul Hogarth briefly entered the contest for District 6 Supervisor last year before bowing out and supporting now Supervisor Jane Kim.  Harold “h” Brown, an occasional FCJ contributor, satirical muckraker and publisher […]

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