The San Franciscans: Gavin Newsom

Gavin Newsom is the young mayor of San Francisco who paved the way for gay marriage in San Francisco on February 12, 2004. Elected in a December, 2003 squeaker against Matt Gonzales, Newsom rose to the stratosphere in citywide popularity polls following the gay marriage fiat but lost a few friends in the business community after he marched with labor in an ongoing hotel strike. At the dawn of Newsom's would-be re-election cycle in 2007, support for the mayor remains strong despite recent criticism. Newsom reeled against allegations of drinking and promiscuity, in addition to repercussions from the 49ers intended split to Santa Clara and Newsom's own unwillingness to comply with a voter-approved initiative that requires the mayor to attend a monthly Q&A with the Board of Supervisors. Still others consider Newsom the future of the Democratic party. BART spokesperson and gay groom Linton Johnson called Newsom, "the new Martin Luther King," in a documentary that aired on KQED.

The story of Newsom's second term story, if any, remains to be told in the political theatre of our great City. The 2007 mayoral election will undoubtedly bring renewed focus on the real-world, street level results of Newsom's homeless policies, and on the 49ers debacle. At this writing, the mayor and Supervisor Aaron Peskin are holding out Hunter's Point as an option for a new stadium in an attempt to keep the 49ers in San Francisco. It's a Hail Mary pass that makes us look like Donna Peskow in "Saturday Night Fever," holding out a palmful of condoms and begging John Travolta for a lay. Will the 49ers go all the way? Stay tuned.

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Heart of the City 01/13/04

Copyright 2007 Hank Donat home