Hansen is well known in the city for being an activist in the usual assortment of progressive causes, including being the co-founder of the People’s Budget Collaborative, a role that led Frank Gallagher, then columnist at the Examiner, to accuse her of being a “Bolshevik” (with that name for an organization?). The organization became famous when they dressed up in funny costumes and seized control of the chamber room of the Board and caused a near riot to protest budget cuts during a hearing in 2001. It is because of her support of all these causes that has led the Bay Guardian to write an editorial in support of her nomination to the Ethics post. She is also well known for her two failed campaigns to become supervisor of District 8 (the Castro). In 2000, she lost in a super-close runoff with Mark Leno by 712 votes, then lost in another runoff to current Supervisor Bevan Dufty in 2002 in a race noted for it’s occasional detour into Middle-East politics. Hansen is considered a shoo-in, however, not just for her progressive politics, but because she’s good friends with most of the people in the board. Well, except for maybe Dufty. She has also given her support to most of the candidates in their runs for office, been supported in her various runs by five of the current Supervisors, and has given money to the campaigns of Maxwell, Jake McGoldrick, and Tom Ammiano. Maxwell has already given her support and Ammiano and McGoldrick are expected to vote on her confirmation.
For those wondering just what the Ethics committee does, it primarily investigates conflicts of interest. Said Maxwell, who has received $500 by Hansen, "I don't think anyone is really independent in San Francisco."
Image of Eileen Hansen from SFGate