We haven’t had a notable non-establishment candidate for mayor in this town since 2007 when Chicken John and Josh Wolf both cracked 1%. But those guys didn’t have the fortune to run against a mayor whose approval rating is now below 50%, and with no other candidates in the race. Amid speculation that no one will challenge Ed Lee for mayor, the sole opposition at this point is Amy Farah Weiss of the YIMBY campaign. You saw her here last week when nightclub owners spoke out at a Planning Commission meeting which she attended as a community organizer advocating to preserve the Harding Theater.
You think a community organizer can’t win the election? Tell me again who’s your President.
“I started off with YIMBY/WEISS for Mayor thinking that my campaign would help direct votes to a more established candidate like Leno or Ammiano through ranked-choice voting,” Ms. Weiss told SFist. “But as the months passed by and more established candidates stayed out of the race, I have become confident in my ability to win this race with the support of my citywide network and the growing number of neighbors who want to take part in positive and meaningful change.”
Amy Farah Weiss is the founder at a nonprofit 501(c)3 called Neighbors Developing Divisadero, best known for their efforts to revitalize the Harding Theater on Divisadero St. and for spearheading the renovation of a sizable community garden effort at Divisadero and Eddy.
The movement’s name, YIMBY, is of course a play on ‘NIMBY’, the old acronym for ‘Not in my backyard’. It’s not a political party, YIMBY is a 'Yes in my backyard' social movement promoting “inclusive development, an economy that truly shares and a local government that protects and supports the well-being of all San Francisco neighborhoods,” Ms. Farah Weiss said. “I named my campaign YIMBY/WEISS for Mayor because it’s important that my values lead the way rather than personal ambition and that the campaign creates a platform that neighbors can personally connect with and shape outside of me as a particular leader.”
Her platform on the housing crisis? “Our focus should be on protecting neighbors from profit-driven displacement, creating policies that support the in-migration of ‘redevelopment refugees’ of the 60's to today and accessing and creating revenue for the development of housing that is responsive to our regional housing needs as well as the impacts of climate change,” Ms. Farah Weiss told SFist.
Her platform on Muni? “The new private buses and ride-sharing platforms could somehow contribute to the betterment of our public transportation,” she said. “I look forward to working with the brightest local policy minds, researchers, workers, transit-riders and companies to evolve our public transportation system and create livable streets and equitable transportation."
Sure, there is still a possibility that some other establishment candidate will run against Ed Lee in 2015. At this point in 2011, John Avalos (who finished second) had not yet announced or filed. But David Chiu, Jeff Adachi and Dennis Herrera already had. Our good friend Leland Yee had already been running for five months. It is getting to be that time, you guys.
Ms. Farah Weiss does not aspire to kick Ed Lee out of City Hall. “If Ed Lee wants to continue working in local government after I become Mayor, I will find a position for him to use his skill-set in support of the public good,” Farah Weiss said.
BAM! If you want to support Amy Farah Weiss for mayor, there will be a YIMBY/WEISS Signature-Gathering Kick-Off & Variety Show at the Purple House Co-op (2059 Fulton St., @ Cole St.) on Saturday, April 4th from 6-10 p.m. with signature-gathering, live music, comedy and spoken word.