Supervisor David Campos reminded hundreds of supporters at his reelection campaign kickoff party Thursday night that he would look out for all San Franciscans — those with money as well as those in need.
As Aurora Grajeda, a Mission resident since 1969, walked into the rally at 780 Cafe, she said, “He’s one of the good ones. You know, as far as elected officials go.”
Grajeda joined a crowd of some 200 supporters, according to estimates by campaign staff, who packed the cafe to watch Campos and his backers Supervisor John Avalos and Assemblyman Tom Ammiano launch his campaign for the District 9 seat on San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors.
In his brief speech, Campos asked for support and enumerated some of his accomplishments over the past four years — providing discounted Muni passes for youth, ending restaurant abuse of health care surcharges, preventing the deportation of undocumented youth and stopping foreclosures.
While Campos was the man of the night, the word of the night was progressive.
Both Avalos and Ammiano, who helped introduce Campos, highlighted the need for progressive politicians.
“We need to fight back against gentrification,” said Avalos, emphasizing that he and Campos have worked to represent the community on the Board of Supervisors.
Ammiano, who took the stage in a white linen suit, peppered his speech with such one-liners as, “It’s 104 in Sacramento — the IQ, I mean.”
“There were those who said he was not progressive enough. He has put them to shame,” said Ammiano, referring to Campos. “We need a progressive agenda. Campos is embraced by a younger generation. These are people who can carry the message.”
Campos defined progressive politics as being true to one’s principles and inclusive of different perspectives and people.
“At the end of the day, we want to have a San Francisco that works for every person that lives here — the person that has the most money but a San Francisco that is also defined by how well those that have the least are doing,” he said.
Brian Davis, project director for Freedom from Tobacco, attended the rally even though he is not a District 9 resident.
“[Campos] comes across like he really wants to talk to you. He listens,” Davis said.
Another supporter, Laurel Muñiz, concurred.
“I really appreciate his sense of justice, warmth and ability to listen and hear all sides. You always know that he really stands on the side of the people and seeks justice for immigrants, those with low income and people of color.”
Supporters from a variety of backgrounds — union workers, Latino businessmen, LGBT activists, seasoned politicians — turned out for the rally.
“The work that we have done has been driven by community stories,” said Campos.
As the incumbent, Campos faces a very different race from the one he ran four years ago to represent the Mission, Bernal Heights and Portola districts. Then he had six challengers, including fellow progressive candidates Mark Sanchez and the late Eric Quezada.
As Campos greeted supporters Thursday night, he was still unsure if he will face a challenger this November.
“We are running this campaign like we are 20 points behind,” he said. “This campaign is not just about my reelection but also about the progressive movement.”
“We love District 9 and will run a full campaign even if there is no challenger,” said Tom Temprano, the Campos campaign’s communications director. “This gives folks a chance to get to know David and his work better.”
As the rally drew to a close, some supporters fanned themselves, stifled by the heat from so many bodies.
“This is the best job I have ever had,” said Campos. “Thank you for the opportunity.”