Editor’s note: This column is one of a weekly series of conversations with District 9 Supervisor David Campos addressing issues and events in the Mission. If you have questions for Campos, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mission Local: The election is less than five days away. If you are reelected on Nov. 6, what is your four-year plan?
David Campos:: We will be working hard between now and election day. If we are fortunate enough to be reelected, we look forward to working hard for District 9.
One of the top issues will remain public safety, as I’ve said before. Nothing works unless the neighborhood is safe. We’re going to push for community policing, more foot patrol, more interaction between police and community, more visibility of … violence prevention workers to prevent crime before it happens.
We’re continuing our efforts for long-term solutions for violent crime by, for instance, giving youth opportunities in employment and education. We’ll continue to do that. Public safety will also remain a main priority.
Also constituent services, the nuts and bolts of what’s happening in the community [that need to be] taken care of. The quality of our streets, addressing issues of trash and litter, focusing on potholes, lights — all the small things that in the end make a small difference in the life of a neighborhood.
We’ll continue on job creation. We passed legislation this year to provide tax relief to small businesses. [We want] to continue to improve the economy locally.
We are also continuing to work around education. As I’ve said before, we need to do something about the fact that of the 10 lowest-performing schools in the city, six are in the Mission [District] area. We will work with the school district and the city to apply for [increased] federal funding, which would bring in $30 million for Mission schools to close the achievement gap.
We look forward to that effort.
We will improve efforts of Muni — the reliability, the quality of service — make it more accessible for low-income and middle-income families.
And then, continue to work on issues of health care, [that has] been a priority for us. And proper implementation of the Affordable Healthcare Act as we transition between those changes.
ML: What issues are present today that were not in 2008? And vice versa?
DC: I think that one of the things that is very different now, that’s different in the last three years, is the economy compared to when I first [ran for] office.
We had an economic downturn. In the last four years, many people in the neighborhood and city as a whole have been struggling. We’ve been trying to find a way to help small business. They’re the economic engine. And ways in which we can help families in the neighborhood. I think that’s been the biggest challenge. The economy was in a different [place] leading up to the election at that time.
The first three or four years of my tenure, we were dealing with budget deficits. I’m proud that we kept essential services.
ML: What are some positive steps your campaign has taken in the last four years? Similarly, what would you say you regret, or hope to improve on?
DC: I think that as human beings, we’re always looking for ways to be better. I’m very proud of the work that we have done on public safety, job creation, transportation, health care, education. I think that we have to find ways we can do more.
Government has been limited in terms of its ability to do things because of the budget deficit that we’ve had. I wish we had been able to do more, but couldn’t do more because of the limited funding we had.
Something that I look forward to — [something] we worked on and want to do more for — is how do we increase efficiency? Making sure our agencies are working better. We’re going to work on that to make sure we can make the best use of taxpayers’ money.
ML: Can you be more specific on what you feel are your successes as supervisor?
DC: If you look for instance at the services that we protected … we protected a lot of funding to keep our parks open. We protected funding for our law enforcement, police, firefighters. For violence prevention and for mental health and HIV services. We protected millions in funding for critical services that the community needs.
I’m very proud of that. That we fought for and were successful for [securing] money for our schools. That we prevented layoffs of teachers and school closures in San Francisco.
A number of pieces of legislation that we passed were very historic, important. For the first time … we required better health care planning that was not required before … short-term and long-term to see what [the] health care needs of [the] city are, neighborhood by neighborhood.
We were the ones who appealed for a management audit of Muni that outlined millions of dollars that could be saved in efficiency in overtime and how capital projects are managed. [That was] millions of dollars of savings because of our efforts.
We just passed the Clean Power Act program, which will make community choice aggregation a reality in San Francisco. That will allow for the first time the first competition to PG&E, and it will give consumers in San Francisco the option to buy 100 percent clean energy, including making sure that there’s no energy coming from a nuclear power plant.
ML: Is there anything you look back on and say, “I wish I would have done this better, or different?”
DC: I think that one of the things I have learned is that the best way to do this job is to focus on issues that you get from the interactions with the neighborhood. [What] is directly impacting the residents of the district. I think that we can always do more to seek out the specific concerns and the issues that people have.
A lot of things that we have worked on — whether it’s health care, public transportation, public education — those are issues that we worked on because we heard from our residents. I am going to have efforts to hear more from people.