Daniel Lurie, a Levi Strauss heir, declared his bid for mayor this morning, joining Supervisor Ahsha Safaí in an attempt to unseat Mayor London Breed.
Lurie, who is also the founder and CEO of the grant-making nonprofit Tipping Point, signed papers at the Department of Elections this morning at 9 a.m., accompanied by his wife, Becca Prowda, who serves as Director of Protocol for Gov. Gavin Newsom. The couple have two children.
At Lurie’s campaign launch event in Potrero Hill, he criticized Breed and her office for focusing on “business as usual” and failing to stare down the city’s real threats: Homelessness, affordable housing, the fentanyl crisis, open-air drug markets, neighborhood business struggles and public safety.
“We don’t have a mayor who’s challenging the system. We have a mayor who’s entrenched in it,” he said. “She’s been on the Board of Supervisors or in the City Hall for over a decade. What do we get? No solutions. We get excuses and finger-pointing.”
Lurie’s solutions coalesced around public safety, homelessness, and improving city governance.
He said that his administration would increase staffing in the police department, speed up increasingly long 911 response times, deploy more police officers in commercial corridors to prevent car break-ins and auto thefts, and place officers in Chinatown to perform foot patrols.
The candidate also promised to drastically expand access to emergency psychiatric services, and provide enough homeless-shelter beds for every San Franciscan who needs one. The city is currently facing a lawsuit, alleging that it dismantles homeless encampments without offering their residents adequate shelter space.
And Lurie emphasized transparency and accountability, saying he would challenge what he called a dysfunctional bureaucracy. “No more backstabbing and sabotaging between departments. No more lack of accountability,” he said.
The candidate was joined by some 200 supporters, friends and family members, who crowded the theater at the Potrero Hill Neighborhood House.
“I think the analogy of him rolling up his sleeves and getting involved has been true his whole life. He’s just never shied away from the hard work,” said Cobie Everdell, who has been friends with Lurie since Everdell was five.
“I’ve worked with him for a long time, and I think one thing about Daniel is that he is very good at facing issues head-on, and bringing in the right partners and resources to solve them,” added Kelly Bathgate, who used to work alongside Lurie at Tipping Point. “And I trust his leadership to do that for San Francisco.”
Max Young, a 58-year-old who works in the bar business in the city and knows Lurie from his advocacy work, said Lurie’s track record of success with Tipping Point is to his advantage. “Tipping Point built the supportive housing units that got up in San Francisco under budget and ahead of schedule.”
The political calculus
Lurie, for his part, spoke at length about his nonprofit’s good deeds in the city. He said Tipping Point has helped to alleviate poverty, mentioning an affordable housing project at 883 Bryant St. funded, in part, by his nonprofit, and calling it “a project that came in on time and under budget with good-paying union labor”.
Lurie also talked about the nonprofit’s efforts to fundraise to alleviate fire displacement in the North Bay, and to partner with the NFL to bring Super Bowl 50 to the Bay Area.
After a 15-minute speech, Lurie walked around the venue and thanked his supporters for attending. Supporters mingled for half an hour before ambling out of the center.
Outside the venue, Conor Johnston, a former legislative aide to London Breed when she was a supervisor, handed out flyers calling out Lurie’s lack of political experience. The glossy handouts derided Lurie as “Malibu Dan,” a reference to his purchase of a $15.5 million home in that city in 2021.
Most of the supporters streaming out of the venue ignored Johnston, walking swiftly past.