Kids may not be able to vote just yet, but they’re curious and want answers. We received over a hundred questions from our readers after we posed this question: If you could ask the San Francisco mayoral candidates one question, what would it be? So far, we’ve received responses from mayoral candidates Jane Kim and Mark Leno. Here’s what they had to say: Jane Kim 1. What was your childhood like? How did your childhood affect your decision to run for mayor? As a child of immigrant parents, I often acted as an interpreter to our world – helping them communicate with people who did not speak their language or understand our culture. I saw how my parents were treated differently because they were immigrants and this experience cemented my belief that every person should be treated fairly and with respect. As a child, I never thought I would run for office– I was shy and awkward and did not view myself as leader. However, in high school, I started volunteering at my local Coalition for Homelessness and every Saturday night for four years, regardless of holidays, I delivered meals to people who lived on the streets, parks and under freeways and talked to them. When I was in high school, many homeless individuals were war veterans who served our country. This experience shaped the person I am today and I’m running for mayor is to make sure we watch out for each other and help each other get fair treatment. 2. Why do you want to be mayor? If elected, what would you do as mayor? I love San Francisco and I am running to take care of all our residents. I want to build homes for individuals, families and seniors without stable housing. I want to enrich our schools and make childcare and college affordable. And I want to double our efforts to clean our streets. 3. Do you have to be rich to be a mayor? No! I am not rich – I still have a roommate and rent an apartment. You don’t have to be rich to be a mayor. But you do have to love your city and serving your city to make it a City for all of us! Click on this link JaneKim_Responses for more of Jane Kim’s responses. Mark Leno 1. What was your childhood like? How did your childhood affect your decision to run for mayor? I was blessed with a very loving and supportive family, which has left me with only pleasant memories of my childhood. From an early age, I learned the importance of volunteering and was taught about Tikkun Olam — which, in Judaism, means to repair of the world. Throughout my childhood and my young adult years, I loved to volunteer. Overnight, my community service became public service. I was appointed to the Board of Supervisors, and was then elected to the state legislature. I represented San Francisco at the state capitol for fourteen years. Now I’m back in the City, and am excited to continue working for the people of San Francisco as Mayor. 2. Why do you want to be mayor? If elected, what would you do as mayor? I want to make sure that working people and their families can afford to live here, that our neighborhoods are safe, that we have green parks and open spaces in every neighborhood, that our communities are healthy and strong, and that our schools are well funded and safe. Most importantly, I want to make sure that this is a city that kids are proud to grow up in. With the crises of housing affordability and homelessness out of control, the economic growth in our city is pushing out more San Franciscans every day. I believe our city can and should be doing better. I’m running for Mayor because we need a leader who will take on the special interests, lobbyists and SuperPACs who have too much influence at City Hall. We can’t settle for caution and status quo solutions. We need a mayor who will think big, reject cynicism, demand results and bring people together to get things done. If elected Mayor, I intend to shake things up. All of this is because I believe that if we continue on the track that we’re on, then San Francisco kids aren’t going to have a great city to live in when they grow up. When our teachers can no longer afford to live in the communities where they work, and families are leaving San Francisco searching for a place to raise their children, City Hall has failed our neighborhoods. We must act urgently to address the affordable housing crisis that’s squeezing families and teachers out of our City. As Mayor, I will expand upon my successful legislative record fighting for our educators, building affordable housing, and supporting healthy families to keep San Francisco a place where working people and families can afford to live. I am proud of my proven record of fighting for better schools and access to higher education. Focusing on providing quality education using every resource to assist all students in receiving a high school diploma with opportunity for higher education or vocational training will ensure greater successful outcomes in employment and financial stability. As the former State Senate Budget Chair, I understand the importance of investing in early childcare and education, providing access to nutritious food, and giving families health and dental care. Investments in early childhood programs pay huge dividends by providing stability for families, increase academic and long-term outcomes for children narrowing the achievement gap, support working parents and create new jobs and businesses. As Mayor I will bring my 18 years of legislative and budget experience fighting for youth and families to City Hall. I have released my education plan to Renew the Promise of a Quality Public Education. 3. Do you have to be rich to be a mayor? Not at all — and here’s why: you don’t need to be rich to help people. The Mayor of San Francisco must be kind. The Mayor must be a very good listener. The Mayor has to be smart — and very willing to work with all of the different people who make our city diverse. It helps if the Mayor has a lot of experience in politics, like I do. But the Mayor does not have to be rich. The Mayor just has to help people. Click on this link MarkLeno_Reponses for more of Mark Leno’s responses.
May 11, 2018