By Sara Jean Yaste
OPINION David Campos stands up for the underdogs. And in this current state of capitalism U$A, we the people need to give power only to leaders who won’t abuse it for personal profit. Foucault once said "society must be defended." Campos defends that society, and was granted a valid power from the people of San Francisco, based on actually helping us and being trusted, not just being a political yes person, like so many other modern politicians seem to be. Most politicians are all too eager to grant favors in exchange for shiny objects.
As some of you may or may now know, Campos is running for the 17th State Assembly District seat, which would enable him to create legislation at the state level. Campos shows that he is a man of the people by creating legislation that increases payouts for folks unjustly displaced by Ellis Act evictions, as well as giving displaced residents priority for affordable housing units as they become available. He champions the underdogs of the art scene by supporting legislation that enables emerging promoters to continue operating, without having to purchase $1 million insurance policies that are currently required of larger concert promoters. Basically, Campos is on the side of ensuring good times may still be had in SF, and that we don’t fall into the culturally disadvantaged realms of whitebread blandness that strangled vitality in suburbia for decades.
Campos is running against Divide Chiu for this seat. Seemingly, both candidates uphold progressive ideals, but in today’s tepid political waters, trying to stay informed often feels more like watching a bloated puppet show with talking heads, rather than participating in a genuine process of civic engagement. The solution? In my humble opinion, in order to really separate the fakers from the real, one must follow the money. Case in point, Campos proves his integrity and commitment to everyday people from all walks of life, in his refusal to accept cash from the financial industry (read: banks). He also has accepted only $82,000 from locally based real estate developers, who have committed to building affordable housing as well as market-rate housing (ex: the old Mission Theater project). Chiu, on the other hand, shows his true colors (they always say "money talks" right??) by accepting $34,000 from the finance industry, and $143,000 from out-of-state real estate developers.
Chiu promotes himself as being someone who can "get things done" in office. But that’s a pandering tired cliché at this point and it’s offensive that someone would insult our intelligence by using such tired rhetoric as a means to gain our trust and confidence. Yet Campos’ background alone (he was an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala’s civil war, who arrived speaking no English as a child, then later went on to graduate from Stanford University and later Harvard Law), shows that he is a true underdog who overcame adversity and has the capacity, resolve, and integrity to continue fighting on our behalf (yes, this writer identifies as a non-commodified emerging artist, aka underdog).
Campos represents those who actually pulling themselves up by their boot straps, as the saying goes, in reality. He demonstrates strength of character and values in not accepting funds from shady interests (unlike Chiu) and continues to help the people who truly need it, those who are unjustly displaced and in desperate need of housing in the community that is their long-term home. He supports emerging artists by being in touch with our needs, and crafting legislation that enables us to stay in our homes, and helps the current law become more just (because let’s face it, justice is always ahead of the law; for example, see: slavery being sanctioned in colonial U$A and marriage discrimination in California by Proposition 8).
From one concerned and civilly engaged resident of San Francisco to the next, I urge you to vote for David Campos in the upcoming primary on June 3.
Sara Jean Yaste is a writer, musician, and creative social interventionist living and breathing in San Francisco. Her band, Future Twin, performs May 31 from 3-6pm at a Happy Hour for David Campos at DNA Lounge.