The Mayor of London Breed’s decision to appoint Matt Dorsey as District 6 Supervisor has created new fault lines in city politics.
Breed tapped Dorsey, head of strategic communications for the San Francisco Police Department, to represent the district following Matt Haney’s election to state Assembly, passing Haney’s aide and chosen successor, Honey. Mahogany.
Breed and Dorsey are betting that increased police presence and other visible indicators of public safety are the top priority for voters in District 6, if not the entire city. Their attention comes at a time of growing polarization around the issue, exemplified by contentious debates in supervisory board chambers and the high-profile recall election of progressive district attorney Chesa Boudin next month.
At Dorsey’s swearing-in ceremony on Monday in the courtyard of the Delancey Street restaurant and drug treatment centre, Breed explained the thinking behind his selection while Dorsey provided insight into his political agenda on the Board of Supervisors.
Breed described his appointment of Dorsey as a “difficult decision”, following conversations with residents of the “new District 6”. After a controversial redistricting process, the district now encompasses almost all of SoMa and Mission Bay, but no longer includes the Tenderloin.
“What I heard time and time again, and why I felt it was necessary to appoint Matt Dorsey to this position, everyone I spoke to, for the most part, was at the top of their minds. public safety,” Breed said.
Other speakers at the swearing-in also echoed the importance of public safety, including Miriam Zouzounis, owner of Ted’s Market in SoMa and vice chair of the SF Small Business Commission, and Gloria Lee, chief executive. a SoMa neighborhood group.
During his remarks, Dorsey said drug trafficking and related crimes were his No. 1 focus during his time on the police department.
“I will never be an issue supervisor or an issue candidate,” Dorsey said. “But I absolutely believe that if we could prioritize one issue on which to make real progress, getting more addicts into treatment and recovery would make progress on a range of related issues, from theft to detail to car break-ins, to homicides.” He went on to refer to the “policing crisis,” saying police forces are 25% below recommended levels.
In addition to emphasizing public safety, Dorsey pledged to be a “strong advocate for the promise of genuinely progressive city planning”, among other policies, “ending cynical abuses of local control and environmental review” for housing construction.
Dorsey also opened up about his recovery from drug addiction and his experience living as an HIV-positive gay man.
Dorsey’s identity has placed the city’s LGBTQ political organizations in a difficult position, celebrating Dorsey’s nomination while acknowledging their support for Mahogany, who is a black transgender woman. In a statementThe Alice B. Toklas LGBTQ Democratic Club praised Breed’s choice for Dorsey, who is white, while writing that he and Mahogany are “both incredibly qualified LGBTQ candidates”.
In an interview with The Examiner on Monday, Mahogany called Breed’s selection of Dorsey a “very political decision” to bring in a supervisor who “would agree with her on everything.”
Mahogany, who like Dorsey lives in SoMa, said she certainly plans to run in the regular November election. By being passed over by the mayor for the nomination, Mahogany said she would have more leeway to pursue her own platform come election time. “In some ways it frees me up a bit, so that’s a positive.”
Mahogany said his campaign will showcase his four years of experience as an aide to Haney and his work as co-owner of The Stud nightclub.
“I know very well the challenges we face here,” she said. “The two main things they are most concerned about are getting people off the streets and housing them and of course also building housing. So those will be two of my main points of attention.
Haney, who did not respond to a request for comment, expressed his disappointment with Breed’s decision in in writing on Twitter, “Guess we’re not hanging up our campaign sneakers yet. Let’s go.”
On social media, progressive activists protested Breed’s nomination for Dorsey’s job with the police department. “Quite shocking that the mayor has appointed scandal-ridden SFPD propaganda chief Matt Dorsey to fill Haney’s BOS seat,” former police commissioner John Hamasaki said. tweeted.
Others expressed his frustration that Breed would reward Dorsey with the position days after an oversight board hearing on SFPD’s strategic communications unit, which Dorsey headed. Supervisor Dean Preston, who called the hearing, said at the time he was concerned the unit was perpetuating “an orchestrated and constant narrative – about crime, policing, public safety – that encourages increased defunding the police and increasing the police,” according to a report by Mission Locale.
Dorsey was a central figure in the feud between Police Chief Bill Scott and District Attorney Chesa Boudin that erupted during an SFPD officer’s excessive use of force trial, providing the media with numerous filings detailing the version of Scott’s story.
At Dorsey’s swearing-in ceremony, Tom Wolf, drug policy activist and recovering opioid addict, said he was happy to see someone with Dorsey’s background stepping into the office. public.
“It’s a big deal for San Francisco to have someone recovering from addiction,” Wolf said. “He’s the perfect person for this moment.”