Hundreds of thousands of votes have been counted, and I’m deeply honored to be elected to represent our community in the State Senate. After a hard-fought race and a vigorous debate about our future, the voters supported our vision of more housing at all income levels, transformative investment in public transportation, meaningful approaches to confront climate change and the drought, and fighting hard to ensure quality healthcare and public education for all families.
(The best campaign team around!)
From the bottom of my heart, thank you to the people of San Francisco and northern San Mateo County for placing your trust in me to advance a forward-looking progressive change agenda. I take this trust seriously and will work hard each day to earn it.
I want to acknowledge and thank my opponent and colleague, Jane Kim, and her supporters, for the passionate and talented campaign they ran. While Jane and I have our disagreements, we both work hard and know how to campaign. I knew from the beginning that the campaign would be both spirited and competitive, and it clearly was. Given the new reality we face nationally, all progressives must be united, and I pledge to work with Jane and her supporters to forge a common progressive strategy to confront this sad reality.
Now, more than ever, we need strong progressive leadership that delivers results for our community. With Donald Trump’s election as President, along with right-wing Congressional majorities, we need California to be strong. We must be a progressive counter-balance to any anti-immigrant, anti-LGBT, anti-woman, anti-working people agenda that comes out of Trump’s Washington. We must simultaneously push forward with a positive agenda that lifts up people of all backgrounds and reinforces our status as a sanctuary where all people can freely live and thrive.
We have our work cut out for us. The housing crisis isn’t limited to one city or region; it requires statewide action. The state must do more to support public transportation. The state must keep its commitment to universal healthcare by promptly replacing the Affordable Care Act, if it is repealed nationally, and by rebuilding California’s mental health safety net and ensuring access to reproductive health services. We can’t allow California to continue to languish near the bottom of the 50 states in education per pupil spending. As Trump continues to deny climate change and the drought, we must advance aggressive solutions to these existential threats. And, we must continue to protect and expand the rights of LGBT people and immigrants.
I will do my work in the State Senate, and I will count on every member of this community to join in that work. Since the election, many people — experiencing incredible anxiety and frustration over the results of the national election — have asked me what they can do to be involved and make change. The answer today isn’t that different from yesterday. Yes, we must all be vocal about what is happening nationally, protest bad policies, and insist on good policies. But that’s not enough. People should consider joining their local Democratic Club or other political club. We need to elect strong and effective local, state, and national leaders. People should support and volunteer for organizations that advance civil rights, for example, Planned Parenthood, the Human Rights Campaign, and the ACLU — organizations that will be crucial in holding this Administration accountable. People should get involved in local organizations that advocate for good public policy, such as SPUR, the Bay Area Council, and the YIMBY Party. People should get involved with the amazing network of human service organizations that work to keep San Francisco diverse and vibrant and to help those in need — after all, one of the most powerful messages San Francisco can send the nation is that we will always take care of our own and provide sanctuary to those fleeing oppression.
None of this will be easy. It will take the same tenacity and perseverance we’ve used to get things done locally. But together we can get the work done in Sacramento and San Francisco to make a real difference in people’s lives.
I want to thank my unbelievably hard-working, passionate campaign team — Maggie Muir, Jeff Sparks, David Latterman, Todd David, Mason Lee, Victor Ruiz-Cornejo, Armand Domalewski, Noah Starr, Kenneth Chen, Celeste Wolter-Sempre, Rashad Alayain, Carrie McKinley, Tracy Pillows, Ruth Bernstein, and Dan Kully. Thank you as well to my talented office staff, Andres Power, Jeff Cretan, and Adam Taylor. And, thank you to the volunteers, donors, and supporters who worked so hard to make this campaign a success — people who put in countless hours for no reason other than that they believe we can make our city and region a better place for everyone. In the end, a campaign’s success is about the team. And, boy do we have a fantastic team.
Now, let’s get to work.