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Endorsements

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This week I received a formal endorsement from Take Back Our Parks.  Take Back Our Parks is a coalition of groups and individuals committed to keeping our parks open and accessible to all.  TBOP is opposed to privatization and profiteering in the parks.  They also advocate for retaining the naturalistic character of our parks (are opposed to toxic Field Turf installations), and for reform of our Rec and Park department to include more public input into decisions to be made about our public spaces.  I applaud the efforts of Take Back Our Parks.  Their endorsement is very meaningful to me.  They are a grassroots community-based organization which is worthy of our respect and commendation.

http://www.takebackourparks.org

This endorsement came on very nice letterhead.  I put it up on the old Norge fridge (yes, it still works; icebox, check; needs to be defrosted) in my kitchen.

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I have received a formal endorsement from SF Ocean Edge.

Volunteer grassroots activists from this organization have worked diligently to maintain the character and integrity of Golden Gate Park.  For many of us in the Western Neighborhoods, Golden Gate Park is our big backyard, the lungs of the City, a place that gives us a deep rooted sense of place, peace, and solace in the context of our densely populated urban surround.

Golden Gate Park should truly be the People’s Park.  Faced with the ill-advised decisions of City Managers working to forge private-public partnerships, some of which are good for the private players and bad for the public, members of SF Ocean Edge have fought to maintain the character of the Park.  With good stewardship, the Park is a natural refuge from the stresses of city life, and a place where all who seek might find some connection with Nature and thus find themselves renewed, restored, and present in our San Francisco–one of the most scenic cities in the world.

In recent years, the San Francisco’s Park system has suffered from neglect as money has been siphoned from maintenance and programs to feed capital projects which have received 1/2 billion dollars in bond money in the last 2 decades.  When a toxic artificial turf soccer complex was proposed for the Beach Chalet meadow which would pave over and replace over 7 acres of living grass and illuminate it with high powered lights 365 days a year until 10pm, members of SF Ocean Edge spoke out and hit the streets to inform the public about the proposal.  Over 4000 individuals signed petitions opposing the industrial soccer stadium, the fight continued through the Planning Commission, an appeal, another appeal to the Board of Supervisors, to the Coastal Commission with a record number of appellants, and now as a CEQA suit in Superior Court.

The proposed Field Turf project at the Beach Chalet meadow has become an embarrassment for the City.  Millions spent on a faulty Environmental Impact Report and legal fees to prop up a bad project that would make a landfill of the Western end of the Park–chopped up tires and plastic–and daylight it well into the night.  Millions spent championing hazmats over our aquifer (which will soon be tapped for irrigation and drinking water to meet the needs of residents). Millions spent in partnership with a private foundation–City Fields–which picks the field materials, the contractors, the specialized equipment required for maintenance, and, as the fields wear out, the contractors, the materials…

I have researched this bad partnership well.  The members of SF Ocean Edge know it far better.  Some have fought the good fight against the destruction and closure of Golden Gate Park by Parks Inc. for 5 years.  They have given of themselves, their time, and their resources, to help make our City a better place by keeping it a place where ecological wisdom, grassroots activism, and uncommon common sense can still flourish.  I am humbled and honored to receive their endorsement for District 4 Supervisor.

As Supervisor, I will attempt to bring legislation to the table to place a moratorium on all Field Turf installations and to divert much needed money from capital projects to maintenance.

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One of the more interesting things I’ve done this campaign is to put myself out there and look strangers square in the eye to try and convince them they should vote for me.  It’s not really my style.  I’ve found myself politely listening more than talking.  That’s been both instructive and meaningful for me. 

I’ve learned the following things: Mom really did raise me right, I listen; regular people have some really insightful ideas–like putting a Moratorium on construction projects greater than 4 stories in the Outer Sunset; these same people feel like they are not being heard–which is true, most of our elected officials are truly beholden to others; and, not to say things like “even a dog can shake hands” or any of the more colorful aphorisms which have made their way into my head–without strictly qualifying them first.

I was fortunate to receive the San Francisco Green Party’s formal endorsement.   www.sfgreenparty.org

I’ll never forget my first. (Truth be told, I was Green before Green was cool.  I know some of you were too.)  However, our Municipal Elections are supposed to be non-partisan.  In reality, they are not.  So, in thinking about throwing myself, and, hopefully, not my family, into the gears of the machine, I thought about the other gears in my life.  What about bikes?  I made a personal appeal to the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (www.sfbike.org) for their support. 

Here’s what I sent along to them. Let’s see what they say.  Image 

One of the first things I did when I moved here in ’96 was get a bike.

I couldn’t handle the N-Judah commute from the Inner Sunset to Market and Stuart.

Later, for 3 1/2 years, I made the commute from the Inner Sunset to Sausalito, across the Golden Gate Bridge. I know every rivet on that Bridge and made the ride every day even through a nasty El Nino winter.

I’ve been knocked down and knocked out (I still have the MRI, luckily only the helmet got smashed).

I’ve been cited and nearly arrested (for only sort-of-kind-of stopping at a stop sign in the Presidio where there is no longer one, and then for ignoring the officer when the lights went on, and for getting pissed when she, cut me off with the cruiser, causing me to stop short on a stretch of road with no shoulder, only culvert, got out of the car and unbuckled the strap on her gun…you probably can guess where I went from there), fought the citation in US District Court, and won (judge threw it out).

I made my own bike from a frame I got at the Bike Kitchen.

I have the formal endorsement of the Green Party, if it matters to you.

I will support a change in the MV code to allow cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs.

I am a real supporter of the City’s Transit First Policy. It should go without saying that I will fully support the goals of the SFBC.

I would like your endorsement. Short of that, I would discourage you from endorsing any other candidates this election. When the revolving door swings as freely as it does here in D4 (as it does all over our town), our voices are not heard and when choices are made between, say, prioritizing the importance of safe streets, looking closely at MOU’s with SFPD versus building Condos for Billionaires and cutting deals with the Port Commission, we know where the political will resides. I will be beholden to no one if elected to office. I ask for your support.

Fond regards,

Mike Murphy