Consistently throughout this campaign, neighbors, friends, visitors, and residents of the community have thanked me for stepping up and running for District 4 Supervisor.  At one point, I promised to draft an open letter to the Board of Supervisors in order to voice significant concerns the majority of us have about the way things are going downtown and how they affect us in this District. 

I aim to keep my promises.

Here’s that letter.

Open Letter to the Board of Supervisors

This Election Day, every ballot cast on which voters have written my name carries with it messages to City Hall.

It has been my privilege to have carried out a short and resourceful campaign as a certified qualified write-in candidate for BOS D4.  I have had the opportunity to have meaningful conversations about politics and other issues with neighbors, friends, visitors, and residents of District 4.  Rarely perfunctory, these interactions numbered in the thousands.  I have learned a great deal about the hopes and desires of my fellow San Franciscans and those who love the City, and I consider myself fortunate to have had the experience of doing so.

I started the campaign with two issues at hand.  I found them to be touchstones.  They will remain that even as the campaign ends.  The first is the appointee/incumbent cycle, the party strategy that has dogged me for many years as a San Francisco voter.  The second is the horribly conceived, toxic Field Turf with night-lighting proposal for the Beach Chalet meadow in Golden Gate Park.

I proposed a legislative repair for the first.

For the second problem, as it is currently being litigated in a CEQA suit, I proposed that significant pressure from the BOS could end the protracted legal proceedings which will likely ensue even after the judge’s deadline for ruling on the case.  Evidence submitted in the case points to the defective nature of the EIR.  The matter of the City’s MOU with the City Fields Foundation only enhances the embarrassment profile for the City.  Given the poor environmental track record of the Foundation’s principals and contributors and, more recently, their proven participation in a Dark Money operation whose aim was to influence political campaigns, this private/public partnership does not pass the smell test.  I urge you to consider your options on how you might work to save the City from further embarrassment and to terminate both the project and the partnership.  The simple fact is that no one, not a single person whom I have talked to about this toxic industrial soccer stadium complex, is for it.  When given a choice between well-maintained, natural grass fields and a toxic, shoddy substitute–everyone chooses the former.

I bring these matters to you as a private citizen and one who has had the distinct advantage of being in a position to hear the voices of many of our fellow San Franciscans in a short interval of time.  I call these important issues to your attention as a matter of course as I have made a promise to those who found promise in my candidacy for BOS D4.  That promise which I represent is simply this–an elected official who is not beholden and who is willing to act in accordance with the will of their constituents.  The promise I have made previously, I have, now, kept.  I would favor the courtesy of your reply via email.  This week as I wrap up my election-related affairs, I will happily respond to any inquiries you may have and will provide you with a copy of an online petition that I have circulated opposing the destruction of the Beach Chalet Meadow.  Thank you kindly for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Mike Murphy

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This is my Final Statement. It is a direct appeal to Vote. Thanks to all who offered support and encouragement along the way. It has been an enlightening experience.

Thanks to Julia from Santa Cruz for documenting this moment. Welcome to the neighborhood. It’s fun here, hope you stick around.

You too Dave. Glad you’re back. Let’s make damn sure the City doesn’t miss the boat again.

Please enjoy this video.

[Write my name on the Ballot, NO on (show pony panty raid) A, NO on (Condos for Billionaires on Public Land, even though sock puppets like it) B & C, YES (whatever, duh, “where’s the beef?”) D ]

IMG_0496In our ecoliteracy studies, my young students and I calculated the number of blades in an acre of well-maintained grass field.  We took a sample from a neighboring Mission District baseball field, brought it to the table and began counting.  We did the math and were surprised at the answer, greater than 400 million leaves of grass per acre.

In recent weeks, talk of grassroots democracy (the importance of casting a meaningful ballot at the polls and fairness in our local elections) and talk about ecological wisdom has dominated the discussion in my talks with neighbors.  Countless conversations about the latter have confirmed that the vast majority of us are wise.  Everywhere, there is the sentiment that the conversion of our grass fields of play into toxic Field Turf installations is a grievous error.   Also on everyone’s radar is the fact that there are numerous examples of private/public partnerships that don’t pass the smell test.  That’s a problem.  Just recently, I’ve had a whiff of a few more that I didn’t even know about or suspect.

Another sense that I’ve gleaned in recent weeks is that many have lost hope in our civic project, that the one-party machine is unstoppable.  Rather than pit hope against hope, I’ve offered that others should have faith in the fact that I will go to work, stick a wrench in, and fix that broken machine.  We’d like to make that machine work for us for a change.

I had a good laugh with one neighbor when I promised to have the appointee/incumbent problem repair plan on the table at my first Board of Supes meeting–to make appointees legally unable to stand for election in the succeeding cycle. It might free those appointees up to make independent decisions.  It would certainly invigorate the election process with a sense of fairness.  We laughed because it would be hard to argue against that one and because I’d have to go to work before I picked up a check and get others to go to work for free too.  I have to be careful about what promises I make…my neighbors will call me on them, and that one said he’d write my name on the ballot.

The other promise I’ve made is to go over all of the private/public partnerships with a fine tooth comb.  That one I’d get paid for, and savings to taxpayers, if I were able to can a few of those over-cozy arrangements, would more than pay my Supe’s salary.  Hopefully, my neighbors would buy me some Vicks to put under my nose after a while.  Hopefully, the Supe’s vision plan would cover the new prescription I’d probably end up needing.

Which brings me back to the leaves of grass I started with.

At 9am, Dia de los Muertos, I rolled out sod on the street on the site of new, approved parklet on Judah.  The parklet is not funded yet.  It’s sponsors are passing the hat.  I thought it would be nice to have the live experience of interacting with the space.  I had thought through the logistics to occupy two parking spaces and what it would take to make it an an altar to grass destroyed by a particularly bad private/public partnership with the City Fields Foundation.   As pictures show, visitors, neighbors, friends (some whom I had not seen in too long), and children came out and enjoyed the day.  The future CA Sec. of State, David Curtis even stopped by.  IMG_0483We had some real conversations and fun on real grass.  After a full day, I rolled up the grass and took it away.

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I’ll post more pictures as I get permission to do so.  Don’t go to sleep on this election.  Vote early and often.

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Please sign the online petition to save  Golden Gate Park from environmental degradation and influence by the Fishers and Charles Schwab, Dark Money contributors to the Koch brothers’ political network. (Clickable link)

I talked to hundreds of voters the Outer Sunset District today.  Sleep deprived, fueled only by caffeine from the really good coffee here in the hood, I set out on my one man show.  Friends and neighbors encouraged me along the way.  I stood and delivered, as I promised that I would to those who advised me to step up and run for public office.  I told the truth about the appointee/incumbent cycle and what token representation means.  I told the truth about the sphere of influence of influential, big money contributors in City Hall (and elsewhere) and how that sphere of influence affects us and the public places in the environment in which we live, work, and play.

I was not surprised to find that the clear majority of those I talked to already knew or agreed with what I was saying.  San Franciscans and those who love this city, in general, are sophisticated when it comes to analysis, and synthesis, of relationships within the intricate web of connections that make up our world.

When I talked about the meadow I want to save in Golden Gate Park, the Beach Chalet Fields, many people expressed their surprise at the status of the project–that the plan was still being litigated and that it was still being considered.  Then, I listened and heard the dismay in their voices when they reacted to the statement of facts I recited to them.  The news is new and, truth be told, I almost missed it today.  The news was that the Fisher gang got busted.  Along with a major contributor, Charles Schwaab, the gang who started, funded, and continue to fund the City Fields Foundation responsible for the toxic Astroturf (Field Turf) installations all over town got busted.  And the news went out, here.

Along the way, amidst my rants, amidst the chorus of complaints, amidst the clamor of the N-Judah, someone asked me what they could do to stop this train wreck in the Park from happening, another asked if there was any way to derail this money train on its way to our most precious of jewels in the City.  I had the idea to make a direct appeal to our mostly elected representatives on the Board of Supervisors.  I said I’d put up an online petition and that I’d take it to City Hall.  I promised to do it by 2am for those who cared to check back.  I’m an hour early.  As promised, here’s the form.  Please sign it.


Endorsements:

Positions:

  1. Grassroots democracy.  Stop the revolving door, end the appointment/incumbent cycle.  Take back City Hall.
  2. Ecological wisdom.  Safe, well-maintained, grass play fields, not costly toxic turf substitutes.
  3. Future focus and Sustainability.  No Wall on the Waterfront.  No on B and C.   No condos for Billionaires on Public land.

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