On November 8 District 10 residents will have a choice between returning incumbent and Board president Shamann Walton to the Board of Supervisors or selecting newcomer Brian Adam. The winner will serve a four-year term starting January 2023.
Walton is the clear favorite, having secured endorsements from U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Governor Gavin Newsom and his board colleagues, with the exception of District 6 Supervisor Matt Dorsey.
The Board serves as San Francisco’s legislative authority, consisting of a supervisor from each of the City and County’s 11 districts. It influences public policy by adopting laws and nonbinding resolutions that express its will, among other activities.
District 10 is located in the City’s southeast corner, and includes Potrero Hill, Dogpatch, Bayview, Hunters Point, Visitacion Valley, and portions of Mission Bay, Mission, Portola, and McLaren Park.
San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) data indicate that a greater proportion of D10 residents have incomes below the federal poverty line compared to the rest of the City. District 10 residents’ life expectancy is a few years less than other San Franciscans, in part because the violent crime rate in the area is significantly higher. District residents are more than twice as likely to identify as Black than the rest of the City. Nearly 30 percent of inhabitants’ first language isn’t English.
In an interview with the View, Walton identified legislation to ban e-cigarettes as one of his proudest achievements.
“Juul was addicting a lot of young people to nicotine and setting them on a track to be addicted to nicotine and eventually cigarettes,” he said
Walton has been a proponent of homes that’re affordable to those earning below the area’s average mean income (AMI). In 2019 he coauthored Proposition A, a $600 million bond to pay for construction and rehabilitation of housing mostly accessible to families earning less than 80 percent AMI. He coauthored Proposition E, which sought to reduce bureaucratic hurdles to development of affordable and housing for educators through changes to zoning restrictions and expedited project review. Both propositions passed overwhelmingly.
In June, Walton coauthored a Board resolution to direct up to $18 million in funding for Potrero Hope SF Block B. Block B, located at 1801 25th street, consists of two buildings with 162 apartments for low-income households. The project requires demolition of 24 buildings at the Potrero Annex-Terrace housing complex, scheduled for the end of 2023. Occupants of the demolished homes will be given the option to take up residence in the new structures.
Walton supports navigation centers, a temporary homeless shelter model. He co-sponsored an ordinance in 2020 to keep the 25th Street center operational for another five years. He also co-sponsored a resolution in 2022 to continue the Bayview SAFE Navigation Center for an additional three years with $17 million in funding.
Between 2019 and 2022 District 10 experienced a 39 percent decline in homelessness, the City’s largest drop. The reduction was partially due to the three navigation centers operating in the district.
In 2019 Walton co-sponsored an ordinance to provide the Public Works Department with more resources and greater ability to assess fines for illegal dumping.
If re-elected Walton said he’d focus his second term on “affordability, making sure we address folks living on our streets, homelessness, keeping our community safe, education goals and outcomes, and really just addressing quality of life issues that exist in our City.”
Adam believes there’s a disconnect and dissatisfaction between District 10 residents and Walton, who, the candidate claims, hasn’t been sufficiently present for his constituents. He intends to improve communication through regular emails to San Franciscans, leveraging SFGovTV, and making himself present within the District.
“Most people in the City don’t really know who their representatives are, and the people that did know about their Supervisor had some choice words,” said Adam, who as a freelance writer contributed a handful of articles to the View.
Adam’s primary political experience is interning in the Office of Evan Low, Representative for the 28th Assembly District in San Jose. He characterizes himself as a “person who scrutinizes the details.”
Affordable housing would be his top priority. He wants to reduce the bureaucratic costs to build and look to surrounding Bay Area communities to develop unused space to lower demand for scarce real estate in San Francisco.
“As long as there is not affordable housing, affordability is going to be contributing to more and more crime in the City and across county lines,” he said.
Walton co-sponsored the Vision Zero for Homicides and Violent Crime resolution, which unanimously passed the Board in 2019. The resolution calls for a collaborative approach to address violent crime and increased police patrols in hotspots.
Walton explained that “we want community police officers that know our communities, that spend time in the community… when you take all of police and put them Downtown to address retail crime versus shootings and homicides, that is problematic. It is not an officer issue, it’s a deployment issue.”
Walton was one of two supervisors to vote against Mayor London Breed’s Emergency Declaration dedicating resources to address the rise in drug overdoses within the Tenderloin Police District.
Adam generally agreed with Walton’s approach to policing, asserting that officers are bogged down in administrative tasks and take on too many low priority calls.
“Eighty police officers tops are deployed on bike or foot out of 1,450 assigned to sector patrol,” he estimated.
Walton has consistently worked on racial and language equity. He helped develop a task force to explore reparations for Black San Franciscans and sponsored hearings to review compliance with the City’s Language Access Ordinance.
Walton was recently admonished by the Sheriff’s department for a heated exchange with a cadet in City Hall where he reportedly used racist language. Mayor Breed has called on Walton to apologize to the trainee.
According to Walton, “the incident as described by the Sheriff’s department is not in line with what actually happened, a lot of embellishments, a lot things that are not true.”