David Chiu, the car-free President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, declared his candidacy for mayor on the steps of City Hall this morning, promising to make sustainable transportation one of the cornerstones of his campaign.
“We’re the city that invented the cable car, but while we call ourselves a Transit-First city, we are sick of gridlock, we are sick of potholes and we’re sick of Muni,” Chiu told a crowd of more than 100 supporters. “As your candidate for mayor who doesn’t own a car, who gets to City Hall either on the number 49 or on my bicycle, I think we can do better.”
Chiu’s entry into the mayor’s race is expected to substantially raise the profile of sustainable transportation. Although many of the other major candidates have transportation listed as an issue of importance on their websites, Chiu is the only candidate (that we know of) who doesn’t own a car and gets around mostly on his electric bicycle.
Cheryl Brinkman, a transit advocate who sits on the SFMTA Board of Directors, gave a rousing endorsement for Chiu at today’s campaign kick-off, along with Supervisor Eric Mar.
“David’s a true leader on transit issues, and he understands that San Francisco must be a world-class transit city,” Brinkman said. “He’s really willing to take bold moves to make sure that Muni continues to improve, and that the city is more accessible not only to transit users, but for pedestrians and cyclists as well.”
Chiu joins a crowded field of mayoral candidates, including State Senator Leland Yee, City Attorney Dennis Herrera, former Supervisors Bevan Dufty and Michela Alioto-Pier and Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting.
Streetsblog plans coverage of the race leading up to the November election and we hope to have an opportunity to quiz all the major candidates on sustainable transportation.