A Walk Around the Block With Chesa Boudin
I got to take a walk and have a chat with San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin on Thursday, April 28th. There is an important election coming up on June 7th, and I want everyone to know — that I’m standing with Chesa Boudin and voting “NO” on Prop H.
Prop H is another attempt by a handful of extremely wealthy individuals — republicans who make up about 12% of the vote, to remove our elected District Attorney and take away our choice of who serves San Francisco. Similar to the Governor of California recall of 2021, which cost Californians $200 million. When you look at the campaign contributions in San Francisco, the public numbers differ greatly — and the democratic average is around $800 per contribution, while individual republican donations are close to $2,500.
They have spent more than $2 million to get this on the ballot and tear down Chesa. So it gives me great pleasure to let you know who is doing this and why they are behind it.
The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office strives to protect public safety in San Francisco by using innovative, evidence-based approaches to address the root causes of crime, support crime survivors, and prevent future offenses.
There has been a long and ugly history across the country of policies aimed at hurting low-income and people of color unfairly — thus, promoting mass incarceration. We need to change how our society and our criminal legal system respond to crime. And, dear friend, this is exactly what Boudin is doing right now.
The biggest funder in the SF DA recall is an ally of the person 45 called “a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack” — Mitch McConnell named William Oberndorf. Oberndorf has spent $650,000 on this recall (after giving $3.25 million to McConnell for his radical right, anti-LGBTQ+, anti-women, anti-every decent social program agenda). Then we have David Sacks, another billionaire who has hosted fundraisers for Ron “Don’t Say Gay” DeSantis among others.
But wait… there’s more! Who can forget Ron Conway? The mega investor is also working behind the scenes to fund the SF DA recall. The San Francisco Chronicle recently reported that Conway is a big investor in Doordash — the same Doordash Boudin is suing for cheating its workers out of wages. But I’m sure that has absolutely nothing to do with it.
These big-time donors say we need to recall Boudin to “make San Francisco safer.” The truth is that crime changed a lot during the pandemic. The San Francisco Chronicle talked to experts who say we’re now returning to levels before Covid-19 shutdowns. I looked up crime rates comparing 2021 to 2019 (the year before Boudin took office) — and guess what? Crime today is lower than it was then. Homicides have increased in San Francisco but by a lot less than in other California cities (and a lot less than places like Sacramento where there’s a “former” Republican DA).
During our chat, I got to learn more about Mr. Boudin’s history and where he stands today in San Francisco. He is a kind, warm man with an infectious smile. We both have 8-month-old children — he has an adorable son and I have a little Frenchie puppy named Macho. I was curious about how he’s handling all the pressure of this recall and his response resonated with me. He smiled and replied that he is continuing to do the job he was voted in for and using that adrenaline to do more of the right things.
He’s working hard to hold people accountable who are committing crimes. His office prosecutes more than 60% of the cases sent to them — about the same as George Gascón, Los Angeles District Attorney. SFPD makes arrests in fewer than 10% of reported crimes, but we can talk about that another time.
It’s not surprising that San Francisco billionaires are going after Boudin. Most likely because those big corporations stand to lose money, but also because friends of Mitch McConnell and Ron DeSantis want to go back to the days of cash bail, putting kids in cages, and no one looking out for workers.
Neither I nor Boudin isn’t saying we can’t be safer. But, at the end of the day, Boudin is doing what he said he would — what we elected him to do. And the big money that wants to take him out needs to hear a loud “NO” to Prop H — “HELL NO” — on June 7th.