Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 8 / 22 February 2018

Milk club, on second vote, endorses SF sheriff re-election bid

Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi (Courtesy sheriff department)

Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi (Courtesy sheriff department)

After months of intense internal debate among its members, the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club last night endorsed the re-election bid of embattled San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi.

When the club held its initial endorsement vote for the November elections in July, Mirkarimi reportedly fell short of the threshold needed to secure the progressive political group’s backing by a few votes. With his two opponents in the race – former chief deputy sheriff Vicki Hennessy and retired sheriff’s deputy John C. Robinson – lacking support within the club, the outcome was a No Endorsement in the race.

With 40 percent of the Milk club’s members voting last night (Wednesday, September 23) for a second time on an endorsement in the race, Mirkarimi secured its endorsement.

“Thank you to the staying power of progressive politics – last night we received the endorsement of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club,” wrote Mirkarimi in a Facebook post Thursday morning on his sheriff’s page, adding that “it is an honor …”

As the Bay Area Reporter‘s Political Notebook reported two weeks ago, Mirkarimi’s supporters within the Milk club had forced through the endorsement re-vote at a special meeting the club’s leaders held September 2 aimed at mending fences after a number of longtime Milk club leaders lashed out against newer members of the group for not backing Mirkarimi this summer.

Mirkarimi is in a tough re-election fight against Hennessy, who served as the interim chief when Mirkarimi was suspended during his first year in office as he fought domestic abuse charges stemming from an incident with his wife.

He ended up pleading guilty to a false imprisonment charge, won his job back, and, this spring, secured having his conviction expunged from his record. Nonetheless, he continues to be dogged by the scandal and has faced a series of controversies during his first term.

During the Milk club’s special meeting, an attempt was made to suspend the club’s bylaws and immediately re-vote on endorsing Mirkarimi, as called for by former city ethics commissioner Paul Melbostad. After that motion was rejected, a second motion to suspend the bylaws and schedule the re-vote for the club’s monthly general membership meeting Tuesday, September 15 then passed.

But the Friday prior to the meeting, the Milk club board announced it had axed the new endorsement vote from taking place. Its reason was that the vote taken to force a revote went against its by-laws.

Thus, at the September 15 general membership meeting, Milk club members supporting the sheriff again called for a revote on the endorsement in his race. It passed with overwhelming support.

The Milk club now joins with a number of other Democratic clubs and progressive groups supporting Mirkarimi’s bid for another 4-year term as sheriff. Among them are the San Francisco Women’s Political Caucus, San Francisco Tenant’s Union, and the Districts 3, 8 and 11 Democratic Clubs.

A number of labor groups, such as SEIU 1021, National Union of Healthcare Workers, and UNITE HERE Local 2, have also endorsed Mirkarimi’s re-election effort.

— Matthew S. Bajko, September 24, 2015 @ 11:56 am PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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