Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 11 / 15 March 2018

SF DA, sheriff, and mayor plan low-key 2012 inauguration ceremonies next week

All three winners in San Francisco’s citywide elections this past November are planning low-key inaugurations next month.

The first ceremony will take place next Thursday, January 5 when interim District Attorney George Gascon (seen at right) is sworn in to a full four-year term.

Gascon, the city’s former police chief, assumed the office in early 2011 after former District Attorney Kamala Harris resigned to become the state’s attorney general. Former Mayor Gavin Newsom appointed Gascon to fill out the remainder of her term.

Despite his dislike of having to campaign and fundraise, Gascon defeated two progressive opponents to become the city’s first Latino district attorney. He overcame intense criticism from various quarters for his refusal to disavow seeking the death penalty despite having personal objections to it.

He will take his oath of office at 5 p.m. at Mission High School, 3750 18th Street near the heart of the Castro District. Retired state Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno, a liberal jurist and backer of marriage equality, will be administering the oath of office.

The public is invited to attend and can RSVP by calling Marjan Philhour at (415) 692-3556 or by emailing her at

A Facebook page for the event says all proceeds will benefit Urban Services YMCA.

Incoming Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, who is stepping down as District 5 supervisor, is planning to hold his inauguration Sunday, January 8. He beat out two law enforcement officials to succeed longtime Sheriff Michael Hennessey.

“With limited time, there is much to do: Preparing the transition from the Board of Supervisors to the Office of Sheriff, retire some campaign debt and coordinate the January 8th Inaugural,” wrote Mirkarimi in a note on his campaign website.

Hennessey opted to retire after more than three decades in office. He endorsed Mirkarimi as his replacement and worked hard to see that he won the race.

In a brief interview today, Mirkarimi (at right) said he has spent much of his time in the past weeks being debriefed at the sheriff’s department to ensure a smooth transition.

His swearing in will take place at 2 p.m. in the Herbst Theater inside the War Memorial Performing Arts Center, 401 Van Ness Avenue. A reception will follow in the building’s upstairs Green Room.

Katherine Feinstein, the presiding judge of the San Francisco Superior Court, will administer the oath of office.

“The sheriff’s department works closely with the courts. Since she is the head of the courts, I think it is important to nurture what I believe is a very warm and creative relationship,” said Mirkarimi.

Across the street in City Hall that day Feinstein’s mother, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California), will administer the oath of office to Interim Mayor Ed Lee, who beat back more than a dozen people angling for his job to become the city’s first Asian American elected mayor.

In a recent interview with the Bay Area Reporter, Lee said he asked the senator to participate because Feinstein was instrumental in convincing him to seek the job permanently. Until the two talked outside the White House during a trip east, Lee had insisted he would not seek a full four-year term. But Feinstein was influential in helping to change his mind.

“This way I get to continue pointing out that running into her on the steps of the White House was a key point in my decision-making process,” said Lee, who asked B.A.R. Publisher Tom Horn to serve on his inaugural committee.

Lee (seen at left) said he is opening up City Hall that day and will be sworn in under the building’s iconic Rotunda. He has also asked all of the city’s past mayors who are still living to join him as well as the public.

“I hope a lot of people come down,” he said.

The swearing in ceremony is slated to take place at 11 a.m. A number of performance groups have been asked to perform by World Arts West starting at 10 a.m., according to a posting on the website for Gamelan Sekar Jaya’s angklung ensemble.

Others expected to perform that day include Chinese dancers from Leung’s White Crane Lion and Dragon Dance Association; Ensambles Ballet Folklórico; Filipino dance company Parangal; Hawaiian dancers and music by Hālau O Keikiali’I; Indian dancers and music by Dholrhythms Dance Company of Non Stop Bhangra; and Peruvian marinera dance and music by El Tunante with a live banda.

The San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Freedom Band is also set to perform, a member told the B.A.R. And the mayor’s office announced Wednesday, January 4 that the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus would also perform.

The event is free for the public and refreshments will be served.

“It is not my style to have big parties,” said Lee.

— Matthew S. Bajko, December 29, 2011 @ 5:02 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Comments are disabled at this time.

Follow The Bay Area Reporter
Newsletter logo
twitter logo
facebook logo