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

Political Notebook: Cisneros plans to
run again for SF treasurer


Treasurer Jose Cisneros (Photo: Rick Gerharter)
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San Francisco Treasurer Jose Cisneros is looking at running back-to-back re-election campaigns in 2013 and 2015 due to a voter-approved switch to the city's election calendar.

The reason – voters adopted Proposition D by an overwhelming majority last Tuesday. The measure passed with 84 percent of the vote and changes the timing of elections for both city attorney and treasurer.

Next year, elections will be held in November for two-year terms for both positions rather than the normal four-year terms. In 2015 the positions will revert back to being four-year terms when they are once again up for grabs on the fall ballot.

Beginning in 2015 the city attorney and treasurer races will be consolidated on the same ballot as that of races for mayor, district attorney, and sheriff. The reason for the switch was to save the city money in election costs.

Cisneros, the highest-ranking gay officeholder of an elected city position, has held the post since 2004. Then-Mayor Gavin Newsom appointed Cisneros to fill the vacancy created by his decision to move lesbian Treasurer Susan Leal over to the city's Public Utilities Commission as its general manager.

In 2005 Cisneros won election to a full term, and in 2009, he ran unopposed for re-election to the seat. He has been with his partner, Human Rights Commissioner Mark Kelleher, for 21 years.

On election night the Bay Area Reporter caught up with Cisneros at the Castro street party and asked about his political plans. He said he expects to announce his campaign for a third term as treasurer sometime in early January.

"I will run for re-election next year and run for the two-year term," said Cisneros, who has $9,333 remaining in his 2009 campaign account according to the latest disclosure form filed with the city's Ethics Commission.

While he was less certain about his plans in 2015, Cisneros indicated that he would run again that year.

"That is three years away, but I love my job," he said.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who also ran unopposed three years ago, is expected to once again seek re-election next year. Though in 2015 he will be faced with a choice of either seeking another term as the city's legal defender or making a second stab at becoming mayor.

Last year he lost his bid for Room 200 at City Hall. He landed in third place with 11 percent of the vote behind District 11 Supervisor John Avalos and the winner, Mayor Ed Lee.

A spokesman for Herrera said this week that he does plan to seek re-election next year and will make a formal announcement soon. According to his latest campaign finance disclosure form, Herrera has $2,330 remaining in his city attorney campaign account from 2009.


LGBT historic landmarks up for votes

Two LGBT historic landmark proposals will be up for votes at City Hall in the coming weeks.

The Board of Supervisor's Land Use and Economic Development Committee is set to vote Monday, December 10 on adding the Twin Peaks Tavern to the city's list of historical landmarks. Located at 401 Castro Street, it was the first gay bar in the city to have clear glass windows at a time when people could be fired based on their sexual orientation.

The San Francisco Historic Preservation Commission voted last month to support the bar's nomination, and gay District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener has sponsored the ordinance before the board to landmark the bar. It is expected the request will be adopted and signed into law by the mayor.

It would become the third LGBT site to win local recognition for being historically important. The others are the camera shop and residence of the late gay Supervisor Harvey Milk (573-575 Castro Street) and the original home of the Jose Theater and the Names Project, which oversees the AIDS Memorial Quilt (2362 Market Street).

The Planning Commission is expected to vote at its meeting Thursday, December 6 on a proposal to create an LGBT Cultural Heritage District in a part of South of Market. The area has been home to a number of gay leather bars since the 1970s and plays host each year to two fetish street fairs.

The heritage district is part of the Western SOMA Community Plan, a major rezoning effort for the area that has been under way for years and is nearing its final steps. The commissioners heard an informal presentation on it last week and will take up the most controversial part of the plan at their meeting today (Thursday, November 15).

Neighborhood activists and the entertainment industry have been at loggerheads over what to do about the entertainment corridor along 11th Street. District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim has asked that the plan's regulations toward new clubs and housing in the area be re-examined.

A number of proposals are being floated and will be discussed by the commission when it meets at noon in Room 400 at City Hall. For more information visit


Web Extra: For more queer political news, be sure to check Monday mornings at noon for Political Notes, the notebook's online companion. This week's column reports on email scammers using the identity of a lesbian SF judge.

Keep abreast of the latest LGBT political news by following the Political Notebook on Twitter @

Got a tip on LGBT politics? Call Matthew S. Bajko at (415) 861-5019 or e-mail


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