The property industry, the Yimby movement and Mayor London Breed seem to have scored a big victory tonight as Sup. Matt Haney has an insurmountable lead in the race for the National Assembly.
With an attendance of around 23%, Haney has a 27-point lead and Campos conceded tonight he won’t win.
Haney, who had run as a supervisor challenging Yimby’s arguments, changed his stance drastically when he decided to run for public office and did his best to race to see which candidate would support “the construction of more housing”.
In fact, it’s about which candidate would allow private developers of luxury housing to build more units that are unaffordable to most San Franciscans and may end up being vacant most of the time – or housing designed for young singles who do not. I don’t mind living in a dorm.
The real estate industry has clearly decided that Haney is their man, pouring in hundreds of thousands of dollars to attack Campos. Breed, who has always been aligned with the Yimbys, has endorsed Haney and will now name his successor, which could change the balance of power within the Board of Supes.
This all happened at a time when big money interests are organizing to oust progressives at all levels and take control of the city.
Campos was unapologetic in his remarks tonight, noting that property developers “found an effective vessel” in the Yimby movement and its candidates.
Campos tried to frame the race in terms of corporate power and single-payer health care, but the media helped Haney’s agenda frame it as a housing issue.
But progressives clearly need to figure out how to counter Yimby’s narrative in an environment where most reporters and editors at mainstream news outlets are either on Yimby’s side or unqualified to write about urban housing economics at San Francisco.
Campos attacked that narrative head-on, saying tonight that the idea that letting developers build housing for the super-rich would somehow trickle down and that lower prices for workers had no grounded in reality.
There is plenty of evidence to support his argument.
But like so many misleading media themes, the idea that people who don’t believe the private market will solve our problems are “anti-housing” is very popular.
Another inaccurate theme – that the current district attorney needs to “dominate crime” – also played a role in this run, as real estate agents attacked Campos for his association with Chesa Boudin.
It’s also going to be a big challenge for progressives, because most local media has been incredibly poor at covering criminal justice issues.
So after tonight, the mayor will, in a few months, have appointed a city attorney, three school board members, a superintendent, and, if successful, a district attorney.
And all that power is fueled by the bulk of real estate, technology, and Republican money.