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San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin formally kicks off campaign in mayor's race

San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin formally launched his campaign for the city’s mayoral race at a rally in Chinatown Saturday.

The progressive leader also is the president of the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco.

During the rally, Peskin laid out his vision for San Francisco and highlighted his experience and ability to bring people together to get things done. He joined a range of candidates looking for the city’s top job.

Peskin made the announcement in front a crowd of supporters at Portsmouth square in Chinatown, a neighborhood he represents on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Peskin talked how he would handle key issues in the city including public safety, homelessness and revitalizing downtown.

“I will be a mayor who loves this city and does not beat up on it for political gain. A mayor who works for every day San Franciscans and their neighborhoods,” he said. “I ask you to join with me, to fight with me, to save our city without sacrificing out values.”

There was some vocal opposition to Peskin’s campaign launch.

“To make some noise to show that he represents anti-progress and we want change in this city from the status quo. He represents the status quo,” said San Francisco resident Will Brega.

Peskin is the fifth high-profile person looking to toss their hat in the ring in the San Francisco Mayor’s race. Responses from the other mayoral candidates were swift.

A spokesperson for San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s reelection campaign released the following statement on Wednesday:

“Aaron Peskin is synonymous with intimidation, obstruction, and dysfunction: literally the triple crown of moving San Francisco backwards.

He is the person most-responsible for creating a city of haves and have nots, by limiting the amount of housing that gets built and freezing out young people from owning a home.

He’s also a hypocrite — he masquerades as a progressive while owning hundreds of thousands of dollars in Amazon, CVS, and Bank of America stock and owning millions of dollars of property across town.

If you could go into a laboratory and construct an individual designed to single-handedly destroy all progress in San Francisco, he would be it. He’s the Terminator. Aaron Peskin occupying the Mayor’s Office would mean ‘hasta la vista, baby’ for our local economy, our housing, and our city’s future.”

The campaign for Daniel Lurie, a San Francisco philanthropist and heir to the Levi family fortune, also released the following statement on Wednesday.

“The years of petty squabbles between Aaron Peskin, Mark Farrell, and London Breed make for good political theater, but it’s a distraction from the fact that they’re all molded by a system that rewards corruption and protects insiders at the expense of everyday San Franciscans.

The chattering class will rush to cover this as a fight between moderates and progressives — but that completely misses the point. Daniel Lurie’s campaign of accountable leadership and new ideas stands in stark contrast to the gang of City Hall insiders who have failed to get the job done. The people who got us into this mess are not equipped to get us out of it.”

On Saturday, former San Francisco mayor Mark Farrell following statement to NBC Bay Area:

“After months of preparation, Peskin “launched” his campaign for Mayor today with no new detailed policy solutions or vision to address the most pressing issues facing San Francisco. Peskin, like Mayor Breed, represents the status quo at City Hall, and does not represent the change in leadership that San Franciscans are looking for in their new Mayor.

As Board President, Peskin has failed to deliver any results on the issues that matter most to San Franciscans – public safety, the conditions on our streets, homelessness, the drug dealing and overdose crisis, housing, and more.

Peskin has allowed our police department to lose over 600 officers since I left office and supported Mayor Breed’s efforts siphon over $120 million from the department. He has blocked new housing in favor of parking lots downtown, and has been an obstructionist to making San Francisco more welcoming to families at every point in his career. Voters need to ask themselves how they can trust Peskin to turn our City around when he has been nonexistent on the City’s top issues and is offering nothing new?

San Francisco needs a Mayor with a track record of effective leadership inside and outside of City Hall. Experience, competence and a clear vision for the future of San Francisco matters. That’s why our campaign polled in first place just days after launching and is building momentum in all of our neighborhoods to deliver a safer, cleaner, and more vibrant San Francisco.”

Ahsha Safaí, another Peskin opponent in the mayoral race, is also his colleague on the Board of Supervisors. He released the following statement on Saturday.

“I am the only candidate in the race with a record of bringing people together and building consensus to make real progress for our city. It’s time to put divisive politics behind us. I remain the strongest voice for working families and immigrants who are struggling everyday to make it in San Francisco. I am running for mayor to bring real change to City Hall and be the voice for all San Franciscans, not just the extremely wealthy.”

But ultimately, it will be up to voters to decide.

“I think it’s important that they’re not part of the current administration, you know? That they’re coming from a fresh perspective,” said San Francisco resident Larry Izzo.

“I love this city and I love living here and I hope we get somebody that is actually for the people,” said AJ George of San Francisco.

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