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Politics & Policy

San Francisco supervisors share their New Year’s resolutions for 2024

LED lights illuminate San Francisco City Hall.
Lights illuminate San Francisco City Hall. | Source: Christopher Victorio for The Standard

The holidays are winding down, and the injuries—emotional and/or physical—suffered as a result of family dinner fights have hopefully begun to mend. 

As we turn the page on another tumultuous year in politics, let us at least be thankful that 2023 went faster than the slog of pandemic times.

With a new year comes fresh goals and promises. To get a better sense of what to expect, The Standard reached out to San Francisco’s supervisors to find out what political “resolutions” they’re making for 2024.

Aaron Peskin presides over a Board of Supervisors meeting.
Supervisor Aaron Peskin said his top priority for 2024 will be working to protect aging San Franciscans. | Source: Justin Katigbak/The Standard.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin 

As the president of the Board of Supervisors, Aaron Peskin has more control over the legislative calendar than anyone else in the city. Rumors of his interest in challenging Mayor London Breed in November are running rampant, but for the time being, he said his focus will be helping longtime San Franciscans.

“My top desire for 2024 is to find a permanent source of funds to allow very low-income residents to continue to age in place,” Peskin said.

Supervisor Ahsha Safaí speaks during a Board of Supervisors meeting.
Supervisor Ahsha Safaí, who is running for mayor, intends to focus on public safety issues in 2024. | Source: Camille Cohen/The Standard

Supervisor Ahsha Safaí 

Few supervisors will be as busy as Ahsha Safaí this year, as he’ll not only be finishing his second and final term but also running to unseat Breed in November. His criticism of the mayor has focused on public safety, and that is unlikely to change in 2024.

“We’re working on the staffing measure for police, so I would probably say public safety [is my top priority],” Safaí said. “It’s a concern that everyone I talk to has. They say that it’s impacting the city in so many different ways, whether it’s the outer neighborhoods or just everyday San Franciscans. They feel it's been ignored the past few years, and they’re looking for change.”

Supervisor Catherine Stefani listens during a press conference.
District 2 Supervisor Catherine Stefani said the city's top priority should be filling vacancies in the police department. | Source: Juliana Yamada for The Standard

Supervisor Catherine Stefani

In her second term as supervisor of the Marina, Catherine Stefani will be juggling district and city concerns with a race to succeed Phil Ting in the state Assembly. Stefani was reportedly in the running to replace Chesa Boudin as district attorney after he was recalled in 2022. While the mayor instead tapped Brooke Jenkins to fill that role, public safety is still a top concern for Stefani.

“We have over 300 vacant and already funded positions within our police department,” she said in a statement. “In the coming year, I am committed to taking every step necessary to swiftly recruit, train and fill these essential roles. My dedication to fostering peace and safety on our streets has never been stronger.”

Supervisor Connie Chan speaks at a press event.
Supervisor Connie Chan, who oversees the city's budget committee, said San Francisco needs to identify wasteful spending in the face of a budget crisis. | Source: Justin Katigbak/The Standard

Supervisor Connie Chan

Connie Chan faces her own reelection fight this year, but as the chair of the board’s Budget and Finance Committee, she’ll have her hands full trying to confront a looming $800 million deficit. The budget shortfall and labor negotiations are likely to impact almost every aspect of city business.

“In my role as budget committee chair, my top priority is to rein in any City Hall wasteful spending, and holding the administration accountable, to make sure they deliver efficient city services,” Chan said in a text message. “As District 1 Supervisor representing the Richmond, I will continue to advocate for city resources, and policy solutions that support and protect our small businesses, workers, tenants as well as homeowners, especially those who are aging, with disabilities and multigenerational households.”

Supervisor Dean Preston calls for the governor and state Legislature to include additional funding for public transportation in the annual budget during a press conference at San Francisco City Hall on April 18, 2023. | Justin Katigbak for The Standard
Supervisor Dean Preston, a former tenant rights attorney, will focus much of his work in 2024 on stopping evictions. | Source: Justin Katigbak for The Standard

Supervisor Dean Preston

Dean Preston is expected to face his own reelection fight this year, and while no challengers have officially emerged, many expect tech entrepreneur Bilal Mahmood to jump into the race.

The District 5 supervisor has already taken aim at the wealthy tech community in outreach to his supporters, framing his reelection as a battle for the soul of San Francisco. In a statement, a Preston staffer said the supervisor has three key priorities going into 2024.

“Supervisor Preston’s top priority is to prevent evictions, house unhoused people and reduce overdoses,” said Melissa Hernandez, a legislative aide.

Supervisor Joel Engardio smiles.
Supervisor Joel Engardio said he wants to focus on bringing more "joy" to the community. | Source: Jeremy Chen/The Standard

Supervisor Joel Engardio

Joel Engardio just completed his first year as a supervisor after defeating incumbent Gordon Mar in 2022, and the reviews so far seem to be pretty positive. His idea to create a night market in the Sunset was a huge success, and creating more “joy” will be a big focus in the new year.

“My focus is to build solid foundations of public safety, housing, education and the local economy—for the purpose of supporting joyful lives,” Engardio said in a text message. “I want to bring back a series of Sunset Night Markets, pass my Domicity legislation that creates the housing westside residents need, win a mandate for 8th-grade algebra on the March ballot to encourage more families to stay in public schools and our city, investigate and improve criminal court data transparency, review and weed out regulations that make lives difficult for small businesses and ordinary homeowners, and push for increased public safety staffing that includes 911 operators along with police officers.”

San Francisco Supervisor Matt Dorsey listens during a Board of Supervisors meeting at City Hall.
San Francisco Supervisor Matt Dorsey, a former communications director for the police department, said the city won't be able to solve many of its problems until it hires more cops. | Source: Michaela Vatcheva for The Standard

Supervisor Matt Dorsey

Come spring, Matt Dorsey will be nearing two full years as a supervisor. The former communications director for the San Francisco Police Department intends to remain true to his calls for more investments in public safety, but he’s also focused on creating a better “work-life balance” now that he’s settling into the job.

“I want to be a better partner and better friend and brother,” Dorsey said. “The policy [resolution], I’m going to be a dog with a bone on police staffing. I’m not giving up on this, and I remain as committed as ever in believing that if we can't fix our police staffing crisis, we're going to have a hard time improving anything.”

Supervisor Myrna Melgar smiles during a panel discussion.
Supervisor Myrna Melgar hopes to make City Hall a more congenial place to solve San Francisco's issues. | Source: Jeremy Chen/The Standard

Supervisor Myrna Melgar

The list of priorities Myrna Melgar puts at the top of her list for 2024 include making sure San Francisco complies with its Housing Element; supporting small businesses that are struggling; and committing more city resources for child care.

But she also wants to tamp down on the toxicity at City Hall.

“One goal is not policy; it’s relationships,” Melgar said. “Instead of coming together, we are demonizing each other, blaming the administration and the Board of Supervisors. My No. 1 goal is to get through the year with my relationships—with my mayor, with my colleagues and with my constituents. We need to set the tone.”

Supervisor Rafael Mandelman speaks during a press conference.
Supervisor Rafael Mandelman intends to focus much of his energy in 2024 on the city's mental health crisis. | Source: Paul Kuroda for The Standard

Supervisor Rafael Mandelman

The supervisor of the Castro District had an eye on potentially running for the state Senate seat currently held by Scott Wiener, who has his eyes on Congress, but Nancy Pelosi’s decision to remain in place as speaker emerita in the House of Representatives has put all of that political maneuvering on hold.

Mandelman said addressing the city’s mental health crisis will be his top priority in 2024.

“I would like to focus on getting San Francisco to have the appropriate number of beds and staffing to implement SB 43 effectively,” he said. “We see folks with untreated mental illness and very significant addiction on our streets every day. But we’re going to be limited if we don’t have appropriate facilities to help folks get off the streets and have appropriate care plans. I think we have some planning to do in that regard, and I’m going to push for that planning to happen.”

Editor's note: Supervisors Hillary Ronen and Shamann Walton did not respond to requests for comment.

Josh Koehn can be reached at josh@sfstandard.com