Petty Politics: SFMTA Board Debacle + What You Can Do Now

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors rejected the appointment of transit activist Jane Natoli to the SFMTA board of directors in a 6–4 vote.

It was a political win for the six supervisors who voted against her (Supervisors Gordon Mar, Sandra Lee Fewer, Aaron Peskin, Dean Preston, Shamann Walton and Norman Yee), but a loss for a transit agency in dire need of qualified leaders like Jane, who would have been the first transgender woman to serve on the SFMTA board. And it was a loss for San Francisco.

The vote was also the climax of a months-long fight that left the SFMTA board on the brink of being unable to assemble votes on critical decisions in the middle of a pandemic.

Haven’t been following the political theater because it’s been playing out during the pandemic and recession? That’s understandable. San Francisco politics can be complicated, and ugly at times — as the events of last week made plain. United Dems put together an explainer (complete with GIFs) to help you understand the dysfunction, and how our transit system became just another political football to a highly partisan Board of Supervisors. Check it out here.

Statements from some of the electeds and organizations supporting Jane’s appointment:

Fortunately, we know Jane will continue to do the work of transit and housing advocacy. Hear directly from Jane by reading this piece she wrote following the vote.

We’re tired of petty politics and we want a Board of Supervisors that prioritizes San Francisco’s wellbeing over political games. If you want the same, please join us in our upcoming events to get our endorsed Supervisor candidates elected.

We are an inclusive and progressive group of Democrats who believe that everyone should have a place in San Francisco.