As I expected, Mayor Lee appointed a new supervisor before the Democratic County Central Committee had a chance to weigh in on a resolution suggesting he appoint a mother. The resolution is moot now; Lee named Katy Tang, an aide to outgoing Sup. Carmen Chu, and my most accounts Tang is a smart young woman with plenty of experience in the district who will likely carry on the more conservative politics of her former boss. She will have to face the voters in November, but in a district where more than half the voters are Asian -- and where Chu was popular, and Tang has been out and about on the streets for years -- she's going to be in a strong position to win.
So that should be over, and Rosenthal's suggestion consigned to the Oh Well, That Was A Nice Idea file, and it would be ... except that the mayor made a kinda stupid comment on KTVU. When asked about Rosenthal's suggestion, he said there were lots of qualifications for office, one of them being "somone who's going to be spending a lot of their personal time on the weekends."
Now: I'm sure the mayor didn't really mean to say that a woman with kids can't hold a demanding public office, or that women with kids can't spend time working on the weekends. "I know a dozen female law partners who would scoff at the idea that mothers don't work at night and on weekends," Rosenthal told me.
Sup. John Avalos has kids, and does a fine job on the board. Former Sup. Sean Elsbernd had a young family, and nobody ever said he didn't devote enough time to the district. Sup. Eric Mar has a daughter, and just won a tough re-election race.
It's absolutely true that none of the four women on the board right now has kids. I think that was sort of Rosenthal's point. I don't know; it's 2013, and maybe I'm reading too much into this, but did the mayor of San Francisco just imply that women with kids don't have the time to handle the responsibilities of elective office? I hope not.
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