November 6, 2003
Why it's time to consider moving to San Francisco

Despite over-hyped phenomena such as "rocking the vote" and last year's 33-year-old Newark, New Jersey mayoral candidate Cory Booker, it's most certainly not an exciting time to be young and in love with politics.

Unless you live in the Bay Area, where San Francisco's mayoral race has been winnowed down to two candidates, Gavin Newsom, 36, and Matt Gonzalez, 38. From the Los Angeles Times:

"Newsom, a liberal Democrat by the standards of most other cities, has been cast by opponents here as a socialite "Republocrat." He is allied with billionaire Gordon Getty and lives in a multimillion-dollar mansion in Pacific Heights, one of the city's most expensive neighborhoods, with his wife, a prosecutor and CNN commentator who is a former lingerie model.

By contrast, Gonzalez, an arts aficionado and poetry buff, doesn't own a car and rents an apartment in the considerably less fashionable Western Addition neighborhood. Newsom's supporters portray Gonzalez as an ultra-left "cafe brat" whose support won't extend beyond the city's young hipsters."

In any other circumstance, anytime one encounters the word "hipster" in an article about politics, giant warning signs should go off in your head. I mean, it's one thing to write about "Deanie Babies" and "Liebermaniacs," but "hipsters"? Last I checked, Sarah Records was not a political party and The Rapture wasn't running for office on the DFA ticket (and just how many electoral votes are Greenpoint or Silverlake worth, anyway?).

Regardless...this election in "the City by the Bay" is a promising blip on the otherwise shameful map of Californian politics. I'll refrain from commenting on the "lingerie model" and "poetry buff" aspects of this mayoral race, but it's nonetheless heartening to have to choose between voting for a "liberal Democrat" and a Green party candidate with at least a fighting chance.

Then again, this is San Francisco, so I guess it's to be expected.

Posted in a Grave fashion.

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