Ed Lee won the Mayoral election by a large margin—roughly 60 percent of voters listed him as their first choice—but District 11 Supervisor John Avalos won the Mission vote by a landslide, earning 4,439 votes of the 9,726 ballots cast in the district.

Avalos issued a statement of concession on Friday, Nov. 11.

“I want to offer my congratulations to Ed Lee on his election,” it read. “We are very proud to have made a strong showing for second, and are incredibly proud to have run a clean, issue-based campaign, powered by our dedicated volunteers.”

Many Mission residents had the opportunity to experience the Avalos campaign and meet him in person—whether it was at a community gathering, local committee meeting or just passing by on his bike—and the impact of his campaign still resonates in the neighborhood.

“Seeing John in second place reflects where SF is at politically,” said Carlos Martinez, a Mission resident and active participant in the Avalos campaign.

Martinez admitted that he was disappointed by the low, 40 percent voter turnout, but said he is also proud of the greater impact the Avalos campaign has had on the Mission District and the city.

“This is the beginning of a progressive revival,” he said.

Avalos effectively integrated his history of community involvement and social work into his campaign. Using an ambitious grassroots strategy, he succeeded in bringing together a cross-section of public funders and voters from a diverse range of communities.

Rob Mcbride, a retired college professor and Mission resident, said that he voted for Avalos precisely because his progressive stance and transparent funding sources set him apart from the rest of the candidates.

“I’ve seen him look out for the interests of working people in general, people in the Mission, immigrants whether documented or not, and some of the most marginalized communities,” McBride said.

The neighborhood’s reaction to this year’s election results was largely sympathetic to Avalos, but there were some Lee supporters.

Gabriela Lozano, owner of L’s café on 24th street, is one of them.

“Ed Lee has always been my candidate,” she said. “In the last 10 months he has made many positive changes to help small business owners, as he made it easier for people to fill vacant spaces in the mission.”

She hopes that Lee creates more jobs so people have money to spend at small neighborhood businesses, like hers.

But, as the low voter turnout numbers would suggest, many Mission residents said they didn’t bother to vote at all.

Giovan Alonzi, an English literature student at San Francisco State, said that he spoke with an Avalos campaigner and fellow bike rider, who told him about the bike-friendly changes that Avalos was advocating. In the end, it wasn’t enough.

“I didn’t vote,” he said, expressing the sentiments of roughly 60 percent of city voters.

Alonzi said that through conversations with other students, he learned he was not alone in his decision—many of them didn’t vote because they couldn’t relate to the political changes being posed by any of the mayoral candidates.

One reply on “Lee takes city, Avalos wins Mission”

  1. A shame that not enough people got out to vote. I’m not a current SF resident but I’m a product of the Mission District, it’s where my roots remain. The lack of participation either points to a changing demographic in the District or the continuing erosion of faith in the democratic process. John is a refreshing voice in a political landscape full of the same tired retoric.

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