On the morning of Aug. 1, San Francisco District 9 Sup. David Campos joined a group of parents and kids at the 24th Street BART station, climbed aboard the 49-Mission/Van Ness, and rode to City Hall, where he filed paperwork to run for the California Assembly.
“Running for office is not an easy thing. It’s a very personal decision,” he said. “And thinking about it, I am where I am because I was given a lot of opportunity as a kid coming in, as an undocumented kid. It was the opportunity of getting a quality education, the opportunity to really get a degree," and to stay motivated by the idea that “if you really work hard and play by the rules, that you can really fulfill your potential.”
Campos was elected to represent San Francisco’s District 9, which spans the Mission, Bernal Heights, and surrounding areas, in November of 2008. The gay Latino elected official is regarded as one of the most progressive members of the Board of Supervisors, and he is credited with spearheading Free Muni for Youth, a city program offering free public transit access to some 40,000 low-income kids.
Campos stressed that many of the policies he’s tackled on the Board of Supervisors have been aimed toward aiding low-income families and youth, “whether it’s helping families who are struggling with free Muni for low-income kids, to improving the quality of schools in the Mission, to focusing on public safety in a progressive way that tries to build a relationship between the police and the community.”
Naturally, Muni took longer than expected.
Some of the kids amused themselves with a clapping game while they waited.
Many of the parents were monolingual Spanish speakers, and their kids were Free Muni for Youth participants. Raul Foneza (pictured in the first shot, with his thumbs up), spoke to the Guardian through a translator and said he had come out for the supervisor that day because he respected Campos’ support for the city’s young people and was there with his friend and her two kids.
When the bus arrived at City Hall, another group of kids was there awaiting Campos’ arrival, with signs. So was Assembly Member Tom Ammiano, who has already granted Campos his endorsement.
Ammiano spent a few moments on the steps of City Hall speaking to the kids. “I hope you tell people to vote for David Campos, I hope you all do your homework, be good to your teachers, and go to college. How does that sound?” After they cheered, “yeeeah!” in unison, Ammiano half-jokingly added something about how then they could all get good-paying jobs, so they could afford an apartment.
Once inside, the crowd of kids and parents squeezed into the basement-level Department of Elections office, where Campos filled out the paperwork to make his candidacy for State Assembly official. He turned to face his supporters, most of whom will have to wait eight years till they’re old enough to vote, and explained that he had decided to run “because we want to make sure our state makes you the top priority.”