SAN FRANCISCO — Voters shocked the Democratic Party establishment in the November 4 mayoral election by giving Green Party candidate and city councillor Matt Gonzalez more than 20% of the vote.
He came in second to moderate Democrat Gavin Newsom, who was backed by the city's business elite and yuppie class because of his efforts to sweep the homeless off the streets and into prison.
Gonzalez mobilised a new generation of voters by sponsoring a successful referendum to raise the city's minimum wage from US$6.75 an hour to $8.50. Gonzalez is an outspoken opponent of the US occupation of Iraq. He supports giving undocumented migrant workers the right to vote. He stands for defending working-class tenants against evictions and making large corporations pay a heavier share of taxes.
On December 9, Gonzalez will go head-to-head with Newsom in the run-off election that will decide who will be mayor of San Francisco. Newsom is being backed by both the Democratic and Republican parties. Latest polls are putting Gonzalez slightly ahead.
From Green Left Weekly, December 3, 2003.
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