State Senate Candidates Cite Fire, COVID-19 Recovery, Housing Among Priorities

Jackie Fielder and Sen. Scott Wiener

Photo courtesy of Jackie Fielder. Photo of Sen. Scott Wiener by Sharon Wickham/San Francisco Public Press

Jackie Fielder and Sen. Scott Wiener

“Civic” spoke with San Francisco candidates running for the state Legislature before the primary election on March 3. Since then, a great deal has happened, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the subsequent recession and the massive wildfires that have at times turned our skies orange. We are offering those original interviews as part of our election coverage, but wanted to give the candidates a chance to address what has happened since the primary. 

The candidates for State Senate in District 11 are Jackie Fielder and Sen. Scott Wiener.

Jackie Fielder
Photo courtesy of Jackie Fielder.

In the time since this podcast was recorded, the stakes of this election shot sky high. Our platform — passing single payer healthcare, defending education budgets, introducing a Green New Deal, investing in affordable housing and protecting renters from eviction — has never felt more urgent.

We have also introduced new proposals, including my plans for ending police violence, equitable COVID-19 recovery, and establishing an Indigenous Wildfire Task Force to protect ourselves from catastrophic wildfires. I have also redoubled my call to tax billionaires, who have made record profits in the face of economic recession.

The people in this District and this state have made tremendous sacrifices. We’ve hunkered at home for six months, and braved police violence to march in the streets — because we care about one another and we want safety and justice for the most vulnerable in our society. We proved our courage and our grit.

This November, we deserve leaders who have that same courage. We deserve leaders who will ensure that not just working people — but the wealthiest interests in the state — also pull their weight.

Beware of anyone who tells you our platform is “unrealistic” after demanding the impossible of you. This year’s crises have reset our entire understanding of what’s possible. And Unprecedented challenges demand unprecedented solutions.

Jackie Fielder

Original “Civic” post: Indigenous Public Bank Organizer Runs for State Senate

Sen. Scott Wiener

Laura Wenus / San Francisco Public Press

Sen. Scott Wiener

We’re facing many unprecedented crises as a community, and we’re working hard to tackle them. While we need a stronger partner in the federal government — particularly since California must balance its budget — I’ve been working non-stop with my team to deliver results.

When shelter in place began, I immediately went to work for those at risk, advocating loudly for an eviction moratorium by calling on the Governor and the Superior Court to act, introducing or co-authoring emergency legislation to ban evictions on residential and small business tenants impacted by COVID-19, volunteering regularly with community organizations delivering food to those in need, and hosting many virtual town halls to provide information on critical resources. I’m also very proud of my district staff, who are working incredibly hard to help constituents receive their unemployment benefits.

While we’re not out of the woods yet, I’m doing everything in my power to help our recovery. We need to continue to protect tenants, families at risk of displacement, essential workers, and immigrants. We have to give our small businesses and nonprofits a fighting chance to stay afloat. We must right the inequalities in our criminal justice system, including structural reforms to policing and down-sizing our prison system.

We’re also enduring another heartbreaking fire season. I’m working right now to end our dependence on fossil fuels, starting with a bill to ban fracking statewide. Housing is also a climate issue, and I’ve led on forward-looking state housing policy. It’s never been more obvious that we have to stop promoting sprawl, especially in the wildland-urban interface, but it’s also time we started building more homes near jobs and transit to cut down on car commutes.

It’s an honor to represent you in the State Senate, and I hope to earn your vote for another term.

Sen. Scott Wiener

Original “Civic” post: State Sen. Scott Wiener: “I Push the Envelope” on Housing, Criminal Justice, LGBT Rights