The Mirkarimi Distraction

Randy Shawbyline‚ Jan. 26‚ 2012

As the debate over San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi continues, one impact is beyond dispute: the controversy is eclipsing far more critical issues affecting San Francisco. In the past two weeks I have attended two press events involving Mayor Lee in which every media question ignored the issue at hand and instead focused on Mirkarimi. The January 12 event included a broad cross section of affordable housing advocates, builders, developers and others who were coming together to promote a vital San Francisco Housing Trust Fund; the media ignored everything Mayor Lee and other speakers said about this important issue and instead swarmed the mayor to ask about Mirkarimi. San Francisco faces challenges on job creation, the end of Redevelopment, the city budget, and a number of pending development projects. Yet the talk of the town remains Ross Mirkarimi.