David Chiu was re-elected as the president of San Francisco's Board of Supervisors by a unanimous vote of his peers on the board Tuesday afternoon.
The 42-year-old supervisor, who represents District 3, is the first board member in history to be elected to three consecutive two-year terms as president.
Supervisors Jane Kim and Malia Cohen were also nominated (by each other) for the position, but both withdrew shortly before the vote. The San Francisco Bay Guardian reports:
Sup. Jane Kim spoke next, nominating Sup. Malia Cohen and saying, "It's been 13 years since we've been able to nominate a woman for this position." Kim also said Cohen has "demonstrated a lot of leadership over these last two years," and she singled out the importance of her representing Bayview-Hunters Point, "a district that we talk a lot of about."
Cohen returned the gesture by nominating Kim for the presidency, calling her "a tenacious, strong, vibrant woman of color." The last woman to serve as board president was Barbara Kaufman in 1997-99.
As San Francisco Chronicle columnist C.W. Nevius noted earlier this month, moderate Castro District supervisor Scott Wiener was also in contention for the position but would have likely have fallen one vote short of the six needed.
San Francisco Examiner columnist Melissa Griffin, who called the position a "hall monitor for City Hall," reports:
The reality is that presidential powers are limited to the following: representing the board at city functions, imposing a 30-day hold on legislation that needs time for more review, sitting in on committee hearings when there aren't enough members to constitute a quorum, and leading the Pledge of Allegiance.
Local political consultant Alex Clemens told the Chronicle that the presidency was something of mixed blessing. "It's the best because you have the opportunity to reward or punish colleagues with visibility and committee assignments and how legislation is treated," he explained. "But mostly you have the responsibility of dealing with many logistics and a fractious 11-member body. You spend half your time being the board president rather than a legislator or district supervisor, and your staff spends half their time dealing with it as well. It's a challenge."
In November, Chiu, a Harvard Law graduate, easily fended off two challengers--including architect Joseph Butler and anti-Central Subway activist Marc Bruno--to hold onto his seat on the board. His district includes North Beach, Telegraph Hill and Chinatown.