Matt Haney speaks: What’s next after election victory?

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — In a landslide victory this week, San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney won a special election to represent a significant portion of San Francisco in the state assembly.

The Assembly District 17 seat was once held by David Chiu, who is now the city attorney.

Haney joined KRON4 for a live interview to discuss his win and his plans for the future.

District 17 covers the eastern half of San Francisco and includes neighborhoods like Chinatown and the Tenderloin. These two regions have very unique demographics and unique issues. In the Tenderloin, issues of homelessness and drug overdose continue to plague the area. How do you specifically plan to address these issues?

“These are issues that go well beyond a neighborhood. This is one of the main reasons why I ran for the National Assembly. We need state leadership, state resources, with every city and county doing their part in this. You can’t expect to solve homelessness or the fentanyl crisis in a neighborhood no matter how hard we try. We need to have consequences – effective consequences – for people selling fentanyl.

We need to stop the flow of drugs into our state and our communities. We need to make sure there’s on-demand processing so that when people need help they can access it and don’t get stuck in those bottlenecks, and we need to make sure that doesn’t it’s not just San Francisco that does it. As long as there are people coming here to sell drugs and use drugs, San Francisco will be overwhelmed. I have to go to the state and say, we need a plan here, and we need every city and county to do their part as well.

Now in Chinatown. During the pandemic, many businesses in this region have been adversely affected, with people feeling worried due to the incorrect perception that Asians are the cause of the spread of COVID. Additionally, we have seen a rise in anti-Asian violence directed at residents of Chinatown and across the state. What kind of reassurance can you offer?

“Chinatown is the oldest and largest Chinatown in the country. It is in many ways the cultural and economic heart of the city. So many people come to San Francisco because of Chinatown. The Chinese community has been a part of San Francisco for so long. I will be a champion for Chinatown in the state legislature. It means bringing resources back so we can open Chinatown, bringing our visitors back, investing in small businesses, the arts, investing in bringing people back, but it also means safety.

We need the police to keep up. We need foot patrols. We need consequences for those who commit hate crimes. Many of them are state laws and resources, and I will make sure to uphold not only the openness and prosperity of Chinatown, but also the safety of every Chinese resident in our city and state.

This year’s budget surplus is expected to be substantial. More than $23 billion more than expected. What issues can we expect you to fight for more funding in Sacramento?

“We need real solutions for homelessness, housing and mental health. These are the big problems we face every day, we see it on our streets, people see it on their checkbook when they pay rent. We need to build more housing, build more affordable housing, get people off the streets, expand services like mental health and also make sure systems work better. We can’t just leave people abandoned on our streets, we need to bring them back inside.

But also, people in general in SF around the state, even though the state is doing well with the surplus, a lot of people are not doing well themselves. They’re in debt, in trouble, lost their small businesses, so I’m also going to look for an economic opportunity to lift everybody up, the workers, put money back in people’s pockets.

The Mayor of London Breed should select your replacement on the Supervisory Board. Any suggestions or ideas on who would be a good fit for the job?

“Many years ago, San Francisco made history with Harvey Milk, the first openly LGBT elected official. I hope we can remake history. The chairman of our Democratic Party is a person named Honey Mahogany. She would be the first elected trans person in San Francisco and the first supervisor, and also incredibly brilliant. So I hope the mayor appoints Honey. But eventually, there will be an election in November, and the voters of District 6 will be able to choose, and I’m very proud to be able to continue to represent District 6, but in Sacramento and bring results back to them there. ”

What else should San Francisco voters and residents expect from you in the days ahead?

“This is a difficult time for our city and state, and we need elected officials who are grounded in reality, who try to solve problems with solutions, not govern based on ideology, or even in some cases like we saw in San Francisco, elected officials who actually look down on their own constituents, devalue and divide people, I got, I think, a big win because I want to bring people together. I want to address the issues, I want to acknowledge that this is a difficult time for San Franciscans when it comes to housing, homelessness and safety. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work. I’m truly grateful and thankful that the constituents of Assembly District 17 give me this opportunity.

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