Dear residents of District 11,
My name is Magdalena De Guzman, and I am running for District 11 Supervisor because I want to SERVE you. I have been a school teacher for over 23 years in San Francisco public schools and I continually serve children, families, and the community. I often wonder what the city would be like if more dedicated, kind-hearted, hard-working, and committed school teachers would run for office. I teach all subject areas, and in addition, I advocate for our children and families who are faced with lack of affordable and decent housing, lack of healthy nutrition, lack of money, lack of quality time together due to multiple jobs, and lack of information about city resources.
As a community advocate in District 11, I helped found a community organization to address the needs of young people and immigrant families. As a community advocate in San Francisco, I, with the help of others, reopened a closed public school to address the needs of immigrant children. I continually help families secure resources by connecting them with service agencies in search of housing, jobs, and general assistance.
As an elected union official of the teachers' union for 7 years and elected delegate to previous state and national conventions for educators, I continually support resolutions and legislative bills that address social justice issues and enhancement of our citizens’ livelihood.
District 11 ranks number 1 with the largest number of children in comparison to other districts. As your next supervisor, I will expand community services and enhance coalition building with non-profit and community-based organizations and the City to allocate more resources for our children’s success.
I hear many concerns when I talk to District 11 residents. One resident spoke, “We need a safe neighborhood because there are a lot of car break-ins.” Another said, “I tried to help someone who was getting assaulted only to have the gun pointed at me. I was so scared.” In my own family, my husband and daughter have been assaulted. My husband had to go to the hospital for his knee injury. Both assaults were reported to the police.
As your next supervisor, I want our citizens, city departments, and non-profit organizations TO HAVE FREQUENT DIALOGUES to address all concerns regarding SAFE STREETS AND SAFE NEIGHBORHOODS, and to build TRUST. This is how we will come up with effective solutions to make our neighborhood safe—when all the stakeholders are working TOGETHER.
Our City and District 11 are aging. In 15 years, the senior population will expand to 30% of the population. As I campaign for District 11 Supervisor, I meet with many seniors and I have nothing but the most profound respect for them. They remind me of my 89-year-old mother who is trying to do her best to live with purpose and dignity.
I find seniors in District 11 eager to talk. Some are healthy, some are not; some can manage their homes, some cannot. Some of our seniors are renters, and are frustrated when they can no longer afford the rent. As your next supervisor, the well being of our seniors will be one of my top priorities. I want to make sure that they are not neglected or isolated.
District 11 has its share of garbage. Not everyone can afford to pay for the service and some poor residents of District 11 discard their garbage on sidewalks and streets. I don't think they are doing it to make the other neighbors angry. The system of collecting garbage using one standard to service the rich and the poor is not working. The amount of $50 for the poor resident is a lot of money to pay for the garbage, while it is probably a minuscule amount and affordable for the others. As your next supervisor, I want to work with the stakeholders—residents, Recology, and the City—to truly solve the problem and stop the dumping of household garbage on sidewalks, islands, streets, and other public land.
The City has changed so much—more cars, more upscale condos and apartments which displace our old time residents. There is no social justice when we allow the displacement of so many of our families who live in the City because of the economic policies of the City which encourage so many companies, workers and 50,000 new residents to converge in the City without thinking ahead on the ramifications of such economic policies on longtime residents. For the last four years, the residents of San Francisco had to deal with increasing rents, and the inability to pay them. Some teachers who find it difficult to stay and work in the City due to salary that cannot pay the rising rent have to leave San Francisco and live somewhere else where a teacher salary may be a little higher, and the rent a little lower. As your next supervisor, I will support the 100% affordable housing bonus for low and middle income residents. It is a welcoming news that cities, regions and the state of California have propositions on the ballot that address $20 billion worth of affordable housing. I think that this issue has finally hit home and can no longer be ignored.
I came to America with my family as an immigrant high school student. I studied and worked hard to become a naturalized American Citizen. I graduated from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago with an undergraduate degree in Business and Management, and Music. I received my Masters Degree in Multicultural Education at the University of San Francisco, and was awarded a Fulbright fellowship last year. I was elected to my third term as a union elected official. I have lived in SF for about 30 years. My family has lived in District 11 for 13 years. My son graduated from Balboa High School and now attends the University of California at Davis. My daughter attends a medical school.
I humbly ask you, the voters and residents of District 11 to elect me, Magdalena De Guzman, a committed school teacher, to the Board of Supervisors. I promise to serve District 11 with all my power, strength and humility.
One day at a time, one voter at a time, one donation at a time, one door hanger at a time, one precinct at a time, I have journeyed through District 11's Excelsior, Outer Mission, and Ingleside-Oceanview neighborhoods and learned so much as a candidate. It’s a different feeling being a resident for 13 years than putting myself out as a candidate that people identify as running for office. The more I meet the residents and hear their stories, the more I realize how fortunate I am to be in my position as a candidate. It's not always about political issues that they want to talk about. A senior citizen talked about her niece who discovered many different species of frogs when I told her that I have a son who is taking wildlife and fishery at UC Davis. What a way to intertwine her stories from the past to my personal stories in the present through political campaign. What I realize is the necessity of just talking to neighbors on a daily basis. I have a reason to knock on doors and talk to District 11 residents. What if this casual communication which is truly building a community relationship through conversations continues after the November 8 election? They are so willing to tell their stories and include stories about their family members who are living across the country.
However, there are also stories that are alarming. A resident tried to stop an assault and was also threatened; a big hole on the street almost swallowed a whole car; a family tried to stop people from dumping their garbage across the street from where they live. All these stories combined give me a sense of what I need to do as District 11 Supervisor.
A school teacher for over 23 years earns a badge of honor from the public. But, I didn't realize this until the residents defined it for me through their positive actions and supportive comments when they found out that I am a 23 year veteran school teacher. Since there has been a lot of teacher-bashing on various media outlets (TV, newspapers, magazines, internet, etc.) for the last 10 years, it's hard to believe that school teachers would still get respect, but I DO and it is a humbling experience. "I think teachers should get paid more money," a young woman said while I talked to her and offered my flyer. Genuine comments like hers hold school teachers in the highest esteem. So, do we need more school teachers to hold political office? Definitely.
A man was walking his dog as I stopped him to hand him my flyer. He said that he appreciates that I'm a school teacher and running for District 11 Supervisor. He happens to be a principal of a school. The dedication to SERVE children, families and communities is not a personal ambition. It is a selfless act, being a teacher, and to have that perspective as a supervisor would hopefully create a collegial dynamic on the board so that we can accomplish more for District 11 and the City.
A school teacher running for supervisor is generating a lot of interest among District 11 residents. Why not take a leap and send a school teacher to City Hall?