David Campos, Corporate Shill?

Hardly. But his Obama-era Harvard Law pragmatism might ring that way in San Francisco's left-wing political tradition of ideology first, facts second.

In San Francisco, as elsewhere, the term “jobs” has evolved into a euphemism for “whatever big business wants.” The lobbying group for San Francisco's biggest businesses is called the “Committee on Jobs,” as is the state Assembly's business advocacy panel, and some have fretted that Silicon Valley's potential for losing its edge is epitomized by the failing health of a tycoon with the last name “Jobs.”


Therefore it was surprising to hear Supervisor David Campos, the most pedigreed of San Francisco's new breed of left-wing city fathers, declare at a recent gathering of pro-development types that he will make a priority of preserving and growing private sector jobs. During the past eight years, San Francisco's most pitched policy battles were waged between self-described “progressive” supervisors and business groups such as the aforementioned local business-lobbying group.

“The best thing you can do for the working poor is to make sure they have jobs,” said Campos, explaining his hesitancy in supporting a downtown congestion-pricing initiative, for fear it might discourage shopping. “We have to think about revenue in ways that don't hurt economic development.”

Campos is a gay attorney who came to the U.S. at age 16 as an illegal Guatemalan immigrant, and ran for supervisor last fall representing neighborhoods in the city's southeast as a civil rights advocate and a friend of medical marijuana stores.

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