Statement on Sheriff Mirkarimi

San Francisco Green Party: Statement in Support of Sheriff Ross
Mirkarimi Remaining in Office as the Duly Elected Sheriff of San

Based on the following criteria, which are vitally important to our
community and to families struggling with domestic conflict, the San
Francisco Green Party strongly supports Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi
remaining in his duly elected office. We will accordingly defend and
support any Supervisor or other decision maker who stands for what is
right in supporting, and where possible voting, in favor of retaining
Ross Mirkarimi as the duly elected Sheriff.

1. We Must Set a Strong Example for Other Families Experiencing
Domestic Conflict

Sheriff Mirkarimi made a powerful public act in admitting his role in
his family's struggle with interpersonal conflict, apologizing and
accepting responsibility for that role, and most importantly,
beginning counseling and education in order to become a better person
and to keep his family healthy and intact. This action has set an
example for other men and families in domestic conflict, to address
their problems by openly admitting them and seeking help.

To punitively remove Sheriff Mirkarimi from office in response to his
important act of taking open public responsibility for his family's
health and well-being would send a terrible message to other families
in conflict. It would show them that to openly admit their problems
and seek help will bring harsh retribution and punishment instead of
support and empowerment. To set such a precedent would encourage other
men and families with domestic conflict problems to adopt the outdated
shame-based approach of seeking to silence themselves and hide their
problems. This would run counter to fundamental principles of good
domestic conflict intervention.

2. We Must Support San Francisco's Ethic of Redemptive Justice

It has long been a powerful ethic in San Francisco to end the
historically failed revenge and punishment-based approach to community
justice. Our experience in San Francisco has clearly shown that is far
more effective to employ methods of prevention rather than reaction,
and to provide those who have entered our justice system with
education, support, and job security, to give them a path to dignity
and redemption, and to becoming better citizens.

These modern methods, founded and championed by the previous Sheriff,
Michael Hennessey, were also strongly supported by Sheriff Mirkarimi
in his role as a Supervisor, resulting in reduced crime his district
and the City as a whole. Sheriff Mirkarimi must be held to the same
standards, and be given the same support, that he has defended
throughout his life of public service

3. We Must Continue the Sheriff's Strong Defense of Undocumented
Citizens, People of Color, Constitutional Rights, and the Right to
Public Protest, Against Unconstitutional Interventions by the Federal

Sheriff Michael Hennessey set an outstanding precedent in the
Sheriff's Department by refusing to the greatest extent possible to
participate in unconstitutional federal 'law enforcement' actions by
the Departments of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs
Enforcement, and the FBI, in order to protect undocumented citizens,
people of color, protesters, and our fundamental democratic civil
rights and privacy.

Recently we have witnessed extremely alarming national trends toward
demonizing and disenfranchising undocumented citizens and people of
color, and violently cracking down on public protests like those of
the Occupy movement at the behest of corporate interests. Even more
alarming are recent revelations that the FBI and the San Francisco
Police Department have engaged in secret agreements to
unconstitutionally spy on and investigate people of Arab descent
and/or Islamic faith, peace activists, and others in the name of
'national security.'

It is imperative that we have the strongest, most progressive champion
of civil rights possible in charge of the Sheriff's Department, in
order to ensure that the legacy established by Sheriff Hennessey
continues uninterrupted. It is clear that the public elected Sheriff
Mirkarimi, based on his proven ability to build on his predecessor's
legacy in the face of national political pressure.

4. We Must Not Enable Political Gamesmanship in Our City Government

A misdemeanor conviction in a family conflict case, which the court
itself has decided will be best resolved by family counseling and
education, clearly does not constitute sufficient reason to remove an
effective and dedicated public servant from office.

We can only conclude that members of the Downtown political machine
and its media allies have cynically seized upon this case as a means
of removing the one progressive citywide elected executive in San
Francisco from his position, in order to advance a more reactionary
and corporate-oriented control over our local government and our

Progressives on the Board of Supervisors know well the recent
manipulations by Downtown forces, which have led to retreat from the
progressive accomplishments that we have achieved in San Francisco
over the past decade.

The recent FBI scandal noted above and the Mayor's subsequent veto of
good legislation that would have corrected this problem, as well as
other reactionary policies encroaching in San Francisco, such as the
Sit-Lie Law and the Mayor's use of it to expel Occupy organizers, are
red flags warning us that progressives need to draw a line in the sand
and not allow Downtown to further erode progressive gains in San

We call on the progressives of the Board of Supervisors to therefore
not only do what is right, but also do what is politically wise, and
not allow corporate interests in City Hall to further entrench
themselves by undermining the will of the voters and appointing a
Sheriff who would be far more in line with the interests of the 1%,
than the interests that we as progressives support.