Christina Olague appointed as SF's new supervisor

January 9, 2012 10:47:23 PM PST
On Monday San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee made his first major decision since being sworn to a full term in office on Sunday. He appointed a woman to the supervisor's seat vacated by Ross Mirkarimi, who's now the sheriff. His pick, Christina Olague, is a community activist and former president of the city's planning commission.

Olague, 50, says appointments like this usually don't happen to people like her. She grew up the daughter of Latino farm workers in the Central Valley and is now San Francisco's newest supervisor.

Olague, who identifies herself as bi-sexual, will represent District 5 -- one of the most liberal in the city -- Which includes the Fillmore and Haight Ashbury neighborhoods.

"Our priorities are clear we need to focus on jobs and smart economic development," said Olague.

Both she and the mayor believe it's time to move past what Olague calls the old political pigeon holes.

Tyler: Were you concerned at all about how progressive she is versus your more moderate leanings?
Lee: I don't put labels on it.

In fact, Olague co-chaired the "Run Ed Run" campaign to persuade him to jump into the mayoral race, but Lee says other factors influenced his decision.

"To be quite candid with you, I feel a lot like her evolvement is similar to mine," said Lee. Still, the new supervisor is expected to join the progressive bloc on the board that includes Supervisor John Avalos.

"I think it shows the mayor is really true to his word right now about wanting to have a city hall that represents our diverse public opinions," said Avalos.

Until now, Olague was president of San Francisco's Planning Commission, involved in key land-use decisions. A commissioner on the other end of the political spectrum believes she'll make a good supervisor.

"Although we didn't agree philosophically often on issues that came before us or we voted differently, we were cordial with each other and we were actually very friendly," said Mike Antonini, a San Francisco planning commissioner.

"It's possible to disagree, but do so in a respectful way that kind of moves the city forward," said Olague.

Olague may have to recuse herself on some issues at the board that she has already dealt with on the planning commission like America's Cup and California Pacific Medical Center's effort to build a new campus.