SF Mayoral Candidate Angela Alioto defends sanctuary city reform initiative

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Protesters are upset that Mayoral Candidate Angela Alioto is trying to change San Francisco's sanctuary city policy. Her ballot measure would remove sanctuary protections for violent felons.

"We're going to fight these Trumpian policies," rallied protesters at 24th and Mission Streets in San Francisco.

They're upset Mayoral Candidate Angela Alioto is trying to change the city's sanctuary policy. Her ballot measure would remove sanctuary protections for violent felons.

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While on the Board of Supervisors back in 1989 Alioto authored the original sanctuary city ordinance, subsequent supervisors changed it, and she says this initiative gets it back to her original intent.

"The intent of that legislation was never to protect felons, convicted felons," said Alioto.

Critics accuse Alioto of using a Trump talking point for political gain.

Jon Jacobo with the Latina Young Democrats of San Francisco organized the protest in the Mission Friday.

"It's not the climate to do it and I think that it's very irresponsible from a civil rights attorney to even propose something like that," said Jacobo.

Fellow Mayoral Candidate Mark Leno pulled his endorsement of Alioto as third choice candidate in the city's ranked voting system. Other candidates have spoken out on social media.

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"She has used Donald Trump's language of suggesting and promoting his myth that immigrants are quote murderers, rapists, and child molesters. This is very dangerous language," said Leno.

Alioto who's championed progressive causes says she was surprised by the backlash and accusation that she's pandering to a conservative base.

"I have been called everything from a racist to Trumpian, okay. I wrote the medicinal marijuana, needle exchange, I did all the HIV work, at the time I was Supervisor I was called a raving liberal," she noted.

Alioto contends she's wanted to amend the sanctuary city policy ever since it was changed by other supervisors. She says accuses other politicians of being out of touch.

"Why do they want felons? Someone needs to explain to me why they want felons," she said.

The petition needs more than nine-thousand signatures to make it on the ballot.

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