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Politics

SF Mayor Names Planning Commission President To Vacant Supervisor’s Seat

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Planning Commission President Christina Olague was selected to fill the District 5 seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. (SF Planning Commission)

Planning Commission President Christina Olague was selected to fill the District 5 seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. (SF Planning Commission)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee Monday appointed Planning Commission president Christina Olague as the newest member of the Board of Supervisors.

Olague, 50, will represent District 5, replacing Ross Mirkarimi, who was sworn in as sheriff on Sunday.

The district, considered one of the more progressive ones in San Francisco, includes the city’s Haight-Ashbury, Western Addition, Hayes Valley and Fillmore neighborhoods.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

Olague was sworn in at a ceremony at City Hall Monday morning by Lee, who said he and Olague both have experience fighting for low-income tenants and immigrants within the city.

Lee said Olague’s tenure on the Planning Commission might force her to recuse herself from votes by the board on issues that already came in front of her on the commission, but said “the strength of what she brings vastly overwhelms concerns about individual votes.”

Olague pledged to hit the ground running, saying “Every decision I make will be what I believe is in the best interests of my constituents.”

Olague, who identifies herself as bisexual and is only the third Hispanic woman to serve as supervisor, said she hopes her appointment will help the city in “coming together and moving past the old political pigeonholes.”

After the ceremony, board president David Chiu noted that Olague was heavily involved in Lee’s mayoral campaign last year and speculated that may have played a role in her appointment.

Olague served as co-chair of Progress for All, the group whose “Run Ed Run” campaign preceded his decision to run for mayor after he had previously said he would not seek election after being appointed last January when Gavin Newsom became lieutenant governor.

“She was obviously very active during the campaign,” said Chiu, who also ran for mayor in November. “I don’t think this is a surprise.”

Lee told reporters after the ceremony, “Clearly it wasn’t just the ‘Run Ed Run’ campaign” that influenced his decision to appoint Olague.

Lee said their similar backgrounds working for disenfranchised San Francisco residents, as well as her agreement with his ideas for job creation in the city, among other issues, were key factors in his decision.

“She kind of reminded me of myself,” he said.

Olague will attend her first meeting as a supervisor on Tuesday, the board’s first meeting since their December recess.

Former Supervisor and new sheriff Mirkarimi is the subject of a domestic violence inquiry following an alleged incident with his wife last month.

A neighbor told police that Mirkarimi had grabbed and bruised wife Eliana Lopez’s arm during a heated argument on New Year’s Eve. Mirkarimi has denied the allegations.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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