Jan 24 • 32M

Bonus: Interview with State Assembly candidate Thea Selby

"It doesn’t take long for you to look at politicians say, ‘I can do that.’”

The SF Minute
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Hey there, San Francisco.  

State Assembly candidate Thea Selby and her English Spring Spaniel pup

Last week, I spoke with Thea Selby about her campaign for San Francisco’s open State Assembly seat. 

Selby, a self-described “grassroots candidate,” is a mother, small business owner, neighborhood activist (she co-founded the Lower Haight Merchant and Neighbor Association), and sits on the City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees.

You can read more about Selby here. OR, listen to our interview above. It runs for around 30 minutes. 

As a reminder, the February 15 election is coming up! You may have received your ballot in the mail already. 

Here are my interviews with the other three District 17 Assembly candidates: Matt Haney, Bilal Mahmood, and David Campos. Hopefully, they are helpful. 

For now though, here are some sections from my talk with Thea Selby that stood out (some edits have been made for clarity purposes): 

1:00: You mention being a small business owner. What’s your company? 

Thea Selby (TS): “The name of the company is Next Steps Marketing…Government agencies and non-profits, that’s where we do a lot of marketing and outreach and communications…[It’s given me] insight into how government works, and in some ways, how difficult it is. 

4:40: What sparked your interest in running for office? 

TS: “I originally got involved in politics because there was a double homicide across the street from my house. I was a mother and had young children at the time…I was just appalled and a light bulb went off in my head that you can't do anything by yourself…You have to pull in other people. So that’s when I started the Lower Haight Merchant and Neighbor Association…and we pulled together a community that had been pretty isolated. 

That was the beginning for me because we had to associate with politicians in order to make changes. And it doesn’t take long for you to look at politicians say, ‘I can do that.’” 

17:00: What’s unique about your campaign? 

TS: “Thing one, I’m a woman. People might say, who cares? But 70% of the assembly is male…I think it helps to have all different kinds of people, and I think 30% is too low. We should have closer to parity. 

[Also], I’m a parent. I raised two kids in the district. That leads me to have deep empathy for working families… I know a lot of young people who, if they had the possibility, would love to start a family in San Francisco but there's not the housing for it. There's not a lot of support…​​I want to act as the champion, to make sure we have that particular segment included in San Francisco. I don’t want to knock them out. 

The third thing is public safety. I actually have a record of changing a neighborhood [and] working with police…I feel everybody deserves to be safe.” 

24:50: What does the next month look like for you? 

TS: “Well, I think it’s no secret that I’m a grassroots candidate. So…you won't see a lot of direct mail from me. What you will see is, as much as possible, I’ll try and get in front of people…I’m in this for the people… I’m not beholden to pretty much anybody at this point except the voters of San Francisco.”

Alright. Thanks for reading/listening! Talk soon. - Nick B.