Harvey Milk's Chair -- Can It Be Given Away?
|Won't anyone take Harvey's chair?|
But you'd be wrong -- three times wrong. Supervisor Sean Elsbernd should know. He's been sitting there five years. And he can't give it away.
The spot -- the one closest to the public and right by the press gallery -- was one he inherited from Supervisor Tony Hall in 2005, when Elsbernd was appointed to the board. Leland Yee had it before that.
You'd think a gay politician would want the honor of sitting in that chair. Or at least Elsbernd did. He offered it to Tom Ammiano in '05. Ammiano declined. He then offered it to Bevan Dufty. Thanks but no thanks.
Four years later, Elsbernd asked David Campos if he wanted the chair. He did not. Elsbernd was 0-for-3.
|Luke Thomas, Fog City Journal|
|Sean Elsbernd, seated in Harvey's old spot|
That being said, it's a seat Elsbernd has enjoyed sitting in.
"You have access to the public. You're right on the rail and people come to talk to you. You're right next to the press, so you can go talk to the press," said Elsbernd. "Rather than having your back to city staff, when you question them you can look straight at them. And I like that."
Nothing if not tenacious, Elsbernd this year offered the chair to incoming District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener. And Wiener accepted. But now things get complicated.
Eldbernd can't simply give his place at the table to Wiener. Instead he has to vacate his seat, and then the supes choose seating arrangements based on their seniority. While Elsbernd is the senior supe, Wiener is 10th of the 11.
He may yet, however, sit where Harvey sat -- "If he makes his case" to the other supes.