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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Where's the Urgency in South SF?

Over the last year or so, South San Francisco has become ground zero for gang violence in the northern portion of San Mateo County. In December of 2010, three individuals were slain in one bloody incident. It was the worst single case of multiple-murder in the town's history. A 14-year-old boy was gunned down in September. The community is on edge. Police and politicians are scrambling to address the problem. You might think the upcoming election would produce a spate of fresh faces eager to run for office in light of what's been transpiring there. You would be wrong. In the race for two seats on the city council, incumbents Richard Garbarino and Kevin Mullin are being challenged by just one man, Johnny "Midnight" Rankins, who lists himself as a "retired arborist/entertainer." That's the extent of the political "surge" in South San Francisco. Maybe the citizenry there is satisfied with the job being done by its elected officials. Or, perhaps, residents simply feel powerless to do anything about what's bedeviling the place. Still, it is surprising that there hasn't been a groundswell of outrage that translates into viable candidates for public office.

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