Mayor candidates on City College issues: Dennis Herrera

San Francisco City’s District Attorney and mayoral candidate, Dennis Herrera, spoke to the Guardsman about his campaign for this coming November election on Aug. 11, 2011 in San Francisco. CLARIVEL FONG / THE GUARDSMAN

By Valerie Demicheva
The Guardsman

San Francisco’s 2011 Mayoral race is a crowded one this year, with many major candidates on the ballot. The Guardsman will be interviewing a new candidate each issue in order to get to the heart of issues concerning you, our City College readers.

Meet Dennis Herrera.

Elected San Francisco’s first Latino City Attorney in 2001, he has since worked on both local and national issues involving same-sex marriage, abortion and health care.

Mr. Herrera lives in the Dogpatch neighborhood with his wife Anne and their nine-year-old son.

What fields do you believe will best prepare students for a secure future?
I say study whatever you’re passionate about. We can’t be overly reliant on one particular industry; blue collar is important too. We can’t just rely on tech. I believe health care and health care research is very valuable, especially when we consider our diverse and aging population.
In what ways is City College of San Francisco important to San Francisco’s economy?
I absolutely believe that City College is vital to San Francisco’s economy. We may never be able to compete with other major cities when it comes to price, but we offer many attractive qualities that are unique to San Francisco.
We are home to a highly trained and educated workforce that is unparalleled in many other major cities. By highlighting our uniquely capable workforce, we can attract new businesses to our city.
I believe San Francisco has unique comparative advantages for attracting the smartest people, the best innovators, the fastest-growing businesses and the best jobs if we put our minds to removing barriers and promoting our strengths.
As Mayor, I look forward to working with City College to continue giving our students the tools they need to succeed in a 21st century economy, including language skills and workforce training.
In Fiscal Year 2011–12, The Board of Supervisors created the City College Select Committee in order to provide direct services that support open and participatory government. How will this Committee will be useful?
I support open government and would support any effective tool that can help break down the walls between City government and the community. I believe that the City College Select Committee can be a useful tool to help facilitate dialogue on important issues to both the City and City College, if its used properly and taken seriously.
Will you miss your post as City Attorney?
Certainly, there’s no more rewarding job as a lawyer, but there’s also no job that prepares you more substantially and politically for mayor.
What does your family think about your campaign?
My wife and I had to have a long talk about it and decide to do it together. She and my son are so supportive, I couldn’t ask for anything more.

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