Just like San Francisco’s District 6 consists of more than just the Tenderloin and homeless junkies, Theresa Sparks is much more than San Francisco’s highest-profiled transgender politician. (I hope one day we won’t care that she used to be a man, but for now, let’s just get that fact out of the way.) Sparks, 61, is running for Supervisor of District 6, a large area of the city that encompasses Union Square, part of the Mission, Civic Center, South of Market and many other areas where people of diverse ethnic backgrounds and income live.
Sparks is well known and liked in San Francisco by many politicians and people, a prominence that has led some to describe her, perhaps derisively, as being part of SF’s political machine. A former president of the Police Commission, Sparks helped select the new police chief, George Gascon (an In The Cut alumnus) . Currently, she is the director of SF’s Human Rights Commission. In 2003, the California State Assembly selected her as the Woman of the Year.
In this episode of “In The Cut,” Sparks invited us to her new apartment on Van Ness Avenue, where she moved last fall from Nob Hill to fulfill the requirement that all Supervisorial candidates live in the district they hope to represent.
We talked about her background in Kansas, where she was born, played football, and rode Harley Davidson motorcycles. We spent less time on her gender transition and the issues surrounding it: there are plenty of articles online in which Sparks discusses her relationship with her children and former wife, and even her Wikipedia page has more information about her transition for those interested.
What we really wanted to know what she was going to do if she became Supervisor. What will she do for the homeless, the prostitutes, the drug addicts, the kids who walk to school? What about gentrification? Muni? What’s her stance on Laura’s Law, a controversial law involving consequences for the mentally ill who refuse treatment? And how about that budget? More jobs for the city?
Watch the video to find out!