Nobody ever told Jane Kim that elected office would be easy, but the District 6 supervisor’s learning curve has been steep.

Former School Board president Kim, 33, was the first member of the Class of 2010 to introduce legislation on the first opportunity two weeks ago. This past week, her third in office, she became the first newly-inaugurated supervisor to make a big headline — with accompanying frightening Web comments — with her “refusal” to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at Board meetings, something she did for four years previously as a member of the Board of Education (she does stand for it, as she does for the Star-Spangled Banner at sporting events).

Then on Wednesday, she became the first new supervisor to be subject of a public calling-out via the medium of video, in which an animal-rights activist remonstrates Kim for a “refusal” to set up a meeting.

Kim was in New York City this week. She made the trip to fulfill a speaking obligation at her old high school, where teachers and students alike applauded her stance against the pledge, she told the Appeal. Meanwhile, the pledge flap appears to have died down: the story led some local television broadcasts earlier in the week and is on a few spooky right-wing Web sites, but has gone no further (though Kim was approached by FOX News for an interview on the matter, and the 24/7 cable news grist mill may yet see fit to make hay on the story).

The locally-produced video calling-out is the brainchild of Andrew Zollman of LGBT Compassion, an animal-rights group that has made protesting live chicken sales at the Heart of the City Farmers Market — which graces UN Plaza near City Hall in District 6 every Wednesday and Sunday — its mission. During his pickets of Raymond Young Live Poultry, Zollman photographed and video-recorded a litany of what he says are violations of both state animal cruelty laws and local public health statutes. He tried to meet with Kim’s predecessor Chris Daly with no success, and was evidently dissatisfied enough with Kim’s office that he was compelled to create a video for the occasion.

Staffers for both Daly and Kim say they have told Zollman that the chicken sales issue is in the purview of the Department of Public Health, who have not seen fit to shut down the market (Meanwhile, Zollman and his group are accusing one of the Raymond Young Poultry workers of assault, and are represented in San Francisco Superior Court in said case by former mayoral candidate Matt Gonzalez, on whose 2003 campaign Kim was a volunteer).

Nevertheless, Zollman attempted numerous times to set up a meeting with Kim in order to present his case to shut down the chicken sales but was rebuffed, he told the Appeal. The final straw was last Monday, when Zollman says he received a voicemail in which a Kim intern told him “a meeting is not in the offing.” He circulated the video, entitled “Supervisor Jane Kim ignores farmers’ market’s problems,” to members of the media last week, after Gonzalez filed a lawsuit against the chicken sellers.

Kim staffers did contact Zollman on Friday to schedule a meeting, but the question remains: why go hard after Jane? Zollman says it’s because Kim is a new supervisor who promised to clean up city streets; holding her accountable early will bring results, he told the Appeal.

Others suggest that Kim’s a target of ire in part because she’s a young woman. Women in politics get a raw deal, according to Jessica Grounds, executive director of Running Start, a nonprofit that prepares young women for the political life.

“Young female candidates get slammed for inexperience, while their young male counterparts are seen as ambitious and assertive,” she told a women’s rights Web site. “And there’s an enormous media bias in the way women are depicted in the news.”

When the Board of Education took up the issue of banning JROTC in public schools, Kim was the only member to receive death threats – odd considering that two other members, one of them now-Supervisor Eric Mar, took the point on the issue. SFUSD attorneys told Kim it had to do with her age and her gender. “For some reason, young women are more of a target,” she told the Appeal. “I’m not sure why it is – maybe it’s a power thing? People feel they can get away with it?”

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  • sfbird

    I’m sick of self-appointed “activists” who believe they’re important enough to demand meetings with politicians (and it’s a big “controversy” if they don’t get one).

    If this guy is so concerned about the plight of chickens, why doesn’t he go accost people coming out of the Popeye’s on 22nd and Mission?

  • sfbird

    I’m sick of self-appointed “activists” who believe they’re important enough to demand meetings with politicians (and it’s a big “controversy” if they don’t get one).

    If this guy is so concerned about the plight of chickens, why doesn’t he go accost people coming out of the Popeye’s on 22nd and Mission?

  • SF94122

    Maybe because that live poultry market is infamous for breaking local and state laws regarding health and animal cruelty standards?? I’m sick of self-appointed ‘activists’ who comment on articles about people standing up for what they believe in.

    Who knows, working on this could eventually lead her to actually recite The Pledge, after she gets the country to a place she deems ‘fit’ enough to deserve The Pledge.

  • SF94122

    Maybe because that live poultry market is infamous for breaking local and state laws regarding health and animal cruelty standards?? I’m sick of self-appointed ‘activists’ who comment on articles about people standing up for what they believe in.

    Who knows, working on this could eventually lead her to actually recite The Pledge, after she gets the country to a place she deems ‘fit’ enough to deserve The Pledge.

  • sfbird

    That first paragraph makes no sense whatsoever. You’re sick of people expressing opinions (about other people expressing opinions)? Huh?

    As for conditions, I guess you’re not familiar with the conditions of factory farms (from which KFC, Popeyes, etc. get their chicken).

    And what does this even have to do with Jane Kim? As stated in the article, this falls to the department of health, not the city council. Do you also demand a meeting with the city council if a car is blocking your driveway? Christ, this is why bureaucracies get so bloated. They have to waste all their time dealing with the demands of idiots.

  • sfbird

    That first paragraph makes no sense whatsoever. You’re sick of people expressing opinions (about other people expressing opinions)? Huh?

    As for conditions, I guess you’re not familiar with the conditions of factory farms (from which KFC, Popeyes, etc. get their chicken).

    And what does this even have to do with Jane Kim? As stated in the article, this falls to the department of health, not the city council. Do you also demand a meeting with the city council if a car is blocking your driveway? Christ, this is why bureaucracies get so bloated. They have to waste all their time dealing with the demands of idiots.

  • SF94122

    Apparently you missed the fact that I was making fun of you with the activist comment. I suppose my sarcasm ‘fell completely flat and came across as sort of annoying.’

    Per conditions, well aware. Also, aware of the well organized groups that protest and boycott those shops.

    It has to do with Jane Kim because this person, apparently well known for this issue, has been trying to work with the supervisor’s council for a while to no avail. Instead of pushing it off to the next person, Jane Kim should stand-up for this issue and try to tackle it. Like the article said, she’s new and has the opportunity to really make an impact on issues small and large, even those that Daly / other people identify as belonging to the Dept. of Health. Jane Should take it to the Dept. of Health’s doorstep.

    And for cars blocking driveways, you call DPT smarta$$. Here’s the number: 415.553.1200.

  • SF94122

    Apparently you missed the fact that I was making fun of you with the activist comment. I suppose my sarcasm ‘fell completely flat and came across as sort of annoying.’

    Per conditions, well aware. Also, aware of the well organized groups that protest and boycott those shops.

    It has to do with Jane Kim because this person, apparently well known for this issue, has been trying to work with the supervisor’s council for a while to no avail. Instead of pushing it off to the next person, Jane Kim should stand-up for this issue and try to tackle it. Like the article said, she’s new and has the opportunity to really make an impact on issues small and large, even those that Daly / other people identify as belonging to the Dept. of Health. Jane Should take it to the Dept. of Health’s doorstep.

    And for cars blocking driveways, you call DPT smarta$$. Here’s the number: 415.553.1200.

  • sfbird

    Oooh! Personal! Apparently I touched the nerve of a certain chicken activist.

    You still haven’t said what it is you want her to do. Propose a law? But you already claimed they are in violation of numerous “local and state laws.” So why not report it to the appropriate authorities? These laws all have enforcement mechanisms and agencies whose job it is to respond to complaints. But that’s a boring process isn’t it? It’s much more fun to be an Activist and shout about things than it is to actually do something about them. And while you’re at it, why not shout at somebody that has nothing to do with it! Oh, and don’t forget to make a videotape to “raise awareness” (hint: don’t call it “Chicken Chokers Exposed!,” it will affect your google results).

    In case you didn’t know, the Board of Supervisors is legislative. They do not enforce laws.

  • sfbird

    Oooh! Personal! Apparently I touched the nerve of a certain chicken activist.

    You still haven’t said what it is you want her to do. Propose a law? But you already claimed they are in violation of numerous “local and state laws.” So why not report it to the appropriate authorities? These laws all have enforcement mechanisms and agencies whose job it is to respond to complaints. But that’s a boring process isn’t it? It’s much more fun to be an Activist and shout about things than it is to actually do something about them. And while you’re at it, why not shout at somebody that has nothing to do with it! Oh, and don’t forget to make a videotape to “raise awareness” (hint: don’t call it “Chicken Chokers Exposed!,” it will affect your google results).

    In case you didn’t know, the Board of Supervisors is legislative. They do not enforce laws.

  • Josh

    Given the losses suffered by the community, since the chickens can no longer be bought by those on food stamps, and the financial loss to the farmer, since all his permits are in order and the city inspectors have been out a number of times and the market and the chicken farmer is in compliance with health and safety codes, I’d say this not for profit is certainly looking at a lawsuit, only it may be headed towards them.

  • Josh

    Given the losses suffered by the community, since the chickens can no longer be bought by those on food stamps, and the financial loss to the farmer, since all his permits are in order and the city inspectors have been out a number of times and the market and the chicken farmer is in compliance with health and safety codes, I’d say this not for profit is certainly looking at a lawsuit, only it may be headed towards them.

  • LGBTcompassion

    @sfbird: Since April 2009, we’ve tried to get enforcement at the farmers’ market. With few exceptions (e.g. federal food stamp violations) govt. officials have flatly refused to enforce the various law and permit violations surrounding the live bird vendors and market. The Dept. of Public Health only started doing anything due to public pressure from the activists’ campaign. The Board of Supervisors (who controls the market’s permit and its live bird sales rules, and can introduce a city policy banning live animals at farmers’ markets) has also refused to do anything or communicate with us until now – due to this video exposing Jane Kim. We all have jobs and lives and would prefer that laws be enforced and improved without activism, but that’s not how the world works.

    Also, we are very familiar with the conditions of factory-farmed birds sold at grocery stores and fast-food restaurants, and protest against those as well. These birds come from some of the same factory farms (such as Gemperle Industries, one of CA’s largest egg producers, fired by Trader Joe’s for filth and cruelty). However, we can’t shut down a factory farm, and this horrific cruelty and filth is happening right in our back yard, and being subsidized and protected by our city.

    @Josh – federal USDA laws have ALWAYS prohibited the purchase of livestock with food stamps (funded with our taxpayer money), for everyone. The market and live bird vendors just were allowed to get away with this very serious violation until our investigations exposed them. It’s silly to suggest that the community will “suffer” – they can still buy food with food stamps. The Dept. of Public Health, the Agricultural Commissioner, Animal Care & Control, and others agree that there are problems and violations – they are just simply choosing to not properly enforce them and/or are being blocked by agencies such as the Board of Supervisors, the City Attorney and District Attorney.

  • LGBTcompassion

    @sfbird: Since April 2009, we’ve tried to get enforcement at the farmers’ market. With few exceptions (e.g. federal food stamp violations) govt. officials have flatly refused to enforce the various law and permit violations surrounding the live bird vendors and market. The Dept. of Public Health only started doing anything due to public pressure from the activists’ campaign. The Board of Supervisors (who controls the market’s permit and its live bird sales rules, and can introduce a city policy banning live animals at farmers’ markets) has also refused to do anything or communicate with us until now – due to this video exposing Jane Kim. We all have jobs and lives and would prefer that laws be enforced and improved without activism, but that’s not how the world works.

    Also, we are very familiar with the conditions of factory-farmed birds sold at grocery stores and fast-food restaurants, and protest against those as well. These birds come from some of the same factory farms (such as Gemperle Industries, one of CA’s largest egg producers, fired by Trader Joe’s for filth and cruelty). However, we can’t shut down a factory farm, and this horrific cruelty and filth is happening right in our back yard, and being subsidized and protected by our city.

    @Josh – federal USDA laws have ALWAYS prohibited the purchase of livestock with food stamps (funded with our taxpayer money), for everyone. The market and live bird vendors just were allowed to get away with this very serious violation until our investigations exposed them. It’s silly to suggest that the community will “suffer” – they can still buy food with food stamps. The Dept. of Public Health, the Agricultural Commissioner, Animal Care & Control, and others agree that there are problems and violations – they are just simply choosing to not properly enforce them and/or are being blocked by agencies such as the Board of Supervisors, the City Attorney and District Attorney.

  • Shameless

    I understand that lgbt compassion is against killing animals for food. Given that most San Franciscans do eat animals, though, I’m not clear why this group feels the board of supervisors should ban the sale of live animals.
    Are you folks saying that if the live chicken vendor in civic center did everything by the book you’d fold up shop and move on? Or is this really the first step in trying to change laws to make meat harder for people to buy for food?

  • Shameless

    I understand that lgbt compassion is against killing animals for food. Given that most San Franciscans do eat animals, though, I’m not clear why this group feels the board of supervisors should ban the sale of live animals.
    Are you folks saying that if the live chicken vendor in civic center did everything by the book you’d fold up shop and move on? Or is this really the first step in trying to change laws to make meat harder for people to buy for food?

  • Greg Dewar

    I fail to see what “news” is here. Good to see someone is out there watching Jane’s back, it’s not like she has a staff that does this for her at public expense.

  • Greg Dewar

    I fail to see what “news” is here. Good to see someone is out there watching Jane’s back, it’s not like she has a staff that does this for her at public expense.

  • LGBTcompassion

    @Shameless, the city should ban live animal sales at farmers’ markets due to the inherent cruelty and public health risks. Heart of the City Farmers’ Market is the only S.F. market that allows them. There’s no way that the vendors and customers can comply with animal cruelty and public health laws while selling 600 factory-farmed birds in a few hours, and cramming them into paper and plastic bags, to be killed behind close doors by unknown methods. Also, many of these birds are brought to restaurants in violation of health codes. The very fact that these birds are sold right next to food creates health violations – and that’s one reason the city doesn’t allow live animal sales at markets it directly manages, such as Alemany Blvd.

    LGBTcompassion is against unnecessarily harming any animal for any reason, including food, clothing and entertainment. That doesn’t change the fact that the cruelty and legal violations surrounding the live bird vendors are wrong, and should be properly addressed. I really don’t think you have to worry about us taking away your meat, dairy and eggs! All we can do is to encourage people to voluntarily choose to not consume them, and to work to improve the treatment of animals that are destined to be used for food, as well as fight other social problems surrounding animal agribusiness such as public health risks, pollution/global warming, human rights violations (farm workers), and wasted resources.

  • LGBTcompassion

    @Shameless, the city should ban live animal sales at farmers’ markets due to the inherent cruelty and public health risks. Heart of the City Farmers’ Market is the only S.F. market that allows them. There’s no way that the vendors and customers can comply with animal cruelty and public health laws while selling 600 factory-farmed birds in a few hours, and cramming them into paper and plastic bags, to be killed behind close doors by unknown methods. Also, many of these birds are brought to restaurants in violation of health codes. The very fact that these birds are sold right next to food creates health violations – and that’s one reason the city doesn’t allow live animal sales at markets it directly manages, such as Alemany Blvd.

    LGBTcompassion is against unnecessarily harming any animal for any reason, including food, clothing and entertainment. That doesn’t change the fact that the cruelty and legal violations surrounding the live bird vendors are wrong, and should be properly addressed. I really don’t think you have to worry about us taking away your meat, dairy and eggs! All we can do is to encourage people to voluntarily choose to not consume them, and to work to improve the treatment of animals that are destined to be used for food, as well as fight other social problems surrounding animal agribusiness such as public health risks, pollution/global warming, human rights violations (farm workers), and wasted resources.

  • Josh

    I don’t see any links to the rules, regulations, or laws which you’re saying the city is not enforcing. All those things are public documents; link to your sources, when you’re going to say there’s graft/corruption or simply rules not being enforced by those charged with enforcement.

    “Suffering”. Yes. The group most affected by not being able to by the live chickens, which are housed but free range within the barn, is a group which does not buy dead chickens.
    All of these people are now simply lacking a basic component to their diet, a group which is clearly already desperately poor.

    I wouldn’t bring this to the attention of the Board of Supervisors expecting a resolution in your favor, there are too many civil rights attorneys at the board who’d be more likely to believe the “live animal’ prohibition regulation from the Food Stamps agency would not face a legal challenge, because of the impact on an impoverished community. These chickens are treated better than those one gets their eggs from, at Safeway.

  • Josh

    I don’t see any links to the rules, regulations, or laws which you’re saying the city is not enforcing. All those things are public documents; link to your sources, when you’re going to say there’s graft/corruption or simply rules not being enforced by those charged with enforcement.

    “Suffering”. Yes. The group most affected by not being able to by the live chickens, which are housed but free range within the barn, is a group which does not buy dead chickens.
    All of these people are now simply lacking a basic component to their diet, a group which is clearly already desperately poor.

    I wouldn’t bring this to the attention of the Board of Supervisors expecting a resolution in your favor, there are too many civil rights attorneys at the board who’d be more likely to believe the “live animal’ prohibition regulation from the Food Stamps agency would not face a legal challenge, because of the impact on an impoverished community. These chickens are treated better than those one gets their eggs from, at Safeway.