Change doesn’t come easy in this city. In some respects, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But once we’ve exhausted the well of familiar names and personalities that have dominated South San Francisco politics for the last several decades, the challenge becomes whether we have the courage to break with the past and uncover the potential for a more vibrant, family-centered future. Mark Nagales is a step in that direction.
Most residents that follow local government knew that Kevin Mullin’s days as a city councilman would be limited. He, and his father before him, worked tremendously hard to bring life back to our city. During his tenure as mayor, our new assemblyman had the added challenge of leading our city through a particularly troubling time, a task he performed with grace and assurance. We owe them both a great deal of gratitude for their service and I am personally encouraged to see the Mullin name representing us in Sacramento once more.
With an open seat on the city council a foregone conclusion, the whisperings of who would fill the seat began early on. Names were circulated throughout the city and I knew that this would be a great opportunity to begin the process of moving our city forward. More importantly, I knew that the perfect candidate was in our grasp: Mark Nagales.
While I most often find myself more concerned with issues involving schools and the actions of the school board, the truth is that the city council has several pending issues that need attention, including the revitalization of downtown, development east of highway 101, and keeping crime under control. All these issues have a direct effect on the success of our schools and I believe that Mark has the necessary skills to bring our city this success.
Members of the same graduating class at South City High School, I have known Mark for over 15 years and can testify to his hard work, kind nature, and firm commitment to the success of this city and its residents.
As a Parks and Recreation Commissioner, Mark was instrumental in the revitalization of some of our city’s most deserving areas. Among his many accomplishments as a commissioner, Mark’s contributions have helped return a family-friendly image to South San Francisco, an image that had slowly slipped away over the last several years. At a recent visit to one of our local parks transformed with Mark’s help, I saw the benefits of his work first hand as our youngest residents,’ including my son, played in a safe, modern playground.
Beyond that, Mark has worked tirelessly as a member of Congresswoman Speier’s staff (and Assemblyman Gene Mullin before that) to increase the quality of life for South San Franciscans as well as our neighbors in northern San Mateo County. I am especially grateful for the work that he has done to assist Congresswoman Speier in securing veterans’ benefits. Such a monumental task is a great example of his commitment to those in great need.
On a more personal note, I’m most happy to throw my support behind Mark as a fellow father and husband. Mark’s commitment to his family runs deep and is apparent to all; he lights up when in the presence of his wife and young son. Mark is the kind of family-centered person that can help lead this city into its next chapter.
While we have seen little change in many of the political institutions of this city, this is our opportunity to bring youth and vitality to the politics of South City. Respectfully, I strongly urge the council to consider Mark’s appointment to the vacant seat.
Note: Portions of this post were sent as a letter of support to the mayor and city council.