On May 13, Steve Francis leaned up against the wall at the Joyce Beers Community Center in Hillcrest and took a few deep breaths before speaking to the Hillcrest Town Council Meeting in the Joyce Beers Community Center. He was given three minutes to speak and was asked five questions from the 50 people in attendance.
When Francis was introduced, he wasted little time before bashing the policies of Mayor Jerry Sanders. Francis accused Sanders of adding to the financial woes of the city and demonizing city employees. He also claimed Sanders is bowing down to the demands of special interest groups and building developers. Nearly his entire three minutes addressing the audience was spent attacking the policies of the current mayor.
Once his three minutes were up, an elderly lady in the front row gave her question in a written note for Francis to read: Where is the funding coming from for all those television commercials?
Francis gladly answered, “From my own back pocket. I’m not accepting one campaign dollar, from special interest or anyone else.”
A member of the Uptown Planners Committee asked the next question, but not before stating that in the last few years, no representative from Sanders’ office has attended the planning and development meetings. “Will your administration act differently and send representatives to these meetings?”
Francis responded that, if elected, he would not continue Sanders' policy of pawning community issues off to the city council members. “I’ll come to the meetings myself, if I have to, or one of my representatives will attend for me.”
Two of the questions came from members of the gay community, both asking for his stance on same-sex marriage. “I support domestic partnerships and civil unions, but for personal reasons I do not support same-sex marriage, but I’m sensitive to the issue. Please don’t judge me on my position. My wife and I have funded several projects and fought for the rights of the gay community, but I just don’t agree with same-sex marriages.”
The fifth question was in regard to Francis’s environmental platform. “I’ve recently been endorsed by the Sierra Club, and that’s no easy task. I want to make San Diego up there with San Francisco, Portland, and Austin when it comes to environmental initiatives.”
After the final question, Francis sat down in the audience for three or four minutes, before quietly exiting with his wife, family, and campaign worker.