District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener has been called all sorts of names. A prude, a political machine and a giant. Ringing in at 6-foot, 7-inches, Wiener is not easy to miss. He’s immediately noticeable during City Council meetings, even when he’s sitting down.
The 42-year-old New Jersey native has managed to quickly make his way into headlines of San Francisco newspapers and has captured the attention of the city. Wiener was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2010 and has already brought about a few changes.
Wiener represents the Castro, Eureka Valley, Upper Market, Noe Valley, Duboce Triangle, Diamond Heights, Glen Park, Corona Heights, Buena Vista, Twin Peaks, Mission-Dolores, and some of the Inner Mission. Wiener is overseeing a lot of land, people and the issues concerning them meaning he is literally, physically, all over the city. The issues he address are also on all parts of the spectrum.
Only in this past year Wiener has tackled hard questions. Regardless of his seemingly shy demeanor, Wiener didn’t stay quiet when he addressed Russia’s anti-LGBT legislation to the humane treatment of animals in shelters, MUNI and public nudity being the more sensitive items on his agenda.
Wiener has mastered the balancing act. Sure, he might leave some upset or in disagreement but he’s working towards more of an open communication between himself and the people.
Noe Valley in particular is a politically active neighborhood that consistently has numerous groups asking for public engagement along 24th Street. The residents are now wealthier, younger and more tech-savvy. Surprisingly, Wiener has found a specific way to successfully connect with them.
“I do think that he’s really smart to get involved [with] the community on social media. This is certainly the right crowd for that approach. I was really impressed to see that he was on Nextdoor.com and actively engaging in conversations,” said Sara Strickler, 26, a 24th Street resident.
On the popular issue of MUNI, Joe Ricioppo, 31, another 24th Street resident said, “I think improving MUNI is a noble cause, and probably something safe to focus on.”
Though Wiener has created dialogue, the issue of public nudity in San Francisco has drawn the line for some.
“This is probably the one thing that really colors my opinion of Wiener. I totally support it,” said Strickler who shares a common opinion with others in such an open and embracing city.
“Naked people don’t hurt me, or really affect my life experience in any way, so I have no issue with it, and am proud to live in a city that’s so quirky and comfortable in its skin,” added Strickler.
This single issue, which aims to change a deeply-rooted tradition of not only the Castro but of San Francisco seems to be focus point from where citizens are drawing their opinion of Wiener. People have become slightly defensive which could be the reasoning behind Wiener’s label as being a goody-goody.
“Also, his name is Wiener. How can you oppose naked people when your name is Wiener?” said Ricioppo.