The news that firebrand Supervisor Chris Daly has bought a house in his wife's hometown of Fairfield and his family is currently residing there comes as something of a shock. But the notion of a successful thirty-something San Francisco family up and moving with their young kids to a leafy green suburb with wide streets and basketball hoops over the two-car garages -- that's like a magician pulling a rabbit out of a rabbit hutch.
Glancing at an aerial view of the Daly's new cul-de-sac, two doors down from his kids' maternal grandparent's house, one sees swimming pools. Back in District 6 there are pools of other things. Past the family's back yard are vast stretches of lush agricultural fields and orchards. I see trees of green, red roses too. I see them bloom for me and for you. And I think to myself, what a wonderful world it would be -- if we could all buy second houses in more suitable locales to raise the kids.
Who would have guessed that Daly -- a thoroughly atypical politician -- would turn out to be such a typical San Franciscan? He headed to San Francisco after attending a prestigious private university (though, admittedly atypically, he never finished up at Duke), tended some bar, and fought the good fight against gentrification, car culture, and homelessness. And now that he's got two young children and is pushing 40, he's moving the family to a car-dependent suburb where there aren't so many homeless people rambling through the neighborhood -- and his annual salary dwarfs the median family income.
Certainly Daly has opened himself up to charges of hypocrisy here -- and, other than illegal aliens killing people, nothing gets Web troglodytes pounding their keyboards in a malevolent frenzy like all things Daly. While folks who demonize Chris Daly are often far more unpleasant than Daly on his worst day -- you have to admit he's given them some great material to work with here.
And yet, one's family is not an abstract concept -- and children are not experiments. If Daly really did make this move in order to benefit his kids by living two doors down from their grandparents -- as he claims -- he did so knowing full well folks would accuse him of using this city until it didn't suit him anymore and then leaving those without the means to buy second homes to stay here and ride out the unpleasant times ahead. You could argue that showed a lot of commitment on Daly's part. If you were so inclined.
In any event, Daly is a man no one in this city seems to like. He is either loved or hated. So this move may actually fit right in. It will give those who cherish him and those who loathe him one more point to argue vociferously.