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Election 2010 – Meet the Candidates: Robert Retana: Superior Court Judge, Seat No. 6

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It’s hard enough keeping up with one’s day to day nonsense in the great city of San Francisco, so when it comes time to cast your vote, outside of the inane commercials produced for high-profile candidates, it can be hard to find out anything about anyone else.

By no means hard-hitting interviews, I thought I’d ask various candidates 20 questions to give you an idea of what makes them tick, or if they tick at all. Now you’ll have one less excuse for being a moron and not voting.


Name: Robert Retana
Profession: Lawyer, Administrative Office of the Courts, General Counsel; former ADA
Office: Judge of the Superior Court, Seat No.6
Age: 47
Hometown: Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, California

Robert sends us his answers via e-mail from his home after having just walked his dogs.

Stephen Torres: Hey Robert. So where do you live?
Robert Retana: I live in Eureka Valley.

ST: What is your favourite neighbourhood hangout in the city?
RR: I like to take my dogs to Golden Gate Park on sunny days.

ST: Why are you running?
RR: I am running because I would make a great judge who is fair and treats everyone who comes before me with respect.  I have excellent qualifications, with experience in both civil and criminal law and service as a judge pro tem (San Mateo.)
I am also running because there are very few Latino judges in San Francisco. I think it is important that the judiciary reflect the wonderful, diverse and interesting City of San Francisco.

ST: What’s the biggest issue in San Francisco to you?
RR: As someone who uses public transportation, MUNI is a real headache most of the time.

ST: What the hell should be done about Muni/ BART?
RR: I don’t have any great ideas, but can’t we find someone who does?

ST: Foot, bike, PT, or car?
RR: Foot, PT and car.  I have a bike, and someday I may actually ride it.

ST: What’s your favourite cheap restaurant in town?
RR: There are so many.  I love to have breakfast at the Red Café on Mission and 25th Street.

ST: What’s your favourite cheap bar?
RR: I don’t go out to bars that much these days, but I like Martuni’s (although I am not sure it qualifies as cheap).

ST: What’s your poison?
RR: Any kind of cake, cookie or pastry.

(ST: What is with us Latinos and sweets? 'As I eat another chocolate at my Mom’s house.)

ST: Legalize pot?
RR: No comment.

ST: What is the best/ worst part about living in San Francisco.
RR: The best part is that it is a place where people from all backgrounds and orientations mix and interact almost effortlessly.  The worst part is the weather seems to change almost every hour.

(ST: Amen to the weather part.)

ST: How long before you think only rich people can live here?
RR: I am going to be optimistic and say that it will not happen.

ST: Is the situation with the homeless in the city going to get better or worse?
RR: I have no idea. The economy is bad and many people have lost their jobs.  All I can say is:  Let’s hope it gets better.

ST: Is our state/ country doomed?
RR: No.

ST: Mexico: important ally/ scary neighbour?
RR: Important ally.

ST: President Obama: good job/ bad job?
RR: Good job for the most part, but it depends on the issue.

ST: Queer marriage- yay/ nay?
RR: Yay!

ST: Tell me secret.
RR: If I told you would not be a secret.

ST: What would you like our readers to know about you?
RR: I am someone who, despite a very humble background, worked hard to achieve my goals.  I am honest, fair and hard working and I hope to inspire others to reach for the stars, regardless of background, race or orientation.

Thanks. Robert and good luck.

If you want to learn more about Robert’s campaign, check it out here.

Photo courtesy of Robert Retana.

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Stephen Torres - Threadbare-Fact Finder (Editor, San Francisco)

Stephen Torres - Threadbare-Fact Finder (Editor, San Francisco)

Stephen's early years were spent in a boxcar overlooking downtown Los Angeles. From there he moved around the state with his family before settling under the warm blanket of smog that covers suburban Southern California. Moving around led to his inability to stay in one place for very long, but San Francisco has been reeling him back in with its siren song since 1999.
By trade he pours booze, but likes to think he can write and does so occasionally for the SF Bay Guardian, Bold Italic and 7x7. He also likes to enjoy time spent in old eateries, bars and businesses that, by most standards, would have been condemned a long time ago.

1 Comment

  1. Ana Chavez
    September 7, 2010 at 7:52 am

    I went to high school with Robert, he was the Class President! He did come from humble beginnings, congratulations Robert and good luck on the upcoming election.