Sharon Byrne, executive director of the Milpas Community Association, has threatened to disrupt the tidy symmetry of this November’s City Council election — in which three challengers backed by the Democratic Party take on three more conservative incumbents — by pulling nomination papers early this week, indicating a strong interest in running. Byrne, who helped put the Milpas Community Association on the political map over the last year, had been groomed for a possible run in the event one of the incumbents chose not to run.
As head of the MCA, Byrne has taken City Hall to task for neglecting Milpas Street in the face of graffiti taggers and street people drawn to the Casa Esperanza homeless shelter on Cacique Street. Democratic political consultants are calculating that Byrne will take votes away from the three council incumbents.
Joining Byrne in the fray is fellow MCA co-founder and boardmember Sebastian Aldana, who took out his nomination papers a week before Byrne did. Aldana, who just retired as a painter to become a caterer, said the two will be running separate campaigns. He, too, has expressed concern that City Hall is quick to forget the needs of Milpas Street residents and business owners.