Big plans and big city mayors seem to go together. But this November’s mayoral race in San Francisco is filled with candidates of small ideas when it comes to urban design and planning. In all of American politics, there is perhaps no elected official mightier than a mayor. Mayors, particularly mayors of large cities, wield a disproportionately large stick compared to their gubernatorial, legislative, or congressional brethren. Big city mayors can dispense patronage, influence budgets, and notably, direct the form and shape of development, building, and construction. In the thick of the campaign, the American Institute of Architects invited the eleven major candidates for mayor of San Francisco to debate their respective visions for the City by the Bay. In attendance were former Supervisors Tony Hall and Michaela Alioto-Pier, City Attorney Dennis Herrera, current Mayor Ed Lee, and Supervisor David Chiu. No shows were Public Defender Jeff Adachi, Supervisor John Avalos, former Supervisor Bevan Dufty, venture capitalist Joanna Rees, Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting, and State Senator Leland Yee.