Election Slate for November 4, 2014

Each year I prepare a slate card for my friends so we can debate how to vote here in San Francisco (and beyond). Here’s what I have so far… I’d love your input (I’ll post comments people submit to me below)–

State of California Offices

Governor: Jerry Brown

Lieutenant Governor: Gavin Newsom (despite his prior anti-homeless measures in SF)

Secretary of State: Alex Padilla

Controller: Betty Yee

Treasurer: John Chiang

Attorney General: Kamala Harris (but wish she’d develop her position on marijuana)

Insurance Commissioner: Dave Jones

Board of Equalization, District 2: Fiona Ma

State Assembly, District 17: David Campos (gives me faith in politics)

Judicial Offices: no recommendation (vote yes or no)

Superior Court Judge, Seat 20: Daniel Flores

Superintendant of Public Instruction: Tom Torlakson

U.S. Federal Offices

U.S. Representative, District 12: Nancy Pelosi (so many reasons she could improve her act)

San Francisco Offices

Board of Education: Stevon Cook, Shamann Walton (vote for no more than three)

Community College Board, 4-year term: Wendy Aragon, Brigitte Davila (vote for no more than three)

Community College Board, 2-year term: William Walker (vote for one)

Assessor-Recorder: Carmen Chu (only candidate)

Public Defender: Jeff Adachi (only candidate)

State of California Propositions

Proposition 1: Yes

Proposition 2: No

Proposition 45: Yes

Proposition 46: No

Proposition 47: Yes

Proposition 48: Yes(?)

San Francisco Propositions

Proposition A: Yes

Proposition B: Yes

Proposition C: Yes

Proposition D: Yes

Proposition E: Yes

Proposition F: Yes

Proposition G: Yes (most important proposition on the ballot… help keep people in their homes!)

Proposition H: Yes

Proposition I: No

Proposition J: Yes (keep SF minimum wage competitive with NYC and elsewhere)

Proposition K: Yes

Proposition L: No

Chris Carlsson writes: “On props I agree down the line and except Prop 1… $2.75 billion for surface or subsurface storage projects inside the $7.5 bio bond… Not one more dam! No on Prop 1!”

Election Slate for November 5, 2013

Each year I prepare a slate card for my friends so we can debate how to vote here in San Francisco (and beyond). Here’s what I have so far… I’d love your input (update: see comments people submitted below)–

San Francisco Offices

Assessor-Recorder: Carmen Chu (only candidate)

City Attorney: Dennis Herrera (only candidate)

Treasurer: Jose Cisneros (only candidate)

San Francisco Propositions

Proposition A: Yes (Retiree Health Care Trust Fund)

Proposition B: No (Waterfront development for luxury condominiums that block public land use and views)

Proposition C: No (Waterfront development for luxury condominiums that block public land use and views)

Proposition D: Yes (Fair Drug Pricing)

I strongly agree with your NO on B and C endorsements . 8 Washington sets a horrible precedent by raising heights on the northern waterfront for the first time in 50 years just to let a developer build $3 million to $5 million condos that will serve as 2nd and 3rd homes for millionaires. This just encourages more of the same. But there’s an even better reason to oppose it.

One of the biggest financial beneficiaries of 8 Washington is the owner of the 1,200 rent controlled units at the Golden Gateway Apartments. He owns 80% of the 8 Washington site, keeps a third of it after the project is built and makes a $12-$15 million profit out of the deal. This is the same guy who has converted 100+ rent controlled apartments to hotel use at his Golden Gateway and used a loophole in state tax law to stiff San Francisco out of $25 million in property taxes, money that could have funded affordable housing, schools, teachers, etc.

Voting NO on B and C sends a message to our elected officials that they must stop bending the rules for people who build second homes for millionaires, destroy rent controlled apartments the city needs and use questionable tax loopholes to cheat the city out of millions in tax dollars they rightfully owe.

Vote NO on B and C and tell your friends.

Thanks for your help,

…not all groups are in favor of Prop A, there is some sneaky language embedded there that could allow the City to get a hold of the funds. I know some politicians came out for it but they thought every one was for it and didn’t learn about the opposition’s positions until after they came out in favor. The fact that so many business interests support it should raise some red flags. Many people I know are voting no or not voting at all on this issue. I also just didn’t vote for Carmen Chu, since she is the only candidate it is mostly a protest vote. Linda

Election Slate for November 6, 2012

Dear friends,

I got several comments on the slate I sent out and wanted to let folks know about them:

1) I was extremely remiss to not recommend that Berkeley residents vote for my good friend Kriss Worthington as Mayor of Berkeley. He has served the community for many years on the Berkeley City Council bringing folks of varied interests together to improve life in a way reminiscent of San Francisco’s Harvey Milk and he’ll definitely encourage public participation in a way Berkeley’s current mayor has failed to do.

2) On the SF Community College Board, Bob of Occupy recommends a vote for Hannah Leung, lawyer and social worker, who he says doesn’t come with any obvious party baggage and has some creative ideas for revenues should Prop A and 30 fail, instead of a vote for Steve Ngo, who he says is one of the more “slash and burn” candidates along with Natalie Berg. I will follow his recommendation on this one.

3) Long-time friend Ben recommends a Yes vote on Prop F in San Francisco. I’m not sure he’s convinced me, but he provided a link to further info: http://www.eastbayexpress.com/ebx/san-francisco-against-the-world/Content?oid=3365417

4) Jennifer points out that a protest vote against Obama should be safe in California because it’s almost certain that Obama will take the state. She also doesn’t like the way San Francisco’s Park and Rec department has been mismanaging funds to privatize our parks and provides this link: http://www.sfbg.com/2012/09/05/park-bond-battle

5) Mitch suggested Sam Rodriguez as an alternative to Jill Wynn (for her vote supporting JROTC) on the San Francisco School Board.

In solidarity,


Each year I prepare a slate card for my friends so we can debate how to vote here in San Francisco (and beyond). Here’s what I have so far… I’d love your input–

President and VP: Obama and Biden

US Senator: Feinstein (or protest by not voting)

US Rep, District 13 (was 9): Lee

US Rep, District 12 (was 8): Pelosi (or protest by not voting)

US Rep, District 14 (was 12): Speier

State Senator, District 11 (was 3): Leno

State Assembly, District 17 (was 13): Ammiano

State Assembly, District 19: Ting

School Board (I went with SF Bay Guardian on this one – union recommendations may or may not be appropriate based on school board’s decision to retain teachers in hard-hit schools instead of strictly by seniority):

* Sandra Fewer

* Jill Wynns (although horrible on JROTC and support of Ackerman)

* Shamann Walton

* Matt Haney

Community College Board:

* Chris Jackson (the best candidate trying to stand up against ACCJC/WASC imposed austerity measures)

* Rafael Mandelman

* Steve Ngo

* William Walker

BART Board, District 7: Zachary Mallett

BART Board, District 9: Radulovich

Prop 30: YES (prevent collapse of education system and social services by temporarily taxing income over $250,000 a year and small sales tax increase)

Prop 31: No

Prop 32: NO (will cut unions out of the political process while corporations still have unlimited reign)

Prop 33: No (penalizes those who try to save money and the environment by minimizing use of cars)

Prop 34: YES (stop the immoral and expensive death penalty and prevent innocent executions)

Prop 35: No (Leno working on alternative that decriminalizes prostitution and goes after those really trafficking in humans, rather than expanding the sex offender registry to non-sexual crimes)

Prop 36: YES (provides that third strike must be violent or serious to require felony incarceration, reduces high cost of overburdening already overcrowded state prisons)

Prop 37: YES (label GMOs)

Prop 38: Yes (admittedly regressive taxation to fund education)

Prop 39: Yes (tax companies based on sales in state, no exemption for those with lots of out-of-state employees)

Prop 40: Yes (accept the districts drawn up by the Citizen Redistricting Commission established by the voters)

Prop A: YES (regressive parcel tax that is necessary at this point to keep City College of San Francisco running)

Prop B: Yes (funding for parks)

Prop C: YES (affordable housing and other stuff to get businesses to support it)

Prop D: Yes (City Attorney and Treasurer elected on same election years as other city officials, rather than off years)

Prop E: Yes (not enough reform of corporate tax system, but some is better than none and Prop C apparently can be stopped by the mayor if Prop E doesn’t pass)

Prop F: No (leave Hetch Hetchy as is to provide the great water the city needs, not another expensive study on how to remove the dam at a later cost of $3 to $10 billion)

Prop G: Yes (policy statement that corporations are not people and money is not speech)

Board of Supervisors, District 1: Eric Mar (important progressive choice in a tough race)

Board of Supervisors, District 3: David Chiu

Board of Supervisors, District 5: Christina Olague (she’s facing a tough race, but in my personal experience has really come through on most housing and other important issues — do not vote for Julian Davis who allegedly groped Kay Vasilyeva, a member of the San Francisco Women’s Political Caucus)

Board of Supervisors, District 7: Norman Yee, (not Garcia)

Board of Supervisors, District 9: David Campos (just mark him on first choice, NOT on all three choices per snail mail advisory from SF Election Dept.)

Board of Supervisors, District 11: John Avalos

In solidarity,


California Election Recommendations for May 19, 2009

The California legislature authorized this unnecessary special election in a special deal with Republicans in the state. All of the propositions are pernicious because they would negatively impact spending for human services in the state while not doing anything to cut spending in the areas where it makes sense.

Here are my recommendations:

1A: NO (this is the most important one to oppose because the spending cap would permanently hamper the ability to fund human services programs in California)

1B: Maybe (only goes into effect if 1A passes in which case it might help with preserving some education funding)

1C: No (promotes lottery gambling, which has a disproportionate negative impact on lower-income people, while providing more funding to lottery consultants and less funding to education programs)

1D: No (removes early childhood program funding)

1E: No (removes mental health program funding)

1F: No (constitutional limits to legislator pay increases do nothing to solve the budget crisis… we can always vote them out if they vote to increase their pay inappropriately)

Budget propositions I’d like to see on the ballot this fall that would actually help solve the budget crisis:

  • Reduce the percentage of votes required to pass a budget and/or raise taxes in the legislature from 2/3 to 55%.
  • Get rid of prop 13 property tax limits for corporate real estate
  • Limit 3 strikes to violent crimes
  • Legalize and tax marijuana
  • Single payer health care
  • Tax oil extraction (if the oil companies are permitted do it)
  • Corporate tax based on executive compensation and bonuses