Kate Slate: November 6, 2012 Election

Posted: October 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Elections, Kate Slate | Comments Off on Kate Slate: November 6, 2012 Election

The election is almost here and I’m already ready for it to be over! The suspense is killing me!

Welcome to another election and welcome to another edition of the Kate Slate, a little tradition I’ve had since I was able to vote. To recap, the goal of the Kate Slate is to provide you with some basic info about what is on the ballot while I navigate the ballot myself. I share my slate with my friends and my community, and I send it to people via email (in addition to posting it on urbandelicious.com) who have either RSVP’d for a Slate Party I have co-hosted, or I consider them a real-life friend, and thought they might want this info. Or you just clicked a link from Twitter, or an email a friend sent you, and that is fine too.

I go person by person, issue by issue, and sometimes end up voting against something that seems right up my alley if it has some fatal (to me) flaw. And, I will let you know if I think it does and why.

Feel free to forward it to friends (and friends, if someone other than me sent this to you feel free to drop me a line if you end up reading it, I like to hear who this made its way to, and I can add you to the email list for the next Kate Slate).

My opinions in the Slate are my own and in no way should be thought to represent any views of anyone other than myself. No one lobbies me for a specific endorsement, though I do have thoughtful engaging conversations with friends who sometime shed light on aspects I hadn’t considered. And, I am not affiliated with any party.

You probably won’t agree with me on everything, and that is okay.

As always, thanks for reading, bonus points for voting!

Grab and Go
Read below for detailed explanations
Note: My ballot is for Congressional District 12, Senate District 11, Assembly District 17, Supervisoral District 9, BART District 9…sorry if I missed something on your ballot!
President and Vice President – Barack Obama and Joseph Biden
United States Senator – Dianne Feinstein
United States Representative D12 – Nancy Pelosi
State Senator D11- Mark Leno
State Assemby D17 – Tom Ammiano

Board of Education – Rachel Norton, Gladys Soto, Matt Haney, Sandra Lee Fewer
Community College Board – Steve Ngo, Rafael Mandelman, Chris Jackson, Amy Bacharach
BART Director D7 – Margaret Gordon
BART Director D9 – Tom Radulovich

Prop 30 – Taxes for Education – YES YES YES
Prop 31 – Two year state budget – NO
Prop 32 – Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction – NO
Prop 33 – Auto Insurance and Drivers’ History – No (again)
Prop 34 – Ends the Death Penalty – YES
Prop 35 – Human Trafficking Penalties – No
Prop 36 – Amends the Three Strikes Law – YES
Prop 37 – Labeling Genetically Modified Foods – YES YES YES
Prop 38 – Taxes for Education Version 2 – I’m leaving blank so 30 will get more Yes votes
Prop 39 – Tax Treatments for Multistate Businesses – YES
Prop 40 – New State Senate Districts – YES (again)

Prop A – City College Funding – YES YES YES
Prop B – SF Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond – yes
Prop C – Housing Trust Fund for Affordable Housing – yes
Prop D – Consolidate Elections – YES
Prop E – Create Gross Receipts Tax – YES
Prop F – A Two-Phase Plan to Evaluate Draining Hetch Hetchy – eh, ok?
Prop G – Policy Statement: Corporations are not People – eh, ok…

District 1 Supervisor – Eric Mar
District 3 Supervisor – David Chiu
District 5 Supervisor – Olague, Rizzo
District 7 Supervisor – Norman Yee
District 9 Supervisor – David Campos (unopposed)
District 11 Supervisor – John Avalos (unopposed)

The Long and the Short of It

President and Vice President – Barack Obama and Joseph Biden

Please please please encourage everyone you know to vote. And, while my radical friends will shake their head at me not considering a third party candidate when our state’s Electoral votes are sure to go to Obama, I am considering this an opportunity to toast the Democratic party for finally having the guts to make gay marriage a party platform, drawing the line for women’s rights, and taking god out of the Democratic platform before the Democratic National Convention. The Democratic Party is finally starting to look a little different than the Republican Party, so I’ll throw them a bone. If you need further convincing and want a couple decent reads on Obama, go no further than the NY Times Endorsement and the New Yorker article, “The Choice.”

United States Senator – Dianne Feinstein

Di Fi will get it again, likely in a landslide. You are likely familiar with her platform of women’s rights, gay rights and the environment, or else you somehow missed her now 20 years serving as US Senator. But, did you know that her opponent, Elizabeth Emken, not only is against amnesty for immigrants, but she wants to “secure farm labor” with a Guest Labor Program. Classy. So, you won’t grant immigrants amnesty, but you’ll let them do the “dirty work” citizens won’t do (see: Alabama). Nice.

United States Representative D12 – Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi has been kicking it in the House for five years more than Di Fi has been in the Senate, and it shows! She is the biggest fundraiser in Congress, and according to This American Life‘s Episode “Take the Money and Run for Office,” she attends over 400 fund raisers a year–more than one a day! Ugh. She won’t be taking the money out of politics any time soon. And yet, the alternative is frightening: Her opponent, Mr. John Dennis, wants to abolish the Departments of Education, Commerce and Agriculture, and end the income tax. Meanwhile Nancy Pelosi supports the traditional Democratic agenda. You know, schools, women, equal rights. So. There you go.

State Senator D11- Mark Leno

Mark Leno has basically decided that he doesn’t even need to run in this election since his opponent, Harmeet Dhillon is highly unlikely to win as she is pocked by her party affiliation: Republican in San Francisco. Leno doesn’t even have a platform on his campaign website! But, Mr. Leno is a hometown hero, a former City Supervisor with a strong record for workers and LGBT rights. In the State Senate he famously authored AB849, legalizing gay marriage, the first to pass a legislative body in the US (it was vetoed by Swarzenegger but nonetheless an important milestone). Dhillon is a sort of interesting Republican though. She thinks politics should stay out of social issues (!) and therefore I think she should keep her job as the Chairwoman of the Republican Party in San Francisco. Vote Mark Leno!

State Assemby D17 – Tom Ammiano

Those of you who follow my slates know I swoon for Tom Ammiano’s politics. He has been a fighter for civil rights for years, has a strong record of actually accomplishing pretty great work as a public servant and just in case you haven’t ever read my slates before, he was the first City Supervisor to ride his bike on Bike to Work Day. And, his Republic opponent, Jason P. Clark, doesn’t really have anything on Mr. Ammiano, and least of all, experience. Let’s go Tom!

Board of Education – Rachel Norton, Gladys Soto, Matt Haney, Sandra Lee Fewer
Vote for up to four.

In case you weren’t following the drama of the SF Board of Education (okay I know you weren’t), there was a controversial Board “skip vote” that took place in February regarding teacher layoffs. Basically, when there are teacher layoffs, seniority is king. But, the Board considered exempting some newer teachers by “skipping” them if they had special qualifications or if they were, say, a Math teacher in a school performing poorly in Math. This angered the Teachers’ Union, since of course, they have been playing by the seniority rule for years, and the Teachers’ Union refused to back any incumbents (even though they were able to nullify that skip vote through legal means). I, however, favor two incumbents who have a strong record, with plans to make their records even stronger in the next term: Rachel Norton and Sandra Lee Fewer.

Rachel Norton wants to build upon the “grab-and-go” breakfast program by providing in-classroom breakfast, to ensure all students start the schoolday with a full belly. And, she has the unique perspective of a mother of a students with disabilities to bring to the Board.

Sandra Lee Fewer I have endorsed before. Her reform approach for the schools is to focus on Principals, who I think are surprisingly overlooked when working on improving our schools. She has been a strong opponent of tracking and has worked to ensure high school graduation requirements match up to minimum UC student admission requirements (seems kinda obvious, non?), let’s give her another term to continue her work.

I also endorse newbies Matt Haney and Gladys Soto this election. Matt Haney is running on a platform of community engagement, beyond students and parents, as well as holistic school approach–from wellness centers at the schools, to expanding the Restorative Practice approach to discipline which helps keep students in school.

Gladys Soto didn’t have a lot of info about her platform in time for our Slate Party, but she has since beefed up her website and I am happy to endorse her. She has concise goals for her first term that include dedicating more funding to K-3 literacy which is crucial for a student’s success in later years, as well as access to language immersion programs for all students. She is also the lone Latina that would be on the Board, which she is happy to point out would provide an important perspective in SF.

I realize there are other candidates that people are excited about. Feel free to endorse them in the comments. Though, I will say I do not support Victoria Lo (not qualified), Beverly Ho-A-Yun Popek (running on a don’t-bully-my-child platform), Jill Wynns (I’ll just quote her: “Community commitment to diversity and de-segregation [SIC] must not be allowed to be pitted against the best interests of children and families.” Actually, I think de-segregation IS in the best interest of children and families–what is this 1954?), Sam Roderiguez (platform doesn’t explain how he plans to address the issues), or Paul Robertson (he doesn’t have a campaign site, though he does have a youtube page where he addresses his positions on issues like “nieghborhood schools” (his spelling). I just can’t take him seriously. Like I said, feel free to endorse others in the comments.

Community College Board – Steve Ngo, Rafael Mandelman, Chris Jackson, Amy Bacharach
Vote for up to four.

One of the more dire issues San Franciscan’s are facing this election is what to do about City College, one of San Francisco’s most beloved, albeit abused, institutions. First of all, if California Prop 30 and San Francisco Prop A do not pass, City College could be shut down and lose its accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) come March. So, we need our A-Team line up for the Community College Board. I’ll start with incumbents Chris Jackson and Steve Ngo.

While both Jackson and Ngo both have their goofier moments on the Board, they have been part of the reform efforts that have been trying to help City College recover from some pretty messy corruption and administrative abuse that hit the school hard in the past term. There is still a lot more work to do, for example, making the finances more transparent–something Chris Jackson has been working to do, and the WASC is demanding they do to maintain accreditation. Jackson is staunchly defending the non-credit community development courses the WASC thinks should be tossed, but the City loves, so I think his voice is needed on the Board. (Update: The CCSF Board just voted this past Friday to dissolve the faculty leadership administrative structure at City College to save money and streamline governance–another ask of the WASC. Chris Jackson was the only Board member to advocate for a review of the decision in six months. Another reason I support him. Smart leadership.)

Ngo has also had a strong record for righting the wrongs of City College–even doing the basic but necessary work of documenting processes like who has the authority to sign checks and authorize invoices. Ngo is more focused on the for-credit classes than the community enrichment classes, but I think his work for saving City College speaks for itself.

I’m going to skip over Hanna Leung, Rodrigo Santos and Natalie Berg this round, all of whom had their hands dirtied both by not addressing the issues City College faced earlier in the last term (they should have seen it coming and done something more to stop it) but also since they seem ambivalent to the Stephen Herman scandal (Berg was supported by a Herman fund raiser and thought it was no big deal, Leung and Santos just got their hands dirty attending it).

I am a Rafael Mandelman BELIEVER and I endorsed him in the last election for District 8 Supervisor; I felt that he would have been quite skilled in that role. His platform for his candidacy is pretty simple: Save City College. And he is a seasoned progressive leader who could help do it.

Finally I’ll endorse Amy Bacharach. Initially I didn’t see anything particularly compelling about her platform (other than progressive endorsements) but I dug up her Democratic Party Questionnaire which seems to be the only place she lists her qualifications and plan for City College. (Candidates note: turns out putting your platform and qualifications on your campaign website is a good idea!) She has “experience working with WASC as a graduate student, when (her) school went through a similar process and (she) was a student government representative for 7 campuses while coordinating with the Board and university president.”

I think the combo of bringing back the reformer incumbents as well as bringing in some fresh blood (along with passing Props 30 and Prop A) will ultimately save City College.

BART Director D7 – Margaret Gordon

I’ll admit I don’t know the candidates running for D7 that well, because I am not in D7. I am trying to help you D7 folks out a little here! Lynette Sweet has been neither overwhelming nor underwhelming, so I think it is time we give the seat to someone else, because BART needs strong leadership and we deserve it. Margaret Gordon is an environmental activist who was formerly a Port of Oakland Commissioner. I think her no-holds-barred approach will be good for the Board. (Side note: She is the only candidate I have ever found with a SoundCloud account. Super weird, and barely listenable, but points for creativity.) Maria Alegria could be good, too. Though, her political career was scarred when she was recalled as Pinole Mayor (thanks Marc Caswell for the link). And, Zachary Mallett seems too much the newb to be too effective.

BART Director D9 – Tom Radulovich

So, full disclosure: Tom Radulovich is a friend and colleague, and so I’ll just say right now, reelect him! He has smart, sound ideas for improving BART and has a strong record of doing so, from upgrading the seats and floors to improving lighting and signage, and also established both the Civilian Review Board as well as an independent police auditor for BART Police. And, he has more plans for his next term to continue to improve BART. Yay. Go Tom!

At this point, if you rather stop reading and listen to CalVoter’s Proposition Song instead, here is your segue.

Prop 30 – Taxes for Education – YES YES YES

Just in case you missed it the past couple times I mentioned it, this must pass to save City College. To further complicate the issue, 30 and 38 are roughly linked. If they both pass, whichever gets more “yes” votes wins. So. 30 is a progressive tax that hits the wealthier harder than lower incomes. It is desperately needed for education. This would have been passed in the legislature, but California has a policy that two-thirds of both houses pass tax increases. And, since our stupid elected slate legislators can’t really get ANYTHING done, it is now up to us to save our schools. Vote Yes. Please read 38 below about why I prefer 30 over 38.

Prop 31 – Two year state budget – NO

This would make budget cycles two years instead of one, which I think is smart. In fact, I voted for it (Prop A, 2009) when it the same issue was up for the City of San Francisco. But, this one is slightly different in that in the case of a fiscal emergency (when the legislature cannot pass a budget, which is–uh–always) the Governor is given the power to cut spending. And, I just cannot abide. It just gives the Governor too much power. It also potentially allows local governments to alter how state law applies to their state-funded programs. Send it back to voters as a clean, two-year state budget initiative. Until then, vote no.

Prop 32 – Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction – NO

The bottom line is this is a Union Buster. It’s goal is to cripple political funding for unions, period. Basically, it prohibits employers from using payroll-deducted funds for political purposes. Union dues are usually deducted directly from your paycheck. So, this would mean that your union dues couldn’t be used for political purpose. Which baffles me. Because a large part of what your union does is political work on its workers’ behalf. Unions have fought long and hard for workers’ rights. The 8-hour day. The weekend. Paid vacation. Let’s not cripple them at their knees. If you want union reform, there are better ways.

Prop 33 – Auto Insurance and Drivers’ History – No (again)

Well, well, well. Looks like our friends in the insurance industry didn’t like how we voted in June 2010 on Prop 17, so they came back with the same prop again. So I’ll just say what I said on the Kate Slate in June 2010 again, too:

This was sponsored by an insurance company to profit by a policy change. Basically if you had a lapse in insurance (say, like me, you forewent a car) it would allow them to levy fees for having a break in insurance coverage…No, no, no.

Prop 34 – Ends the Death Penalty – YES

The Death Penalty: Doesn’t work as a deterrent to murder and other heinous crimes; cannot undo the harm of the crime; kills innocent people who were falsely convicted; more expensive for the government and tax payers than life sentences. So, I am voting yes. There is some concern, specifically among those actually on death row, because Prop 34 would also end the state-funded appeals process currently guaranteed by habeus corpus for convicts condemned to death (that is why the death penalty is such an expensive practice). That means they’d be treated like any convicted felon and have to cover the costs of filing appeals on their own, or try to find pro bono legal assistance to do so. Which will be a hardship for the wrongly convicted, but they will live. Literally.

(OK, quick shameless plug here: My pal Jean is writing the first-ever book about the families of the wrongly convicted, and she could use your help getting it published! Learn more about her project, its Kickstarter, and how you can read her book here.)

Recap: Prop 34 is going to save us heaps of money, and the State of California will not have blood on their hands for killing innocent people who are wrongly convicted. VOTE YES.

Prop 35 – Human Trafficking Penalties – No

This is one of those misleading prop titles you hear about. I mean, who wants human trafficking to go unpunished?! Though, this is a poorly-written proposition that human trafficking victims’ advocates actually oppose. I know, crazy huh? So what is the deal? Oddly, former Facebook exec Chris Kelly funded this proposition getting on the ballot. It expands the definition of who can be called a human trafficker and increases the penalties for human trafficking.

Therein lies the issue. The definition has been extended perhaps too far: Any act involved somehow with human trafficking can be penalized, which means that say, the unknowing roommate of a sex worker–in this case the act of “harboring” someone involved in the sale of humans–could have to register as a sex offender (for real) and give up their internet identities to law enforcement (that’s actually written in the law).

And, it has people who are convicted for human trafficking register as sex offenders. Did you know that more human trafficking in California is related to labor than sex? Wouldn’t it be confusing if you were notified that your neighbor was a sex offender, but really they drove a truck full of immigrants across a border? This is just poorly written legislation, period.

If you are deeply concerned about human trafficking, fear not: Our pals Tom Ammiano and Mark Leno are already working on smarter legislation that will combat human trafficking better than this. Vote NO NO NO and stay tuned for AB1571.

Prop 36 – Amends the Three Strikes Law – YES

Prop 36 would FINALLY amend the “Three Strikes Law” that currently requires any person convicted of three felonies to serve a minimum of 25 years. Prop 36 would change Three Strikes so the minimum sentence is 25 years only if the third felony is “serious or violent.” The current version of Three Strikes is costing us massive amounts of money and causing a huge overcrowding problem at our jails and prisons. This is an excellent amendment to the Three Strikes law that our state needs now more than ever. Vote yes.

Prop 37 – Labeling Genetically Modified Foods – YES YES YES

I think this is one of the most important pieces of consumer rights legislation in ages. It is the first of its kind in the US, and if passes could inspire legislation elsewhere in the county. This simply requires processed foods that use Genetically Modified ingredients be labeled as such. There is much in the way of misleading advertising against Prop 37 because there is heaps and heaps of money behind it from GMO giants Monsanto and DuPont. But don’t be fooled. More information is better! They have laws like this in Europe and the costs required by labeling have been minimal. All that is going to change is that you will know more about your food. If it passes, it will be a good day for food in America. (Just ask Michael Pollan.) Amen for that. VOTE YES.

Prop 38 – Taxes for Education Version 2 – I’m leaving blank so 30 will get more Yes votes

Under Prop 30, I explained that there were two school funding taxes on the ballot. This one is different because it is more or less a flat tax rate that taxes people making as little as $8,000 a year(!) all the way up to the richest rich. All of this misleading stuff about how 38 gives it straight to the schools and 30 does not is just that, misleading stuff. They both essentially have the same outcome, more or less. I think Prop 30 is better because it is graduated, taxing the rich more, and the poor less. And, I know I am an effing bleeding heart liberal, but I think that is the way it should be. Also, I am not rich, so I am biased.

Now, if both 30 and 38 pass, the one with more total Yes votes goes into effect. So, even though I don’t like 38 as much as 30, if 30 weren’t to pass, we still need this tax to fund education. I DO want 38 to pass, just with less Yes votes than 30. Thus, I will give one more Yes vote to Prop 30, and abstain from 38 so as to neither boost the No votes nor the Yes votes. Got it? Political strategy.

Prop 39 – Tax Treatments for Multistate Businesses – YES

This closes a tax loophole on businesses that do business in multiple states by requiring that they pay taxes based on a percentage of sales in California. The current law lets multistate businesses choose whether they pay taxes based on in-state sales, or a combination of sales, employment and property. Make multistate companies pay their fair share. Vote YES.

Prop 40 – New State Senate Districts – YES (again)

In 2008 we voted for this new independent Citizen’s Redistricting Commission. It was important election reform. And, they did their work redistricting. You may have noticed the districts changed a little. Of course, there are always people unhappy with these results, and thus, they want to undo the voter-approved work by asking you to reject the Citizen’s Redistricting Commission so that the redistricting will be redone by officials supervised by the Supreme Court. Vote YES (again) to approve the work done by the Citizen’s Redistricting Commission.

Prop A – City College Funding – YES YES YES

A modest parcel tax that will save City College. For one, City College is underfunded, so this tax will help with funding needs. And, as I mentioned before, the WASC is threatening City College’s accreditation if the school doesn’t get their finances in order. Prop A must pass to keep City College open and keep its accreditation. Super important for San Franciscan’s only Community College. Vote YES!

Prop B – SF Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond – yes

This is a bond measure, so it is pricey money. And at the same time, Rec and Park is cash-strapped and needs money to fix broken facilities. And, since Rec and Park has already been dabbling in corporate money and moments of park privatization (think Dew Tour in Civic Center, Outside Lands Music Festival) to fund the parks, they are clearly desperate for the funding. Some may argue that these acts of desperation demonstrate that the parks officials can’t be trusted with the money that would be generated with this bond. I’d argue that we can’t afford to have our few park spaces unsafe and in disrepair. Vote yes.

Prop C – Housing Trust Fund for Affordable Housing – yes

Back in 2008, I pissed off all my progressive voter friends for voting no on Prop B, establishing an Affordable Housing Fund. Here is what I said about my decision:

While I think it is a great idea to spend a portion of the city budget on affordable housing, I am almost always against goverment set asides. I think that it is problematic to require a static, guaranteed percentage of the budget for a specific purpose. We elect officials to manage the budget and adjust that budget for the changing needs of the city. If blocks of that money are frozen to be used for specific purposes, our elected officials cannot adjust the budget for the ebb and flow of our city’s needs.

So what changed? Well, this affordable housing trust fund will be funded by recapturing redevelopment funds that are already being used for affordable housing, and there are provisions to ensure it has minimal effects on the General Fund. So, it is better legislation than in 2008, and I can feel good getting behind it. And my pals can stop being mad at me for voting against affordable housing. Annnnd, we might be able to afford to live in this beautiful city we call home for a little bit longer. Vote YES.

Prop D – Consolidate Elections – YES

Here is another proposition I am flip flopping on. Not exactly flip flopping, but I voted against Prop F “Holding All Scheduled City Elections Only in Even-Numbered Years” in 2008. Even though it would have saved money, I was worried it would result in LONG-ASS BALLOTS LIKE THIS ONE. And, I was concerned that voters wouldn’t have the info they needed to make informed votes on all the issues of a long ballot. I mean…are you even reading still?! (Thanks, by the way, if you are. This is a long ballot!)

But pick your poison: is it worse to have a lot of uninformed voters voting on a long-ass ballot, or a tiny voter turnout determining the outcome of an election for everyone? I think more voters is better, and I now think consolidating elections will both ensure a greater voter turnout, and also save the city some money. Vote yes.

Prop E – Create Gross Receipts Tax – YES

This Proposition ostensibly is a “job creator” proposition. In effect, it replaces the payroll tax that businesses hate with a gross receipts tax. The thinking here is that it would relieve the payroll tax burden on small businesses on hiring staff and create new jobs in San Francisco. Also, it introduces a progressive tax structure so that more profitable businesses pay more in taxes. You may have noticed a lot of talk about keeping tech businesses in SF, and Prop E is a further step in that direction. Vote Yes!

Prop F – A Two-Phase Plan to Evaluate Draining Hetch Hetchy – eh, ok?

Do you think I have lost my mind? Follow my logic here: If Hetch Hetchy were to be drained and the valley restored, where would we get our delicious water from? And all that energy? It is kind of INSANE to think what we would do without Hetch Hetchy. We are completely dependent on it. We need it to survive!

And yet, it is a valid question. What WOULD we do without Hetch Hetchy? What if something terrible [insert natural or human disaster here] were to happen, and we did have to face that question? Wouldn’t we be interested in having a plan down on paper about addressing that issue? It would certainly be nice to have. Prop F doesn’t actually demand the draining of Hetch Hetchy, it just demands a plan. (Albeit a VERY, very expensive-to-produce plan, while our city is already cash-strapped.)

I am pretty (damn) sure that this won’t pass (har har, pun intended). (Just to be clear, I don’t advocate for Hetch Hetchy to be drained, I am way too spoiled by our delicious tap water, even if it makes me a hypocritical enviro-hippy.) But I would like to advocate for that plan. So I think I will vote yes, maybe. What do you think?

Prop G – Policy Statement: Corporations are not People – eh, ok…

I totally got called out at our Slate Party for being a Policy Statement hater. And I am. They are non-binding and just generally a waste of time and money, and allow for a “foot in the door” for future actually-binding legislation. I have always abstained from voting on policy statements. They irk me to no end. But another thing that really irks me is the evil, evil “Citizens United” Supreme Court ruling that “corporations are people, too,” and deserve the right to freedom of speech, or in the case of politics, freedom to fund political campaigns anonymously! It has helped to bring about the heinous expensive and misleading campaigns we are seeing this election cycle in almost every race, from President down the ballot. It is a mess. And some people think that by voting yes on this policy statement, by being a big city and whatnot, that this will help start the conversation about Corporate personhood. (Although, hasn’t that conversation already begun?) So, I might vote yes on it, just because I hate the Citizens United ruling even more than I hate policy statements.

Since I don’t have to vote in the Supervisor’s race (my Supervisor is running unopposed against a write-in candidate who won’t realistically win) I don’t have much to say, but lots of people want info on these folks, so here I go:

District 1 Supervisor – Eric Mar

Eric Mar has been a strong progressive supervisor, and I support his reelection. Since most people seem to care a lot about how the Supervisors came down on the 8 Washington Vote and the Mirkarimi vote, he voted FOR 8 Washington luxury condos and for ousting Mirkarimi. He has been solid on bike issues and also tenants’ issues.

District 3 Supervisor – David Chiu

I felt bad for him when he was foiled by Ed Lee during the past mayoral election, told by Lee that Lee wouldn’t run for Mayor, and then of course Lee did run for Mayor, dashing Chiu’s chances at winning the election. But, he isn’t the progressive angel he used to seem to be. He is more moderate now, maybe jaded by the office and a failed campaign? Who knows. I really did believe in him. He is the only Supervisor who rides his bike for transportation, so he keeps bike issues a top priority. But, even though he has lost some of his lustre, I don’t think any of the alternatives are better. 8 Washington: Led the fight AGAINST, Mirkarimi: voted to keep him.

District 5 Supervisor – Olague, Rizzo

Olague was appointed by Mayor Lee to fill Mirkarimi’s seat when Mirkarimi was elected Sheriff. She worked for the planning department, and though she doesn’t have the eloquence of a seasoned politician, I think she has been doing fairly solid work. When she was appointed, no one expected some dreamy progressive. She was a major champion the Fell/Oak bikeways that were just unanimously approved. And, I think overall she has been fairly solid. FYI, she voted for 8 Washington, and for Mirkarimi to keep his job. After the Mirkarimi vote, people pulled their endorsements for her. But, like Chiu, I don’t think there is a better candidate. Read on:

Rizzo might be a good choice, but he already has a crucial job: Community College Board Member! Yes! We elected John Rizzo to that Board, and he has been one of the reformers involved in helping to fix City College. And, we need his leadership there more than ever. Dear Mr. Rizzo: Stay on the CCSF Board and run for D5 later after you have a proud record of saving City College!

Julian Davis is politically corrupt already and he hasn’t even served in public office! He served a cease and desist letter to his sexual assault victim when she spoke up about the assault (right in the middle of the Mirkarimi isht-storm) and then he published and distributed “counterfeit” League of Pissed of Voters guides, designed to look exactly like the League guides, after they pulled his endorsement for him after the news of the sexual assault. In fact, everyone pretty much pulled their endorsement of Julian Davis. Avoid like the plague. He is not your progressive choice.

Finally Thea Selby is supported by merchant’s association folks and has a narrow focus and London Breed is fiery, but maybe a little too much. I don’t know much about the other candidates. Sorry.

District 7 Supervisor – Norman Yee

I also don’t know much about the D7 candidates, and truthfully I never really knew much about Sean Elsbernd either, who is the current termed-out Supervisor in the district. But, Norman Yee was the President of the Board of Education and saw to many improvements in SFUSD under his watch. I think he’ll be good as Supervisor. FX Crowley has a labor background and also seems pretty cool, and Elsbernd supports him.

And Finally…

District 9 Supervisor – David Campos (unopposed)
District 11 Supervisor – John Avalos (unopposed)

If you have read this far, you deserve a medal! Wow! Longest Kate Slate in the history of the world (maybe, I didn’t actually check). And, since these guys are running (update: almost) unopposed, you don’t even have to vote for them and they will still win. Woot! John Avalos was the City’s progressive pick for Mayor and lost to Ed Lee, and remains the darling of the San Francisco Left, and David Campos, well, he is pretty okay too. Campos has massively fundraised even though he is the only name on the ballot, so look for him to stay in politics for a while. Oh! Their Votes! They both opposed 8 Washington and voted to reinstate Mirkarimi. (Update: Due to Campos’s vote to reinstate Mirkarimi, Bud Ryerson is now running as an official write-in candidate in D9. See I told you people were galvanized by that vote.)

Thanks as always for reading and happy voting to you and yours.


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