Kate Slate – November 2018

Posted: October 26th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Elections, Kate Slate, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Kate Slate – November 2018

Here’s your Kate Slate for the November 2018 election for San Francisco and California. The goal of the Kate Slate is to encourage others to vote by sharing my cheat sheet. You probably won’t agree with me on everything, and that is okay! Just please vote on or before November 6, 2018.

Even if you don’t know your polling place, or where you were last registered to vote, or if you are registered, you can always go to City Hall on Election Day (November 6!) 7am-8pm to register and cast a provisional ballot. Though, if you can, it is always best to cast a live ballot at your polling place.

If you have an absentee ballot, you can surrender your absentee ballot for a live ballot at your polling place. This is what I usually do. The poll workers will destroy your absentee ballot and give you a live ballot. This assures you that your ballot is read and counted as you intended it. (ie. When you vote absentee, if a machine rejects your ballot, the machine depends on a human to interpret your absentee ballot. I am not trying to be all conspiracy-theorist here, but feeding your own ballot into the machine and hearing it beep is the best way to ensure your ballot is interpreted as you intend it to be.)

I write the Kate Slate race-by-race, issue-by-issue, and sometimes end up voting against something that seems right up my alley if it has some fatal (to me) flaw. I let you know if I think it does and why.

My opinions in the Kate Slate are my own, and in no way should be thought to represent any views of anyone other than myself. I have thoughtful engaging conversations with well-informed friends who sometime shed light on aspects I hadn’t considered, I get the tacky expensive mailers you get, and cool people like yourself send me others’ slates. I am not affiliated with any party.

When I voted the very first time, I found myself in the voting booth surprised that I didn’t understand the all issues or know all the candidates on the ballot. The next election, I studied the ballot and shared my notes with friends, bringing about the Kate Slate. These days the slate is preceded by a Slate Party I cohost with my pal Sacha Ielmorini. The Slate Party is a big informer of the Kate Slate, as is the League of Pissed Off Voters (thank you for your impeccably-researched guide), SPUR (often disagree, yet informative), social media and coffee break chatter.

Feel free to forward the Kate Slate to friends (and friends, if someone other than me–Kate–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).

As always, thanks for reading, now please go vote. Take others with you.

Grab and go! (The short version you can take with you to the polls. See below for the details.)

Governor – Gavin Newsom
Lieutenant Governor – Eleni Kounalakis
Secretary of State – Alex Padilla
Controller – Betty Yee
Treasurer – Fiona Ma
Attorney General – Xavier Becerra
Insurance Commissioner – Ricardo Lara
Board of Equalization Member, District 2 – Malia Cohen
United States Senate – Kevin de Leon
United States Representative – Nancy Pelosi
State Assembly Member, District 17 – Alejandro Fernandez
State Assembly Member, District 19 – Phil Ting
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court – Carol Corrigan. NO
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court – Leondra Kruger. Yes
Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, District 1, Division 1 – James Humes. Yes
Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, District 1, Division 1 – Sandra Margulies. no
Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, District 1, Division 2 – James Richman. No
Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, District 1, Division 2 – Marla Miller. No
Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, District 1, Division 3 – Peter John Siggins. No
Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, District 1, Division 4 – Jon Streeter. Yes
Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, District 1, Division 4 – Alison Tucher. Yes
Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, District 1, Division 5 – Barbara Jones. Yes Superintendent of Public Instruction – Tony K. Thurmond
Member, Community College Board – John Rizzo, Thea Selby
BART Board, District 8 – Janice Li
Member, Board of Education – Alison Collins, Faauuga Moliga, Gabriela Lopez
Proposition 1 – YES
Proposition 2 – Yes
Proposition 3 – Yes
Proposition 4 – No
Proposition 5 – No no no
Proposition 6 – NOO NOOOOOOOOOO NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Proposition 7 – Yes
Proposition 8 – Yes
Proposition 9 – Not on ballot
Proposition 10 – YYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSS
Proposition 11 – no
Proposition 12 – yes
Proposition A – YES
Proposition B – no
Proposition C – YES
Proposition D – no
Proposition E – YES
Assessor Recorder – Paul Bellar
Public Defender – Jeff Adachi
District 2 Supervisor – Nick Josefowitz
District 4 Supervisor – Gordon Mar
District 6 Supervisor – Matt Haney
District 8 Supervisor – Rafael Mandelman
District 10 Supervisor – Theo Ellington

 

Now, the whole enchilada on why I am voting the way I am:

 

Governor – Gavin Newsom

I am not a big fan of this politician who is more concerned with coif than substance. He is big on talk and not on action, so his role as lieutenant governor shooting spitballs at the federal government served him well. The agenda of his opponent is largely to repeal the gas tax (but I depend on roads and public transportation, so no thanks), so I gotta vote for Gavin Newsom. Ugh.

 

Lieutenant Governor – Eleni Kounalakis

I am happy that we have two Democrats to choose between in this race, but I don’t think highly of the lieutenant governor seat—not sure it does much more than break ties in the state legislature. And, both candidates seem pretty good. I broke my tie by reviewing their endorsements; I find I have more affinity with Kounalakis’s endorsers than Hernandez’s. It is a nice bonus that Kounalakis is a woman because I value diverse representation in government.

 

Secretary of State – Alex Padilla

I was hoping to sweep the June Primary and win them all so I wouldn’t have to rewrite all these endorsements. Alas, we only won a few. Here’s what I said for the June Primary: I endorsed Alex Padilla in 2014 and he did well by us! So I am going to endorse him again so that he can continue taking very seriously his role overseeing our elections. I have been impressed how much he is doing to protect elections from meddling while also expanding voter access. He is doing good work that I’d like to see him continue doing.

 

Controller – Betty Yee

Another June Primary write-up…and: Another candidate that I have endorsed before who continues to do good work that I’d like to see continue doing that work.

 

Treasurer – Fiona Ma

Fiona Ma is a career politician who continues to get my vote more for her opponent in the election than her record.

 

Attorney General – Xavier Becerra

I continue to be impressed with Xavier Becerra, even since the June Primary, when I said: Xavier Becerra was appointed to Kamala Harris’s seat after she got elected to congress. And, he’s made us proud by defending our state’s rights against the evil Trump administration, so proud. I want Becerra to keep fighting the good fight.

 

Insurance Commissioner – Ricardo Lara

I had fun voting for Nathalie Hrizi in the June Primary for Insurance Commissioner as she wants to abolish insurance companies. But, now we’re at the general election and she’s not on this ballot to tempt us, so I’m picking the smiling Democrat rather than perennial candidate Steve Poizner.

 

Board of Equalization Member, District 2 – Malia Cohen

I abstained voting in this race during the June Primary: the State Board of Equalization had most of its power stripped from it after an audit revealed much corruption internally, and because none of the candidates are people for whom I would vote, I chose to abstain. But, someone is going to win the seat, and I rather it be Malia Cohen than Mark Burns.

 

United States Senate – Kevin de Leon

I was so shocked and outraged that Dianne Feinstein wasn’t representing Californians against the Trump administration right from the beginning of his term that I was super fired-up during the June Primary to vote for Kevin de Leon. I said I was super proud of Kevin de Leon for standing up for California and defending our sanctuary state policy, and I am. But since the June Primary, I had the opportunity to review how he handled sexual harassment at his workplace and it seemed weak and palliative. And even as underwhelmed as I have become by de Leon, I am still so pissed at Feinstein for not representing us, California, her constituents, that I am not dignifying her candidacy with my vote, even though I am certain she will win.

 

United States Representative – Nancy Pelosi

I have abstained from voting for Pelosi in the past because she is the codification of big money in government. But the federal government is a scary government body right now and I am so freaked out I am voting safe this election.

 

State Assembly Member, District 17 – Alejandro Fernandez

I was going to sit out this race this election because I think David Chiu should do more for San Francisco because lots of city issues are tied up by state policy and he could make real, tangible changes for the good of San Francisco, but so far not really. And now that he has come out against Prop C (see below) and I am just over him. Alejandro Fernandez won’t likely win, but he’s got some nice progressive ideas and he also supports Prop C.

 

State Assembly Member, District 19 – Phil Ting

Should I be in his district, I had also been planning to recommend abstaining in this race for the same reason as District 17 above: we deserve better. There are so many city issues being tangled by state policy, from the housing crisis to innovative street design, and we need strong leaders representing San Francisco. And guess what?? Phil did better!! He passed us a policy allowing SF to tax ride-hailing companies’ annual revenue! And he provided the public easier access to law enforcement’s body cam footage! So I suggest voting for him! See how excited I get when elected leaders do good stuff?

 

Associate Justice of the Supreme Court – Carol Corrigan. No

The judges are where I typically have to do the most research and come up with the smallest amount of info. This year I got most my help from http://politics.voxpublica.org/. One thing to remember is that judges are typically appointed by governors/executive branch and then elected by unknowing voters. So, you can look up who appointed the judge and assert any inferences accordingly.  Judicial elections don’t get the same attention as the rest of the polls get, and there is decidedly more insidiousness at play with serious consequences. If a judge were to lose a seat in an election (rare), the current governor would appoint a new justice. So, I think about the judge’s record and the chance that a new appointee would be worse, and make my choice.

While it sounds like Corrigan may be the first lesbian to serve in the California Supreme Court, she also has the unfortunate distinction of having written not one, but two dissents to the Court’s finding that the California Constitution protected the right of gay people to marry. I am voting no.

 

Associate Justice of the Supreme Court – Leondra Kruger. yes

Leondra Kruger was the court’s second youngest appointee after serving as an Obama official. Since 2014 her judicial record has been strong. And, she is a woman of color, a welcome presence in our courts.

 

Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, District 1, Division 1 – James Humes. Yes

Jim Humes was California’s first openly gay justice when he was appointed by Jerry Brown, who he worked for prior, including on Brown’s Prop 8 briefing stating why the state would not defend the anti-gay measure. I also hear he favors prosecutors, which isn’t great but most judges do.

 

Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, District 1, Division 1 – Sandra Margulies. no

I am a no on Margulies based on her record: ruled in favor of Uber and ruled in favor of expanding the circumstances that police could do blood draws on motorists without a warrant. Nope.

 

Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, District 1, Division 2 – James Richman. No

Richman is another I am voting “no” on based on him ruling against protecting public worker pensions.

 

Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, District 1, Division 2 – Marla Miller. No

I am voting no on Miller after she ruled against tenant protections via Ellis Act reforms for San Franciscans. She also supposedly made problematic efforts to protect the Governor’s office during the CPUC corruption issue.

 

Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, District 1, Division 3 – Peter John Siggins. No

While some credit Siggins for being one of the justices who ruled that California’s prisons are overcrowded to the point of human rights violations, I don’t endorse him because way back in 2010 I read a paper he wrote that said we all have to get used to increased government intrusion and invasion of privacy for the sake of national security.  Ummm, no thanks, dude.

 

Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, District 1, Division 4 – Jon Streeter. Yes

I’m a big yes for Jon Streeter who sued the federal government for holding immigrants without a chance of bail while in private practice.

 

Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, District 1, Division 4 – Alison Tucher. Yes

I’m also a big yes for Alison Tucher who got a person exonerated who was wrongfully convicted of murder after doing a ton of pro-bono work.

 

Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, District 1, Division 5 – Barbara Jones. Yes

I am a yes on Barbara Jones who has a long celebrated career serving California. She ruled in favor of the Raiders’ Cheerleaders in a wage theft issue.

 

Superintendent of Public Instruction – Tony K. Thurmond

Thurmond is one of my favorite candidates on the ballot this election, and I said as much before the June Primary: Tony Thurmond has a long history of serving  on the school board for Contra Costa County and the Richmond Youth Commission. Meanwhile, his competitor is a CEO who runs a corporate charter school company–no thanks! Vote Tony Thurmond.

 

Member, Community College Board – John Rizzo, Thea Selby.

For Community College Board, you vote no more than three, there are four running. Two incumbents, John Rizzo and Thea Selby, are true champions of the institution for helping City College weather the accreditation storm that seemed like it was going to nearly sink the school for years. Incumbent Davila has lost my faith due to recent ethics complaints and her general mismanagement of her affairs.

 

BART Board, District 8 – Janice Li

Sadly, I am not in BART District 8, so I won’t get to vote in this race. But, if you are so lucky to vote for this unicorn candidate, please do. What makes Janice Li so rare is that she both someone you feel great voting for (a queer woman of color who does amazing work in the community), and simply one of the best qualified people for the role (I count eight commissions and policy bodies she has been on since 2014). She is one of the hardest working transportation advocates making our systems more equitable and safe. She quite literally walks the talk and has been doing so for years. Vote Janice Li for BART Board District 8.

 

Member, Board of Education – Alison Collins, Faauuga Moliga, Gabriela Lopez

For Board of Education you can vote for no more than three. And the race is stacked with compelling candidates. Too many. I researched others who also seem good, Li Miao Lovett, Lex Leifheit, Martin Rawlings-Fein, to name a few. But Alison Colins, Faauuga Moliga and Gabriela Lopez are the standouts for me.

Collins and Moliga have been working within the school system already; Collins as part of the district’s African-American Parent Advisory Council, and Moliga at both the district and school levels, where he works on systemic change for the benefit of Pacific Islander students and providing services for students impacted by violence in their neighborhoods.

Gabriela Lopez is a bilingual elementary teacher in SFUSD (the only candidate who is a teacher) and would be the first Latina on the school board in 20 years. I am psyched to vote for these three candidates, and I am gratified so many talented candidates are ready to roll up their sleeves and get to work for San Francisco students.

 

Proposition 1 – Authorizes bonds to fund specified housing assistance programs. YES

News flash! California is in a housing crisis. This authorizing of bonds for veterans housing and affordable housing will not solve California’s housing problems, but it will help. Vote yes.

 

Proposition 2 – Authorizes bonds to fund existing housing program for individuals with mental illness. Yes

Another yes to authorize even more bonds for housing, this time for people with mental illness. There has been some grumbling about taking money from a fund that provides direct services for people with mental illness to provide housing for people with mental illness. But, housing is a basic human need, so I think that this is an appropriate use for the funds.

 

Proposition 3 – Authorizes bonds to fund projects for water supply and quality, watershed, fish, wildlife, water conveyance, and groundwater sustainability and storage. Yes.

I have debated this one back and forth and back again. It is SO HUGE. $8.877 billon! It authorizes bonds for massive water projects that are necessary to maintain our crumbling water infrastructure. It is just the sort of thing a legislature should be working on funding by engaging experts and stakeholders and making tough decisions and passing several pieces of legislation. Or not. Seems like our legislators just passed it off to us voters in one big fat controversial ballot initiative that seems to address vital water infrastructure needs while leaving no one happy.

But the problem is our infrastructure is actually crumbling! Remember when we thought the Oroville Dam was gonna burst?? Yeahhhhhh. So: Time is of the essence. I don’t think we can count on the existing legislature to do their job since they punted this to us voters. Let the opponents on the various sides of the various issues of this prop duke it out in court after this passes. It’s not a good answer, but it’s an answer.

 

Proposition 4 – Authorizes bonds funding construction at hospitals providing children’s health care. No

I know the optics aren’t great here, but let’s not fund the building of private hospitals with bonds that accrue interest at taxpayers’ expense. Isn’t government funding spread too thin?

 

Proposition 5 – Changes requirements for certain property owners to transfer their property tax base to replacement property. NO NO NO

This is bad. The Legislative Analyst’s Office found that, if passed, this would initially cost local governments and schools over $100 million/year, growing about $1 billion/year after. It would do so by allowing homeowners to transfer their existing property tax base to a new property. Currently, when homeowners buy a new property of greater value than their existing property, their tax base increases. This change would benefit real estate investors without providing any new housing nor assisting first-time homebuyers at the expense of our schools and local governments. We literally cannot afford for this prop to pass.

 

Proposition 6 – Eliminates certain road repair and transportation funding. Requires certain fuel taxes and vehicle fees be approved by the electorate. NOO NOOO NOOOOOOOOOO

This is terrible. If you like bridges maintained, roads repaved, public buses and trains, perhaps the occasional sidewalk, then VOTE NO ON PROP 6. This would strip the state of $5 billion/year, San Francisco $60 million/year of transportation funding that voters just approved to dedicate to transportation projects in the June 2018 Primary! Voters just said we want to fund transportation projects! And worse, it requires the a voter supermajority to approve any future gas or vehicle tax, which is very difficult to achieve.

I don’t understand why this would even be put on the ballot, other than a fundamental misunderstanding about how infrastructure is maintained and built: it’s about money. How are we supposed to pay for the infrastructure that gets us where we need to go? The impact this would have on transportation infrastructure, both city and state-owned would simply be devastating. Vote no, tell your friends to vote no, tell your family to vote no.

 

Proposition 7 – Conforms California daylight saving time to federal law. Allows legislature to change daylight saving time period. Yes

This one is vaguely interesting. If passed, it would allow California to petition the federal government to stay daylight savings time all the time. Full disclosure: I have experimented over the past couple years NOT adjusting my sleep schedule to standard time, giving myself a bonus hour in the mornings to exercise, read, cook, etc. And, I liked not having the couple of weeks of adjustment to the new time. I am voting yes.

 

Proposition 8 – Regulates amounts outpatient kidney dialysis clinics charge for dialysis treatment. Yes.

This is a no-brainer. It would cap profits on patient care. Healthcare is a human right. Vote yes.

 

Proposition 9 – Not on ballot.

You don’t get to decide on whether to divide up California into smaller states because the California Supreme Court says so.

 

Proposition 10 – Expands local governments’ authority to enact rent control on residential property. YYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSS

This gives cities and counties the ability to expand and/or modernize rent control. Currently the state severely restricts rent control at the expense of its most vulnerable populations. In this scary housing crisis, our ability to maintain housing requires having stable rent. All the arguments against this prop are greed-based, favoring the rich at the expense of the poor. I call bullshit. Housing is a human right. Vote yes, vote loud and proud, and encourage your neighbors to vote yes, too.

 

Proposition 11 – Requires private sector emergency ambulance employees to remain on-call during work breaks. Eliminates certain employer liability. No.

This was put on the ballot by private ambulance companies after they were sued for violating state law regarding workers’ break rights. There was going to be state legislation to address this, but talks broke down between owners and labor so the ambulance company paid signature collectors to get this put on the ballot to resolve its liability. Boo.

 

Proposition 12 – Establishes new standards for confinement of specified farm animals; bans sale of noncomplying products. Yes.

This would give slightly better conditions to some farm animals. What will the other animals would think if us humans if we don’t vote yes?

 

Proposition A – Embarcadero Seawall Earthquake Safety bond. YES.

Huge kudos to the public officials behind the terrifying PSAs. Thank you, I am voting yes. Just in case you didn’t know, San Francisco is quite vulnerable both to earthquakes and sea level rise. And it also turns out our seawall is about 100 years old, and our little buddy is overdue for reconstruction to protect our regional and local transportation system’s tunnels (BART and Muni), utility networks, and the docks. If you aren’t convinced yet to vote yes, watch the video at the link.

 

Proposition B – City privacy guidelines. no.

I am a pretty soft “no” on this, but still no. It is nonbinding, and is good because it sets guidelines for data collection for SF. But, since data collection is an international business, the benefits of this prop, implemented at just the city level would be minimal at best. And, frankly this could be implemented by the Board of Supervisors on any given Tuesday without a ballot initiative.

But also hidden in here somewhere is that this would allow the Board of Supervisors to make changes to the Sunshine Ordinance, now required by ballot. It seems shady (ha) that the Proposition as it appears on the ballot only mentions privacy guidelines and doesn’t mention that it would allow changes to the Sunshine Ordinance. And, the needed changes to the Sunshine Ordinance I’ve seen by this Prop’s proponents are uncontroversial and would likely be easily passed by voters should the changes be put on a ballot. For now, I vote no.

 

Proposition C – Additional business taxes to fund homeless services. YES.

This would raise $300 million annually for homeless services by taxing San Francisco’s businesses with more than $50 million receipts annually. San Francisco has been struggling with homelessness for years.

Here is a robust plan to build and acquire housing, treat addiction and mental health and prevent homelessness. Don’t let anyone tell you that there is not a good plan: it is all spelled out. There are 10 points to the plan, there are charts, there are graphs. And, don’t let anyone tell you the mayor has to do it herself and she doesn’t like it: the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development is one of three city agencies to which funding will be allocated (Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing and the Department of Public Health being the other two), and it will be the office’s staff doing the work, not the mayor herself. Since the Mayor has said she is committed to addressing homelessness, it seems solid. And do not tell me that this is too hard for San Francisco businesses or would repel businesses: Corporations earning more than $50 million in gross receipts can definitely afford a half penny per dollar to help address homelessness. If they are too greedy to address the problem on their doorstep they don’t deserve to be here.

Housing is a human right. C’mon San Francisco. Let’s address really start addressing this problem: VOTE YES.

 

Proposition D – Additional tax on cannabis businesses; Expanding the businesses subject to business taxes. no.

This is a ridiculous and unfair sales tax because: weed, dude. I am supportive of taxing weed, but this allows an additional tax of 1-5% and could be changed to 7% by the Board of Supervisors. That is nuts. Sure, tax it, but tax it relative to other taxes. This tax seems really outsized, so I am voting no.

 

Proposition E – Partial allocation of Hotel Tax for Arts and Cultural purposes. YES.

Do you remember Prop S in 2016? It was a better version of this. But the backers of S have brought us C and E in this election and I am here for both. Currently hotel taxes go to San Francisco’s general fund. When the hotel tax was initially established in 1961, it was to woo tourists with cultural facilities. But, it was amended over time to eventually fund the general fund and the Moscone Center. If approved, this would allocate 1.5% of the 8% hotel tax back to arts and culture. The rest stays in the general fund. VOTE YES.

 

Assessor Recorder – Paul Bellar

Carmen Chu’s political career is a story of political appointments and incumbent elections. And, here is another incumbent election for her, except it is in a race against a property tax nerd who wants to address a major flaw in the existing system: accountability. She’s been fine, but he’d be great and that’s how my vote goes.

 

Public Defender – Jeff Adachi

Jeff Adachi is a great public defender running unopposed. He is addressing racial disparities in arrests and sentencing and he is a vocal proponent for overdue bail reform. Yay.

 

District 2 Supervisor – Nick Josefowitz

While I align politically most with Josefowitz of the D2 candidates, I take issue with how we throws around his money to get what he wants. It is just icky. Even if we agree that bikeshare should be citywide. But I don’t have another candidate I like better. Sorry, District 2.

 

District 4 Supervisor – Gordon Mar

A grassroots community organizer and brother of former supervisor Eric Mar. He has a stellar resume and supports immigrant rights, workers rights, and the environment.

 

District 6 Supervisor – Matt Haney

For this race I paid attention to which campaign the developers funded, and it wasn’t Matt Haney’s! Meanwhile his endorsements shine like the stars. He has an impressive resume and he is very polished.

 

District 8 Supervisor – Rafael Mandelman

Didn’t we just elect this guy? Oh yes, we did. But we elected Mandelman to finish Scott Weiner’s term when we sent Scott to the state senate. Now we must re-elect Mandelman for a full term of his own.

 

District 10 Supervisor – Theo Ellington

Theo Ellington is deeply engaged in the District 10 doing grassroots community development work; he fought the coverup of the toxic waste disaster and its mismanagement at the Hunters Point Shipyard, and he isn’t accepting campaign contributions from corporations. A candidate you can feel good voting for.

 

Oh hey! You made it to the end. Nice work. Now go out there and vote!


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