Kate Slate – November 8, 2022

Posted: October 24th, 2022 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off on Kate Slate – November 8, 2022

This is the Kate Slate for the November 8, 2022, Consolidated Election in San Francisco. 

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KATE SLATE!!!

The goal of the Kate Slate is to encourage others to vote.

I share my personal cheat sheet with you to help others navigate their own ballot. I write the Kate Slate myself, race-by-race, issue-by-issue, and share why I am voting the way I am. I tell you how I voted, and what impacted my decisions. 

Sometimes I end up voting against something that seems right up my alley if there is a fatal flaw. (Definitely true this election!) You probably won’t agree with me on everything, and that is okay! If you’d like to learn more about the Kate Slate, scroll down to the end.

Just please vote on or before Tuesday, November 8, 2022. In fact, bonus points if you vote early. San Francisco polls are open and I already received my ballot! 

Here is how you can vote this year:

  • Vote by mail. All registered voters were to be mailed a ballot for this election. You must return your ballot on time to be counted. If you return your ballot by mail, make sure it’s postmarked by November 8 (check collection times if you use a USPS mailbox). You can also return your ballot at your polling place on Election Day, November 8. You may also authorize another person to drop off your ballot for you. Follow the directions in your ballot package.
  • Vote using a Voter Drop Box. Though this no longer feels new since this is our fourth election this year, it is still the first year that San Francisco is providing 34 drop boxes across San Francisco where you can return your ballot. These boxes are available 24/7 through 8 p.m. on Election Day, November 8.
  • Vote at the Voting Center. The Voting Center is open as of October 22 to provide ballots and services to all city residents who wish to pick up or drop off vote-by-mail ballots, register to vote (before or after the registration deadline), obtain personal assistance, use accessible voting equipment, obtain replacement ballots, and cast their ballots in person. This is a great resource if you make an error on your ballot and need to get a new one (as is your polling place on election day).
  • Vote in person at your polling place. Your polling place is open November 8, 7am to 8pm. They will also assist you if you make an error on your ballot and need a new one.

Even if you miss the October 24 deadline to register to vote in this election, you can still vote provisionally at all polling places in San Francisco, as well as the City Hall Voting Center. Provided you are eligible to vote in San Francisco and have not cast another ballot, your ballot will be counted. 

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Go vote. With so much at stake this election, please please please make sure you, and the voters you know, have a plan to vote. Once you vote, you can track your ballot using the voter portal, no matter how you plan to vote. But make a plan to vote. My plan is to drop my ballot off in a shiny new Voter Drop Box. Worked great in April and June!

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).

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 – Shirley Weber

Controller – Malia Cohen

Treasurer – Fiona Ma

Attorney General – Rob Bonta

Insurance Commissioner – Ricardo Lara

Board of Equalization, District 2 – Sally Lieber

US Senator – Alex Padilla x2

US Representative, District 11 – Nancy Pelosi

State Assembly, District 17 – Matt Haney

State Assembly, District 19 – Phil Ting

Chief Justice of California Patricia Guerrero – Yes

Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Goodwin Liu – Yes 

Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Martin Jenkins – Yes

Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Joshua Groban – Yes

Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, First District, Division Two, Therese Stewart – Yes

Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, First District, Division Three, Alison Tucher – Yes

Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, First District, Division Three, Victor Rodriguez – Yes

Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, First District, Division Three, Ioana Petrou – Yes

Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, First District, Division Three, Carin Fujisaki – Yes

Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, First District, Division Four, Tracie Brown – Yes

Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, First District, Division Four, Jeremy Goldman – Yes

Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, First District, Division Five, Teri Jackson – Yes

Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, First District, Division Five, Gordon Burns – Yes

Superintendent of Public Instruction – Tony Thurmond

Member, Board of Education – Alida Fisher, Gabriela López, Lainie Motamedi

Member, Community College Board – Vick Chung, Thea Selby, Anita Martinez

Member, Community College Board – Adolfo Velasquez

Assessor-Recorder – Joaquín Torres

District Attorney – John Hamasaki

Public Defender – Mano Raju

Board of Supervisors District 2: No endorsement

Board of Supervisors District 4: Gordon Mar

Board of Supervisors District 6: Honey Mahogany #1, Cherelle Jackson #2

Board of Supervisors District 8: No endorsement

Board of Supervisors District 10: Shamann Walton

Prop 1 – Constitutional Right to Reproductive Freedom. HELL YES!!!

Prop 26 – Allows roulette, dice games, sports wagering on tribal lands. yes

Prop 27 – Allows online sports wagering. NO

Prop 28 – Provides funding for arts and music education in public schools. yes

Prop 29 – Requires licensed medical professional at kidney dialysis clinics. no

Prop 30 – Provides funding for air pollution reduction programs by increasing personal income tax for those making over $2 million. no

Prop 31 – Maintains 2020 law that prohibits the retail sale of some flavored tobacco products. Yes

Prop A – Fixes cost of living adjustment for city employees who retired before November 6, 1996. Yes

Prop B – Eliminates the Department of Sanitation and Streets, retains commission. yes

Prop C – Establishes the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing’s Homelessness Oversight Commission and requires audits. Yes

Prop D – Streamlines approval of affordable housing and no longer requires Board of Supervisor approvals. NO

Prop E – Streamlines approval of affordable housing and continues to require Board of Supervisor approvals. YES

Prop F – Renews the Library Preservation Fund for 25 years. YES

Prop G – Provides additional funding for grants to the San Francisco Unified School District. No

Prop H – Adjusts candidate elections to November of presidential elections years, holds local ballot measures in even-numbered years, changes number of signatures required for items placed on the ballot. HELL YES

Prop I – Allows private motor vehicles on JFK Drive and Great Highway. HELL NO

Prop J – Affirms the Board of Supervisors’ ordinance closing portions of JFK drive to private motor vehicles. HELL YES

Prop K – removed from ballot!

Prop L – Continues a half-cent sales tax to 2053 to pay for transportation projects. HELL YES

Prop M – Taxes owners of vacant residential buildings with 3+ units if they are kept vacant. Yes

Prop N – Allows use of public funds for city to acquire and operate public parking garage in Golden Gate Park. Yes

Prop O – Establishes a parcel tax for City College student and workforce development programs. YES

The full enchilada

Governor – Gavin Newsom

This election follows the June primary election for the state. How it currently works in California is that the two top vote-getters in the primary run off in November for the seat. As such, in the primaries, I vote in an attempt to influence the November ballot, if not the outcome of that election itself, the campaign issues, and how the candidates talk about and make commitments to them. 

As I predicted in June, incumbent Gavin Newsom got the votes to be one of those two candidates on the ballot for November 8. And, while he leaves things to be desired, the Republican agenda of his opponent is not one of them! Vote to reelect Gavin Newsom.

Lieutenant Governor – Eleni Kounalakis

Now that you know my strategy for the primary races (see Governor), you know that I am going to endorse the Democrat when they are running against a Republican unless there is some crazier-than-the-Republican agenda reason to switch up said strategy. Simple as that. I am voting for Eleni Kounalakis.

Secretary of State – Shirley Weber

Here’s what I said about Shirley Weber for Secretary of State in June: We count our many blessings when a inspiration like Shirley Weber gets appointed to an office like Secretary of State, the office responsible for protecting our voting rights. You have her to thank for expanding voter access with permanent vote-by-mail ballots sent to all voters statewide, and those ballot drop boxes where you can conveniently cast your vote-by-mail ballot vote 24/7. She also sent letters to 60k California parolees letting them know of their voter rights, and educating those who had served their time after being convicted of felonies in California on how to reclaim their right to vote. I look forward to seeing more from her. 

Controller – Malia Cohen

Incumbent Betty Yee is termed out, and she endorsed two candidates in the primary, of which Malia Cohen (former San Francisco City Supervisor) was one. Since my first choice was eliminated, I am going with Malia for the seat. The alternative is a former policy advisor for Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio. Yikes.

Treasurer – Fiona Ma

While incumbent Fiona Ma seems to have some scandals involving sexual harassment and political gifts in her office easily made it to the ballot, the alternative is an antiabortion vocal Trump supporter who doesn’t seem any better!

Attorney General – Rob Bonta

As I said in June: Rob Bonta is the incumbent and has done okay in office—he wrote legislation that abolished cash bail and required investigations into police-involved shootings. But, he has a history of behested payments benefitting his wife’s nonprofits, so that definitely raises my eyebrows on the “avoid corruption” aspect of being a respectable public figure. The options in this race are otherwise pretty slim, unfortunately.

Insurance Commissioner – Ricardo Lara

Speaking of slim options in races with a side-helping of corruption…many during the primary were looking to oust problematic incumbent Ricardo Lara after he got involved in some pay-to-play scandals and pandering to the fossil-fuel industry after receiving hefty campaign donations from them. But he got the votes to be on the ballot November 8, and here we are choosing between Lara and a self-described “Reagan Republican” with no political experience.

Board of Equalization, District 2 – Sally Lieber

Again, here’s what I said in June: Sally Lieber is running corporate-free and has an impressive resume standing up for everyday people. She authored state legislation as assemblymember that increased minimum wage, restricted tobacco advertisements near schools, and worked to ensure rights of youth in foster care. Vote for Sally Lieber!

US Senator – Alex Padilla x2

Another rerun from June! Alex Padilla is another recently appointed candidate who is running, first, to finish the “special term” vacated by Vice President Kamala Harris, and then to hold the seat for the next six-year term. So far of his time in the office, I like what I see. He’s done a listening tour about infrastructure, and he used his Spanish language skills to speak out after the decision aimed at overturning Roe v. Wade came to light. So, I’ll be voting for him in both races this election so that we can see what Alex Padilla does next.

US Representative, District 11 – Nancy Pelosi

Okay folks. The mighty Pelosi will easily retake her seat. In June, I was inclined to sit this one out. But, with all the shenanigans happening at the federal level, I think my support for the democratic agenda, as opposed to the republican one, needs to be clear this election. So here I go voting for Nancy Pelosi. If Democratic Party leaders know what’s best for them, they’re grooming their next Nancy now.

State Assembly, District 17 – Matt Haney

I haven’t gotten tired of voting for Matt Haney this year. I like the guy, but this is now the fourth ballot when his name will appear. As I said in June, now that the damage has been done by Haney vacating his District 6 Supervisor seat, all we can do is feel sad about that outcome, and cast yet another vote for Haney. 

State Assembly, District 19 –  Phil Ting

Another rerun from June: I have been unmoved by Phil Ting for several elections, even though he has sponsored legislation that brought about transportation improvements for people walking, bicycling, and taking transit. I wish Phil Ting were better because he knows how to be better. While his track record is underwhelming, his inexperienced challenger’s track record is…well, nonexistent. 

Chief Justice of California Patricia Guerrero – Yes

This election there are lots of justices to confirm! Typically I look for any sort of landmark cases they presided over, who appointed them, see if they did any pro bono work or were involved in any clubs or associations. Most justices don’t have much to go on in the news (that is a good thing), so I have provided here what I found.

Patricia Guerrero was nominated by Governor Gavin Newsom and is the first Latina to serve on the California Supreme Court. She is the daughter of immigrants and did extensive pro bono work, including for the Immigration Justice Project. I am voting yes. 

Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Goodwin Liu – Yes 

Goodwin Liu was nominated by Governor Jerry Brown. He formerly was a Professor of Law and Associate Dean at Cal Berkeley School of Law. He is the son of Taiwanese immigrants and he helped launch the national AmeriCorps public service program before serving as a clerk at the US Supreme Court to Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I am voting yes. 

Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Martin Jenkins – Yes

Martin Jenkins was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom. Prior, he was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve as a federal district judge for the Northern District of California. The Black justice has received numerous awards for his work including the 2009 Children’s Advocacy Award presented by Legal Services for Children, San Francisco, for outstanding leadership in public policy that protects youth from abuse and exploitation. I am voting yes.

Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Joshua Groban – Yes

Justice Groban advised Governor Jerry Brown on the appointment of over 600 judges in the state—or one of every three. Not surprisingly, he has received numerous awards. He also served on school boards and participated in mentorship programs for college and law students. I am voting yes.

Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, First District, Division Two, Therese Stewart – Yes

Therese Stewart was appointed by Governor Edmund Brown. Previously she served as the Chief Deputy City Attorney in the City Attorney’s office where she oversaw 300 employees including 200 attorneys. She also served as Board and President of the Bar Association of California, and she aids the Governor’s appointments secretary in identifying and vetting LGBT candidates for judicial office. I am voting yes.

Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, First District, Division Three, Alison Tucher – Yes

Alison Tucher has served as a law clerk for both the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. She formerly maintained an active pro bono practice, twice winning freedom for people wrongfully convicted of murder. This prompted her being named one of the Top 250 Women in Litigation nationally by Benchmark Litigation and an “American Hero” by CBS News. I am voting yes.

Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, First District, Division Three, Victor Rodriguez – Yes

Victor Rodriguez was nominated by Governor Gavin Newsom. Prior he served as a judge on the Alameda County Superior Court where he presided over a dedicated civil domestic violence restraining order department where he handled elder abuse and gun violence restraining order matters. He also serves as the chair of the Language Access Subcommittee to the Judicial Council’s Advisory Committee on Providing Access and Fairness. I am voting yes.

Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, First District, Division Three, Ioana Petrou – Yes

Ioana Petrou was appointed by Governor Edmund Brown. Prior she served on the Alameda County Superior Court and did extensive pro bono work, including for the Breast Cancer Prevention Partners. She also teaches trial practice at Berkeley Law. I am voting yes.

Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, First District, Division Three, Carin Fujisaki – Yes

Carin Fujisaki was appointed by Governor Edmund Brown. Prior she spent 28 years at the California Supreme Court. She also was nominated by Governor Brown as the first Asian American member of the UC Hastings Law Board of Directors. She has been active in fostering mentorship of law students and attorneys throughout her career. I am voting yes.

Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, First District, Division Four, Tracie Brown – Yes

Tracie Brown was appointed by Governor Edmund Brown. Prior she served on the San Francisco Superior Court where she presided over the Domestic Violence Court, and the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California. She did extensive pro bono work on a case representing San Francisco’s Japanese American Community and was recognized for a successful trial involving a massive online “pill mill.” She also teaches trial advocacy at Berkeley Law. I am voting yes.

Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, First District, Division Four, Jeremy Goldman – Yes

Jeremy Goldman was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom. Prior he served the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office where he defeated city ordinances and programs against constitutional and legal challenges. He also served on a legal team that successfully represented lesbian and gay couples in their challenge to Proposition 8 that prohibited them from marrying. I am voting yes.

Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, First District, Division Five, Teri Jackson – Yes

Teri Jackson was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom. She became the first African-American female to serve on the San Francisco Superior Court when she was appointed by Governor Gray Davis. She helped develop and chaired a program created to demystify the process of applying for appointment to the Court of Appeal. She also served as an adjunct law professor at both Hastings College of Law and the University of San Francisco School of Law. I am voting yes.

Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, First District, Division Five, Gordon Burns – Yes

Gordon Burns was appointed by Governor Edmund Brown. Prior, he served as a California Department of Justice attorney. He also served as California’s first Deputy Solicitor General for Civil Law, supervising the state’s civil cases in both the US and California supreme courts, and as Undersecretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency, with 6,000 staff and a $4.7 billion budget. I am voting yes. 

Superintendent of Public Instruction – Tony Thurmond

Unfortunately though I voted in the June Primary against Tony Thurmond’s corrupt and well-known toxic leadership, he was one of the top two vote-getters. We get to pick between his problems and a super conservative school privatizer who is anti-vaccination, and his school prayer stance is more conservative than the US Supreme Court. As such, I am sadly voting for Tony Thurmond.

Member, Board of Education – Alida Fisher, Gabriela López, Lainie Motamedi

I am voting for Alida Fisher, Gabriela López, and Lainie Motamedi, as we get to pick three. I would not wish the SF school board member role on anyone, since the body became more of a powder keg for the troubled district than the resume builder for budding politicians that it once was. So, I am sticking with people that I trust whose track record speaks for itself.

Here is what I said about Alida Fisher when I endorsed her in 2020: Alida Fisher is a fixture in the SFUSD community who is a special education advocate that wants support services prioritized. She chaired the SFUSD community advisory committee for special education and is a member of the African American Parent Advisory Committee. She leverages these roles to address institutionalized discrimination in our school system.

Here’s what I said about Gabriela López in 2018 when I endorsed her: Gabriela López 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. 

Lainie Motamedi is new to the board, appointed by Mayor London Breed after the recall election earlier this year removed three board members. I know her best from her past work as a board member for the SF Bicycle Coalition while I was staff. But more recently, and more relevantly, she is known for her great work stepping in when the district was at its most dysfunctional during the pandemic, and getting the district to refocus on the students. Since her appointment, she has taken the bull by the horns focusing on student success, fiscal responsibility, and rebuilding the shattered trust with the community. She is a complete badass who tackles tough issues with grace and tenacity, and so I am voting to reelect Lainie Motamedi along with Gabriela López and Alida Fisher.

Member, Community College Board – Vick Chung, Thea Selby, Anita Martinez

Poor City College has had a rough time of it, the latest flavor of its dilemmas is it being forced to cut classes due to declining enrollment, which (of course) leads to further decline in said enrollment. So, my three picks from a pretty well-stacked ballot are Vick Chung, Thea Selby, and Anita Martinez. 

Vick Chung has been a student trustee who has called out the budgets that led to classes being cut that students need to graduate. She’s is active as a leader in the CCSF Collective and isn’t afraid to stand up for students. Vick is a needed voice on the Community College Board. 

I have been impressed with Thea Selby’s work over the years as a member of the community college board as she has helped the school weather many storms. I think her experience through these storms is a boon to the Community College Board as it navigates through its current challenges. 

Anita Martinez’s experience in so many roles at City College will also be a boon to the Community College Board. She has been a teacher, dean, vice chancellor, and president of the faculty union. She is a strong leader that City College needs right now. 

Member, Community College Board – Adolfo Velasquez

Adolfo Velasquez is a student, educator, and counselor at City College who is poised to restore ESL classes at the Mission and Chinatown campuses. As chair of the Educational Opportunities & Programs he has worked to support low-income students, so I am voting for Adolfo Velasquez.

Assessor-Recorder – Joaquín Torres

Here’s what I said back in February: Joaquín Torres is running unopposed so he is going to win the seat whether you vote for him or not! He was appointed to this seat after Carmen Chu moved over to the seat of the City Administrator that was vacated due to the corruption scandal that caused several city leaders to be removed and a subsequent city leadership shuffle. Abstain if you prefer, as he will have the seat no matter how you spill your ink on the ballot.

District Attorney – John Hamasaki

After voters screwed in the last election up by either not voting in the election or recalling District Attorney Chesa Boudin, London Breed replaced him with Brooke Jenkins. Ever since, Jenkins has been bringing back tired and failed methods to address drug dealing and other crime. And she failed to report $250k she received from Republicans. 

So John Hamasaki, with his pro-transparency, anti-corruption, smart public safety platform is a breath of fresh air. He’s committed to using the office to address the organized crime rings responsible for burglary and car break-ins, and address drug sales. This is a rank choice vote, but after I mark John Hamasaki as #1, I am going to leave my #2 and #3 votes blank because I don’t want any of the other candidates to get any extra votes. They don’t deserve them!

Public Defender – Mano Raju

Here’s what I said about Mano Raju back in 2019: After Jeff Adachi passed in office Mano Raju was appointed to fill the vacancy, he has honored Adachi’s legacy by defending immigrant rights and fighting racial bias in the courtroom. Everyone familiar with Raju’s work as a trial attorney remarks on his seemingly perfect record defending his clients. Now, here in 2022, he has launched a program to increase pay for low-income jurors to allow for more diverse juries; a program that challenges wrongful convictions and excessively harsh sentences; and, a clean slate program that helps people clear their criminal histories. So, I am voting for Mano Raju again.

Board of Supervisors District 2: No endorsement

Catherine Stefani is the incumbent and likely to reclaim her seat. She often supports tried and failed strategies to address crime and drug abuse, and she constantly supports the corrupt Police Officers’ Association whose values leave much to be desired. Alas.

Board of Supervisors District 4: Gordon Mar

In general, I like Gordon Mar. I wish he was less wishy-washy, but the incumbent has been strong on affordable housing projects, and he sponsored legislation that would fund Free City College for the next ten years. He’s been okay on transportation stuff supporting car-free Great Highway and JFK Drive. But, I didn’t love when he called for all the Slow Streets in his district that provide neighborhood streets that are more attractive and safer for people walking and biking to be removed. His lead opponent has a lot of unattractive stances, like merit-based admission for Lowell High School, supporting the recall of Chesa Boudin, and prioritizing parking over parklets. So, I’d recommend just voting Gordon Mar and leaving the other choices blank. 

Board of Supervisors District 6: Honey Mahogany #1, Cherelle Jackson #2

For readers of the Kate Slate who have been following the departure of Matt Haney to the state legislature and the disappointing appointment of SFPD spokesperson to replace him, you probably already know that I support Honey Mahogany as #1 for D6. She served as Matt Haney’s aide when he was supervisor, and is a social worker with decades of experience working with unhoused people with mental illness including drug addiction. She also helped found the first Transgender District and has fought to help keep San Francisco’s LGBTQ venues when they have been threatened. She is a gem and I hope you will vote for her for #1. 

For a #2 vote, Cherelle Jackson seems like a good choice. She has been fighting for non-corrupt redistricting (quite the lift in San Francisco, apparently) and is the co-chair of SEIU 1021’s Workers with Disabilities committee. And, I’d leave #3 blank.

Board of Supervisors District 8: No endorsement

Incumbent Rafael Mandelman is likely to reclaim this seat, and the other candidates are neither more compelling nor more troubling, so save your ink on this long ballot. 

Board of Supervisors District 10: Shamann Walton

Shamann Walton really goes to bat for his district, which seems to always be on the forefront of every serious city battle, from environmental protection to climate change to public safety. He is bold and brave, standing up to the mayor and creating bold initiatives like shutting down the jail at 850 Bryant and Juvenile Hall, and establishing the African American Reparations Committee. He is a representative I would be proud to have representing me if I were in D10. I’d vote Shamann Walton for #1 and leave the rest blank.

Prop 1 – Constitutional Right to Reproductive Freedom. HELL YES!!!

I cannot express the anger I feel when the human right to healthcare becomes a political debate. Human rights are not debatable. Period. This initiative would enshrine in the California constitution the basic human right to health procedures that fall into the controversial category of “abortion” in the state of California. I cannot believe I even have to say vote HELL YES on Prop 1.

Prop 26 – Allows roulette, dice games, sports wagering on tribal lands. yes

For full disclosure before we go into props 26 and 27: a) I do not and have not ever gambled; b) Gambling harms individuals and communities, disproportionately low-income people of color; and c) I am a citizen of the United States, not a citizen of sovereign tribal land and therefore don’t believe I should have the opportunity to have a say on goings that are contained within those sovereign spaces. 

If Prop 26 passes, it would expand the types of gambling on reservations in California to include in-person roulette, dice games, and sports wagering. While I am not a fan of gambling, I don’t understand why you would permit one type and not another, so that is a bit of a moot point for me. If folks there want to expand in-person gambling on their sovereign land, then so be it.

If both Prop 26 and 27 pass, it is likely that tribes will argue that they conflict in an effort to prevent Prop 27 from being implemented. So, if you are more supportive of Prop 26 than Prop 27, you should vote yes for 26 and either vote no or abstain on 27 to ensure 26 gets more total yes votes. Or vice versa.

Prop 27 – Allows online sports wagering. NO

While in Prop 26 I said I don’t feel I should have the opportunity to vote on what is allowed on someone else’s sovereign land, I am concerned with Prop 27 that would allow online and mobile sports betting that would therefore expand gambling beyond the domain of the tribes. 

The relationships between these for-profit casinos and the tribes for whom they manage reservation casinos are often fraught and unequal, with the tribes being exploited by the casino operators. This initiative looks like casino operators exploiting this relationship further, and by ultimately expanding gambling beyond reservations where it is not currently allowed. I am a solid NO on prop 27. As mentioned in Prop 26, Prop 26 and 27 conflict, so if you are more supportive of Prop 26 than Prop 27, you should vote yes for 26 and either vote no or abstain on 27 to ensure 26 gets more total yes votes, and vice versa.

Prop 28 – Provides funding for arts and music education in public schools. yes

Normally I am against ballot box budgeting: It locks in earmarks into the budget that limits policymakers the flexibility they need to prioritize spending when budgets are tight. Unfortunately, when said policymakers have made tough decisions with budgets, they have failed to maintain necessary funding for arts and music education in the state budget. And, this earmark is small enough that it would secure $1 billion/year for California’s 6 million public school students without majorly hindering the budgeting process. I also like that the initiative allocates 70% of the funds to districts based on enrollment and 30% would be extra for economically disadvantaged schools. So, with a bit of hesitation, I am voting yes.

Prop 29 – Requires licensed medical professional at kidney dialysis clinics. no

Back in 2020 we voted on Prop 23 that was virtually the same initiative. I endorsed a no vote because it is spawned by a dispute between labor unions and for-profit medical industry corporations, and there are nuances that shouldn’t be resolved at the ballot box. And, this is the third attempt since 2018 that voters have been asked to weigh in on the corrupt for-profit dialysis industry. But, the ballot box is the wrong tool for the needed reforms.

Ultimately, this is about the labor union fighting to unionize kidney dialysis clinic-operating company workers in the name of better health outcomes and lower government costs. But, the worrying outcome here is that the specifics would increase costs, and there is a lack of resources to meet the requirements. The costs would then be pushed onto the patients, who are disproportionately low-income people of color. So, I am voting no again, with some reservations.

Prop 30 – Provides funding for air pollution reduction programs by increasing personal income tax for those making over $2 million. no

Initially I was a yes on this, but now I am a no. I think it is the right tactic but the wrong priority. The tactic is taxing those with a personal income of more that $2 million/year to fund programs and policies that address climate change. Good idea. The wrong climate change priority is funding electric vehicle infrastructure and rebates for consumers (including ridesharing companies backing this initiative in order to meet California clean vehicle mandates by the deadline). There are so many other more pressing priorities to address climate change than providing funds for private industry to meet state regulations, especially private corporations who have bad labor practices. Let’s tax the rich to fund initiatives that will give us the greatest return on investment. I am voting no.

Prop 31 – Maintains 2020 law that prohibits the retail sale of some flavored tobacco products. Yes.

This is a confusingly worded ballot initiative that has voters thinking a yes means no and a no means yes. This is an effort to overturn the city and state bans on most flavored tobacco products that are disproportionately marketed to low-income youth of color. Let me assure you: A yes vote here keeps the ban and a no vote overturns it. Stand by our voter-endorsed flavored tobacco ban and vote yes to maintain the ban on some flavored tobacco products.

Prop A – Fixes cost of living adjustment for city employees who retired before November 6, 1996. Yes

This fixes an adjustment for cost of living that voters approved in 1996 for all city of San Francisco retirees that were accidentally omitted 4,400 city employees. Since these folks are likely in their 80s and 90s, based on the retirement year and minimum years of service required to retire, the city employees are also all seniors. I am voting yes as it is the right thing to do. 

Prop B – Eliminates the Department of Sanitation and Streets, retains commission. yes

Voters created a new Department of Sanitation and Streets in 2020 after the Public Works corruption scandal and the unsanitary conditions of our streets compelled voters to do something to address the foul status quo. But, running a city agency is an expensive endeavor for our budget-strapped city. And, the proposition voters passed in 2020 already created two oversight commissions for both the new Department of Sanitation and Streets and Public Works. So, this is an effort to be more budget conscious while maintaining the oversight. It may be that one day, San Francisco needs an entire separate department for Sanitation and Streets, but let’s see if we can get by with just separate commissions for now. I am voting yes. 

Prop C – Establishes the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing’s Homelessness Oversight Commission and requires audits.  Yes

With homelessness being one of San Francisco’s most pressing issues, the dismal performance of the Department of Homelsessness and Supportive Housing is a major concern. And, the facts that the department has a pretty large budget and reports directly to the mayor certainly suggests the department could benefit from oversight and accountability, and this is one step to that end. I am voting yes on Prop C. 

Prop D – Streamlines approval of affordable housing and no longer require Board of Supervisor approval. NO

Prop D and Prop E are two versions of propositions supposedly aimed at streamlining approval for affordable housing based on a set of criteria, but using different tactics. If they both pass, the one with the more yes votes wins. Prop D drops the crucial Board of Supervisors oversight of approvals for affordable housing projects that meet certain criteria, including increasing the incomes that qualify for affordable housing. Prop D is a handout to developers at the expense of those San Francisco residents who are low income. Vote NO.

Prop E – Streamlines approval of affordable housing and continues to require Board of Supervisor approval. YES

With Prop D and E offering two versions of propositions aimed at streamlining affordable housing approvals for certain types of housing. Prop E is the one that we want to pass with the most yes votes. Prop E makes changes to the approval process to streamline affordable housing for educators, and it maintains the necessary Board of Supervisors oversight. I am voting YES on E and NO on D.

Prop F – Renews the Library Preservation Fund for 25 years. Yes

Full disclosure: I just was featured in a PSA promoting the SF Public Library. I am a big fan and proud user of the library. 

Prop F renews the Library Preservation Fund for another 25 years. The fund pays for library services, construction, and maintenance. This would require the library to be open to the public for at least 1,211 hours every week and the city to temporarily freeze increases to the annual minimum funding when the city expects more than a $300 million budget deficit. This is all good news to library users who depend on their services to bridge the digital divide, to all Californians who can benefit from San Francisco Public Library’s cultural resources, and even for property owners who won’t see an increase in the tax rate if this passes. I am voting YES.   

Prop G – Provides additional funding for grants to the San Francisco Unified School District. No

There is a lot of enthusiasm for Prop G and I appreciate it greatly. But, the devil is in the details, and I think it is close to good but has a fatal flaw and here is why: Currently there is a statewide property tax earmarked for education. But because San Francisco’s properties are so expensive, and schools are underfunded by the state, San Francisco actually puts more into the fund than gets allocated to our schools. The state refunds the excess, and the city of San Francisco puts these monies into our general fund. 

The intention of this initiative is to take those excess funds and retain them for education as the state earmark intends. I do like the intention here, because, as I mentioned above in Prop 28, our policymakers notoriously underfund public schools. But, for the schools to access these funds, they would have to apply for grants. This means that schools with the resources to apply for grants would have access to these funds and under-resourced schools would still get the short end of the stick. Further, because it would redirect monies from the general fund, San Francisco would need to identify new sources of revenue once these funds were redirected to this grant program. 

I’d be more inclined to support this ballot box budgeting if it allocated funds based on enrollment (with extra for economically disadvantaged schools), but it is too risky a proposal for an initiative that favors funding only those schools with the means to apply for grants. Sadly, I am voting no. 

Prop H – Adjusts elections to November of presidential elections years, holds local ballot measures in even-numbered years, changes number of signatures required for items placed on the ballot. HELL YES

Dear Kate Slate reader, I, too, am exhausted by the four elections this year. This would save San Francisco tons of money and help improve voter turnout by adjusting the elections cycle in San Francisco so that candidate races are aligned with presidential elections, and local ballot measures would be held in even-numbered years or special elections only. Lastly, it increases the required number of signatures for voters to place initiatives on the ballot. That last reform will hopefully limit the insane topics that are brought to voters each election that waste taxpayer money and abuse the system to push through policy that doesn’t align with San Francisco values. I am voting HELL YES!

Prop I – Allows private motor vehicles on JFK Drive and Great Highway. HELL NO

Prop I and Prop J are opposing initiatives. If they both are approved the one with the more votes would be implemented. Prop I has sweeping negative impacts for San Francisco whereas Prop J simply affirms what the Board of Supervisors already implemented through a popular ordinance. 

Prop I would permanently end the car-free recreational spaces on JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park. JFK Drive is currently closed to cars seven days a week, and the Great Highway, when it isn’t closed by Mother Nature consuming it with sand dunes, is closed to cars on one segment on weekends. These car-free spaces are wildly popular and you should vote HELL NO on Prop I to preserve the miniscule amount of dedicated car-free space we have in San Francisco to enjoy recreational purposes. 

Prop J – Affirms the Board of Supervisors’ ordinance closing portions of JFK drive to private motor vehicles. HELL YES

While it would be a major loss for San Francisco if Prop I passes, if both Prop I and Prop J do not pass, very little changes. Prop J simply affirms the Board of Supervisors’ ordinance closing portions of JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park to cars. 

If Prop J doesn’t pass, it does not undo the ordinance. But for goodness sakes: The newly minted JFK Promenade is one of San Francisco’s most attractive public spaces for recreation with amazing art installations and murals, cultural activations from lindy hop to an adaptive cycling program that provides adaptive bikes for people with disabilities. It is one of the best policy decisions to come from the Board of Supervisors recently, and I cannot wait to vote HELL YES on Prop J.

Prop K – removed from ballot!

The San Francisco Superior Court saved you the trouble and removed prop K from the ballot.

Prop L – Continues a half-cent sales tax to 2053 to pay for transportation projects. HELL YES

For full disclosure, I am employed by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. Prop L funds SFMTA projects. 

Prop L would extend for thirty years an existing sales tax of transportation projects without raising taxes. And, though it requires a two-thirds majority vote to pass, a no vote won’t end the current sales tax. Prop L would fund Muni, BART, ferries, paratransit, traffic calming, separated bike lane projects, and pedestrian safety projects. The current sales tax funded planning for Muni Forward improvement projects, Van Ness BRT, the Transbay Center, and many, many other projects and programs. It also funds our paratransit program. 

If this proposition fails to pass, it will have dire consequences for San Francisco and its climate and transportation goals. For one, we would lose funding for paratransit, which is a federally mandated service. If that were to happen, we will have to tap our general fund to operate paratransit. This means that we would have to cut funding we now plan to use for Muni service. I have heard that the impact would be the equivalent of two full lines of Muni service being cut. Of course, the cuts wouldn’t be made to two full lines—it would be administered systemwide, degrading Muni service citywide. If you think Muni service or paratransit need to improve, vote YES. No public service was ever improved by cutting its funding. 

Vote YES on Prop L. It is so crucial. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of voting and vote for nothing else on this ballot, please please please vote Yes on Prop L and Yes on Prop 1.

Prop M – Taxes owners of vacant residential buildings with 3+ units if units are kept vacant. Yes

Prop M aims to address San Francisco’s housing shortage by taxing residential building owners who own units in buildings with 3+ units, if the units are vacant for more than half of a year. And, the proceeds would fund affordable housing and rent subsidies. This seems like a good policy all around. I am voting Yes on Prop M.

Prop N – Allows use of public funds for city to acquire and operate public parking garage in Golden Gate Park. Yes

This allows San Francisco to buy and operate the parking garage in Golden Gate Park below the Music Concourse. If we were able to take a time machine to 1996 and prevent the parking garage from being built in the first place, my position would be different. But, there is no good reason why a private corporation should be operating a parking garage aimed at serving the public good in a city park. When that is the case, the garage should be managed by the city so that the policies and rates are in line with city values. So, I am voting Yes on Prop N.

Prop O – Establishes a parcel tax for City College student and workforce development programs. YES

If Prop O doesn’t pass, even more cutbacks are coming to City College, San Francisco’s vital resource for those who want to advance in their careers and education. Prop O establishes a parcel tax to fund ESL classes and nursing and workforce development programs. I am voting YES.

About the Kate Slate

I write the Kate Slate for every election because, when I voted for the very first time, I found myself in the voting booth surprised that I didn’t understand all the issues or know all the candidates on the ballot. Though I was politically active in my community, I felt like I showed up to take a test unprepared. The next election, I studied the ballot and shared my notes with friends, bringing about the Kate Slate.

For the past decade plus, the Kate Slate is preceded by a Slate Party my pal Sacha Ortega co-hosts with me. The Slate Party is a big informer of the Kate Slate, as are voter guides, social media, and coffee break chatter.

And, in case you were wondering, the 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 people who 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. Happy voting!!


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