Kate Slate – February 15, 2022

Posted: February 15th, 2022 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | Comments Off on Kate Slate – February 15, 2022

Hello Voter!

Here is the Kate Slate for the February 15, 2022, Consolidated Election in San Francisco. 

The goal of the Kate Slate is to encourage others to VOTE. I share my personal cheat sheet to help others navigate their own ballot. I write the Kate Slate race-by-race, issue-by-issue, and share why I am voting the way I am. Sometimes I end up voting against something that seems right up my alley if there is some fatal flaw. In the Kate Slate, I tell you how I voted and what impacted my decisions. You probably won’t agree with me on everything, and that is okay! If you’d like to hear more about the Kate Slate, scroll down to the end.

Just please vote on or before Tuesday, February 15, 2022. In fact, bonus points if you vote early. San Francisco polls are open! 

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 February 15 (check collection times if you use a USPS mailbox). You can also return your ballot at your polling place on Election Day, February 15. 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. This is the first election 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, February 15.
  • Vote at the Voting Center. The Voting Center is open 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. 
  • Vote in person at your polling place. They will be open February 15, 7am to 8pm. They can also assist you if you make an error on your ballot and need a new one.

Even if you missed the 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.

Go 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.

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. And if you can’t take them with you, make sure they have a plan to vote.

Even if you missed the 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.

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

Member of the State Assembly, District 17 – David Campos
School Proposition A – No
School Proposition B – No
School Proposition C – No
Assessor-Recorder – Joaquín Torres

Now for the long form version of the Kate Slate:

Member of the State Assembly, District 17 – David Campos

This election is one of many cascade effects of the corruption scandal that has been rocking San Francisco city government since 2020. For this race, we are voting on a candidate who will fill the vacant State Assembly seat left when David Chiu was appointed to serve as San Francisco City Attorney.

Technically this is a primary election if none of the candidates get more than 50% of the votes; they would have the run-off in April of the two candidates with the most votes from this election. Whoever wins this race, now or in April, will serve the remainder of the term that ends January 2023. As such, we will be having another election for this seat again this June regardless, albeit for a full term. We will be best-served by someone with the political acumen for the short stint in the state assembly. 

There are four candidates running: David Campos, Matt Haney, Bilal Mahmood, and Thea Selby. I immediately discounted Mahmood since he has almost no political experience, including not participating in several recent local elections as a voter. And, while I am a big fan of Selby’s grassroots work in San Francisco, the reality is that a win for her is unlikely considering Campos and Haney, the vice chair of the California Democratic Party and the head of the San Francisco Democratic party respectively, are dominating the discourse for the race. A best case scenario for Selby is an April runoff. Frankly, an April runoff is a waste of taxpayer money to fill a seat only through the end of the year.

And, the short stint of the seat is also why I squarely landed on voting for Campos over Haney. Haney is currently San Francisco’s District 6 Supervisor. If he vacates that seat, then Mayor London Breed will appoint a replacement. There is too much at stake to sacrifice right now for a short stint in the State Assembly for us to risk losing Haney’s progressive voice on the Board of Supervisors, both for his district and for citywide issues. Think about critical upcoming votes like whether to keep Golden Gate Park’s JFK Drive open for recreation as it has been throughout the pandemic. Or the fact that the Tenderloin, in District 6, was recently declared a State of Emergency. San Francisco is best served by Haney continuing in his current role as District 6 Supervisor.

I also have confidence in David Campos serving in the State Assembly: He drafted San Francisco’s CleanPowerSF legislation and established harassment-free buffer zones around clinics. He stands up for immigrant families and affordable housing. He is a gay immigrant of color and works to address intersectional issues that set back our community. He is someone who will hit the ground running. Vote David Campos.

School Proposition A, Recall Alison Collins – No

School Proposition B, Recall Gabriela López – No

School Proposition C, Recall Faauuga Molina – No

The three school propositions each represent a measure to recall a sitting member of the San Francisco School Board. For any who are recalled, the mayor will appoint a replacement. There are seven members of the School Board in total, and the other four are ineligible to be recalled presently as they have served less than a year. Parents and teachers are upset about decisions during the pandemic and much vitriol after several controversial decisions that addressed racism and colonialism, as well as racist tweets by then-vice president Alison Collins (School Proposition A).

I consider the complaints against Collins validation for the board’s no confidence vote, removal of her Vice President title and her committee positions, as well as for those who vote to recall her justified. I don’t have the same confidence that that is the case for López or Molina. 

And, while I empathize completely with supporters, a costly recall just months before an election for these seats is wholly wasteful. The ship has sailed for this election. My guess is that they will be recalled as polls indicate people are so rightfully pissed. But, when/if the recalls pass, another expensive and wasteful recall of the other four board members is certainly coming. I am voting no on all three to stand against the abuse of the recall and cringing hard for not recalling a problematic racist when I had a chance.

Assessor-Recorder – Joaquín Torres

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 aforementioned corruption scandal. 

About the Kate Slate

I write the Kate Slate for every election because when I voted for the very first time as an eighteen year old, I found myself in the voting booth surprised that I didn’t understand all the issues or know all the candidates on the ballot. I felt like I had showed up to take a test that I hadn’t studied for. The next election, I studied the ballot and shared my notes with friends, bringing about the Kate Slate. Now the Kate Slate has been old enough to vote itself for a few years.

For the past decade plus, the slate is preceded by a Slate Party my pal Sacha Ielmorini co-hosts with me. The Slate Party is a big informer of the Kate Slate, as are voter guides provided by the League of Pissed Off Voters (impeccably researched), social media, and (virtual) 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 sometimes 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!!


Kate Slate – September 14, 2021

Posted: September 14th, 2021 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off on Kate Slate – September 14, 2021

Hello Voter!

Kate Slate logo

I hope this finds you well in these challenging times.

Here is the Kate Slate for the September 14, 2021, California Gubernatorial Recall Election: Vote NO on the recall question and submit your ballot to your polling place, City Hall Voting Center or a ballot drop-off station by tomorrow, Tuesday, September 14, 8 p.m.

Typically my pal Sacha and I host a slate party and discuss the ballot that informs the Kate Slate, but we skipped it for this election because there is nothing to discuss! The arguments for a recall are weak at best, ignorant and wasteful at worst. And, if you vote “no” on the first question, then you are also voting no on all the candidates in the second question. No need to waste energy or ink on the second question. So, I hope you will join me in voting “no” tomorrow and reject the recall. And I do hope you will take the time to vote if you were considering skipping this silly election. Your voice matters.

As always, thanks for reading, now please go vote. Take others with you. And if you can’t take them with you, make sure they have a plan to vote.

PS. Don’t forget to vote no and drop off your ballot by 8pm tomorrow!


Kate Slate – November 3, 2020

Posted: October 4th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Kate Slate – November 3, 2020
Kate Slate logo

Hello Voter! Here is the Kate Slate for the November 2, 2020, Consolidated Election in San Francisco.

The goal of the Kate Slate is to encourage others to VOTE. I share my personal cheat sheet to help others navigate their own ballot. I write the Kate Slate race-by-race, issue-by-issue, and share why I am voting the way I am. Sometimes I end up voting against something that seems right up my alley if there is some fatal flaw, and in the Kate Slate, I tell you if I think it does and why. You probably won’t agree with me on everything, and that is okay! If you’d like to hear more about the Kate Slate, scroll down to the end.

Just please vote on or before Tuesday, November 3, 2020. In fact, bonus points if you vote early this election. San Francisco polls open October 5.

In typical elections in typical years, I encourage voters to cast their live ballot at their polling place. But, I probably don’t need to tell anyone that this year is unique and this election is different. Here is how you can vote this year:

  • Vote by mail. All registered voters are to be mailed a ballot for this election on October 5. (I received mine October 3). You must return your ballot on time to be counted! If you return your ballot by mail, make sure it’s postmarked by November 3 (check collection times if you use a USPS mailbox). You can also return your ballot at a drop-off station starting October 5, or at your polling place on Election Day. You may also return your ballot in any other county in California or authorize another person to drop off your ballot for you. Follow the directions in your ballot package.
  • Vote at the Voting Center. The Voting Center opens October 5 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. 
  • Vote in person at your polling place. They will be open November 3, 7am to 8pm. They can also assist you if you make an error on your ballot and need a new one.

Even if you miss the October 19 deadline to register to vote, you can still vote provisionally at all 588 polling places in San Francisco, as well as the City Hall Voting Center, located outside the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on 99 Grove Street. Provided you are eligible to vote in San Francisco and have not cast another ballot, your ballot will be counted.

But go 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 mail-in ballot off at the Voting Center when it opens October 5.

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. And if you can’t take them with you, make sure they have a plan to vote.

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

President and Vice President – Joe Biden and Kamala Harris
United States Representative, District 12 – abstain
United States Representative, District 14 – Jackie Speier
State Senator, District 11 – Jackie Fielder
Member, State Assembly, District 17 – abstain
Member, State Assembly, District 19 – abstain
Member, Board of Education (up to 4) – Mark Sanchez, Alida Fisher, Matt Alexander, Kevine Boggess
Member, Community College Board (up to 4) – Tom Temprano, Shanell Williams, Aliya Chisti, Anita Martinez
BART Director, District 7 – Lateefah Simon
BART Director, District 9 – Bevan Dufty
Member, San Francisco Board of Supervisors, District 1 – Connie Chan
Member, San Francisco Board of Supervisors, District 3 – Aaron Peskin
Member, San Francisco Board of Supervisors, District 5 – Dean Preston
Member, San Francisco Board of Supervisors, District 7 – Myrna Meglar
Member, San Francisco Board of Supervisors, District 9 – abstain
Member, San Francisco Board of Supervisors, District 11 – John Avalos
State Proposition 14 – Authorizes bonds continuing stem cell research. No
State Proposition 15 – Increases funding sources for schools, government services by changing tax assessment of commercial and industrial property. YES!
State Proposition 16 – Allows diversity as a factor in public employment, education, and contracting decisions. YES!
State Proposition 17 – Restores right to vote after completion of prison term. YES
State Proposition 18 – Amends California constitution to permit 17-year-olds to vote. Yes
State Proposition 19 – Changes certain property tax rules. NO
State Proposition 20 – Restricts parole, authorizes felony sentences, for certain offenses. NO
State Proposition 21 – Expands local governments’ authority to enact rent control. YES!!!
State Proposition 22 – Exempts app-based companies from providing employee benefits. NO!!!!
State Proposition 23 – Establishes state requirements for kidney dialysis clinics. no.
State Proposition 24 – Amends consumer privacy laws. No!
State Proposition 25 – Referendum on law that replaced money bail. NO.
City and County Proposition A – Health and Homelessness, Parks, and Streets Bond. Yes.
City and County Proposition B – Department of Sanitation and Streets, Sanitation and Streets Commission, and Public Works Commission. yes
City and County Proposition C – Removing Citizenship Requirements for Members of City Bodies. Yes!
City and County Proposition D – Sheriff Oversight. no.
City and County Proposition E – Police Staffing. YES!!!
City and County Proposition F – Business Tax Overhaul. yes.
City and County Proposition G – Youth Voting in Local Elections. YES!
City and County Proposition H – Neighborhood Commercial Districts and City Permitting. No.
City and County Proposition I – Real Estate Transfer Tax. YES!
City and County Proposition J – Parcel Tax for San Francisco Unified School District. Yes.
City and County Proposition K – Affordable Housing Authorization. YES!!!!!
City and County Proposition L – Business Tax Based on Comparison of Top Executive’s Pay to Employees’ Pay. yes.
District Proposition RR – Caltrain Sales Tax. YES!!!!

Now for the long form version of the Kate Slate:

President and Vice President – Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

In 2016 I wrote, “I am not even sure this requires explanation. There isn’t a realistic alternative in this election since there is only one viable candidate who is fit for the position.” It is now even more dire after a white supremacist leveraged by a corrupt party has exploited the presidency and our country for the past four years. If you are eligible to vote, please vote. Your rights, your life, depend on it. May apathy not be the path by which this corrupt administration destroys this country.

United States Representative
Note: San Francisco voters are either in Congressional District 12 or 14

United States Representative, District 12 – abstain

Before the March primary I was “encouraged by the momentum for us to challenge perhaps the most powerful woman in the world with a candidate who better reflects our district’s values,” so I endorsed Shahid Buttar against Nancy Pelosi. But, since he has run an apparently toxic campaign that caused numerous campaign staffers to flee and several endorsements to be revoked, including now mine. Though I stand by what I said in March about this race: I want to challenge Pelosi to better serve her constituents in a way that better reflects our district’s values.

United States Representative, District 14 – Jackie Speier

Here’s my usual spiel about Jackie Speier: Jackie Speier is a badass representative. Unlike our District 12 Representative, Ms. Speier does a great job representing her constituents. She is a staunch defender of immigrant rights, standing up to the federal government’s illegal tactics. She authored legislation to force lawmakers accused of sexual misconduct to pay settlements themselves instead of using public funds. And, she introduced legislation that, if approved by the senate, would remove the deadline for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment so that it may finally pass after pushing it for nearly 40 years. She also introduced legislation a couple weeks ago that would make sexual harassment a crime in military code. (Isn’t it nuts that it isn’t already?) Jackie Speier supports the New Green Deal. She is awesome! Vote Jackie Speier.

State Senator, District 11 – Jackie Fielder

Here is a rerun of my endorsement from the March primary: Jackie Fielder cares about renters and affordable housing at the local level. I do like that Scott Wiener supports transit with legislation that fund improvements, and I do agree that that state has to lead with housing policy for cities to be forced to do what is right, but I think Wiener’s tactics leave a lot to be desired in achieving a housing policy that works for cities and renters. I am excited about Fielder’s New Green Deal for California and she brings a unique and needed perspective to the state senate as a formerly unhoused person. Go Jackie!

Member, State Assembly
Note: San Francisco voters are either in State Assembly District 17 or 19.

Member, State Assembly, District 17 – abstain

I stopped voting for Chiu in 2018. There are just 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 to adequately address them. David Chiu is unfortunately running unopposed so there is no need for me to vote for him for another term.

Member, State Assembly, District 19 – abstain

I am similarly unmoved by Phil Ting. We need a representative that is going to bring badly-needed state legislation to help San Francisco address some of its boldest challenges. His opponent in this race is unlikely to win.

Member, Board of Education (up to 4) – Mark Sanchez, Alida Fisher, Matt Alexander, Kevine Boggess

Mark Sanchez is a former teacher, principal, and school board member who has worked hard for social justice. He is progressive and supports affordable housing for educators and higher salaries for school workers. He has been very strong during the pandemic helping the district adjust to the emergency measures.

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.

Matt Alexander founded and led the June Jordan School for Equity where he gained some expertise with funding formulas and city property tax distribution that could bring the district much-needed revenue. He also aspires to close the digital divide, an issue that is paramount as the COVID-19 pandemic endures and students continue to depend on remote learning.

Kevine Boggess is an Education Policy Director at his day job where he monitors legislation coming out of the Board of Education and the Board of Supervisors advocating for students of color who face disproportionate inequities in our schools. He will bring a much-needed perspective to the Board as an SFUSD alumnus, and it will be fun to see him on the other side of the table.

Member, Community College Board (up to 4) – Tom Temprano, Shanell Williams, Aliya Chisti, Anita Martinez

Tom Temprano is a local leader with lots of great experience and strong ideas for addressing the enrollment issues including stronger outreach and rebuilding the relationship City College has with SFUSD.

Shanell Williams is a badass student who got involved in City College politics as its accreditation was in question and she helped lead the fight to save City College.

Aliya Chisti oversees the Free City College Program at the Department of Children Youth and Their Families (DCYF) and the partnership between City College and the City of San Francisco. I love her idea to invest in wraparound services for undocumented and unhoused students to support better outcomes.

Anita Martinez is a 28-year educator at CCSF who wants to restore CCSF to a community center in San Francisco that serves everyone, no matter their path in life, by promoting civic engagement, cultural enrichment, and life-long learning.

BART Director
Note: San Francisco voters are either in BART District 7 or 9.

BART Director, District 7 – Lateefah Simon

A plug for candidate Lateefah Simon: Her priorities for BART are affordability, accessibility, and accountability for transit-dependent people and working families. She has been a necessary voice for people of color in the debates about policing on BART and is actively working to expand BART’s unarmed safety staff, including new teams of ambassadors onboard patrolling the trains. Her leadership inspires me. She’s an important voice on the BART board.

BART Director, District 9 –  Bevan Dufty

Bevan Dufty has been doing good work on the BART Board that directly benefits the district he serves. Since he became director in 2017 he addressed issues with maintenance staffing at the 16th Street BART Station, rolling up his sleeves initiating a weekly cleaning program to address the squalor there. He did the same in 2018 at the Civic Center BART Station where he held office hours in the station for a month until conditions improved. Because of his long history as a public servant, he is able to leverage his political connections for much needed improvements to the BART system in our district. Vote Bevan Dufty.

Member, San Francisco Board of Supervisors
Note: San Francisco voters are in one of eleven supervisorial districts. Only odd numbered districts have elections this year.

Member, San Francisco Board of Supervisors, District 1 – Connie Chan

With a focus on protecting wage-workers, prioritizing small business support, affordable housing, and comprehensive, accessible public health, Connie Chan’s platform is what is needed to stabilize our community in these uncertain and unprecedented times. And, her familiarity working in the system as aides to Sophie Maxwell, Kamala Harris, Aaron Peskin, and for SF Rec and Park and City College make me very confident in her ability to make it happen. Since this is a rank-choice race, you can pick a second and third choice, but be sure to mark Connie Chan as your number one.

Member, San Francisco Board of Supervisors, District 3 – Aaron Peskin

Supervisor Aaron Peskin certainly has his quirks, but he goes to bat for his constituents, particularly those who are most vulnerable in his district. His team works tirelessly to support small businesses and defend affordable housing. In fact, his team is one of the hardest working and most effective in City Hall. Aaron Peskin keeps city agencies accountable and responsive at a time when it seems like many are looking the other way.

Member, San Francisco Board of Supervisors, District 5 – Dean Preston

Dean Preston is a tenants’ rights advocate first and foremost, and a voice that his district thought the Board of Supervisors needed after he was elected to replace Vallie Brown to complete the rest of the term left vacant by Mayor London Breed. My endorsement is based on that just happening in November, and because there are no candidates whose platform is more compelling.

Member, San Francisco Board of Supervisors, District 7 – Myrna Meglar

Myrna Meglar is an urban planner with a background in city government. Her platform is focused on housing and public transportation. She’s served on the San Francisco Planning Commission as President. I see lots of folks endorsing Vilaska Nguyen, but as of October 4, he has no platform on his campaign’s website (it says “putting families first”) and I have no idea how voters are supposed to intuit his platform. There is a candidate questionnaire he answered for the SF Bicycle Coalition with lots of compelling responses, but it did not restore my confidence. With rank choice voting it is good to have your second and third choices in mind, and these two candidates seem to be the best options in a packed race.

Member, San Francisco Board of Supervisors, District 9 – abstain

The incumbent in District 9 is unfortunately running uncontested. The city has had a lot of data about COVID-19 transmission disproportionately impacting Latinx community members in the Mission, and I have been incredibly underwhelmed by the city’s efforts to protect our most vulnerable neighbors. It is disappointing to see no other candidates in the race for this highly political district. Oh well.

Member, San Francisco Board of Supervisors, District 11 – John Avalos

Former Supervisor John Avalos is back after serving two past terms and taking his required leave from the Board of Supervisors before throwing his hat back in the ring in 2020. And, with his strong record in the office serving workers and families while defending San Francisco from corporate predators, I strongly endorse John Avalos for Supervisor. He is the candidate who best represents the values of his district.

State Proposition 14 – Authorizes bonds continuing stem cell research. No

Proposition 14 authorizes bonds to be sold for stem cell research. This would require repaying these bonds from the general fund for these studies. Bonds are expensive, and I am averse to using ballot box budgeting to restrict funds in the general fund. There are other, less expensive and restrictive ways this research can be funded. Furthermore, there are higher priorities to address in medical research than stem cell work, such as addressing inequities to reduce disparities in health outcomes.  As such, I am voting No.

State Proposition 15 – Increases funding sources for schools, government services by changing tax assessment of commercial and industrial property. YES!

Prop 15 aims to restore balance to property taxes by amending Prop 13 that has been the enemy of adequate school funding, amongst other things, since it was passed in 1978. Prop 13 has limited taxes to 1% of the assessed property value, gutting funding for public services dependent on property taxes. The reform you’d be voting on here proposes to require reassessing commercial properties every three years at market value. Those business owners with properties valued less than $3 million would be exempt from the new rule. 

Of course, big business hates the idea of this. But, the change has major social benefits: 60% of the revenue would stay local, providing counties fire protection, recreation, and other services. A statewide fund for K-12 schools and community colleges accounts for the remainder. Our local governments and schools need this funding restored so desperately to maintain basic services. Vote YES!

State Proposition 16 – Allows diversity as a factor in public employment, education, and

contracting decisions. YES!

Currently, consideration of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin is not allowed in in public employment, public education, and public contracting decisions in California. As such, some groups have reduced access, particularly people of color and women. This would be a major step in providing equitable access by allowing these diversity categories to be considered in decisions for public employment, education, and contacting. If you care about racial and gender equality vote YES!

State Proposition 17 – Restores right to vote after completion of prison term. YES

This proposition would restore voting rights upon completion of prison term to those who have been disqualified from voting. Currently people on parole are not eligible to vote. People should have the opportunity to choose their representatives and vote on policies that impact their lives, so I am going to vote YES.

State Proposition 18 – Amends California constitution to permit 17-year-olds to vote. Yes

If passed, this would allow 17-year olds who would be 18-years old by the next general election to vote in its primary. This aims to boost participation by our youngest voters, and as you will see by my endorsement of State Proposition 17 above and San Francisco’s Proposition G below, I am very much interested in people being able to vote on the representatives and policies that impact them. Vote Yes.

State Proposition 19 – Changes certain property tax rules. NO

This is poorly written legislation that should not be passed. Vote NO. This measure, like Prop 15, aims to make changes to Prop 13 of 1978. This initiative could potentially increase real estate sales by allowing property owners to take their property tax breaks with them when they move, which is why real estate interests got it on the ballot. But in doing so, it expands inequities in the property tax system in favor of longtime property owners over first time buyers. No thank you.

State Proposition 20 – Restricts parole, authorizes felony sentences, for certain offenses. NO

Prop 20 is a pro-prison industrial complex initiative that would reverse years of criminal justice reforms, cost taxpayers more, and change the process created when Prop 57 passed in 2016 that decriminalized nonviolent crime by making inmates with nonviolent felonies and good behavior eligible for parole. Let’s continue progress reforming our criminal justice system. Vote NO.

State Proposition 21 – Expands local governments’ authority to enact rent control. YES!!!

Proposition 21 aims to limit rent increases and preserve affordable housing by expanding local government authority to enact rent control on housing that is more than 15-years old. Rent control is how I afford housing and I am going to vote yes and I hope you do too so this tenant benefit can be extended. VOTE YES!!!

State Proposition 22 – Exempts app-based companies from providing employee benefits. NO!!!!

This is a blatant, sinister attempt by ride hailing companies to skirt employment law, exploit workers and make these changes permanent. Uber and Lyft did a big charade recently threatening to shut down their services to give these companies more time to comply with state law. But, the law has been around as long as they have been in business: If they can’t provide their employees the benefits to which they are legally entitled, then their business model needs to adjust. This would change the law instead, exploiting labor nearly permanently: if it passes, the legislation requires a 7/8 majority to be overturned (7/8 majority is pretty unprecedented)! Frankly, this is a good time to download a taxi app like Freewheel and support the taxi industry. The taxi industry is regulated and that has been a huge benefit during the pandemic when we needed to ensure measures would be taken to decrease risk of COVID-19  transmission. VOTE NO!! 

State Proposition 23 – Establishes state requirements for kidney dialysis clinics. no.

This proposition represents an unresolved dispute between labor unions and medical industry groups dating back to 2018 when Californians voted on a similar proposal that involved many of the same players. This is a dispute with nuances that should not be resolved by ballot box and I am voting no. In short, the labor union representing healthcare workers in California, Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West, argue that passing the proposition would provide a safer environment for dialysis patients and stronger protections for them. Meanwhile, medical companies and groups, like Davita, the California Medical Association, and California NAACP State Conference say that this would increase costs, that there is a lack of resources, and it could limit access to care. I support labor unions and yet I am confident a resolution exists outside of this election. Vote no.

State Proposition 24 – Amends consumer privacy laws. No!

This is one of those propositions that looks good on the surface as a measure that would help protect consumers’ privacy related to data collection. But actually, the prop is misleading as it  has big loopholes for big tech and the ACLU says it actually weakens protections for consumers. Ugh! Vote No!

State Proposition 25 – Referendum on law that replaced money bail. NO.

Prop 25 is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, so to speak. It is an effort to replace cash bail, which sounds good on the surface, but it replaces it with the only thing worse than cash bail: an algorithm. Essentially, this algorithm would determine the risk that the person would not appear at trial and thus whether they should be released. The issue here is bias: our algorithms are subject to human bias, so continue to be discriminatory. We should not be replacing one flawed, discriminatory system with another. End cash bail, but do it right. Vote NO.

City and County Proposition A – Health and Homelessness, Parks, and Streets Bond. Yes.

Prop A is a bond measure that would fund permanent supportive housing, transitional housing and shelters, the building of a Behavioral Health Access Center for mental health and addiction services, renovations at the Japantown Peace Plaza and Portsmouth Square, expansion of the Gene Friend Recreation Center in SoMa doubling its size, and a waterfront park at India Basin. Addressing health and homelessness in San Francisco is a critical need right now, and the facilities improvements are icing on top. Vote Yes.

City and County Proposition B – Department of Sanitation and Streets, Sanitation and Streets Commission, and Public Works Commission. yes

This proposition spins out of recent corruption at Public Works and aims to improve services relating to sanitation and streets. I have my doubts that creating a new agency, and the added expense to the city, will provide the fix desired by the seven Supervisors who voted to put this measure on the ballot. But, San Francisco’s maintenance and cleanliness have been neglected for years under the purview of Public Works, and this new department and commission would force attention on these critical needs for San Francisco that have been neglected for too long. So, I am voting yes.

City and County Proposition C – Removing Citizenship Requirements for Members of City Bodies. Yes!

Proposition C aims to remove the requirement that appointed members of city commissions and advisory boards be registered to vote in San Francisco. This would make it so non-citizens could serve as members on these commissions and boards. I am voting yes so that these boards and commissions can better reflect the communities they serve while giving these communities access to these boards and commissions. Vote Yes!

City and County Proposition D – Sheriff Oversight. no.

This was put on the ballot by the Board of Supervisors to resolve some oversight issues that have since been largely addressed. In 2019, the Department of Police Accountability (DPA) had entered into agreement with the Sheriff’s Department to provide much-needed oversight after many incidents involving sheriff misconduct were not properly or adequately addressed. But until the agreement was modified in August 2020, the DPA only investigated 35 cases as directed by the sheriff. The now modified agreement strengthens the oversight and allows both members of the public and incarcerated people to file complaints directly with the DPA, rather than the cases be assigned to DPA by the sheriff. These reforms are a start, but more is needed.

Our racist criminal justice system requires massive reform now, rather than providing the necessary substantive change, this proposition perpetuates and extends the existing system. Because creating a redundant Sheriff’s Department Oversight Board will cost our cash-strapped city approximately $3 million annually, and the oversight issues that would be provided by this proposition are being resolved incrementally with the Department of Police Accountability (DPA) with the August agreement, I am voting no. 

City and County Proposition E – Police Staffing. YES!!!

Speaking on necessary substantive change to the racist criminal justice system, Prop E aims to fix the City Charter that requires the San Francisco Police Department to maintain a minimum of 1,971 full-duty sworn officers and maintain 1994 levels for the number of officers dedicated to neighborhood policing. It appears to be lost to the nineties why they picked 1,971. A Strategic Police Staffing and Deployment Task Force established in 2018 developed a framework for determining police staffing levels that is aimed at providing the Police Commission a tool for evaluating staffing needs while addressing public safety. This was the basis of Prop E. 

The proposition would amend the charter to require the chief of police to submit a staffing report and recommendation to the Police Commission every two years. A public hearing would be held on the staffing report and the Police Commission would be required to adopt a policy to set methodologies for evaluating the staffing levels at least once every two years. These staffing levels would be ultimately approved in the budgetary process. Vote YES for this simple but important reform. 

City and County Proposition F – Business Tax Overhaul. yes.

Prop F, if passed, would unlock collected revenue from two 2018 ballot measures that went into litigation (both are named Prop C) to be used for the purposes those ballot measures intended. An estimated $963 million in fiscal year 2021–22 and $407 million in fiscal year 2022–23 would be dedicated specifically to homelessness services and childcare. It also shifts the tax burden to large companies from small businesses, and industries such as retail and hospitality, that have been hardest hit by the prolonged economic shutdown spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. Vote yes.

City and County Proposition G – Youth Voting in Local Elections. YES!

Youth ages 16 and up would be allowed to vote in municipal elections if Prop G passes. As I said above about State Proposition 18, I am very much interested in people being able to vote on the representatives and policies that impact them, so I am voting YES!

City and County Proposition H – Neighborhood Commercial Districts and City Permitting. No. 

This was put on the ballot by the Mayor and seeks to address the woes of our cumbersome city permitting system. But, the ballot box is not the path forward for this effort. This legislation has so many issues I hardly know where to start, but eliminating public notification for the permitting process in a city that demands notification is a major red flag (full disclosure, I am a Public Outreach & Engagement Manager for the city of San Francisco and most definitely biased). There are also several process issues that the legislation doesn’t account for. It changes the problems with permitting rather than resolving them. Surprise! I am voting No.

City and County Proposition I – Real Estate Transfer Tax. YES!

Vote yes! Proposition I would increase the transfer tax rate real estate with a price of at least $10 million. The transfer tax rate for property less than $10 million would stay the same. The Controller’s Office estimates that the proposed ordinance may result in average additional revenue of $196 million per year, though it suggests this may cause tax avoidance strategies. I say it is worth the risk. Vote YES!

City and County Proposition J – Parcel Tax for San Francisco Unified School District. Yes.

Proposition J is a redo of Measure G from 2018. Essentially the validity of the tax approved by a majority of voters is being challenged in court. Prop J decreases the parcel tax from Measure G and aims to reach a 2/3 majority to bring schools the much needed funds (that were approved by a majority of voters back in 2018). Vote Yes. Again.

City and County Proposition K – Affordable Housing Authorization. YES!!!!!

Housing is San Francisco’s foremost issue. Prop K would give San Francisco authority to own, develop, construct, acquire, or rehabilitate up to 10,000 units of low-income rental housing. This would remove the proverbial middle-man and direct more funds directly to providing critically needed affordable housing. VOTE YES!!!!

City and County Proposition L – Business Tax Based on Comparison of Top Executive’s Pay to Employees’ Pay. yes.

Proposition L seeks to bring some taxing equity with an additional tax on businesses in San Francisco whose top earners are making more than $2.7 million annually and have an executive pay ratio that exceeds 100:1 calculated based on total compensation of its highest paid employee and the median compensation of its San Francisco employees. There is a lot of speculation that Prop L won’t be able to achieve its aims at addressing pay inequity, but it is a start and it does so in a way that results in minimal harm so I am voting yes.

District Proposition RR – Caltrain Sales Tax. YES!!!!

If Prop RR does not pass, Caltrain will be forced to shut down without a dedicated funding source. Vote YES. We simply cannot afford to lose this vital regional public transit connection. Even getting the prop to the ballot has been quite a haul, trying to get political bodies representing all the various jurisdictions in three counties where Caltrain travels to agree on the terms of a funding measure to put on the ballot by the deadlines for this election during a pandemic. But they got it on the ballot in the nick of time so that you can help save Caltrain. And it requires a two-thirds majority in each county to pass. Vote YES!!!

About the Kate Slate

I write the Kate Slate for every election because when I voted for the very first time as an eighteen year old, I found myself in the voting booth surprised that I didn’t understand all the issues or know all the candidates on the ballot. I felt like I had showed up to take a test that I hadn’t studied for. The next election, I studied the ballot and shared my notes with friends, bringing about the Kate Slate. Now the Kate Slate is old enough to vote!

For the past decade the slate is preceded by a Slate Party my pal Sacha Ielmorini co-hosts with me. The Slate Party is a big informer of the Kate Slate, as are voter guides provided by the League of Pissed Off Voters (impeccably researched but too late this year to be of much assistance for the Kate Slate), SPUR (easy to read and to disagree), San Francisco’s legendary drag mother Juanita Moore (succinct), San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (helpful, yet appropriately biased), social media, and (virtual) 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 friends who sometimes shed light on aspects I hadn’t considered; I get the tacky expensive mailers you get (no I am not going to vote for you Mr. Super Billionaire); and, cool people like yourself send me others’ slates. I am not affiliated with any party. Happy voting!!


Kate Slate – March 3, 2020

Posted: February 29th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Elections, Kate Slate | Comments Off on Kate Slate – March 3, 2020

Here is the Kate Slate for the March 3, 2020 Presidential Primary in San Francisco.

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 Tuesday, March 3, 2020.

If you can, it is always best to cast a live ballot at your polling place. You can always go to City Hall on Election Day (March 3!) 7am-8pm to register and cast a provisional ballot If you don’t know your polling place, or where you were last registered to vote, or even if you don’t know if you are registered. But go vote.

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 surrendered absentee ballot and its envelope, and will give you a live ballot. This assures you that your ballot is read and counted as you intended it. (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, particularly if you abstain on votes as I will this election.)

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 tell you 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 sometimes shed light on aspects I hadn’t considered; I get the tacky expensive mailers you get (no I am not going to vote for you Mr. Super Billionaire); and, cool people like yourself send me others’ slates. I am not affiliated with any party.

When I voted for the very first time as an eighteen year old, I found myself in the voting booth surprised that I didn’t understand all the 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. For the past decade the slate is preceded by a Slate Party my pal Sacha Ielmorini co-hosts with me. 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), 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.)

President of the United States – Elizabeth Warren
United States Representative, District 12 – Shahid Buttar
United States Representative, District 14 – Jackie Spier
State Senator, District 11 – Jackie Fielder
State Assembly Member, District 17 – Abstain
Judge of the Superior Court, Seat #1 – Maria Evangelista
Judge of the Superior Court, Seat #18 – Michelle Tong
Judge of the Superior Court, Seat #21 – Carolyn Gold
State Proposition 13 – Bonds for Facility Construction at Schools – Yes
School Proposition A – City College Job Training and Earthquake Safety Measure – Yes
City and County Proposition B – San Francisco Earthquake Bond – Yes 
City and County Proposition C – Make retiree health care coverage available to former San Francisco Housing Authority employees? – Yes 
City and County Proposition D – Tax owners or tenants who keep ground floor retail or other commercial space vacant to assist small businesses? – Yes
City and County Proposition E – Tie annual allotment for Large Office Projects to Affordable Housing Goals and change the approval criteria for office projects? Yes
Democratic Party County Central Committee (DCCC) Assembly District 17 John Avalos, Peter Gallotta, Matt Haney, Frances Hsieh, Jane Kim, Honey Mahogany
Democratic Party County Central Committee (DCCC) Assembly District 19 Queena Chen, Leah LaCroix, Janice Li, Faauuga Moliga, Mano Raju

 

Now for the long form version of the Kate Slate:

President of the United States – Elizabeth Warren

I am excited to vote for Elizabeth Warren. She is the candidate I’d most like to vote for in the primary and in the November presidential election. And, like most voters, I hope that it is possible that the candidate who runs against the president in November is someone whose politics align with mine. In this primary, there are only two candidates who I feel do: Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. While I think it is tempting to vote for my second-best since he may better align with “the rest of America,” if we all do that, we will nominate our second-favorite candidate rather than our favorite.

Bernie is good but Elizabeth Warren is better. She has detailed plans on how she hopes to achieve ambitious goals that address the tough issues our country faces, from economic disparities to climate change, from the affordability crisis to health care. And, these plans take into account the problematic political climate that will hinder progress if we don’t address it. Warren simply has a better track record than Sanders at doing the hard work to make substantial impactful change. I have been impressed how even during the campaign she is achieving results that are advancing positive outcomes.

The parts of her campaign I am most excited about are her “ultra-millionaire tax” to fund education, healthcare, and childcare, and her commitment to revitalize the agricultural industry while addressing climate change.

The ultra-millionaire tax is brilliant: it would tax households worth more than $5 million or more a 2% tax of every dollar of net worth above $50 million, and a 6% tax above $1 billion. That small tax would fund universal child care, high quality public education, free public college, allow student loan debt to be forgiven, and help finance Medicare for All. Wow! It would raise $3.75 trillion!!

Her plan for Medicare for All takes into account the hostile federal political climate and includes a transition period from our existing system. Elizabeth Warren acknowledges that any Medicare for All legislation is primed for veto by the Republican leadership, so she has a first-term approach to make anti-corruption reforms that are unfortunately necessary to make meaningful changes to health care, reduce drug prices and provide a Medicare for All option that would be free for some in her first term, and eventually free for everyone.

As someone who grew up in an agricultural Sonoma County, I love Elizabeth Warren’s smart plan for revitalizing these communities through restorative farming practices that would offset the country’s transportation carbon emissions.

Her to-do list is strategic in all the best ways: leveraging America’s greatest strengths to address our most pressing issues. There is just not a candidate as good as her. Vote Elizabeth Warren.

 

United States Representative, District 12 – Shahid Buttar

This is a primary, and Nancy Pelosi is likely to clinch one of the two spots that are on the ballot come November, the prize of this primary election. This is a little bit of a rerun of when both Nancy Pelosi and Shahid Buttar ran in the 2018 primary. Then, the second spot on the November 2018 ballot went to Republican Lisa Remmer. In 2020, I am encouraged by the momentum for us to challenge perhaps the most powerful woman in the world with a candidate who better reflects our district’s values: Shahid Buttar. 

Say what you want about Congresswoman Pelosi, but it is inarguable that she spends the majority of her time on (currently very messy) federal issues rather than representing our district to address the challenges that matter to our community most, like climate change, health care, and housing. I get that Pelosi is set to easily win both the primary and November’s election, but I am encouraged by Buttar challenging her to better serve her constituents, and having a candidate in November that better reflects our district’s values.

 

United States Representative, District 14 – Jackie Spier

I don’t vote in District 14, but I always get asked what I think about this race, so here it is: Jackie Spier is a badass representative. Unlike our District 12 Representative, Ms. Spier does a great job representing her constituents. She is a staunch defender of immigrant rights, standing up to the federal governments illegal tactics during this administration in particular. And, I love that she authored legislation to force lawmakers accused of sexual misconduct to pay settlements themselves instead of using public funds, as well as introducing legislation that would remove the deadline for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment so that it may finally pass after pushing it for nearly 40 years. Finally, Jackie Spier supports the New Green Deal. She is awesome! Vote Jackie Spier.

 

State Senator, District 11 – Jackie Fielder

Jackie Fielder is someone who cares about renters and affordable housing at the local level more than incumbent Scott Wiener. Scott Wiener lost my favor when he was on the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco. I do like that he supports transit with legislation that fund improvements, and I do agree that that state has to lead with housing policy for cities to be forced to do what is right, but I think Wiener’s tactics leave a lot to be desired in achieving a housing policy that works for cities and renters. I am excited about Fielder’s New Green Deal for California and she brings a unique and needed perspective to the state senate as a formerly unhoused person. Go Jackie!

 

State Assembly Member, District 17 – Abstain

I stopped voting for Chiu in 2018. There are just 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. David Chiu is unfortunately running unopposed so there is no need for me to vote for him for another term.

 

Judge of the Superior Court, Seat #1 – Maria Evangelista

I asked my pal Jesse Stout who is a criminal justice activist and attorney in San Francisco what he thought about the candidates for judges, and he gave me insights on the races for seats #1, #18, #21 that I will share with you here: Maria Evangelista brings charisma to her causes, and is dedicated to seeking justice for her clients. She’s a native San Franciscan born to undocumented parents. Her opponent has worked as a prosecutor.

 

Judge of the Superior Court, Seat #18 – Michelle Tong

Michelle Tong is also running against a prosecutor. Tong has litigated on behalf of tenants, immigrants, and workers. And she is apparently also a really fun person, according to the aforementioned Jesse Stout.

 

Judge of the Superior Court, Seat #21 – Carolyn Gold

I think I am most excited to vote for Carolyn Gold of the judge candidates. She is the litigation director at Eviction Defense Collaborative. For 15 years, she’s protected thousands of San Franciscans from eviction. Since we passed Prop F in 2018 she’s helped lead implementation of SF’s civil right to counsel for evictions. A candidate you can feel good voting for. And, surprise! She is also running against a prosecutor. I guess it is a theme.

 

State Proposition 13 – Bonds for Facility Construction at Schools – Yes

This would be the largest school construction bond in California state history if passed and it enables districts to place bond measures to raise the taxable limit of property for schools that would then be matched. I am sure many people are going to be confused that this Prop 13 funds school construction when California’s 1978 Proposition 13 gutted school funding, but that is a different conversation. Here we are in 2020 and for this Proposition 13, I am voting yes.

 

School Proposition A – City College Job Training and Earthquake Safety Measure – Yes

This is a much needed measure to fund facilities and training at one of San Francisco’s most important institutions. What’s great about this one is that it is smartly designed legislation. Pals at League of Pissed Off Voters explain, “None of the money can go to administrator salaries, the state has to keep their hands off the money since it’s coming through a local measure, and there’s an oversight committee to watch how the money gets spent.” Yes, vote yes!

 

City and County Proposition B – San Francisco Earthquake Bond – Yes 

I am guilty of consistently voting yes on earthquake bonds in earthquake country to prepare us for earthquakes. This one is particularly compelling because it would fund maintenance and repairs to our cistern system dating back to the 1850s that, by the way, helped save the Mission (my neighborhood) from burning down after the 1906 earthquake. Yes!

 

City and County Proposition C – Make retiree health care coverage available to former San Francisco Housing Authority employees? – Yes 

File under: administrative. Any changes to the City Charter must go to the voters, and just because this addresses health care administration for only 24 workers, it still has to go to the voters. It sounds like these workers got the short end of the healthcare stick when there was some bureaucratic shuffling of management of the San Francisco Housing Authority to address its mismanagement. At any rate, we can fix that now and do what is right by the workers by voting yes.

 

City and County Proposition D – Tax owners or tenants who keep ground floor retail or other commercial space vacant to assist small businesses? – Yes

This is one of two compelling propositions on the ballot that will help address the affordability crisis by taxing those who are maintaining vacant storefronts after six months to encourage their activation. Currently storefronts are often left vacant until someone will pay the predatory sky-high rents that make this city unaffordable for many of us. The money raised here would go to support small business (though it is a pittance, let’s be real). I mostly love this proposition as a property owner-motivator, and it is about time. Vote yes.

 

City and County Proposition E – Tie annual allotment for Large Office Projects to Affordable Housing Goals and change the approval criteria for office projects? Yes

Here is the second of the two compelling propositions on the ballot that will help address the affordability crisis, this one relates to housing. This ties the allowed capacity of office development to the city’s affordable housing goals, that we don’t typically meet. So, if we only reach 50% of our affordable housing goals, the capacity for office development would be decreased by half. By pairing office project capacity with affordable housing goals, we incentivize real estate investors to meet the city’s affordable housing goals. It is an interesting strategy and I am all for it, since the workers at those offices have to live somewhere, and I rather they not live a two-hour commute away. Vote yes.

 

Democratic Party County Central Committee (DCCC)

Guess what?! I am not a member of the Democratic Party so I don’t get to vote on this slate. The DCCC votes on endorsements for candidates and ballot initiatives for the official San Francisco Democratic Party. They have a lot of power. So! I happen to still have opinions about favorite candidates. You get to vote for up to fourteen seats for District 17 and ten seats for District 19 so make sure you include these awesome people:

 

Assembly District 17 

John Avalos, Peter Gallotta, Matt Haney, Frances Hsieh, Jane Kim, Honey Mahogany

 

Assembly District 19

Queena Chen, Leah LaCroix, Janice Li, Faauuga Moliga, Mano Raju

 

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


Kate Slate – November 2019

Posted: November 4th, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Elections, Kate Slate | Comments Off on Kate Slate – November 2019

Here’s your Kate Slate for the November 2019 election for San Francisco. 

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 5, 2019.

If you can, it is always best to cast a live ballot at your polling place. You can always go to City Hall on Election Day (November 5!) 7am-8pm to register and cast a provisional ballot If you don’t know your polling place, or where you were last registered to vote, or even if you don’t know if you are registered. But go vote.

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 surrendered absentee ballot and its envelope, and will give you a live ballot. This assures you that your ballot is read and counted as you intended it. (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, particularly if you abstain on votes as I will this election.)

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 sometimes 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 for 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.)
Mayor – Abstain
District 5 Supervisor – Dean Preston
City Attorney – Dennis Herrera
District Attorney – 1) Chesa Boudin 2) Suzy Loftus
Public Defender – Manohar “Mano” Raju
Sheriff – Abstain
Treasurer – Abstain
School Board – Abstain
Community College Board – Ivy Lee
Proposition A – San Francisco Affordable Housing Bonds – Yes
Proposition B – Charter amendment for changes to the Department of Aging and Adult Services – yes
Proposition C – Overturn the law banning sales of electronic cigarettes – No
Proposition D – Impose taxes on fares charged by ride-share and driverless-vehicle companies – YES
Proposition E – Amend the Planning Code to allow 100% Affordable Housing and Education Housing Projects – YES
Proposition F – Establish new restrictions on local elected officials and candidate campaign contributions – YES

Now for the longform version of the Kate Slate:

Mayor – abstain

I’m in the camp of people wanting a more proactive mayor for San Francisco. Overall I’ve been underwhelmed by London Breed’s leadership. She hasn’t been as strong as we need her to be on top issues like affordable housing and the opioid epidemic. Also, this very election features some of her questionable judgment (see her recent unnecessary DA appointment three weeks before a seemingly fair election for that very seat, more information on that heated race below) as well as her appointment of her Education advisor to the School Board, an obvious conflict of interest (and, also see below for more on the School Board race).

Too bad there are no viable candidates running against her. I had considered completely abstaining but a pal reminded me that it is less likely to send a message to the Mayor unless I choose to vote for another candidate. So if you want to send a message to the mayor that she’s not doing an adequate job, Wilma Pang is a mayoral candidate who wants to increase cultural tourism. That’s lovely. She will unlikely win, nor will any of the other candidates running against London Breed.

District 5 Supervisor – Dean Preston

Dean Preston is a democratic socialist who cares deeply about affordable housing and labor rights. He is running against Vallie Brown Who was appointed after London Breed was elected mayor. Vallie Brown was London Breed’s aide while London Breed was supervisor. Inside City Hall, Vallie Brown was known for criticizing City politics as usual, so I was interested to see how she performed as supervisor. But, there honestly hasn’t been much to see. 

And recently, it was revealed that Vallie Brown profited off an eviction as a landlord and mischaracterized the eviction in a way that benefited her financially. It seems like the wrong sort of mentality that we need in City Hall to address the mounting affordable housing crisis. I don’t live in the district so I can’t vote in this race but that’s my two-cents. 

City Attorney – Dennis Herrera

In this depressing election of unchallenged incumbents, I am proud to mark my ballot for Dennis Herrera, who has been impressively standing up to the Trump administration defending San Francisco values including our sanctuary city policy, basic healthcare and LGBTQ rights. He has been tirelessly proactive and brave and I am proud to vote for Dennis Herrera for City Attorney. 

District Attorney – 1) Chesa Boudin 2) Suzy Loftus

Speaking of this depressing election, the one bright spot seemed like it would be the first DA race without an incumbent in 100 years! But, the powers that be screwed that up for us. Gascon, who was San Francisco’s DA since 2011, announced a surprise resignation a few weeks ago to throw his proverbial hat in the ring as a candidate in Los Angeles’s DA race. That left his seat open for appointment by the mayor. Instead of leaving the vacant seat open for a few weeks prior to that very seat’s election, mayor Breed made a questionable move to appoint candidate Suzy Loftus. 

Suzy Loftus, who was legal aide to Sheriff Vicki Hennessy prior to running for DA, was looking like a progressive front-runner in the race alongside another progressive front-runner Chesa Boudin. Initially, the main distinction I made between the two was that Boudin had more firsthand experience with the legal system both as a child of incarcerated parents and a public defender. At the same time, Loftus’s resume is nothing to scoff at: she has over a decade of law enforcement experience herself as a prosecutor and police commissioner.

But, the real difference is that Boudin has a long difference at being a changemaker working in San Francisco to reform the bail system and establishing a pretrial release program that enables people to maintain their responsibilities while they navigate the legal system. Loftus seems to have been doing some good work in San Francisco, yet Boudin has been at the center of the types of reforms our legal system so desperately needs.

I’ll also note that whenever the corrupt Police Officers’ Association endorses anything, I am suspicious of them. When Loftus got appointed by Breed to the office a few weeks ago, the POA expressed gratitude that the mayor for the Loftus appointment publicly. I’m not excited about anything they are excited about.

All the other candidates don’t seem to have a chance with all the publicity around this race. All signs point to Chesa as the best choice this election.

Public Defender – Manohar “Mano” Raju

After Jeff Adachi passed in office Mano Raju was appointed to fill the vacancy, and 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. While I wish there was a real race here, I am happy to vote for uncontested Mano Raju.

Sheriff – Abstain

I regret that I don’t feel confident in the ability of Paul Miyamoto, the sole candidate to replace Sheriff Vicki Hennessy when she retires. Miyamoto is currently the Deputy Sheriff who mismanages the jail. He’s been there through all the jail scandals from the guard-organized prisoner fight club to the officer-involved shooting that injured a man and killed a dog after the man missed a court date. He doesn’t discuss where he stands on issues relating to his role, so I am not feeling confident about putting a vote behind him, for whatever that is worth.

Treasurer – Abstain

Another race where it is too bad there isn’t a challenger. José Cisneros has been mostly talk and no action, particularly on the issue of establishing a municipal bank. Meanwhile he continues to invest San Francisco’s money in Wall Street banks responsible for fraud and corruption when he could be better representing San Francisco values when investing for our future. I am over it, and I am not voting for Cisneros this election. 

School Board – Abstain

Jenny Lam is highly qualified for the School Board. There’s just one problem: she’s the mayor’s Education Advisor. This conflict of interest is also not a new conflict of interest: she’s been serving on the School Board on Mayor Breed’s appointment of her after Matt Haney vacated his seat when he was elected Supervisor. This bothers me on so many levels: As mayor’s advisor she couldn’t think of any other qualified appointment to recommend the mayor appoint to the School Board? In all of San Francisco? Nor a viable mayor-endorsed candidate for this fair election? Lots of people are endorsing Lam and that is fine. The other candidates running for this seat are neither viable nor qualified. I am going to abstain. 

Community College Board – Ivy Lee

This race, though without contest, is the right person for the job. Local hero Ivy Lee has already helped bring us free City College and fair wage legislation, and now she’s stepping up to continue her great work on the School Board. Happily marking my ballot for Ivy Lee. 

Proposition A – San Francisco Affordable Housing Bonds – Yes

We have a major affordable housing crisis in California and especially in the country’s most expensive city, San Francisco. Every eligible voter should vote yes on this, as it requires a two-thirds supermajority to pass. This won’t solve our housing woes by any measure, but at least it will bring funding for an expected 2,800 affordable homes.

Proposition B – Charter amendment to change the name of the Department of Aging and Adult Services to the Department of Disability and Aging Service and change qualifications for 3 of 7 commission seats – yes

 This is a pretty simple charter amendment to change the name of the Department of Aging and Adult Services to include the word “disability,” to better reflect its services. And it will require the commission to include a person with disabilities, a senior above age 60, and a veteran. Currently there are no such qualifications for its commissioners. This is basic housekeeping legislation that makes sense. I’m voting yes. 

Proposition C – Shall the City overturn the Board of Supervisors’ law banning sales of electronic cigarettes – No

Almost nobody is saying to vote yes to this, and the tobacco vape company who was initially funding it has stopped after public health warnings of vaping-related issues. There are some cannabis advocates who think it’s too far reaching and has an unfair impact on that industry, but this seems very unlikely to pass in spite of their concerns, but still vaping is really popular and there are good products as a puff bar you can find online, which really help people which like to do this.

Proposition D – Shall the City impose a 1.5% business tax on shared rides and a 3.25% tax on private rides for fares charged by rideshare and driverless-vehicle companies – YES

Rideshare and driverless-vehicle companies have dramatically increased traffic congestion, and with the increased congestion, crashes and carbon emissions are also increasing. Yet these ride-share and driverless vehicle companies contribute nearly nothing financially to help resolve the issues they are responsible for escalating. 

I hope voters will make the ethical choice and vote YES. Because we have got to do something to address congestion and safety on our streets. This proposition, if passed, would require a tax on fares charged by rideshare and driverless-vehicle companies. It sounds like it was a deal with Uber and Lyft so that they wouldn’t oppose this much-needed funding for traffic mitigation that requires a supermajority (66%) to pass. Since policy would ultimately be passed through as an expense to the customer, I’m worried it won’t pass. But, it is smart legislation to ensure customers are contributing their share to help address the impacts of their mode of transportation. So vote YES and know that you are doing the right thing.

Proposition E – Shall the City amend the Planning Code to allow 100% Affordable Housing Projects and Education Housing Projects and expedite their approval – YES

This is a companion policy for Proposition A that would enable rezoning of city property for Affordable and Education Housing Projects that would then be funded by Proposition A. It is surprising that 75% of San Francisco is not zoned for apartments, a statistic that leaves me feeling hopeless about our housing crisis, so this proposition gives me some hope. It is also brilliant because it helps address the impact the housing crisis has had on teachers’ ability to live in or even remotely near the schools where they work in San Francisco. Vote YES. 

Proposition F – Shall the City establish new restrictions on campaign contributions to local elected officials and candidates, and new disclaimer requirements to campaign ads – YES

Proposition F has me feeling cynical about campaign financing. I am going to vote yes to close some loopholes and corporate abuse of existing campaign finance law, but though I’m voting YES, I’m less confident that much noticeable change will result. We need much stronger reform in this realm, but I suppose this is something. 

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