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The November 2018 BAS Voter Guide

Primarily researched and written by Stephen Torres with help from Stuart Schuffman.

Seeing as the incredibly important Midterm Election is less than a month away we figured it was time to put out our voter guide help you decide who and what to vote for on Tuesday, November 6th 2018. Absentee ballots should be hitting your mailboxes any minute so you can look at this guide while filling yours out, or print it to take to the booth on election day.

The November 2018 BAS Voter Guide

The Quick Guide (Longer explanations come after)

San Francisco Offices

Board of Supervisors District 2: No Endorsement

Board of Supervisors District 4: Gordon Mar & Tuan Nguyen

Board of Supervisors District 6:  Matt Haney

Board of Supervisors District 8: Rafael Mandelman

Board of Supervisors District 10: Tony Kelly

San Francisco Board of Education: Alison Collins, Gabriela Lopez, Mia Satya

San Francisco City College Board: Brigitte Davila, John Rizzo, Thea Selby

Public Defender: Jeff Adachi

Assessor-Recorder: Paul Bellar

BART Board, District 8: Janice Li

State Offices

Governor: No Endorsement

Lieutenant Governor: Eleni Kounalakis

Secretary of State: Alex Padilla

State Controller: Betty Yee

State Treasurer: No Endorsement

State Attorney General: Xavier Becerra

State Insurance Commissioner: Ricardo Lara

State Superintendent of Public Instruction: Tony K. Thurmond

State Board of Equalization, District 2: Malia Cohen

State Assembly, District 17: No Endorsement

State Assembly, District 19: No Endorsement

Federal Offices 

United States Senate: Kevin de Leon

United States Congress, District 12: No Endorsement

United States Congress, District 14: Jackie Speier

Local Propositions

Proposition A – Embarcadero Seawall Earthquake Safety Bond: YES
Proposition B – City Privacy Guidelines: YES
Proposition C – Additional Business Taxes to Fund Homeless Services: FUCK YES!
Proposition D – Additional Tax on Cannabis Business; Expanding the Businesses Subject to Tax: YES
Proposition E – Partial Allocation of Hotel Tax for Arts & Cultural Purpose: YES

State Propositions

Proposition 1 – Authorizes Bonds to Fund Specified Housing Assistance Programs: YES

Proposition 2 – Authorizes Bonds to Fund Existing Housing Program for Individuals with Mental Illness: YES

Proposition 3 – Authorizes Bonds to Fund Projects for Water Supply and Quality, etc.: YES-ish

Proposition 4 – Authorizes Bonds Funding Construction at Hospitals Providing Children’s Healthcare: YES

Proposition 5 – Changes Requirements for Certain Property Owners to Transfer Property Tax Base to Replacement Property: NO

Proposition 6 – Eliminates Gas Tax: NO

Proposition 7 – Eliminate Daylight Savings Time: NO POSITION

Proposition 8 – Regulates Outpatient Kidney Dialysis Charges: YES

Proposition 9 – Kicked Off the Ballot for Being Stupid 

Proposition 10 – Expansion of Residential Rent Control on Local Level: FUCK YES!

Proposition 11 – Requires Ambulance Employees to Remain On-Call During Break; Eliminates Employer Liability: NO

Proposition 12 – Establishes New Standards for Farm Animal Confinement; Bans Sale of Products in Non-Compliance: YES

To see our endorsements for judges go here.

Longer Explanations

San Francisco Offices

Board of Supervisors District 2: No Endorsement

Yikes.  Not a one.  If you live in the Marina, close your eyes and point?

Board of Supervisors District 4: Gordon Mar & Tuan Nguyen

Since San Francisco has ranked choice voting, you can vote for more than one candidate (If you want an explanation of Ranked Choice Voting go right here). Because of this we’re saying vote for both Godon Mar and Tuan Nguyen in the order that you like.

Gordon has strong progressive and labour roots and and has actually been around SF politics for awhile.

Tuan is a Sunset District native with more energy than anyone you’ve ever met. He’s a huge advocate for the arts, affordable housing, and education.

Board of Supervisors District 6:  Matt Haney

District 6 is probably where San Francisco is seeing the most change right now and also the most clashes and economic disparity.  Matt was born and raised in the Bay and has spent his political career looking out for some of the most vulnerable. Whether it was fighting evictions or making sure kids got to college as School Board President, he’s had SF’s best interests on his roster.

Board of Supervisors District 8: Rafael Mandelman

Nope, not a typo. Rafael won in June and has to run because of  weird SF bureaucracy. But we love Rafael! Yay!!

Board of Supervisors District 10: Tony Kelly

A San Francisco native son, Tony’s been invested in District 10 for a long time.  His motivations are deeply personal and inform his work and activism in neighbourhoods that still suffer under the weight of superfund sites and massive unemployment.  Tony isn’t beholden to anyone but the D10 constituency.

San Francisco Board of Education: Alison Collins, Gabriela López , Mia Satya

Even in San Francisco, the city’s children aren’t safe from the machinations of the pervasive culture of cruelty we live in.  Though the likes of transphobic Josephine Zhou have dropped out this time, these three candidates help to ensure future support, love and advocacy from the very board in whose charge we entrust the city’s youth. (There has been credible evidence that, although Josephine Zhao stated that she had withdrawn from the race, she is still actively campaigning under the radar as recently as the SFUSD enrollment fair.  Her name is still on the ballot and she has raised more money than any other candidate.  She is still very much a threat in the race.)

Educator, mother and SF Public School Mom, Collins has worked, lived, breathed in public education all her life and has been able to unify educators and parents in what’s best for the students of SFUSD.

As a teacher in SFUSD and volunteer teacher at San Quentín, Gaby López is on the front line of what kids are facing in San Francisco.  With ten years as an educator, she is fighting for student advocacy in multiple ways including language access and affordability and housing crisis programs.

Though opportunities continue to close and many fall through the cracks, queer and trans youth born-and-raised in SF, plus those from all other points, consider our city a refuge to be who they truly are. Barely out of high school, Mia came to San Francisco seeking the same refuge and experienced first hand the realities of being a vulnerable queer youth at the “end of the rainbow” and has been an advocate ever since.

San Francisco City College Board: Brigitte Davila, John Rizzo, Thea Selby

All incumbents who have proved their mettle and devotion to the cause that is City College.  If you’re one of the thousands of new free students, you know why.

Public Defender: Jeff Adachi

A veteran of the office for over sixteen years, Jeff has done his job and done it well.  A thankless job, he has often locked horns with the most powerful in defense of San Franciscans.

Assessor-Recorder: Paul Bellar

In an office that usually goes unnoticed, we have to give Paul credit for drawing attention to it and its role in the current housing crisis. He’s also got some great ideas on how to make San Francisco better.  We say give him a shot.

BART Board, District 8: Janice Li

In another office that can be bandied about as a stepping stone for people not exactly interested in the actual job, we can honestly say this does not describe Janice.  If you hear her talk about BART but once, you know that she may have actually been born for this job. Transportation advocate for the win.

State Offices

Governor: No Endorsement

Of course we would rather Gavin Newsom over John Cox, but Gavin is gonna take this easily. Don’t vote for the Republican, obviously. But also don’t forget that while Gavin talks a good game, he doesn’t always actually do the right thing. In fact he’s done a lot of shitty things.

Lieutenant Governor: Eleni Kounalakis

Eleni is the strongest of the two contenders in overall terms of the resistance against the trump administration and would also be ca’s first female lieu.

Secretary of State: Alex Padilla

Incumbent and another vocal opponent of Trump administration, Padilla has done his job and done it well. Part of his job is overseeing and improving the election process which he has thrown himself into, which is nice change in a sea of career politicians.

State Controller: Betty Yee

Incumbent and well-regarded by most, one important facet of Yee’s job is overseeing state land.  Being an enthusiastic environmentalist who supports alternative energy and opposes fracking, that would seem a plus in these dark times.

State Treasurer: No Endorsement

Fiona Ma backed Josephine Zhou (who was virulently anti-trans) for school board, which is really demonstrative of money and power plays that she shares with the Mayor and Senator Wiener.

State Attorney General: Xavier Becerra

Becerra has been another strong leader against the Trump Administration since he took over for Kamala Harris.  The sticking point, and it sucks because he has been pretty great, is that he’s officially pro-death penalty. Otherwise he’s pretty great.

State Insurance Commissioner: Ricardo Lara

One of the openly LGBTQ candidates running for office, we have an opportunity in Lara to make sure that an office that can easily be manipulated by corporate interest is held by someone who has impressive resume of making sure that EVERY Californian is considered in legislation.  Whether is comes to protecting trans youth, or fighting for the healthcare that undocumented workers pay for, Lara’s record is pretty solid.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction: Tony K. Thurmond

Assemblymember Thurmond has been working for better education since he sat on the West Contra Costa Unified School District Board, through the Richmond City Council, and Sacramento.  He is currently pushing the taxation of private prisons to fund early education and afterschool programs to make sure kids never make it to said private prisons.

State Board of Equalization, District 2: Malia Cohen

Still maintain that this office is rife with problems, but perhaps our own Ms. Cohen can make it happen.

State Assembly, District 17: No Endorsement

Oh, look the Chiu- Chiu train is back at that platform.  So, either we’ll get kicked off or never really go anywhere.  Like Muni, no thanks – we’ll walk.

State Assembly, District 19: No Endorsement

Ting backed SB 827 last time which, even though his track record has been pretty good in the past, showed an allegiance to others and not his constituency.

Federal Offices 

United States Senate: Kevin de Leon

Many have a strong sentimentality for ol’ DiFi (aka Diane Feinstein).  From cradling a dying Harvey Milk in her arms to introducing the assault weapons ban, she’s done some great things in her long career.  However, she has hardly been stalwart of the values of the city she hails from, with the possible exception of her own hood, Pacific Heights.  War profiteering and the fact that she just NOW is cool with the marijuana and not throwing users in the can, come to mind.

de León has a strong history of community activism along with raising the minimum wage, wage theft legislation, and being one of the most vocal and active opponents against the current federal administration.  

United States Congress, District 12: No Endorsement

United States Congress, District 14: Jackie Speier

Do we really have to explain this one?  Jackie’s a badass, and at this point in our years of endorsements we’d just be gushing and embarrass ourselves.

Local Propositions

Proposition A – Embarcadero Seawall Earthquake Safety Bond: YES

San Francisco has a  tragically inept history of preparing for natural disasters and infrastructure reinforcement.  The city’s eastern sea wall is well over a 100 years old in sections and requires this bond to be maintained and strengthened not just against earthquakes, but already rising sea levels.

Proposition B – City Privacy Guidelines: YES

If you put tape on your laptop camera and change your password once a week, this should be a fairly easy “yes”.  It allows the city to mandate that companies wishing to do business here follow guidelines on what they do with your data.  There is an argument from the Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists that this would also allow city officials to gut the city’s Sunshine Ordinance, but how they would do this seems vague.

Proposition C – Additional Business Taxes to Fund Homeless Services: FUCK YES!

“Our City, Our Home!”, unlike other “homelessness” initiatives in recent elections, this actually offers concrete solutions and implementation.  By taking large companies and additional share of taxes, between $250 to $300 million will go to housing, mental health, housing loss prevention, and cleaner streets (BATHROOMS!!), all with comprehensive oversight.

Proposition D – Additional Tax on Cannabis Business; Expanding the Businesses Subject to Tax: YES

Basically, this is additional 1% to 5% on big business MJ and big biz companies that do business here, but aren’t actually here.  This won’t affect your average mom and pop or Rx tea peddler, and will probably help sales in those sectors, which, of course, big MJ don’t like.  Supervisor Malia Cohen of the city’s southeast District 10 authored this one and, although the taxes go into the General Fund, hopes to eventually funnel this revenue in to neighbourhoods in the city decimated by the War on Drugs and New Jim Crow policies.

Proposition E – Partial Allocation of Hotel Tax for Arts & Cultural Purpose: YES

The loss of the arts and artists in San Francisco is oft-lamented, and for good reason: there is very little in the way of funding of any kind to stay here.  This actually used to be a thing going all the way back to 1961, but the city repealed it in the early 2000s (quelle surprise!)  At any rate, they’re all on board about it now and you should be too, cuz this one needs a two-thirds majority to pass.

State Propositions

Proposition 1 – Authorizes Bonds to Fund Specified Housing Assistance Programs: YES

This is $4 billion for housing statewide, with a quarter of it going towards veterans specifically.  It would provide housing, housing assistance, and even farms. The majority of Republican assemblymembers voted against this, citing that the private sector should take care of the problem.

Proposition 2 – Authorizes Bonds to Fund Existing Housing Program for Individuals with Mental Illness: YES

This doesn’t cost taxpayers anything and amends a 2004 bill we already voted on to help allocate some of that funding for housing for an already at-risk population.

Proposition 3 – Authorizes Bonds to Fund Projects for Water Supply and Quality, etc.: YES-ish

If you’ve lived in California for more than a minute, you know that our state dances a delicate and dependent dance with water.  Mostly this a good galvanization of Prop 68 from June and has almost unanimous support from farmers and environmentalists alike. The devil in the details is that this money could be used to fund more dams in the Sierras which have already wrecked our ecosystem to the brink in exchange for corporate farm and water interest revenue, who of course, also looove this one.

Proposition 4 – Authorizes Bonds Funding Construction at Hospitals Providing Children’s Healthcare: YES

Children’s hospital care and hospital renovation. Yes, duh.

Proposition 5 – Changes Requirements for Certain Property Owners to Transfer Property Tax Base to Replacement Property: NO

Sales on property transfers fund local schools and local municipalities and this would cost those millions over time, plus this is primarily funded by realtors to target older homeowners and convince them into selling their properties.

Proposition 6 – Eliminates Gas Tax: NO

In a state that was once renown for its epic smog days and whose air quality has been apocalyptic due to global warming, this is ludicrous.

Proposition 7 – Eliminate Daylight Savings Time: NO POSITION

If you like light summer nights, you probably like Daylight Savings Time.  If you’d prefer that year round, you probably hate it. Studies have shown that the time change may be dangerous, but it also would put us out of sync with everywhere in the U.S. but Arizona, which would be a first.

Also, we vote on this so that Sacramento can vote on this, and then we have to see if Washington approves. Um…

Proposition 8 – Regulates Outpatient Kidney Dialysis Charges: YES

For some dialysis may seem like an abstract concept, and here’s hoping it stays that way.  For many, however, it’s expensive, exhausting and sometimes not even an option, even if it may save your life.  This would put a cap on how much they can charge and prevent them from refusal based on payment. Unsurprisingly, the two largest dialysis clinics in the nation are here and spending all that money on trying to defeat this.

Proposition 9 – Kicked Off the Ballot for Being Stupid 

Proposition 10 – Expansion of Residential Rent Control on Local Level: FUCK YES!

Repeal Costa-Hawkins! The battle cry of housing rights activists is finally on the ballot.  When this law was enacted in 1995 in prevented rent control on two counts: one if you live in a building built after the 70s, and two, by preventing cities from capping rent increases statewide.  Understandably, developers and major landlords alike would very much not like to see this passed, and have scared small landlords and renters alike by claiming it will drive the latter out of business and leave the former homeless because it will prevent  new housing stock. Neither of things will ever happen in California basically ever.

Proposition 11 – Requires Ambulance Employees to Remain On-Call During Break; Eliminates Employer Liability: NO

Emergency service workers are already a high-risk demographic in a number of ways.  Taking their breaktime away, albeit “on-call”, is dangerous for both workers and patients.

Proposition 12 – Establishes New Standards for Farm Animal Confinement; Bans Sale of Products in Non-Compliance: YES

This expands on 2008 enacted laws regarding farm animal cages and pens and the eventual implementation of cage-free situations for fowl.  You may be confused by the fact that both big agriculture (same ones who want all that water) and PETA have both spent money trying to defeat this one.  The former is because they don’t want to cut into their profits of churning out dispatched farm friends like doughnuts, the latter is because they don’t think it goes far enough, so they’re gonna stick it to the…um, birds.

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BAS Editorial Team

BAS Editorial Team

We're the editorial team who get together to do the Broke-Ass Stuart voter guides.