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The June 2022 BAS Voter Guide

Updated: Jun 08, 2022 11:50
The Bay's best newsletter for underground events & news

This guide was done in conjunction with the League of Pissed Off Voters.

– If you’d like to help pass out the printed voter guides, email the League at TheLeagueSF@gmail.com.
– Want to get involved in the endorsement process? Learn more right here.


Dear San Francisco,

We love you, but this is a mess.

Look, we’re political nerds. We write this voter guide. We watch SFGovTV for fun.  But recalls plus primaries mean this is our third election this year, which is a bit much, even for us.

Sure, we’re happy to see Props E and F crack down on sleaze, since the “City Family” has been embarrassing us with ethics violations and federal corruption stings. But we’re not excited about pointless propositions, or about status quo incumbents cruising to victory in their primaries.

So this election’s annoying. But it’s still important! We’ve got to swat away the right-wing recall of our progressive DA (who is just trying to do his damn job) and reform the recall madness so random rich people can’t force us through this Yakety Sax whenever they want a do-over because their candidate loses.

The bad guys think nobody is watching. They’re counting on low turnout. So make a plan to vote, and share this voter guide with your friends! It’s time to clean house.

Love,

The League & BAS


Voting Logistics

Vote early at the COVID-safe City Hall Voting Center in front of Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Open the last two weekends of the election 5/28-5/29 and 6/4-6/5 from 10am-4pm. Open weekdays 8pm-5pm starting May 9th!!

Drop off your ballot at City Hall during Voting Center early voting hours or on Election Day. Dropping off your ballot means you don’t have to worry about the Post Office delivering it in time.

Mail your ballot if you can’t drop it off. You don’t need a stamp, but make sure you sign the envelope and it’s postmarked by Election Day.

June 7, 2022: Election Day! Polls open 7am-8pm. If you’re in line by 8pm you can vote. Let’s stand in line together! You can also drop your ballot off at any polling place on Election Day.

Where’s your polling place? Check sfelections.org, call 311, or just go vote at City Hall.

Did you forget to register? You can still vote! Go to City Hall or your polling place and tell them you want to “register conditionally and vote provisionally!”

People with Felony Convictions Can Vote! You can still vote as long as you’re off parole. Don’t let the Man disenfranchise you.

Youth can (almost) vote! If you’re 16 or 17, pre-register and your registration will automatically be activated when you turn 18.


The Quick Guide

(Longer explanations come after)

Statewide Offices

Governor: Luis Rodriguez
Lt Governor: Mohammad Arif
Secretary of State: Shirley Weber
Controller: Ron Galperin
Treasurer: Meghann Adams
Attorney General: Rob Bonta
Insurance Commissioner: Nathalie Hrizi 
Board of Equalization, District 2: Sally Lieber
US Senator: Alex Padilla
US Representative, District 11: No Endorsement
State Assembly, District 17: Matt Haney*
State Assembly, District 19: No Endorsement
Superintendent of Public Instruction: Marco Amaral 
City Attorney: No Endorsement

 

Local Propositions

Prop A: Muni Bond: Reluctant No Endorsement (It’s complicated)
Prop B: Tinker w Building Inspection Commission Structure: Sure?
Prop C: Reform Recalls: Hell Yes!
Prop D: Redundant and Unfunded Victim Rights City Department: No
Prop E: Close “Behested Payments” Slush Fund Loophole: Yes
Prop F: End Garbage Collection Corruption: Yes
Prop G: Give Workers Sick Days to Deal w the Apocalypse: Yes
Prop H: Right-wing Recall of DA Chesa Boudin: Hell No!

* The League has given no endorsement here but we at BAS endorse Matt Haney.


Longer Explanations

Statewide Offices

Governor: Luis Rodriguez

We went to bat for Gavin in that wacky recall attempt last year, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have complaints! It’s a long list, but at a time when CA is flush with money, he could be doing so much more to end poverty and invest in a pandemic recovery that helps all Californians. Anyway, we wouldn’t miss an opportunity to endorse an inspiring opposition candidate who shares our values.

Luis Rodriguez is a poet, organizer, and Dreamer endorsed by a “Left Unity” slate of leftist parties. We endorsed him in 2014 and it’s great to see he’s still at it! His platform includes immigrant justice, a Green New Deal for California, universal health care, ending mass incarceration, and MORE ART in every neighborhood! Let’s all vote Luis 4 Governor and send Newsom a message that we’re still here fighting for the California dream.

Lieutenant Governor: Mohammad Arif

Incumbent Eleni Kounalakis had a full career as a housing developer of master planned Sacramento communities, which you’d think wouldn’t affect her largely ceremonial role as Lieutenant Governor of California. But Kounalakis has raised millions from developers and other special interests for this practically unopposed office. And as Lt. Governor, she sits on the state’s College Trustee Boards. So it’s not surprising that as UC Regent she voted for a massive UC Berkeley student housing development in People’s Park. As a San Francisco resident, Kounalakis has an ex-officio voting seat on the local Democratic Party’s Central County Committee where her votes have been disappointing- voting against endorsing local progressives for the Democratic Party candidate slate.

Mohammed Arif is a Peace and Freedom Party veteran – an organizer from Kern County, endorsed by various county Green parties as part of the Left Unity Slate. Arif is running on a platform of free education, free healthcare, full rights for immigrants and environmental restoration. He calls out Kounalakis as a wealthy developer, and we support his radical call to tax the rich. Vote Mohammad Arif for Lieutenant Governor. 

Secretary of State: Shirley Weber

The 2020 election showed how much a state’s SoS matters. It’s not just about counting votes to stop lunatic white supremacists from rioting over the results. The setting and enforcement of ground rules – who gets to vote in the first place, and where and how they cast their ballot – is equally important. Supporting an extremely sharp — if imperfect — candidate like Shirley Weber is one way to shore up our democracy.  

A touching personal story meant to move voters and explain politicians’ alignments is almost always untrustworthy (see London Breed). But when Weber cites her life story to emphasize the importance of fighting inequality, she isn’t trying to media-meme her way into office. 

Born in Jim Crow Arkansas to Black sharecroppers who fled to Los Angeles after a lynch mob threatened them, Weber attended public schools and then UCLA, earning a B.A., an M.A. and a Ph.D by the age of 26. She taught at San Diego State for forty years, served on the local School Board, and campaigned successfully for Assembly in 2012. 

As an Assembly member she took some dubious stands on charter schools and earned some enemies in the teachers’ unions, but also advocated strongly for reforming police use-of-deadly-force laws and sentencing practices, and against the racial profiling that kept “suspects” under surveillance in the CalGangs database for years. She launched the reparations task force with an unusually direct opening question: “What does it feel like to live in a country where nobody ever says ‘I’m sorry?’”

After Gavin Newsom nominated Weber as Alex Padilla’s replacement for Secretary of State in 2020, she vowed to expand voting access and took off running. She sent letters to all 60,000 Californians on parole informing them of their voting rights, and educating those convicted of felonies on how to restore their right to cast a ballot after leaving prison. Thanks to her pressure, California now has permanent, universal vote-by-mail, more ballot drop-off locations, better early voting options, and stronger protections against attacks on election integrity.

Weber showed Newsom how seriously she took her public trust when he asked her to allow him  to appear on the recall ballot as a Democrat despite missing a deadline — “hey, Shirley, I know I’m late but do me a favor and just put me down as a Democrat, OK, wink wink?” She refused, and when Newsom sued her, she held her ground and the case was thrown out. That’s kinda badass. Vote Shirley Weber for Secretary of State.

Controller: Ron Galperin

California’s State Controller writes the checks to local governments and audits government programs for waste and fraud. Our current Controller Betty Yee has termed out and endorsed two candidates. 

One of them, Ron Galperin, is the City Controller of Los Angeles –  its first LGBTQ elected official citywide. Galperin has experience auditing LA county operations and bond measures through an equity lens. He supports Prop 13 reform and wants to use his position to ensure that money given by the state to local governments for homelessness is spent on permanent housing, transitional housing, and mental health services. And he’s union-backed!

The other Yee-endorsed candidate, former San Francisco Supervisor and City insider Malia Cohen, would be the first Black woman to be Controller in California. We think representation is important, but Controller requires nuts and bolts financial experience. Cohen hasn’t been a Controller before, or handled audits. So we think Ron has the edge. We are happy to endorse Ron Galperin for State Controller.

Treasurer: Meghann Adams

California’s State Treasurer handles state debt and bonds, and helps to manage the state’s two major pension funds. 

Incumbent Treasurer Fiona Ma’s habit of courting big business donors has continued from her days as San Francisco’s Supervisor of the Sunset District. We were shocked – shocked! (well, not that shocked) to see recent allegations of improper gifts and sexual harassment mar her tenure. Ma would be another statewide Democrat incumbent sleepwalking to re-election if it weren’t for the refreshing candidacy of Meghann Adams. 

Adams is president of her schoolbus drivers’ union and wants to tax billionaires more.  She sees prisons as a waste of money which could be better spent on clean water, housing, health care and education. Economic justice instead of corporate welfare- that’s something we can get behind. Vote Meghann Adams for Treasurer.

Attorney General: Rob Bonta

Rob Bonta is the real deal. The first Filipino American to head the Department of Justice, he has a history fighting for criminal justice reform as Alameda’s Assemblymember (AD 18). Bonta wrote AB 329 which abolished cash bail and later co-authored the law requiring the state to immediately investigate when a police officer kills an unarmed person. As Attorney General, he’s filed out-of-state amicus briefs in support of pro-equality laws that protect trans children. 

Bonta is endorsed by literally everyone and has raised millions of dollars against opponents trying to tie him to SF’s “radical” District Attorney Chesa Boudin. And while we are concerned that corporations have poured hundreds of thousands of dollars of behested payments into nonprofits led by his wife over the last decade, it wasn’t technically illegal!! In our endorsement, we balanced this with Bonta’s record of leading on public safety by backing bills enabling Californians to sue gunmakers and ‘ghost gun’ manufacturers. We decided to support this effective statewide voice for community justice. Vote Rob Bonta for Attorney General.

Insurance Commissioner: Nathalie Hrizi

California’s Insurance Commissioner wields massive power. They manage a $250 million budget, with the task of regulating a $300 billion industry. The Insurance Commissioner is responsible for regulating health insurance companies, investigating insurance fraud, and deciding who pays for utility-caused wildfires in California.

Ricardo Lara, the incumbent, is a gay Latino Democrat who has the support of the entire Democratic establishment, from the Governor on down. He will probably sweep to re-election. And you know what, we could do worse. The League endorsed Lara in 2018, impressed by his personal story and his efforts as a State Senator in support of single-payer healthcare (we also saw a real threat then from a viable Republican candidate).  

Since then, Lara has succumbed to the same bad habit you’ve read about in this guide: pay-to-play Democratic machine politics. He’s gone easy on the fossil-fuel industry after accepting massive campaign donations from them, appears to be bankrolled by the insurance industry titans he’s supposed to be regulating, and has some behested payments action going on. Come on, team! We want to be excited about fresh faces, instead of helping get a new generation of politicians into office and then watching them sink into the mire. 

Marc Levine, a generic white-guy Democratic State Assemblymember from San Rafael, is the highest-profile challenger to Lara. He’s got some cool policy ideas, like requiring insurance companies to disclose rate changes due to fossil fuel investment losses and tightening up protections for fire-prone areas. But like all Assembly Members, Levine has had to raise millions every few years for re-election from the usual suspects (CA Realtors, Police Unions, Unions of all stripes) so we’ll take his cool policy ideas with a grain of salt.

Ultimately, the League went with a candidate we’ve endorsed in past primaries: local activist and union leader Nathalie Hrizi. She’s the vice-president for substitutes in the United Educators of San Francisco (UESF) union, stood up against the School Board recalls, and believes in abolishing medical insurance companies and replacing them with a single-payer system. Vote Nathalie Hrizi for Insurance Commissioner!

Board of Equalization, District 2: Sally Lieber

Ooh, this one’s a slam dunk! The Board of Equalization collects tax, and is the only publicly-elected tax commission in the United States. The Board of Equalization can hold corporations accountable by ensuring they pay their taxes.

In the running are…. Michela Alioto-Pier, former D2 Supervisor, who was a moderate voice on the board, currently a Napa Valley winemaker and scion of the conservative old-money San Francisco political dynasty (Joe Alioto was Mayor from ‘68 to ‘76). 

…and Sally Lieber, a Mountain View City Councilmember and former State Assemblymember with a gleaming progressive record in Sacramento. She’s a corporate-free candidate with a lefty platform and endorsements from organized labor, the CA Democratic Party, the CA Renter’s Council, icons like Dolores Huerta, the list goes on. Plus, she met her husband at Burning Man in the 90s, ‘before it was cool’. Meaning, back when it was cool. Vote Sally Lieber for Board of Equalization!

US Senator: Alex Padilla

Alex Padilla, formerly CA’s Secretary of State, is now our incumbent Democratic Senator, appointed to fill the seat vacated by Kamala Harris when she became Vice-President. We endorsed Padilla  back when he ran for SoS in 2014, and honestly, he did a great job, so we  supported him again in 2018 (here’s what we wrote). 

Since then, he’s been relatively effective and scandal-free (the small exception being a kerfluffle about a contract awarded to a public affairs firm to do voter outreach and education during the pandemic. Pretty small potatoes, and nothing even hinting at personal corruption or enrichment of Padilla himself).

Anyway, Padilla was appointed Senator partway through Harris’s term, so on the November ballot US Senator will appear twice: there’s a Special Senate Election which will determine who will sit in the seat for the ‘special term’ (until January 2023). Then there’s the regular Senate Election, which will seat someone for a six-year regular term, starting in January 2023. That means that on this ballot, June 7th, there’s a primary for both the Special Election and the regular one. Padilla’s a candidate in both, as are a wide array of hopefuls.

While he’s not a wild-eyed radical or anything, Padilla is relatively progressive. He is the first Latino to represent California in the Senate, he supports Medicare for All, he’s pro-choice and a LGBTQ+ ally, he has the backing of unions, and wants to overturn Citizens United, the SCOTUS decision which allows unlimited campaign contributions and the increase of dark money in campaigns. 

There’s scads of challengers, but we’d like to see what Senator Padilla can do with a full term.. Vote Alex Padilla for US Senate (twice)! 

US Representative, District 11: No Endorsement

The League has never been a huge fan of mainstream Democrats and Nancy Pelosi is a prime example. We wish SF had a Representative that shared San Francisco’s values. There are challengers to Pelosi in this race, but none of the alternative candidates won the League’s endorsement.

State Assembly, District 17: Matt Haney

Ok, this one is weird. We’ve already voted for AD17 twice this year, because David Chiu left his Assembly seat back in the fall to become SF’s City Attorney, sending the political dominoes a-tumblin’. 

Here’s the way that went down: there was a primary in February featuring three candidates: moderate Bilal Mahmood, and two progressives, Campos and Haney. We endorsed both progressives, happy to have either representing us in Sacramento. Campos and Haney finished as the top two, so they faced off in April. In that contest the League’s members did not come to a majority opinion, so we had No Endorsement. Haney, after receiving the endorsement of Mahmood and tacking slightly to the center, won handily. He was immediately appointed to the Assembly seat, vacating his position on the SF Board of Supervisors (but Haney’s only in the seat until January, because he’s technically just finishing Chiu’s term).

Following so far? 

This race, to be continued in November, will fill the Assembly seat for the next full two year term, starting in January 2023. It features Haney, who is now the incumbent. Campos’s name is also on the ballot, because he pulled papers last year… but after his defeat in April, he has announced that he’s not running an official campaign, which we respect; fighting it out would use a lot of progressive time and money and probably not alter the result.

While the League has said “No Endorsement” since this is not a real contest, we here at BAS happily endorse Matt Haney. Besides the fact that he literally already won this seat, Matt has a long history of being pro-renter, pro-union, and pro-affordable housing, amongst other things we hold dear to our hearts.

State Assembly, District 19: No Endorsement

Phil Ting, the incumbent, faces no challengers in this race. We’ve endorsed Ting for various races in the past, but withheld our endorsement on other occasions, based on his mixed record. Since he is unopposed, we have No Endorsement.

Superintendent of Public Instruction: Marco Amaral

California’s Superintendent of Public Instruction is a weird position. The Superintendent oversees the CA Dept of Education, so is theoretically in charge of public schools. But practically, local school boards have more power over school policy, other state and local entities control school funding, and the Governor controls the closing/opening of schools. So it’s a powerful position in some ways, but limited in others.

Tony Thurmond, the incumbent, earned the League’s endorsement in 2018. Here’s what we wrote about him then. Since then, however, things have not been perfect. He’s kept his focus and messaging on racial equity and Black student achievement, which we appreciate. And while he fought for laptops during distance learning and wants to see all kids vaccinated, we might have expected to see more of him as schools became the battleground for so many political and cultural wars. More worrying, Politico wrote that his toxic leadership style, an “open secret in Sacramento,” led to devastating turnover at the Department, and that he illegally hired his unqualified old college buddy to moonlight as a highly-paid specialist for the Department. 

This disappointing showing led us to consider other candidates. Marco Amaral shares our values, and has experience on the ground as a teacher.  His platform is full of bold ideas like ending standardized testing and expanding ethnic, queer, and women’s studies programs.  He may not be able to unseat an entrenched incumbent, but he’s got our vote. Marco Amaral for Superintendent of Public Instruction.

City Attorney: No Endorsement

In September 2021, after a corruption scandal caused Mayor Breed to appoint City Attorney Dennis Herrera to head the SF Public Utilities Commission, State Assemblymember David Chiu was announced as Mayor Breed’s appointment for the vacant office of City Attorney. In the weeks that followed, Chiu kept fundraising at the higher $4,900 statewide campaign contribution limit, using hundreds of thousands of dollars to send out citywide mailers touting his achievements in Sacramento. Chiu now runs unopposed with the local $500 campaign contribution limit but a massive campaign war chest that will likely make him unbeatable over the next ten years. We are not looking forward to City Attorney Chiu settling into the same pattern as his predecessor Dennis Herrera: making sure the status quo doesn’t change too much by issuing conservative advice on legislation, legitimizing the gerrymandered SF 2022 Redistricting Map, and aiding the legal extortion of contractors. No Endorsement.


Local Propositions

Prop A: MUNI Bond: Reluctant No Endorsement (it’s complicated)

Prop A is a $400 million bond measure to finance Muni capital projects (a transportation bond is like a municipal credit card – the city borrows money now and pays it back over time). The money would be spent on upgrading facilities and equipment as well as improving street, sidewalk, and signal infrastructure (the measure lists categories of capital projects but is frustratingly sparse in details). This is separate from operational costs, which go towards running SFMTA’s overhead like staff, managing and operating its fleet, marketing and communications, and managing its capital improvements. 

Unlike SFMTA’s operating budget, which heavily relies on transit fares, and parking and traffic fees and fines, Muni’s infrastructure is largely funded by periodic transportation bonds like this one – we last voted for a $500 million Muni bond in 2014. Prop A needs 66% of votes to pass (2014’s version passed with 72%). 

We all want a transit-first city and think that transportation bonds are a good way to fund this infrastructure. Half of our membership voted for us to endorse it – who doesn’t love Muni?  But the other half  see this as throwing good money after bad. After all, SFMTA is the same agency that opposed Free Muni and took forever to start up bus lines and trains after its pandemic shutdowns, instead prioritizing extended service in communities like Mission Bay. We need to see more accountability before we can give our full-throated endorsement to another transportation bond.

The League was not able to come to a majority decision on Prop A, so we officially have “No Endorsement.” But Prop A is going to pass with or without our endorsement — supporters have already raised a half-million dollars for an unopposed ballot measure, with half of its contributions coming from private transit companies like Cruise (will robot vehicles get bus lane privileges or what?). 

We’re not saying “Vote No,” but withholding our endorsement for Prop A is our way of saying we think SFMTA needs to get its shit together, which is the same thing the SF Controller said in its damning February 2021 audit that found $9 million in cost overruns in just four sample projects. 

Completion of the Twin Peaks Tunnel was delayed 20 months, as local media covered avoidable tragedies like the 2018 Muni meltdown and the death of a signal technician caused by the negligence of a contractor that SFMTA did not properly background check for safety violations. And surprise: the Tunnel has to be redone for “tens of millions of dollars” because of a “culture of fear” that has screwed up major capital projects like the Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit and the Central Subway. SFMTA Director Tumlin’s messaging seems to be “we won’t screw up the minor projects as bad as we screwed up the major ones.”

The SF Controller’s audit found the SFMTA needed to “improve accountability and collaboration to avoid project delays and overspending,” and we’re not sure that giving them another $400M in unrestricted funds is going to fix any of these problems or make SFMTA culture less fearful. When we endorsed the last $500M Muni Bond in 2014, we said: “while we are typically against bonds, this is exactly the type of thing a bond should be used for: long-term infrastructure improvements… Seriously, Muni needs hella money. 

We love public transit…but without any attempt at addressing Muni’s internal shortcomings (perhaps an accountability provision in the city’s Administrative Code?), and very little confidence in its delivery of capital projects on budget and on time, we’re gonna have to sit this one out. Reluctant No Endorsement on Prop A.

Prop B: Tinker with Building Inspection Commission Structure: Sure?

Prop B is a charter amendment that tinkers with the City’s Building Inspection Commission, a body which is supposed to provide oversight over the Department of Building Inspection, which enforces all of SF’s building codes. This measure slightly changes the method of appointing Commissioners to the troubled Commission, whose corrupt president Angus McCarthy (a “permit cheater, scofflaw, and multi-millionaire developer,” according to Mission Local) has appointed corrupt Directors to the Department of Building Inspection for the last decade. Since this is a charter amendment, you might think it does something really radical, but it mostly fusses around at the edges, making some progressive and some regressive tweaks, while avoiding major change. If this were a great anti-corruption measure, it would counterbalance SF’s “Strong Mayor” system with more Board of Supervisor appointments. 

The initially submitted version of this legislation completely removed the requirements for tenant and affordable housing organization representation on the Building Inspection Commission. A subsequent amendment restored some of the candidate requirements, but combined the tenant and affordable housing organization seats, which means less tenant representation overall. We hope this compromise can be mitigated by the language that “seeks to include members concerned with tenant safety and habitability issues.”

Developers will still try to pack this commission, but at least Prop B gives us a public forum at the Board to make sure more tenant-friendly candidates are approved. It’s something, but we wish this Prop would go further. Moving the power to appoint and fire the director of the Department of Building Inspection away from this commission and to the mayor seems regressive, but honestly the Mayor already had control – as long as the Mayor appoints four out of the commission’s seven seats, she has de facto control over the department head, hiring and firing, and committee assignments. 

This Prop is reform that doesn’t make waves, supported by nine Supervisors (Preston and Chan declined) and with no paid arguments against it. Brave reform would have changed the number of Mayoral appointees to equal those appointed by the Board of Supervisors. We support reforming the Building Inspection Commission, but wish this charter amendment would have taken advantage of this moment to bring a Willie Brown-era Commission into the 21st century. Vote Sure, Whatever on Prop B.

Prop C: Reform Recalls: Hell Yes!

Ok, so as it stands, billionaires can hire paid signature gatherers to trigger recalls in SF whenever they feel like it. This wastes everyone’s time and taxpayer dollars. And recalls are not a fair fight – they favor conservatives. More elections = lower turnout, which disenfranchises working, busy, and traditionally marginalized voters (who lean progressive). Since a recall is technically a proposition instead of a candidate, campaign finance contribution limits don’t apply and fatcats can bankroll the bad guys.

Plus, under current law, if any SF elected official is recalled, we don’t get to vote on their replacement. Whoever the Mayor appoints to fill the empty seat gets to run (and usually win) as an incumbent. Bleagh.

Prop C would crack down on frivolous recalls by banning them in the first year of a term, or within a year of the next election, and would bar replacement appointees from running as incumbents – so we can actually elect our elected officials. Yay!  Vote Hell Yes on Prop C.

Prop D: Redundant and Unfunded Victim Rights City Department: No

This proposition looks suspiciously like an attempt to wrest power from the District Attorney’s office by placing some vaguely “law and order” sounding measure on the same ballot as the DA recall. Unsurprisingly, the DA’s office has had a similar and well-functioning domestic violence victim support program for years. Also unsurprisingly, this measure was put on the ballot with no hearing or input from family courts by Supervisor Catherine Stefani – who is openly angling for the DA appointment should the Chesa Boudin recall prove successful. Can’t we just fund the existing free legal aid program for domestic violence victims – why does this need to be a charter amendment?

Just how sketchy and empty is this proposition? The full title of the office it would create is ’The Office of Victim and Witness Rights,’ but it’s unclear how the measure defines “witness” or which offenses such a witness might observe. There’s no money attached to actually set up this whole new department, or any description of what a new witness protection program would look like. And if the goal is to expand funding for non-profit legal aid services already doing this work, like the Prop that did this for tenant legal aid a few years back, why not fund a lead coordinating agency instead of inventing a new city department out of whole cloth? Do we really need yet another  City department head reporting to the increasingly more powerful Mayor? And if you “follow the money” as they say, it’s pretty striking that a who’s-who of Pacific Heights Republican megadonors like Ron Conway and Dede Wilsey are funding this unopposed proposition to the tune of $150,000!

Even if it’s magically funded somehow and doesn’t do anything bad per se, this vaguely defined program still offers no real solutions to the issues that San Franciscans face in these desperate and dangerous situations, such as housing instability, child care, and mental health struggles. We say no.

Prop E: Close “Behested Payments” Slush Fund Loophole: Yes

The SF Ethics Commission, the city’s campaign finance watchdog, crafted this prop to close a loophole in our anti-bribery laws. Right now, members of the Board of Supervisors can’t take money from any company doing business with the City. But they can encourage those companies, whose contracts they are in a position to affect, to make donations to a charity the Supervisor favors. That’s called “soliciting a behested payment,” and sus members of the City Family use the process to build up slush funds in various foundations and pet nonprofits – which then turn around and use the money in ways that benefit the Supervisor, official, their family, or their political agenda.

Prop E would tighten up the laws by banning these solicitations while contracts are considered, and until twelve months after an approved contract ends. It also makes it harder for the Board to tamper with these rules in the future. 

If you have any doubts, look at the self-serving argument against Prop E by Scott Weiner, who sniffs that it “may have good intentions” but “will significantly impair the City’s ability to partner with vital community organizations and receive critical charitable support.”  Don’t let politicians raise money from the same people who want favors from them! Vote Yes on Prop E.

Prop F: End Garbage Collection Corruption: Yes

A month before this election, and a month after the Department of the Environment’s director quit when it came out she got $25,000 from Recology and gave them a contract, Recology announced that it would support this anti-corruption measure, Prop F. Recology’s CEO tried his best to sound contrite, copping to “mistakes in our relationship with the City,” while flinging around words like “transparency,” “humbling” and “accountability.” His turnaround support for the measure makes it a bit suspect––if Prop F doesn’t terrify Recology, how serious can it be? –  but we still think it needs to pass.  

Prop F would allow Recology to continue its outrageous monopoly, but would grant garbage rate-setting responsibilities to the City Controller (an independent office) instead of the Department of Public Works (a bribeable one.) The Supes would reserve the option to open up garbage collection to competitive bidding down the road, so perhaps Recology thinks it’s better to play along now.  

And to keep Recology and other miscreants on the straight and narrow, if not genuinely “humble,” let’s pass Prop E, above, to quash pay-to-play “donations” and what Ethics Commission Vice-Chair Larry Bush calls “legal bribery.Vote Yes on Prop F.

Prop G: Give Workers Sick Days to Deal with the Apocalypse: Yes

A product of our era of COVID-19 and extended wildfire seasons, this measure would give up to 80 hours (two weeks) paid leave to use during  public health emergencies or Spare the Air days to City employees, as well as to all SF-based workers of private companies with more than 100 employees (Taco Bell, for example, or Amazon.) This ordinance would kick in only when a public health emergency due to infectious disease is declared by a City or state health official, or when a Spare the Air alert is in effect.

This ordinance sets a minimum amount of two weeks for sick leave – so for example, if a company already provides an employee one week, it would require that they provide one more. It would protect people who work outdoors during Spare the Air days and have asthma or other conditions worsened by poor air quality. FYI, employees who can safely telework from home cannot take this leave for solely isolation or quarantine, and those who work in some nonprofits are completely exempt from this prop.

During the pandemic, state rules around sick leave were ever-changing, so this measure would fill in some gaps. In an ideal world, everybody should be entitled to paid leave so that they could recover or take care of an ill household member. This prop has more exemptions than we’d like to see, but this is still a positive step for San Francisco workers. The City enacted paid sick leave for workers in 2006, so think of this carrying on a San Francisco tradition! 

Prop H: Right-wing Recall of DA Chesa Boudin: Hell No!

You might feel really angry about how awful things are right now in San Francisco, what with the rampaging gangs of critical race theorists storming Louis Vuitton and forcing your children to do gay math. Prop H backers are here to tell you it’s because of DA Chesa Boudin. Let’s see, what else could be his fault? The ridiculous mask mandates on the BART to Walnut Creek! The Chronicle getting woke! Not to mention gas prices, filthy sidewalks, and supply chain coastal elites making you wait six months to get parts for your Peloton. And you can’t order a hamburger in English anymore without someone calling you a racist. Goddamn Chesa. </sarcasm>

Seriously though, times are tough in our city. The root causes of crime are complex: the pandemic, housing affordability crisis, and wealth inequality have fueled an increase in non-violent crime. But if somehow having a reform-minded DA were to blame, you’d expect to see lower crime rates in cities with more “tough on crime” DAs – but in fact, the opposite is true. And violent crime is down! Not to mention cops not actually making arrests, which is the necessary first step to the DA’s Office being able to prosecute anyone. Unfortunately for all of us, rather than tackling these complex issues and getting city departments to work together for public safety, we’re wasting our time dealing with another freakin’ recall bankrolled by billionaire Republicans. 

For context: in November 2019 (the Before Times), San Francisco elected badass progressive public defender Chesa Boudin to be our District Attorney. Boudin promised to fix SFs broken criminal justice system, which put too many poor and BIPOC San Franciscans behind bars, let the cops get away with literal murder, and wasn’t making our city any safer.

Since his election, Boudin has done exactly what he promised to do. The list is long, but here are some highlights: he ended cash bail, established an Innocence Commission to review cases of wrongful conviction, stopped criminalizing youth through gang enhancements and adult charges, expanded support services and privacy for victims, increased services for SF’s Chinese community in response to anti-Asian violence, and sought unprecedented accountability for police who break the law. He also went after ‘ghost gun’ manufacturers, and created a worker-protection unit that sued gig-economy companies who misclassify employees as independent contractors.

Despite (because of?) this awesome record, the same conservative law-and-order types who lost that election in 2019 have poured millions of dollars into signature gathering efforts and ad campaigns to recall Chesa. 

Don’t be fooled! Vote Hell No on Prop H.

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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.

3 Comments

  1. bob black
    May 19, 2022 at 12:15 pm — Reply

    We’ve got to swat away the right-wing recall of our progressive DA (who is just trying to do his damn job) and reform the recall madness so random rich people can’t force us through this Yakety Sax whenever they want a do-over because their candidate loses.

    I am not right wing – more Anarchist. But Boden will not even reflect on the idea that 2 Asian women are dead because of his decision.

  2. Damien
    May 19, 2022 at 2:12 pm — Reply

    Vote no on the recall. I can get free food, housing, phone and misc from the city, but how am i supposed to get money for drugs and alcohol if i can’t steal, with impunity, from Safeway and Walgreens for items to sell?

  3. Benjamin
    June 3, 2022 at 7:00 am — Reply

    Stuart, remind me why beating up a helpless old Asian man while saying “I hate Asians” ISNT’T a hate crime, and why reformative justice was the appropriate punishment for two prior felons? YES ON THE RECALL.

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