ActivismAdviceCoffee ShopsNewsSan Francisco

The June 2018 BAS Voter Guide

Seeing as the 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, June 5th 2018. Absentee ballots should be hitting your mailboxes very soon so you can look at this guide while filling yours out, or print it to take to the booth on election day.

 

The June 2018 BAS Voter Guide

The Quick Guide (Longer explanations come after)

Local Offices

Mayor: #1 Jane Kim, #2 Mark leno #3 Amy Farah Weiss

Board of Supervisors District 8: Rafael Mandelman

 

Local Propositions 

Proposition A – Public Utilities Revenue Bonds: YES
Proposition B – Prohibiting Appointed Commissioners from Running for Office: YES
Proposition C – Taxes on Commercial Rents to Fund Child Care: YES
Proposition D – Tax on Commercial Rents to Fund Housing & Homeless Services: SadlyNO
Proposition E – Prohibiting Flavoured Tobacco Products: NO POSITION
Proposition F – City Funded Representation for Tenants Facing Eviction: YES
Proposition G – Parcel Tax for San Francisco Schools: YES
Proposition H – Policy for the Use of Tasers by San Francisco Police Officers: NO
Proposition I – Relocation of Sports Teams: YES

Regional Measures 

Regional Measure 3 – Bay Area Traffic Relief Plan: YES

State Propositions

Proposition 68 – Authorizes Bonds Funding Parks, Natural Resources Protection, Climate Adaptation, Water Quality & Supply, and Flood Protection: YES

Proposition 69 – Requires That Certain New Transportation Revenues Be Used for Transportation Purposes.  Legislative Constitutional Amendment: YES

Proposition 70 –Requires Legislative Supermajority Vote Approving Use of Cap-and-Trade Reserve Fund.  Legislative Constitutional Amendment: NO

Proposition 71 – Sets Effective Date for Ballot Measures.  Legislative Constitutional Amendment: YES

Proposition 72 – Permits Legislature to Exclude Newly Constructed Rain-Capture Systems from Property-Tax Reassessment Requirement.  Legislative Constitutional Amendment: YES

State Offices

Governor: Delaine Easton

Lieutenant Governor: Gayle McLaughlin

Secretary of State: Alex Padilla

State Controller: Betty Yee

State Treasurer: No Endorsement

State Attorney General: Dave Jones

State Superintendent of Public Instruction: Tony K. Thurmond

State Board of Equalization, District 2: No Endorsement

State Assembly, District 17: No Endorsement

State Assembly, District 19: No Endorsement

Superior Court Judges

Superior Court Judge, Office No. 4: Phoenix Streets

Superior Court Judge, Office No. 7: Maria Evangelista

Superior Court Judge, Office No. 9: Kwixuan H. Maloof

Superior Court Judge, Office No. 11: Niki Solis

Federal Offices 

United States Senate: Kevin de Leon

United States Congress, District 12: Shahid Buttar or Ryan Khojasteh (Dual Endorsement)

United States Congress, District 14: Jackie Speier

 

Longer Explanations

Local Offices

Mayor: #1 Jane Kim #2 Mark Leno #3 Amy Farah Weiss

Here’s the deal.  THIS ELECTION IS RANKED CHOICE. This means that you get to rank who you want as Mayor. We’d like you to rank to the top two as JANE KIM and MARK LENO (If you want an explanation of Ranked Choice Voting go right here)

Why not London Breed? The League of Pissed Off Voters explains it perfectly right here.

Now, back to whom you should vote for…

Jane Kim kicks ass, plain and simple.  Since the beginning she’s had an ability that others seem haplessly lack to actually make things happen.  The thing is, that with few exceptions, no one that actually makes it in the political game is actually that hapless.  Her colleagues and peers were simply not willing to take the stand or have the conviction that she has. Jane isn’t a bloody saint, though.  That Twitter tax bullshit was huge blow to the city. That said, she has done everything within her power to rectify that.

She’s fought the Department of Homeland Security as District 6 supervisor, fought condo conversion, made CCSF free again, authored Prop C to make free childcare, and out of everyone who is running, actually has created housing.  She sees that it’s needed and writes it in. Gets it done. Jane Kim gets in done.

And, Mark Leno!  I mean this race feels so strange for a lot of reasons, but one of the few positive ones is that we can single handedly rocket either one of these two into Room 200 with the swipe of a felt pen and we actually like both of them.

Mark is an elder statesmen that has a lot in common with Jane. True, he has unfortunate habit of endorsing folks we’re not terribly fond of (Scott Weiner, London Breed), but where he and Jane are most similar is in their hearts.  Mark was also a district supervisor once and even though he sallied forth to Sacramento, he truly did leave his heart here. While in Sacramento he did not deviate from maintaining the city’s values: reducing sentencing for non-violent drug offenders, taking on lobbyists, and most importantly fighting for tenants rights.  What’s more, like Jane at the BoS, he seemed to effortlessly be able to work with people in Sacramento where others could not.

Amy Farah Weiss has great ideas and lots of gumption. She’s worked tirelessly as an advocate for the homeless, trying to bring services into the encampments, and petitioning City Hall to do something proactive, instead of sitting on their butts. She also has well thought out and researched ideas on affordable housing development, transit, and creating a public bank. So there’s a lot of reasons to like her. Plus she’s the dark horse candidate and an underdog, something we always love. While she can sometimes be divisive among progressives, we like her politics and where her heart is. She’s also been a proponent of using ranked choice voting as a collaborative effort between candidates from the very start.

 

Board of Supervisors District 8: Rafael Mandelman

Aw, Raffi.  This guy is great.  When CCSF was very unsexy he was fighting tooth and nail to keep it’s massive brass doors open and was always smiling while doing so.  His drive, optimism, and ability to bring disparate individuals together is a rare and gorgeous talent in this burg.

His empathy and ability to do so just doesn’t spring from nowhere, though.  His life informs him. He knows first hand what homelessness entails and what it’s like to be young and queer in this city with not much to rely on but yourself.  In a district that struggling under the weight of a great deal of the city’s crushing disparity, Rafael is a compassionate, sincere and pragmatic choice.

 

Local Propositions 

Proposition A – Public Utilities Revenue Bonds: YES

Since 1923 environmentalists have invoked John Muir in lamentation over the loss of the Hetch Hetchy Valley.  To add insult to injury, however, is the fact that even though San Francisco owns the hydroelectric O’Shaughnessy Dam which impounds it, Pacific Gas & Electric owns the grid that delivers the utilities it powers.

What this measure does is authorizes the city to issue revenue bonds to build our own (possibly smart) grid and finally wrest power away from P. G. & E.  We may not have the beauty of the valley anymore, but this measure would help end the dirty power reign of P. G. & E. We say vote, “yes”.

Proposition B – Prohibiting Appointed Commissioners from Running for Office: YES

This one is pretty straight-forward.  It just mandates that if you are appointed to a city commission, you need to step down first to run for an elected office.  This city has enough corruption problems as it it, and this just helps clean up one aspect of them.

Proposition C – Taxes on Commercial Rents to Fund Child Care: YES

Universal child care needs to happen now, and we can make that happen in San Francisco with this measure.  Thousands of children are without care while their parents work in the city and wait on endless lists. This would provide the funding to end that.  What’s more, there is a small business exemption. With no caps on the insane rents commercial landlords charge, they can definitely afford this.

Proposition D – Tax on Commercial Rents to Fund Housing & Homeless Services: SadlyNO

Confusion and gross politics- everyone’s favourite Election Day cocktail.  Seemingly we would want to tax commercial landlords to help alleviate the crushing homeless problem in the city, right? Well, if it were a prop made on good faith and on it’s own that would be great, but it ain’t.

Mayoral candidate London Breed and Excelsior Supervisor Ahsha Safai help put this on the ballot as a “poison pill” measure to kill Proposition C which was written by Supervisor Kim.  Sound petty? Well, that’s because it is.

Essentially this puts toddlers and homeless folks in a cage match that could come by way of that gruesome twosome.  Plus, Prop D’s taxes are lower. Pass on this one so we can something legit.

Proposition E – Prohibiting Flavoured Tobacco Products: NO POSITION

Are tobacco products harmful and can lead to death?  Yes. Is harm reduction more constructive? Yes. Is the “No on E” campaign completely backed by major tobacco? Yes.  Does this affect the sale of tobacco for hookah/ shisha? Yes. Is this legislation primarily focused on vaping products geared towards children? Yes. Are such products readily available to children across city borders? Yes.  Is this the kind of ballot measure that make us feel better without really doing anything? Yes.

Proposition F – City Funded Representation for Tenants Facing Eviction: YES

For those who most loudly ask what we are to do about the homeless problem in San Francisco, while plaintively looking towards the sky, this is a serious answer to your query.  Over 70 percent of the current population lived in SF residences before they were on the street. This means that eviction is a major contributor to our homelessness epidemic. 

Those of us who have battled evictions know that the oft-touted Rent Board, while important, serves primarily as a toothless intermediary and that resources like the Tenants Union, Housing Rights Committee, and Eviction Defense Collaborative are over-extended and crammed full of renters desperate for help on any given day you might step in.

This will ENSURE representation to anyone facing eviction at every step of the way of the laborious and traumatizing process.  YES, people.

Proposition G – Parcel Tax for San Francisco Schools: YES

SFUSD is struggling.  The drama that we have seen across the nation in regards to teachers striking nearly happened here as well.  The reason why is because San Francisco teachers cannot afford to live in the city they teach in and the district has been hemorrhaging educators rapidly.  Thanks to an agreement last year, the bleeding is slowing and now teachers will eventually be making a better wage, but the district still needs supplemental funding to meet that.  This $298 a year to property owners and exempts seniors in residence.

Proposition H – Policy for the Use of Tasers by San Francisco Police Officers: NO

Basically this like someone saying, “I won’t kill you as long as long as you let me maim you.”

The people behind this are the San Francisco Police Officers Association, which are the ones that pretty much stymie any effort at police reform.  The San Francisco Chief of Police is against tasers. So is pretty much everyone else.  You should be too.

FYI- London Breed isn’t against them and Angela Alioto is definitely for them.  

Proposition I- Relocation of Sports Teams: YES

We get it, every time one sees that old San Francisco Warriors “The City” logo, a little twinkle of nostalgia warms one’s heart (even though most current residents didn’t grow up here or remember those times.) And, hey it looks like they’re poised to dribble across the bay regardless of whether this passes or not.

But do you know what? What they are doing to Oakland right now is what they did to us before.  “Oh, you’re building a brand new coliseum, Oakland? Well, smell you and your dank old Bill Graham later, San Francisco!”  Likewise, how do you think we got the once-and-forever polarizing Candlestick? Kezar and Seals stadiums just didn’t cut the hot dog mustard, and neither did the poor old ‘Stick eventually.  So, let’s just adopt this policy of not bending over backwards for sports teams. We can save that positioning and flexibility for other physical activities we’re famous for.

 

Regional Measures 

Regional Measure 3 – Bay Area Traffic Relief Plan: YES

Sweet Christ!  Unless, your a transpo nerd, a page turn to this section of your voter information guide likely resulted in your screaming and setting it on fire.  There is a lot of information here. But, the reason why is because it is important.

The Bay Area’s transportation infrastructure is not only crumbling, but is set to take on even more necessary expansion like Caltrain to downtown San Francisco, BART to San José, Santa Clara (gasp! Does this finally mean peninsular penetration??), expansion in anticipation of the high-speed rail, not to mention hundreds of improvements in communitie all over the region far from the bright lights of our fair Barbary Coast.

It is being billed as regressive, because, in effect it has become that.  As the Guardian pointed out it would make us feel better to bill the tech industry that has forced thousands to have to commute from further afield into metropolitan hubs like San Francisco, than to up bridge tolls, but taxing autos is NOT a bad thing.  Especially when it will help restore and improve regional transportation back to somewhere close to the status it once was that has allowed us to be congratulating ourselves for for the past fifty years.

 

State Propositions

Proposition 68 – Authorizes Bonds Funding Parks, Natural Resources Protection, Climate Adaptation, Water Quality & Supply, and Flood Protection: YES

As the current federal administration seeks to destroy the work we’ve done, California is still on the long road to recovery from the sins of our past and preparing for the possible disasters on the horizon.  This prop authorizes funding to maintain habitat restoration, levee repair, toxic water abatement, and keeping our parks open and safe for the childrens.

Proposition 69 – Requires That Certain New Transportation Revenues Be Used for Transportation Purposes.  Legislative Constitutional Amendment: YES

Yes, to 69! Har har, now that we got that out of the way, as the number would indicate this is a good thing.  It’s a harmless prop that state democrats put on the ballot to ensure that gas and auto taxes go to fund transportation and to help sweeten the pot against those taxes trying to be overturned in the fall.

Proposition 70 –Requires Legislative Supermajority Vote Approving Use of Cap-and-Trade Reserve Fund.  Legislative Constitutional Amendment: NO

To “recap”, the state’s Cap-and-Trade program is an incentivizing way of getting industries to lower emissions voluntarily.  Continuously blasted by conservatives, but championed by environmentalists, the program is now considered a success and generating income.  This prop is a backhanded way by those same naysayers to get their mitts on the cash or tie-it up so it can’t be used on anything.

Proposition 71 – Sets Effective Date for Ballot Measures.  Legislative Constitutional Amendment: YES

This is a seemingly obvious, but necessary fix to make sure things that we vote on get implemented in a timely manner.

Proposition 72 – Permits Legislature to Exclude Newly Constructed Rain-Capture Systems from Property-Tax Reassessment Requirement.  Legislative Constitutional Amendment: YES

So, if you are a property owner and you add onto that property, you are subject to a higher property tax.  Like seismic retrofitting and ADA access, this basically insures that you won’t be charged for catching rainwater for drought irrigation.

 

State Offices

Governor: Delaine Easton

To be honest, Treasurer John Chiang is a solid choice, but three reasons to vote for Eastin:

  1. Education: this has been her lifelong career and realizes that it is a complex situation in this state which is more than what most politicians these days will give you.  Plus she believes in tuition free college returning.
  2. She wants to reform Costa Hawkins and the Ellis Act.  Enough said.
  3. She wants to end the war on drugs and the prison industrial complex in California.

Lieutenant Governor: Gayle McLaughlin

Hmm, let’s see.  Well, we definitely don’t want a lieutenant governor that would sue us for protecting our own goddamn waterfront, right?  Surely we wouldn’t want to vote for someone like that again, right?? See above.

Plus, as former Mayor of Richmond, McLaughlin knows how to fight against some rough fuckers to protect the community, and “Baby Standard” Chevron is about as evil a fucker as you can get.

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

State Attorney General: Dave Jones

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.

Jones was an effective Insurance Commissioner, advocate, reformer, and although he must and should uphold the law of the State of California as prescribed by its voters, it would be good to have someone in office who isn’t quick to flip the switch.

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.

Marshall Tuck is an investment banker-turned- Los Angeles charter school CEO who tried to buy this office the last time it was open.  

We’re gonna go out on a limb here and say, we think Thurmond’s our dude.

State Board of Equalization, District 2: No Endorsement

Yikes.  How about dissolve it completely and just turn it into a Netflix series already.

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

Phil we usually love you, but that SB 827?  Come on, dude.

 

Superior Court Judges

Yes, dear readership, we find ourselves here again.  So, a refresher: superior court judges are an elected office, but because they can die or retire during their terms, the seat is often appointed by the governor.  But sometimes not, which is why it always seems to shock people. However, we just voted on one in 2016 if you may recall.

So, here’s the skinny on this round.  It’s getting a little more news than your usual, garden variety superior court election because, four San Francisco deputy public defenders decided to run on a block ticket.  Their motivation: to change shit up.

Basically all four incumbent judges whose seats are up were appointed by conservative governors (Arnold Schwarzenegger and <cue thunderclap> Pete Wilson.)  However, all four are registered dems and all four have the backing of just about every politician and organization you can think of.  Why? Well, partially political back scratching, but also because some of them have ruled wisely, but to be sure, also poorly.  For, example, Judge Curtis Karnow of Superior Court, Office No. 7 ruled in favour of CCSF and against the ACCJC, but as BeyondChron and 48 Hills reported, he also ruled to have a seventy-five year old man evicted from his home of thirty years.

And that’s the issue:  having judges who are familiar with the plight of of the people they preside over.  All four judges, despite their pedigree and political backing were appointed by Republicans quite a while ago now.  How in touch are they with San Franciscans?

Superior Court Judge, Office No. 4: Phoenix Streets

With seventeen years as a public defender, housing is the major motivation for Streets vying for this seat.  Born and raised in the Western Addition’s Westside Courts, he later served during wartime in the navy, being awarded the Expeditionary Medal.  Due to his background, his focus has been on housing, homelessness, and what happens to vets after they’ve completed their service.

Superior Court Judge, Office No. 7: Maria Evangelista

Native to South of Market and a mother of two, Evangelista’s career as public defender has been informed on breaking the cycle of “catch, imprison, and release.”  Instead of trusting in San Francisco’s defunct jail system, she has pursued the justice and successful resolution in the city’s Restorative and Collaborative court systems.

Superior Court Judge, Office No. 9: Kwixuan H. Maloof

Born in the Presidio and raised by his “family and the City of San Francisco”, Maloof is also seventeen years at the public defender’s office.  Having started his career in social work with troubled kids, he sees the importance of having the knowledge of what working class families in the city go through from divorce proceedings to evictions.

Superior Court Judge, Office No. 11: Niki Solis

Having come to this country from Belize as an undocumented immigrant and LGBTQ mother of two, Solis is the Head Trial Attorney at the Public Defender’s Office.  Having seen a family member struggle with addiction sentenced to ten years in prison, she embarked on her career of action at UC Hastings and has been with the Public Defender for 22 years.  With her background, she probably knows more than anyone the hope and sanctuary that San Francisco means for so many.

 

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.  What’s more, for you Dianne Diehards, if de León does well in this primary, we slough off the grodie Republican. Not bad, eh?

United States Congress, District 12: Shahid Buttar or Ryan Khojasteh (Dual Endorsement)

Both these guys are young, progressive and have great ideas for the future of this country. It would be great to see either of them replace Nancy Pelosi because…wow, is she out of touch with what San Franciscans want. We did a feature on Shahid Buttar right here and Ryan Khojasteh right here.

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.

Like this article? Make sure to sign up for our mailing list so you never miss a goddamn thing!
Previous post

What Dating Older Men Did To Me

Next post

We wanna send you and a friend to see Digable Planets!


BAS Editorial Team

BAS Editorial Team

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