2019 SF VOTER GUIDE – Mobile Version

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Halloween is over, and despite the fact that you haven’t taken your costume completely off yet, you still need to remember to vote.  It’s going to be a very low turn out year, so your vote is going to matter that much more!  Here is the mobile voting guide for progressive San Franciscans, that you may take into the booth with you : ).

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

Our voter guide to help you decide who and what to vote for on Tuesday, November 5th 2019.

THE 2019 BAS VOTER GUIDE

THE QUICK GUIDE (LONGER EXPLANATIONS COME AFTER)

CITY & COUNTY OFFICES

Mayor: No Endorsement

City Attorney: Dennis Herrera

District Attorney: 1. Chesa Boudin 2. Leif Dautch

Public Defender: Manohar “Mano” Raju

Sheriff: No Endorsement

Treasurer: José Cisneros

School Board: Jenny Lam

Trustee San Francisco Community College Board: Ivy Lee

 

CITY & COUNTY PROPOSITIONS

Proposition A – San Francisco Affordable Housing Bond: YES

Proposition B –Department of Disability & Aging Services: YES

Proposition C –Vapor Products: NO

Proposition D –Traffic Congestion Mitigation Tax: YES

Proposition E –Affordable Housing & Educator Housing: YES

Proposition F –Campaign Contributions & Campaign Advertisements: YES

 

LONGER EXPLANATIONS

CITY & COUNTY OFFICES

Mayor: No Endorsement

Where does one begin with this mayor’s race?  Well, what should be said from the outset is that the incumbent, the Hon. Mayor London Breed, is running virtually unopposed. This election will surely serve as the entree into her first full term, though, because of the sudden death of the late Edwin Lee and a special election, she has already served as mayor for a little over one and a half years.  Although there are stalwart mainstay candidates of mayoral elections past on the ballot this year, we’re going to focus on Mayor Breed here. And by that, we mean “don’t vote for her.”

What has often been described as “machine politics” has ruled San Francisco for decades.  Our last truly progressive mayor was George Moscone and that was 41 years ago. London Breed was groomed for this office by the same school that gave us Diane Feinstein, Willie Brown, Gavin Newsom, and Ed Lee.

If you want proof of this kind of political rigging you have no farther to look than this year’s District Attorney race (more below).  Instead of appointing someone “good faith” outside the fray when Gascón announced his Hollywood comeback, she quickly plopped the establishment favourite, Suzy Loftus, into the position like any Machiavellian stage parent would.

London’s been hustling for this role her entire life, and you can be certain she’s going to do whatever she can to give her grand performance without any more opposition than she’s already been getting at the Board of Supervisors.  She’s polished, tenacious and determined to keep the show going, the people be damned. When asked about the incensed and visceral public response to her D.A. announcement, Breed dryly responded, “It wouldn’t be San Francisco without a nice protest.”

What’s more, the American Civil Liberties Union, who usually reserves comment for the machinations of our sitting president and other corrupt officials, decried Breed and implored that she change the appointment.  So, that pretty much says it, doesn’t it? We’ll take the ACLU’s lead here and give a resounding “NO ENDORSEMENT- ESPECIALLY NOT LONDON BREED”. The best way to send a message to the machine is to have her garner even less returns come Election Day than when she narrowly beat Mark Leno and Jane Kim.

 

District 5 Supervisor: Dean Preston

Dean Preston is a Democratic Socialist who has been fighting for tenants rights for years.  Quite frankly, we can’t think of a better candidate for this district. District 5 in so many ways retains a San Francisco that has long passed, but part of the reason why that time is in the past is because districts like 5 got their heart and soul demolished out by a thousand little cuts.  For years, the district just across from City Hall has served as a launching pad for aspiring politicians and a showcase for how hard a city can fail residents just outside it’s front door. Vallie Brown seems like she was also once part of that San Francisco, but with omissions from one’s timeline and alliances down the line, it’s hard to tell who that person is now.  Everyone has a story in this city, with good and bad parts, and hopefully a little transparency. We’re hoping that Preston has some good and some transparency coming up for D5.

 

City Attorney: Dennis Herrera

No strong gripes for Herrera who has used his time in office litigating things that most of the city seems on board with.

 

District Attorney: 1. Chesa Boudin 2. Leif Dautch

And now to the main course of this electoral cycle: District Attorney of San Francisco.  Even before the mayor’s sleight of hand this last week, this race was already causing a stir of anticipation by the simple fact that it was to be the first D.A. election without a running incumbent in over 100 years.  If that doesn’t speak volumes on establishment politics, we don’t know what does. Not to break any long-standing city traditions, the mayor has now put off that milestone for another year, with giving the Sheriff’s attorney, Suzy Loftus, two weeks to start redecorating and the ol’ incumbent’s edge ahead of the November 5th election.

So, here we are with four candidates and four ranked choice spots.

First Choice: CHESA BOUDIN

If the District Attorney’s job is to look out for the welfare of the “people”  it might be in our best interest to elect someone who is actually defending the public for a change.  When you’ve spent almost your entire life visiting your parents in maximum security prisons, it informs your perspective on the criminal justice system, and frankly, puts you in the position to understand all sides of it. With a system this broken, Chesa is our best bet at reforming and rebuilding it from the failure that it is.

Second Choice: Leif Dautch

Leif also grew up close to the criminal justice system apparently, albeit with folks that worked in it.  With backgrounds in environmental and juvenile justice, he says both of those aspects are central to his campaign along with mental health justice reform.  A key point of the latter would be transforming the Juvenile Hall at the top of Twin Peaks into a Mental Health Justice Center.

Third & Fourth Choices: No Endorsement

Neither Nancy Tung or Suzy Loftus are bad, but neither are they endorsement worthy.  Both have solid backgrounds as prosecutors, and both believe in prosecution as a tool for change.  Tung falls a little too conservative for us in this position with her hard lines on narcotics arrests and juvenile justice and Loftus, with her long career working snuggled in law enforcement and willingness to go along with the mayor’s executive privilege, leave us just a tad hesitant.

 

Public Defender: Manohar “Mano” Raju

After the tragic death of Public Defender and local hero, Jeff Adachi, the mayor appointed Raju and he automatically received the benediction of colleague Matt Gonzalez, whom many had suspected would get the role.

And true to his predecessor, Raju seems to have the judgement and background necessary to carry it out.  Already carrying on a crusade against overzealous prosecutors, he recently also lodged a complaint towards the trigger-happy Sheriff’s department who wounded a man and killed his dog when “peace officers” battered down a door and went in with guns blazing on a routine bench warrant.  Yes, a bench warrant. For missing a court date because he was in the hospital. With officers like these, we can’t afford not to have this kind of public defender’s office.

 

Sheriff: No Endorsement

Overflowing sewage, humiliating strip searches/prisoner fight clubs at the command  of leering officers, and destruction of evidence all wrapped in a seismically unsafe package – this is why the Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant has become San Francisco’s very own Bastille Saint-Antione.  And whereas retiring Sheriff Vicki Hennessy was the chief, Paul Miyamoto was the henchman running our chamber of horrors, and now he’s running for her job unopposed. Why? Well, essentially you need to be law enforcement to run and no one else is running, and it sucks.  Yet another reason why we need criminal justice reform (see D.A.’s race above.)

 

Treasurer: José Cisneros

Not perfect, but the city’s unopposed treasurer has done some pretty good things like going after payday-in-advance lenders and trying to curtail the outrageous number of fines and tickets the city issues every year.  That said, the city is still in bed with big banks, so this endorsement is conditional.

 

School Board: Jenny Lam

Another conditional endorsement.  Namely in her relationship to the mayor and her “open door policies” that the League of Pissed-Off Voters rightly brings up and therefore why they reserved their endorsement.  She has however proven to be an advocate of POC students thus far, especially in terms of curriculum.

It is this advocacy that has sparked her competition to rise in the form of candidates Kirsten Strobel and Robert Coleman.  Basically, she initially sided with those who wished to see the iconic and controversial Arnautoff murals of our country’s very problematic history painted over at George Washington High School, but then decided to vote in favour of covering them with wooden panels as a recommended compromise by her colleague Faauuga Moliga.  Although earnest in their cause, the nature of their candidacies being the reaction to one issue – at one high school – does not lead us to think they are serious about the larger school board picture as a whole, which Lam seems to be…for now.

 

Trustee San Francisco Community College Board: Ivy Lee

Appointed to the board after Rafael Mandelman won supervisor of District 8, Ivy Lee was the perfect choice in that she helped author Free City with Jane Kim, which is how so many students have managed to enroll at City.  That said, City College is the saga that keeps giving and there are quite a few issues to be ironed out, and honestly, Lee is the best person to tackle this monstrous job.

CITY & COUNTY PROPOSITIONS

Proposition A – San Francisco Affordable Housing Bond: YES

Most of it goes towards low-income housing and does not require taxes to be raised on property owners.  Pretty much everyone endorses this one. For those of you who ask how we get housing built, this is one of those ways that actually gets funded.

 

Proposition B –Department of Disability & Aging Services: YES

This is currently called the Department of Aging & Adult Services.  It would now be called the Department of Disability & Aging Services.  What’s in a name?  Well, firstly it was found that many with disabilities didn’t check it out because it didn’t say “disabilities”.  Secondly, this measure would also make the mayor appoint commissioners to oversee this department that actual reflect its constituency (one over 60, one with and ADA disability, and one that is vet.)

 

Proposition C –Vapor Products: NO

There was a lot of back and forth over this one where terminology like “harm reduction” and “regulation” were being bandied about.  And then people started getting sick.

The thing is that no one was trying to expressly prevent harm reduction particular to MJ users and ex-smokers, the BOS was actually waiting to see what the FDA (regulatory agency) said in regards to vape pens before the moratorium was lifted.  So that actually was harm-reduction through regulation literally.

Now, people are eyeing their vape pens with a mixed sense of dread and JUUL, the company that originally funded this measure, has pulled up stakes and flown the coop.  We think that the only safe vote at this point is likely, “no”.

 

Proposition D –Traffic Congestion Mitigation Tax: YES

San Franciscans were once snidely derisive of places like Los Angeles, our slightly younger sister to south, with all her dramas, like “Carmageddons” Honestly! LOL!

Well, buckle up buttercups, those problems are now ours to cherish and nurture like little, baby Birds.

Yes, companies like Lyft and Uber, the ones that brought you instant consumption and the slow extinction of the taxi cab, have now brought you crippling traffic. Thanks to Supervisor Aaron Peskin, this measure will add but a wee (1.5%- 3.25%) tax on individual rides.  “How will this get passed on me?”, you may be asking. Well, due to lack of disclosure on these company’s parts it’s hard to tell but likely you are already being gouged in petty advance if any of the latest fares are to believed.

Whereas, our wayward sister somehow managed to find the time to lay a few hundred miles of subway and light rail tracks in the past few years, our Next Bus status switched from “Arriving” to “Good Luck” years ago,  so every little shekel we can squeeze out of these companies for our own crumbling infrastructure will help.

 

Proposition E –Affordable Housing & Educator Housing: YES

It’s pretty much been impossible for teachers to live in the city they teach in for decades now, but what this measure does, in a nutshell, is changes zoning ordinances so that unused land already owned by SFUSD and CCSF can be used for teacher housing.  Makes sense right?

 

Proposition F –Campaign Contributions & Campaign Advertisements: YES

Also known as Sunlight on Dark Money this measure is pretty sweeping and closes tons of loopholes currently used by wealthy special interests to get what they want and hang us out to dry.  Among it’s highlights are that donors have to be fully disclosed and can’t be concealed behind LLCs, etc., donors cannot donate to campaigns that may serve their interest in regards to land use (like major developers), and those charming “paid for…” disclosures have to be much larger and at the front of every ad.  This is an easy one to say yes to.

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Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

I'm the managin' editor here at Broke-Ass Stuart. When we're not writing, editing, or publishing articles, Stuart and I are promoting the good things in SF & NYC.

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