OK, here are my ballot recommendations. Please like and share.
First comes the California-state level stuff, then regional Bay Area, then San Francisco.
President: For this, it’s not enough that you vote. I ask you to do a couple hours helping people vote in a swing state. Go to Vote Save America’s Adopt A State and pick up a shift.
Don’t be shy. It’s fun. In a typical hour, you will have two hangups, two polite declines, and then a few very-interesting conversations where you help someone with something they don’t understand. You’re not selling, you’re informing about voting itself, which can be very difficult compared to how easy we have it here.
I understand the HUGE PSYCHOLOGICAL HURDLE it is to take this step. But they’ve made it SO EASY. Anybody can do it. Just click on the link, pick a state, and start reading.
Remember that you will be moving the needle in the Presidential race, which you cannot do with your blue state ballot (or with a red state ballot, either).
CALIFORNIA – STATEWIDE
Prop 14 – I’m leaning towards yes but I can’t recommend it. Sorry. I love the idea of throwing money at science and a lot of great organizations I trust are strongly in favor of Prop 14. However, a lot of people in the industry say the money would be better spent elsewhere. I think it will pass with or without our help.
Prop 15 – Hell YES! If you own a house in California, don’t worry. This will NOT TOUCH your residential property tax. This will correct a LONG OVERDUE problem in California COMMERCIAL property taxes allowing corporations to pay far far less than their fair share of property taxes. It will help raise up to $12 billion in revenue for schools and community services. This money is badly needed and this bill taxes it from the right people. Again: this bill will not affect residential or small business property taxes, it will only fix a HUGE GIANT AWFUL BAD LOOPHOLE that the SUPER RICH take advantage of. Right now, we pay for their low taxes. That’s not fair, and this proposition fixes that.
Prop 16 – YES. Ending the ban on affirmative action. We should have the ability to let cities and organizations adopt strategies they believe might address whatever unique issue of diversity they might have. In other words, it’s choice.
Prop 17 – Hell YES. Restoring the right to vote to people on parole. Fair is fair. And this is more than fair, considering the communities who are most harmed by the current ban.
Prop 18 – Yes. Letting 17 year-olds who will turn 18 by the general election to vote in the primary. It’s not letting 17 year-olds vote, it’s just allowing them to register if they will be 18 on election day. It’s a common sense prop that won’t apply to that many but does fix a small oversight.
Prop 19 – I’m leaning towards NO. This tinkers with Prop 13 – It will create new rules around Prop 13 and generate additional funds for wildfire prevention, which is good, but the measure is really designed to benefit realtors more than anyone, which is bad.
Prop 20 – Hell NO! We’ve been making good progress on criminal justice reform in California and this is a big step backwards. Prop 20 was designed to increase the number of people in our prison systems. It undoes years of work done to end mass incarceration. It’s pushed by prison unions. It’s opposed by everybody I trust in government, including the last good governor we had.
Prop 21 – Hell YES! Expanded Rent Control – The rent is too damn high! Prop 21 will allow rent control to be expanded to buildings over 15 years old. This will help protect millions of Californians statewide!
Prop 22 – Hell NO! Making rideshare and delivery service workers contractors instead of employees – Lyft, Uber and Doordash wrote this measure to deny their workers basic protections like paid sick leave, unemployment insurance, healthcare, workers comp, and a minimum wage. Lyft, Uber & other app companies have spent a record breaking $181 million in ads to deceive voters that drivers won’t have flexibility as employees – that is a lie. I depend on Uber/Lyft and I’m voting against this monstrosity.
Prop 23 – Yes. Dialysis Clinic Justice – will better regulate dialysis clinics to ensure they serve patients, not corporate profits. We have a chance to fix a truly nasty industry. Check out the comments for a video on this.
Prop 24 – No recommendation. Andrew Yang has a big boner for this Prop, but The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) gives it a solid thumb-sideways: “EFF does not support it; nor does EFF oppose it.” EFF described Proposition 24 as “a mixed bag of partial steps backwards and forwards.” (link in comments)
On mixed-bag legislation like this, I vote NO and then let them try again with a better-written prop.
Or let them try to fix it in the legislature, which is their damn job.
Prop 25 – No recommendation. Cash Bail Reform – While this measure will uphold the end to cash bail, it has questionable replacement mechanisms that could lead to other injustices. However if this passes there is room to amend the language later on. So I guess it’s a foot in the door.
Flip a coin.
BAY AREA / SAN FRANCISCO
State Senate – Jackie Fielder
Jackie was the leader in the fight for public banking. She is a Native American lesbian who was involved with the Standing Rock protests. She will fight for social housing, a California Single Payer Bill, Rent Control, and a California Green New Deal. Help defeat her corporate real estate, POA, charter school backed, anti-union opponent.
State Assembly AD17 – No Endorsement. Sorry. Leave it blank.
State Assembly AD19 – Same, No Endorsement. Blank.
BART Board D7: Lateefah Simon. I endorsed Lateefah in 2016, and she has done an amazing job. Let’s make sure she wins a second term.
BART Board D9: No Recommendation. Leave it blank. No vote is better.
Measure A – soft-Yes. It’s too bad I can’t just give this thing half a vote in favor. Health and Homelessness, Parks and Streets Bond – A bond measure that would raise $487.5 million for parks and city services. It isn’t perfect but will be helpful for the city.
Measure B – Yes. Restructure Department of Public Works – This measure will create a Department of Sanitation and Streets to focus on street cleanliness while establishing an oversight committee to ensure taxpayer money is spent ethically.
Measure C – Yes. Commissions for All – Removing Citizenship Requirements for the City’s commissions
Measure D – Yes. Increase Sheriff Department’s Oversight with a new oversight commission.
Measure E – YES. DUH. Remove the arbitrary minimum staffing requirements for 1,971 full-time officers at the SF Police Department
Measure F – Yes. Business Tax Overhaul – will create a more progressive tax system that will unlock millions of dollars in corporate taxes
Measure G – Yes. Allow 16 and 17 year-olds to vote in local elections. When people are involved at that age, it forms lifelong voting habits. We need a lot more of that. And since they will be the ones paying off the bonds we vote for, they should have a voice in it.
Measure H – No! Changes to regulations should be done through the legislature, not at the ballot box via legislation none of us understand. NONE of our supervisors support this.
Measure I – HELL YES. Luxury Property Transfer Tax – This measure will raise the property transfer tax on multi million dollar properties to help fund rent forgiveness and social housing. It is the equitable recovery measure San Francisco needs.
Measure J – Yes. Parcel Tax for Teacher Pay – This measure will help generate revenue to ensure teachers get better pay. If you love teachers then vote YES!
Measure K – HELL YES. Affordable Housing Authorization – will approve 10,000 new units of social housing for San Francisco’s future. They’ll still need funding so let’s make sure we pass this and Measure I!
Measure RR – Yes. Sales Tax to fund CalTrain – we don’t love sales tax increases but we love public transit. This measure will generate much-needed revenue to ensure Caltrain will stay in service.
District 1 Supervisor: Connie Chan. The Richmond District went progressive in 2016 & 2020 and has consistently sent a progressive voice to City Hall. It would be nice to keep up that tradition by helping elect Connie Chan as the next District 1 Supervisor.
After years working behind the scenes as a legislative staffer Connie has answered the call to represent her community. She is a trilingual chinese-american immigrant dedicated to fighting for working families, our unhoused neighbors, and small businesses while aiming to make corporations and billionaires pay their fair share.
Aaron Peskin, District 3 Supervisor. Peskin is running for his last term on the Board and has indicated he does not want to run for any other office. Peskin has been a leader in fighting for more affordable housing, passing good governance bills, protecting data privacy, and protecting our environment.
Dean Preston, District 5 Supervisor. Preston won his seat in a special election last November and is now running to serve a full term. Since winning his seat Dean has personally helped thousands of homeless people find shelter during this pandemic. He is also leading the fight to build social housing, reallocate SFPD funding, expand homeless services, and ensure the working class has a voice in City Hall. This is a controversial pick, but shouldn’t be much of a surprise if you know me.
Vilaska Nguyen, District 7 Supervisor #1. Nguyen is a public defender and the son of Vietnamese refugees running to represent one of the most conservative districts in the City. His perspective as a public defender will help him address injustices to every day San Franciscans.
Myrna Melgar, District 7 Supervisor #2. Melgar has had a long history in San Francisco politics. Myrna is policy wonk and would be an exceptional voice for District 7.
Hilary Ronen, District 9 Supervisor. I endorsed Hilary Ronen in 2016 and she’s been doing great work. Let’s ensure she wins her second term.
John Avalos, District 11 Supervisor. Serving on the Board of Supervisors from 2008 – 2016, and serving as Budget Chair during the recession, John Avalos already has experience balancing the city budget through a social justice lens. John will continue to fight against inequality, gentrification, police racism, high housing costs and corporate greed. His track record proves that he will fight for the working class and the marginalized.