My Endorsements for the November 2012 Ballot
Since 2004, I have released my endorsement for the November election cycle. Here are my endorsements for November 6, 2012. Whether you agree or disagree, the most important message is to VOTE! The polls at City Hall are open and absentee ballots will land in your mailbox soon. Thank you for taking the time to read my endorsements.
United States President
United States Senate
United State House of Representatives, Seat 8
State Assembly, District 13
State Assembly, District 19
State Senate, District 11
Board of Supervisors
I was thrilled when Mayor Lee appointed Planning Commissioner President Olague to the Board of Supervisors in January. Christina has a long history of activism in our community and was a thoughtful and independent member of the Planning Commission. Currently, she has one of the strongest expertise on land use and planning — an area that the Board spends much of its time deliberating on and I have appreciated her thinking and passion the past ten months.
I have known Norman Yee since he was Executive Director of Wu Yee Children's Services and then later had the pleasure of serving with him on the Board of Education. Norman is a born and raised San Franciscan who throughout his career has shown his commitment to serve. He will be an excellent addition to the Board of Supervisors — he has showcased engagement and civility in public policy dialogues and will work hard to serve the neighborhood needs of District 7.
In Districts 1, 3, 9, and 11, I am supporting our incumbent Supervisors who are dedicated public servants and care deeply about representing their constituents. They are intelligent and thoughtful policy makers and I have seen how hard they work at City Hall.
Board of Education
- Sandra Lee Fewer
- Kim Garcia Meza
- Rachel Norton
- Gladys Soto
Sandra is one of the strongest School Board members I have seen and I include myself in that group. She is a fourth generation San Franciscan whose entire family has been educated in SFUSD including her three children, a PTA leader for 22 years, and a former parent organizer at Coleman Advocates. She is passionate, principled, incredibly knowledgeable, and has a strong vision of equity. She has been leader in pushing our District to keep its promise to graduate our students college ready, narrow the achievement gap and initiate curriculum and programs for our LGBTQQ students.
Rachel Norton is a special education parent and current board member. While Rachel and I have not always agreed, I have found her to be dedicated to our public schools, actively engaged in listening to the parent community and most importantly, independent. She has been a strong advocate for bringing much needed reforms to our Special Education system and this perspective is greatly needed.
I am also supporting two new voices, parent advocates Kim Garcia Meza and Gladys Soto. We do not currently have a Latino/as or Spanish speaker on the Board despite the fact that close to 30% of our SFUSD families are Latino. Both candidates have children in our public school system. Kim has also been a Spanish bilingual elementary school teacher for ten years and has served on a committee to advise the District on our education program for English Language Learners. Kim and Gladys are knowledgeable about school polices including our plan to close the achievement gap, the new A-G Graduation requirement and Restorative Justice policy. They will bring much needed representation and knowledge to the board.
City College Board of Trustees
- Chris Jackson
- Rafael Mandelman
- Steve Ngo
- William Walker
I am incredibly concerned about the lack of financial accountability and decision making structure at City College of San Francisco (CCSF) which has led to the threat of accreditation removal by the State this past July. I think all current Trustees should be held accountable in leading and saving this very important institution. Ngo has been leading the fight to hold CCSF and its trustees more accountable. While I don't agree with some of Jackson's positions regarding CCSF's current situation, he has been an important voice on job training and placement programs and Gateway to College programs in our southeast neighborhoods. Candidates Rafael Mandelman, attorney, and William Walker, City College student delegate, will support the efforts to reform the institution and best represent the voice of CCSF students to ensure that this institution both keeps its accreditation and serves our community.
Prop A: City College Parcel Tax — Yes
This modest tax measure will fill some of the State cuts that has drastically hurt the future of the City College.
Prop B: Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond — Yes
This bond is the second phase of the City's 10 Year Capital Plan to rebuild our failing playgrounds and improve our open space. Note to D6 voters: Our office worked hard to ensure that two failing playgrounds in in District 6 were included in this bond — South Park and Turk/Hyde Mini Park playgrounds in SOMA and the Tenderloin. Both are in great need of repairs and improvements along with many other playgrounds and parks throughout the City.
Prop C: Housing Trust Fund — YES, YES, YES
One of my top priorities when running for office was to ensure that the city dedicate local revenue to building and rehabilitating affordable housing as well providing first-time home ownership loans to SF residents. I supported the last two affordable housing bond measures in 2002 and 2006 — neither passed. This consensus measure, negotiated by market-rate real estate developers and affordable housing advocates under the leadership of the Mayor, dedicates local revenue, formerly dedicated by redevelopment tax increment, to preserving and building affordable housing and first-time home owners in SF. Pass this much needed compromise measure!
Prop D: Consolidating Odd-Year Municipal Elections — Yes
This measure would consolidate the elections of City Attorney, Treasurer, Assessor-Recorder, Sheriff, District Attorney and Mayor on the same odd-year. The Controller estimates that this would save SF $4.2M every four years by allowing us to conduct one less election. This would also increase turnout for the offices that do not run on the same year as the Mayor's race.
Prop E: Gross Receipts Tax Reform — Yes, Yes, Yes!
I believe the Housing Trust Fund and Gross Receipts Tax measures are perhaps the most impactful ballot measures San Franciscans will have voted on in the past ten years. Since 2003, I have believed that we should ask our businesses to invest back in our city based on their gross receipts (basically what they make) versus their payroll (based on number of people hired and their salaries). This is a more fair tax treatment and does not discourage job creation. The measure also largely reduces how much we ask small businesses to invest back into the city as businesses who gross under $1M will be exempt and is supported by the Small Business Commission. Further, the additional revenue that come through this measure will be invested back into our city's infrastructure and priorities such affordable housing, schools, streets, and parks.
Prop F: Draining Hetch Hetchy Plan — No
This measure would require the city to prepare a plan to drain Hetch Hetchy Resevoir, which provides 85% of our water, and identify alternative sources of water and energy. I believe the development of this plan is an irresponsible use of our time, resources and dollars.
Prop G: Policy Opposing Corporate Personhood — Yes
The voter guide states: "[t]his measure would make it city policy that corporations should not have the same constitutional rights as human beings and should be subject to political spending limits." I usually do not support policy statements on the ballot, however I recognize that certain issues are large enough to deserve a public statement by the voters of SF. All 11 Supervisors support this policy statement.