Membership Endorsements for the November 3, 2015 Ballot:

 

 

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Before discussing the endorsements - a few important reminders: 

If you don't aready receive Vote-by-Mail ballots and you would like to, please click here to request online. You can also download the Vote-by-Mail form, fill out, print and either mail to or drop off at the Department of Elections in the basement of City Hall.  (1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, City Hall, Room 48, San Francisco, CA 94102) Mail your ballot by October 31 to ensure timely delivery or drop it off at City hall or any polling place by the close of the polls at 8:00pm.

And now on to the endorsement news....

We've seen more competive years, candidate-wise, but 2015 is no slouch when it comes to an alphabet soup of ballot measures. Below is a list of our Ballot Measure picks and pans:

Vote Yes on Measures A, B, C, D, F, H, I, J & K:

  • SUPPORT  • Measure A: General Obligation Bond Election - Affordable Housing 
    • This measure adds needed funds to the affordable housing coffers - we wish it was more but this is a start. No one can beat San Francisco when it comes to income inequality! Formerly middle class jobs jobs like teaching social work, accounting, etc. leave long time residents unable to afford to stay in the City. This measure will supposedly ensure $50 million a year into the affordable housing fund. And, while we would like to have more and the language tightened up, we are going to take a chance that this is the case. Vote YES on Measure A.
  • SUPPORT  • Measure B: Enhancement of Paid Parental Leave for City Employees
    • This measure slightly amends existing law  to allow City employees, who qualify to take leave for a new child, to save up to 40 hours of their sick time before using the paid parental leave. Parents then have the flexibility to deal with health emergencies in additon to a new child.  It simply makes things a little more humane for working families employed by the City. Vote YES on Measure B.
  • SUPPORT  • Measure C: Expenditure Lobbyists Ordinance
    • We all assume that lobbyists visit our supervisors and other elected officials, but we have no idea how often and how much they spend. This Measure will pour a little sunshine on the process and require lobbyists to register and track their visits. We wish it did not include non-profits in its sweep, but the members felt this was a good start on the road to transparency in government.  Vote YES on Measure C. 
  • SUPPORT • Measure D: Mission Rock Development
    • Mission Rock Development is another project that must be submitted to the voters before any height limits can be raised. Measure B in 2014 made sure of that and it is a good thing too. Previously developers have complained that they cannot even do 12.5% affordable housing without going broke. Now that these projects are submitted to the voters they have found they can make a profit and still raise the affordable housing percentage to 40%. Surprise! Anyway, accountability is a good thing and we support Measure D's proposal to raise the height limits. The ultimate development will have staggered heights and commercial units as well. It is a good use of an ugly parking lot. Vote YES on Measure D. 
  • SUPPORT • Measure F: Measure F: Short-Term Residential Rentals
    • This one was more controversial, but ultimately support for the measure outweighed the concerns. This measure does overreach and is clunkily written. It makes no distinctions between people hosting occaisional visitors and scofflaws who evict whole apartment units to use for short term rentals. That said, the measure will require airbnb to only post users registered with the City on its website. All of us thought that was the most important issue. Vote YES on Measure F. 
  • SUPPORT • Measure H: Clean Energy Right to Know Act
  • SUPPORT • Measure I: Mission District Housing Moratorium
    • This one was not an easy vote and deserved some discussion. At first glance, it seems counter intuitive to halt housing production in order to increase affordable housing. But, after taking a deeper look at the Measure, the advantages are clear and send a strong message. Measure I provides for an 18 month moratorium on market rate housing (market rate = luxury). The pause will give the community time to come up with a plan to include more affordable housing, which has been all but forgotten in the Planning Departments heated race to put up as many luxury units as possible. Everyone seems to forget that the Mission is one of the most unique and engaging communities in the City, because of the people who live there. The Mission is a canary in a coal mine as all the neighborhoods are vulnerable to rampant luxury developments pushing out the locals. Vote YES on Measure I. 
  • SUPPORT • Measure J: Establishing the Legacy Business Historic Preservation Fund
    •  This one we discussed at some length, but ultimately feel that thriving legacy businesses of 30 years or more should not be pushed out just because they can be. This is beyond the law of supply and demand. If a business has a lease and the landlord passes on, the heirs often sell to the highest bidder. In this crazy real estate market that means only chains or high-end boutiques can afford the rent, pushing out local venders of needed goods and services. The measure will provide swing grants and mediation with landlords to qualifying businesses. Vote YES on Measure J. 
  • SUPPORT • Measure K: Surplus City Property Ordinance
    • This Measure involves the City's surplus property  

Vote No Measures E & G:

  • OPPOSE • Measure E: Requirements For Public Meetings of Local Policy Bodies
    • While the supporters of Measure E might have had their hearts in the right place by advocating for greater transparency amongst City officials, commissions and boards, this measure will not accomplish its goals. This is an ill conceived and half-baked measure that will cost the city millions and provide opportunities for non-San Franciscans to weigh in on our issues. Vote NO on Measure E
  • OPPOSE • Measure G: Disclosures Regarding Renewable Energy
    • Absolutely no one supports this measure, but it was too late to remove it from the ballot. So here it lingers and deserves a swift death. PG & E originally put in on the ballort to "redefine" clean energy. They have since come to an agreement with Clean Energy supporters and the result was Measure H, above. No on G - Yes on H

 

We endorse the following candidates for the six citywide offices:

Contested Races:

  • Mayor: No Recommendation
  • Sheriff: Ross Mirkarimi
    • While the sheriff has certainly seen more than his share of political battles this year, we believe he is the best person for the job. We absolutely need an independent sheriff who is visionary and believes in the groundbreaking and successful reforms his predecessor, Michael Hennessy,  brought to the Department. Also, Michael Hennessy fully and completely endorses Sheriff Mirkirimi.
  • Trustee, CCSF Board: Wendy Aragon
    • Wendy graduated from a Community College before transferring to San Francisco State University. She is deeply committed to ensuring that CCSF not only exists, but thrives. Wendy's experience as community college student is living testament as to how the community college system changes lives for the better, and she wants to ensure other community members have that chance as well. We believe her enthusiasm for the mission of City College, her attention to detail regarding community college governance and her advocacy experience will make her an effective representative for our community on the board. 
  • Uncontested races:
      • Treasurer: Jose Cisneros
      • City Attorney: Dennis Herrera
      • District Attorney: No Endorsement
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