ENDORSEMENT MEETING RESULTS:
The results are in! Check out our official endorsements voted on by the membership on September 17, 2013. Candidates and ballot measure advocates and opponents were allowed to present and answer member's questions. After all the presentations, the members got down to business and discussed all the issues. The results were clear after the first round of voting. The endorsements are listed below with a summary of the discussion and outcome. Each ballot measure and candidate on District 11 ballots is listed below:
YES on MEASURE A: Retiree Health Care Trust Fund - Prop A makes a lot of financial sense for San Francisco. It is fair to dedicated City workers as well as to taxpayers. Basically, Prop A will create a savings account (that cannot be looted) to pay for retiree's health care costs. We liked the idea of creating an alternative to the pay-as-you-go system that has, through poor management, contributed to the destabilization of major cities in this country. With Measure A, San Francisco will be the first to address the issue of unfunded health liabilities in this manner.
NO on MEASURE B: 8 Washington Development - Referendum
NO on MEASURE C: 8 Washington Development - Initiative
By way of simple explanation, the Referendum (Measure B) was put forward as an initiative by the developer of the 8 Washington property asking for the public to bless the deal. The Initiative (Measure C) was created by community opposition to the waterfront development and asks the public if they approve of the 8 Washington development. The District 11 Democratic Club recommends a NO vote for both Measures B & C.
While we think it is a good idea for development of public space on the waterfront, Measure B does not offer much to San Franciscans. The height limit issue is a problem, even the scaled back version now being put forward, but that is the least of the serious flaws in the 8 Waterfront proposal. While, the $11,000,000 for affordable housing looks good at first glance, it is paltry in comparison to the expected profits of the development. (Do the math: 165 units estimated to sell at around $5 - $10 million each.) That money goes back to the City to decide when, where, and, if ever the affordable housing is built. We also found the claim of new public space to be disingenuous at best, and fraudulent at worst. The currently private tennis courts will be replaced with an equally private pool and fitness facility, so that is a wash. The public will not be allowed onto the grounds of the new condo development, but they will have access to a relatively tiny area of open space on the north side of the development. All of the ads for B and C make it sound like it is about nothing more than creating open space and housing. We are not opposed to a strategic plan for waterfront development with lots of public input, but the 8 Waterfront development is not a good start. No on B & C.
DECLARATION OF POLICY
YES on MEASURE D: Prescription Drug Purchasing - This was an easy measure to endorse. Currently, the City is already using all available opportunities to reduce the cost of prescription drugs, including negotiating directly with pharmaceutical companies. This measure would make it official. In addition, the measure also asks asks our state and federal representatives to support legislation to reduce drug prices. We support this declaration of policy as prudent and responsible.
YES for JOSE CISNEROS, City Treasurer - Our City Treasurer has always received the endorsement of the District 11 Democratic Club and this is no exception. We think that Mr. Cisneros brings a lot of energy and professionalism to this position. We believe that he is dedicated to bringing in revenue for the city, but not at the expense of middle and working class homeowners in District 11. We also support his innovative programs: Bank On San Francisco, Kindergarten to College Program.
YES for CARMEN CHU, City Assessor-Recorder - Appointed by Mayor Ed Lee, this is Carmen Chu's first time running for the Assessor-Recorder position. She has the solid administrative background needed and a commitment to fair property assessments. On the one hand, she is focused on streamlining the last-century filing systems and making it easier for S.F residents to get the services they need from the office. She also is dedicated to providing multiple language access to the assessors office - a real help to many D11 residents. We are concerned, however, that a significant source of campaign contributions are from realtor or development outfits, but are hopeful she will remain fair to the people of San Francisco.
YES for DENNIS HERRERA, City Attorney - On the plus side: defense of same-sex marriage, and challenge to bogus City College accreditation charges. On the minus side: overly broad gang injunctions. On balance, he gets the endorsement this time.