Chicken John Voter Guide 2016
BEFORE I SIGN OFF FROM THIS ELECTION:
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that this is the presidential election when people saw how powerful “Show” is. Expect to see more of this in the future. For better and worse. Please please please.. adapt to new ways and don’t try to stand firm in old convictions. In the near and far future, Show is going to be the most important currency. In a post-capitalist society the arts will reign supreme. It is our charge to see that the options brought to us in this election cycle never happen again. Our system calibrates to mediocrity. I don’t know exactly how to change that, but know that knowing it must change is the first step. Divided, we are conquered.
Here is how I’m voting. No, this isn’t how you are going to vote. You have other ideas. Yes, I know you mean well. Does it matter? Only in a few races, really.
Here are the state propositions and my take on them….
Prop 51 – $9 billion in bonds for education and schools – Nope
Prop 52 – Voter approval of changes to the hospital fee program – Nope
Prop 53 – Projects that cost more than $2 billion – totally
Prop 54 – Bills must be posted on the internet for 72 hours – Yup
Prop 55 – Continue income tax on incomes over $250,000 – No
Prop 56 – Increase the cigarette tax by $2.00 per pack – No sir!
Prop 57 – Felons convicted of non-violent crimes – Yes
Prop 58 – Bilingual education in public schools – Yes
Prop 59 – State’s position on Citizens United – Yes
Prop 60 – Require the use of condoms in pornographic films – No
Prop 61 – Prescription drug price regulations – No!
Prop 62/66 – Repeal the death penalty (YES!) or execute faster? (NO!)
Prop 63 – Background checks for ammunition purchases – YES
Prop 64 – Legalization of adult use of marijuana – YES
Prop 65 (NO) & 67 (YES) – Banning plastic grocery bags (No 65/Yes 67)
Prop 51- is a bond. Nope. Saying yes to general obligation bonds like this is saying yes to variable rate loans that can spike up to 25% or even more. It has a bunch of support because it’s schools and kids but shit like this is bad business. I hate them, I won’t vote for any of them.
Prop 52 No way. It should be a crime to put something like this on the ballot. It’s just bad government. For me, solving this problem by putting it on the ballot is perpetuating idiocy. As a protest, I don’t vote for this kind of shit. You, you might fall in line. But there are like no detractors. And watch how many people still won’t vote for it. Are they like me? Are they rolling dice? Do they hate the number 52? We’ll never know.
Prop 53 – We totally want to vote on projects over 2 billion dollars. Anyone who doesn’t might want to just make a rubber stamp so we can spend money we don’t have. Look, I’m down for big money projects like the high speed rail and giant water storage projects. But why should someone who is never going to ride that train be made to pay for it without someone asking them if it’s OK? NO to spending money on giant projects without OUR approval.
Prop 54 – Fuck yea we want to stop sneaky bills the Democrats put into law in the dead of night with zero control, consent and input. We need 50 more laws like this.
Prop 55 – It was temporary. A short term fix. They promised they would figure out how to do their jobs. Putting this on the ballot is them breaking their promise to us. Vote no, then hunt down Jerry Brown and beat him with a stale loaf of French bread. We have a 3 billion dollar surplus. Why would we vote for this? You are just making people want to leave California. The tax is substantial. It just makes CEO’s and other high earners pass the costs on. Taxing high earners across the board on the federal level is fair and makes sense. This shit is short-sighted and what, are we going to re-vote for this next temporary measure next time it expires? When would we just say it’s forever? Why lie?
Prop 56 – No sir! Making Cigarettes $2 more per pack is a tax on poor people. Poor people are poor enough. Stop taxing them. I’m sure you have some lovely programs that you are dying to spend all that money on. Those programs should be funded from the General Fund. Or maybe from the Lottery. Oh, what did you say? The lottery is paying for our after school programs? Right… I’m beginning to see the problem!!!
Prop 57 – Yes, non violent criminals should have to do work not go to jail. Jail doesn’t work for non-violent criminals. Like you. You’re a fucking criminal. You break the law all the time. What would jail do for you? It would make you into a violent criminal. Vote yes.
Prop 58 – Bilingual ed in public schools. Sure. Sounds fun. Give kids a world view. Make the world smaller.
Prop 59 – Yes, we want to overturn Citizens United. Some people hate non-binding things. I think they are wonderful. It creates dialog. I’m all about dialog. The only people who are going to vote against this are people against non-binding legislation.
Prop 60 – Nah. It’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing thing. This is a thinly veiled anti-porn thing so idiots from Utah can sue everyone in California. This is another thing like the PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center) thing that cost Gore the election in 2000 (NOT Nader). Gore’s wife, Tipper, was anti-punk. All the punks in Florida voted for Bush. All of them. Lots of people in the music world HATED Gore. Anyway, don’t vote for this kind of shit. It’s not the function of government to curate or censor art forms.
Prop 61 - No NO NNNOOOOO! Stupid, dysfunctional idiocy. If you vote yes on this you should go to the village idiot convention. It’s so dumb and stupid, that if I even explained it to you, I would get dumber. Basically, this legislation is so bad I’m siding with the pharmaceutical companies! It won’t work, it can’t work and you wonder how millions (tens of millions?) of dollar gets spend on shit like this that could go to the battered women’s shelter. Fuck NO!
Prop 62 – The death penalty doesn’t deter murder. Period. End of discussion. Get rid of it. Think of all the karma you’ll be saving the judge who sentences people.
Prop 63 - Background checks for guns/ammo should be Federal and they should be strict. A bullet should cost $40. A gun should cost thousands of dollar and you should have to register it every year like a car and that should cost $750. You should need insurance. You should have to prove that you still have it once every 3 years and submit it for an inspection to make sure it’s clean and you should do a drug test and a mental test. And a thousand other things until guns are really hard. Vote yes on any/all gun control. This is the function of government, to protect us from each other and ourselves. 30,000+ people die every year by gunshot wound in the USA. Laws will prevent 90% of these deaths. I’m voting yes.
Prop 64 – It sucks that this is the way it played out. We can maybe change it later, but this is a BLOW to the prison industry. It will let all those people out of jail. If you vote no on this, you are a heartless monster.
Prop 65 and Prop 67 - No on 65 and Yes on 67. We already voted for this shit, this is just some company (who makes plastic bags) doing sleezy politicking. It’s really boring. Just trust me, No on 65 and Yes on 67. Everyone but the plastic bag people agree.
Here are the candidates:
US Senator – Kamala Harris
US Congress, District 12 – Preston Picus
US Congress, District 14 – Don’t vote
State Senate District 11 – Jane Kim
State Assembly District 17 – Matthew Carlo
State Assembly District 19 – Chuck Whateverhisnameis
US Senator – Kamala Harris. What, were you going to vote for the human tire fire Loretta Sanchez? I didn’t think so.
Congress District 12 – Preston Picus. Remember when Nancy Pelosi said yes to war and said yes to the bailout and said yes to basically everything. Well. Say NO to Nancy, Preston is super cool. Has support! He probably won’t win, but if you liked Bernie Sanders, you would LOVE Preston.
Congress District 14 – Jackie Speir is running unopposed. So don’t vote. I don’t vote for people who run unopposed. It means the system is broken.
State Senate District 11 – Jane Kim. Because Scott Weiner is a bully, a shithead craybaby who has run the lowest, shittiest campaign I’ve even seen. He’s supporting the “anti-tent” law Prop Q, which is akin to dipping yourself in shit to me. Jane Kim is super smart, super motivated and effective. Be confident in your vote for Jane. And don’t reward Scott for the shitshow he is running.
State Assembly 17 – Matthew Carlo. He’s a shitty Republican with no chance to win but compared to the insider corruption of David Chui, I’d take him in a heartbeat. David will win, of course. But it’s the least I can do to throw some shade at shady people.
State Assembly 19 – Phil Ting is running basically un-opposed. So vote for the Chuck guy. It will make him so happy.
Now, on to the SF Propositions…
Prop A: Local School District Bond – Sure, borrow more money.
Prop B: Renew the Parcel Tax for City College – Yes, tax us more. We have plenty of money.
Prop C: Bond to Make Loans to Buy and Fix Affordable Housing – Yes, lets loan money why not?
Prop D: Let’s Elect Our Elected Officials - Hell Yes! Take power away from the mayor.
Prop E: Make the City Responsible for Street Trees – Yes, the city should maintain the city. Duh.
Prop F: Vote 16! - Hell Yes, 16 year old kids should vote. They can drive, work, get pregnant.
Prop G: Rename the Office of Citizen Complaints – Sure, re-name stuff. Exciting.
Prop H: Create a Public Advocate – Fuck Yes we want a public advocate
Prop I: Set Aside Funding for Seniors & People w/ Disabilities – Sure, set something aside for the elderly.
Prop J: Set Aside Funding for Homelessness & Transportation – Yes, set it aside now.
Prop K: Sales Tax to Cover Prop J’s Set Aside – Fuck no, let it come from the general fund.
Prop L: Shift 3 of 7 MTA Board Appointments from Mayor to the BoS – Yes duh.
Prop M: Create Oversight Commission & Kill Realtor Props P & U – Yes.
Prop N: Non-Citizen Voting in School Board Elections - Hell Yes.
Prop O: Special Favor for Lennar Corp on Office Development – fuck no!
Prop P: Snarl Affordable Housing in Red Tape - Hell No!
Prop Q: Demonize the Homeless for Political Gain - Fuck No!
Prop R: Micromanage the Police Department – With more cops? No thank you.
Prop S: Reallocate Hotel Tax to Arts and Homeless Family Services – Yes please.
Prop T: Restrict Campaign Contributions from Lobbyists – Yes, good start. More of this please.
Prop U: Eliminate Affordable Housing - No, realtors are horrible string them all up.
Prop V: One Cent an Ounce Soda Tax – No way, taxing poor people is BAD! Stop that.
Prop W: Luxury Property Transfer Tax - Sure, why not.
Prop X: Preserve Industrial and Arts Spaces – Yes, that’s fine. Why are we voting on this?
Prop RR: $3.5 Billion Bond to Repair & Upgrade BART – Yes, all/every BART thing is yes.
Since I agree100% (first time!) with the Leauge of Pissed Off Voters, I’m just going to copy and paste their guide here for the rest of the SF stuff!!!!
San Francisco Races
[Here's what we wrote in June] With a 23-year track record as a civil rights attorney, public defender, and district attorney, Victor Hwang has serious experience and social justice chops. He’s tried almost 100 cases to a jury verdict, including prosecuting hate crimes and sex trafficking. Named a “Local Hero” by the Bay Guardian & the Chinese World Journal, he’s a way better choice for judge than the Mayor’s right-hand man, Paul Henderson. Side note: It’s so weird to vote for judges!
Four of the seven seats on SFUSD’s Board of Education are open this year. Three incumbents and six challengers make for nine total candidates; the top four vote-getters will get the seats. We’ve endorsed just three candidates: Board president Matt Haney, plus Stevon Cook and Mark Sanchez!
Matt Haney has served on the Board of Education since 2013. As President of the Board, he’s an advocate for safe, supportive, and equitable learning environments. Haney recently came under fire for suggesting that some SF schools be renamed because they are named for slaveholders. Haney clarified that he believes all schools should have a name they can take pride in.
Stevon Cook is CEO of Mission Bit, a start-up that helps urban/rural (read: low-income) public school students “bridge the tech divide”. He ran for school board in 2014, and has developed a better understanding of how the district runs and operates since then.
Mark Sanchez served on the Board from 2001-2009, as President. During that time he proposed eliminating JROTC because of the military’s discrimination against LGBT people. Sanchez co-founded Teachers 4 Social Justice, which organizes educators to develop empowering learning environments and equitable access to resources. He is currently principal at Cleveland Elementary.
The City College Board of Trustees has four seats open this time around. We’re endorsing these three candidates who we know will fight hard for CCSF students, faculty, and staff. City College is more important than ever in San Francisco- for ESL classes, job training programs, and affordable, high-quality education for anyone and everyone who wants it. The bogus accreditation crisis is almost over but declining enrollment, budget cuts, and potential real estate land-grabs are still major challenges. We need progressive trustees who are committed to diversity, equity, and maintaining a college that meets our communities’ needs.
Rafael Mandelman is a long-time progressive and SF native who has been on the Board since 2012. He’s fought to keep City College strong through the accreditation drama.
Tom Temprano is an activist, DJ, and small business owner whose plan for CCSF focuses on recruiting all kinds of students to address the current enrollment crisis.
Shanell Williams is a CCSF graduate who fought tirelessly to keep the college open and accredited during her two terms as CCSF Board Student Trustee, and we’re excited to see her sticking around.
Side note: An easy way for average San Franciscans to help save City College is to take a class! Study another language, brush up on your acting skills, learn upholstery . . . Show the powers that be that SF has City College’s back!
District 7: Lateefah Simon
Lateefah Simon is a badass. She’s spent her career fighting for racial justice and improving the lives of children and communities of color in various ways. She was the Executive Director of the Center for Young Women's Development, she led the creation of SF’s first reentry services division under Kamala Harris, she was the ED of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, and is currently Program Director for the Rosenberg Foundation.
She’ll fight for transit as a civil right: transit that serves all riders, including people with disabilities and low-income families. Under her, we could even envision a better relationship with BART Police and organized labor.
The incumbent, Zakhary Mallett, is driven by dream of expanding BART to West Contra Costa County. That’s been his main goal on the BART board so far. He’s super pissed about the SFMTA contract that governs Muni rates paid to BART, and wants to prioritize long trips over short trips...but we think BART should work for long and short trip riders.
Vote Lateefah Simon!
Dufty has transit cred. Under Congressman Julian Dixon, he crafted the legislation that created the LA Metro rail system. He later worked for the LA County Transportation system handling its federal affairs. As an SF Supe from 2002 to 2011, he chaired the county transportation authority and represented the city on the board that oversees the Golden Gate Bridge district.
We are excited for Bevan 2.0. When he was a Supervisor, he leaned moderate, but we’re optimistic that working as Director of HOPE he’s moved further to the left. In fact, Dufty ran on the June 2016 Reform Slate for DCCC.
Back in 2011, Dufty was part of the Lee/Newsom/Brown dynastic political machine...but his work as ‘homelessness tsar’ for Ed Lee’s administration didn’t end on good terms. That’s probably why this race has gotten kinda funky. After Bevan Dufty entered the race, progressive Lisa Feldstein dropped out...and the Mayor’s candidate, Gwyneth Borden, jumped in.
Borden is Executive Director of the conservative Golden Gate Restaurant Association, is on the SPUR Board of Directors, and is a staunch Ed Lee supporter. She was appointed to the SFMTA Board of Directors in 2014, was previously on the Planning Commission, and was an aide to Gavin Newsom way back when he was a Supervisor. Borden hasn’t been great on the SFMTA Board, especially on recent projects that are imperative to safety and Vision Zero. When voting on the Polk Street bike lane, she favored curbside parking over a continuous bike lane. She called bicyclists “self-righteous” and voted against bulb outs on Haight Street, which was SFMTA’s first opportunity to make a Transit Effectiveness Project into a complete streets project. Then she supported the pilot for the hot ly contested Dolores Street median parking (SFMTA is notorious for using pilots as a way to fasttrack programming without comprehensive planning).
Michael Petrelis is a transit rider, transit advocate, prolific blogger, and proud protest candidate. He’s loud and kind of ridiculous, but he’s sometimes right on the money with his Sunshine transparency requests, which he uses to uncover ethics violations. We think he expands the conversation, but we’d prefer someone with more transit legislative experience.
Vote Bevan Dufty!
(that’s like the city council) Last year progressives took back the Board of Supervisors from Mayor Lee and his allies. This year, six of eleven seats are up for grabs, and in order to keep a majority, progressives need to win all six races. Don’t know your supervisorial district? Check out this map or look for any of these awesome candidates on your ballot!
Nine candidates are running for the seat being vacated by termed-out Supervisor Eric Mar. Our choice is School Board member Sandra Lee Fewer, who we also backed as part of the DCCC Reform slate in June. Fewer has led School Board efforts to stop evictions of students and teachers during the school year. When the School Board proposed building market rate housing on unused SFUSD property, Fewer fought to make it a 100% affordable project instead. Fewer supports Vision Zero and protected bike lanes in the Richmond, although she has expressed concerns over Geary BRT (Bus Rapid Transit). Fewer is one of three progressive moms running this year, along with Hillary Ronen in D9 and Kimberly Alvarenga in D11. We’d love to have Sandra’s powerful voice for children and families on the Board!
We worked hard to get Peskin back on the Board last year. Let's keep him there for a full term!
Board President London Breed is up for reelection, and unlike past District 5 races, she faces a single challenger in longtime tenants rights advocate, Dean Preston. Breed has reliably sided with the Mayor and downtown interests during her time in office. Most recently, she voted against creating a public advocate and against holding special elections for supervisor vacancies (see Props H and D). What’s worse, she’s been an ineffective Board president - exhibit A is this year’s gigantic local ballot. At least fifteen of the local items we’re voting on could have been resolved in legislative chambers had Breed done her job as chief negotiator.
Preston is the founder of Tenants Together, California’s only statewide tenant advocacy organization. He’s written legislation defending rent control and protecting educators from evictions. He led a series of tenant bootcamps with the SF Tenants Union, followed by dozens more community meetings on issues ranging from fires to chain stores. Back in 2013, Dean Preston was advocating for smart controls of TIC/Condo conversion legislation while London Beed was trying to water it down for realtors.
District 5 is nearly 80% renters, and they deserve a strong voice in City Hall. Dean Preston will be that voice.
UPDATE: We got a lot of questions about why we're supporting Preston over London Breed, so we wrote this post with 17 reasons why! Here's the summary of 17 disappointing votes and actions by London Breed:
Sides with landlords, realtors and developers over tenants:
Supervisor Norman Yee is up for reelection and has four challengers. Yee is the closest SF has to a centrist on the Board. He doesn't always vote with the progressives, but he's not a conservative mayoral ally in the way Scott Wiener or Katy Tang are. For example, Yee supported 2014’s anti-speculator tax but not the Mission Moratorium. This year he's supporting Vote 16 (Prop F) and public advocate (Prop H), but also Mark Farrell’s awful tent encampment ban (Prop Q). Although Yee doesn’t always vote our way, he’s a thoughtful, independent Supervisor with a heart, and he’s light-years better than the bros who are running against him!
Progressive heavyweight David Campos is termed out in District 9. This is the most heated of all the Board races: the Mission is the front line of SF’s battles against gentrification, displacement, and developers. We're backing Campos’s Chief of Staff Hillary Ronen and local education advocate Melissa San Miguel.
Hillary Ronen is a civil rights attorney and has an impressive record fighting for workers’ rights, immigrant rights, and affordable housing. Her experience in City Hall means she’s well-versed in how to bring people together and get things done. A key example of her commitment to the Mission is her instrumental role in saving St. Luke’s Hospital amidst a back-door deal the Mayor made to close St. Luke’s and open a Cathedral Hill mega-hospital instead. Every person born and raised in the Mission has a connection to St. Luke’s. Ronen knows that and not only fought to keep it in the Mission, but also to expand the services it provides to the community. We trust her to represent District 9 and keep that seat progressive at this critical time.
Melissa San Miguel is an attorney and Mission native who has worked to increase educational opportunities for low income people and people of color. She was also policy manager for the National Center for Youth Law. Ranked Choice Voting helps keep seats progressive, no matter who your favorite candidate is. If you’re on team San Miguel, please rank Hillary 2nd and vice versa!
Another of our progressive champions, Supervisor John Avalos, is terming out of his District 11 seat and five candidates are vying to replace him. The clear #1 choice is Kimberly Alvarenga, a queer Latina mom who worked in Tom Ammiano’s Assembly office, where she played a significant role in the campaign to Save CCSF, the California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, and Seth’s Law, which protects children who are bullied in California schools. She’s currently the political director for SEIU 1021, the most progressive union in San Francisco. She's running a kickass campaign but strong community & labor roots - and we need her to beat the developer candidate in the race! This looks like the crucial tipping point race to keep the Board progressive, so we all need to get d
own there and help Kim!
Our #2 choice is Francisco Herrera who was part of the 1-2-3 Defeat Ed Lee coalition and came in second in the 2015 mayoral election. Co-founder of the Day Laborer Program, he’s always on the right side of immigration, neighborhood, and social justice struggles. He doesn't have anywhere near the broad-based support that Alvarenga has, but because he shares our values, we're giving him our #2 endorsement.
UPDATE: We added a blog post listing 9 reasons we are NOT voting for Ahsha Safai. Here's the summary:
If you would like to see the Leauge Of Pissed Off Voters Guide, here it is: http://www.theleaguesf.org/
The league are a group of left progressives that are quite effective.
If you would like to see Alix Rosenthal’s voter guide, it’s here:
Alix used to be progressive and now she is the poster child of the new moderate “Post Left” in SF. We are all getting older. But watching people’s politics change is fascinating. Not bad or good, just… odd. Her voter guide is well thought out and well defended and just… not for me. But she’s a cool lady and she is very very happy about having a woman president and we are happy for her that she gets this win.
For my presidential vote:
I was 100% in for Gary Johnson (again) until Bernie came along. I changed my party affiliation from Republican (so I could vote in the primary for Ron Paul 4 years ago, remember?) to D… De… Democrat (there, I said it!) so I could vote for Bernie in the primary, knowing I could never vote for a member of the 2 party system in the general election. Ever. I thought I would vote for Bernie in the primary and if by some miracle he had Hillary killed or something and became the nominee, I’d deal with that crisis then. But he didn’t get the nomination, and miraculously changed his party affiliation BACK to independent. So it is with great pride that I write in my preferred candidate Bernie Sanders. And I do so without ever saying I was going to do this so none of you can ever say that my national influence (on Facebook or whateve r) could have any consequence in a swing state.
Now, I don’t want to take anything away from Hillary supporters. You worked hard. You argued on Facebook, you sent money, you debated your creepy uncle from Toledo. I get it. You have your reasons for supporting her and they are good reasons. You are good for supporting her. I support you by living in California, where no matter what happens Hillary will be who I actually vote for in the electoral college. My heart soars that the people so turned on by Hillary will have their chance to cast a ballot for not only the first successful bid for our highest office by a woman, but a woman that so many people adore and find so many glowing attributes about. I’m all for it. I have my reasons for believing the Earth is flat and other silly things that I do to keep my mind sharp. Remember, in my world mediocrity is the enemy. So you might be amus ed by how I vote, but likely want to follow your own path.
Our democracy is our most valuable asset. Everyone gets one before anyone gets two…. Chicken John
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