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November 2014 endorsements

These are the SF Green Party Endorsements for the November 2014 election.  We are mailing a postcard like the one below to all our members, so if you can donate to this effort please click the "Donate" link to the left.  We also need volunteers to help us hand these out.

Our complete Voter Guide is now posted.  Click "read more" to see full explanations of the reasons behind our endorsements.

Local Props:

NO on A - transit bond with very little oversight

YES on B - set aside money from the General Fund to fund the MTA, increasing with population growth

YES on C - property tax to pay for more public pre-K education and other programs to benefit kids

YES on D - allow former Redevelopment Agency employees into the Retiree Health Care system

no consensus on E - Soda tax; we were split on this, so we'll present the arguments made by Greens on both sides of the debate

YES on F - raise height limits for development on Pier 70

YES on G - anti-speculation real estate transfer tax

YES on H - keep Golden Gate Park natural grass, no stadium lighting by the beach

NO on I  - stop nighttime lighting and fake turf on our parks; let voters decide

YES on J - minimum wage increase

NO on K - nonbinding statement that supports building less affordable housing than current policy

NO on L -  "transportation balance" proposal

 

Local Candidates:

SF Board of Supervisors, D2 - Juan-Antonio Carballo (sole endorsement)

SF Board of Supervisors, D4 - no endorsement

SF Board of Supervisors, D6 - Jamie Whitaker (sole endorsement)

SF Board of Supervisors, D8 - no endorsement

SF Board of Supervisors, D10 - Tony Kelly (sole endorsement)

SF Community College Board, 2-year seat - William Walker

SF Community College Board, 4-year seats - Wendy Aragon and Brigitte Davila

State Assembly, AD 17 - David Campos

Superior Court Judge, Seat 20 - Daniel Flores

Public Defender - Jeff Adachi

SF Board of Education - no endorsement

BART Board, D8 - no endorsement

 

State Props

NO on 1 - anti-environmental water bond

NO on 2 - rainy day fund, when we should be stimulating the local economy

YES on 45 - limits on health insurance rate increases

NO on 46 - we support raising the malpractice award cap, but strongly oppose random drug testing

YES on 47 - changing some nonviolent felonies to misdemeanors

no consensus on 48 - casino referendum; we were split on this, so we'll present the arguments made by Greens on both sides of the debate

YES on 49 - statement opposing unlimited corporate bribes (this was pulled from the ballot, so we won't get to vote on it, but we'll still express our opposition to corporate-owned politicians)

 

Click below to read our complete Voter Guide:


NO on A

Prop A is a $500 million bond that is supposedly for the purpose of
improving public transit.  The cost of the bonds would be paid back by
a property tax increase, although 50% of the costs could be passed
through by landlords to tenants.

The Green Party opposes Prop A for several reasons.  First, we are
generally hesitant to support measures that are funded by bonds,
because bonds are an unfair form of taxation that transfers wealth
from lower and middle class residents to the 1%-ers (see our full
Statement on Bond Funding, below).  Second, despite the name, this
bond has no legal requirement to be spent on new transit improvements.
It's "faith based" budgeting that could easily be diverted to fund
other projects, such as cost overruns on the Central Subway.

This "bait and switch" scam has happened before.  In 2007, voters
passed another Prop A, which dedicated $26 million per year in parking
meter revenue to Muni.  Within one year, Muni's payments to other City
departments, mainly the Police Department, had increased by exactly
the same amount
(http://www.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancisco/munis-mismanagement-of-prop-a-may-hurt-future-funding-tries/).
Mayor Lee (like Newsom before him) routinely raids the Muni budget for
other projects, leaving Muni with less service and increased fares.

Please join us in opposing Prop A.


YES on B

Prop B would dedicate more money to Muni operations from the City's
general fund, and increase funding with population growth.  These
payments could be replaced by a local increase in the vehicle license
fee (VLF), if voters approve that in two years.

Muni desperately needs money to increase service and prevent fare
increases.  Although we expect Mayor Lee to steal back some of this
money to fund other projects (see our No on A argument for details),
Prop B is a budget set-aside rather than a new revenue source, so the
Mayor will have even easier access to those funds if Prop B doesn't
pass.  Mayor Lee had pledged to support a local VLF ballot initiative
this year, but broke that promise.  Prop B will put pressure on the
Mayor to support a VLF increase next time.  The VLF was a long-time
means of funding public transit, but was lowered statewide by Governor
Schwarzenegger in 2004 in order to reduce the cost of his six Hummers.

We'll support Prop B, and also hope the voters pass the VLF in 2016,
so we can have better Muni service without having to raise fares even
more.


YES on C

Prop C would set aside about 3% of property tax funds received by the
City, to pay for programs for children and young adults.  Property
taxes roughly correspond to property values (although large
corporations get a break due to Prop 13), so more of this tax will
fall on the rich than if these programs were paid for using bonds, a
parcel tax, or a sales tax.

Most Prop C funds would go to the public schools, paying for school
libraries, arts, music, and sports, as well as general education.  It
would also help pay for public pre-K education (which is badly
under-funded, and won't have enough spaces for every kid even if Prop
C passes).  Other funds would go to providing services (such as child
care and job training) to kids and young adults, up to age 24.

In the face of state and federal cuts to public education, it's especially
important for SF voters to help improve our public schools, so we strongly
support Prop C.


YES on D

Prop D would allow former employees of the SF Redevelopment Agency
(SFRA) who are now SF employees to receive the same retiree health
benefits as other SF employees who were hired at the same time they
were hired by the SFRA.

The SF Redevelopment Agency was dissolved by the State in 2012, and
its members were State employees.  Since then, about 50 of its
employees have gotten essentially the same jobs working for the City.
Prop D would treat these workers as if they'd been City employees for
the whole time they were working for the SFRA.  Without Prop D, these
employees would have to work 20 more years to receive retiree health
benefits.  We support Prop D in the interests of fairness to those
workers.


no consensus on E

Prop E is a 2 cents per ounce tax on sugary drinks sold in SF
(approximately 24 cents for a can of soda).  The tax would bring in
about $31 million per year, which would be earmarked for nutrition and
health programs in the parks and public schools.  The tax would apply
to soft drinks (both corn syrup and sugar-sweetened), as well as
sugary sports drinks, energy drinks, iced tea, and juice drinks that
are not 100% made from fruits or vegetables.  It would also apply to
the concentrates used to make soft drinks in commercial soda
fountains.  The tax would NOT apply to diet sodas, milk and milk
substitutes, baby formula, nutritional supplements, or concentrates
for home soda fountains.

Greens did not reach consensus on whether or not we should support
Prop E, so we'll present arguments on both sides.  We all agreed that
sugary drinks are a serious health risk (see the article by UCSF
researchers:
https://accelerate.ucsf.edu/uploads/pilotawards/1331566366/the_toxic_truth_about_sugar.pdf),
especially as a cause of diabetes.  Many SF residents who get diabetes
live in low-income neighborhoods with few healthy alternatives.  Big
soda corporations push sugary drinks heavily in poor neighborhoods,
and Greens agree that SF should set policies that help people who live
there switch to healthier foods and beverages.  All Greens agreed that
whether or not we support the tax, other methods for reducing sugar
consumption discussed in the UCSF study (e.g., a ban on sales of all
sugary drinks in schools and other government buildings) would also be
worth trying.

Greens disagreed on several points.  Greens supporting NO thought
the City should put the carrot before the stick, and subsidize
healthier alternatives before instituting a regressive tax.  Greens
supporting YES thought that the money raised by the tax would be
required to create the necessary subsidies.  Greens supporting NO
saw the tax as insufficient to actually change soda consumption
habits, while at the same time large enough to be burdensome on top of
other increased costs of living (like higher Muni fares and rising
rents).  According to the UCSF study, a 10 cent per ounce tax would be
needed to significantly decrease consumption.  Greens supporting YES
saw the tax as a good start, which could later be increased to the
level needed to reduce consumption.  Greens supporting NO saw racism
in the choice of which drinks to tax and which to exclude, when many
excluded drinks are equally unhealthy or worse.  Greens supporting
YES thought that we have to start somewhere, and later try to expand
the tax to diet drinks and sugary milk drinks such as lattes.


YES on F

Prop F would raise height limits near Pier 70, in order to allow a
proposed project by the Forest City developers to move forward.  Because
Prop B passed this June, voters need to approve such increases to height
limits.

The proposed project looks like exactly what SF needs: more affordable
housing (30% below market rate), with plenty of parks and space for
small businesses.  If built, this should become a walkable, pleasant
neighborhood.  There was plenty of community input from local
residents, in contrast to most other recent proposed projects.

Our only concern is that although the section of Prop F that changes
height limits is legally binding, the mandate to develop the project
exactly as described is not.  In the end, we decided to endorse
letting the project go forward, but we (and local residents) will be
keeping a close eye on Forest City to be sure they keep their promises.


YES on G

Prop G is a tax meant to limit speculative investment in SF housing.
It would impose a tax of up to 24% on buildings with 3 or more units,
owned for less than five years but not lived in by the owner, and then
sold at a profit.  There are a number of exemptions designed to
protect renters and homeowners; for example, the tax is not charged if
the sale happens within a year of an owner's death.

Greens strongly support Prop G!  This law should help cut down on
cases where an investment company or tech billionaire buys an entire
apartment building, evicts all the tenants using the Ellis Act, then
flips the property for huge profits.


YES on H

Prop H is a grassroots effort to stop SF from installing 7 acres of
artificial turf and 150,000 watt stadium lighting on the soccer fields
in Golden Gate Park next to Ocean Beach.  The new fields would be
run by City Fields, a "public-private partnership" (managed by the
Fishers, heirs to the Gap fortune) best known for kicking local kids
off of formerly public soccer fields in the Mission in order to allow
wealthier players to reserve the fields for $27/hour (video of one such
incident is posted here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awPVY1DcupE )

The fake fields project has a number of problems, in addition to the
privatization aspect:

First, the fake turf would replace an existing grass field, which
would cause several environmental problems.  Just like a parking lot,
it would create a "cap" to prevent rain from soaking through into the
Golden Gate Park Aquifer, an underground source of fresh water that is
now being tapped as a supplemental source of water for San Francisco.
Instead, the plastic turf would cause rain water to run off into the
ocean, carrying any pollutants with it.  Fake turf would also be bad
for the local animals and birds for which the current grass provides a
habitat.

Second, the turf field would be made of "crumb rubber," a waste
product made from used tires that was banned in both New York and Los
Angeles after studies showed that lead and other toxins from the tires
contaminate the surrounding environment.  In Italy, they have had to
dig up previously installed crumb rubber soccer fields at great cost,
in order to replace them with a more natural product, due to toxicity
problems.  Parents whose kids play on other crumb rubber fields in the
City (such as the playgrounds in the Civic Center Plaza) have noted
that when the fields are poorly maintained, as ours are, little
granules of rubber get everywhere.  There is even some evidence that
the toxins in crumb rubber can cause soccer players to get cancer:
http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/how-safe-artificial-turf-your-childs-sports-field-n221676
It's a terrible idea to install crumb rubber right on top of our
drinking water supply.

Third, putting bright lights so close to the beach will cause problems
for both birds and sea life, as well as people enjoying Ocean Beach at
night.  When the project was up for review by the California Coastal
Commission, the project staff urged the plan to be rejected in favor
of a "more naturalistic" plan.  However, the staff were overridden by
political appointees.

The City's Rec and Parks department has neglected the current soccer
field for years, putting an illegally installed fence around the
property with a locked gate, and allowing gophers to proliferate.  SF
has the best funded Parks department in the country, but they are not
maintaining our soccer fields as they are paid to do.  A YES vote on
Prop H will send a message to Rec and Parks to keep the park public,
and properly maintain the natural grass fields.


NO on I

Prop I was put on the ballot for one purpose: overriding Prop H.  It
would give the Rec and Parks department streamlined authority to
"upgrade" fields throughout the City from grass to fake turf over the
objections of environmental groups.  Prop I even contains a provision
specifically written to block Prop H in case both pass.

Prop I is blatant misuse of the ballot by Supervisors, who are
following the same playbook as (former Supervisor turned illegal
lobbyist) Michael Yaki in putting a competing measure on the ballot in
order to block a grassroots measure.  Yaki, who represented the
Richmond District, drafted a competing ballot measure in order to
block a measure for a Sunday Streets-like closure of roads in Golden
Gate Park back in 2000.  His ploy worked, as both measures lost.

The campaign ads for Prop I are full of lies, claiming that it will
enable all kinds of improvements to our parks.  In reality, Prop I
will not fund any improvements to anything; it just allows unelected
bureaucrats in the Rec and Parks department to ignore the wishes of
City residents.


YES on J

Prop J will raise the minimum wage in San Francisco to $15/hr by the
year 2018.  The minimum wage would increase with inflation after that,
and there would not be an exception for workers who (sometimes) get
tips.

The Green Party would prefer to set the minimum wage at a "living
wage," meaning that full-time workers could make ends meet without
needing any extra government subsidies.  This year, we supported and
gathered signatures for an alternative measure that would have raised
the minimum wage to $15/hr one year faster.  However, Democratic
politicians like Mayor Lee fought hard to keep wages low until 2018.

Back in 2002, the Green Party spearheaded the campaign to raise the
minimum wage to its current level.  Prop J would be an improvement, so
we strongly support its passage.  But even after Prop J passes, we
will need to continue to work to raise wages to "living wage" levels.


NO on K

Prop K would urge the City to build at least 30,000 units of new
housing in the next 10 years, at least 50% of it affordable to the
middle class, and 1/3 affordable to "moderate income" households.

The Green Party would have supported a much stronger measure, such as
one that would require a minimum level of low income housing to be
built before new projects are approved.  Supervisor Jane Kim had
originally planned such a measure, but withdrew it in a "compromise"
with Mayor Ed Lee (who supports letting developers build whatever they
want).

Past Supervisors have made a lot of noise about setting policy to
build more housing, but nothing has ever come of it.  In 2006,
Supervisor Sophie Maxwell passed legislation making City policy that
64% of new housing in eastern neighborhoods of SF should be
affordable.  Prop K would actually lower this goal, although nothing
in Prop K is legally binding.  Therefore, we urge voters to vote NO.


NO on L

Prop L is a non-binding statement of policy that would ask the City for
more heavily subsidized parking prices for private cars, cheaper
parking tickets, more parking garages, and more enforcement of laws
against illegal behavior by pedestrians and bicyclists (e.g.,
jaywalking, or bikes not coming to a full stop at a stop sign).

Although Mayor Lee behaves as if Prop L has already passed, the
official City policy is still "Transit First."  Prop L would mean
"Drivers First, Transit Last."  Although it's non-binding, it's
important to send a message to Mayor Lee by voting NO.


SF Board of Supervisors, D2 - Juan-Antonio Carballo (sole endorsement)

Juan-Antonio Carballo is a Democratic Party member who agrees with us
on many issues (see his questionnaire,
http://sfgreens.org/questionnaires/carballo_d2.html).  He supports
public power, non-citizen voting in local elections, community choice
aggregation, and improved public transit.  He opposes the fake turf
fields planned for Golden Gate Park, as well as Mayor Lee's efforts to
drive Sheriff Mirkarimi from office.

His opponent, incumbent Mark Farrell, has a perfect 0% record on our
Supervisorial Report Card over the last two years
(http://sfgreenparty.org/issues/60-sf-supervisors-report-card-2013),
and he has basically been a rubber stamp for Mayor Lee.  While almost
any randomly picked person from District 2 would be an improvement,
Carballo agrees with the Green Party on most issues, so we're pleased
to endorse him.


SF Board of Supervisors, D4 - no endorsement

Katy Tang is running unopposed, but has a perfect record of
opposition to Green Party positions on contentious issues
(http://sfgreenparty.org/issues/60-sf-supervisors-report-card-2013).
She's been a rubber stamp for developers and Mayor Lee.  We hope
the Sunset fields a better candidate next time.


SF Board of Supervisors, D6 - Jamie Whitaker (sole endorsement)

Jamie Whitaker is a Democratic Party member who agrees with us on most
issues (see his questionnaire,
http://sfgreens.org/questionnaires/whitaker_d6.html).  Unlike most
Democrats, he sees the corruption in City Hall for what it is.  He
believes in more transparency and public input, and an end to the
cronyism and back room dealing that dominates the local Democratic
Party.  Whitaker has a Green perspective on many issues, ranging from
better parks to public power to improved public transit.

His opponent, incumbent Jane Kim, is a former Green Party member.
Unfortunately, as she's gotten closer to the Democratic Party power
structure, her votes have moved further from Green positions, falling
from 75% on our 2012 Report Card to 50% last year.  Jamie Whitaker
would be a huge improvement.


SF Board of Supervisors, D8 - no endorsement

Scott Wiener, the incumbent, has a consistent record of supporting the
Green Party only about one-eighth of the time over the past two years
(http://sfgreenparty.org/issues/60-sf-supervisors-report-card-2013).
Weiner's supported CleanPowerSF, in opposition to Mayor Lee, and we're
strongly supportive of Prop B, Wiener's initiative to fund Muni.
However, his record on civil rights (aside from LGBT issues) is
atrocious, and he's otherwise been in lockstep with developers and
Mayor Lee.

Several of Wiener's opponents sought our endorsement, but none were
sufficiently aligned with Green values for us to support them.


SF Board of Supervisors, D10 - Tony Kelly (sole endorsement)

Tony Kelly is a neighborhood activist in Portrero Hill, who we also
endorsed in his last run for Supervisor.  He is especially strong on
both public safety and development issues.  He supports expanded foot
patrols and other police reforms, and has a credible plan to reduce
violent crime in his District.  Kelly also fought hard against the
Lennar corporation's development project and other corporate polluters
in the Bayview, who have cut years off the average District 10
resident's life.  Kelly agrees with the Green Party on many other
issues, from public power and CleanPowerSF, to the need to end
corruption in City Hall.

Kelly's opponent, Malia Cohen, is not the worst Supervisor on the
Board.  She agrees with the Green Party about 25% of the time
(http://sfgreenparty.org/issues/60-sf-supervisors-report-card-2013),
and has been a consistent supporter of both CleanPowerSF and free Muni
for low income youth.  However, she's also too close to the Mayor's
corrupt politics: recently, she was the swing vote to allow Airbnb to
skip out on paying $25 million in back taxes, even though she's taken
almost $10,000 in campaign "donations" from Airbnb investor Ron
Conway.

Tony Kelly is one of the only challengers to Democratic Party Machine
candidates who has a good chance of winning, so we strongly support
his campaign and urge Greens to volunteer for him.


SF Community College Board, 2-year term - William Walker

William Walker is currently the student trustee for City College.  He
is running for a 2-year term in the seat left vacant by Chris
Jackson's resignation.  Walker is very critical of the current board
members, because he says he current accreditation crisis was "entirely
preventable."

It has taken a tremendous grassroots campaign to take City College
back from pro-privatization forces, and that campaign has been led by
students.  While some politicians have also been key supporters of the
campaign, for the most part they have followed the lead of the
grassroots activists.  Walker was out front in the campaign, so we
think he deserves a full seat on the board.  His answers to our
questionnaire (http://sfgreens.org/questionnaires/walker_ccb.html)
also showed he is fairly well aligned with Green Party positions, so
we're happy to endorse him.


SF Community College Board, 4-year terms - Wendy Aragon and Brigitte Davila

Wendy Aragon is a long time activist who is seeking her first elected
office on the College Board.  She has good ideas for how the current
Board could have avoided the accreditation crisis, and her answers to
our questionnaire (http://sfgreens.org/questionnaires/aragon_ccb.html)
show that she supports many Green Party priorities, such as free
education, open government, and equal rights for non-citizens.  She
has also been out front in the campaign to take back City College from
the ACCJC, so we give her our enthusiastic endorsement.

Brigitte Davila is a faculty member at SF State, who is also seeking
elected office for the first time.  She gave very thoughtful answers
to our questionnaire (http://sfgreens.org/questionnaires/davila_ccb.html)
that showed her positions are in line with Green values, including
support for free education, rights for undocumented immigrants, and
opposition to military recruitment on campus.  We strongly support
Davila for College Board as well.

Several incumbent members of the board, including John Rizzo and Anita
Grier, also sought our endorsement.  Rizzo is a former Green Party
member who we've supported in the past, and he gave great answers to
our questionnaire.  However, in office, he failed to use his status as
President of the Board to respond adequately to the ACCJC's takeover.
He should have loudly and publicly objected to the ACCJC taking away
the elected Board's voting authority, and even more to the appointment
of a Special Trustee.  Instead, current board members put too much
faith in the ACCJC, then let other Democratic Party politicians and
grassroots activists do the hard work to save City College.  Anita
Grier also gave great answers to our questionnaire, but as a long-time
board member, she's supported some fairly corrupt practices in the
past, and we think it's time for fresh faces on the Board.


State Assembly, D17 - David Campos

Without a Green in the race, the Assembly contest comes down to
choosing between two Democratic Party Supervisors, in a rematch
of the primary.  Despite both candidates being Democrats, their
political choices and attitudes towards the Green Party have been very
different.  David Campos has been most in agreement with Green Party
values, scoring 88% for two straight years on our Supervisors Report
Cards
(http://sfgreenparty.org/issues/60-sf-supervisors-report-card-2013).
His opponent, David Chiu, fell from 50% in 2012 to 38% in 2013.

The main issues on which Campos differs from Chiu have been related to
supporting corruption by the Lee Machine.  Four of the key votes on
which the two Supervisors differed related to Mayoral appointees: Chiu
was a rubber stamp for Mayor Lee, while Campos opposed the worst Lee
appointees.  Campos is also much stronger on civil rights: Chiu was
the swing vote in two new laws to impose curfews in public parks and a
ban on public nudity.  And of course Chiu was also the swing vote in
favor of appointing Mayor Lee as mayor in the first place, rather than
somebody (such as former Sheriff Hennessey) not beholden to the Willie
Brown/Gavin Newsom Machine.  As President of the Board of Supervisors,
Chiu has limited public comment and rarely bothers to listen to
differing opinions, a sharp contrast to the days when Matt Gonzalez
served as President and built bipartisan consensus.

Although both Campos and Chiu originally supported the construction of
toxic artificial-turf soccer fields in Golden Gate Park near Ocean
Beach, Campos supports the Green Party's position of Yes on H / No on
I, which together would require the soccer fields to remain natural
grass.

We strongly endorse David Campos for Assembly.


Superior Court Judge, Office 20 - Daniel Flores

Daniel Flores is in a runoff for Superior Court Judge.  Based
on his answers to the Milk Club questionnaire
(http://www.milkclub.org/candidate_questionnaires_june_election), he
seems to share many Green Party values.  In response to the
questionnaire, he responded that he supports issues including abortion
rights, same-sex marriage equality, anti-discrimination laws to
protect LGBT rights, rent control, and rights for non-citizens,
including drivers licenses for all CA residents, voting rights in
local elections, and the DREAM act.

Flores' opponent, Carol Kinglsey, is endorsed by some prominent
local conservatives, including Gavin Newsom.  In this rematch from
the primary, we strongly support Flores.


Public Defender - Jeff Adachi

Jeff Adachi has done an excellent job as Public Defender, and has been
outspoken in defending the rights of SF's poor and homeless residents
in the face of bad ideas from Scott Wiener, such as the Sit/Lie law
and closing public parks.  Adachi works well Sheriff Mirkarimi, and
has supported several measures that would both improve public safety
and reduce costs--measures such as increasing the number of uniformed
police officers out on the streets instead of behind desks.  In
conrast, Mayor Lee will not even meet with Sheriff Mirkarimi.

 

We continue to have concerns about Adachi's leading the campaign for
Prop B back in 2010.  Prop B was an effort to cut worker benefits in
order to compensate for the City's pension funds having been
mismanaged by mayoral cronies and then stolen by Wall Street.
However, since that has little to do with his job as Public Defender,
we'll endorse him for another term.


SF Board of Education - no endorsement

We're very concerned about the bipartisan emphasis on high-stakes
testing and corporate charter schools that began with "No Child Left
Behind" under President Bush, and then escalated under President
Obama's "Race to the Top" program.  Under these programs, good
teachers are punished for teaching a curriculum that deviates from a
corporate-designed test preparation system.  The result has been a
rush towards privatization of our public schools (in the form of more
charter schools) and a dumbing down of the curriculum.  Like Diane
Ravitch, we see "Common Core" as a watered down version of the
high-stakes testing agenda, which is diverting a huge amount of SFUSD's
resources towards test prep and away from actual education.

Greens also opposed SB 1381, a $700 million bipartisan cut to our
State's public education system.  SB 1381, which will require parents
of children born after September 1 to delay enrolling their children
in public schools for a year, will supposedly save the State money by
reducing enrollment.  We suspect that it will, by driving some parents
into private schools.  Although supporters claim that children
prevented from entering school will have access to public pre-K
programs, there's no funding to make that a reality: even if Prop C
passes, there won't be enough funds to expand public pre-K to all SF
kids.  Supporters of SB 1381 justify this cut by saying that delays in
starting school will result in higher scores on high-stakes tests.
Greens oppose placing high-stakes tests above all other measures of
how well our public schools are doing, and favor giving parents more
of a voice in determining when their children are ready to start
school.

Unfortunately, NO candidates are running this year who share our
concerns about these issues.  This year's School Board candidates are
unanimously pro-corporate, and several of them (Hydra Mendoza and
Emily Murase) double dip by working for Mayor Lee, despite that being
a clear conflict of interest.  We hope that some real supporters of
public education will run in the next School Board election.


BART Board, D8 - no endorsement

After the BART strike debacle, in which management brought in a highly
paid union buster at great taxpayer expense, then hired scab train
operators who killed two BART workers, we can't support any of the
incumbents.  And unfortunately, there is no progressive challenger
running in this contest.


State Props

NO on 1


Prop 1 is a $7.1 billion bond measure to fund various improvements to
our water infrastructure.  There are a lot of good projects in there,
including water recycling and cleanup of contaminated groundwater
(which we'll need if Prop H fails).  However, the main purpose of Prop
1 is to build additional dams.  Dams are terrible for the environment,
since they generally increase the salinity in downstream areas and
kill fish and other wildlife.  Dams will also do nothing to help the
current drought crisis, since they simply store water that comes from
mountain snowmelt.  Bond funding also ensures that CA taxpayers
will pay for the project twice: once for the project itself and once
to borrow money from Wall Street (see our Statement on Bond Funding).
We're therefore strongly opposed to Prop 1.


NO on 2

 

Prop 2 would change the maximum size of California's "rainy day fund"
to 10% of annual revenue, up from the current 5%.  Unfortunately, our
state schools and universities are in a (unfortunately figurative)
"rainy day" right now.  It is foolish to withhold money rather then
spending it, at a time when spending is desperately needed to
stimulate the economy.  The tech sector is doing great, but for most
other people, the economy is as bad as it's been since the Wall Street
meltdown.  California has never recovered from earlier cuts to
education, and not spending the money will hurt the state for decades
to come.  Vote NO on Prop 2.


YES on 45

Prop 45 would require increases to health insurance rates to be
approved by the CA Insurance Commissioner, just as car insurance and
homeowners insurance are currently regulated.  We support this change,
as it may lead to lower rates.  However, Greens remain strongly
committed to fighting for Single Payer Health Care (i.e., improved and
expanded Medicare for All).  Under Obamacare, health insurance company
profits are still at an all-time high, and the system is as
inefficient as ever.  So vote YES on 45, and join us in fighting for
real universal health care.


NO on 46

Prop 46 would raise the limit on medical malpractice lawsuits to $1
million (which we support) but also require random drug testing of
doctors and nurses (which we strongly oppose).  Random drug testing is
not only unreliable (since users can test positive long after the
effects have passed) but is also a gross violation of civil liberties.
Random drug testing should be completely abolished, not expanded into
new professions.  Vote NO on 46.


YES on 47

Prop 47 would change some nonviolent felonies into misdemeanors,
including shoplifting, theft, forgery, fraud, and drug use cases, in
which the value of the lost or stolen property is less than $950.
Prop 47 would not apply to any violent crimes, nor to defendants with a
prior history of murder, rape, or gun violence.  It would allow 10,000
nonviolent inmates to be released early, and would also cut down on
future prison overcrowding.  Vote YES on Prop 47 as a good first start
to reforming our prison system.


no consensus on 48

Prop 48 is a referendum on an Indian casino agreement approved by
the state legislature.  A YES vote on the referendum allows two tribes
to build a casino on the lands of one of the tribes, along Route 99
near Madera, CA.  A NO vote would veto the legislation, prohibiting
the casino.

Greens did not reach consensus on whether to support or oppose Prop
48, so we're presenting arguments on both sides.  Greens supporting
YES favor full tribal sovereignty, and support the tribes' decision to
build the casino in order to improve their finances.  Greens
supporting NO consider the problems of political corruption, crime,
and addiction surrounding gambling to outweigh the reasons to allow
the tribes build the casino.


YES on 49

Greens strongly supported Prop 49, before it was pulled from the
ballot by a judge.  Prop 49 would have been a non-binding vote asking
Congress to approve an amendment to the US Constitution to overturn
"Citizens United," a Supreme Court decision that allows corporations
to spend unlimited amounts of money on elections.  We think that money
is not speech, and corporations are not people, and therefore Congress
(and local jurisdictions such as San Francisco) should be able to
limit corporate campaign contributions.  Although this vote would have
been basically just a straw poll, it's important to keep this issue in
the minds of voters, before our political system becomes even more
corrupt than it currently is.


SF Green Party Statement on Bond Funding

The SF Green Party has often been hesitant to embrace bond
financing. In addition to being environmentally and socially
responsible, we are also fiscally responsible.  Bond funding requires
payments totaling about twice the actual cost of whatever improvements
are made, and passes costs on to future generations.  Because people
who buy bonds are almost exclusively the wealthy, as investors are
paid back over the 20-30 year life of the bond, wealth is transferred
from middle and low income taxpayers to rich bondholders.

Bond funding also helps rich people avoid paying their fair share of
taxes, since interest on municipal bonds is exempt from both state and
federal tax.  As noted in the California Voter Guide in 1992, over
35,000 U.S. millionaires supplemented their income with tax exempt
state and local bond checks averaging over $2,500 per week (that's
over $130,000 per year tax free).  They avoided paying federal and
state taxes on over $5 billion, which must be made up by the rest of
us.  The SF Green Party calls on the public to join us in working to
phase out this regressive and unfair subsidy of the rich and their
investment bankers (who take millions of dollars off the top when the
bonds are issued).

There are a few cases in which Greens have supported bond measures. In
general, we are willing to support bonds that are issued to in order
to build urgently needed, publicly-owned infrastructure, such as a
public hospital or high speed rail.  We generally oppose bonds that
fund ongoing maintenance projects; these should be paid for using City
revenues (which should be increased by raising taxes on the wealthy).

Bond funding became an even worse option for cities and states as of
September 2014, when regulators from the Obama administration changed
rules regarding bank purchases of municipal bonds.  Under the new
rules, private banks have regulatory incentives to buy corporate bonds
(and even stocks) rather than municipal bonds.  This means that
local governments must pay even more interest on these bonds, which
the Green Party's Ellen Brown called "asset-stripping local government."
(http://ellenbrown.com/2014/09/08/preparing-to-asset-strip-local-government-the-feds-bizarre-new-rules/).