June 2022 Endorsements

The primary election is on June 7, 2022, but everybody will receive ballots in the mail about a month before that.  These are the SF Green Party's endorsements.  We will be mailing a card to all our members, and writing a longer Green Voter Guide to be posted here with a longer explanation of these endorsements.

 

Greens made early endorsements of NO on H (recall of DA Chesa Boudin), as well as the "Left Unity Slate."

 

The Green Party and the Peace and Freedom Party are jointly fielding this slate in  the 2022 statewide races.  This cooperative strategy increases the likelihood that both parties will be able to reach 2% of the vote in at least one statewide race, which is the minimum threshold needed to retain ballot status.

 

  • Luis Rodriguez (Green), Governor
  • Mohammad Arif (Peace and Freedom), Lt. Governor
  • Gary Blenner (Green), Secretary of State
  • Laura Wells (Green), Controller
  • Dan Kapelovitz (Green), Attorney General
  • Meghann Adams (Peace and Freedom), Treasurer
  • Nathalie Hrizi (Peace and Freedom), Insurance Commissioner
  • Marco Amaral (Decline to State), State Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • John Parker (Peace and Freedom), US Senate

Our local endorsements are:

 

NO on A:  "Transit bond" that is not required to be spent on transit

 

Yes on B:  Building inspection commission

 

No on C:  Major restrictions on the recall process

 

No on D:  Mayoral takeover of victims' rights services

 

Yes on E:  Restrictions on behested payments

 

No on F:  New trash rates board run by the Mayor

 

Yes on G:  Public health emergency leave

 

NO on H:  Republican-sponsored recall of DA Chesa Boudin

 

AD-17 endorsements for April 2022

The runoff election for State Assembly district AD-17, between David Campos and Matt Haney, is underway.  You can vote by mail or in person between now and Election Day, April 19.  The Green Party does not endorse either candidate.


Matt Haney is currently in his first term as Supervisor from District 6, representing the Tenderloin, South of Market, and Treasure Island. He was previously President of the SF School Board, where he set the poorly executed school renaming plan in motion.  In 2018, we awarded him an unenthusiastic endorsement for D6 Supervisor, noting that he "would be far less progressive than his predecessors on the Board" although we expected that he'd be better than his major opponent, a corrupt member of the Planning Commission.

Since being elected to office, Haney has received a great amount of funding and support, and is now fully in bed with, corrupt building trade associations which serve as the muscle for Big Real Estate in the City.  The building trades promote luxury condo housing projects with no concern for the destructive gentrification, skyrocketing rents and homelessness, and environmentally harmful impacts that result from these projects.

The best example of Haney's betrayal of progressive values in favor of the building trades is his abandonment of his own constituents on Treasure Island, who suffer from decades of living amidst illegal toxic and radioactive contamination from the former Navy Base.  When elected, Haney promised to help end the crisis, which is poisoning and killing residents.  Greens and others met with Haney over many months, with the goal of passing local legislation to halt real estate development until the island is decontaminated, and to relocate and provide health care and strong tenant protections to the residents (most of whom are low income and people of color).

Instead, Haney held only one informational hearing in February 2021. Shortly thereafter, he decided to run for the Assembly, and completely broke off ties with community advocates.  Haney has flatly refused to put forward any legislation whatsoever to solve the crisis, even though such legislation would easily pass.

It is clear that once Haney decided to run for the California Assembly, and got major financial and ground support from the pro Big Real Estate building trades, he chose to betray the people living on Treasure Island for his own political gain.

Haney has also stood by and done nothing as Mayor London Breed has executed an all-out war on homeless people in his district.  She has revived a Ronald Reagan-style "tough on crime" drug war in District 6, enforcing draconian 20th century laws against minor drug crimes that should be addressed with health care, not policing.

If Haney is elected to the Assembly, this will create a very grave situation in which 1) pro Big Real Estate mayor Breed would personally appoint Haney's replacement on the Board of Supervisors, and 2) both the San Francisco state Senator (Scott Wiener) and the Assemblymember (in Haney) would likewise be pro Big Real Estate.


David Campos was the District 9 Supervisor for two terms (2008-2016), representing Bernal Heights and the Mission.  He defeated Mark Sanchez, who ran as the Green Party candidate in the 2008 election. Once elected, Campos had a surprisingly good voting record - especially on issues related to immigration and opposing ICE.  However he never seriously attempted to challenge the Democratic Party machine as some prior Supervisors (particularly Gonzalez, Ammiano, and Daly) did.  During his time as a Supervisor (and during his prior tenure on the Police Commission), Campos had a "go along to get along" attitude, and was rewarded with a steady rise up the political ladder, followed by a series of political jobs after he was termed out of office.

Campos has been particularly complacent on issues related to gentrification in the Mission.  One week before Campos took office in 2008, Supervisors unanimously passed the Eastern Neighborhoods plan, which rezoned the Mission and SOMA to enable building more luxury condos.  As Greens predicted at the time, the lack of investment in infrastructure (due to condo developers not being required to pay for it) resulted in current City residents effectively subsidizing the wealthy newcomers while settling for reduced City services.

As the tide of luxury condos swept through the Mission and SOMA, displacing poorer residents and increasing homelessness, Campos opposed a few higher profile developments, while letting others proceed after their developers made concessions to Campos' allies in the nonprofit sector.  Grassroots opposition to condo development was silenced or co-opted by nonprofit-run "coalitions" that excluded residents and met during business hours.  With the rise of the gig economy in recent years, these "Uber-oriented developments" have completely snarled surface traffic and resulted in greatly diminished Muni service.

In 2014, Campos ran for Assembly against David Chiu, and with no Green running, we strongly endorsed him based on his voting record up to that point.  Had Campos won, Mayor Ed Lee would have appointed his replacement (just as Mayor Breed will appoint Haney's replacement should he win this election).  After losing the election, Campos belatedly supported a moratorium on luxury housing in the Mission, and citywide limits to Airbnb, but he was unable to build consensus to implement either of these ideas.  This follows a pattern in which Campos has been unable to wrangle majority support for challenging incumbent power.


The cost of winning a State Assembly election is stunning.  Getting the attention of voters and convincing them to turn out to vote for candidates in a relatively short period of time is expensive.  There must be a better way.

The maximum contribution to candidates for State Assembly is $4,900 per person (including corporations and trusts) and $9,700 for a Small Contributor committee (e.g., political clubs).  Political parties can spend unlimited amounts of money, but neither Campos nor Haney received the CA Democratic Party's endorsement even though Campos was elected as their Vice Chair.

Campos reports more than $700,000 in donations from Persons and Small Contributors.  Haney has received more than $1.1 million.  If you think these numbers are obscene, they don't include independent expenditures which are unlimited.

Haney reports $792,000 in support with NO opposing independent expenditures.  The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299 PAC contributed $531,000.  Other labor and health unions contributed $256,000.

Campos reports only $27,000 in 2 supporting independent expenditures - National Union of Healthcare Workers ($25K) and Courage California ($2K). Opposing expenditures: $273,000 has been reported, almost all from the California Association of Realtors.

Full financial data on both candidates can be found here: https://powersearch.sos.ca.gov/


Since 2010, when Democrats in the State Legislature joined forces with Governor Schwarzenegger to create a "Top Two" primary system, the Green Party has been shut out of these rigged elections. Prohibitively expensive ballot access fees have made it impossible for most Green candidates to even participate in the primary, and in most cases, the only candidates who make it to the general election do so only by taking massive amounts of corporate money.

Our State legislature has been playing games with voters for years, promising to implement progressive legislation and then making backroom deals to allow bills such as Single Payer Healthcare to die without a vote.  California desperately needs a few Green voices to shine a light on this mess.  Neither Campos nor Haney even comes close to meeting this challenge.

Gubernatorial Recall Endorsements 2021

The Gubernatorial Recall election is happening between now and Election Day, September 14.  If you are voting by mail, your ballot must be postmarked on or before September 14.  You can also vote in person on Election Day, or beforehand at City Hall.

Greens are endorsing NO on the recall, and Green Party member Dan Kapelovitz as a candidate to replace Governor Newsom should the recall vote pass.

SF Greens strongly disapprove of the job Gavin Newsom has done as Governor.  Few officials in California have ever stood so consistently in opposition to the Greens' 10 Key Values.  Here are just a few of the ways Governor Newsom has failed:

  • COVID.  As head of the 5th largest economy in the world, Newsom might have led the US in setting up an effective program for testing and contact tracing to stop the spread of COVID within the state. Newsom was unprepared to begin with: along with his predecessor, Governor Brown, he had previously ended Governor Schwarzenegger's pandemic emergency program.  Newsom's state "lockdown" was based more on politics than science: he allowed construction and other Democrat-friendly businesses (including his own winery) to continue to stay open while others were closed.  State Democrats also declined to use their authority to enact a rent and mortgage moratorium, or to keep locked-down small businesses afloat by paying them to keep their quarantined workers on the payroll (as was commonly done in Europe).
  • PG&E and Wildfires.  After fires caused by unmaintained PG&E equipment burned down the town of Paradise and killed 85 people in 2018, the investor-owned utility declared bankruptcy.  This would have been a great opportunity for the state of California to take over the utility and address years of deferred maintenance of equipment.  But Newsom, who received over $200,000 in bribes from PG&E during his 2018 campaign for Governor, did everything in his power to ensure that the utility would continue to be run as a for-profit private company. Newsom allowed PG&E to emerge from bankruptcy with the promise to pay fire victims out of a trust fund, which has paid almost nobody to date, other than the people who run the trust.  Since emerging from bankruptcy, PG&E has gone on start more fires that have killed dozens of people, including the current Dixie Fire, the largest single wildfire in California history.
  • The Climate Emergency.  Newsom has continued to promote fracking and the gas and oil industry in California.  Despite campaign promises to end the practice, Newsom has approved even more new fracking permits than his predecessor, Governor Brown, did.  The California Democratic Party continues to take hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from the fossil fuel industry each year.
  • Universal Health Care.  Newsom campaigned in favor of establishing universal health care in California.  When Arnold Schwarzenegger was governor, single payer bills landed on his desk twice.  But since Governor Brown and Newsom took over the governor's office, the Democratic-supermajority legislature hasn't seriously tried to pass this legislation.
  • High Speed Rail.  In his 2019 State of the State address, Newsom announced he was suspending California's $77 billion attempt to link SF and LA by high speed rail.  This allowed President Trump to take back nearly $1 billion that the federal government had committed to the project.  Ever since voters approved bonds to fund high speed rail, Democratic Party officials have used the project to enrich politically connected contractors rather than actually trying to build it.  A transition from air and road travel to rail is essential for mitigating the worst effects of the climate emergency.
  • Democracy.  Newsom vetoed a measure that would have allowed cities across California to use ranked choice voting in local elections. California should follow Maine in implementing ranked choice voting for all single-seat elections, including Presidential elections. California should be using ranked choice voting for this recall election, but Newsom and the Democrats have showed no interest in fixing a broken system - only complaining that Republicans are taking advantage of it.  California should also use proportional representation for larger bodies such as the state legislature.  The current system of "winner take all" elections gives no representation to members of any party other than the locally dominant one (Democrats in most cities, Republicans in rural areas).
  • Rubber Stamp for the Real Estate Lobby.  All of the above priorities have been sidelined by Newsom and the Democratic Party so they can focus on what they do best: passing laws to facilitate more market-rate real estate development (i.e., luxury condos).  Newsom has shown no interest in building social housing or other types of development that will ameliorate displacement and gentrification of our cities.  As a result of the Democrats' libertarian approach to planning, coastal cities have become havens for the wealthy professionals who are the base of the Democratic Party.  The working poor who were displaced from these cities are now forced to drive long distances to work as gig economy servants of urban elites.
  • Hypocrisy.  At a time when public schools were closed (despite scientists from UCSF and other academic institutions providing guidelines for safe reopening), Newsom sent his own kids to private schools so they could benefit from in-person learning.  While ordinary people were asked to stay home, Newsom attended a dinner hosted by a lobbyist at the French Laundry restaurant in Napa. Although indoor dining was illegal at the time, Newsom's party ate in a temporary building that was only technically "outdoors."


Despite all of Newsom's problems, the leading candidates to replace him on the recall ballot are as bad or worse.  Therefore, this recall election is unlikely to result in a Governor who is more in alignment with our Green values.  Even worse, the rules of the recall election do not require the winner to have majority support: there will be no runoff or ranked choice voting, so a winner could be elected with only a small fraction of the votes.  Although the Democrats who are in complete control of government in California could have reformed this process, they have chosen not to do so.

Greens therefore urge a NO vote on the first ballot question of recalling Newsom.

The second ballot question asks voters who will replace Newsom if the recall succeeds.  On this question, Greens have endorsed Dan Kapelovitz (https://kapelovitz.com/).  Kapelovitz is a recent convert from the Bernie Sanders campaign to the Green Party.  He is an attorney who also teaches law at the People’s College of Law in Los Angeles.  His clients are mainly poor people caught up in the criminal justice system, as well as defenders of animal rights.

Kapelovitz' values are clearly aligned with the 10 Key Values of the Green Party, and the platform on his website is very similar to ours.  Although he recently joined the Green Party, his long record of activism shows that he has shared our values and priorities for decades.  Greens should therefore feel confident in voting for him to replace Governor Newsom should the recall vote pass.

School Board Recall 2022 Endorsements

The School Board Recall Election is happening between now and Election Day, February 15.  If you are voting by mail, your ballot must be postmarked on or before February 15.  You can also vote in person on Election Day, or beforehand at City Hall.

Three members of the School Board, Alison Collins, Gabriela López, and Faauuga Moliga, are up for recall.  Although López is the only one of the three who previously earned our endorsement, the SF Green Party has endorsed a "NO" vote on recalling all three of the Board members in this election (i.e., we support keeping them in office through the next regular election in November 2022).


If one or more of the Board members is recalled, the City Charter gives Mayor Breed the authority to fill each vacancy with one of her own hand-picked candidates.  Greens don't want our public schools to be subject to the same corruption as we see at other City departments run by the Mayor, such as the Department of Building Inspection, Recreation and Parks, and the MTA (which operates Muni).

As we wrote in our School Board endorsements in 2020, concerning our non-endorsement of Jenny Lam:

Our biggest concern with Lam is not the policies she supports, but rather her close ties to the Mayor's office.  The School Board is supposed to be an independent body from the rest of SF government, so having a Board member who directly reports to the Mayor is very problematic.

Having four such appointees would give the Mayor the majority of the seven seats on the School Board, allowing her to spend bond money and give out contracts to Machine-friendly companies without any public oversight.

Greens have long advocated for a charter amendment that would allow voters to choose replacements (using ranked choice voting) on the same ballot as the recall election.  Until that happens, voters who the Mayor does not listen to can not meaningfully exercise our constitutional right to recall elected officials.  Because the Mayor is the only person who gets to choose replacements for elected officials who are recalled, these elections (other than recalling the Mayor herself) can only benefit the Mayor and her supporters.

This is not to say that Greens are completely happy with the performance of the current members of the School Board.  In 2020, we wrote in our endorsements:

The biggest issue facing the School Board over the next year will be when, and how, to safely reopen SF's public schools.  Zoom classes don't work for young children, and keeping kids at home has had a serious impact on parents, especially on women, who disproportionately provide for childcare and homeschooling.

Based on research from UCSF that showed serious mental health impacts of Zoom school, and low in-school transmission risk, Greens advocated for reopening our elementary schools in the Fall of 2020.  We also advocated for SFUSD support for "pods" of public school students in all grades (TK-12) as a bridge to full school reopening, noting that SF's summer camps that were organized into pods of 12 kids did not result in any COVID outbreaks.

Although SFUSD failed to reopen schools in a timely manner, and lost many students to private schools, Greens think the majority of the blame lies with the Superintendent rather than the Board.  The Superintendent attempted to waste money on an outside consultant rather than taking free advice from experts at the Department of Public Health and UCSF.  Although the SFUSD central administrative budget (i.e., money not spent in classrooms) has ballooned under Superintendent Matthews, the public (including SFUSD parents, students, and teachers) have yet to see any benefits.

Members of the School Board also deserve some blame for their failed attempt to rename a number of public schools.  The centralized renaming committee, poorly managed and dominated by insiders, advocated renaming some schools based of inaccurate information, while being completely comfortable leaving "Willie Brown Middle School" in place.  This was a stark contrast to the process used to rename (the former) Drake High School in Marin County, which empowered the students at the school to participate in the process and therefore became a learning opportunity.

On the other hand, our Board had a major success in reforming admissions standards at Lowell High School.  For years, Lowell appears to have been in violation of the CA Education Code, which requires a "random, unbiased" process to determine which kids get to attend schools in high demand, and forbids admissions standards based on "academic or athletic performance."

Lowell's previous admission standards used a combination of GPA and standardized test (SBAC) scores to measure academic performance. Greens believe that standardized tests have significant racial and class biases, and are a poor measure of academic potential. We therefore applauded the School Board's change to change Lowell admissions to the lottery-based system used at other SF schools, which does not consider test scores.

With this change to admissions policy, racial diversity at Lowell improved dramatically, with the number of Black and Hispanic freshmen nearly double that of prior years. And despite the fears of those parents who opposed the change, academic standards at the school have remained high.

In summary, the current School Board has had some successes and some failures, which SF political groups should take into account when interviewing candidates for office in the next regular election in November 2022.  If voters instead decide to turn control over to our corrupt Mayor, it will almost certainly make things worse for our students and for the City as a whole.  Vote NO on all the recall questions.

KPFA Local Station Board Endorsements 2021

If you're a KPFA member, please be sure to vote for the Rescue Pacifica candidates in the Local Station Board (LSB) election.  It is being conducted using ranked choice voting.  Ballots were sent out by email on Aug 16, and voting goes through Oct 15.  We have endorsed the nine Rescue Pacifica candidates, as listed below.  (More info about Rescue Pacifica is here: https://rescuepacifica.net/ ).

This year's election is vital to preserve democracy at KPFA and Pacifica!  Individuals involved with the opposing faction worked to gut the powers of the LSB and they've filed lawsuits to try to take control of KPFA and the Pacifica network.  Please use your democratic voting rights to maintain and strengthen the LSB by voting for the Rescue Pacifica candidates as your top nine choices!

Please vote for all nine of the following candidates as your top choices (in any order):

Rich Stone *
Daniel Borgstrom *
Don Macleay *
James McFadden *
Adisa Armand
Donna Carter
Pete Farruggio
Amber Jayanti
Elizabeth Milos

* = Registered Greens; note that Rich Stone is a County Council member here in San Francisco.

Thank you for standing up for democracy and supporting progressive, independent radio!