November 2022 Endorsements

These are the SF Green Party's final endorsements for the November 2022 election. We have mailed a postcard with our endorsements to all our members. If you can donate to help cover our printing and mailing costs, please use the "donate" link to the left!


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


Local Offices:


Local Ballot Measures:

  • NO on A: Limits increases in pensions for some City retirees
  • NO on B: Reverses voter-approved changes to create Department of Sanitation and Streets
  • YES on C: Homelessness oversight commission
  • NO on D: Redefines luxury housing as "affordable"
  • NO on E: Skips environmental review of "affordable" housing development
  • YES on F: Extend library preservation fund
  • YES on G: Minor increase to school funding
  • NO on H: Eliminates elections in odd numbered years, giving more power to the Mayor
  • NO on I: Cars everywhere
  • YES on J: Car-free JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park
  • NO on K: "Amazon Tax" that wouldn't apply to Amazon (removed from ballot)
  • YES on L: Keep sales tax to fund transit
  • YES on M: Tax on keeping residential apartments vacant
  • YES on N: Take over Golden Gate Park garage
  • YES on O: Parcel tax to fund City College (restoring some of the classes that were cut)


State Ballot Measures:

  • YES on 1: Protect abortion rights
  • NO on 26: Regressive tax on addicts, loss of tribal sovereignty, supports animal cruelty
  • NO on 27: Just like 26, but with some window dressing for homeless services
  • YES on 28: Minor net increase in art and music funding for K-12 schools
  • YES on 29: Another battle between SEIU-UHW and corporations that run dialysis clinics
  • NO on 30: Lyft-sponsored proposition to defund public transit, subsidize electric cars and clear-cut forests
  • YES on 31: Uphold the ban on flavored tobacco products


Click below to read our complete Green Voter Guide.



Local Offices:


District Attorney - John Hamasaki:


The San Francisco Green Party is proud to support John Hamasaki for District Attorney of San Francisco. Hamasaki spent years on the Police Commission, where he was a strong voice for police accountability. He has served as President of the Asian-American Bar Association. He opposes the death penalty, and supports the work of the Innocence Commission.


The continuation of the Innocence Commission is very much hanging in the balance with this election. Recalled former San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin launched the Innocence Commission to free prisoners who were wrongfully convicted. After Brooke Jenkins was appointed by Mayor London Breed to replace Boudin, she fired Arcelia Hurtado, who was the District Attorney liaison to the Commission.


Hamasaki was vocally opposed to the recall of Chesa Boudin. Kaylah Williams May, who ran Boudin's winning campaign in 2019, is managing Hamasaki's campaign. Hamasaki believes in ending cash bail, and that "individuals who do pose a demonstrated public safety risk may be detained irrespective of how much money they have in their bank account." Hamasaki pledges to expand the Public Corruption Task Force. Unlike Brooke Jenkins, Hamasaki is independent of Mayor Breed. Hamasaki believes in holding police officers accountable, and is willing to prosecute members of the San Francisco Police Department who commit crimes.


In his responses to our questionnaire, Hamasaki also pledged to prosecute wage theft, and to check the power of Transportation Network Companies, like Uber and Lyft, who violate the law.


Joe Alioto Veronese also applied for our endorsement. We did not endorse him because of his stance on cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). He also supports a larger police budget and allowing police to set their own priorities, instead of requiring that they focus on solving serious and violent crimes.



Public Defender - Rebecca Susan Feng Young:


The San Francisco Green Party is proud to support Rebecca Susan Feng Young for Public Defender. She is an experienced trial lawyer who favors abolishing the death penalty. Young spent many years in the San Francisco Public Defender's office under the leadership of the late Jeff Adachi. She vocally opposed the recall of former District Attorney Chesa Boudin.


Young says she was urged to run by colleagues in response to a deterioration of morale under the current incumbent. Felony caseloads are unmanageably high. Chief attorneys are overseeing people with more experience. Management is draining resources needed to prepare for trials. Young has specific ideas about how to improve the Public Defender's office. In her responses to our questionnaire, she pledged to fully staff the Felony Trial Unit, and expand the Post-Trial Conviction Unit.


Incumbent Public Defender Mano Raju did provide any contact information to the Department of Elections, and his website also does not provide a means to contact him. We tried several times to contact him through Twitter and even through his official City email address, but we were unable to reach him in time for him to submit his questionnaire responses before our deadline. Although Raju did provide a late response, we thought his answers were not nearly as detailed and thoughtful as Rebecca Young's.



Community College Board - William Walker:


Four seats are up for election on the College Board. Three of the contests are for a full four-year term, and one is for a two-year term to finish the rest of Tom Temprano's term. Temprano resigned from the College Board to work for Equality California, a nonprofit with close ties to the Democratic Party, allowing Mayor Breed to appoint a temporary replacement. Three incumbents (Rizzo, Davila, and Selby) are running for re-election, and are being challenged by a slate endorsed by the Teacher's Union (Chung, Martinez and Solomon). Interestingly, none of the latter slate responded to the Green Party's questionnaire. We chose to endorse only one candidate, William Walker, who best represents our values in this contest.


The most important factor in considering our endorsements was once again the renewed threat of privatization of the school. During COVID, the College saw a 30% loss of enrollment, and despite classes being free, enrollment numbers have not recovered. In response, City College eliminated a number of classes, including foreign language classes, that are of great benefit to San Franciscans. This has turned into a "death spiral" in which even fewer students enroll in classes, leading to more cuts. See our discussion of Prop O for more on City College funding.


In addition to the class cuts, another likely factor keeping City College enrollment from recovering is the continuing requirement that all students wear masks, even though mask mandates are no longer endorsed by health care professionals, have been dropped in most areas of society, and have not been shown to be effective at stopping community spread of COVID (compared to voluntary use of masks).


William Walker gave thoughtful answers to our questionnaire, showing he is well aligned with the Green Party's 10 Key Values. He is firmly opposed to privatization and has good ideas for growing enrollment. He promises to follow the advice of health care professionals in guiding the College's COVID response. We previously endorsed Walker in 2014, citing his anti-privatization work. He will make an excellent addition to the Board if he wins this time.


We did not endorse any of the incumbents, as they have now presided over multiple accreditation crises without being proactive and finding a stable source of funding. As one of the challengers pointed out at our endorsement meeting, some layoffs may occasionally be necessary, but mass layoffs are an indication of a failure of leadership. When we last endorsed Rizzo and Davila in 2018, we wrote that we were pleased they'd "finally solved the accreditation crisis." With accreditation and funding issues coming back again, we think it's time to let new voices be heard.


We did not endorse any candidate for the two-year term. Daniel Landry, a candidate who we previously awarded a #2 ranked endorsement when he ran for D5 Supervisor, sought our endorsement. However, his answers to our college board questionnaire did not give us confidence that he is ready for this position. Mayor Breed's appointee to this position, Murrell Green, did not provide contact information to the Department of Elections and did not seek our endorsement.


We therefore strongly endorse a vote for William Walker for the 4-year College Board seat.



Board of Education - No endorsements:


Three seats are up for election on the School Board. All three are currently held by incumbents who were appointed by Mayor Breed after the successful recall election in February. One of these incumbents sought our endorsement, as did three challengers. As discussed below, none of these candidates merited endorsement.


As we discussed in our 2020 Green Voter Guide, a key issue for us (and a major failing of the previous Superintendent) was the need for in-person learning in public schools. We wrote: "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."


Another important issue for Greens is the enormous amount of resources wasted on standardized testing. As we discussed on our website, students now spend as much as 7 weeks of valuable classroom time preparing for and taking standardized tests, with little to no benefit. We were encouraged when the previous Board of Education ended the use of standardized test scores as a criteria for admission to Lowell High, but this decision was quickly overturned by Mayoral appointees.


Finally, Greens are very concerned that money allocated by the public to maintain and repair public schools has not been well spent. We need School Board members who will take their oversight responsibilities seriously. Some of these issues are covered in a series of articles by SF Green Party member Erika McDonald, here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. We are concerned that without adequate oversight of spending, schools will fall further into disrepair, and the conservative bloc on the Board will convert public schools into charter schools, or even sell off properties in order to build more luxury condos.


We hope that in future School Board elections, candidates will step forward who agree with us on these criteria. Although Greens thought that each of the current candidates had some positions aligned with our values, all had significant negatives as well, and we ultimately decided that none merited our support:


We were excited to endorse Gabriela López in 2018, as she was an elementary school teacher and clearly understood the problems with standardized testing. Her values still align very well with ours, and we commend her for (temporarily) opening admissions at Lowell High to a more diverse student body. However, during her last term on the Board, López was unable to effectively oversee spending on bonds. She also ignored appeals from parents and approved a fraudulent contractor's assessment that labeled a number of poorly maintained schools as being in "good" condition. During the beginning of the COVID pandemic, rather than focusing on safely reopening schools, the Board spent time on a failed attempt to rename a number of schools. The centralized renaming committee, poorly managed and dominated by insiders, advocated renaming some schools based on inaccurate information, and did not engage students as was done in successful campaigns elsewhere in the Bay Area. After being rejected by more than 70% of voters in the recall election, we do not believe that López has made a convincing case for being returned to office.


Alida Fisher failed to win our endorsement in 2020 after strongly supporting JROTC. She has reformed that position and is now neutral on the program. However, she still has an unclear position on standardized testing, choosing to talk about the Common Core curriculum in response to a question we asked about testing. Her position on Lowell admissions is also unclear. She is also strongly supportive of distance learning, calling it "ideal" for a subset of students. While this may be true for a small number of kids, the overall effects of closed schools were quite harmful, and we are concerned that Fisher does not seem to realize this. On the other hand, Fisher does clearly understand the dangers that charter schools pose to public education, and she is a strong advocate for special education and for students with disabilities.


Karen Fleshman is a parent who supports Individualized Learning Plans for all students. This is a great idea. She also recognizes that test-based admissions at Lowell are illegal, and she seems like she would be able to effectively oversee bond spending. However, she did not come out strongly in opposition to the time wasted on standardized tests. She also wants to reinstate mask and vaccine mandates for kids to eligible to attend public school. Voluntary masking and vaccination have worked to prevent COVID spread in SF schools, and new mandates would only drive more families into private schools. Fleshman also seems to have a low threshold for shutting down in-person learning, and does not seem to appreciate the problems with distance learning. For example, she brought up "school bathrooms not in good condition" as a reason to cancel in-person classes, even though COVID does not spread via toilets.


Lisa Weissman-Ward is the only Mayoral appointee who sought our endorsement. Although she takes the sensible approach of deferring to the SF Department of Public Health on COVID-related matters, and says she opposes charter schools, we are very concerned about some of her other positions. She is completely misinformed about standardized testing, believing that it helps teachers plan individual lessons for students (this is incorrect, as SBAC test scores are not available until after the school year ends). Weissman-Ward supported a return to test-based admissions at Lowell. This appears to violate 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." (source) Weissman-Ward conflates Lowell, a "general education" school subject to the above restrictions, with SOTA, a specialized arts school that does not. She also did not convince us that she will effectively oversee bond spending or handle Williams complaints from parents at poorly maintained schools.



BART Board - No endorsement:


Four years ago, the Green Party endorsed Janice Li for BART Board, representing the West side of San Francisco. Although she is running unopposed, the Green Party is not endorsing her for another term.


BART suffers from numerous problems, including a focus on building higher fences and new facades for their stations while neglecting maintenance of the system to the point where even a light rain routinely causes lengthy delays. They have hired expensive Muni-style fare enforcement teams to harass riders.


Fare enforcement on BART has been especially problematic during COVID. During a period of low ridership caused by the pandemic, BART started doing "fare enforcement sweeps", stopping morning trains traveling eastbound from Embarcadero and asking every passenger for proof of payment. As the pandemic slowed and ridership rebounded, these sweeps began to take more time, routinely causing trains to back up throughout SF's downtown stations. Because the location and timing of fare enforcement sweeps is widely known to riders, the sweeps do not incentivize payment of fares.


Li has not spoken out on fare enforcement or maintenance issues, and seems more focused on YIMBY priorities such as developing market rate condos on BART property. She also sponsored a performative "mask mandate" on BART, long after other Bay Area mask mandates were dropped. This mandate was neither enforced nor effective, and seems to have been done purely as a political stunt to express opposition to a Trump-appointed judge ending the federal mandate on airlines and public transit. As a result, many potential riders chose alternatives such as Uber and Lyft, which did not require passengers to wear masks.


We hope that in four years, we will have a chance to vote for a candidate who actually represents BART riders instead of real estate developers.



Assessor-Recorder - No endorsement:


This election is uncontested, and the incumbent did not seek our endorsement.



D2 Supervisor - No endorsement:


This election is uncontested, and the incumbent did not seek our endorsement, or even provide any contact info for their campaign to the Department of Elections.



D4 Supervisor - No endorsement:


Four years ago, Gordon Mar was elected to the D4 Supervisor's seat, becoming the first incumbent in years who was not thoroughly loyal to the Willie Brown machine. During his time in office, Mar has generally been a progressive voice, and he has been a clear improvement over the Machine hacks who had previously warmed the D4 seat. He has been especially good in supporting organized labor, including City workers.


Although Mar's votes are an improvement over his predecessors, he has not been proactive in challenging Machine power in SF. In his responses to our questionnaire, he did not recognize the need for radical reform of the "strong Mayor" system of government that is responsible for much of the corruption in SF. He indicated in his questionnaire that he supports fare-free Muni, but then mentioned in our candidate interview that he would be concerned about wealthy people receiving a benefit they did not need. He also recently voted in favor of live police surveillance of San Franciscans through internet-connected cameras such as Ring doorbells, a position that was strongly opposed by civil liberties advocates including the Green Party.


We hope Mar will be support more progressive positions if he wins a second term as Supervisor. However, his record to date does not merit our endorsement.



D6 Supervisor - No endorsement:


No candidate for D6 Supervisor sought our endorsement.



D8 Supervisor - No endorsement:


In June 2018, Greens endorsed Rafael Mandelman in his contest vs a Mayoral appointee for the Supervisorial seat previously held by Scott Wiener. However, Mandelman's voting record in the past four years has been far more similar to that of his predecessor than we'd hoped, so we do not endorse him for another term in office.


Mandelman first ran for the D8 Supervisor seat in 2010, and was later elected to two terms on the College Board. He is therefore one of the most experienced elected officials in the City, and is quite familiar with the way SF government works, or more often, fails to work for ordinary people who are not wealthy or politically connected. It is therefore extremely disappointing that he has not used this experience to benefit the public, e.g., by proposing the sort of radical charter reform that would be needed to end the "strong Mayor" system that is responsible for much of the corruption in SF.


Instead, Mandelman has followed the blueprint of Wiener in climbing the political ladder: an extreme punitive approach to homelessness, without proposing any viable solutions. For example, Mandelman championed the "conservatorship" model of forcing people into court-ordered mental health and drug treatment, but this program has only been used to help two individuals. Despite all the grandstanding, nothing has changed.


Mandelman also has the unfortunate habit of claiming he's "just representing my constituents" when he supports regressive policies. However, Mandelman rarely attempts to make a case for taking a progressive position, and even misrepresents proposed legislation to his constituents. For example, he justified his recent vote in favor of police surveillance using internet-connected cameras by claiming the program is "voluntary." This misrepresents who is "volunteering" to provide live footage to the police: under the new law, blanket consent to spy on San Franciscans using all Amazon-manufactured cameras is given by the Amazon corporation, not by the actual owner of each camera.


Mandelman, like Wiener before him, occasionally proposes good legislation. For example, his bill to require electricity instead of natural gas to power in new commercial buildings is an important response to the climate crisis. However, a progressive district like D8, which voted for Matt Gonzalez over Gavin Newsom in 2003, deserves a progressive champion in City Hall. Therefore, Greens cannot endorse Mandelman for another term in office.



D10 Supervisor - Shamann Walton:


We did not previously endorse Shamann Walton when he was elected as D10 Supervisor four years ago. However, he's been a strong advocate for environmental justice, and a very welcome change from his predecessors who often placed the interests of corporations like Lennar over their constituents. Greens are therefore proud to endorse Walton for a second term.


In a recent City Hall hearing that Supervisor Walton was leading, he openly called for a 100% cleanup of the Hunters Point Shipyard Site - and for the City to refuse to accept any land at the site from the Navy until it is fully cleaned. This is a very courageous stand: Walton may be the first elected to representative to stand with the people of Bayview / Hunters Point, and the Green Party, in demanding a full cleanup.


Walton agrees with the Green Party on other significant social and environmental justice issues as well. As he stated in response to our questionnaire, he is a major proponent of the City purchasing PG&E's assets, to ensure we can provide the cleanest energy possible to our residents. He has also been a long-time supporter of CleanPowerSF, and wants to expand the program. And he was the only Supervisor running for re-election to vote against warrantless police surveillance of San Franciscans.


Although Walton does not agree with the Green Party on all positions (e.g., he opposes closing parts of Golden Gate Park to cars), his positions and values are well aligned with ours and we strongly endorse his re-election.




Local Props:


NO on Prop A:


Currently, City retirees receive two types of annual increases in their pensions after they retire. There is a "basic" adjustment, which is based on the inflation rate, but capped at 2% per year. There is also a "supplemental" adjustment which can provide another 1.5% increase, if inflation is high and the City retirement fund has sufficient funds. These increases aim to offset inflation, to ensure that retirees do not fall into poverty as prices increase. Prop A would limit the "supplemental" adjustment to about 0.5% for workers who retired before 1996 who earn more than $50,000 per year in retirement income. Greens are opposed to limiting pensions, and oppose Prop A.


It should be noted that the annual inflation rate is currently 8.3%, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI, which is the same measure that SF's retirement system uses). Therefore even with the maximum 3.5% annual increase in retirement income, SF's retirees are effectively taking a 4.8% pay cut. To make matters worse, CPI is a lowball estimate of the real inflation rate in SF, because a retiree might spend the majority of their income on rent and food, both of which are increasing in price more rapidly than CPI inflation. For example, average rent in SF increased more than 12% in the last year.


Even though Prop A applies to only a few workers, and is partly offset by a retroactive increase in pensions for some workers, Greens are opposed to limiting pensions on principle. We do not believe that $50,000 is such a high salary that it should be capped, given the cost of living in SF.


Prop A also would also increase the salary paid to the executive director of the Retirement System, and would hire this person through an individual contract, which "may provide an incentive compensation plan." This would prevent the director from being laid off regardless of the state of SF's budget, and is another step toward "corporatization" of City managerial workers.


The SF Green Party urges voters to vote NO on Prop A.



NO on Prop B:


Two years ago, voters approved splitting a new "Department of Sanitation and Streets" off from the Department of Public Works. This year's Prop B would reverse those changes. As we wrote at the time, a new street cleaning department would be an essential check on Mayoral corruption:


  • Street cleaning is a service long used to punish Supervisors (or even constituents) who fail to back the Mayor. After Mayor Newsom narrowly beat Matt Gonzalez in the 2003 Mayor's race, some precincts that voted overwhelmingly for Gonzalez weren't cleaned for years, other than when Newsom needed to drop by for a PR stunt.


    Splitting street cleaning into a separate department will prevent deliberate "oversights" such as forgetting to clean a precinct for a few years - these things will stand out more in a smaller department, rather than being lost in the massive Department of Public Works.


We also noted that the new Sanitation and Streets oversight commission would not have the majority of its members appointed by the Mayor, and therefore would be consistent with our Key Value of Decentralization.


Prop B would undo reforms approved by voters in 2020 before this new Department is even established. Greens therefore strongly oppose Prop B.



YES on Prop C:


Prop C would create a new commission to oversee spending by the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. Four members of the commission would be appointed by the Mayor (with Board of Supervisors approval), and 3 would be appointed directly by the Board. The new commission would oversee spending by the department and advise both the Mayor and Board on how to spend the money.


Under SF's "Strong Mayor" system of government, the Board of Supervisors has little actual power over how the Mayor chooses to spend money. However, creating another commission to review Mayoral spending would help shine sunlight on a department with a huge budget and little public oversight. It is clear to everybody in SF that vast amounts of money are being spent, with very little improvement in the lives of homeless people.


We have taken the advice of homeless advocates such as Paul Boden from the Western Regional Advocacy Project and others from the Coalition on Homelessness. They agree that more oversight would be a positive development, and so Greens are joining them in supporting Prop C.



NO on Prop D:


Over the past two decades, progressive Supervisors have steadily increased the fraction of housing units in market rate development that are required to be made "affordable" to people who aren't wealthy. However, over the same period, they have changed the definition of "affordable" to apply to fairly well off people, not just the poor - e.g., a single person earning $116,000 (or a family of four earning $166,000) now qualifies to rent or purchase "affordable" housing. Greens believe that the standard for affordability should be based on the neighborhood in which housing is built, so that new housing does not lead to gentrification and displacement of current residents.


Prop D would again redefine "affordable" by increasing the income limit by another 20%. This means that to meet zoning requirements, developers would have to reserve some units for families making up to $194,000/year. This would not result in any housing for low income SF residents, and would only lead to more displacement.


As an alternative, Greens support building more social housing, a type of mixed income public housing in which all residents pay a fixed percentage of their income in rent. In this European-style model of public housing, residents have a democratic voice in the governance of their apartments, unlike the traditional US model that imposes punitive rules on public housing residents. SF voters have already approved funding to build or purchase 10,000 units housing with 2020's Prop K, but the Mayor does not support the program and has refused to spend the money.


Prop D would benefit real estate developers and wealthy people, while displacing more middle- and lower-income SF residents. Vote NO.



NO on Prop E:


Prop E is the Supervisors' response to Prop D, and would streamline the construction of "affordable" housing (using the current definition of "affordable", which Greens note is unaffordable to most SF residents). Greens oppose Prop E because it would limit environmental review of projects. For example, Prop E would allow development to occur on polluted sites before the site is cleaned up. This would result in contamination of the surrounding neighborhoods, and risk to residents.


Instead of cutting safety rules in a rush to let developers build more privately owned housing, SF could best solve the housing needs of our residents by building social housing. We have the funds, but the Mayor needs to be pressured to spend the money as voters intended.



YES on Prop F:


Prop F would extend a budget set-aside to build libraries, which would otherwise expire next year. This set-aside is a small percentage (0.025%, or 2.5 cents per $100) of property taxes collected by the City. This fund was last approved by voters in 2007, and Prop F will extend it for another 25 years. Greens support a YES vote on Prop F.


Greens support Prop F because it is public investment in our libraries, which otherwise rely on a lot of private funding through "Friends of the SF Library" nonprofits. Since donations through nonprofits have been used to corrupt public officials in recent years, we think public investment that decreases the need or private fundraising is a good alternative.


Greens are somewhat concerned about a provision in the library preservation fund that allows revenue bonds to be issued by the Mayor, using the Prop F set-aside revenue stream as a backing. This is a loophole in the way revenue bonds are supposed to work. "Revenue" usually means revenue from a particular project, such as a toll road, that is used to back bonds that fund the project. A property tax set-aside stretches that definition.


In 2007, Greens were sufficiently worried about this new provision in the library preservation fund renewal that we opposed the renewal measure (Prop D), because repaying any bonds issued would take precedence over directly funding our libraries.


To date the fund seems to have been maintained responsibly, so we support Prop F to renew it this year.



YES on Prop G:


Prop G would create a new "Student Success Fund" with a budget of approximately $35 million / year, which would be awarded by the Department of Children Youth and their Families as $1 million grants to various public schools. These grants would pay for counseling and emotional wellness programs, as well as programs designed to enhance student achievement. This is a fairly minor increase for a school district with an annual budget exceeding $1 billion, but emotional wellness is an worthy goal, so Greens support it.


We have some concerns that because a Mayor-controlled department will be spending the money, the grants will be awarded as political payback rather than going to where they are most needed. However, we think that the majority of the money will be spent in a way that helps public school students, even if some money is wasted due to corruption. Therefore, we are supporting a YES vote on Prop G.



NO on Prop H:


Prop H would eliminate local elections in odd-numbered years, moving the contests for SF elections that would be up in 2023 back a year to 2024, extending the term of the Mayor and District Attorney by one year. Starting in 2024, elections for local office and ballot measures would take place every two years.


In 2008 and 2012, Greens opposed similar ballot measures. In 2012, we wrote:


  • We oppose this proposition as undemocratic, since fewer elections would result in even more power for the Mayor and only benefit corporate-funded campaigns and candidates.


    More elections crowded onto a single ballot will result in even fewer voters paying attention to important down-ticket offices. (...) Moving them into a single election when fewer voters will pay attention will benefit well-funded corporate candidates and their campaign consultants, but will not result in more informed voters.


    Eliminating elections will also result in more propositions being crammed onto a single ballot when we do have elections. Do we really want a repeat of 2008, when local propositions ran through the alphabet all the way from A to V?


    Finally, (this measure) will consolidate more power in the Mayor's office, because Mayoral appointees fill vacancies until the next election. Even if we someday elect a mayor less corrupt and partisan than the current one, Greens support the principal of decentralization, or spreading power among more elected offices.


We appreciate that voters are tired of having too many elections, especially repeated contests between uninspiring candidates such as David Campos and Matt Haney. Rather than consolidating important local elections, Greens support implementing ranked choice voting and the elimination of "Top Two" elections at the State level, which would remove the need for things like Assembly runoff contests.


Election consolidation in 2012 did not result in more democracy: elections in 2015 and 2019 for City Attorney and Treasurer were uncontested, and the 2016 ballot was even more crowded than in 2008.


Now that we have universal vote by mail, everyone has an entire month to vote, so there is no reason (other than bad candidates) for people not to vote once each year. Don't cancel the 2023 election: vote NO on Prop H.



NO on Prop I:


During the COVID pandemic, a number of streets were closed to private cars in order to provide space for people to exercise outdoors. These streets included JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park, various Slow Streets throughout the City, and the Great Highway. Since the pandemic has waned, there have been political debates about which of these programs to continue and which to end. Prop I would prevent the City from restricting private cars from driving on any street in Golden Gate Park (other than on some weekends and holidays), and also require that a section of the Great Highway that is currently scheduled to be closed due to coastal erosion be kept open. Greens urge a NO vote on Prop I.


For more than 20 years, Greens have supported closing roads in Golden Gate Park to cars. See our discussion of Yes on J for more of that history. And although we think that the City has run its COVID-era street closure programs more for the benefit of real estate developers and lobbyists than for San Franciscans, the closure of JFK Drive has been well executed.


We also recognize that coastal erosion (due in part to the climate emergency and rising sea levels) requires a strategy of "managed retreat" from parts of SF that are most vulnerable to flooding. Therefore, we support the City's plan to close the Great Highway Extension and re-route traffic to Sloat and Skyline Boulevards instead.


Prop I is mainly funded by a wealthy socialite, Dede Wilsey, who previously ran the de Young Museum. We should not let wealthy individuals buy access to our public streets. Vote NO on Prop I.



YES on Prop J:


Prop J would keep JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park open to pedestrians and bike riders, and closed to private cars. Greens strongly support this.


Since the SF Green Party was founded, our members have been active in the fight to close roads in Golden Gate Park to cars. In 1998, we fought against a ballot measure to build a garage under the park for museum patrons. The ballot measure was sold to voters as creating a "pedestrian oasis" in the Music Concourse, but this never happened. Instead, the roads of the Music Concourse have been used as a bypass for commuters crossing the park, and the surface roads in Golden Gate Park have been used as a parking lot for commuters.


Car-free JFK has been very popular with San Franciscans, and is more consistent with what we think parks should be used for: recreation and nature, rather than driving. Although we think this program has been used by the Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) and Rec and Parks Departments as a distraction from the MTA's failure to provide decent public transit or bike infrastructure, Car-free JFK is still well worth supporting on its own merits.


We strongly urge a YES vote on Prop J.



NO on Prop K: (removed from ballot)


Prop K would have taxed e-commerce businesses and used the money to pilot a Basic Income program for some San Franciscans, including transgender people and pregnant Black women. Prop K was targeted at taxing Amazon, which has used its monopoly status during the COVID pandemic to exploit its workers and drive many local San Francisco businesses into bankruptcy. However, when its backers found out that Amazon is taxed as a computer services provider rather than as an e-commerce company, they pulled the measure from the ballot.


Greens strongly support the concept of "basic income" - meaning a basic level of government funding provided to all people in order to prevent poverty. We believe the concept has been well studied already and proven to be effective, so we don't support another limited pilot program that is targeted only at a small number of San Franciscans. Instead, we need a much larger transfer of money from corporations and wealthy individuals, in order to provide this benefit to all San Franciscans.


Prop K will no longer appear on the ballot, but had it been, the failure to tax Amazon and provide benefits to more people would have prevented us from supporting it.



YES on Prop L:


SF currently raises around $100 million per year for transit and street improvements through a 0.5% sales tax. That sales tax is set to expire in 2034, and Prop L would extend it through 2052. Failure of Prop L would result in even more unreliable transit (including paratransit) service, so Greens are endorsing a YES vote on Prop L.


Like Prop F, Prop L money will be spent by issuing revenue bonds backed by this tax revenue stream. This is a loophole in the way revenue bonds are supposed to work, and we have concerns about borrowing money in advance via bonds rather than spending the sales tax money directly on Muni.


Despite these accounting irregularities, the majority of the Prop L money is expected to be spent on badly needed transit priorities, such as bus maintenance and buying new buses and trains. About 20% of the money will be spent on street repaving. Some of the money will be used for federal matching grants, which is why the backers of Prop L say it is so urgent to extend well before the 2034 deadline.


Greens believe that public transit needs to be much better funded than it currently is, in order to be made more frequent, reliable, and free to all riders. Funding should come from the federal and state governments, but in their absence, we could raise a lot of money locally through a progressive parcel tax (like Prop O) or other taxes that are primarily paid by large corporations (like the one voters recently passed to raise more money for homeless services).


The Democratic Party shows they are not taking the climate emergency seriously when they keep proposing the same regressive and inadequate funding sources for public transit that they always have. Essentially, they're holding transit riders hostage to ensure that voters pass legislation like Prop L. Because the consequences of failure would be so harmful to transit riders, Greens are supporting a YES vote.



YES on Prop M:


Prop M is a tax on vacant apartment units. This tax would fall mainly on real estate speculators who purchase property as an investment but who don't want to deal with the hassle of renting it out. The tax would also be paid by people who own "pied-a-terre" apartments in San Francisco but who don't live in them (or rent them out) for more than 6 months out of each year.


In 2013, the Bay Guardian did a study that found SF had 31,000 vacant apartment units (8% of the total number of units), up from just under 5% back in the year 2000. In 2022, a new City-funded study found the number of vacant units had increased to over 40,500 (10% of all units). These vacant units are mostly in large luxury condo developments, purchased as investment properties.


Prop M would tax vacant apartments in buildings with 3 or more units, if the unit is vacant for more than half the year. "Vacant" means the unit is not being lived in by anybody - even short term vacation renters count towards a unit being occupied. The owner of each apartment would need to file a form, under penalty of perjury, stating whether or not the unit is vacant for more than half the year. The tax rate would increase with the size of the unit, and the longer the unit is kept vacant.


Prop M is well written to be sure it does not affect ordinary San Franciscans. It excludes properties that are under construction or awaiting construction permits, or where the owner has suffered a medical emergency or died. It excludes single family homes and duplexes, which are not commonly used as investment properties, so as not to burden the owners of such properties with additional paperwork.


If Prop M succeeds, it will not raise much tax money for the City, but instead incentivize more investors to rent out their properties. This would improve our housing shortage far more simply than building more luxury condos for investors to purchase. The Green Party strongly recommends a YES vote.



YES on Prop N:


In 1998, voters authorized the construction of a garage under Golden Gate Park, to benefit museum patrons. One of the provisions of that ballot measure was that the garage would be "free" to SF taxpayers - it wouldn't be publicly funded, but the garage would be run by the museums through a shell entity called the "Concourse Authority." Prop N would be a public takeover of the garage, eliminating the Concourse Authority and having the City pay for the garage and control parking policies and rates.


Greens fought hard against the garage, and lost. The promised "pedestrian oasis" in the Music Concourse became a traffic circle. SF taxpayers have heavily subsidized the garage over the years, without having any say in how it is run. And the garage entrances that were supposed to be located outside of the park are instead near the museums, which makes more cars drive through the park in order to get to the garage.


The current situation is the worst of both worlds: SF residents are on the hook for paying for the garage, while having no say in how it is run. It's time to bite the bullet and take it over. Having control over the garage would allow SF to allow the garage to be open as needed, and set parking rates at a level that would allow museum visitors to park there instead of clogging up surface streets. SF could also open JFK Drive to recreational uses without making convenient parking for people with disabilities prohibitively expensive.


Although Greens still support closing the garage altogether, taking it over from the museums would be a step in the right direction. Vote Yes on N.



YES on Prop O:


Prop O is a parcel tax to restore classes that were recently cut at City College. See our College Board endorsement for more on that decision. Unlike most "flat" parcel taxes, in which all property owners pay the same amount, Prop O is progressive, with larger buildings and commercial property owners paying more. It's therefore both a good way to raise funds, and a worthy cause to spend money on. Greens strongly endorse Prop O.


For the last 20 years, private interests have salivated at the thought of driving City College into financial insolvency and then taking it over. And although SF voters enthusiastically endorsed Prop W in 2016, most of the funds raised by the real estate transfer tax have been captured by our corrupt City government, rather than being sent along to the college as voters intended. This has resulted in another accreditation crisis, and mass layoffs of teachers who taught classes that are valuable to our community.


Greens value City College as a place where San Franciscans of all ages can go to take classes, not just as vocational training or preparation for a 4-year college, but also for personal enrichment. Language and arts classes are particularly important. This year's mass layoffs made such classes especially hard to get into; it seems the priority of current City College leadership is to turn the institution into a junior college that feeds students into 4-year universities, rather than a public institution that improves the lives of all San Franciscans.


Prop O funds are dedicated to "supporting student enrollment and basic needs," "basic-skills needs of City residents," job training, and equity and social justice programs. We expect that Prop O funding will be used to re-hire teachers who were laid off, and restore more language and arts classes, as these directly address the needs of City residents.


Prop O is a good example of how to design a parcel tax that requires wealthier people to pay more. The annual tax would be $150 for single family homes and duplexes, or $75/unit for apartment buildings. Small commercial properties (under 5,000 square feet) would also be taxed at $150/year. However, larger commercial properties would be taxed at higher rates, up to $4,000/year. Although this is not as progressive as a tax that falls exclusively on wealthy people and corporations, it's more progressive than most taxes in SF.


Please join us in voting YES on Prop O!




State Props:


YES on Prop 1:


The right to an abortion is a fundamental civil right that is threatened by reactionaries on the Supreme Court and in Congress. Prop 1 would recognize this right by adding it to the California constitution.


Enshrining the right to abortions in law, as opposed to relying on court decisions, is something that pro-choice politicians should have done long ago at both the state and national level. This demand has been part of the Green Party platform from the time our party was founded, and making it happen in California is better late than never.


Abortions, like all other medical care, should also be free to patients, paid for through an expanded "Medicare for All" style universal health care system.


Join us in supporting Yes on 1!



NO on Props 26 and 27:


Prop 26 would allow in-person sports betting at both Native American Gaming locations and Horse Racing tracks, and dice games in Native American casinos. Greens are opposed to subsidies for horse racing, as the practice is cruel to animals.


Prop 27 would allow online sports betting, but only outside of Native American lands. It would also require an "operating agreement" with a gaming tribe.


Neither initiative takes into account the associated issues of addiction and corruption that are tied in with gambling, and neither reference the additional pressures on college athletes, outside of California, when betting on college sports is allowed.


For Prop 26 our major specific concerns are the "nuisance lawsuits" it promotes and the disproportionate distributions to specific larger "gaming tribes." And although many tribes support Prop 26, we have concerns about creating yet another precedent for requiring supposedly sovereign tribes to obtain permission from the state for activities on their lands.


For Prop 27, the far more pernicious of the two, the fee structure will 'price out' potential California participants, while allowing "key individuals" with out of state licenses cheap access to the California 'online gaming' market. While they must have an "operating agreement" with a gaming tribe it does not have to be a California tribe. Finally, given the fact that it is online, unlike Prop 26, there will be no way to check underage gambling.


Vote NO on both 26 and 27.



YES on Prop 28:


Prop 28 would increase state spending on K-12 schools in CA by 1%, in order to pay for arts and music. The Green Party supports it.


Greens think 1% is not enough funding, and we are also concerned that some of the money will be spent on charter schools, which have low standards for public accountability. However, Prop 28 is a step in the right direction: increased spending on public schools, so we encourage a YES vote.



YES on Prop 29:


Prop 29 is another re-run of 2018's Prop 8 and 2020's Prop 23. Like the previous propositions, Prop 29 would create new regulations around staffing at dialysis clinics. Greens supported the previous two propositions, and have also endorsed YES on Prop 29. In 2018, we wrote:


  • (The prop) was put on the ballot by SEIU-UHW (Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West), as part of a campaign against several large, rabidly anti-union, medical corporations. We'll continue to fight for universal health care for all. In the meantime, we're happy to stand in solidarity with SEIU-UHW in support.


Greens are once again standing with SEIU-UHW in support of Prop 29. Although this is likely to fail as the previous attempts did, it may help the union get a better deal at the bargaining table. Vote YES.



NO on Prop 30:


Proposition 30 is an environmentally destructive corporate giveaway, enriching huge ride-hail corporations and logging companies, undermining mass transit, and only pretending to protect forests and the climate, while doing the opposite.


Undermining Mass Transit:


80% of Prop 30 taxes would be spent to heavily subsidize private electric vehicles and charging stations while spending no funds at all on environmentally superior mass transit. Ride-hail giants Uber and Lyft (the latter of which has provided the vast majority of funds spent in support of Prop 30) have openly stated their plan is to peddle heavily subsidized, under-priced auto travel, so artificially cheap it will torpedo the revenue of municipal buses and trains, and put mass transit out of business.


The rise of Uber and Lyft has already dramatically reduced mass transit ridership. Prop 30 would give these private corporations massive state subsidies to create a fleet of cars and charging stations for free, leaving electric buses and trains in the dust. Greenhouse gases emitted to build electric cars and batteries are so high that new EVs won't begin to reduce climate warming for a full decade. Because building mass transit requires far less materials and emissions per rider, it reduces greenhouse gases much more, much faster.


The legislative analyst projects that Prop 30 would actually reduce the amount of money CA spends on public transit, as it would "reduce existing state revenues used to pay for activities not funded by Proposition 30."


Logging Forests:


20% of Prop 30 taxes would be spent on "Wildfire Response and Prevention." But a closer look shows that in California logging companies have hijacked our fire prevention programs in order to get paid to clear-cut California forests, claiming that they are "thinning" to "reduce fire risk" when in fact such "thinning" actually increases the intensity and danger of wildfires!


To save the planet we need to spend our government dollars on public transit, not private cars, and on planting trees, not cutting them down.


Vote NO on Prop 30!



YES on Prop 31:


Prop 31 is a referendum to uphold a law passed by the state legislature to ban flavored tobacco products. A YES vote upholds the ban, and a NO vote overturns the ban. Greens have endorsed a YES vote.


Tobacco corporations add menthol and even candy flavors to tobacco products in order to make them more attractive to young people. Getting people started on tobacco at younger ages makes it more likely they will develop lifelong, unhealthy, nicotine addiction.


Prop 31 is also another case of large corporations pouring millions of dollars into ballot initiatives in order to buy laws that help them to profit. This is especially easy in the case of referendums, which are confusingly worded: many voters sign thinking they are supporting the legislative action rather than overturning it. Tobacco companies have tried several times to overturn similar regulations in SF (Prop E in June 2018, and Prop C in 2019). Both times, they failed. However, other large corporations such as Lyft and dialysis companies (see Prop 29) have been more successful. As we've written previously, it's past time to prohibit corporations from spending money to put measures on the ballot. Only humans, not corporations, should be allowed to spend money and otherwise participate in democracy.


Vote YES on Prop 31 to uphold the legislative ban, and to send a message to corporations that want to rewrite our regulations on tobacco.