June 2018 Endorsements

These are the SF Green Party Endorsements for the June 2018 election.

We are handing out a bookmark version of our voter guide.  If you can help distribute bookmarks, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  We are also mailing 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.


Update, May 14: All Greens involved in making our original endorsements have reached unanimous consensus to withdraw our endorsement of Angela Alioto, after she filed a ballot initiative that would result in undocumented immigrants who are arrested under suspicion of committing a felony to be turned over to ICE, without giving the person a chance to contest the accusation.  This act is contrary to Alioto's stated positions in response to our candidate questionnaire, and we cannot support any candidate who denies an accused person's right to due process.


Local candidates

All candidates we endorsed for Mayor and D8 Supe answered our election questionnaires.  You can read their answers here.


Statewide candidates


Local propositions

  • YES on A:  Public utility bonds
  • YES on B:  Prohibit appointed commissioners from running for office without resigning first
  • YES on C:  Tax on Commercial Rents to fund Childhood Education
  • NO on D:  Tax on Commercial Rents to fund Homelessness Services (because it would kill Prop C)
  • YES on E:  Ban on sales of flavored tobacco products
  • YES on FRight to an attorney for tenants facing evictions.
  • YES on G:  Parcel tax to give SF teachers a pay raise.
  • NO on H:  Tasers for SFPD.
  • NO on I:  Advisory measure about the Warriors that will have no effect other than to decrease voters' support for the ballot initiative process.


Regional proposition

  • YES on RM-3:  Raises bridge tolls to pay for more public transit (although some goes to highways, and we think all the money should go to public transit)


State propositions

  • YES on 68:  $4 billion bond that mostly goes to state parks and wildlife (with our usual bond reservations).
  • YES on 69:  Restrict vehicle fees to be used for transportation, with more money for transit (although we would like even more of this money to go to transit).
  • NO on 70:  Raid on "Cap & Trade" fund (although we want real effort to fight climate change, not Cap & Trade).
  • YES on 71:  Allows statewide ballot measures to have time delays.
  • YES on 72:  Tax breaks for rainwater capture systems.


Click below to read our complete Green Voter Guide


Mayor: Mark Leno and Jane Kim (any order)


This June, SF voters have a historic opportunity to end 23 years of rule by the Willie Brown machine. Although Brown himself was term-limited to 8 years, his successors have re-appointed the same department heads, commissioners, and "special assistants" who have run the City for decades on behalf of the wealthy elite.


Our system of ranked choice voting gives us three choices, not just one.  We encourage you to make these choices count by ranking Mark Leno, Angela Alioto, and Jane Kim -- the candidates with the best shot at reforming our corrupt system -- in your preferred order.  Doing this will ensure that our votes count, no matter which of these reform candidates ends up in the final ranked choice bracket opposite the establishment candidate.  There are so many undecided voters that we don't know which will make it, but none of the other candidates has a realistic shot.  Both of our endorsed candidates bring positive qualities to the table, and we hope that a coalition between them will be sufficient to overcome the vast amounts of corporate cash being spent to prop up the status quo.


Mark Leno has built a broad coalition among both progressives and conservatives. During his years in Sacramento, he was a great advocate for tenant rights, public power, and community choice electricity. On his candidate questionnaire, he indicated support for many SF Green Party priorities, including stricter police accountability, improved funding for Muni, and tenant protection from evictions. Leno has grown politically from his origins as a Willie Brown appointee and he has endorsed Greens running for office (including Mark Sanchez for Supervisor). A slight majority of SF Greens wanted to award a #1 ranked endorsement to Leno. However, because we require a supermajority (75%) to make endorsements, the vast majority of Greens ultimately decided not to rank our Mayoral endorsements, in order to create a slate with the best chance at beating Willie Brown's forces.


(Update: as of May 14, we have withdrawn our endorsement of Alioto; see above for reason.)  Angela Alioto has been overlooked by other progressive organizations, mostly due to her strong support for the SF police union and tasers (both of which are completely opposed to the Green Party's position). She has also feuded with Aaron Peskin, who has close ties to many progressive Democratic Party groups: this feud has seemingly led Alioto to make some poor choices for endorsements of local candidates. However, in other areas of policy, Alioto remains solidly in the progressive camp: she has good ideas on helping homeless people, opposes the rampant gentrification that has been ongoing for decades, and is a strong environmentalist. A critical factor in our endorsement decision is that we see Alioto as the candidate most willing to really shake things up at City Hall, by firing some of the most corrupt, entrenched department heads. Although Leno and Kim would be better on issues related to the Police Department, they might be more comfortable than Alioto with some of the current players in City Hall, especially the Rec and Parks Department, which has made a number of moves we view as privatizing our parks (e.g., rentals, entry fees for non-residents, pay-to-play soccer fields). Alioto has also pledged new leadership at Muni and Public Works.


Jane Kim started her political career with the Green Party and served several successful terms as a Green on the School Board, but she switched her registration to Democrat when she ran for Supervisor in 2010. During her two terms as Supervisor, her voting record has been fairly good. The SF Green Party has been tracking all Supervisors' records on important votes since 2012, and Kim has agreed with the Green Party's position in 52 of 70 (74%) key votes over 6 years. In contrast, Mayor Farrell went a perfect 0 for 69 during the same period, and Board President London Breed has gone 16 for 64 (25%) over her 5-year career. Kim's best votes (where Breed voted in opposition) have been for stronger regulations on Airbnb, supporting "Black Lives Matter" protests, funding public education, limiting Mayoral power to appoint Supervisors, increasing developer fees to pay for Muni, and fighting developers' plans to up-zone the entire City. We think that she'll be especially strong on police reform and funding truly affordable housing.



Supervisor, D8: Rafael Mandelman


Rafael Mandelman is running for the Supervisor seat in D8 that was vacated by Scott Wiener when he was elected to the State Senate. Wiener's replacement, Jeff Sheehy, was appointed by Mayor Lee. In his one year in office Sheehy's votes have been as conservative as Wiener's: Sheehy voted the Green Party position in just 1 of 16 key votes in 2017.


Mandelman's not as progressive as some on the board of Supervisors, but he'd be a huge improvement for D8. D8 (which includes the Castro, Noe Valley, Glen Park and Diamond Heights) voted for Gonzalez over Newsom in 2003, but has sent conservative legislators to City Hall ever since. We endorsed Mandelman for Supervisor in 2010, and in both his elections for College Board. He's been a progressive voice on the Board with the exception of his refusal to join colleagues John Rizzo and Brigitte Davila in opposing luxury housing development that's planned for the Balboa Reservoir site adjacent to City College. The site is public land owned by SF, and should be used to build badly needed public housing rather than condos that will be unaffordable to students and other area residents.


Although Mandelman's support for building more luxury housing is troubling, he'll side with the progressive wing of the Board on many other issues: he supports public power and CleanPowerSF, higher taxes to improve Muni service, and immigrant rights. He's also good on voting issues, such as non-citizen and youth voting in local elections, limiting Mayoral appointments, and ranked choice voting. We enthusiastically support his election.


Congress, CD12: Barry Hermanson (Green Party)


Barry Hermanson is running as the Green Party candidate against Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi continues to oppose Green priorities in Washington, including impeachment of Donald Trump. She is opposed to a Healthcare for All "Single Payer" system, and she joined the majority of Democrats in Washington in lobbying for even bigger increases to the military budget than Trump had asked for. Her out-of-touch elitism serves as a lightning rod that boosts the campaigns of thousands of Republicans around the country. Due in part to Pelosi's misleadership, Republicans now control every level of government in most of the country, from school boards to the White House.


The key question facing voters this June is whether Pelosi will face a Republican or a Green this November. Because of the "Top Two" primary, all voters (regardless of party) will vote in a single election in June, with only the 2 leading candidates going on to the November election. A number of progressive Democrats are also running, but they have no plans to build on any political momentum after the June election. If Barry Hermanson can beat the Republican, San Franciscans will for the first time be able to go into November with a clear choice: re-electing Pelosi, who does not represent San Francisco values, or electing a Green who does. And although Pelosi has never agreed to debate her opponents, Hermanson would challenge her support for a long list of terrible policies including the ones mentioned above.


Getting a Green into the November election is our best chance to change the political discourse on a number of issues. Vote Barry Hermanson for Congress this June to make it happen!


Judges: no endorsement


Several lawyers who currently work for the SF Public Defender's office are challenging incumbent judges. We sent candidates a short questionnaire asking them their opinions on the death penalty, reproductive rights, and corporate personhood. Without exception, all candidates refused to provide any information, citing the judicial code of conduct linked below:


(Candidates for judge) shall not: with respect to cases, controversies, or issues that are likely to come before the court, make pledges, promises or commitments that are inconsistent with the impartial performance of the adjudicative duties of the office;

We believe that the code of conduct allows candidates to express opinions that are not "promises or commitments" without getting into trouble. For example, Victor Hwang, who we endorsed for the same office in 2016, was quite open about his personal opposition to the death penalty, while at the same time promising that he would follow the law with impartiality. Because none of the candidates this time would say as much, we did not endorse any of them.


We do agree with the challengers that public defenders are generally preferable as judges over lawyers with a background in prosecution, or as corporate attorneys.


We are particularly concerned about a ruling made by one of the incumbents, Curtis Karnow, in a suit challenging California's unfair election laws. Judge Karnow ruled that six regular citizens who filed a lawsuit challenging a law against write-in votes being counted, and a law that said independent candidates could no longer use the word "independent" to describe their party status. Judge Karnow not only upheld the unfair laws, but required the citizens to pay attorney fees of the firm representing Charles Munger, one of the richest men in California. But we have no idea what Karnow's opponent thinks about the issue, since none of the candidates would discuss their opinions.



Statewide candidates


Governor: We have endorsed multiple Greens running for Governor: Josh Jones, Chris Carlson, and Veronika Fimbres (write-in).


The SF Green Party is focused on local elections, and California's "Top Two" primary system does not give candidates from non-corporate parties a fair chance. Ballot access requirements have been rigged in favor of wealthy candidates: instead of simply gathering signatures from members of one's political party, and competing in a party primary, candidates must now gather thousands of signatures or raise thousands of dollars to appear on the June ballot. Non-corporate candidates must compete in the same primary as well-funded corporate puppets, giving them almost no chance for ballot access in November. Rather than focus on a single candidate who will be blocked by "Top Two" from appearing on the ballot in November, we have endorsed three Greens who are each working to build the Green Party around the state. Vote for any one of them!


Josh Jones is a former campaign organizer with the Berniecrats who joined the Green Party after the 2016 election. He has been endorsed by the California Green Party and he helped start a county Green Party in his home county of Yolo county. He is particularly involved in anti-pipeline activism and empowering people from tribal nations.


Chris Carlson is a student and musician who is focused on anti-fracking activism and the fight to restore the Delta. He is especially concerned about Governor Brown's plan to build giant tunnels to ship water south from the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, which would destroy the local ecosystem and promote suburban sprawl in Southern California.


Veronika Fimbres is a local activist from San Francisco, who is running as a write-in candidate. She is the first Black woman ever to run for CA Governor. Fimbres is a pioneer in the fight for transgender rights, an honorably discharged Navy veteran, and she served as a SF Commissioner of Veterans Affairs for over 14 years. She has been a Green Party member for over 15 years. If you write her in, don't forget to also connect the arrow next to "write-in" or your vote will not be counted!


Lt. Governor: Gayle McLaughlin


Gayle McLaughlin is a former Green Party Mayor of Richmond, CA, who was a key part of the Richmond Progressive Alliance that took City Hall back from Chevron. During her two terms as a Green Party Mayor, McLaughlin was a champion for environmental justice, forcing Chevron to pay an additional $114 million in taxes and preventing expansion of the refinery. McLaughlin also promoted community policing, and she was joined by the police chief she appointed at Black Lives Matter demonstrations against police violence. Her efforts at police reform led to a sharp decrease in violent crime. McLaughlin also launched an ambitious plan for the City of Richmond to acquire "underwater mortgages" through eminent domain, thereby reducing homeowners' debts and preventing evictions.


McLaughlin changed her registration to independent (aka "Decline to State") in order to be able to vote for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Party primary in 2016, and she is running for Lt. Governor as an independent. We believe she still strongly holds Green Party values, and we think that she should have run as a Green in order to continue to build a movement for political change after the primaries are over. We enthusiastically recommend a vote for McLaughlin this June!


Secretary of State: For the same reasons we described in our endorsements for Governor, we have dual-endorsed two Greens, Mike Feinstein and Erik Rydberg.


Mike Feinstein is a long-time Green Party activist and the former Mayor of Santa Monica, CA. He strongly supports expanding Ranked Choice Voting to elections throughout the state. He has also campaigned on implementing proportional representation in the CA legislature. That will ensure that smaller, non-corporate parties like the Greens will have a few representatives, and a voice in our legislative process.


Erik Rydberg is a former Berniecrat who pointed out the conflict of interest in our current Secretary of State, Alex Padilla, campaigning for Hillary Clinton instead of remaining impartial in the party's primary. He has spent most of his time campaigning in California's northernmost counties, and he has been very active in tribal nations' fight against proposed oil pipelines in the area.



US Senate: John Thompson Parker

Controller: Mary Lou Finley

Treasurer: Kevin Akin

Insurance Commissioner: Nathalie Hrizi


The SF Green Party hasn't always been on best terms with the local Peace & Freedom Party. In the interest of extending an olive branch, we're endorsing the same four P&F candidates as the Green Party of California did, in four races where there is no Green running.


As we said in a statewide press release (http://www.cagreens.org/california-green-party-widens-endorsements-other-party-candidates-first-time):

By reaching across party lines, Greens intend to improve the chances for progressives and independents to make it to the November ballot to be heard and elected.



Local propositions:


YES on A: Public utility bonds


Prop A would give the SFPUC the authority to issue revenue bonds to pay for new "clean power" facilities with a 2/3 vote at the Board of Supervisors and the support of the Mayor. Currently, the SFPUC can do this for water-related projects, but cannot build new power projects without going to the voters.


Prop A has safeguards that prevent the SFPUC from using this authority to pay for any new fossil fuel or nuclear projects. And these bonds are backed by revenues from the clean energy projects themselves, not by the SF General Fund, so we are not as concerned with this as we are with most bond spending.


Prop A will help build infrastructure to power CleanPowerSF, which may eventually replace PG&E in SF. Vote Yes!


YES on B: Prohibit appointed commissioners from running for office without resigning first


Prop B is a basic "good government" measure that would require appointed members of SF's Boards and Commissions to resign from those positions in order to run for office. Currently, candidates are allowed to retain their seats, which enables them to perform political favors for potential donors. Prop B would shut down that potential source of corruption, so we enthusiastically endorse it.


YES on C: Tax on Commercial Rents to fund Childhood Education


Prop C is a 3.5% tax on commercial rents to pay for child care and early education. It would raise approximately $146 million every year that would go to free child care and preschool for kids under 6 years old (for poor families; for middle class families, the subsidy would only apply to kids under age 4). The money would also subsidize wages for child care workers (who are notoriously underpaid).


Prop C exempts arts, industrial, and retail spaces; e.g., it would mostly apply to office buildings. And because it was put on the ballot by signatures, it only needs a simple majority of the vote to pass.


SF is a notoriously expensive city for families, and Prop C is a great investment in our future. Vote Yes!


NO on D: Tax on Commercial Rents to fund Homelessness Services


Prop D is a 1.7% tax to pay for homeless shelters, middle class housing and rental subsidies. It would raise $64 million annually. We'd normally support this, except for a key point: Prop D has a "poison pill" that kills off Prop C if D gets more votes.


Conservatives on the Board of Supervisors, led by Ahsha Safai, put Prop D on the ballot to kill Prop C, seemingly out of spite for the fact that Prop C was spearheaded by Jane Kim. Conservatives often use the strategy of filling up the ballot with contradictory propositions in order to confuse voters and cause both measures to fail.


Prop D requires a 2/3 vote to pass, and presumably will only kill Prop C if both get 2/3 of the votes. But vote NO on D (and YES on C) just to make sure this doesn't happen.


YES on E: Ban on sales of flavored tobacco products


In 2017, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to ban sales of flavored tobacco products (such as cigarettes and vaping supplies) in SF. The giant tobacco company RJ Reynolds immediately paid signature gatherers to force the issue onto the ballot, and is currently pouring millions of dollars into the No on E campaign.


Flavored tobacco products are marketed to kids, just as the "Joe Camel" cartoon character was used before that was banned. For example, the JUUL vaping device is made to plug into laptops and is very popular with teenagers, and many companies market vaping liquids that are sold in packages that resemble candy or juice boxes. (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/01/health/fda-crackdown-vaping-children.html) Although tobacco companies argue that adults also use flavored tobacco products to quit smoking, these adults have other options that do not appeal to children.


We also note that Prop E does not ban possession of flavored tobacco products by adults, and therefore is not "prohibition" as some of its more ideological opponents claim. Decreasing the number of kids hooked on nicotine is important for public health, so we strongly support it.


YES on F: Right to an attorney for tenants facing evictions


Prop F would give all SF tenants facing eviction the right to a City-funded attorney to represent them. This would be a great help in reducing the number of evictions in SF, because landlords commonly use illegal tricks to get tenants to vacate their unit. Tenants are currently often unable to afford legal representation, and landlords take advantage of this. Prop F would help to level the playing field and give more people a chance to stay in their units.


Prop F would be a huge step forward for tenants' rights, so we strongly support it.


YES on G: Parcel tax to give SF teachers a pay raise


Prop G is a $298 annual parcel tax to give SF teachers a pay raise. Teachers around the country are striking due to low wages, and teachers in SF are being paid less than their colleagues in surrounding counties. Prop G is a chance to give our teachers a well-deserved pay increase without them having to resort to a strike!


Parcel taxes are a more progressive form of taxation than bonds or sales taxes, and thus are sometimes a good option for increasing local taxes. However, they are still not fair: large downtown corporations pay the same amount as small property owners.


But just as we supported a $99 parcel tax to pay for City College back in 2016, we also strongly support Prop G this time. Senior citizens are exempt from the tax, and it can't be passed through to tenants, so Prop G will mostly affect those who can afford to pay. Vote Yes!


NO on H: Tasers for SFPD


Prop H would require that SF police be armed with tasers, and would give them the right to use these weapons almost whenever they want to.


Proponents of tasers claim police will use them instead of guns. However, a UCSF study (https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2009/01/4188/first-study-test-real-world-effects-stun-gun-use-raises-questions-abo) found that police killings of civilians increased 6-fold after tasers were deployed. The number of civilians that cops killed with guns increased two-fold. The police officers themselves were not any safer: the study showed they had as many officer injuries as before.


In hindsight, these results should have been predicted. Police armed with tasers are more aggressive towards civilians, and often escalate confrontations, which often ends up with the cop shooting the civilian.


Prop H was written by SF's notoriously right-wing Police Union. We support strong civilian oversight of the police, and no tasers. We urge voters to vote NO.


NO on I:


Prop I is a local citizen's group's reaction to SF stealing the Warriors away from Oakland. Although we also strongly oppose the Warriors' move here (especially the lack of infrastructure at the site), Prop I is a completely advisory measure and will do nothing to actually stop what looks like a done deal.


Prop I adds a "placebo" measure to the ballot that makes voters think they're getting something, but which will actually have no effect. This kind of abuse of the important right to place initiatives on the ballot makes voters more cynical, and ultimately will decrease public support for the whole ballot initiative system. Vote No!



Regional proposition:


YES on RM-3: Raises bridge tolls to pay for more public transit


RM-3 would raise tolls on all Bay Area toll bridges except for the Golden Gate Bridge by $3, $1 at a time in 2019, 2022, and 2025. This will raise $4.5 billion over 25 years. RM-3 is a regional measure that will need to be approved by a majority of voters around the Bay Area.


Most of the money will be spent on public transit. Some important investments include new BART and Muni cars, extending Caltrain, and fixing up Muni repair yards. It will also expand ferry service and extend BART, which are investments in transit that are not as cost-effective as funding Muni but will still get cars off the road. There's a little ($150 million) thrown in for biking and pedestrian projects as well.


Along with public transit improvements, RM-3 unfortunately includes a lot of road upgrades, mostly located in the East Bay in order to buy support there. Greens think that all the money (or at least a much larger share) should be spent on public transit instead.


Bridge tolls are a somewhat regressive means of funding, but on average, drivers are wealthier than riders of public transit. It currently costs about half as much to drive to/from the East Bay from most places in SF as it does to take transit, except at peak hours. Therefore, it's fair to ask drivers to pay for better BART service.


Although we have concerns about not enough of the RM-3 funds being spent on transit, on balance we endorse it. In practice, if RM-3 loses, its proponents will come back with another version with more "pork" for suburban drivers and less money for BART and Muni, in order to buy support in the suburbs. We think the current version of RM-3 is a pretty good deal for SF transit riders, so we're supporting it.


State propositions:


YES on 68: Parks and Wildlife bond.


Prop 68 is a $4.1 billion bond, with the money being spent on "Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access For All" programs. Surprisingly, most of this money would actually go to improve state and local parks, and to conserve wildlife.


The measure would require 15 - 20 percent of the funds (depending on the type of project) to be dedicated to projects in communities with median household incomes less than 60 percent of the statewide average. $725 million would go to neighborhood parks in park-poor neighborhoods. No money would go towards environmentally destructive projects such as new dams or Jerry Brown's Delta water tunnels.


Although we have reservations on bond spending, we often make exceptions for public projects. This is one such good use, so we strongly support Prop 68.


YES on 69: Restrict vehicle fees to be used for transportation


California has a long history of diverting revenues meant to improve basic essential transportation and transit infrastructure, and spending those funds elsewhere in the state budget. Prop 69 prevents funds raised for transportation and transit projects from being diverted to other uses, and removes automatic state spending caps that currently prevent transportation and transit revenues from being fully spent.


At a time when the very survival of the planetary ecosystem depends on rapid action to shift to low emission mass transit, it is vital that the state maximize its spending on transit. The US and California are also burdened by decades of dangerous neglect of basic repairs of roads, bridges, railways, and other transportation infrastructure.


Because of these realities we support Prop 69 as an important first step to improving transit and transportation safety.  However we also strongly believe that the state traditionally spends far too much on new and expanded roadways for automobiles (which only serves to increase driving and greenhouse emissions) and spends far too little on expanding mass transit, bikeability, and walkability. This measure would have been far better if it had very specifically earmarked far more funds for transit, bikeways and walkability, and had barred these funds from being used to build new and expanded freeways and roadways.



NO on 70: Raid on "Cap & Trade" fund


Prop 70 will require a one-time two-thirds vote in each chamber of the state legislature in 2024 or thereafter to pass a spending plan for revenue from the state's cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gases.


Greens oppose "cap-and-trade" schemes, as they result in little actual reduction in the use of fossil fuels, and simply allow polluters to pay into a fund when they want to destroy the environment. However, this "Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund" does go to good causes, like local clean energy production, that are a small step towards mitigating the problems caused by the large corporate polluters that pay into it.


Prop 70 was put on the ballot by Republicans to allow them to block spending the money in the fund on these worthy projects. Although the Republican Party is shrinking, they might manage to put together 1/3 of the votes in either chamber of the CA legislature to block these expenditures. This could lead to them demanding more concessions for the big fossil fuel companies, that many Democrats will be all to happy to collude in.


We strongly urge a NO vote on Prop 70.


YES on 71: Allows statewide ballot measures to have time delays.


Prop 71 would amend the State Constitution so that state ballot initiatives take effect by default on the fifth day after the Secretary of State certifies the result of the election. It will also allow the authors of a measure to put "time delays" into initiatives so that they can take effect later.


At present, most state ballot measures take effect the day after Election Day. However, in close elections, it is sometimes not clear which side won. There are often still millions of mail-in and provisional ballots to be counted. Prop 71 avoids situations where a law would take effect, then later be repealed because the it was later found to have lost.


Prop 71 fixes this situation by delaying the law until all ballots are counted, so we support a YES vote.



YES on 72: Tax breaks for rainwater capture systems.


Prop 72 adds rainwater capture systems to a list of other home improvements that are exempt from triggering a property tax reassessment. Prop 72 therefore effectively subsidizes the installation of these systems.


Rainwater capture systems help conserve water, and also have other environmental benefits such as reducing erosion and groundwater contamination. Prop 72 shouldn't have to be on the ballot, but we support it.