Completing San Francisco's ballot for November 3 (two-thirds of us will have voted by mail by that date) is a dutiful chore. But I did my homework and cast my votes. Here's what I learned:
Nobody plausible was willing to take a beating against our corporate overlords' bought-and-paid-for incumbent mayor. So we have good people (Francisco Herrera, Stuart Schulman, and Amy Weiss asking us to vote for each of them on the "ranked choice" ballot -- sure, I voted for "1-2-3 "Anybody but Lee!" I'm sympathetic to all the more plausible politicians who took a dive; exposing themselves to a million dollar whooping with little chance of prevailing is something reasonable people might dodge. The current charade reminds me of the 1979 campaign when we had the chance to vote for Jello Biafra as an alternative to a couple of right-centrists (the winner is now in the U.S Senate). Those were the days ...
Then there are the propositions, A through K this year. Four of them (A, F, I, and K -- YES on all ) amount to cries from the heart against the gentrification and displacement created by the tech boom. The effort to pass the lot of them is vital to the future of the city. As of August, renters looking for a one bedroom saw charges of about $3000 monthly; I hope new apartment hunters are making over $100,000 annually, because otherwise they are shit out of luck.
There are a few tricky propositions that deserve a little explication.
- Prop. D is a carefully negotiated compromise with the SF Giants that allows them to build on open port land, including 40 percent affordable rental housing and some spaces that might be within the means of artists. Yes on D just to show that these things can be accomplished.
- Prop. E pretends to extend openness in government. It's a con. I like the League of Pissed Off Voters description:
NO on E.
- No on G; Yes on H Another con job with a counter measure. G would undermine San Francisco's CleanPower initiative in the interests of PG&E; H protects our local sustainability project. Supporters of G count on confusion to pass it. We are not confused and we don't like PG&E.
- Prop. J aims to help longtime businesses getting slammed by rent increases. Yes. (There can be no commercial rent control in California; the corporations persuaded the legislature to outlaw such provisions back in 1988.)
And we need people who give a damn about City College to bolster that board. Tom Temprano has earned progressive support.