By Savannah Blackwell
Besides the crucial campaign to keep Chris Daly on the Board of Supervisors, other local races merit attention and support as well.
Green candidate Jane Kim’s second bid for the school board is one. The effort of her fellow Greens, John Rizzo and Bruce Wolfe to join the Community College Board is another, as is the bid by Barry Hermanson, another Green Party member, for the slot Fiona Ma wants in the state house.
And please cast your ballot for longtime progressive activist Krissy Keefer, who has waged a noble, spirited and highly-entertaining effort to remind U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi that her San Francisco base is strongly anti-war, anti-global warming and pro-progressive taxation.
First up: Jane Kim
I have had the pleasure of getting to know Jane the past few months as she and I belong to the same “mod” (30-student section) of first year law students at UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall.
Jane is bright, articulate, capable and strongly committed to tackling the complicated challenges facing the district. Her ability to conduct an energetic campaign while regularly showing up for class (and knowing what’s going on) is impressive. She knows what she’s doing and she connects well with youth. Give her your support.
John Rizzo and Bruce Wolfe are strong progressives with long histories of working hard for our causes. Rizzo was the lone voice of reason on the Golden Gate Park Concourse Commission when the rest of the museum shills on the panel rolled over and allowed Wells Fargo heir Warren Hellman to decimate the park with his nasty parking garage.
Wolfe has played important roles in other progressives bid for office, including those of District 5 Supervisor RossMirkarimi and former supervisor Matt Gonzalez, when he nearly stopped Gavin Newsom from becoming Mayor of San Francisco in 2003.
Barry Hermanson has given yeoman support for many years to important progressive causes such as public power. He deserves the westside’s support.
Krissy Keefer is a force of nature. I didn’t fully realize her astounding talent and power until I watched her lead the Dance Brigade’s performance at the Gay Pride Parade. Watching her muscled dance team bang those drums dressed in warrior garb gave me a moment (alas, a fleeting one) of female Amazonian empowerment. The male-dominated progressive leadership in the city has not given her the help she deserves. And that’s too bad. Because if Krissy can garner double digit support at the polls, she will send an important message to Pelosi to remember that the city residents she represents have been disappointed with her past support of the War in Iraq and failure to push a more environmentally-friendly platform.
Turning to the statewide ballot, there are a handful of measures the importance of defeating or supporting should drive voters to the polls.
The underhanded, heavily financed efforts of the oil industry to whallop Prop 87 have reminded me of the multi-million dollar disinformation campaign waged by PG&E and the state’s other major electricity providers to defeat Prop. 9, the 1998 initiative that would have forced the utilities to foot the bill for their own losses from investing in nuclear generation and corrected many of the problems created by AB1890, the disastrous legislation that partially deregulated the state’s electricity energy.
Prop 87 would force the oil industry to help finance new sources of alternative energy. It prohibits these dirty corporate pirates from passing along the cost to consumers. So when you see the television ads featuring a firefighter claiming the measure would reduce revenue for public safety and education, know that the claim is a lie.
Then there’s Prop 90, a nasty, heavily financed effort to undermine government’s right of eminent domain. Backed by a rich New York real estate investor (and Libertarian) named Howie Rich, this measure is so broadly written that it would hamstring local planning and environmental efforts as well as bankrupt its coffers. The latest polls show that opposition to the measure is growing. Let us hope it ultimately fails.
Prop 85, which would force doctors to notify parents of young women under 18 when they get an abortion, is basically a stealth attack on choice. The League of Young Voters in concert with the League of Pissed off Voters’ slate card put it best: Vote “Hell, no.”
Lastly, Prop 83, while sounding like an effort to protect children from sexual predators, is really a thinly disguised assault on civil rights. The Bay Guardian is right in also identifying this measure as a “cynical” attempt by the GOP to push Democrats into opposing it and then accuse them of “being soft on the worst kind of criminals.” Gross. Vote no.
As for the other races, here’s how we voted or how we would have voted if we lived in that district:
SF Ballot Measures
Prop A -- $450M bond for SF Schools.
Prop B – allows telecommunicating for pregnant supervisors. We have to quote our favorite local political satirist, H. Brown, on this one: “the more time Michela Alioto-Pier spends at home and away from the Board, the better for everyone on the planet.”
Prop C – tasks the city’s Civil Service Commission with polling other Bay Area counties to see if the salaries of City Attorney Dennis Herrera, Mayor Gavin Newsom, Public Defender Jeff Adachi, Assessor-recorder Phil Ting, Sheriff Michael Hennessey and Treasurer Jose, or is it Henry? Cisneros should be increased. Too bad we can’t pick and choose on this one.
Prop E – imposes a 35 percent tax on parking garages and some valet parking services
Prop F – requires SF businesses to offer paid sick leave for workers. May hurt small businesses, but on balance warrants support.
Prop G – forces retail chain stores to get a conditional use before building new outlets in SF
Prop H – provides relocation funds for tenants evicted through no fault of their own
Prop I – forces the mayor to show up at the Board of Supervisors’ meetings occasionally and engage in discourse with its members – in public. High potential entertainment value.
Prop J – statement calling for impeachment of Bush and Cheney
Prop K – proposes financial incentives for development of low-cost housing for seniors and the disabled.
Prop D – protects personal confidential information retained by the city from disclosure. Sounds good, but is so broadly written it likely messes with our local Sunshine Ordinance
State Ballot Measures
1A – prohibits fuel taxes from being used by legislators for purposes other than what they were intended: transportation improvements. While it may sound anti-progressive to oppose this one, as the SF Green Party points out, it would return needed funds for fixing up local roads to local government coffers. Potholes are dangerous to bicyclists as well as polluting cars.
1C – bonds to fund affordable housing projects. Duh.
1D – $10.4 billion bond for California schools. Prop 13 has decimated the state’s school system so we have to borrow just to stick a finger in the dyke.
IE -- $4.1 billion bond for shoring up levees so they can withstand major storms. Hurricane Katrina anyone?
Prop 84 -- $5.4 billion bond for protecting beaches, forests, rivers and streams and all the animals that depend on these invaluable natural resources, including the worst of the lot: humans
Prop 87 – oil company tax for renewables (see above)
Prop 88 -- $50 tax on most California land parcels to fund public education. Again, if we didn’t have Prop 13…
Prop 89 – public financing for state legislature and constitutional offices funded by a .2 percent increase in the corporate tax rate
Props 83, 85 and 90. See above.
SELECTED STATE OFFICES
Governor: Phil Angelides
No comment necessary. But what were the Democrats thinking in promoting the wonkish camera-unfriendly Angelides? It takes a celebrity to beat a celebrity. Warren Beatty is annoying, but he would have been a better choice. No doubt he was unwilling. Sigh.
Lt. Gov: John Garamendi
The race is too tight against conservative Republican Tom McClintock to vote Green
Sec of State: Debra Bowen
At least she understands that electronic voting systems pose major problems
Controller: John Chiang
Treasurer: Bill Lockyer
Attorney General: Jerry Brown
Insurance Commissioner: Cruz Bustamante
Senate: Todd Chretien, Green Party candidate. Send a strong progressive message to Di/Fi, who needs it
Congress D8: Krissy Keefer, Green Party candidate and all around kick-ass activist
Congress D6: No endorsement. Bummer there’s no opposition to Tom Lantos. Somebody get a hook, please.
Bay Area Congressional incumbents we like: D6’s Lynn Woolsey, D7’s George Miller and D9’s Barbara Lee, who cast the lone vote against the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Bless her and keep her.