Email the Supervisors to Reject Joe Marshall for the Police Commission

Wow! The Board of Supervisors just voted 8-3 to reject the reappointment of Joe Marshall to the Police Commission! Fewer, Peskin, Cohen, Kim, Sheehy, Tang, Yee, Ronen against. Only Safai, Stefani, Breed supported Marshall. Thanks everybody! Your call & emails made a difference!

Can you please take a quick minute to email the Board of Supervisors to tell them to reject the re-appointment of Joe Marshall to the Police Commission? In May, the Board rejected interim Mayor Mark Farrell's re-appointment of Dr. Marshall, but Farrell nominated him again, and today is the last day for the Board to block his re-re-appointment! We're concerned that Mayor-elect London Breed has said she will support Dr. Marshall. If you want to go the extra mile, call her office at (415) 554-7630 and ask her to reconsider.

Here is a sample email:

Please vote against the re-appointment of Dr. Joe Marshall to the Police Commission. Dr. Marhsall is simply too cozy with the Police Officers Association (POA) to implement the police reforms San Francisco needs.

We are especially troubled by his dishonest statements at the Rules Committee yesterday. He tried to deny that his organization, Alive and Free receives funding from the POA, but their annual reports show POA donations of between $1,000 and $10,000 every year for the last six years! Dr. Marshall also tried to deny that he had initially voted to allow police to use the dangerous carotid restraint. And maybe most disturbingly, he said he didn't think the POA had delayed any of our police reforms! We've seen over and over and over how the POA has tried to stall or block Use of Force reform, body cameras, taser policy, etc.

The Board's recent hearing on applicants for the Police Commission demonstrated that there are many well-qualified community members who are interested in serving on the Commission. Please reject this appointment to create the opportunity for new leadership on police reform.


What's Gonna Happen??

Update 6/25: The Department of Elections concluded their count of ballots on June 21 and found one uncounted card they added to the tally. The final results are expected to be certified this week. Only 53% of the City's registered voters chose to vote. This abysmal showing is considered "high turnout."

Vote-by-Mail 163,827 33.99%
Election Day 89,756 18.62%
Total 253,583 52.61%

When we look at first place ballots cast, here's how the votes shook out on the top three candidates.

LONDON BREED 91,918 36.64%
MARK LENO 61,276 24.43%
JANE KIM 60,644 24.17%

After rank choice votes were distributed, the election was decided by 2,546 votes. Damn.

LONDON BREED 115,977 50.55%
MARK LENO 113,431 49.45%

Take a couple of weeks to enjoy your summer. The November election already?


Update 6/12: Today's election update adds 9,208 ballots and London Breed's lead over Mark Leno grows by 260 votes to 1,861 votes. Today's count included 1,800 vote-by-mail ballots and 7,311 of the 14,000 provisional ballots. We assumed that Leno's hopes of re-taking the lead depended on the provisional ballot strongly favoring him and Jane Kim. With that not happening today when over half of those votes were counted, it looks almost certain that Breed will be our next Mayor. 

We'll say more about this election when the dust settles, but here are a few initial thoughts. Having campaigned for progressive causes for over a decade, we're used to being massively outspent, and we're used to losing. But losing by a couple thousand votes is hard. We know we're not the only ones thinking about what we could've done to hustle a few more votes. It sucks. But even if these results hold, this might be our most successful election yet. We won virtually everything else on the local ballot! That never happens for our slate! Check out the chart below that shows how Prop C eked out a victory--despite big money opposing it and the cynical ploy of Prop D--to fund a groundbreaking new childcare and early childhood education program! When the League was first founded, our goal was to build a progressive majority in our lifetimes. We remain committed to that goal, and we remain committed to keep San Francisco a diverse, just, and healthy city. If this election broke your heart, we suggest taking time for some self-care...And then getting ready to do it all over again for the November election.


Update 6/11: Today's election update adds 9,000 votes to the count and London Breed gains just another 21 votes over Mark Leno from 1,580 votes to 1,601 votes. The Department of Elections says there are about 17,000 votes left to count. That includes 14,000 provisional ballots. Provisional ballots take way longer to count than vote by mail ballots, so we anticipate more waiting and watching.

Update 6/10: Today's election update adds 16,400 votes to the count and London Breed strengthens her lead over Mark Leno from 498 votes to 1,580 votes (103,388 to 101,808). The Department of Elections says there are about 25,000 votes left to count. That includes 14,000 provisional ballots, which have historically leaned more progressive.

Update 6/9 #2: Here's a map from Jim Stearns that shows where today's votes came from. 


You can compare that to this map of where Kim and Leno did well to guess what it means. It looks like it was a pretty even mix of areas favorable to Breed and Kim/Leno. Over on Mission Local's excellent ongoing coverage, political scientist Jason McDaniel says Breed needs a 1,000 vote lead to hold of Leno's expected edge in the provisional ballot. Stay tuned....


Update 6/9 #1: What a rollercoaster! Today's election update adds 23,213 votes to the count and London Breed has retaken the lead from Mark Leno by 498 votes. 2,700 of the votes were mailed in, the rest were dropped off at polling places on Election Day. The Department of Elections says there are about 42,000 votes left to count. That includes 14,000 provisional ballots, which have historically leaned more progressive. They will probably finish the remaining vote-by-mail ballots by Monday, but counting all of the provisional ballots could take another week! Here's a chart of how the vote count has gone. 



Update 6/8 #3: Here's a map from Alex Lantsberg, another friendly data geek, showing where today's votes came from:


You can compare that to this map of where Kim and Leno did well to guess what it means. It looks like it was a pretty even mix of areas favorable to Breed and Kim/Leno. For more thoughts on what it all means, see Mission Local's excellent ongoing coverage.


Update 6/8 #2: Seriously?!? They counted 19,475 votes today and Leno's lead narrowed from 255 votes to 144 votes! The Department of Elections says these votes included 6,000 that were mailed in, and 13,000 vote-by-mail ballots that were dropped off at polling places. There are still 64,900 ballots left to count: 51,000 vote-by-mail ballots, and 14,000 provisional ballots. Here's a chart showing Leno's lead over Breed in blue and the total number of votes cast in red. It looks like the final total of votes will be close to that top line in the graph of 250,000 votes, which would be over 50% turnout.


Update 6/8 #1: Jim Stearns has more maps! This first map shows the votes that were counted on 6/7 that shifted the results towards London Breed. Jim says, "This is derived by comparing the precinct statement of vote released yesterday with the prior day's statement. the areas colored in red and orange represent 50% of the ballots cast; the yellow is an additional 30%. You can see clearly that the central city where both Leno and Kim did best is almost completely missing."


This second map shows, "where 49,100 absentee ballots that arrived on or after election day are from. Some of these may have been counted already, and there may be additional -- this is what the DOE gave us yesterday. Red precincts, with more than 100 ballots each, represent about 50% of remaining ballots; the orange and yellow precincts are about 25% each."


And this map shows the precincts where Leno and Kim's combined first place votes were greater than 50%, as of the count on June 6th. Comparing this to the map above of votes yet to be counted, we see a lot of votes from Leno-Kim strongholds like the Castro, Mission, Noe, Bernal, and Potrero, but also a lot of votes where Breed did well in places like Mission Bay, West of Twin Peaks, and parts of the Bayview and central Sunset.


Update 6/7: Yowzers! They counted 8,065 votes and Leno's lead shrunk from 1,121 to 255 votes! Of the votes counted today, 3,000 were ballots that were received in the mail on Election Day and 5,000 were dropped off at polling places. 

There are still 84,000 ballots left to count! That includes about 9,000 ballots that were received in the mail on Election Day, 3,000 received in the mail today, 39,000 dropped off at polling places, 3,000 votes cast at City Hall on Election Day, and 14,000 provisional ballots. 

What to expect next: In recent elections, the ballots that are mailed in tend to be more conservative, and the ballots dropped off at polling places tend to be more progressive. The provisional ballots are even more progressive. Probably something like 50-80% of those will end up counting. If the historical trend continues, we'd expect things to swing back towards Leno as they count the dropped-off ballots and provisional ballots.

Also, Jim Stearns, one of Leno's consultants, crunched the numbers and says most of today's batch came from Breed-friendly precincts. He also says the remaining ballots skew much younger in age (55% under the age of 50, vs 34% under age 50 for ballots already counted).

Keep the faith, Pissed Off Voters, keep the faith!

Update 6/6: The Department of Elections counted 4,300 votes and Leno's lead dipped down to 1,121 votes. There are about 87,000 ballots left to count: 16,000 that were received in the mail on Election Day, 47,000 dropped off at polling places, 3,000 votes cast at City Hall on Election Day, and 14,000 provisional ballots. The 4,300 ballots counted today were mailed in and received on Election Day. They will also still receive some more in the mail, and if they are postmarked by Election Day, they will count.

Update 6/5: On the final count of the night, Mark Leno inched ahead of London Breed by 1,146 votes. Wow! The #2 votes of Jane Kim's voters broke overwhelming to Leno, so if these results hold, and you voted the League slate, you helped make Leno Mayor!

The rest of the election results are overwhelmingly awesome! Rafael Mandelman won decisively, Prop F (lawyers for tenants facing evictions) and Prop G (parcel tax for teachers' pay) passed, and Prop H (dangerous police taser policy) lost! Prop C to fund childcare and early eduction is clinging to victory. Stay tuned!

Links for election results:

Timing of results:

  • Tuesday at 8:45pm: The Department of Elections will release the first batch of results. These will be only vote-by-mail ballots received before Tuesday. Typically, these are the most conservative votes. Don’t freak out if the results look bad! Have another drink and wait for….
  • Tuesday at 9:45, 10:45, and 11:30pm: Elections will release the totals from ballots cast at polling places.
  • Wednesday at 4pm: Elections will release an updated count and tell us how many ballots they still have to count.
  • Every day after that at 4pm: They'll keep release results until they're all counted.

What to expect?

None of the absentee ballots dropped off at polling places will be counted on Election Night! It might take two weeks for them all to be counted! Also, nobody who registered on Election Day at City Hall will have their ballot counted tonight. Also, none of the provisional ballots will be counted tonight! The drama will play out every day at 4pm in the basement of City Hall when the Department of Elections will release new results.

We’ve been watching this process for years, and almost always, the late results swing the results a few percentage points towards progressive causes. You can see that in the graphs below that we made from the November 2016 results for the District 1 and District 11 Board of Supervisors races.

Over on Mission Local, Joe Eskenazi offers his prognostications based on talking to a bunch of unnamed smart people. They seem to think London Breed will win if Jane Kim and Mark Leno are behind by more than 10% on the initial absentee ballots.

We think that might be overly conservative. If London is only up by 10% on the initial results, that lead could easily shrink to 5 or 6% by the end of the night. Then it will all depend on the late absentee ballots and of course, on how people use their #2 and #3 votes.

There's only been one other example of two major candidates using an RCV strategy like Jane Kim and Mark Leno are doing. In Oakland in 2010, Jean Quan was down by 9.26% and Rebecca Kaplan was behind by 12.15% on first place votes. That was on the final vote count--not the early, conservative vote-by-mail ballots. But when Kaplan's #2 votes overwhelmingly went to Jean Quan, she beat Don Perata 51% to 49%.

Keep the faith, Pissed Off Voters, keep the faith!


November 2016, Board of Supervisors District 11: Ahsha Safai's lead shrunk from 1,418 votes to 412 votes over the course of the vote count!

November 2016 District 11 Results

November 2016, Board of Supervisors District 1: Sandy Fewer's lead grew from -96 votes to 1365 votes over the course of the vote count!

November 2016 District 1 results

Rebecca Solnit: Why I Want Jane Kim to Be San Francisco’s Mayor

Ready for something positive and inclusive and aspirational about the SF Mayor's race? Check out this piece by Rebecca Solnit.

I want a feminist mayor.

I want a mayor who is a champion of human rights.

I want a mayor who knows what it’s like to be a woman, an immigrant, a person of color, an outsider, a newcomer, a beginner, who stands with the dreamers and the old-timers, with the vulnerable and not just the powerful.

I want a mayor who’s passionately committed to keeping this place a sanctuary city.

I want a mayor who will be everyone’s mayor. A mayor who believes that San Francisco is for all of us, poor as well as rich, the baby born last week and the person who’s lived here nine decades, not just those of us in our prime working years. I want a mayor who knows that we need dishwashers and bus drivers and schoolteachers living here. I want the mayor with plans about how to close the widening gulf between rich and poor in in this town (and Jane Kim has them).

Read more

Everybody Loves Mark Leno

There's no debate that Mark Leno was the most progressive member of the state Senate. Whether it was tenant protections, police reform, health care, LGBTQ rights, clean energy . . . you name it, Leno was on the right side. But Leno's super power is his ability to push the envelope on progressive policies while also earning the respect of everyone in the room and charming the pants off his fellow Senators! Check out this video of a bunch of stuffy state Senators gushing about how great Mark is! Drinking game: drink every time they talk about Mark's "grace!" Share this with your more moderate/less firey friends to show them they can feel safe voting for Leno. ;) Wouldn't it be great to have a Mayor who shares our values AND builds political bridges? That's why we're excited to vote for both Jane Kim and Mark Leno. See our voter guide for our full take.

P.S. Did you notice what a sausage fest this video is? Fun fact: there are currently only nine women in California's 40-member state Senate! :/

London Breed Denies Her Anti-Tenant Positions

KALW asked London Breed about the San Francisco Tenants Union's criticism of her record, and it didn't go well. Breed said the SFTU lied when they said she did not support 2014's Prop G, the anti-speculation tax. But then she says she did not take a position. Isn't "not supporting" the same thing as "not taking a position?" That's not a lie. The Tenants Union asked Breed to support Prop G, but she refused to. We were super excited about Prop G to discourage speculators from buying up apartment buildings to evict the tenants and flip the property for a big profit. Unfortunately it lost 46% to 54% after the National Realtors Association parachuted with $2 million against it. Breed could've made a difference on it.

Then Breed said she voted for the ordinance regulating tenant buyouts. But the Board of Supervisors website (page 15) and press reports clearly show she voted against it! We join with the Tenants Union in supporting Jane Kim and Mark Leno as the best choices to protect tenants as our next Mayor.

See our voter guide for our full take on everything on the ballot.

What's Up with London Breed and the Republican Party?

Charlotte Shultz, George Shultz, London Breed
London Breed with George and Charlotte Shultz, January 11, 2018. Photo by Drew Altizer.

(UPDATED 5/17/18 with confirmation from Richie Greenberg.)

In case you hadn’t noticed, things are getting weird in the Mayor’s race! Our friends at the Berniecrats posted this shocking video yesterday of a KTVU report that London Breed’s campaign approached the Republican Central Committee asking them to endorse her as their second choice, but they declined.


Breed rightfully joined the other major candidates in denouncing Angela Alioto’s proposal to weaken San Francisco’s Sanctuary City ordinance, but she’s going to ask for support from our local Republican party who opposes ALL Sanctuary City policy—in addition to all of their other awful policy positions?

This is extra troubling considering Breed’s campaign just paid $9,000 to send out a fundraising letter from George Shultz, a local Republican who was Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of State and Richard Nixon’s Secretary of the Treasurer! We would love to see the distribution list of who they mailed those letters to. We bet they went to a lot of San Francisco’s 35,000 Republicans.

It’s also weird that Breed would want the Republican’s #2 endorsement after she refused the local Democratic Party’s #3 endorsement! What’s going on here?

Read more

The League’s Thoughts on the Housing Crisis

Mission High under construction

One of the big topics in the Mayor’s race is the Housing Crisis. (Another is homelessness, which is totes connected.) We’ve been calling for reforming Prop 13 since we were founded and for building 100,000 new units of housing since 2014. We’re all about building more housing as long as we prioritize protecting vulnerable tenants and building as much affordable housing as is feasible, along with the vital infrastructure to serve all those new bodies.

We’re pissed off at those Forest Hill NIMBYs who blocked affordable housing for seniors, and pissed that the Mayor’s Office of Housing didn’t fight for the project. We’re also pissed off at the developers who are trying to use state law to build less affordable housing than our local laws requireand the state legislators that are enabling them.

You want to upzone the suburbs? So do we! But, we’re skeptical of this idea that, “if the government would just get out of the way and let developers build as much market-rate housing everywhere, everything will be better.” When in the history of capitalism has it worked out to fully deregulate an industry and “let the market decide??”

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June 2018 Candidate Questionnaires

The League thanks the campaigns who took the time to respond to our policy questionnaire. Our qualified members will vote on endorsements on Saturday, March 10.

See links to the candidates full responses below. Be sure to check out what they say about their self-care strategy for the election (here's a twitter thread summary)! And scroll down for a table of the Mayoral candidates responses to our yes/no and short answer questions. 

San Francisco Mayor Candidate

Angela Alioto

Michelle Bravo

London Breed

Jane Kim

Mark Leno

Amy Farah Weiss


San Francisco District 8

Rafael Mandelman


US Congress, District 12

Shahid Buttar

Barry Hermanson

Stephen Jaffe 

Ryan Khojasteh


California Board of Equalization

Malia Cohen


Mayor Candidate Comparison


  London Breed Jane Kim Mark Leno Amy Farah Weiss Angela Alioto Michelle Bravo
Have you signed up for CleanPowerSF? Green Green Super Green Green Super
Support SFERS Divest from Fossil Fuels? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Support expansion of Charter SChools? No No Yes No   No
Do you support the parcel tax for SFUSD? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Implement vacancy controls in SF? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fund representation for all immigration deportation cases? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Allow new Mayor to negotiate MOU with Police Officers Assoc? Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Consider 5+ year old reprimands of police officers for promotions?   No Yes Yes No No
Renew SFPD's involvement with FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force? Yes No No Yes Yes No
Support congestion pricing for the downtown core?   Yes Yes   Yes No
Support increasing the TSF by $5/square foot on commercial property? No Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Support a tax on transportation network companies (TNCs) and other "gig economy" operators? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Which gross receipts measure supported for June 2018? Homelessness Childcare Childcare Childcare Homelessness  
Support the SF tenant right to counsel measure on the June 2018 ballot?   Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Do you support the June 2018 ballot measure to provide SF police with tasers? Yes No No No Yes No
RCV for Mayor?   2nd Leno   2nd  Kim 3rd Leno 2nd Leno  
Board of Supervisors D2?       Stefani, Anderson Anderson Anderson
Board of Supervisors D4? Tang       Tang Kim
Board of Supervisors D6?   Haney Haney Haney, Johnson Trauss, Johnson Haney
Board of Supervisors D8?   Mandelman Mandelman Mandelman Sheehy Mandelman
Board of Supervisors D10? Walton, Ellington Kelly   Kelly, Walton Walton Kelly
Board of Education in 2018? Parker, Zhou Collins, Lope, Satya None Moliga, Chinchilla Parker, Satya Haney
Community College Board in 2018? Selby D'avila D'avila, Selby, Rizzo   Oliveri, Rizzo Temprano, Mandelman, Bacharach
Board of Supes D1 in 2016? Philhour Fewer Fewer Fewer, Lyens, Thornley   Fewer
Board of Supes D3 in 2016? Peskin Peskin Peskin Peskin   Peskin
Board of Supes D5 in 2016? Breed   Breed Preston Breed Preston
Board of Supes D7 in 2016? Yee Yee Yee Yee   Engardio, Yee
Board of Supes D9 in 2016? Arce Ronen Ronen Ronen, Espana Arce, Ronen Ronen
Board of Supes D11 in 2016? Safai Alvarenga, Safai Safai Alvarenga, Herrera, Hernandez Safai Herrera
Board of Education in 2016? Cook, Haney, Norton, McNeil Cook, Haney, Sanchez Cook, Haney, Sanchez, Norton     Haney
Community College Board in 2016? Temprano, Bacharach, Williams, Randolph Mandelman, Temprano, Williams Mandelman, Bacharach, Temprano, Randolph      
2016's Prop D "Let's Elect Our Elected Officials"? No Yes Yes Yes Yes No
2014's Prop G, the anti-speculation tax?   Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes


Interim Mayor Vote at the Board of Supes Tuesday! Come Thru!

Caretaker Mayors

San Francisco voters asked for a transparent process to select an interim mayor, and hopefully that will happen at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, January 23! But, wait, we’ve still gotta show up to make our voices heard. Here's all you need to know to flex your democracy muscle.

(Two weeks ago, we broke down the whole mayoral succession process and gave our take, if you need a refresher.)

Read more

Even Matt Cain Could be Interim Mayor: A Breakdown of Political Inside Baseball

Here’s your secret decoder ring for mayoral succession. The League breaks down the City Charter, definitions, process, and political inside baseball.

It’s been 14 years since San Francisco had a mayoral election without an incumbent! We think it's time.


  • The last time the Mayor’s office was vacant in 2011 was a clusterfuck. The Willie Brown-Gavin Newsom crew pulled power plays to give Ed Lee the power of incumbency, which led to a divisive election and a lot of bad blood.
  • We don’t support power plays where political insiders decide who our mayor is -- even if the potential Mayor is someone we would support.
  • The Board of Supervisors needs to go through a transparent process to select a caretaker Mayor (we’ve got some ideas - see below).
  • San Francisco voters deserve the clean slate of a fair and rigorous debate about who should be our next Mayor without an incumbent running.
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