Why are we here?
A self-described neoliberal who is running for the Democratic County Central Committee (and, incidentally, chose not to respond to our questionnaire) recently published a “hit piece” on the League. It’s inaccurate, misleading, and silly. It’s also scary because he published stuff about our employers, our housing situations, etc. We initially chose to ignore him to not give any more attention to his campaign, but because the internet has a way of fanning the fake news flames and now other folks are asking questions, here’s a quick rundown on how the San Francisco League of Pissed Off Voters works.
As an all-volunteer group, we often get snowed under with all the work it takes to put out our voter guide — especially with the super quick turnaround for this March election — and we don’t do as good a job as we’d like to of reaching out to new members or explaining how we do things. So in the spirit of doing better at that:
Who decides on the League’s endorsements?
Our members vote on our endorsements at meetings that are open to the public and publicized on our website, facebook, and email list. To qualify as a voting member, you have to make a small contribution and volunteer four hours at official League events in the last year. Non-members are welcome to participate in the discussions at our endorsement meetings before we vote. See more details on our endorsement process here.
Who is on the League Steering Committee?
Our completely volunteer-run Steering Committee manages the logistics of the League — scheduling our meetings, bottom-lining getting the voter guide written and designed and printed, hosting bar crawls and other GOTV events, updating our website and social media, etc. The Steering Committee facilitates our processes — it doesn’t decide on our endorsements.
We don’t currently publish the members of our steering committee, because some of us are uncomfortable with being publicly exposed to the hard knocks of SF politics — like getting doxxed by people mad at us because our politics differ. We’ll consider publishing this in the future, but we’re not inclined to do so in response to this hamfisted attempt at doxxing us.
But also, we’re hiding in plain sight. Our meetings are open to the public, there are photos of us on social media, and our members know who we are. More importantly, we’ve built a reputation over the last 25 San Francisco elections that tens of thousands of voters trust. We don’t have any agenda beyond geeking out on local politics and helping educate our fellow pissed-off progressive voters.
Do you only endorse candidates who agree 100% with your questionnaire?
Of course not. Like most political groups, we ask candidates to answer a questionnaire to inform our endorsement process and get them on the record. We always publish the questions and the responses to our questionnaires to help inform the public.
As you can read for yourself on our website, almost all of the candidates we endorsed disagreed with us on some items or left them blank. Also, the League doesn’t even have a position on a lot of the questions we ask — we’re just trying to understand the candidates and how they approach issues we care about. None of the questions are required, so candidates can answer as many or as few of them as they like, and they can provide any context in an essay question at the end.
Who funds the League?
Our funding comes from a mix of contributions from our members and from campaigns. Like many grassroots campaigns, we have a ton of small-dollar donors. For the price of a pupusa, we can print 100 voter guides. Aside from a handful of folks who get paid for a few hours of distributing the voter guide to far-flung corners of the city, we’re an all-volunteer group. Every dime we raise goes into producing and distributing our voter guide.
The League’s Endorsement Guidelines
- Before we make endorsements, we don’t discuss contributions with any campaigns.
- During our endorsement process, we don’t discuss our budget or campaigns’ ability to contribute to us.
- After our members vote on our endorsements, we ask the campaigns that we endorse to contribute to help produce the voter guide. This is a common practice among political groups that need to cover the costs of designing and printing slate cards.
- We do not discuss campaigns’ placement in our voter guide or how much real estate we’ll give them. (Many slate cards base the size of a candidate’s photo on how much they contribute.)
- We do not provide campaigns with advanced copies of our voter guide or any editorial input on what we write.
- If campaigns who donate to us object to what we say about them in our voter guide, we offer to refund their donation. We don’t make edits to our voter guide unless there are factual errors or new shit has come to light.
- We distribute our voter guides mostly hand-to-hand, giving us a chance to meet and interact with San Francisco voters.
- We offer to give copies of our voter guide to campaigns to distribute on their own. For campaign finance purposes, we report the cost of printing these voter guides as an “in-kind donation” to the campaigns. If you look at our campaign finance statements and see us donating to campaigns, we aren’t actually giving anyone money. We only give them boxes of our voter guides, and we make sure that the amount we give them doesn’t exceed campaign contribution limits.
- When campaigns pledge to donate to us, send them an invoice for Ethics reporting purposes.
- All of our financial disclosures are available at sfethics.org in the City and County of San Francisco Public Portal for Campaign Finance, Lobbyist and Campaign Consultant Disclosure database in the Statements section, under the Committee name, “San Francisco League of Pissed Off Voters”.
So now what?
We hope that answers your questions. If not, email us at email@example.com and we’ll try to respond as long as you promise not to doxx us or write another asinine hit piece on us. But honestly, if you think we’re full of shit, write your own voter guide explaining why. We would much rather geek out debating policy.
P.S. While hater noise sure gets us down, we LOVE talking to SF voters about the issues we care about in the streets, on Muni, on campuses, and in our neighborhoods. Thanks for the love that so many of you send our way every election — we feel it! If you like what we do and want to get involved, get on our email list or check our website or facebook for pub crawls and other opportunities to volunteer, donate if you can, help us educate voters on local races before the March 3rd primary, and become a member of the League!
Curious what all the fuss is about? Check out our Pissed Off Voter Guide for the March 3, 2020 primary election — an 8,000 word democracy bomb of sharp analysis and inside baseball.
Donate to the League: https://theleaguesf.nationbuilder.com/donate
OUR FULL VOTER GUIDE WILL BE POSTED IN FEBRUARY! STAY TUNED!
The San Francisco League of Pissed Off Voters members voted to endorse the following candidates and props for the March 2020 election. Stay tuned for our full, unabridged Pissed Off Voter Guide with all of our analysis! You can see the candidates' responses to our questionnaire here.
President of the United States: No Position
US Representative, District 12: Shahid Buttar
- US Representative, District 14: Jackie Speier
State Senate, District 11: Jackie Fielder
State Assembly, District 17: No Endorsement
- State Assembly, District 19: No Endorsement
Democratic Party County Central Committee, AD-17 (14 seats)
Democratic Party County Central Committee, AD-19 (10 seats)
Li Miao Lovett
Kelly Akemi Groth
Non Partisan Races
San Francisco Superior Court Judge, Seat 1: Maria Evangelista
San Francisco Superior Court Judge, Seat 18: Michelle Tong
- San Francisco Superior Court Judge, Seat 21: Carolyn Gold
- Prop 13: Bonds for Facility Repair, Construction, and Modernization at Public Preschools, K-12 Schools, Community Colleges, and Universities: YES
- Prop A: City College Job Training, Repair and Earthquake Safety Measure: YES
- Prop B: San Francisco Earthquake Safety and Emergency Response Bond, 2020: YES
- Prop C: Retiree Health Care Benefits for Former Employees of the San Francisco Housing Authority: YES
- Prop D: Vacancy Tax: YES
- Prop E: Limits on Office Development: YES
The League thanks the campaigns who took the time to respond to our policy questionnaire. Our qualified members voted on endorsements on December 17th.
See links to the candidates responses below.Democratic Party County Central Committee (DCCC)
Kelly Akemi Groth
Li Miao Lovett
Mick Del Rosario
So many questionnaires! No joke, there could be more.
Though the response deadline has passed, we're still game to post candidate questionnaire responses from candidates who didn't answer. It's almost all multiple choice questions. Let our members know where you stand on the issues.
Here's who didn't answer our DCCC policy questionnaire: Steven Buss, David Villa-lobos, Austin Hunter, Nima Rahimi, Bivett Brackett, Rick Hauptman, Kristen Asato-Webb, Tami Bryant, Nancy Tung, Victor Olivieri, Vallie Brown, William (Anubis) Daugherty, Kathleen Anderson, Abra Pauline Castle, Jane Natoli, Mary Jung, Nadia Rahman, Ahsha Safai, Paul Miyamoto, Mawuli Tugbenyoh, and Suzy Loftus.
OUR FULL VOTER GUIDE WILL BE POSTING IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS! STAY TUNED!
The San Francisco League of Pissed Off Voters members voted to endorse the following candidates and props for the November 2019 election. Stay tuned for our full, unabridged Pissed Off Voter Guide with all of our analysis! And you can see the candidates' responses to our questionnaire here.
- Mayor: No Endorsement
- Board of Supervisors, District 5: Dean Preston
- District Attorney: Chesa Boudin
- City Attorney: Dennis Herrera
- Treasurer: No Endorsement
- Public Defender: Manohar Raju
- Sheriff: No Endorsement
- Community College Board: Ivy Lee
- Board of Education: No Endorsement
- Prop A: Affordable Housing Bond: YES
- Prop B: Department of Disability & Aging Services: YES
- Prop C: Vapor Products: NO
- Prop D: Traffic Congestion Mitigation Tax: YES
- Prop E: Affordable Housing & Educator Housing: YES
- Prop F: Campaign Contribution & Campaign Advertisement: YES
The League thanks the campaigns who took the time to respond to our policy questionnaire. Our qualified members will vote on endorsements on August 14th.
See links to the candidates full responses below.
Board of Supervisors, District 5
Board of Education
Community College Board
While the national attention is on the 2020 Democratic Primary, San Francisco has our own little election coming up November 5, 2019. The League is starting to dig into who and what is on the ballot, and you're invited to join us.
We're having a casual happy hour gathering to go over the ballot, figure out who's researching what, talk about how we do research, what our priorities are, and what we're pissed off about this year. If you're interested in helping with our research process but can't make this event, you can email us back to get involved.
Join us at one of the picnic tables in the back of Thee Parkside. It's all ages, so everyone is welcome.
WHEN: Wednesday, July 17, 6pm to 8:30pm
WHERE: Thee Parkside (map)
1600 17th St at Wisconsin
San Francisco, CA 94107
While most of us have been hibernating from local politics for the holidays, the ever active Democratic Party politicos have been busily gearing up for an election this weekend.
Voters will choose Assembly District Delegates at an obscure meeting called the Assembly District Election Meetings (ADEMs). These delegates help set the policies and priorities for the California Democratic Party. So if you’ve ever been pissed off about sellout Democrats, and you live in David Chiu’s Assembly District, you might want to show up on Saturday (10am-1pm at the Women’s Building) to vote for a bunch of rad progressives who are running against a slate of more middle-of-the-road Dems.
The League’s steering committee has a range of feelings about how involved we should be in ADEMs, absent a formal endorsement process, so we’re not making any official endorsements. We are not a Democratic club and some of us aren’t Democrats. Some of us are turned off by participating in these insider politico machinations and/or question if the ADEMs really matter or if it’s just a popularity contest for politicos. Some of us are excited to see some of our allies and heroes stepping up to run for the ADEMs to reform the state Democratic Party that has been dominated by corporate sellouts for as long as we’ve been around. If this kind of geekery interests you, read on!
Huge thanks to everyone who supported the League this election. You passed out voter guides, pub crawled, helped research, voted on our endorsements, and helped push forward an exciting pissed off progressive slate. We couldn't do it without you. Most of the races have been decided, but with 139,000 ballots left to count, we're still going to be watching those 4pm Department of Elections results...at least for a few days.
Election Day 11/6:
You might notice that few local results are on the news Election Night. We've got you covered for that, too.
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 maaaybe midnight: 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.
Keep the faith, Pissed Off Voters, keep the faith!
When we vote for the Board of Supervisors, a key quality we look for is leaders we trust to stand up to the corporations that want to exploit our City for profit. Christine Johnson was tested on this when she was a Planning Commissioner, and she failed. The Commission was considering regulations for AirBnB at a time when thousands of apartments were being taken off the rental market to be converted into full-time AirBnBs. We are 100% fine with people using Airbnb properly to rent out their home when they’re out of town. But we’re 100% Pissed off at people who profit off converting apartments to Airbnbs. The linchpin of the regulations to prevent that is requiring Airbnb to delete listings that aren’t registered with the city.
Johnson was appointed to the Planning Commission by Mayor Ed Lee. She originally voted to support this regulation. But after she did, the Mayor’s staff texted her, upset by her vote. This video shows how Johnson then awkwardly went back and changed her vote to oppose this crucial piece of our Airbnb regulations. (This was all documented by the Examiner and SF Weekly who obtained copies of the text message exchange depicted in our video.)
For us, that’s disqualifying. As a magnet for innovation, San Francisco also attracts some corporations and start-ups that want to exploit us for profit: our housing, our streets, our data. They want to monetize all of it, and we need leaders who will stand up for us.
That’s why we support Matt Haney for District 6 Supervisor. Read our full take on this race in our voter guide: http://www.theleaguesf.org/#d6
See links to the candidates full responses below.
Board of Supervisors, District 2
Board of Supervisors, District 4
Board of Supervisors, District 6
Board of Supervisors, District 8
Lawrence "Stark" Dagesse - Did Not Respond
Board of Supervisors, District 10
Board of Education
John D. Trasvina - Did Not Respond
John Ignacio - Did Not Respond
Jose Tengco - Did Not Respond
Josephine Zhao - Did Not Respond
Julia Prochnik - Did Not Respond
Li Miao Lovett
Paul Kangas - Did Not Respond
Randy Menjivar - Did Not Respond
Roger Sinasohn - Did Not Respond
Sarah Thompson-Peer - Did Not Respond
Thompson Lenette - Did Not Respond
Victoria Wylie - Did Not Respond
Community College Board
Carmen Chu - Did Not Respond