Open Letter to Steven Buss

The dude who created a group called "YIMBY Neoliberal" recently published an unauthorized recording of our recent endorsement meeting. We have sent him the following letter and are taking action to protect the privacy of the folks who attended the meeting. What a colossal goddamn waste of time! 


Dear Steven Buss,

This letter relates to your Medium post about the San Francisco League of Pissed-off Voters (“the League”) recent endorsement meeting (the “Meeting”). The League’s endorsement meetings have always been open to members of the public. We like getting input from non-members in our discussions. But shit is different in our strange new world of online meetings and Zoom-bombing. "Public" online is different from public in person. So to ensure an environment where our members could freely express and debate views, we expressly required all attendees of the Meeting to agree to not record or screenshot the Meeting. This is not an uncommon expectation for political meetings.

Despite these expectations, you published an unauthorized recording of the Meeting in your Medium post. In the recording, you included unauthorized use of copyrighted materials owned by the League, as well as unauthorized uses of quotes and likeness of our members and other attendees. Whether or not you personally recorded the Meeting is irrelevant. California is a "two-party consent state," and Cal. Penal Code §632 prohibits "willfully disclos(ing) the contents of a telegraphic or telephonic message...without the permission of that person."  WTF, man?

While we wholeheartedly disagree with your assessment and critique of the Meeting, it is your First Amendment right to say whatever it is you would like to say about the League. However, your unauthorized uses of our intellectual property, including copyrighted materials owned by the League, and unauthorized uses of quotes and likenesses of our members and other attendees is unlawful.

To summarize:

  • Non-members were welcomed to attend, but in order to attend, had to RSVP and commit to not recording, because attendees of the meeting hadn’t consented to being recorded.
  • Whether or not you personally recorded the Meeting is irrelevant. You did not have consent from any of the attendees to publish the unauthorized recording.
  • You did not have consent to publish the statements by League members and other attendees in the unauthorized recording.
  • You also did not have permission to use the Google doc to which the League owns the copyright for, which was also linked to in your Medium post.
  • Hey you're really creeping us out with this stalker stuff. Can you please back off?

In order to resolve this, we ask that you (1) publish a public apology to the League on Twitter for recording an endorsement meeting knowing that recording was expressly prohibited and that you used, without authorization, intellectual property owned by the League, as well as misappropriated the publicity and privacy rights of the League members and attendees of the endorsement meeting with the intent to harass and embarrass the League and publicly commit to not do similar actions in the future; (2) immediately take-down the Google doc; and (3) cease any effort to repost or contest the take-downs of the unauthorized recordings on Vimeo and the Medium post because it is replete with unauthorized uses of intellectual property owned by the League and, as published, violates the right of publicity and privacy of our members and other attendees. Please confirm also that you have deleted and destroyed any and all copies of the unauthorized recording and any intellectual property owned by the League. Please confirm in writing that you have done this by close of business Friday, October 2, 2020.  

As an alternative option to resolve this, respecting your First Amendment right of free speech, please re-post a corrected version of the Medium post removing: (1) the unauthorized recording; (2) unauthorized uses of intellectual property owned by the League; and (3) unauthorized quotes and likenesses of our members and attendees of the Meeting, with the following disclaimer prominently displayed before the contents of the post:

This is an updated version of this post that is edited to remove an unauthorized recording of the San Francisco League of Pissed-off Voters’ recent endorsement meeting that used, without permission, intellectual property owned by the League as well as used unauthorized quotes and misappropriated of the likenesses, publicity, and privacy rights of the League members and other attendees who were recorded without permission. The views expressed in the post are the opinions of the author.

If you’d prefer this option, please post an updated version by the close of business Friday, October 2, 2020. Similarly, if you select this option, please confirm also that you have deleted and destroyed any and all copies of the unauthorized recording and any intellectual property owned by the League.

San Francisco League of Pissed Off Voters

November 2020 Candidate Questionnaires

Big thanks to all of the candidates who took the time to respond to our policy questionnaire.

See links to the candidates responses below.

Board of Supervisors

D1 - Connie Chan

D3 - Aaron Peskin

D3 - Danny Sauter

D5 - Daniel Landry

D5 - Nomvula O'Meara

D5 - Dean Preston

D7 - Stephen Martin-Pinto

D7 - Myrna Melgar

D7 - Vilaska Nguyen

D9 - Hillary Ronen

D11 - John Avalos

Board of Education

Matt Alexander

Kevine Boggess

Alida Fisher

Jenny Lam

Mark Sanchez

Community College Board

Aliya Chisti

Anita Martinez

Jeanette Quick

Geramye Teeter

Tom Temprano

Shanell Williams

Alan Wong

Han Zhou

BART Board, District 9

Bevan Dufty

Patrick Mortiere

Lateefah Simon

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, and you can skip any you don’t want to answer. Let our members know where you stand on the issues—get in touch!

Board of Supervisors: Vote for #HotelsNotHospitalBeds

TL;DR: We can protect our most vulnerable neighbors. Email Supervisors Yee, Fewer, and Mandelman right now to support the emergency ordinance to shelter people in hotels!

A totally foreseeable and preventable tragedy is playing out in our City:

It was obvious when the pandemic started that our neighbors who lack a private bathroom, bed, or home would be most at risk. Most of our allies on the Board of Supervisors immediately called for moving people out of shelters and SROs and off the streets into the thousands of hotel rooms that are now sitting vacant. It's frigging obvious, right? As the Coalition on Homelessness put it, #HotelsNotHospitalBeds. But the Mayor and Department of Homelessness have stubbornly resisted. Check out Joe Eskenazi's damning piece on how we got to this point.

Six Supervisors (Ronen, Haney, Preston, Peskin, Walton and Mar) have sponsored an emergency ordinance to require the City to rent 8,250 hotel rooms by April 26: 7,000 for unsheltered people, 750 for first responder quarantine, and 500 for other quarantines. Much of the cost would be reimbursed by FEMA. (Info on the ordinance: legislative digest, letter from UC Berkeley public health experts, Budget Analyst report.) But emergency ordinances require eight votes, and the vote is happening Tuesday, April 14th.

Please help us right now to convince our three undecided allies on the Board: Supervisors Norman Yee, Sandy Fewer, and Rafael Mandelman.

Our email to the Supervisors:

Supervisors Yee, Fewer, and Mandelman,

The League of Pissed Off Voters has endorsed each of you multiple times, and we're proud of how our members helped get you into office. We consider you allies in our effort to build a progressive governing majority. In these unprecedented times, there is nothing more progressive you can do than vote for the emergency ordinance to secure hotel rooms for San Francisco's most vulnerable. #HotelsNotHospitalBeds

We know you will soon be grappling with how to balance a brutal budget deficit, and we understand it's unclear how much we will be reimbursed for the cost of these hotel rooms. But it is clearly a wise investment to minimize the spread of the coronavirus in our most vulnerable populations. And the moral argument is much more important and unequivocal than any fiscal argument: don't let our unhoused needlessly neighbors die on our streets!

Most urgently,

The San Francisco League of Pissed Off Voters

P.S. The lack of oversight on this failure to care for our homeless neighbors is one more reason we call on you to create a homelessness commission.



What's Gonna Happen?? March 3, 2020 Edition

Want to watch the election results with us?
Join us at El Rio! We'll be the geeks on the back patio scribbling the election results on butcher paper!

When: Tuesday, March 3, 2020, 8pm - ??
Where: El Rio, 3158 Mission Street, south of Cesear Chavez
No cover. 21 and over (sorry, young folks). Cash only bar.

Election Coverage

What to Expect in the Results

The San Francisco election results will be reported in four batches:

  • 8:45pm: This will be only the absentee ballots that were received and processed before Election Day. These are the people who mailed their ballots in early, and these results are always more conservative than the final results. So don't freak out if they look bad!
  • 9:45pm: Initial results from Election Day polling places.
  • 10:45pm: Second batch of Election Day results.
  • Sometime 'round midnight: The final results from Election Day polling places.

Note that there will still be a ton of ballots left to count after tonight. None of the absentee's dropped off today will be counted for several days. The Department of Elections will post updated results every day at 4pm until the count is finished. You can think of the vote count as being divided into these four batches:

  • Early absentee votes: Mission Local reports that about 90,000 votes have been received. These will be the first vote counted reported at 8:45pm, and this will be the most conservative results.
  • Election Day polling place votes: These will all be counted by the end of Election Night. In June 2018, there were 90,000 Election Day voters.
  • Late absentee votes: These are the ballots that people drop off on Election Day or that are received in the mail anytime between today and Friday. Mission Local estimates this could be as many as 100,000 to 140,000 votes. These will take a week or more to count.
  • Provisional ballots: These are people who showed up at the wrong polling place, registered after the deadline, lost their absentee ballot, etc. In June 2018, there were 14,000 provisional voters. God bless this crew, because these are reliably the most progressive batch of ballots!

That means at the end of the night, we will probably only have somewhere around 60% of the vote counted. So any race that is close (within a few percentage points) will probably be too close to call tonight. For the clown car that is the DCCC election, it will probably be several days before we know who wins the last few slots in each Assembly District. Stay tuned, Pissed Off Voters!

Behind the Curtain with the SF League of Pissed Off Voters

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 Fundraising and 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 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 protected] 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:

March 2020 Candidate Questionnaires

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)

A.J. Thomas
Anabel Ibañez
Austin Hunter
Bevan Dufty
Carole Migden
Christopher Christensen
Cynthia Wang
David Campos
Faauuga Moliga
Frances Hsieh
Gloria Berry
Gordon Mar
Hillary Ronen
Honey Mahogany
Jane Kim
Janice Li
John Avalos
Keith Baraka
Kelly Akemi Groth
Kevin Ortiz
Leah LaCroix
Li Miao Lovett
Mano Raju
Matt Haney
Mick Del Rosario
Mike Chen
Nima Rahimi
Nomvula O'Meara
Peter Gallotta
Queena Chen
Rafael Mandelman
Seeyew Mo
Shamann Walton
Shanell Williams
Shaun Haines
Sophie Maxwell
Tyra Fennell

US Representative, District 12

Agatha Bacelar
Shahid Buttar
Tom Gallagher

State Senate, District 11

Jackie Fielder


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.

November 2019 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 August 14th.

See links to the candidates full responses below.


London Breed - Declined to respond.
Robert Jordan - Did not respond.
Wilma Pang - Did not respond.
Paul Y. Robertson - Did not respond.
Joel Ventresca
Ellen Lee Zhou

Board of Supervisors, District 5

Vallie Brown
Ryan Lam
Nomvula O'Meara - Did not respond.
Dean Preston

District Attorney

Chesa Boudin
Leif Dautch
Suzy Loftus
Nancy H. Tung


Paul Miyamoto

Public Defender

Manohar Raju

Board of Education

Bobby Coleman
Jenny Lam
Kirsten Strobel

Community College Board

Ivy Lee


7/17: 2019 Voter Guide Kickoff Happy Hour

Hey Leaguers,

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

Saturday: Vote for Who Represents SF in the Democratic Party

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!

Read more

What's Gonna Happen???

Update 11/7:

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 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:

SF election results summary
SF Ranked Choice Voting results
California 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!


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