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! :/
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.
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
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 require—and 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??”Read more
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
San Francisco District 8
US Congress, District 12
California Board of Equalization
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|
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
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.
The President-Elect's proposed first hundred days' agenda is anathema to progressive beliefs, and could undo years' of work. While the League's primary work has been producing voter guides and increasing voter engagement, we are each part of many communities in San Francisco. Although there is no local election in 2017, there is much work to be done. We reached out to our allies and received suggestions on groups who need your support now.
We have always resisted. Resisted the lies of the two party electoral game. Resisted police beatings and murders. Resisted environmental degradation and the evils of corporate polluters. Resisted male violence and transphobia. Resisted the rich bosses and landlords who own the airwaves and politicians. Resistance is our legacy. Resistance is our duty. We have resisted a long time. We will continue to resist.
Have suggestions for this list? Email us @ [email protected]
Bay Resistance is a new coalition of many of the groups listed below who are working together to resist the Trump administration. They will be sharing rapid response alerts to mobilize against threats to our communities such as immigration raids, healthcare cuts or Muslim surveillance. Sign up on their website and text RESIST to 41411 for action alerts. WHEN THEY COME FOR ANY OF US, THEY TAKE ON ALL OF US!
African Advocacy Network provides legal and social services to African and Afro-Caribbean immigrants and refugees. Contact them for current volunteer opportunities, especially for people who can provide language support. 938 Valencia St., SF, CA 94110
API Legal Outreach fights for justice in the Asian and Pacific Islander communities in SF and Oakland, focusing on issues such as human trafficking, elder abuse, domestic violence, and immigration. Contact them about volunteering (especially pro bono law services) and donating. 1121 Mission St. SF, CA 94103
CARECEN (Central American Resource Center) provides direct services, community development, and advocacy to the Bay Area Latino immigrant community. Contact them to get involved or donate. 3101 Mission St. SF, CA 94110
Dolores Street Community Services- Deportation Defense Program provides pro bono legal defense for individuals facing deportation from the US. You can get involved with this or DSCS's many other programs. 938 Valencia St. SF, CA 94110
La Raza Centro Legal provides legal services for immigration, workers' rights, housing, and civil rights for Latino and low-income communities. Volunteers, especially bilingual Spanish speakers, welcome. Donate here. 474 Valencia St., #295 SF, CA 94103
La Raza Community Resource Center is a bilingual, multi-service organization whose primary focus is to address the unmet needs of Latino immigrants. Contact them about current volunteer opportunities or donate. 474 Valencia St., #100 SF, CA 94103
Chinese for Affirmative Action works on community building, issue advocacy, and social change in the Asian and Pacific American community. They offer many ways to get involved and support their work. 17 Walter U Lum Place, SF 94108
Mujeres Unidas y Activas works to dismantle barriers for Latina immigrants through support groups, leadership training, and political engagement. Support them by volunteering, donating, hiring workers, and more. 543 18th Street, #23San Francisco, CA 94110
PODER works to create people-powered solutions to the profound environmental and economic inequities facing low-income Latino immigrants and other communities of color in San Francisco. Contact them to volunteer, or donate. 74 Valencia Street, #125San Francisco, CA 94103
Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights provides pro bono legal services for in many areas, including immigration, criminal justice, reentry, asylum seeking, and equal employment. They rely on volunteer attorneys, interpreters, and many others, as well as donations. 131 Steuart St #400, San Francisco, CA 94105
Pangea Legal Services provides deportation defense, community empowerment, and policy advocacy for immigrants. Support their work by volunteering, pro bono legal service, or donating. 350 Sansome St #650, San Francisco, CA 94104
Immigrant Center for Women and Children provides affordable immigration services to underrepresented immigrants in California. Lawyers and law students interested in volunteering are encouraged to contact them. 3543 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
International Institute of the Bay Area provides high-quality low-cost legal immigration services to community members who need them most. They have a number of volunteer opportunities and welcome donations as well. 657 Mission Street Suite 301 San Francisco, CA 94105
Racial & LGBTQ Justice
San Francisco Rising is an electoral alliance working to build political power of SF's working class communities of color. While much of their volunteer work comes during campaign season, they also need people to help with policy, fundraising, outreach, and more.
Causa Justa:: Just Cause is a multi-racial community-building organization working to achieve justice for low-income residents of SF and Oakland. They have many ways to get involved, especially for bilingual Spanish speakers. You can donate money or items from their wish list.
Arab Resource and Organizing Center works to empower and organize the Bay Area Arab community toward justice and self-determination. Contact them about volunteer/internship opportunities, or donate here. 522 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110
National Lawyers Guild Bay Area is an association of lawyers, legal workers, and law students dedicated to protecting civil liberties and human rights. Volunteers can become legal observers for protests.
Bay Area Legal Aid provides low-income clients with free civil legal assistance, including legal advice and counsel, effective referrals, and legal representation. They have a range of volunteer opportunities for legal professionals and community members. 1035 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Legal Services for Children provides free legal representation to children and youth. Legal professionals can join their pro bono panel, and others can donate here 1254 Market St, Third Floor San Francisco, CA 94102
Criminal Justice Reform
Officers for Justice works for equal opportunities for POC, women, and LGBT officers in SFPD, and reforming SFPD policy. They invite the public to attend weekly Police Commission hearings, or help out in their office.
St. Anthony's Medical Clinic provides primary and specialty care to families in the Tenderloin, 80% of whom live beneath the federal poverty level. Volunteer with their clinic, dining room, or many other programs, or donate.
Housing & Homelessness
San Francisco Tenants Union advocates for tenants rights and affordable housing, SFTU provides counseling and publishes the Tenants Rights Handbook. SFTU operates almost entirely through volunteers and donations.
Coalition on Homelessness works with homeless persons, services providers, and allies to expand housing and protect the rights of homeless people. Volunteers can join their policy workgroups or help produce the Street Sheet newspaper. Donate here.
350 Bay Area is a grassroots climate movement, working for divestment, renewable energy, and pollution reduction. With multiple active campaigns, they offer several volunteer opportunities. Donate here.
Parents for Public Schools - San Francisco promotes the value of public school education and equitable schools. They work with newcomer families to navigate schools. Parents can volunteer as school ambassadors, and donations are welcome.
UPDATED FOR 2020: we now have twenty-three reasons Ahsha Safai is a terrible Supervisor.
There is so much shady, awful, and downright illegal shit going on in this election, we're all struggling to keep up. With Donald Trump threatening the very fabric of our democracy, misleading political commercials dominating the airwaves, and Scott Wiener spending millions trashing Jane Kim, we're concerned the critical races for the Board of Supervisors aren't getting enough attention.
The race for District 11 (the Excelsior, Outer Mission, OMI) is one of the most contested. We're 100% supporting Kimberly Alvarenga, who is awesome. The big business slates are all supporting Ahsha Safai, who is hella shady. But if you haven't been obsessively reading every local paper and blog, you wouldn't know how shady. So here is a quick summary of nine reasons why we can't let Ahsha Safai anywhere near the Board of Supervisors:
- Safai is supported by the Police Officers Association, the biggest bullies in town and the biggest impediments to reform of the SFPD.
- He's supported by the Mayor, who has done several press events and press releases with Safai in the last few months.
- He’s a house flipper. He bought a house in foreclosures in 2005, and sold it less than a year later for a profit.
- Safai was kicked off the Housing Authority board after Executive Director Henry Alvarez was fired for gross mismanagement, discrimination, and intimidation, and the Authority was found to be in disarray. At the time Safai said Alvarez had “done a great job.”
- On the ballot he claims to be a union organizer, but almost all of Safai's income comes from being a consultant for landlords and developers. In 2012 and 2013, he earned less than $10,000 as a consultant for the janitors union, but more than $100,000 from his consulting firm.
- The leadership of the janitors union pressured its members to campaign for Safai, and fined members who didn’t "volunteer" $150 a day. These are janitors who are barely earning a living wage!
- Safai claims that he "saved St. Luke's Hospital," but the California Nurses Association and others who led that campaign say he had nothing to do with it. Check out this damning video.
- Safai is benefiting from at least $700,000 in independent expenditures from real estate and big tech companies. That is being funneled through the dubiously named Robert F. Kennedy Democratic club to pay for tons of TV commercials. TV commercials on CNN for a district supervisor election?? Why do LinkedIn, Facebook, and Airbnb care about District 11? They don’t. They care about electing Supervisors who will keep their taxes low and favor big business and developers over workers and tenants.
- Safai is an unregistered lobbyist for a real estate developer. Mayor Lee and the Chronicle recently trumpeted a press release about a new development that would be half rent controlled and half affordable housing, and they credited Safai as a “family friend” of the developer who came up with the idea and negotiated it with the Mayor’s office. But the thing is, the developer paid Safai as a consultant, which means his negotiations with the Mayor are lobbying. Safai has never registered as a lobbyist. And the developer’s promise of new rent control housing is hella catfish. There is nothing in writing to describe how it will work or to hold the developer to their sketchy campaign promise. Their announcement sounds awesome, but if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Wow, that's a lot of bullshit!
We're excited to vote for Kimberly Alvarenga, a queer Latina mom who worked in Tom Ammiano’s Assembly office, where she played a significant role in the campaign to Save CCSF, the California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, and Seth’s Law, which protects children who are bullied in California schools. She’s currently the political director for SEIU 1021, the most progressive union in San Francisco.
We also endorsed Francisco Herrera as our #2 choice, and we've heard from some allies who are also including Berta Hernandez (a socialist who seems to share our values, but didn't respond to our questionnaire) on their ballot. With ranked choice voting, you get to vote for up to three candidates. It's fine to include Herrera and Hernandez anywhere on your ballot, but this election will come down to Alvarenga vs Safai.
That's why it's critical to vote for Kimberly Alvarenga and to leave Ahsha Safai off your ballot! Can you please help us out by sharing this and forwarding it to all your friends in the Excelsior, Outer Mission and OMI?