Mayor: David Chiu, Jeff Adachi, Dennis Herrera (in that order)
I struggled over this one for quite a while. I actually like Ed Lee, our interim, quite a lot. I think he’s done good things for the city. However, I just can’t get over the fact that he lied to get into office. He might have legitimately just changed his mind, or perhaps he was co-opted by some powerful people in the city to stick around. Whatever the case, I can’t move past his promise not to run for mayor — and I think it would haunt him were he to become mayor.
So, that leaves the decision of who else to vote for. I’ve always been a David Chiu fan. Aside from being my supervisor and getting the SF Chronicle’s endorsement, he actually personally responded to the two emails I sent him since I’ve been living in District 3 (see below). He’s very smart, and he — like me and many other San Franciscans — does not own a car. He understands what it’s like to depend on Muni or have to bike around SF, and that wins a lot of points with me. That comes across clearly in his plans for transit and mobility in SF. I think he’s the right choice to be mayor, and he gets my top choice.
Next up was a toughie. I really didn’t like that Jeff Adachi and Dennis Herrera both stood up against the Central Subway, because I think it will be a tremendously beneficial project for San Francisco. However, both of them have shown themselves to be strong leaders — Adachi has almost single-handedly forced the city to address pension reform, making him a persona non grata to many city workers.
And, they also met with the Chronicle’s approval as backups.
Here’s one email from David Chiu, after I asked him what he’s doing to get more housing built, considering skyrocketing rents in San Francisco:
District Attorney: George Gascon
George Gascon is current District Attorney. It’s pretty rare to have someone be the district attorney who hasn’t actually tried a case, but I think Gascon has done a great job despite that. With crime still being significant problem in the city — and San Francisco becoming somewhat of a national laughingstock for often being seen as siding with criminals over police — having the DA being a former cop is an asset.
Despite his affiliation with Gavin Newsom, Gascon is my guy.
SF sheriff: Chris Cunnie
I’m confused why we vote on San Francisco’s Sheriff. Seems like something voters are both ignorant about and don’t need to have much say over. So I’m just going with the Chronicle on this one and voting for Chris Cunnie. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that I don’t want Ross Mirikarimi to have more power.
Local Ballot Measures
Prop A (Schools Bond): Yes
San Francisco schools are in poor shape, and this bond measure provides funds to fix them up and open one new school on the eastern side of the city, where the population is set to boom.
Prop B (Streets Bond): Yes
San Francisco streets are in very poor shape. Anything we can do to improve them is a good thing, especially when it includes new bike lanes and traffic signal improvements to speed transit. It would be better to pay for this out of the general fund, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Prop C (City pension/health care reform): Yes
As a former municipal worker, city pensions are out of control. This ballot measure was both (A) put together through a consensus-building process and (B) trims more than $1 billion off the city future expenses. It gets my vote.
Prop D (City pension reform): No
In isolation, Prop D would be my choice between C and D. It goes deeper than Prop C. However, while I respect what Jeff Adachi is doing putting this on the ballot, I have to support the measure that was placed on the ballot by a wide group of people.
Prop E (Initiative reform): Yes
Allows for initiatives to be modified. Anything that reins in the crazy initiative process is a good thing.
Prop F (Consultant disclosure): Yes
Don’t know much about this, but the Chronicle and SPUR said yes.
Prop G (Sales tax): No
Prop G raises sales tax by .5% on every purchase. While I understand that sales taxes were recently lowered and this would just bring them back near their previous high, it’s simply not the right time for this, and it goes to random public and public safety, so I’m not convinced it’s needed. SF would also have the highest sales tax in the state.
Prop H (School assignment): No
San Francisco schools need help, and the school assignment appears to have significantly contributed to the deterioration. To fix this, the school system just re-did the assignment system recently, through a comprehensive reform process. This measure would elevate the priority of letting kids attend their neighborhood school over other factors. There is much merit to that. But not only am I hesitant to undercut the new process just implemented by the School Board, but as David Chiu said, “The reality today is we do not have great schools in every neighborhood.”
For more recommendations: