Supervisor's Report

Election rundown: What’s on your ballot and why?

Welcome back from whatever summer adventures you may have embarked on!

You have no doubt already started receiving campaign literature in the mail and are waking up to yet another election this Nov. 5. For those who are registered absentee voters, you should be getting your absentee ballots the first week of October. For your consideration, here are my humble recommendations for the November 2019 ballot:

Proposition A: Experts agree that money is the single biggest obstacle to addressing our housing crisis, as state and federal funding have dried up. Proposition A is a $600 million affordable housing bond, the largest the city has ever undertaken. A joint effort between the mayor and the Board of Supervisors, there are many housing projects outlined in the bond plan, including dedicated funding for the first time for senior and teacher housing projects. By working with the city controller, passage of this measure will not increase property taxes. Proposition A will help us make considerable progress on our shared priorities to produce and preserve low- and middle-income housing. Yes on A.

Proposition B: Community feedback from the senior and disabled communities led my colleague, Supervisor Norman Yee, to put this charter amendment on the ballot. Proposition B would change the name of the city’s Aging and Adult Services Department and Commission to Disability and Aging Services, to more accurately reflect who the department serves. It would also change the appointment criteria of the seven-member commission and require that one member be over 60 years old, one member be disabled, and one member be a U.S. military veteran. Yes on B.

Proposition C: As Big Tobacco loses its core clientele to smoking-related death and illness, they have made a concerted push to hook younger customers through “kid-friendly” marketing of e-cigarettes. The testimonials from parents, public health officials, and school administrations jive with the numbers from the National Youth Tobacco Survey: E-cigarette use among high-schoolers has risen every year, with 27.5 percent of all high school students vaping. With the most recent vaping death bringing the total to eight so far this year, it’s time to regulate an industry that has invested millions of dollars lobbying against common-sense public health reforms.

Proposition C was put on the ballot by Big Tobacco company Juul to rewrite a local law authored by Supervisor Shamann Walton and City Attorney Dennis Herrera that cracks down on e-cigarettes, which  are unregulated and unauthorized by the FDA. Instead of getting FDA authorization — which would allow Juul to continue selling e-cigarettes in San Francisco — Juul decided to fund Proposition C, a cynical ploy to rewrite the San Francisco Health Code to suit its own business model and tie the hands of the city to regulate addictive nicotine products in the future. Wherever you stand on the issue of vaping, no corporation should be allowed to buy an election so they can make public policy. No on C.

Proposition D: The Marina Times has long covered the debilitating impact of Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) on the city’s street safety and congestion. Multiple studies have affirmed what we know anecdotally to be true: Uber and Lyft vehicles (the vast majority of which come from out of county) have contributed well over 50 percent of the city’s increase in traffic gridlock in the last several years. Because of state law, we can’t regulate them, require them to take the same safety classes as taxi drivers, or cap the number of vehicles on the street, but we can levy an appropriate per-ride fee to pay for their impacts. Proposition D would impose a modest business fee on TNC trip revenue. which would be dedicated to hiring more Muni drivers, increasing our Muni fleet, and funding pedestrian and bike safety projects. Even the TNC companies acknowledge it’s time for them to pay their fair share to mitigate the impacts they are having on our public streets and infrastructure. We would be the first city in California to implement this program, following in the footsteps of Portland, New York City, and the Massachusetts. Yes on D.

Proposition E: If funding is the top obstacle to building affordable housing, the second is developable land. Proposition E would immediately rezone hundreds of large developable parcels and public land for affordable housing and pilot a new category of affordable housing for teachers and educators on SFUSD and City College land. One of our Garfield Elementary teachers recently broke down in tears sharing her struggle to keep herself, her teacher husband, and baby girl off the streets as they prepare to move yet again from a friend’s garage to an RV – while still paying off student loans and teaching full-time. I’m a proud co-author of this legislation, along with Supervisors Fewer, Walton and Haney — and we developed the legislation in partnership with the folks most impacted: our teachers. Join United Educators of San Francisco in voting: Yes on E.

Proposition F: Since the devastating 2010 Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC, corporate money has flooded San Francisco elections like never before. Proposition F would strengthen the San Francisco Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance and limit corruption or the appearance of corruption by restoring transparent campaign disclosure requirements, and curb pay-to-play politics of developers with land use approvals before the city. Yes on F.

As always, please feel free to reach out directly with questions and feedback — and sign up for my District 3 newsletter to get updates on community meetings and events for the rest of the year!

E-mail: [email protected]

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