It's that time again! Here's my recommendation for voters.
Democratic Nominee for President: Hillary Clinton
Effectiveness matters. As happy as I am to see a progressive doing as well as Bernie Sanders and as much as I like his position on campaign finance reform, I believe Hillary Clinton is more likely to create effective positive change and that that change will be on many fronts. She's the most qualified candidate for the job I've seen in my life and while she's more of a hawk than I'd like, her commitment to floating the most boats (in terms of increasing quality of life for the most people who are currently struggling) is likely to offset the hawkish appeal of war.
United States Senator: Kamala D. Harris
She's been a very good public servant and I'd like to see her in positions where she can make more of a positive impact.
United States Representative: none
After years of supporting Nancy Pelosi, I am making a vote of no confidence by not voting in this category. She works against public interests on privacy and internet freedom.
State Senator: Scott Wiener
Close call, but Jane Kim supported the ill-thought-through Mission Moratorium and so I'm going with Scott.
Member of the State Assembly: David Chiu
Very pleased to see him advancing to serve the state of California, continuing the good work he's done here in San Francisco.
Member, County Central Committee, Assembly District 17 (DCCC):
I'm voting for the YIMBY slate. I am convinced that more housing, more density, will make for a better San Francisco in the short and long run. Yes, right now a lot of the housing being built is expensive, but we don't have enough housing units at any price for the number of people who want to live here. You don't get to cheap older housing without it having been new once—and this city is way behind on keeping up with demand. I also don't want to see ever more suburbs going in because people can't live near where they work.
Arlo Hale Smith
I filled in the last 2 slots with London Breed and Shaun Haines, both local progressives who bring a good perspective to the DCCC.
Judge of the Superior Curt, Office No. 7: Sigrid Elizabeth Irías
Hwang also well qualified but ran an annoying flyer campaign.
Proposition 50 (Suspension of Legislators): Yes
Provides clarity to means of penalizing legislators accused of wrongdoing. Increases vote requirement to suspend a member of the assembly to two-thirds (from a simple majority). This seems like a good idea in these polarized political times; suspension should be something agreed upon by more than just a bare majority. Removes pay and benefits during suspension.
Measure A, Public Health and Safety: Yes
Funds seismic improvements—a big quake is coming, folks—and improves facilities to help the homeless and mentally ill, communities suffering terribly in the city right now. Only opposition statements came from the Libertarian Party, as ever a good barometer for detecting things to vote opposite to their recommendation.
Measure B, Park, Recreation and Open Space Fund: Yes
Increasing population, and in particular increasing younger population, means our parks are experiencing an increased load. This measure helps stabilize funding to allow better ongoing management. Only opposition statements came from the Libertarian Party.
Measure C, Affordable Housing Requirements: No
Feels good on the surface, but economic modeling (report by SF City Economist here: http://sfcontroller.org/sites/default/files/FileCenter/Documents/7131-151274_economic_impact_final.pdf) suggests it would dampen housing development enough to overall result in a reduction in units. It's not just percentages which matter, it's actual increase in number of affordable units.
Measure D, Office of Citizen Complaints Investigations: Yes
This mandate to investigate any incident in SF in which an SF police officer fires a gun and kills or injures someone will result in approximately six additional investigations per year. That seems like a very reasonable increase in workload to gain more oversight over a problematic area. Only opposition statement is by recurring character Terence Faulkner (count his entertaining affiliations in every voter information pamphlet!) who tells a confusing story about some event in 1859 and makes baffling references to Romeo and Juliet and to the Burr-Hamilton duel.
Measure E, Paid Sick Leave: Yes
Simple streamlining with state law provisions without reducing current coverage. No arguments against; this is just a thing we've required the Board of Supervisors to run by us rather than deciding themselves.
Measure AA, San Francisco Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevention and Habitat Restoration Program: Yes
Lots of nice environmental and shoreline recreational benefits, but one of the really big payoffs from this region-wide $12 parcel tax for the next 20 years is flood prevention. If you believe in climate change, we're going to need this. Only opposition statement is from the Libertarian Party, who apparently don't want anyone to have nice things like a beautiful unpolluted San Francisco Bay.