How Pete's Voting 2018!
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RegionIssue/CandidatePete's RecommendationRationale
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Federal US SenateKevin De LeonDianne Feinstein has been out of step with her electorate (and with me, frankly) for a long time, and hasn't acknowledged the political winds. I'm disappointed that she didn't gracefully bow out befor this race, but it has allowed Kevin De Leon to step fully into the more visionary, progressive stances that he might have shirked if the field was wide open. He's done some bold and great things in Sacramento, and done more than a couple of politically expedient and shortsighted things too- but I am pretty confident he'll be a strong voice on climate, immigration, gun control, health care, and other things important to humans.
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Congress District 13Barbara Lee Continues to speak for me.
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Congress District 15 Shahid ButtarPelosi will win, sure, but I'd love it if when she steps back into the speakers chair if the dems take over congress, she's had to respond to her stances on war, immigration, health care, judges, and the rest, and Shahid is a whip smart dynamic activist who can push her in the right way.
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StateProp 68 YesDriving funds towards low income communities, safe drinking water, and parks- yes please.
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Prop 69 No This is a tricky one. Governor Brown ramrodded through a gas tax last year, which means that more money is coming to the state, and did so on the auspices that that money would go to transit (yay) and roads (boo). This measure attempts to guaranttee that the money is going to go to just that- a reasonable desire. However, California has tied ourselves in so many budgetary knots over the decades through ballot box budgeting, and this would add one more layer of fine print that makes the job of the legislature trying to craft a budget ever more challenging. If we want people to invest in transit, let's elect the right people, build powerful movements that demand it, and do the work of making our democracy work. (Also, I'm not so sure that in the great battle between the "more roads" and the "more transit" constituencies that this would contribute to, our friends of the trains and the bikepaths woud win out.)
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Prop 70Big Fat NoThis initiative is the result of a backroom political deal between Governor Brown and the Republicans last year that sold out the health and well being of people of color, low income people, and all Californians. It's on the ballot because the GOP wants to restrict (really, destroy, but they'll take what they can get) the funds generated from Jerry Brown's cap and trade law that would go towards mitigating climate impacts on low income and communities of color. Vote this puppy down.
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Prop 71YesCommon sense measure to assure we don't end up implementing a law before the votes are done being counted.
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Prop 72YesAs much as I hate to endorse anything Steve Glazer introduced, this is a very simple language change to make it less costly to put a rainwater capture system on your house. Why not:)
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GovernorDelaine Eastin (or John Chaing- or, really, Peter Liu) I know, I know, Gavin's so dreamy, how could anyone vote against him? My vote is for the strongest progressive voice in the race inside the Democratic party, not only because I respect her and believe in her stances, but also becuase I'd like Newsom's people to look at the tallies on June 6th and read a strong performance to his left as an indicator of where he has to run, and to govern.
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Lt. GovernorGayle McLaughinGayle! A true hero, and her run for this office creates a platform to pull everyone running up and down the state towards visionary politics.
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Secretary of StateAlex PadillaPadilla continues to do a serviceable job, centering expanding political engagement and being attentive to underserved communities. No ones better on this ballot.
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Attorney GeneralDave JonesXavier Bercera has such promise as a progressive champion, but he's made several half hearted political missteps, not challenging the death penalty, not challenging Exxon, missing an opportunity to advance health care for all. Dave Jones has been strong as the insurance commissioner and has put forward an ambitious progressive agenda. I'm voting for Dave.
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ControllerBetty YeeYee continues to be a strong voice for governing and budgeting with an explicit goal to eradicate inequity and will do a fine job in a second term, even if she's missed a couple of opportunities to do just that.
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TreasurerVivek Viswanathan or Kevin AkinI'm sad to lose John Chaing from this role, and no one running will live up to his use of the office to talk about challenging inequity. I'm not a fan of Fiona Ma and her more-moderate-than-her-SF-district politics, and her massive mountain of campaign cash will carry her into the run off. Viswanthan has some good ideas (publically financed campaigns, health care regardless of immigration status) and some bad ones (expanding the sales tax before corporate taxes, doubling down on an already robust rainy day fund) but his clear articulation of corporate money being a problem in politics is worth a vote.
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Insurance CommissionerAsif Mahmood (or Ricardo Lara) We get an interesting choice in this one- Ricardo Lara has been an occasionally brilliant, occassionaly frustrating State Senator, leading the legislative push towards health care for all, but also consistently showing his corporate leanings. Mahmood is entirely a mystery, a physician who's avowed commitments are strong, and has somehow raised a bucketload of money. I'm going to vote for Asif, in hopes that he can beat our Steve Poizner, tech billionaire, former republican, stoker of fear of immigrants, and we'll get to choose between Lara and Mahmood in November.
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Superintendent of Public InstructionTony Thurmond!Thurmond is an absolute champion for all the causes I care about, and has made the bold choice to leave his secure job in the Assembly to become the top education official in the state. He's running against corporate raider and charter school crusader Marshall Tuck who must be stopped.
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Board of EqulizationMalia CohenThis position continues to win the awards for "holding place for the poltically ambitious but termed out" and "what the hell do they do anyway?" especially after the board was gutted from 1400 employees to 200. Cohen and Galgiani have both been disappoingtinly moderate and uninspiring in their respective roles in SF and Sacramento- take your pick for mediocrity. I'm going with Cohen who seems to have a clearer idea of what the job actually does.
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Assembly District 15Jovanka Beckles! (don't vote for Buffy Wicks) This race is the royal rumble of June 2018- there appear to be more people running than may end up voting in the election. Of a strong field, Jovanka rises above the rest. She's served honorably as a Richmond city council member and vice-mayor, co-engineering the inspiring emergence of true visionary progressive city governance, fighting against foreclosures, for immigration, education, and health care justice, all taking no corporate contributions and fighting one of the most vile corporations on planet on earth, Chevron, right in their home town. Not to mention, navigating explicit anti-immigrant, anti-gay, and anti-black intimidation week after week at city council, and holding loose cannon mayor Tom Butt to account. If you can't tell, Jovanka's amazing. Many other folks on this list would be adequate representatives- but charter school funded Buffy Wicks has raised an enormous amount of money, carpetbagged her way from DC to run for office here, and would be a huge step backwards from the honorable job that Tony Thurmond and Nancy Skinner before him have done. I've got great respect for Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto but Jovanka's a better candidate, and I wish Ben Bartlett would establish himself in his role in Berkeley (and vote to end Urban Shield, which he failed to do) before jumping off to higher office. Kalb has been tacking to the right and aligning himself with Libby Schaaf. Vote for Jovanka!
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Assembly District 16Rebecca Bauer-KahanIn a district that likely should vote for a Democrat, Catherine Baker has held on and made passing progressive legislation at the state level more difficult. Bauer-Kahan seems capable and willing- let's give her a chance.
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Assembly District 17David ChiuChiu has been better in Sacramento than he was in SF.
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Assembly District 18Rob BontaThis guy's pretty great.
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Assembly District 19Phil TingHe's doing fine.
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Regional Regional Measure 3Meek NoThis is toll increase on bay area bridges to fund lots (lots!) of transportation infrastructure- and I'm all about each of those things. Discouraging driving and putting money into busses, bart cars, ferry services, updated integrated sytstems- all to the good, and I won't be mad at anyone who votes for this thing- lord knows we need infrastructure investments in a real way and soon. But I'm dissappointed that the plurality (45%) of funds seems to go to highways and interchanges- kind of the opposite of forward looking carless public transit. And, there aren't any built in equity provisions for low income communities- in fact, they seem to have baked in the weird thing where rich folks driving their bougie-mobiles can pay more to use the carpool lane, even if they're driving alone. I'm gonna vote no, but won't be mad if it passes- but hope that MTC can craft a better, less road centric, more transparent, more equitable solution when they come back for another round.
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Alameda CountyDistrict AttorneyPamela Price!This is most likely the most important thing on your ballot, both here locally for those who are in favor of justice and true safety, and as a bellweather for the national move towards racial justice and police accountability. Pamela Price is the real deal. She believes in radically shifting our current system of policiing and incarceration towards equity and away from it's racially and economically unjust roots and current realities- and she chose to run for a job where she can actually influence those things every single day, by investing in restorative justice, changing sentencing practices, and standing up for true accountability from law enforcement. Nancy O'Malley has for years has doubled down on the shortsighted "Tough on Crime" practices that have led to the current untenable reality, and her inaction on the multiple murders of people of color by the police and the multiple scandals involving rape, sexual assault, and political and fiscal malfeseance by those who are supposed to keep all of us safe. O'Malley has to go--immmediately-- and we deserve to have Price in this role. Vote for Pamela, and tell everyone you know.
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School Board Area 1Joaquin RiveraThe incumbent is doing pretty well and has stood against the torrential influence of the charter school people.
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Board of Supervisors District 2Richard ValleValle's got a ways to go to live up to being a true progressive champion, but he's making strides.
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Board of Supervisors District 3Wilma Chan Wilma Chan has shown real courage this year- we need to bolster her so she can continue to stand up against the overwhelming influence and atrocity of Sheriff Ahern's machine.
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Assessor Phong La (or John Weed)The Assessor is an important role in real estate and taxation- and we'll need a strong voice for reforming the bonkers and destructive way commercial property tax is assessed in the coming months, as there is an exciting organizing effort to dismantle prop 13 afoot. La (and Weed) both support that - La appears to have stronger experience for other parts of the role.
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Auditor-Controller/ Clerk-RecorderMelissa WilkWilk is a proven administrator of the role, and has made a number of strong commitments to equity and environmental sustainability.
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SheriffUgh. Write in No Confidence. Sheriff Ahern continues to set the bar for the most reprehensible elected official in Alameda County. Collaborating with ICE to deport out neighbors, bilking public funds to draw mor money into the jail's budget while mistreating the prisoners and the employees, envisioning and implementing the largest police militarization training in the world. Oh, yeah, and publically endoresing rampant racist Jeff Sessions for Attorney General. I'm proud that the people of Alameda have risen up to dismantle Urban Shield, I just wish we could find a candidate to step up and dismantle Ahern as well. A boy can dream.
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Measure AYesDesperately needed funding for early childhood education, for families and workers alike. I'm not a fan of using the sales tax as the funding mechanism, but the forethought put into how this will be administered is admirable. Vote yes.
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Measure CYesThis is really kind of amazing - the little town of Emeryville is ready to pony up 50 million dollars of bond funding to support truly afforable housing for vulnerable folks. This is the kind of leadership on the terrifying issue of housing instability that our region needs. Vote yes.
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Measure DYesParcel tax for libraries? Sure. One day we'll have the public budgeting system set up so we don't have to do this year after year, but for now, let's do it and fund our vital public institutions.
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Alameda County Superior Court Office 11Karen KatzFirst- there are 25(!) judges up for election, and only one is being challenged. Second, Katz is a former public defender, strong on issues of equity, and her candidacy comes from her service of low-income people. Third, Flanagan's record is mixed on issues of who gets a fair trial. Let's elect Katz, and then recruit more like her to upend the establishment of our judicial system.
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San FranciscoMayor1.Jane Kim 2.Mark Leno This is gonna be a nail biter, and is an incredibly important race for the future of San Francisco. Jane Kim has grown into a consistent, progressive champion, thoughtful legislator, and capable consensus builder, and is the clear choice for who should lead San Francisco at such a pivotal time. Her commitment to affordable child care, affordable housing, tax equity, student, immigrant and worker rights has been inspiring, and she's consistently effective in every role she's served in. I think she'll be a great mayor. 2. Mark Leno grew into a stalwart champion for low-income and marginlized people in his time in the State Senate, while navigating the immense and cumbersome state budget process with grace and fortitude. If Jane doesn't make it, Mark would make a great Mayor. London Breed's rise and subsequent alignment with the monied developer interests, the police unions, and the conservative establishment of San Francisco that are pushing inequity to it's greatest heights has tipped her hand that a Breed mayorship would accelerate the rampant gentrification of San Francisco. Let's elect Jane Kim!
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Board of Supervisors District 8Rafael Mandleman Rafael has been a consistent progressive champion and visionary leader for students and education in SF- and is up against Jeff Sheehy, who was appointed to replace Scott Weiner as he went to Sacramento, and sit's to close for my liking to corporate developers, as well as being a largely ineffectual and pugnacious member of the board thus far. Go Rafael!
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Superior Court Judge 4Phoenix StreetsThis band of bold Public Defenders are jumping into the race to upend bring their intimiate knowledge of how inequitable the criminal injustice system is, and what tangibly needs to change, to the bench. It is an incredibly inspiring move, and I hope that it inspires more public servants like themselves to challenge the totally unacceptable status quo.
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Superior Court Judge, Seat 7Maria Evangelista
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Superior Court Judge, Seat 9Kwixuan Maloof
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Superior Court Judge, Seat 11Niki Solis
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Prop AYesA thoughtful way to fund mandadted energy infrastructure spending, and potentially open the door to getting out of PG&E's power monopoly.
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Prop BYesYep, straightforward good government/clean money measure to stop folks from taking donations from entities they regulate.
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Prop CYesEven more progressive (and equally as necessary) as the initiative in Alameda County, let's pass this and get some funds into the child care system.
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Prop DSad NoUnfortunately, this decent sounding housing measure is going after the same funding instrument that C would use, and the authors of D put a poison pill in that would mean if D get's more votes, C is cancelled out. We need stronger housing policies than this one anyways, and the jerks who are using this instrument to try and stop C from passing shouldn't be rewarded, so vote for C and let the Prop D folks go back to drawing board and play fair.
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Prop EYesMaintains the ban on flavored tobacco- and shockingly, RJ Reynolds is opposing it. Vote Yes.
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Prop FYesThis is a great measure guaranteeing access to legal help for anyone facing eviction. Up with the tenants, yeah yeah.
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Prop GYesThe heroic work of SF teachers to get an adequate raise in their most recent contract is dependent on this passing- support the teachers! Vote Yes!
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Prop HNO!This is even worse than it looks- and it looks really bad. Not only is it literally a run around by the police union to make it easier for cops to use tasers on people (really), it's also a disengenous, dishonest, and not to mention dangerous subversion of the police accountability structures (the police commission, for one) that have been hard fought for in SF for the last several years. Stop this thing, and stop the POA from doubling down on their racist, undemocratic, bully politicking. Vote No.
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Prop IYesThis is a sort of "Sorry Oakland" from the people of San Francisco to the people of Oakland for stealing the Warriors (and bilking Oakland out of 40 million dollars in the process). Too little to late, folks, but sure- vote to never steal any of our sports teams again.
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