How Pete's Voting 2020!
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RegionIssue/CandidatePete's RecommendationRationale
FederalPresidentBernie!This is the first time that California can make a difference in the Democratic Primary in a very long time- and it comes just in time. I count myself lucky to have the chance to vote for someone who believes, genuinely, that all people deserve health care, education, clean air and water, and enough to thrive- and understands that doing so requires being accountable to social movements to actually push that vision forward. Vote for Bernie!
Congress District 12Shahid Buttar!Shahid has been a principled, dedicated activist on issues from war to immigration to a Green New Deal, and I think we would all benefit- around the country and in the bay- from Nancy Pelosi having to account for her less than sterling record on setting a truly inclusive, visionary, progressive agenda for the nation. Vote for Shahid!
Congress District 13Barbara LeeStill speaks for me.
Congress District 15Eric Swalwell, with an asteriskIf Donald Trump has been good for anything (let's be clear- he hasn't), it's been to galvanize some out of place moderate dems to find their progressive legs, and Eric Swalwell certainly fits that bill, finding his stride on gun control, election integrity and more. However, his optimistic participation in the "how many stale white men can we fit on one stage" presisdential primary has had real cost. When Swalwell ran for president, Aisha Wahab, the first Afghan American elected official in the US and a true progressive, stepped forward to run for this seat. When he inevitably dropped out of the primary, he pushed her off the ballot, and denied us all the chance to welcome her rising star into Congress. Aisha, we're ready when you are!
Congress District 17Ro KhannaAnyone remember when I was advocating against voting for this dude in 2016? Good, me neither:) After running as a tech corporatist at first, Khanna's been about as good as it gets in congress. Let's keep him at it.
Congress District 20Adam Bolanos Scow!Adam! He's been fighting oil companies, working for working people, and organizing with farmers and farmworkers in his hometown for decades. Unfortunately, the incumbent Jimmy Panetta, is essentially bought and paid for by those corporations that Adam has been fighting- taking massive amounts of donations from agribusiness, and it shows- his support of factory farms and corporate tax giveaways speaks volumes. Vote for Adam!
StateSenate District 7Marisol RubioIt wouldn't take much to support the opponent of moderate hack, gleeful enemy of working people, and newly minted anti-transgender incumbent Steve Glazer- he's spent his career positioning himself against progressives of all kind, and being rather unpleasant to his constituents while doing it. But Marisol Rubio is more than just the best of the rest- she's a single mom who jumped in to politics when her daughter got brain cancer and couldn't get the care she deserved, and Marisol has translated that into a spirited campaign supporting health care for all, advancing union protections, ending fracking, and more. Vote Marisol!
Senate District 9Nancy SkinnerNancy has been a hero and a dynamite and fearless advocate for the east bay for a long time now, and she'll still get my vote. However, a couple of turns this last year have given me pause. Nancy was a vocal supporter for the Displace-o-rama developer giveaway, SB 50, which thankfully has tanked again. And, strangely, Skinner played a big role in ushering the new A's stadium deal in, which is going to have enormous impacts on pushing people out of Oakland- Nancy should go back to Sacramento, but I hope we can provide her with better solutions to the housing and displacement crisis, and she can provide us with her signature brand of leadership to do the right thing.
Senate District 11Jackie Fielder!Jackie is a powerful force to be reckoned with- having led the remarkable Public Bank coalition, led police accountability efforts in San Francisco, and working building for a Green New Deal, she is the real deal. She's aiming to unseat Scott Weiner, who among other things, has said the solution to housing insecurity is handing the keys to developers (sb 50) and the solution to unhoused people is to hand their autonomy to the police (Conservatorship.) I'm thrilled to support Jackie for State Senate!
Senate District 13Sally Lieber In a wide open race to fill the termed-out Jerry Hill that's full of characters, Sally Lieber is clearly the best choice. Vocal against charter schools, for expanding health care, for truly affordable housing, Lieber is up against big tech money (Becker), realtor money (Oliva), charter money (Masur), and weirdly, his mom's money (Brownrigg). She's by far the best choice. Vote for Sally Lieber!
Senate District 15Dave CorteseThe South Bay has some rumbles this year! The gem of a human Jim Beall is termed out after 436 consecutive years in the Senate, and the scramble in on to replace him. Nora Campos is as corporate as corporate gets, and we should do everything we can to keep her away from the Senate. I am glad that Ann Ravel is running, and she seems like a dedicated public servant and a strong advocate for clean democracy, and I couldn't fault anyone for voting for her. My pick, though, is Dave Cortese, who's work over the years with labor, on climate, on homelessness, and his genuine accountability to the community speaks volumes. I've had my critiques (a bit to close to the police, to be sure) but Cortese will do well in Sacramento.
Prop 13Meek NoNo, this is not "that" Prop 13. And yes, I certainly prefer this one to the 1978 disaster that we're working on dismantling in November (Schools and Communities First!). But for now, let's talk school bonds: clearly, massive amounts of funding is needed to upgrade school facilities, and this bond measure has some equity components built in that similar previous measures did not. Still, I'm not a fan of the building industry using the ballot box as a way to build a guaranteed income stream, and exempt themselves from any and all fees, which this does, and I sure don't like the charter school industry carving out 500 million dollars for themselves, which this also does. I won't be mad at ya if you vote for this, but I do think we've got to find a better way to build safe healthy schools for our kids.
San Francisco CountyProp AYesMore funds for earthquake prep at City College- yes please!
Prop BYesMore earthquake funding, equipped with "citizen oversight"- which is great. I'm always a little nervous about taking out bond money that has law enforcement anywhere near it, but I think this will be bottled up in a way they can't come and get it to build more jails.
Prop CYesRetiree Health Care Benefits for Former Employees of the San Francisco Housing Authority- yep!
Prop DYes!This is a great and visionary measure that punishes speculators- the real villians in the housing troubles of the bay- for keeping land vacant while they reap profits off of skyrocketing rents. Let's pass it here!
Prop EYes!You want to build more office space for tech people? You gotta build affordable housing first. Vote yes on E!
Democratic Party County Central Committee, AD-17(Vote for 14) John Avalos
Hillary Ronen
David Campos
Christopher Christensen
Matt Haney
Frances Hsieh
Shanell Williams
Kevin Ortiz
Nomvula O'Meara
Jane Kim
Honey Mahogany
Gloria Berry
Peter Gallotta
Anabel Ibañez
These are the positions that define the future of the party- including where vital resources land, what the rules are for voting, and the policy fights that define the platform. I'm no lifelong Democrat- but I do believe in fighting inside this institution to make it work on behalf of people and the planet- until we can build something better. These folks are my best suggestions for who to reform and shape the party for the future!
Democratic Party County Central Committee, AD-19Mano Raju
Queena Chen
Leah LaCroix
Li Miao Lovett
Janice Li
Gordon Mar
Faauuga Moliga
Keith Baraka
Kelly Akemi Groth
A.J. Thomas
With people like Gordan Mar and Mano Raju steering the party, truly progressive San Francisco governance will have a better chance. So let's start there, and then work to tear down the two party system:)
San Francisco Superior Court Judge, Seat 1Maria EvangelistaPerhaps the most important thing on the ballot, these are three dedicated, integrous public defenders and tenant attorneys who are stepping up and fighting to reshape the judicial system in San Francisco. Their facing off against three people who've spent their careers as prosecutors- one of which lives in Alameda. Not exactly representing the people. Vote for Maria, Michelle, and Carolyn!
San Francisco Superior Court Judge, Seat 18Michelle Tong
San Francisco Superior Court Judge, Seat 21Carolyn Gold
Alameda CountySupervisor District 1Vinnie Bacon (Bob Wieckowski will be fine too)Ding dong, Haggerty is leaving! After decades of conservative, racist, and downright rude represenation on the boad of Supes, Scott Haggerty is taking his grumpiness and going home! Hooray! This is a huge deal and opens a window to (finally!) hold Sherriff Ahern accountable for all his antics. Vinnie Bacon seems like a thoughtful and progressive public servant and doesn't take corporate money- he'd be great to have in the top two against Bob Wieckowski, who's been a decent State Senator and would make a good Supervisor.
Supervisor District 4Esther GoolsbyNate Miley has spent the last several of his twenty years on the board being an obstructionist to holding police accountable, making real progress on homelessness and housing, fighting environmental pollutants and environmental racism. Esther is a dedicated organizer and community member, and would be a great addition to the board! Go Esther!
Supervisor District 5Keith CarsonKeith is pretty good, and has made big steps forward in the past couple years. With a new board (no Haggerty!) let's hope he can lead
Superior Court Judge, Office #2Elena CondesElena is well positioned to step into this open seat- a defense attorney who has spent her career working advocating for immigrant, women, and indigent defendants. I think she's the best for this important job!
Board of Education Area 2Angela NormandAngela is a union supporter, a dedicated pro-public school activist, a veteran teacher (and a veteran, it turns out), and will make a good addition to the board! She's running to unseat Amber Childress, who has spent her time on the board bowing to the beck and call of the charter industry and all the nefarious things they represent. Vote for Angela!
Democratic Party County Central Committee AD 15Alfred Twu Soli Alpert Paola Laverde Igor Tregub Wendy Bloom Barbara Lopez George Perezvelez Julie CaskeyThese are the best bets to build a progressive party, in my estimation!
Democratic Party County Central Committee AD 18 Royl Roberts Pamela Price Guillermo Elenes Victor Aguilar Marchon Tatmon Henry Gage Andrea Luna Jose Carlos Moreno Austin Tam Howard Egerman  Iris MerriounsThis is a diverse group of talented folks from many movements- civil rights, tenants rights, student movements, disability justice, and more, who are standing up to make the Central Committee actually match the diversity and the progressive spirit of Alameda county. Currently there is only one black person on the Central Committee, and only 4 of the 10 current reps are from Oakland, though most of the district is in Oakland. Vote for these great folks!
Measure CYes!After years of dedicated organizing and powerful work, stymied by restrictive state election law and confounding local ineptitude, this initiative finally has a chance to pass- and it's really important. Child Care is a massive cost for families in our community, and this initiative provides more care for families, and improves the jobs of the people doing that vital work. Which, in turn, is better for literally everything in our community. I'm frustrated that we continue to rely on regressive taxes such as this one which punish poor and working people, but this measure is desperately needed. Vote yes on C!
Oakland Measure QYesA common sense Parcel Tax for Homeless Services, Parks, and Water Quality Improvements- it's all really good stuff, and right on time. And, as a friend who is close to the city budget process said, "If we don't vote for this, we're f@%#ed." Let's do our best to avoid that, and invest in things that can make our city shine.
Measure RYesMan, the future is weird. We need to vote to update the "Paper of Record", because, you know, newspapers don't exist anymore. Go for it.
Measure SYesThis just allows us to spend the money we already agreed to spend- and consequently if we don't, means millions of dollars in funding lost for vital services. Vote yes!
BerkeleyMeasure EYesThree good measures to support Berkeley Educator salaries and needed capital improvements. Yes to all the above.
Measure GYes
Measure HYes
EmeryvilleMeasure KMeek YesEmeryville city council is, at present, a truly progressive body- a remarkable accomplishment given that towns history. And when they ask for funding I'm inclined to go along with it, especially to fund the Emeryville Child Development Center. That said- not a fan of attaching police funding to something like this- and certainly not a fan of a regressive sales tax being the way we build services for people. Nonetheless, better than nothing at all.
Measure FYesParcel tax to fund recruitment and retention of Emeryville educators. Go to it!
Contra Costa CountyMeasure JSureYay for public investments in public transit! Boo for sales taxes. Would love this to be a tax on drivers, or corporations, or the rest to improve BART and transit, but alas.