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 before 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-(including his pure politics critique of Feinstein's handling of Dr. Blasey Ford's courageous coming forward) 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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StateProp 1YesYep, we need an enormous amount of housing, and we need it immediately. This will do some of that- and will direct resources towards veterans, an incredibly important community to support. Though this is too reliant on market incentives and is likely going to end up enriching the developer class, taking this step is better than not.
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Prop 2Meek YesThis poses a more complicated question than it appears- follow me if you dare: Essentially, this would allow the state to siphon money away from mental health services funding that we passed years ago (prop 63) to fund permanent housing for people suffering from mental illness. I definitely think we need funding for this housing, but generally would demand that we go find that elsewhere (say, by taxing the developers who stand to reap even larger profits if this passes, for example), and leave the desperately important funds for mental health services alone. So, I wouldn't be mad at you if you saw this bait and switch and decided to vote no. But, in the end, I support the Housing First model to mental illness, and if this passes it would be a big boon to folks fighting for that here and in other places in the country. Justify one bad precedent with a good one? Maybe.
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Prop 3 Meek NoAnother election, another massive water bond on the ballot that should have been solved by the legislature. When are we going to find a way to solve California's water problems in some other venue than lining up billions of dollars of corporate giveaways to agriculture, making permanent demands on the state budget, attaching the water health of low income people of color, and selling it as a basic water package? This one is more nefarious than the last couple- and though it would do some really important things, I think the damage is more than it's worth.
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Prop 4YesA strong and relatively straight forward measure to fund childrens hospitals. If we pass this one, can we get a true universal system soon? No? Ok, well we'll take this one for now.
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Prop 5Hell NO! This is either an attempt to A. Double down on some of the most shortsighted property tax schemes of Prop 13. B. Sneaky way to say you're helping elder folks while really stealing over 1 billion dollars a year in tax revenue C. Be a pissy way for the never to be trusted California Association of Realtors to play an electoral revenge game with Prop 10 on the ballot. D. All of the above. Any one of those is enough to vote against this one- loudly- all four make it a slam dunk.
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Prop 6Hell NO! Speaking of vindictive, partisan schemes to starve the government- Prop 6 takes the cake. Sure, I wish that Jerry Brown had used his political capital use the gas tax to push for a massive green infrastructure investment instead of roads two years ago, but now that we've got the revenue, we've got to keep it, otherwise the way we fund other parts of the government (health care, education, environment) will take this hit- which, by the way, is what the California GOP is counting on. Send this one back. Vote No.
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Prop 7YesThis is kind of fun- and the real type of thing we should be voting on statewide. I, for one, will happily be done with the "spring forward, fall back" conundrum if we're able to pass this revolutionary measure. Vive la resistance!
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Prop 8YesYou've probably seen a dozen or so ads put up by the No on 8 campaign featuring a dialysis patient- that's becuase the parasitic dialysis industry doesn't want this solid, clear measure to cut into their massive profits that are made at the cost of infirm and elderly people. This initiative would cap those profits, provide stronger benefits to workers inside the intensely anti-worker industry, and set up further accountability. Vote Yes.
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Prop 9 NoWe don't get to vote on the super bonkers "split California into a bunch of states" proposition- but vote No on it anyways:)
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Prop 10 Hell YES!Cheers to those who take on the big fights. California has been strangled by shortsighted housing legislation for decades, and Prop 10 gives us a chance to get that boot off of our neck, put the power back in the hands of local communities, and start to alleviate the massive housing crisis. I was added to the ranks of the thousands evicted this year- if Prop 10 had passed, we might have had a chance to fight it. Don't believe the 60 million dollars of false advertising you're seeing by the landlords on TV- this is the real deal. Vote Yes on Prop 10!
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Prop 11 NoHave I mentioned that I'm not a fan of corporations buying their way out of responsibility on the ballot? The largest private ambulance company in the country put this on to avoid paying out a pending lawsuit - and in the meantime, punishes some of the least valued and most vital employees in our communities, all the while making it harder for first responders to do their jobs and more dangerous for us all. Vote No on 11.
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Prop 12YesThis is part of a continued effort to take on the factory farming industry - a little more space for chickens, veal and pigs. Interestingly, it's opposed by the perpetually politically irrelevant PETA, who rightly say it doesn't go far enough, but it's better than not and sets up potential wins in the future. Vote Yes.
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GovernorMeh. Gavin I guess. You may not have noticed, but there's a Governor's race happening in California. Gavin has been invisible this campaign, doing somethings he should be doing - campaigning for the tight congressional races up and down the state- and somethings he definitely shouldn't be, including coming out against Prop 10 and lining up favors for when he ascends to the crown. Still, John Cox's unabashed Trumpian racism and corporatism deserves to be defeated as roundly as possible, and thanks to the top 2 system, Gavin's all we got.
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Lt. GovernorEd HernandezThere are two uninspired choices for this seemingly very easy job, both of them moderate democrats, and I'm still saddened that we don't get the chance to vote for truly progressive Gail McLaughlin. Elani Kounalakis has taken a bunch of money from big oil and from her real estate family, which I'm not inclined to trust, and Ed Hernandez has been a capable advocate for health care. I'm going to go with Hernandez.
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Secretary of StateAlex PadillaPadilla has overseen a larger expansion of voter participation than anyone in the country, which is a really good thing, and I think he should keep his job. (I am a little curious about the slip ups under his watch - needing to cancel tens of thousands of registrations in the last couple weeks, but he's vastly superior to the right wing alternative.)
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Attorney GeneralXavier BerceraXavier 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. Still, he's a vastly superior choice, but lets watch him (and push him) over the next couple years.
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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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TreasurerMeh.I'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. Fiona Ma has been a corporate apologist for her whole career, and has added the notiriety of continuing to support the reprehensible anti-trans campaign of Josephine Zhao for school board- so she's scoring no points with me, but will probably be better at this job than her GOP opponent.
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Insurance CommissionerRicardo LaraLara is a person more enamored with corporate interest than my liking, but he has been strong in his defense of and advocacy for a true single-payer system- he wrote the bill that died on the vine last year, and hasn't backed away from it. I'm excited to see what he does in the role. And, Poizner has a bunch of his own money, and poses a real danger to the expansion of protections for Californians. Vote for Lara.
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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 has been disappoingtinly moderate and uninspiring in her roles in SF- including waffling on her support for Prop 10. However (are we noticing a theme here?) with the top two primary, Cohen is a lot better than the right winger she's up against. I'm going with Cohen.
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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. All the other qualified candidates in the primary have endorsed Jovanka- not only because she's great, but because her opponent, charter school and developer funded Buffy Wicks has raised an enormous amount of corporate 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. 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, and he'll cruise to re-election, but I am pretty baffled by his not supporting Measure C. If he wants to be the future of SF progressive politics, this guy's got to find a way to pick the right battles and end up on the correct side.
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Assembly District 18Rob BontaUsually one of my favorites, Rob took a big dive in my eyes when he allowed the police and sherrifs to gut legislation around reforming the horrific bail system. Still, he's doing ok.
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Assembly District 19Phil TingHe's doing fine.
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OaklandMayor1.Cat Brooks!!! 2.Pamela Price 3.Saied KaramoozOakland is at moment of true crossroads. Libby Schaaf has hit the gas on the sharpest aspects of gentrification in this town, has laid out a corporate centered, not human centered vision, and has pushed to expand the police department, which is a bad idea in general, let alone when that department has been covering up scandal after scandal. Cat Brooks has been the clearest voice pushing for an Oakland for everyone for over a decade, and I truly believe in her ability to bring that vision to bear. Pamela Price was a phenomenal candidate for District Attorney, she deserves your second place vote. Let's vote for Cat and see what Oakland is capable of.
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City Council District 21.Nikki Fortunato Bas!! 2.Kenzie Smith (don't vote for Guillen) Nikki Fortunato Bas is brilliant, capable, and ready to step onto city council and fight for the Oakland I believe in. Nikki, myself, and dozens of other Oaklanders campaigned hard for Abel Guillen when he first ran for City Council. Years later, we've been dissappointed by his consistent votes to give away public lands, support the police union over common sense measures, failure to lead on affordable housing measures, and let down workers time and time again. It's time for him to go, and Nikki is the right person to take over. Kenzie is running an inspired campaign highlighting the plight of black folks in Oakland and deserves a second place vote. Vote Nikki #1!
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City Council District 41. Sheng Thao 2. Pamela Harris 3. Nayeli MaxsonDistrict 4 is blessed with three dynamic women who would all do well to land at City Hall- Sheng Thao, Pamela Harris, and Nayeli Maxson are all smart, committed, and willing to fight for an Oakland for all of us. I'm voting for Sheng Thao #1, as she's the most qualified and has spent years working in city hall with Rebecca Kaplan's office. I like Pamela's fire, so I'm going with her second. Charlie Michelson was recruited by Schaaf to carry forward her corporate agenda, and Oakland would really suffer if he was elected. Vote for Sheng Thao, Pamela Harris, and Nayeli Maxson!
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City Council District 61.Mya Whitaker 2.Desley Brooks 3.Maria "Marlo" Rodriguez (don't vote for Middleton or Taylor) Oh, if only we could say the same about the talent and depth of candidates in District 6. Look, lets be real: Desley Brooks is not the best Oakland can do. She is, in fact, a deeply flawed elected official, and the people of District 6 deserve better. But she is willing to stand against the tides of corporate sell out that Schaaf has brought to city hall, and she's running against a team of people who are lining up to do just that. I'm going to support Mya Whitaker, a promising young voice in the district, but then going to make sure that I have Brooks on my ballot to make sure the "police, privatize and gentrify" agenda doesn't steal a vote in East Oakland.
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AuditorCourtney RubyBrenda Roberts has been an unethical and ineffective inhabitant of this role and needs to go. Ruby held the role before and didn't do as bold a job as I'd like, but she'll be an improvement.
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School Board District 4Clarissa Doutherd!Clarissa is a brilliant and fierce organizer, mom, and the leader of the strogest parent advocate group I've ever worked with. At a time when the Oakland School Board is under agressive threat by charter school privatizers. She's the best chance that Oakland's got- vote for Clarissa!
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Measure VYesA way to make the cannabis industry more competitive in Oakland.
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Measure WYesI like the design of taxing vacant properties to fund homeless services- wish that it went further, but it's a start and hopefully lays the groundwork for more ahead.
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Measure XYesA real estate transfer tax that will capture revenue from all the crazy expensive houses being sold around this town.
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Measure YYesThis takes one of the loopholes that landlords wield to push people of of their homes off the table- had it been in place in June, I'd have had a chance at beating my eviction. Vote Yes on Y.
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Measure ZYES!This is an inspiring measure, authored by Oakland workers, that raises wages, creates means to report and enforce harrassment of workers, and a system to find bad actors. This is exactly what Oakland needs.
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Measure AAYesFunding for Head Start, early childhood education and college readiness programs, and supported by a whole kit and kaboodle of folks I trust. I'm a little dissappointed in the lack of accountability in the design process- it will essentially allow the Mayor to appoint the people who administer it- and I wouldn't be mad at you if you asked them to go back to drawing board, but but on balance, I think it's a positive thing.
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BerkeleyAuditorJenny WongWong is an experienced, committed person for this important job, and has lined up the trust of many important leaders in Berkeley. She'll do well in the role.
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City Council District 11.Igor Tregub 2.Mary Behm-Steinberg (don't vote for Kesarwani) Igor has been a long time champion of affordable housing, saving Alta Bates hospital, and has stood against Urban Shield, the weapons expo and police militarization training that somehow the Berkeley city council has not yet removed themselves from. Behm-Steinberg seems like a solid progressive - be wary of Kesarwani who has support of developers, the police, and charter school advocates. Vote for Igor, he's gonna be great!
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City Council District 4Kate Harrison!!Kate has done an amazing job on the council in the short 18 months she's been there- a consistent and bold voice for a progressive vision of Berkeley, taking a brave stand against Urban Shield, and pushing for truly afforadable housing, all the while being approachable and ready to push for thoughtful solutions. Vote For Kate #1, and don't rank her conservative developer backed opponents.
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City Council District 71.Aidan Hill 2.Rigel RobinsonKriss Worthington is retiring, and my hope is that Aidan Hill can step in and lead. Aidan and Rigel are both students at UC, which is great and deserves representation at city hall- and Aidan would be the first gender non-conforming person elected to office in the U.S. Oh, and they happen to be a total badass focused on truly affordable housing, police accountability, and public health. Ces Rosales is running, but has been linked to a "develop it all" strategy and has been vocally supportive of Urban Shield- don't vote for her.
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City Council District 81.Mary Kay Lacey 2.Russ Tilleman 3.Alfred Twu (don't vote for Droste) Mary Kay Lacey has the chance to unseat the conservative Lori Droste, and replace her with a strong, talented voice for truly affordable housing, protecting Alta Bates medical center, fighting for true police accountability, and transit and green infrastructure. Tilleman is a little unpolished but has bright ideas, and Twu appears to be mostly progressive, but a bit too comfortable with market rate housing. Regardless, all would be an improvement on the pro police pro developer Droste, and Mary Kay Lacey would be an amazing City Council member. Vote for her #1!
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School District BoardKa'Dijah Brown, Ty Alper, and Dru HowardKa'Dijah Brown is a 27 year old teacher, product of the district, and black woman who will do really well in the role. Ty Alper has been good, and Dru Howard will bring some thoughtful perspective to the board.
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Rent Stabilization BoardMaria Poblet! James Chang, Soli Alpert, Paola Laverde, and John Selawsky - Vote for All 5!This is a rockstar team of tennant protectors at a time in Berkeley when we need them most- make sure to vote for all 5, as the developer shill opponents might slide in unless we vote 1-5.
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Measure OYesAdding to the leadership of Bay Area cities taking on bonds to do real, truly affordable housing work, this is a good one. Vote Yes.
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Measure P Yes In the insanity that is the current housing market, real estate transfer taxes are a quality tool we should be using more of. Wanna sell your property for a couple million bucks? Sure, but drop a few coins to fund homeless services while you do it.
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Measure QYesThe team in Berkeley is ready to go- and banking on Prop 10 passing (vote yes on 10!) so that prop Q can go right into effect and move a bunch of Berkeley properties into rent control right away. Vote yes on Q!
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Measure RYesTakes the obvious next step on climate policy planning for the city of Berkeley.
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Alameda CountyAssessor Phong LaThe 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 supports that - and Jim Johnson, the opponent does not. Vote for Phong La.
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PeraltaPeralta Community College Board Area 3Corean Todd!!Corean Todd is an absolute fighter for students, families, and communities. She stood up against the Oakland A's stadium project that would have been a disaster for Laney and the communities nearby, while her opponent didn't even meet with community members who had concerns. I've organized alongside her for child care for low-income people, and couldn't be prouder to support her for Peralta board. Go Corean!
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Peralta Community College Board Area 5Cindi ReissCindi has been teaching in the system for 15 years, is coming with a great deal of new energy to support students of color and low income students, and would be a welcome replacement for the long term incumbent.
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EBMUDWard 7Nicholas Harvey or no oneHonestly, I'm putting in Harvey just to see what happens when someone is on the ballot so many times. Mellon, the incumbent, hasn't shown much inspiration in the 8 years he's been on the board.
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BARTDistrict 4Meh. Raburn I guess. Robert Raburn really should be good at this - EB Bike Coalition guy, aligned with many progressive issues- but he hasn't been as strong on union stuff and police accountability as he should be. Unfortunately his opponent isn't taking up those issues either- here's hoping we get the chance to push Raburn in the coming term.
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District 6Anu NatarajanNatarajan is well qualified and comes recommended by plenty of progressive folks, the sierra club, and others.
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AC TransitAt LargeDollene JonesI like the idea of a retired bus driver on the AC Transit Board- especially if she knows her stuff and is committed to protecting riders as well. And double especially if the incumbent, Joel Young, is an ethical embarrassment to the institution. Vote for Jones.
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Ward 4Nicholas HarveyHarvey is a go-getter (he's on the ballot like eight times!) and appears knowledgeable on transit issues, and deserves a chance, especially because the incumbent hasn't bothered to tell anyone where he raises his money in the past 7 years.
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Ward 5Diane ShawShaw seems capable to fill this open seat.
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Measure FFYesThis continues the good work of Measure CC, passed in 2004, to protect east bay parks. I wish that they'd taken a breather to get out some of the pesitcide language that's lingered in CC, but in large part, this is a good measure.
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San FranciscoAssesor-RecorderPaul Bellar Bellar is a newcomer who has vowed to put more accountability in the hands of the city, and not just relying on corporate developers to report themselves.
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Public DefenderJeff AdachiContinues to be the best in the business.
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Board of Supervisors District 2Meh. Josefowitz I guess?This is the most conserative district in the city, and with Mark Farrell stepping down, a parade of uninspired people have stepped up to replace him. Nick Josefowitz is probably more progressive than Catherine Stefani, but neither are supporting Measure C, and both are too close to the Police Officers Association.
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Board of Supervisors District 4Gordon Mar!Gordon is an absolute progressive champion, having founded and led Jobs With Justice and been a champion of workers and communities for many decades in SF. He also has the most experience of anyone running in this race, as his opponents are newcomers who have been hand selected by the conservtive leadership in the city. Vote for Gordon!
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Board of Supervisors District 6Matt HaneyMatt Haney is the real deal. He's put his time in on the school board, working for criminal justice reform, educational justice, and many other issues. He's a rising star, a proven progressive, and a genuinely good person. I'm excited to see what he does on the board. Vote for Matt!
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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. Go Rafael!
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Board of Supervisors District 10Tony KellyKelly's been a strong presence in the community for a long time.
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Prop AYesNecessary climate adaptations for rebuilding the seawall- wish that it had stronger protections for Bayview Hunters Point and against rent increases, but it's a good start.
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Prop BYesA good first step to establishing a Privacy First policy for the residents of SF.
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Prop CYES!This is the most important thing on the ballot in SF, and it's well crafted to raise taxes on giant companies and drive that directly towards permanent housing, mental health services, and hygene centers. Vote Yes on C!
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Prop DYesTwo taxes- one on companies that sell in SF but don't have locations here, and one on cannabis gross reciepts- both great ideas. Vote Yes!
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Prop EYesThis redirects an existing tax on hotel rooms to arts and culture in the city, with a focus on preserving unique communities in San Francisco.
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Community College BoardDavila, Rizzo, SelbyThese three incumbents have consistently supported the (absolutely amazing) truly free city college, increasing enrollment, and deserve to stay on the board, even if we disagree on some basic things.
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BART Board District 8Janice LiJanice is an amazing transit advocate, and comes with a clear eyed vision on all the intersections that exist in a role like this: public safety, affordable housing, equity, etc. She'll be the first asian american woman on the BART board ever, and is the right choice.
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Board of EducationAlison Collins, Gabriela Lopez, Faauuga MoligaThis race is a bit nutty, and not only because there are 19(!) people running for three seats. The anti-trans campaign of Josephine Zhao- and the complicity of Mayor Breed and Sen. Scott Weiner in that shitshow- have put a particular charge into this. But, shining through the mess, Collins, Lopez, and Moliga are thoughtful, passionate people fighting for strong public school education, each grounded in their own commnuities. They'll be amazing advocates on the board.
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RichmondMayorMelvin Willis!!Melvin is an amazing communitiy organizer, brilliant young talent, and a vocal advocate for the Richmond of the future. He's spent his young career fighting for truly affordable housing, for police accountability, and for a robust economy for people in Richmond, all while being targetted by Chevron for his dynamite work with communities being poisoned by the giant oil company. Melvin will make an amazing mayor- vote for Melvin!
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State Supreme CourtAssociate Justice"Yes" for Leondra Kruger. "No" for Carol Corrigan. California has the funny practice of voting to retain, not elect, Supreme Court judges. That means you vote "Yes" or "No"- Kruger is no visionary, and lands a little more conservatively than I'd like, but she's mostly fine. Carol Corrigan lands even further to the right, and I prefer she not be on the bench.
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State Court of AppealPresiding Justice Court of Appeal District 1, Division 1Sandra MarguliesVote "No" on Margulies
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Associate Justice Court of Appeal District 1, Division 1James HumesVote "Yes" on Humes
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Associate Justice Court of Appeal District 1, Division 2James A. RichmanVote "No" on Richman.
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Associate Justice Court of Appeal District 1, Division 2Marla J. MillerVote "Yes" on Miller.
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Presiding Justice Court of Appeal District 1, Division 3Peter SigginsVote "Yes" on Siggins.
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Associate Justice Court of Appeal District 1, Division 4Jon B. StreeterVote "Yes" on Streeter.
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Associate Justice Court of Appeal District 1, Division 4Alison M. TucherVote "Yes" on Tucher.
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Presiding Justice Court of Appeal District 1, Division 5Barbara J.R. JonesVote "No" on Jones.
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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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