Thursday, October 23, 2014

Endorsements for November 2014 general election

Upon vote of the membership at its September 18 endorsement meeting, the City Democratic Club announces its endorsements for the November 2014 general election.

State/Federal Offices


Nancy Pelosi for U.S. House of Representatives, District 12.
Jackie Speier for U.S. House of Representatives, District 14.
David Chiu for State Assembly, District 17.
Phil Ting for State Assembly, District 19.

Daniel Flores for Superior Court, Office 20.

Jerry Brown for Governor.
Gavin Newsom for Lieutenant Governor.
Betty Yee for Controller.
Alex Padilla for Secretary of State.
John Chiang for Treasurer.
Kamala Harris for Attorney General.
Dave Jones for Insurance Commissioner.
Fiona Ma for Board of Equalization, District 2.
Tom Torlakson for Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Board of Supervisors


Mark Farrell, D2; Katy Tang, D4; Jane Kim, D6; Scott Wiener, D8; Malia Cohen, D10.

Board of Education


Trevor McNeil, Emily Murase, Shamann Walton.

Community College Board


Four-year terms: Thea Selby, Rodrigo Santos, Anita Grier.
Two-year term: Amy Bacharach.

At-Large Offices


Carmen Chu for Assessor/Recorder.
Jeff Adachi for Public Defender.
Nicholas Josefowitz for BART Board of Directors, D8.

Local Measures


Yes on Prop A, water bonds
Yes on Prop B, population-based indexing of Muni funding
Yes on Prop C, Children's Fund et al
Yes on Prop D, retiree benefits, former Redevelopment Agency employees
Yes on Prop E, soda tax
Yes on Prop F, Pier 70 development
No on Prop G, property transfer surtax
No on Prop H, prohibition on artificial turf
Yes on Prop I, permission of artificial turf
Yes on Prop J, minimum wage increase
No on Prop L, transportation priorities policy statement

The club has no endorsement on Prop K.

State Measures


Yes on Prop 1, water bonds
Yes on Prop 2, rainy-day fund
Yes on Prop 45, health insurance rate regulation
Yes on Prop 47, misdemeanor offense classification

The club has no endorsements on Prop 46 or Prop 48.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

July garden party for David Chiu (photos!)

On a sunny Saturday in July, members of the City Democratic Club's executive board hosted a garden party and fundraiser for Supervisor David Chiu, whom the club has endorsed in the AD17 race. We had plenty of food, a wide variety of wine, and of course the guest of honor.

Below, photos from the party. Much fun was had by the club and its friends.




Wednesday, May 7, 2014

An evening with Supervisor Jane Kim

By Erik Cummins
First Vice President


Facing a capacity crowd of City Democratic Club members at the Chancellor Hotel in April, Jane Kim, the city’s Sixth District Supervisor, focused on four broad legislative agendas.

For starters, the district, which encompasses the Tenderloin, South of Market, Rincon Hill, Treasure Island, Middle Market, South Beach and Mission Bay, is experiencing rapid change. As evidence, she noted the new construction in areas like Mid-Market and Mission Bay.  Eighty percent of the recent development has occurred in 20 percent of the city, with the majority happening in her district. As a member of the board’s Land Use Committee, “I get to help shape some of our most emerging and newest neighborhoods,” Kim said.

At the same time the economy is propelling growth, District Six is still grappling with one of its enduring problems: the lack of neighborhood parks. In fact, the district has the fewest and smallest parks, with just 0.6 acres per resident. With a dearth of open space to develop, “We’ve had to be creative,” Kim said. That means rehabilitating existing parks, working with real estate brokers to acquire new land and considering unusual locations, such as the area beneath the Octavia Boulevard freeway off-ramp which is slated for a skateboard and dog park. Transbay Park, which will be above the now-under-construction Transbay Terminal, is another example.

Kim’s third priority is pedestrian safety. “More people get hit by cars in the district than in any other,” she said. Working with the Vision Zero project, the goal is to achieve zero fatalities in the next 10 years.

Finally, the former youth organizer said that the city is increasingly tasked with filling the state’s vast public education gap, at least locally, as California ranks 49th in the U.S. in per-pupil spending. To that goal, Kim is supporting a ballot initiative statement that would encourage the city to set aside a portion of its general funds to support schools.

Homelessness remains a major issue in District Six, so Kim recently spent a night in a neighborhood shelter to better understand the problem. “I didn’t anticipate the immense boredom,” she said. “There were no classes, no programming, no counselors.” The homeless population, she said, was also older than she expected: the vast majority were between 40 and 55 years old. Saying that shelters “should act as medical centers,” Kim recently helped arrange for two full-time nurses and an on-site yoga instructor.

Answering a question about lingering concerns over radioactive materials in Treasure Island, Kim said that she has been told that the island has no more contaminants than any other areas of the city. But given the concerns, Kim said the city is working with residents who want to relocate.

In her answer to a query about the Warriors’ recent purchase of a Salesforce property in Mission Bay for a planned stadium, Kim said the team was one of the few professional clubs “to purchase their own dirt” and that the new location – as opposed to prior plans for Pier 30-32 – should be “simpler and more straightforward” to execute.

Affordable housing is one of the most pressing issues facing the city, Kim acknowledged. Setting a 30 percent baseline for affordable housing units in future construction projects is one option and has been “sparking a wonderful debate.” Another option is for the city to purchase existing affordable housing so that “they don’t fall into the Ellis Act.”

 

Friday, April 25, 2014

City Democratic Club endorsements for June 2014 primary

Upon vote of the membership, the City Democratic Club announces its endorsements for the June 2014 primary election.

Offices


Nancy Pelosi for U.S. House of Representatives, District 12. (19 in favor, no opposition)
Jackie Speier for U.S. House of Representatives, District 14. (19 in favor, no opposition)

Fiona Ma for Board of Equalization, District 2. (18 in favor, no opposition)
David Chiu for State Assembly, District 17. (17 in favor; David Campos, 1)
Phil Ting for State Assembly, District 19. (19 in favor, no opposition)
Daniel Flores for Superior Court, Office 20. (13 in favor; Carol Kingsley, 6)

Jerry Brown for Governor. (18 in favor, no opposition)
Gavin Newsom for Lieutenant Governor. (16 in favor; no endorsement, 2)
Betty Yee for Controller. (16 in favor; John Perez, 1)
Alex Padilla for Secretary of State. (14 in favor; Derek Cressman, 3)
John Chiang for Treasurer. (17 in favor, no opposition)
Kamala Harris for Attorney General. (18 in favor, no opposition)
Dave Jones for Insurance Commissioner. (17 in favor, no opposition)
Tom Torlakson for Superintendent of Public Instruction. (18 in favor, no opposition)

Measures


Yes on Proposition A (16 yes, 2 no)
No on Proposition B (2 yes, 17 no)

Yes on Proposition 41 (18 yes, 1 no)
No on Proposition 42 (6 yes, 13 no)


2014 Executive Board


The 2014 Executive Board composition was ratified by the membership as follows:

President - Michael Ho
First Vice President - Erik Cummins
Second Vice President - Heidi Machen
Recording Secretary - Jim Reilly
Corresponding Secretary - Clay Harrell
Treasurer - Steve la Plante
Members at large - Kat Anderson, Michael Breyer, Michelle Parker

The club extends a special welcome to new board members Kat Anderson and Michelle Parker.

Future meetings


There will be no general meeting in May. Details of upcoming meetings will be announced as they become available.

Membership


To be eligible to vote in the November endorsement cycle, new members must join and pay dues at least 28 days before the endorsement meeting. While the fall schedule has not been set, the endorsement meeting could come as early as August 21, which would mean a July 24 cutoff.

To join by credit card or check, see the "Membership" section in the sidebar at right.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Supervisor Jane Kim and June primary endorsements, Thursday, 4/24

The club's endorsement meeting will be Thursday, April 24.

We're proud to host Supervisor Jane Kim, who has represented District 6 since 2010 and who will stand for re-election this November.

After the Supervisor's presentation and Q&A are complete, the club will vote on endorsements for the June primary. Recommendations from the Issues and Endorsements Committee are listed below.

The club also will vote to seat its 2014 Executive Board. The nominated slate for the Executive Board is listed below.

When: Thursday, April 24th, 7:30pm
Where: Chancellor Hotel, Clipper Room (433 Powell St. between Sutter and Post)
How: Adjacent Muni lines: 3, 8X, 38, 30, 45, cable cars. The Powell Street BART/Muni station is a 10-15 minute walk away, as are Market and Mission street lines.

About our speaker, Supervisor Jane Kim


We're pleased to welcome Supervisor Kim to our April meeting. Supervisor Kim was elected as District 6 supervisor in November 2010. Her district includes many eastside neighborhoods including Civic Center, South of Market, Mission Bay, the Tenderloin, Treasure Island, and Yerba Buena Island.

She is chair of the City & School District Committee, vice chair of the Land Use Committee, and a member of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority. She also chairs the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA), which has responsibility for the new Transbay Terminal.

The Supervisor's policy priorities include land use, affordable housing production, homelessness, pedestrian safety (#VisionZero), public education, economic justice and development, and building capacity for nonprofits and neighborhood organizations in her district.

Supervisor Kim is past President of the SF Board of Education. Previously she was an attorney at Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and was a community organizer at Chinatown Community Development Center.

She received a dual B.A. from Stanford, in Political Science and Asian American Studies, and received her J.D. from UC Berkeley School of Law, Boalt Hall.

Eligibility to endorse


Those who were members in 2012 or 2013, but haven't yet paid 2014 dues, can renew their memberships at the meeting. Standard dues are $35 with a $15 discounted rate for students and seniors.

We accept cash and checks at the meeting. You also can renew securely by credit card using PayPal using the buttons in the right-hand sidebar.

Issues and Endorsements Committee recommendations


The recommendations of the Issues and Endorsements Committee are listed below.

These are recommendations of the committee only and do not constitute club endorsement. Club endorsements will be issued after member ballots are counted.

Offices


The committee unanimously recommends:

Nancy Pelosi for U.S. House of Representatives, District 12.
Jackie Speier for U.S. House of Representatives, District 14.
David Chiu for State Assembly, District 17.
Phil Ting for State Assembly, District 19.

The committee recommends, without opposition except where noted:

Jerry Brown for Governor.
Gavin Newsom for Lieutenant Governor (8 of 9 votes).
Betty Yee for Controller.
Alex Padilla for Secretary of State.
John Chiang for Treasurer.
Kamala Harris for Attorney General.
Dave Jones for Insurance Commissioner.
Fiona Ma for Board of Equalization, District 2.
Tom Torlakson for Superintendent of Public Instruction (7 of 8 votes).

The committee recommends:

Daniel Flores for Superior Court, Office 20 (4-3 over Carol Kingsley).

Measures


The committee recommends as follows:

Proposition A: Support (6-2)
Earthquake Safety & Emergency Response Act - Bond measure to allow $400 million in new bonds to finance the construction, acquisition, improvement and seismic retrofit of neighborhood police and fire stations and the emergency firefighting water system, and the retrofit of other facilities, including the Medical Examiner, Police Department Traffic Company and the Police Department Forensic Services Division.
Pro: Legitimate public safety need that justifies issuance of City bonds. 
Con: Would increase City debt load and property taxes.

Proposition B: Oppose (7-0, one abstention)
Waterfront Height Limit Right to Vote Act - Initiative ordinance. Would not allow developers to exceed any current height limits on the city waterfront unless the proposed height increase has been approved by the voters. 
Pro: Ensures citizen voice in waterfront planning. The 8 Washington project demonstrated this need. 
Con: Any planning issues are systemic, not endemic to waterfront. Blunt instrument that hits the wrong nail.

Proposition 41: Support (7-1)
California Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Bond Act - Bond measure. Would amend the Veterans' Bond Act of 2008 to reduce the amount of authorized bonds from $900 million to $300 million. At the same time, it would authorize $600 million in new bonds to provide multifamily housing, such as apartment complexes, to low-income veterans and supportive housing for homeless veterans. The cost would average about $50 million annually for 15 years.
Pro: No net increase in bond-issuance authority. Reallocates unissued bonds for a previously approved and valid public goal.
Con: Would increase annual costs to state General Fund.

Proposition 42: Oppose (7-0, one abstention)
A Constitutional amendment that would require local agencies to comply with the Public Records Act.  This requirement would be exempt from the Constitutional prohibition on unfunded mandates. 
Pro: Open meetings and open access are obvious public benefit that deserve extension to localities. 
Con: Explicit creation of new unfunded mandate is troubling. Impact to local governments unknown.

2014 Executive Board


At its April meeting, the club will consider the following nominated slate for its 2014 Executive Board:

President - Michael Ho
First Vice President - Erik Cummins
Second Vice President - Heidi Machen
Treasurer - Steve la Plante
Recording Secretary - Jim Reilly
Corresponding Secretary - Clay Harrell
Members at large - Kat Anderson, Michael Breyer, Michelle Parker