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Westside Observer Newspaper
May 2018 at www.WestsideObserver.com
Don't Vote for London Breed for Mayor!
June 2018 Election Recommendations
by Patrick Monette-Shaw
Print My Recommendations “Clip–’n–Save Cheat Sheet”
and Take It to the Polls!
With 15 local, regional, and state propositions — and 20 elected officials contests — on San Francisco’s municipal and California’s primary June 5 election ballots, San Franciscans face a minefield determining how to cast their votes.
This article focuses on a handful of mayoral and Superior Court Judge candidates, and local ballot measures. Take my clip-’n-save cheat sheet to your polling place.
Recommendations for Mayor
I recommend Jane Kim as your first ranked-choice vote for mayor and Angela Alioto as your second ranked-choice. Whatever you do, don’t vote for London Breed!
Ranked Choice #1 for Mayor: Jane Kim
Jane Kim has been terrific as District 6 Supervisor. She is a smart, ethical, and a principled lawyer.
Among her many accomplishments as District Supervisor, she:
“This is not the right way to build housing,” added District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim, a mayoral candidate. “This is a giveaway to landlords and developers without asking anything in return for our city and community.”
Ranked Choice #2 for Mayor: Angela Alioto
Among the many pieces of legislation Ms. Alioto authored and passed during her tenure on the Board of Supervisors and as Board President, one of her most notable achievements was finding a creative solution to sue Big Tobacco companies. She prevailed in winning a lawsuit, resulting in the Tobacco Settlement Revenue account that is slated to bring in well over $1 billion to San Francisco, only $100 million of which was used to rebuild Laguna Honda Hospital.
I strongly believe it is time to turn over the levers of politics to a new generation. Millennials, and younger people, must be brought into politics as quickly as possible, or the Democratic party will be in serious trouble by not bringing fresh blood into positions of leadership and elected office before the year 2020.
Ms. Alioto’s campaign web site does not have (as of April 29) a prominent link on her home page to another page listing endorsements. None of the other sections of Alioto’s campaign web site have a link to view her endorsers.
I deeply respect Ms. Alioto and value her many accomplishments, such as authoring San Francisco’s sanctuary city law and passing the City’s first medical marijuana law. Clearly, Alioto is a great civil rights attorney. But my first-choice recommendation is for Jane Kim! Then vote for Angela.
Don’t Vote for Mark Leno
Leno’s time has come … and gone.
Tellingly, the first campaign mailer this author received from Leno’s campaign screamed “identity politics,” urging voters to elect him simply because he would become the City’s first gay mayor. As a gay man myself, I was repulsed. Being “gay,” “lesbian,” or “heterosexual” is not an applicable qualification I consider for anyone running for elected office in San Francisco. I long ago stopped casting votes based on identity politics. Have you ever heard a candidate state, “Elect me because I’m heterosexual”? Sexual orientation is not a credential voters should use in selecting elected officials.
Leno has been missing in action, and out of elected office since November 2016. It’s time to turn over the levers of politics to a new generation.
Don’t Vote for London Breed!
Almost 140 years ago, Article XX, Section 3 of California’s state constitution became law in 1879, requiring that all state and local government employees, including elected officials, are required to take an oath of office “before they enter upon the duties of their respective offices …” It applies to every county, city, and city and county, among other agencies, and was last amended in November 1952.
City Attorney Dennis Herrera should have required Breed be sworn in as mayor before she served one minute, or one day, as mayor!
Ms. Breed has been playing fast and loose regarding whether she is the current acting mayor. Breed served as acting mayor following Mayor Ed Lee’s death on December 12, 2017 until January 23, 2018 when the full Board of Supervisors voted to appoint Mark Farrell the acting mayor through June 2018 instead of Breed. Breed served as acting mayor for just 42 days, or six weeks, despite having never been sworn in as mayor, acting mayor, “successor” mayor, or otherwise. As others have noted, using the title of a position held for only a few short weeks is grossly misleading to voters, whether in ballot materials, election materials, or mailers.
Had she been sworn in as mayor following Lee’s untimely death, she would have had to resign from her Board of Supervisors seat and as Board president. Clearly, Breed wanted to have it both ways, but legally couldn’t. She tried to game the system having it both ways by trying to run as the incumbent mayor without taking the mayoral oath of office.
Breed avoided being sworn in as successor mayor so she could try to be mayor and simultaneously hold on to her seat as District 5 Supervisor and President of the Board of Supervisors. Like President Trump, Breed is not above the law and she should have known the state constitution required her to take the mayor’s oath of office, which she never did . Why should we elect someone as mayor on June 5 who had tried gaming the system as being above the law and the state constitution as if the rules don’t apply to her?
When Breed first filed campaign documents with the Department of Elections on January 9 (almost 30 days after Lee died), she listed her ballot designation — and designation presumably for the voter guide — as “President of the Board of Supervisors.” But two days later, Breed’s campaign manager, Maggie Muir, appears to have crossed out the first designation and wrote in “Acting Mayor/ Supervisor” as Breed’s new ballot designation.
On February 27 — after the Board of Supervisors ousted Breed as acting mayor and installed Farrell instead on January 23 — mayoral candidate Mark Leno reportedly filed a San Francisco Superior Court action seeking to compel Breed to do what she had refused to do on her own: Remove the inaccurate title “acting mayor” from her ballot designation. Leno’s writ noted that since Breed wasn’t performing any mayoral duties, her ballot designation was factually inaccurate and may have mislead voters in violation of the California Elections Code. I would add — although Leno didn’t — Breed was being intellectually dishonest by not mentioning she was “acting mayor” for just 42 days.
Six days after Leno filed his legal challenge about Breed’s ballot designation on February 27, the Mission Local web site reported on March 5:
“A ‘Stipulation and [Proposed] Order Replacing Ballot Designation’ was filed in Superior Court on March 5 that Breed, Leno and Elections [Department head] John Arntz ‘agreed to resolve this dispute without the need for further legal proceedings,’ and ‘agreed to an alternative [Breed] ballot designation,’ as ‘President, Board of Supervisors,’ that resolves the issues herein.”
It took the stipulation to force Breed to change her ballot designation back to what she initially submitted on January 9. The stipulation provides, in part, that Breed is barred from using “Acting Mayor” in her ballot designation, and in any “ballot materials” published in connection with the June 5, 2018 mayoral election.”
Despite Leno’s legal challenge victory, this author received a campaign mailer from Breed’s campaign on March 21, 2018 that includes a graphic from the front page of San Francisco Chronicle newspaper on December 13 with a headline reading “Breed finds herself S.F.’s acting mayor.” The caption next to the campaign mailer’s graphic is titled “Leading Our City as Acting Mayor.” Unfortunately, the campaign mailer makes no mention that she was Acting Mayor for just 42 days, again potentially misleading voters. The mailer also didn’t report that she was never sworn in as “acting” or “successor” mayor. More intellectual dishonesty from Breed.
While the Stipulation says Breed is prohibited from using “Acting Mayor” in ballot materials, Breed is once again gaming the system by using “Acting Mayor” in her campaign materials and prominently on her campaign web site. It’s not clear whether the prohibition of claiming sheis Acting Mayor in “ballot materials” is synonymous with “campaign materials.” What is clear is that she wants, and will continue, to mislead voters. It’s intellectual dishonesty.
Multiple “Red Flags” About Breed
There are several red flags involving Ms. Breed. Here’s a sampling:
Table 1: The City’s Three Routes Exit Homelessness
Only 52.4% of the 7,007 people helped out of homelessness received housing placement. The remaining 47.6% people (3,334) were given the one-way bus tickets. It’s not known how many of those handed bus tickets eventually made their back to San Francisco. Were some of those handed one-way out-of-town bus tickets long-term San Francisco residents?
“Breed’s critics tend to argue that her biography, while powerful, is all she has to offer. They say she’s an actress, someone who knows how to sell her story but lacks major legislative achievements. To them she is little more than an apparatchik of the establishment, the next in a line of candidates backed by former Mayor Willie Brown and rich donors like tech mogul Ron Conway.”
Could the reason that the Board of Supervisors decided to appoint Mark Farrell as “Successor Mayor” to replace Mayor Ed Lee be that the Supervisors were painfully aware of Breed’s lack of legislative achievements?
Breed’s Mayoral Campaign Contributions
The Westside Observer’s May issue published an excellent summary of Breed’s preliminary campaign contributions reported to the Ethics Commission through April 27. The summary is eye-popping. The Observer notes:
“Although the San Francisco Examiner reported that an independent expenditure committee (“It’s Our Time, S.F. Women Supporting London Breed for Mayor 2018”) claims it will not accept contributions from Ron Conway, it turns out Breed’s own campaign — London Breed for Mayor 2018 — has accepted donations from Conway’s family members and employees at his venture capital firm, SV Capital.
Breed’s 35-page request to the Ethics Commission for “Public Funds By Candidates For Mayor” dated March 21, 2018 itemizes 672 separate campaign contributions totaling $168,201. Of those 672 donations, three of Conway’s children or relatives each donated the $500 maximum and at least two other employees of SV Capital did too. Those five contributions totaled $2,500. The filing shows 257 (38%) of the 672 contributors each donated the maximum $500, for a total of $131,000, 78% of the $168,201 total. The remaining 415 donors (62%) contributed just $37,200 (22%) towards the total money raised.
Another campaign disclosure report dated April 26 shows that another Conway kid, his wife Gayle, and Conway himself each also donated the $500 maximum directly to Breed’s official campaign, pushing the Conway family donations to Breed to $3,000. Between the Conway family and four of Conway’s employees at SV Angel, they’ve donated a total of $4,025 directly to Breed.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported March 3 that Ron Conway claimed “he has become too busy to meddle in local politics.” Conway wasn’t too busy and had already meddled. Long before March 3 he and his family had already donated the $4,025 to Breed by January 17. Do we really want San Francisco to be managed by a surrogate (Breed) of a billionaire (Conway) who has no time for us?
Another SV Angel employee donated $1,000 to the independent expenditure committee It's Our Time, SF Women Supporting London Breed for Mayor 2018, and Progress San Francisco — a Political Action Committee (PAC) registered with the state that is heavily funded by Ron Conway — donated $40,000 to the independent expenditure committee San Francisco for London Breed Mayor 2018, Sponsored by the San Francisco Firefighters Local 798.
Then there’s Conway’s wife, Gayle, who donated $200,000 on April 25 to San Franciscans Against Domestic Violence, an independent expenditure committee established to formally oppose Jane Kim. All this spending by Conway, his family members, his employees, and Progress San Francisco totals $245,025, almost ensuring that if Breed is elected, she’ll be Conway’s puppet mayor. And there are five weeks to go before the June 5 election, with potentially more donations to come from Conway’s cabal.
You can bet that Conway will donate heavily to other independent expenditure committees set up purposely to defeat other candidates. As Larry Bush has noted in the San Francisco Examiner [on February 4, 2018], Conway has already donated more than $1 million [across the years] to independent committees “to defeat people who were in his way. … It is a record unmatched in recent San Francisco political history.”
The Conway’s animus towards Jane Kim is continuing punishment for Kim’s and the three other supervisor’s vote on the Ross Mirkarimi official misconduct charges wrongly filed by then-Mayor Ed Lee. Kim had correctly voted that the charges against Mirkarimi had not risen to the level of official misconduct. Kim wasn’t asked whether Mirkarimi had been convicted of domestic violence, or if he had been convicted of “wife beating.” Instead, Kim had been asked whether his conduct had risen to the level of “official misconduct.”
Kim’s posed an astute line of questioning to Deputy City Attorney Sherri Kaiser during the Board of Supervisors October 8, 2012 hearing. Kim’s questions destroyed Kaiser’s prosecution and persecution of Mirkarimi on behalf of Kaiser’s client, Mayor Ed Lee.Kim simply asked “So, [official misconduct] would be a relationship test, + what the Mayor + what the Ethics Commission + what we [the Board of Supervisors] deemed as falling below the standard of decency, and that = on a case-by-case basis?” Kaiser responded, “I think it [official misconduct] is a discretionary decision,” and added for good measure, “It’s a judgment call.” Kim’s rejoinder to Kaiser’s nonsense was “Does that open us up to the ‘vagueness issue,’ which may make that clause then unconstitutional?”
Ms. Kim had essentially backed Kaiser into a corner where Kaiser belonged wearing a dunce hat. Kim had no other ethical and legal choice than to vote as she did, since she received her law degree from the UC Berkeley School of Law.
Supervisors Scott Wiener and David Chiu — both of whom are Harvard Law School graduates — abandoned their oath as lawyers and did not faithfully uphold their duties as attorneys, opting to faithfully play politics pandering to the Mayor, instead. Indeed, Wiener and Chiu must have known Jane Kim’s line of questioning was spot-on about the unconstitutionality problem, because Wiener sought unsuccessfully just before the vote to toss out the single charge against Mirkarimi that Kim had eviscerated. Wiener wanted to pull out of thin air a brand-new charge, depriving Mirkarimi of a chance to defend himself on a new charge. When the vote was taken, Wiener and Chiu voted in favor of the unconstitutional charge against Mirkarimi.
One lawyer noted back in 2012 that if Ed Lee had succeeded in convicting Mirkarimi of official misconduct, it would have handed a powerful new political weapon to all mayors, present and future to go after other elected officials, and to go after any and all City employees a mayor may not care for or like. Frankly, we owe a debt of gratitude to Jane Kim, David Campos, John Avalos, and Christina Olague for having stopped handing Ed Lee and any future Mayors that new political weapon. Thank God that they stopped Ed Lee! Wiener and Chiu were willing, and voted, to hand that new political weapon to the mayor.
Kim reached the correct legal and ethical conclusion that Mirkarimi’s behavior had not risen to the level of official misconduct, however deplorable Mirkarimi’s false imprisonment conviction may have been. The Conway’s and others should stop punishing Kim for reaching the right conclusion and having identified the unconstitutional issue.
I would add to the Westside Observer’s reporting through April 27, that on April 30, Ethics Commission campaign disclosures report that Progress San Francisco donated an additional $50,000 to the San Francisco Firefighters Local 798 independent expenditure committee. Ron Conway donated another $5,000 way back on January 3, 2018 to another independent expenditure committee, the Edwin M. Lee Democratic Club Political Action Committee, which wasn’t reported to the Ethics Commission until a new campaign disclosure document was filed on April 30.
That pushes Conway’s, his family’s, and Progress San Francisco’s donations to at least $300,275 to support Breed and oppose Jane Kim. It’s highly unlikely those donations will not increase during the next 30 days before the June 5 election.
Comically, Conway revealed his true colors in another San Francisco Chronicle article published on April 27, 2018. Although he claimed to the Chronicle on March 3 that “he has become too busy to meddle in local politics,” the Chronicle reported April 27 that as late as April 10 Conway sent an e-mail to his business and political associates that he was recommending a “number of political efforts, u can donate to … Progress [San Francisco] being the most (important)” to help drum up donations for Breed. Which is it? Conway’s “too busy,” or he’s not “too busy”? He can’t be too busy and not too busy, simultaneously.
You’ve Been Warned About Breed’s Red Flags
Although you’ve been warned about Breed’s red flags, consider this additional information:
It has been reported elsewhere that Larry Bush — who in the 1990s played a big role in forming the Ethics Commission — has said Breed was the lone dissenter in a 2015 Board of Supervisors vote on legislation that required City supervisors to publicly disclose their appointment calendars.
“In general, her record on the board was that she did not support open government,” Bush said.
Bush noted, too, that Breed has been “less-than-compliant” with city ethics rules around the election. He cited Breed’s campaign illegally posting campaign ads on Muni bus shelters as one example.
“It goes on showing a lack of due diligence and care for the city’s ethics rules,” he said. “It would be a warning sign were she to [become] mayor.”
You’ve been warned. Whatever you do, don’t vote for London Breed for mayor!
Recommendations for Ballot Measures
My election recommendations “Cheat Sheet” at the end of this article provides a summary of recommendations. Some discussion is in order.
Regional Measure “3” Bay Area Traffic Relief Plan: This measure is sponsored by the Bay Area [Bridge] Toll Authority. Over a six-year period, bridge tolls in the Bay Area will increase by $3 per bridge crossing, from $+ to $8 for each one-way trip. That’s a 60% percent change increase. Assuming a round-trip per bridge increase of $6 dollars per toll bridge for five working days per week for 50 weeks (minus a two-week vacation), drivers will face a $1,500 annual increase in transportation expenses for each round-trip toll bridge crossed. It’s not known how many drivers cross more than one toll bridge every day and whether their transportation expenses are even higher.
Background materials posted on the San Francisco Department of Elections web site shows Measure “3” includes $4.5 billion in transportation capital improvements across the region. But a table included summarizing the “biggest investments” account for $1.49 billion in public transit, bicycle, and pedestrian safety improvements, much of it for BART, Caltrain, and MUNI. Another $1.48 billion will be allocated for “traffic bottleneck relief” on various transportation corridors, for a total of almost $3 billion. To learn where the remaining $1.5 billion will be allocated to, you need to read the full 22-page proposal.
The background materials don’t indicate whether BART fares, MUNI fares, and ferry service fares will increase. Shouldn’t public transit riders help fund the public transit improvements? It will be entirely funded from bridge tolls on the backs of drivers who may have no other alternative transportation options. Vote No on Measure “3.”
Prop. “A” Public Utilities Revenue Bonds: This measure would authorize the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to issue revenue bonds for power facilities; the PUC is currently allowed to issue revenue bonds for water and clean water facilities. The Board of Supervisors would have to approve each revenue bond by a two-thirds vote, along with approval by the Mayor and the PUC Commission. My objection is any of the bonds issued would be subject to ongoing review and oversight by the PUC Revenue Bond Oversight Committee (RBOC). The RBOC has done a terrible job with oversight of existing PUC revenue bonds. Vote No.
Prop. “B” Prohibiting Appointed (City) Commissioners from Running for Office: Under this City Charter amendment, appointed members who file to run as candidates for state or local elective offices would be required to resign their seats as commissioners. Unfortunately, there is a carve-out whereby appointees to citizen advisory committees would be exempted and not required to resign from their appointed committees. Another carve-out would exempt both appointees to the boards of San Francisco’s Employees’ Retirement System (SFERS), the Health Services Board, and the Retiree Healthcare Trust Fund, along with exempting board members elected by city employees and retirees to these three boards. There are a total of 11 appointees (not elected commissioners) to the three boards chosen by the Mayor, the City Controller, the City Treasurer, and the Executive Director of SFERS; another two are members of the Board of Supervisors who are appointed. One of the two appointed by City supervisors is currently running for elected state office. These 11, and the 8 members elected by City employees and retirees, should not be exempted from having to resign if they choose to seek elected office, while all other commissioners on all of the other City boards and commissions would be required to resign.
The inequity of requiring some board commissioners resign, but exempting others, makes no sense — even if this is San Francisco. I’m personally voting against Prop. “B” because I don’t know how commissioners on the three exempted boards can focus on their duties as Commissioners while being distracted for months on end while running campaigns for state or local elected office. With that said, I’m issuing a “No Recommendation” on this measure.
Prop’s “C” and “D” Commercial Landlord Gross Receipts Measures:
Both Prop. “C” and Prop “D” would levy additional taxes on gross receipts of commercial property landlords, although some commercial properties for non-profits and other service providers would be exempt from the new taxes.
I’m recommending — very reluctantly — supporting Prop. “C” for Child Care and Education. Prop. “C,” which seeks to raise $146 million annually for child care and education from commercial property landlords. That compares to Prop. “D,” which the City Controller estimates will generate half as much at approximately $70 million. Prop. “D” would be less onerous on commercial property landlords.
Over a 12-year period through the year 2030, Prop. “D” will cost commercial property landlords $1 billion!
Both measures carry the unfortunate subtitle of “Mostly to Fund” each measure. Instead of Prop. “D” funding housing and homelessness services exclusively, part of the “mostly” conundrum is that the legal text of Prop. “D” says the measure will set aside $3 million — ostensibly to be deposited into the General Fund — for any other public purposes of the City.
Worse, the legal text of Prop. “C” would only allocate 85% ($122 million) of the $146 million for child care and education funding, and the other 15% ($22 million) will be deposited into the General Fund for any other public purposes of the City.
The legal text for both “C” and “D” provide no clarification, or restrictions, on what the “other public purposes” will include or exclude.
Why are both of these measures attempting to fatten up revenue for the City to spend on any “other public purposes”? Why are “other public purposes” being piggy-backed on revenue streams otherwise dedicated to specific purposes?
More concerning, Prop. “D” to raise additional funds for homeless housing and homeless services may not take into account California Assembly Bill 3171 which would allocate $1.5 billion from the state budget to help address the growing statewide homeless crisis if the bill is passed. AB 3171 would also require local jurisdictions to come up with local funds on a matching basis. Where is San Francisco going to come up with even more homeless housing matching funds on top of what the City is already spending, and how much will the local match increase cost? I’m reluctantly recommending Yes on Prop. “C,” and emphatically recommending voting No on Prop. “D.”
Prop. “E” Prohibiting Tobacco Retailers from Selling Flavored Tobacco Products: The Board of Supervisors passed a measure in 2017 to ban the sale of flavored tobacco in the City. This is more “nanny-state” control of the citizenry. What’s next, banning chocolate-flavored milk? Banning the sale of chicken or baby back ribs, because the meat is “flavored” with sugar-infused barbecue sauce and cooked over potentially carcinogenic coals? Banning tartar sauce? Some of my multi-racial family members and former co-workers prefer brands of menthol cigarettes. Banning sale of menthol cigarettes can be seen as being discriminatory to minorities. The City Controller’s preliminary statement on the Department of Elections web site indicates the City may well lose sales tax revenue, with people travelling to the suburbs outside the City to buy the flavored tobacco products they prefer. I’m personally voting No on Prop. “E.” But I’m issuing a “No Recommendation” on this measure.
Prop. “F” City-Funded Legal Services for Residential Tenants in Eviction Lawsuits: This is a no-brainer. The City should help protect all renters and tenants facing eviction lawsuits. The City Controller’s preliminary statement on the Department of Elections web site indicates the measure would increase the City’s costs somewhere between $4.2 million and $5.6 million, but is subject to decisions made when developing the City’s annual budget. Vote Yes on Prop. “F.”
Prop. “G” Parcel Tax for San Francisco Unified School District: The City Controller’s preliminary statement indicates the measure would generate $50 million annually in new tax revenue from the parcel tax to be used principally for teacher salaries and training, and “other” SFUSD purposes. One of those “other” uses would permit the school district to use the revenue for public charter schools. Charter schools are already encroaching on, and competing for, space in public schools.
Teachers in San Francisco were forced to flee to the East Bay, given the City’s housing crisis of unaffordable rent. If Regional Measure 3 passes, we’ll unleash increased transportation costs of up to $1,500 on teachers annually, assuming they only cross one toll bridge commuting round-trip to teach in San Francisco. Obviously, any salary increase will simply be consumed by increased transportation costs.
This measure could very well set a precedent that parcel taxes can be used to fund salaries of City employees. Who is next? The powerful SEIU nurses’ union, Firefighters Local 798, or the powerful Police Officers Union being inspired by the precedent of a parcel tax for teachers? Who will be the next set of City employees saying “If you can do this for teachers, why can’t you do it for me? I need a raise!” Shouldn’t the City have to come up with salaries and pay raises from the General Fund? Vote No on Prop. “G.”
Prop. “H” Policy for the Use of Tasers by San Francisco Police Officers: This Police Officers Association-sponsored measure is ironically titled “The Safer Policing Ordinance.” The POA deliberately placed this on the ballot to set police policies knowing it would take another ballot measure for voters to change it if the policy proves to be misguided. Current Police Chief William “Bill” Scott opposes Prop. “H.” The POA is now busy vilifying Scott for his opposition to setting police policies at the ballot box.
Tasers can be just as deadly as bullets from a handgun, so tasers are not “safer.” Police officers do not need both guns and tasers. Vote No on Prop. “H.”
Prop. “I” Relocation of Professional Sports Teams: This is a mere “declaration of policy” that San Franc isco will not entice professional sports teams located in other jurisdictions that have previously established themselves for 20 years with community support and fans to relocate to San Francisco. This may be just another useless non-binding ballot measure, so “No Recommendation” on Prop. “I.”
Superior Court Judges
The San Francisco Weekly newspaper carried a great article on February 8 about the Superior Court judges contests on the June 5 ballot. The article reported that Public Defenders Phoenix Streets, Maria Elena Evangelista, Kwixuan Hart Maloof, and Niki Judith Solis are running for different seats on the Superior Court, shown on my clip–’n–save cheat sheet to take to the polls with you. I strongly urge you to support all four of them!
Don’t Forget to Vote June 5!
Well, there’s my recommendations. You have just four weeks to figure out how to vote for everything on June’s jam-packed ballot. Good luck … and don’t forget to vote!
Monette-Shaw is a columnist for San Francisco’s Westside Observer newspaper, and a member of the California First Amendment Coalition (FAC) and the ACLU. He operates stopLHHdownsize.com. Contact him at email@example.com.