May 2014

View on June 2, 2014 Elections

View on June 2, 2014 Elections


Ballot Measures

A: Earthquake Safety and Emergency Response Bond General Obligation Bond 

Four-hundred million dollars would be spent retrofitting fire and police stations, the City’s emergency water system, and seismically securing facilities used by the medical examiner, San Francisco Police Department’s traffic company and forensic services, among a few other items. It’s hard to be against safeguarding our first responders at the times when they’ll be needed most, and San Francisco’s emergency water system certainly needs the investment. Of course, who knows what tasty, but unnecessary, spending tidbits are hidden in the small print; and no one ever talks about the fact that one set of bond financing can act to displace another priority, like developing necessary public infrastructure in the Southside neighborhoods. On balance, though, we recommend “yes.” 


B: Waterfront Height Limit Initiative

This bad boy would require voter approval for height limit increases on San Francisco Port property. The political establishment is more or less completely silent on it; if they could they’d change the subject to “how ‘bout those Giants,” except one of the impacted parties would be the San Francisco Giants, which is proposing a massive, bland, development on Parking Lot A. Nobody wants to be against citizens having the right to voice their opinion on big land-use decisions, particularly in a town where there’s little leadership on how to integrate emerging sky towns into our existing cherished neighborhoods. Unless you’re the Giants, the Warriors — whose project could also be affected — or Forrest City, which is developing Pier 70, or are in a hurry to get those projects approved without a lot of additional expense, you’ll want to vote yes.

Political Offices

District Attorney: Kamala Harris

Harris has generally been a swell DA; this is your chance to get in early on her eventual run for governor or senator.


Board of Equalization: Fiona Ma

Everybody needs a job, right? This is apparently the best one Ma can come up with. If you can tell the person standing next to you what the Board of Equalization does, then vote for Ma. Otherwise, hum to yourself quietly as you skip to the next office.



U.S. Representative, District 12

One of these things is not like the others: John Dennis, Barry Hermanson, Frank Lara, David Peterson, Michael Steger, A.J. Desmond Thorsson, James Welles, and Nancy Pelosi. Maybe there’s a candidate in the mix who could turn back global climate change, and address income inequality, including the threat to future generations posed by chronic, large, federal budget deficits. Either way, Pelosi is going to win, and this term may be her victory lap, given that if the Republicans strengthen their hold on the House of Representatives she’s not likely to maintain her leadership position. Let’s give Nancy one more resounding vote of primary confidence on her way to slaughtering her Republican opposition in the general election.


State Assembly, District 17

Here come the Davids, Campos and Chiu, offering Democratic voters a respectable choice for Assembly. Both have demonstrated attractive qualities on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, as well as weaknesses, including a tendency towards slickness on Chiu’s part, and a high-horseyness by Campos. If you’re in the market for a solid liberal, along the lines of Mark Leno, vote for Chiu. If you want a progressive — a Tom Ammiano, though with a lower voice — go for Campos. 


State Assembly, District 19

Remember when Phil Ting was building his political career on the back of Proposition 13 reform? What’s he done about it lately, now that  he’s in a position of state power? A smart and fine fellow, Ting is worthy of your vote, even though we have some questions about what he’s going to accomplish this term.

Note: state ballot initiatives and some offices aren’t included in this list, including Secretary of State. The View can recommend, though, that you don’t vote for Leland Yee for that position.

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