Recent Comments

    November 3, 2020, Election Recommendations

    By Louise “Lou” Fischer–

    Finally, after four long years with a nihilistic disrupter in the White House, the most important election in history is nearly here and our long national nightmare version 2.0 hopefully will be over. While Gerald Ford coined Nixon’s presidency as the original national nightmare, Ford never could have foreseen a wannabe autocratic dictator, con man, grifter ascend to the highest office in the land, rig the system, and suppress the vote so he could win a second term (and ostensibly avoid jail time). Do your part and vote and then join phone/text banks to contact folks outside of California and beg them to vote.

    In San Francisco, there’s the usual mix of uncontested races and some competitive nail-biters. Here is my review of the November election with my personal candidate choices. Note, these are my recommendations in my role as “political-junkie-columnist” and not the official endorsements of the San Francisco Bay Times.

    U.S. President

    If you are not voting for Joe Biden, there is something seriously wrong with your ability to form rational thoughts. I’m not supposed to criticize my readers, but did you watch the first debate? Have you missed the destruction of democracy in the last four years? I’m an empathic person; I don’t wish illness on anyone, and I sincerely hope for a speedy recovery for Mr. and Mrs. “Superspreader-in-Chief,” but the “downplaying of the virus” caused over 7 million COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and more than 210,000 deaths, one of whom was my partner’s sweet and gentle father, so yeah, it got personal.

    U.S Congress

    Nancy Pelosi (CA-12); Jackie Speier (CA-14) Madam Speaker is running against someone; don’t vote for him. Why would you vote against the Speaker of the House? If you live in Congressional District 14, vote for Jackie Speier.  

    State Senate

    Our own LGBTQ leader and icon, Scott Wiener, is running for re-election against a bright, progressive woman of color who has colorful and well-designed window signs. While I do support women running for office and I respect the opponent’s educational background and tenacity, Scott is the hardest working person in elected office. He is a veritable “Legislative Machine” who has probably cranked out more legislation than entire state delegations of smaller states. Vote for Scott.  

    State Assembly

    David Chiu in AD 17 and Phil Ting in AD 19 are running basically unopposed. Vote for them.  

    Bart Board, Districts 7 and 9

    If you live in the tiny sliver of San Francisco that is represented by District 7, vote for incumbent and current Board President Lateefah Simon. She’s a smart, engaging, community leader and the youngest ever awardee of a MacArthur “genius” Fellowship. In District 9, gay incumbent and former SF Supervisor, Bevan Dufty is running against three other candidates; go with what you know and vote for Bevan.  

    SF Board of Supervisors

    District 1: Marjan Philhour

    District 3: Danny Sauter

    District 5: Vallie Brown

    District 7: Borrow one of Emily Murase’s fabulous hats and put Joel Engardio, Myrna Melgar, and Emily’s names on three slips of paper, shake the hat, and the order in which you draw the names is the order you should put on your ranked choice ballot. Or be an identity voter: Joel/Gay, Myrna/Jewish, Emily/Japanese-American.

    District 9: Hillary Ronen

    District 11: Ahsha Safaí

    I covered the Board of Supervisors race in last month’s issue and want to reiterate the importance of voting for Marjan Philhour in District 1 and Vallie Brown in District 5, both of whom are in very tight races. Vallie’s race is particularly challenging as she is running against a recently elected incumbent who is really good at talking but not so good at doing. I’m sick and tired of less experienced white men of means and privilege beating out more qualified women. Vallie served the district for 10 years as a Legislative Aide and knows that having others say what’s best for the district without input from the actual people within the community results in disenfranchising the actual community you purport to serve. When London Breed was elected to the office of Mayor, she appointed Vallie to fill her D5 seat on the Board, and in 14 months as an appointed Supervisor, Vallie passed over 30 pieces of legislation on a diverse set of issues. I doubt her opponent even comes close. Another cause for concern is that women make up 50% of the population of San Francisco and yet we only have 3 women (out of 11) on the Board of Supervisors (that’s a paltry 27% for those of you keeping score).

    In the Community College race, both Alex Randolph and Ivy Lee are stepping down, which leaves two open seats. There are 11 candidates in the race and voters may select up to four. I recommend re-electing the two LGBTQ incumbents Tom Temprano (gay)and current Board President Shanell Williams, who identifies as bisexual. There are two particularly interesting candidates with direct experience in education and public service. Second-time candidate Dr. Victor Olivieri is not only one of the kindest, most chivalrous gentlemen in all of San Francisco, but is also a college professor and a product of the Community College system. As a non-English speaking immigrant who came to this country at the age of 12 and struggled with the educational system, he has first-hand experience and understanding of the importance of a stable and consistent City College system. My other recommendation is newcomer Aliya Chisti who, if elected, will be the first Muslim woman elected to any office in San Francisco. (Wow, 1.9 billion Muslims in the world and we’ve never elected one in SF?! We really do live in a bubble.) In her day-job, she oversees the Free City College Program at the Department of Children Youth and Their Families (DCYF), so let’s elect someone to the City College Board who is actually dedicated to making free college a priority.  

    The Board of Education race always makes for good copy. There are ten candidates for four available seats, which makes it easier to review the options as opposed to 2018 when 19 people ran in the “Wheel of Fortune” race—spin the wheel a few times and vote where it landed. I’m recommending a “three-bullet-vote” of incumbent Jenny Lam, and second-time candidates Alida Fisher and Michelle Parker. Yes, you can pick a fourth, but you’re on your own because no one else took the 2–3 minutes to text me, share their vision and goals, and ask for my support (let that be a lesson to future candidates, I am very easy to reach).  

    Vote as if your life depends on it, which sadly, in these “unprecedented times,” is not just a cliché anymore. 

    Louise (Lou) Fischer is a Former Co-chair of the Board of Directors of the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club and has served as an appointed and elected Delegate for the State Democratic Party. She is a proud graduate of the Emerge California Women’s Democratic Leadership program, was a San Francisco Commissioner, and has served in leadership positions in multiple nonprofit and community-based organizations.

    Published on October 8, 2020