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    President Pelosi, Political Power Plays, and the November Election

    By Peter Gallotta–

    Get the popcorn ready, fellow Democrats, because we may be watching the beginning of the end of the nightmare that has been the Trump presidency.  

    Donald Trump should, for a litany of reasons, be impeached. His corruption, self-dealing, and lack of regard for the rule of law should be sufficient evidence to bring forward an impeachment inquiry. For decades he’s been able to defy the law, maybe until now.

    It’s hard to dismiss or deny the very serious fact that the president may have violated his oath of office in asking the president of the Ukraine to investigate a Democratic presidential nominee in return for foreign aid. Unlike the Mueller Report that, to some, left uncertainty on the question of “obstruction of justice,” we’ve got a clear smoking gun here. The transcripts of the phone call itself and the whistleblower complaints (there are at least two now) all seem to corroborate that the president abused his office for political gain. 

    So when Speaker Pelosi announced in September that the House of Representatives would proceed with an impeachment inquiry, she made one thing incredibly clear to the American people: Trump is not above the law. Will Trump be removed from office through impeachment? It’s doubtful with a Republican controlled Senate. Could he be forced out by it? If the Democrats gather enough evidence, he could be. 

    My mother likes to say that the truth always comes out. And in Trump’s case, when it does, and when he finally leaves office, it may be President Pelosi who has the last laugh. She may have showed up late to the impeachment party, but she’ll also be the one staying late to clean up the mess after it’s all done. And by all accounts, let’s hope it’s done soon. 

    Political Power Plays & A November Election

    Last month, I wrote my San Francisco Bay Times column about my strong support for Chesa Boudin, who’s running for District Attorney in San Francisco this November. It’s been over 100 years since there has been an open race for District Attorney in San Francisco in which voters would be able to choose a new DA without an incumbent running. That is what has made this particular race—and the candidates running—so unique and important. However, just a few weeks ago, that completely changed. 

    On October 3rd, current San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon unexpectedly announced that he would resign from his post effective October 18th (Gascon had intended to finish his term). The next day, at a ceremony in Chinatown, Mayor Breed appointed Suzy Loftus—her endorsed candidate—to the job. This highly political appointment, which occurred just a few days before absentee ballots dropped and only a few weeks before a democratic election, was a thinly veiled move to give Loftus an advantage in the race. And, to me, it just doesn’t feel right. 

    No matter how you feel about it, the truth is, the voters of San Francisco have the final say on November 5, 2019. So, it’s time to get out there to vote, everyone. And speaking of voting, let’s talk about a few of the other races that I’m excited about this November, too.  

    Housing affordability remains a top issue for so many of us in San Francisco, which is why I’m proud to be supporting tenants rights attorney Dean Preston for District 5 Supervisor. Having someone like Dean crafting policy at the Board of Supervisors will be a win for renters and everyone struggling to find affordable housing or stay housed in our city. 

    I’m excited, too, that my friend Ivy Lee is running for the City College Board of Trustees. If you’ve read the news lately, you may agree that City College needs leadership that is going to hold the institution and its leaders accountable, while working collaboratively to get things done. That’s Ivy in a nutshell.

    She was one of the architects of “Free City College” and I have to give her props for being the one College Board Trustee to vote against a budget that would automatically give executive level administrators raises. Her argument? Let’s complete an independent analysis first to determine what those raises should be. That’s the kind of smart governance we need at City College. 

    This November, San Franciscans will also have the opportunity to vote on the largest affordable housing bond in the city’s history. If passed, Proposition A will help the City to construct 2,800 much-needed new affordable housing units. Proposition E will help to address our housing crisis as well, by allowing the development of 100% affordable housing on public lands and will, for the first time, create dedicated funding for educator housing so that our teachers can actually live in the city that they serve. 

    We have a crisis on our streets when it comes to congestion and pedestrian safety, and it’s time that rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft pay their fair share for the impacts that they cause. Supervisor Peskin’s ballot measure, Prop D, places a small tax on each rideshare trip taken in the city, the revenue from which will go straight toward funding better public transportation as well as projects that make it safer for people to walk and bike.

    Last but not least, join me in voting No on C this November. Proposition C is a deceptive ballot measure sponsored by JUUL, the e-cigarette and vaping product company. After Supervisor Walton and the City Attorney passed legislation earlier this year to regulate e-cigarettes, JUUL decided to bring Prop C to the ballot to protect their profits and to make it easier, not harder, to sell e-cigarettes to kids in San Francisco. If you’re No on C, you’re in good company. Every major health organization in San Francisco opposes it.

    That’s my quick ballot run down. For more help on how to vote, check out two of my favorite guides: the San Francisco League of Pissed Off Voters Guide ( http://www.theleaguesf.org/ ) and the Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club’s slate of endorsements ( http://www.milkclub.org/ ).

    See you at the polls, San Francisco!

    Peter Gallotta is a 30-something LGBT political activist holding on to the city that he loves thanks to rent control and two-for-one happy hour specials. He is a former President of the Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club and currently serves as an appointed member of the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee and an elected delegate to the California Democratic Party.