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    June 7, 2022 Primary Election Overview and Recommendations

    By Louise “Lou” Fischer–

    As noted in almost every one of my columns for the past six months, San Francisco has four elections this year because of corruption, resignations, political appointments, vacancies, blah blah blah. Now that the two crazy, madcap Special Elections are over, we’re back to our regularly scheduled programming of a Primary on June 7 and a General on November 8. If Victorian poet and playwright Robert Browning were still alive, he’d proclaim that “God’s in his heaven. All’s right with the [political] world.”

    Absentee ballots drop on May 9; a vote-by-mail (VBM) ballot will be sent to every active registered voter in California. San Francisco City Hall will be open for voting starting on May 9 and during the two weekends before Election Day. If you are an Election Day purist (or committed Luddite), all polling places are open for VBM drop-off and in-person voting on June 7 from 7 am to 8 pm. Elections have consequences so don’t be a jerk; send in your ballot. 

    Federal and State Elections (Incumbents)

    Most of the races have incumbents who are doing just fine and there’s no need to fire them: 

    U.S. House of Representatives, CD11: Nancy Pelosi, because voting against the Speaker of the House is not cool.

    U.S. Senate: Alex Padilla. Due to California’s quirky law regarding vacant seats in the U.S. Senate, Alex Padilla will appear twice on the same ballot: once for the special Senate election to finish out current Vice President and former Senator Kamala Harris’ term (which expires on January 3, 2023) and the other for his full six-year term, so vote for him twice. Special shout-out to Governor Gavin Newsom for consolidating the Senate vacancy elections with the regular election cycle.

    Governor: Gavin Newsom 
    Lt. Governor: Eleni Kounalakis
    California Secretary of State: Shirley Weber
    California Treasurer: Fiona Ma
    California Attorney General: Rob Bonta
    California Insurance Commissioner: Ricardo Lara
    Superintendent of Public Instruction: Tony Thurmond

    State Assembly, District 17: Matt Haney decisively trounced David Campos on April 19 and while David is on the ballot due to the timing of the filing deadline, he announced that he is not running so you don’t have any other choice.  

    State Assembly, District 19: Phil Ting is running against a Republican, to whom I say, “Good luck with that.” It’s Phil’s final term; the only question is whether he’ll go out with a bang or a whimper.  

    Federal and State Elections (Open Seats)

    U.S. House of Representatives, CD15: Kevin Mullin is running to replace retiring Congresswoman Jackie Speier; we will miss her indestructible spirit. In my alternate world, she was the inspiration for Chumbawamba’s song “Tubthumping (I Get Knocked Down).” She survived being shot five times in 1978 in Jonestown, Guyana; at this point, she could have a grand piano fall on her from the top of the Salesforce Tower and walk away with nothing more than a piano wire and a black key stuck in her hair. 

    California Board of Equalization, District 2: Sally Lieber is running against San Francisco’s own Michela Alioto-Pier, and as much as I love all the Aliotos, the former Assemblymember gets the edge for her years of experience with state budgets.  

    California Controller: Malia Cohen. San Francisco’s own former Supervisor and current rep on the Board of Equalization has a tough race with formidable opponents, so give her your vote. 

    San Francisco Elections

    City Attorney: David Chiu is on the ballot to serve the remainder of the term of former City Attorney, Dennis Herrera. Vote for him now and then again in November of 2023.

    Local Ballot Measures 

    Some are good and some are very bad, once you read the fine print.  

    Prop A – Muni and Street Safety Bond: YES, because investing in public transit is the only way to keep the system safe and functional.

    Prop B – Building Inspection Commission: A tepid “YES,” but I’m not sure; it’s supposed to root out the entrenched web of corruption, but how about just appointing Commissioners who aren’t corrupt?   

    Prop C Recall Timelines and Vacancy Appointments: NO; this is a solution looking for a problem while subverting democracy at the same time. It’s a disaster—vote NO.  

    Prob D – Office of Victim and Witness Rights; Legal Services for Domestic Violence Victims: YES; this will provide a much needed and long overdue city office dedicated to supporting crime victims and witnesses. Full disclosure, I’m one of the signatories on the official ballot argument so hell yeah, vote YES.

    Proposition E – Behested Payments: NO – Another over-reaction and over-correction to “corruption,” it’s well-intended but will do more harm than good, especially in disenfranchised communities; vote NO.

    Proposition F – Refuse Collection and Disposal: YES – This measure is long overdue; Recology has ridden a gravy train for 90 years without any form of ratepayer advocacy, audits, or transparency. As a regulator in my day-job, I’d be remiss not to endorse this.  

    Proposition G – Public Health Emergency Leave: NO – Oy vey, I hate these types of measures: well-intentioned, seems like a good idea, but it’s not. Businesses in the city already mandate paid sick leave, so we don’t need this and it could have negative consequences. 

    Proposition H – Recall Measure Regarding Chesa Boudin: YES -I’m not a fan of recalls; if you don’t like the guy, vote him out when he runs for re-election. While I didn’t support Chesa Boudin in the last election, I agree that the criminal justice system needs to be reformed. Unfortunately, he isn’t the guy to do it. A District Attorney is less of a lawyer and more of a Manager, and his chaotic management, political and ideological bad decisions, and record turnover point to his poor performance. This is not an “experiment” to which we need to give more time. Lives have been lost and more are at stake every day.  

    Don’t be a flake, vote on or before June 7, 2022.  

    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 May 5, 2022