An unusually compact gaggle of candidates and ballot measures awaits your vote today.
For state and federal candidates, it’s an open primary so you can vote for serious candidates and certified nut-jobs whatever party, they, or you, belong to, or not. Top two vote-getters duke it out in the November finals.
The offices up for grabs: United States Representative; District 12, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Controller, Insurance Commissioner, Secretary of State, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Treasurer, State Board of Equalization; District 2, and Various Judges.
And closer to home: the battle of three Davids—Campos, Chiu, and Salaverry—for State Assembly Member from District 17. All three will be holding campaign events in and around the Mission throughout the week. You’ve probably seen more than enough of their campaign propaganda, but if you need any more, including event info., go to David Campos, David Chiu, and/or David Carlos Salaverry.
Otherwise, you’ve only got four ballot measures to work your way through, none too taxing, financially or mentally. However, since God and the Devil are both in the details, ballot issues are rarely without heated controversy.
The most controversial, pitting citizens against developers, is local Proposition B. If the measure passes, the City will be prevented from allowing any development on Port property to exceed the height limits in effect as of January 1, 2014, unless the SF voters have approved a height limit increase. In effect, it puts a number of proposed tower developments in the hands of the voters. It may seem ridiculous to vote on something which should be dealt with by the Planning Commission. However, given the value (ecologically, aesthetically and financially) of the property at stake, a lot of San Franciscans think these decisions should be made by the people (the voting people).
Prop A is a fairly mild move to prepare for the Big One. Endorsed by nearly everyone, it draws complaints from the usual suspects about higher taxes and bumbling bureaucrats.
On the State level, Prop 41 would sell $600 million in general obligation bonds to fund affordable multifamily housing for low-income and homeless veterans. The $600 million comes out of a previously approved but unsold $900 million, so imposes no new taxes or debt. Opponents question whether the diversion is wise.
Prop 42 would require the state to pay local governments for costs to follow state laws that give the public access to local government information. Proponents think this will promote open government. Opponents don’t think so, and besides, want the state to pay for it.
San Francisco Smart Voter is another place to go for comprehensive, non-partisan information.
Here are some links to local voter guides:
League of Young Voters (aka League of Pissed-Off Voters)
And for those who believe there are other forms of civic engagement than voting in a system which is stacked against them, there’s always this from Russell Brand.