California

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Vote Yes on Measure H Healdsburg

This measure, sponsored by Healdsburg Vice Mayor Leah Gold and City Council member Shaun McCaffery, modifies the city’s Growth Management Ordinance to create more ways for people to access affordable housing. Back in 2018, Measure P allowed an average of 50 units of income-restricted multi-family rental housing to be built per year. Measure H would simply allow those units to also be offered for sale, not just rental, so some of these units could be included in new for-sale developments. 

In both cases, the units must be affordable to families earning below 160% of Sonoma county’s average median income. The idea is that the City Council will require these affordable units to be included in proposed developments, where they can give local residents and employees preference in buying or renting the units and require they be used as primary residences only. None of these affordable units cost taxpayers anything, nor do they use any public funds designated for affordable housing programs -- they are financed by developers and, like all units, subject to review by the city for zoning and design. 

Vote YES on Measure H.
 

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Vote Yes on Measure H Healdsburg
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Vote YES on Measure H, Income-Restricted Housing for Rent or Sale Ordinance
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Yes
State

Vote Yes on Measure D San Diego

Measure D would amend the process by which San Diego’s auditor -- the person responsible for investigating waste, fraud, and abuse for the city -- is appointed. At present, the auditor is appointed by the mayor, but Measure D would amend the San Diego City Charter to allow the City Council to appoint the auditor instead. The purpose of the change is to ensure the auditor is as independent as possible, and the measure has unanimous support from the City Council and Mayor’s office itself. In fact, it hasn’t attracted any real opposition. 

Under Measure D, the Audit Committee would forward a minimum of three nominees to the full City Council, which would then make the final hiring decision. It would also limit the auditor to two five-year terms. An independent auditor’s office is important and, after the chaos of the previous auditor’s resignation in 2018 that led to the city government going without oversight for a spell, reforming the process is a worthy goal. 

Vote YES on Measure D.

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Vote Yes on Measure D San Diego
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Vote YES on Measure D, City Auditor Selection and Term Charter Amendment
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Yes
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Vote YES on Measure C San Diego

As is so often the case with local propositions and ballot initiatives, the debate over San Diego’s Measure C has taken a bizarre, nit-picky turn. The bulk of the measure is relatively non-controversial and would slightly increase the tax rate on certain San Diego hotel rooms to pay for an expansion of the convention center itself. Much of the tourism industry is in favor of the measure because the convention center provides a hefty chunk of business, and local taxpayers wouldn’t be on the hook for any of the funds. 

Advocates claim the measure could raise more than $6 billion over the next four decades, with 59% of the money going to the convention center project and the remaining 41% going to community projects. That’s where the controversy starts, however. That 41% would be earmarked for infrastructure spending and programs combating homelessness. Opponents are worried that the measure isn’t specific enough about what kinds of homelessness programs that money will be spent on, and advocates for the chronically unhoused are additionally concerned that the sum Measure C would raise will fall far short of the $1.9 billion necessary to enact the city’s already-written 10-year homelessness plan. That could give the appearance of a funding solution while simultaneously making it incredibly difficult to get their plan - a $900 million housing bond that would pay for new units of affordable housing - onto the ballot in November. Several City Council members have even indicated that if Measure C passes, they will no longer support that bond measure, which is a frustrating turn.

Ultimately, San Diego residents should push for both, not allow themselves to be backed into picking one or the other. Measure C would require a two-thirds majority to pass and is not a substitute for other funds necessary to combat homelessness, but funding is funding and the city should devote as many resources to addressing their housing crisis as possible. 

Vote YES on Measure C.

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Vote YES on Measure C San Diego
Call to Action
Vote YES on Measure C, Lodging Tax for Convention Center Expansion, Street Repairs, and Homelessness Programs
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Yes
State

Vote Yes on Prop A San Francisco

City College’s facilities were largely built in the ‘60s and ‘70s, and the school has deferred repairs and safety upgrades on many of its properties for years. These deferrals have resulted in facilities and even some campuses closing -- the Civic Center campus has been closed since 2015 due to code violations and concerns about it’s earthquake readiness. Prop A is a bond measure that would allow the college to borrow $845 million from taxpayers to pay for needed seismic retrofits, as well as accessibility improvements and other safety repairs. The money would also be put towards making future buildings more environmentally friendly, a worthy goal. 

The San Francisco Community College District Board of Trustees believes this measure will only pay for about half of the school’s needed repairs, so it is possible we will see another bond measure on the ballot in the future. Regardless, this bond is necessary, as the majority of the college’s buildings are ranked “poor” or “very poor” on the facilities condition index. 

It’s fair to say that City College of San Francisco has had its share of negative headlines recently, between a series of unpopular faculty cuts and several other dramas. The trustees coming to voters for $845 million on the heels of all of that isn’t ideal. Still, the college is an important city service and should be a safe place to learn.
 
Vote YES on Prop A.
 

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Vote Yes on Prop A San Francisco
Call to Action
Vote YES on Proposition A, City College Bond Issue
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On
State

Abigail Medina

Abigail Medina currently resides in San Bernardino County. According to campaign materials, she is running for State Senate to improve educational opportunities for her district and to be a voice for historically marginalized communities. 

Medina serves as the Board President of the San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD) and Executive Director of Inland Region Equality Network (IREN), where she works to improve youth educational opportunities and elevate disadvantaged communities. While sitting on the school board, Medina has helped improve SBCUSD’s graduation rate from 70 percent, in 2013, to 90 percent, in 2018, and as ED of IREN, Medina has advanced initiatives in the Inland region to empower the LGBTQ+ community. Medina has also worked for the California Association for the Gifted, Congregation Organized for Prophetic Engagement (COPE), Health Advocates, and the District African American Council.

Medina is running against Kris Goodfellow (D), Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R), Cristina Puraci (R), and Lloyd White (R) for this open seat. According to recent election results, it's rare that Democrats win this seat. Medina stands out as the progressive choice because of her proven track record of being a community advocate and her ability to solve the issues faced by her community. 

According to our analysis, Medina is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.
 

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https://www.abigailforsenate.com/
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Yes on Proposition D San Francisco

In recent years, some of the same economic pressures that have made housing so expensive have also been at work in the commercial sector. Smaller businesses have been disappearing from expensive areas, with landlords incentivized to leave commercial properties empty instead of renting them out for less than they’d prefer. The result has been a commercial blight in many areas that not only changes the fabric of the community but also makes it challenging for existing businesses to survive. 

Prop D is a creative attempt at addressing at least one of the causes of this scourge --  landlords who are keeping their commercial spaces vacant in the hopes of attracting higher-paying tenants. It’s the brainchild of progressive San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin, and would charge landlords that leave a commercial property vacant for more than half the year $250 per linear foot. The tax would then double every consecutive year. The measure wouldn’t take effect until 2021 and would only apply to a specific list of around 30 commercial corridors. It wouldn’t apply to non-profit owners and builds in flexibility for spaces damaged by fire or earthquakes, plus it leaves room for city supervisors to alter, freeze, or ultimately sunset the law. 

While it’s true that landlord greed is only one reason for the collapse of the brick-and-mortar economy in much of SF, it’s a major one and one of the few that the city is actually empowered to address. The measure is a worthwhile attempt at reinvigorating SF’s commercial economy and, if it works as intended, gives many other urban communities with similar concerns a way forward. It requires a two-thirds majority to pass. 

We strongly recommend a YES vote on Proposition D.

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Yes on Proposition D San Francisco
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Vote YES on Proposition D, Vacant Property Tax
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On
State

No on Measure D Marin

Measure D would require the community to approve any plans to turn the former San Geronimo golf course site into anything other than a golf course. As opponents point out, the former course, now owned by the non-profit Trust for Public Land (TPL), is already closed and TPL has allowed the site to grow wild. The passage of Measure D would simply slow down the process of making it into a park, which TPL has successfully done with the over 4,000 parks it has created and protected since 1972.

In addition, passing measure D would prevent the possibility of increased fire safety in Marin, as one potential additional use for the site is to move the Marin County Fire Department headquarters from its current antiquated facilities to the former golf course.

We strongly recommend a NO vote on Measure D.

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No on Measure D Marin
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Vote NO on Measure D, San Geronimo Valley Golf Course Initiative
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On
State

Yes on Prop C San Francisco

In March of 2019, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development shuttered the federally-funded, locally operated San Francisco Housing Authority and ordered that its responsibilities be turned over to the city. This was following years of financial mismanagement, and the city absorbed most of the agency’s functions as well as about 25 members of its staff. Unfortunately, because of wording in the City Charter, these transferred employees lost their retiree medical benefits. This was due to a gap in their employment with the city that occurred through no fault of their own, and this prop would simply alter the charter so that the employees who got hired by the city in the aftermath of the Housing Authority’s disintegration are able to access their well-deserved benefits. It will cost the city about $80,000 overall but over a very long period. 

We strongly recommend a YES vote on Prop C.

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Yes on Prop C San Francisco
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Vote YES on Proposition C, San Francisco Housing Authority Retirement Benefits
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On
State

Yes on Prop B San Francisco

Prop B would allow the city of San Francisco to borrow $628.5 million in bonds to invest in some of the infrastructure and emergency service improvements necessary to help protect residents in the event of a major earthquake. The measure would cost the owners of homes assessed at $1 million roughly $150 a year, and while SF’s property taxes are high, so are the risks if the city doesn’t do everything it can to invest in earthquake preparedness. 

Californians all know we live with the risk of the “Big One,” and the city’s plan to borrow this money would allow them to make seismic improvements, as well as other needed repairs and improvements to fire department facilities, police stations, and 911 call centers. The measure requires two-thirds support to pass. Given the long-term likelihood of a major earthquake, this is a wise use of the city’s borrowing abilities and worth supporting. 

We strongly recommend a YES vote on Prop B.
 

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Yes on Prop B
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Vote YES on Proposition B, Earthquake Safety and Emergency Response Bond
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On
State

Otto Lee

Otto Lee is from Hong Kong and immigrated to California at 15 years old with his family. According to campaign materials, he is running for Santa Clara Board of Supervisors to continue his public service and to use his experience to address challenges his community faces, such as the increased cost of housing and traffic congestion. 

Lee is an intellectual property attorney, where he fosters economic development by protecting the rights’ of innovators. Lee has served on the Sunnyvale Planning Commission, the Sunnyvale City Council, and as Mayor, where he championed environmental issues such as banning single-use plastic bags, successfully promoting solar energy, and ensuring that development projects are environmentally sustainable. He has also served as a Democratic National Committee member and in the US Navy, where he received the Bronze Star and Meritorious Service Medal for his honorable service. 

Otto Lee is running against Kansen Chu, Magdalena Carrasco, and John Leyba for the open Board of Supervisors seat. Lee stands out as a progressive choice because of his strong environmental track record and his vision to address issues that directly impact his community, such as the rising unhoused population and the need to invest in sustainable infrastructure. 

According to our analysis, Lee is a strong choice for progressive leadership in office.
 

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https://www.ottolee.org/
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