Endorsements - Page 7

Kaplan for Oakland City Council. Sandoval for judge. No, no, no on 98 ... Our complete endorsements for the June 3 election -- including our Migden vs. Leno pick

Which is exactly what we expect from someone who represents one of the most progressive districts in the state.

It's a close call, but on this one, we're supporting Kriss Worthington.

State ballot measures

Proposition 98

Abolition of rent control


Proposition 99

Eminent domain reforms


There's a little rhyme to help you remember which way to vote on this critical pair of ballot measures:

"We hate 98, but 99 is fine."

The issue here is eminent domain, which is making its perennial ballot appearance. Californians don't like the idea of the government seizing their property and handing it over to private developers, and the most conservative right-wing forces in the state are trying to take advantage of that.

Think about this: if Prop. 98 passes, there will be no more rent control in California. That means thousands of San Francisco tenants will lose their homes. Many could become homeless. Others will have to leave town. All the unlawful-evictions laws will be tossed out. So will virtually any land-use regulations, which is why all the environmental groups also oppose Prop. 98.

In fact, everyone except the Howard Jarvis anti-tax group hates this measure, including seniors, farmers, water districts, unions, and — believe it or not — the California Chamber of Commerce.

Prop. 99, on the other hand, is an unapologetic poison-pill measure that's been put on the ballot for two reasons: to fix the eminent domain law once and for all, and kill Prop. 98 if it passes. It's simply worded and goes to the heart of the problem by preventing government agencies from seizing residential property to turn over to private developers. If it passes, the state will finally get beyond the bad guys using the cloak of eminent domain to destroy all the provisions protecting people and the environment.

If anyone has any doubts about the motivation here, take a look at the money: the $3 million to support Prop. 98 came almost entirely from landlords.

This is the single most important issue on the ballot. Remember: no on 98, yes on 99.

San Francisco measures

Proposition A

School parcel tax


Every year, hundreds of excellent teachers leave the San Francisco Unified School District. Some retire after a career in the classroom, but too many others — young teachers with three to five years of experience — bail because they decide they can't make enough money. San Francisco pays less than public school districts in San Mateo and Marin counties and far less than private and charter schools. And given the high cost of living in the city, a lot of qualified people never even consider teaching as a profession. That harms the public school system and the 58,000 students who rely on it.

It's a statewide problem, even a national one — but San Francisco, with a remarkable civic unity, is moving to do something about it. Proposition A would place an annual tax on every parcel of land in the city; the typical homeowner would pay less than $200 a year. The money would go directly to increasing pay — mostly starting pay — for teachers. The proposition, which has the support of almost everyone in town except the Republican Party, is properly targeted toward the newer teachers, with the goal of keeping the best teachers on the job past that critical three to five years.

Parcel taxes aren't perfect; they force homeowners and small businesses to pay the same rate as huge commercial property owners.