A case for Avalos, Yee and Dufty

An SEIU 1021 political organizer explains his union's ranked choices

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OPINION Like all of us, SEIU 1021 can take three dates to the prom when it comes to voting for mayor, but narrowing it down in a field of so many candidates was still challenging. After a month-long process, we arrived at a dual endorsement of Supervisor John Avalos and State Senator Leland Yee for first and second choice, and Supervisor Bevan Dufty for our third choice.

It's a diverse slate, and the choices are representative of the constituencies, perspectives and priorities in our membership.

Yee's record on labor issues in Sacramento has been impeccable, and he has long been a staunch supporter of our union, so endorsing him was a no-brainer. The Guardian asked me personally, as I am also a transgender activist, how I could support Leland after his vote against transgender health benefits. Frankly, I was disappointed in how my response was framed.

Leland approached transgender activists a number of years ago and apologized for his vote. Instead of denying or rationalizing like other politicians might do, he had the courage to come to a community meeting of transgender activists, stand in front of us, admit he was wrong, and apologize. For people to continue to attack an individual for having a true change of heart is very discouraging. We would never make any advancement of our rights if we continued to shun those who have come to understand and support the transgender fight for equality. In fact, Yee's support was critical to the collective effort to save Lyon-Martin, a clinic that is a key service provider for trans folks, after it almost closed earlier this year.

That's why so many in the transgender community now support Yee so strongly and why he has become an even closer, tested ally through this experience.

SEIU 1021 has always had a very close relationship with John Avalos. Avalos has been a steadfast supporter of crucial social and health- care services, and has been a leader in creating needed progressive revenue measures. But most importantly, John understands how essential jobs are for lifting people out of poverty and stimulating the local economy for everyone in San Francisco.

Last year, he introduced a Local Hire ordinance that is becoming a real jobs generator in our city and a national model. Like many of our members when they first started working for the city, workers hired under the Local Hire ordinance may for the first time have a living-wage job with benefits.

And while some in labor have been critical of this legislation — in fact, it cost him the endorsement of the San Francisco Labor Council — that's a short-sighted criticism.

As more people are employed in San Francisco with living wage jobs, they spend money in San Francisco, boosting tax revenues and in turn creating more jobs across the city. Moreover, this visionary legislation has other benefits — workers coming from low-income communities bring a new found pride in and community spirit to what could be otherwise economically depressed areas. That's why SEIU 1021 supports Avalos, and why I am proud to endorse him as well.

Rounding out SEIU's endorsements in this campaign is former Supervisor Bevan Dufty. Dufty has a history of supporting preserving city services. Some have argued that Dufty can't handle downtown pressure, and yet, Dufty has consistently supported public power, took a stance against Sit-Lie despite intense pressure, and several years ago, at a critical juncture for Tom Ammiano's signature health care legislation, Healthy San Francisco, he didn't blink when we called on him to be our 8th vote. In fact, he committed to the bill, unequivocally, and called on other supervisors, like Fiona Ma, to say it was time. She immediately co-sponsored and eventually it was a unanimous 11-0 vote.

Comments

Oh yeah,

Changed his vote, 'after-the-fact' move times than anyone in the history of the State Assembly. They're allowed to change their votes as long as it doesn't change the outcome. Thus, a common Yee move was to take the payoff for voting in favor of some gangster developer or garbage company to vote in favor of the institution (as he did in the San Diego dump situation) ... then, he switches his vote to the Progressive side for the permanent register (conservative allies cover for him here). Greg, you say Yee's sins are "last century"? The dump vote happened this year! Yee's only Sierra Club endorsement came from John Rizzo who ignored Yee's environmental attacks and is backing him in the hope that Yee wins and Mirkarimi does too and then Yee appoints Rizzo to the vacant D-5 supe seat. Ambition can definitely make people delusional.

Yee's a total monster and I agree with the 'Guest' post that is surprised at Eric's complete lack of rational thought regarding this enemy of rent-control and the environment. He's sure as hell not going to get any votes from sharks as he voted against banning the genocide against their species so that he can slurp expensive soup. Eric's always rude and pompous but he is normally rational.

One of the saddest things about this campaign has been reading the condemnation of Jeff Adachi from former allies. For one single reason. Because he saw the danger of the 'Pension Tsunami' warned of by the Civil Grand Jury report and moved to act upon it. To raise funds he went to a couple of deep pocket SF residents who'd backed everyone from Matt Gonzalez to Barrack Obama and they've funded his two Pension Reform measures. The idea that these guys are equivalent to the Koch brothers is simply an Eric Brooks lie which he repeats over and over hoping that if people hear his lies enough they'll start to believe him.

Here's what Melissa Griffin said about the Eric Brooks lies:

http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2011/10/pension-reform-backers-san-franc...

Tell me some more lies Eric.

go Niners!

h.

Posted by h. brown on Oct. 24, 2011 @ 11:28 am

My name does not appear once in Griffin's report, and I have never once criticized Adachi for ties to Republicans, because I don't see the problem as partisan.

The problem is that Adachi is selling himself to billionaire financiers (who are buying off -both- Democrats and Republicans) and Adachi is now going after our local workers and attacking their pay and benefits for his new masters.

That is a fact.

And your claims about Sierra Club are ludicrous. The endorsement was based on Lee having a nearly 100% voting record on environmental issues in Sacramento.

Another fact.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 24, 2011 @ 7:30 pm

Oh yeah,

Changed his vote, 'after-the-fact' more times than anyone in the history of the State Assembly. They're allowed to change their votes as long as it doesn't change the outcome. Thus, a common Yee move was to take the payoff for voting in favor of some gangster developer or garbage company ... to vote in favor of the institution (as he did in the San Diego dump situation) ... then, he switches his vote to the Progressive side for the permanent register (conservative allies cover for him here). Greg, you say Yee's sins are "last century"? The dump vote happened this year! Yee's only Sierra Club endorsement came from John Rizzo who ignored Yee's environmental attacks and is backing him in the hope that Yee wins and Mirkarimi does too and then Yee appoints Rizzo to the vacant D-5 supe seat. Ambition can definitely make people delusional.

Yee's a total monster and I agree with the 'Guest' post that he is surprised at Eric's complete lack of rational thought regarding this enemy of rent-control and the environment. Leland's sure as hell not going to get any votes from sharks as he voted against banning the genocide against their species so that he can slurp expensive soup. And, Greg, your boy Yee cast this vote less than a month ago, not in the "last century". In short, Eric's always rude and pompous but he is normally rational. Eric's had a radical change and one can only hope that it's because he's on Yee's payroll. Otherwise? The boy done gone bonkers. Leland Yee on the other hand has unfortunately not changed a whit. He's always been a corrupt, greedy and duplicitous opportunist. Who pays people to swear he's not.

One of the saddest things about this campaign has been reading the condemnation of Jeff Adachi from former allies. For one single reason. Because he saw the danger of the 'Pension Tsunami' warned of by the Civil Grand Jury report and moved to act upon it. To raise funds he went to a couple of deep pockets SF residents who'd backed everyone from Matt Gonzalez to Barrack Obama and they've funded his two Pension Reform measures. The idea that these guys are equivalent to the Koch brothers is simply an Eric Brooks lie which he repeats over and over hoping that if people hear his lies enough they'll start to believe him. This method was taught to the world by Martin Goebbels.

Here's what Melissa Griffin said about the Eric Brooks lies:

http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2011/10/pension-reform-backers-san-franc...

Now tell me some more lies Eric.

go Niners!

h.

Posted by h. brown on Oct. 24, 2011 @ 11:39 am

1. Avalos
2. Herrera
3. Adachi

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 24, 2011 @ 12:29 pm

Like you just said, repeating a lie often enough doesn't make it true.

Changing votes happen for many different reasons -it's all inside baseball and every legislator does it. Not that I really care much about the mechanics of Sacramento voting, but thus far you have not produced any evidence that Yee uses that particular procedural maneuver more frequently than anyone else. If you have evidence, please link.

Eric already talked about the dump vote -it was made at the request of another environmentalist Democratic legislator. You can badmouth the Sierra Club all you want, but I still trust their judgement as to who has good environmental credentials more than I trust yours. And besides, they've endorsed him in every race he ran for, as did just about every other environmental org under the sun.
Strategy hint: I don't think that slinging mud at the Sierra Club makes you or your candidates look good, but if that's the strategy you want to use to promote Adachi, be my guest.

Same thing with the Tenants Union. This year they did a sole endorsement of Avalos -mistake on their part. But they've been endorsing Yee the past several years. Yee hasn't cast a bad vote on tenants issues in years.

And shark genocide... oh please. Cue the eyerolls.

Oh, and...

who is Martin Goebbels?

Posted by Greg on Oct. 24, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

To act as if that's a matter for an "eye roll" is emblematic of everything wrong with our political system. Sharks are an apex predator - when we decimate their populations we throw the whole oceanic ecosystem out of balance. And worse - there's no rational reason for it because people don't need to eat sharks to survive - they're only eating their fins because of the outdated and destructive impulses of the elite Chinese bourgeoisie.

Yee's position is indefensible and, much like his other indefensible positions, he came up with some strange convoluted "solution" to the problem which would have pleased no one but himself and his wealthy Chinese backers. Lucky enough for sharks - his "solution" was rejected outright and CA is now on the path to banning any trade in shark fins at all.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 24, 2011 @ 2:28 pm

You are entirely correct.

Which is why, as a radical environmentalist, I'm only ranking Yee third.

But I'm still ranking him third, because (if Avalos doesn't win) Yee is the smartest third rank move to ensure a far better environmental leader in room 200 than the current total developer owned bastard.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 24, 2011 @ 8:01 pm

Agreed h. The demonization of Adachi is one of the saddest fall-outs. He was just the first to draw attention to the little heffalump in our living room, now every Tom, Dick and Harry is lashing out at the pinata. None of them are standing up and prioritizing an all out assault on the humungous elephant of privilege and corruption that is squeezing the life out of us all. They are all just diddling around and trying to find a position to take that will do the least damage to their political aspirations, now that they can't ignore the issue any longer.
How anyone who still cares about Civil Rights (especially racial equality); participatory/representative democracy; one wo/man - one vote; could consider voting for Herrera, under any scenario or circumstance is unbelievable.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Oct. 24, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

He has already been proven correct in Prop C - these people don't believe the lies they're spewing. They're just trying to stay on message.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 24, 2011 @ 4:41 pm

Greg, I aplogise, I can miss the joke sometimes, but you were joking when you asked who Goebbels was.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Oct. 24, 2011 @ 3:36 pm

No, I was serious. I have no idea who Martin Goebbels was. Maybe Joseph had a kid brother nobody ever knew about. Yeah... everyone thought that Joseph Goebbels was the main man, but really it was his kid brother Marty that was the brains behind the whole operation! Yeah that's the ticket.

No, really -I never heard of Martin Goebbels.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 24, 2011 @ 7:36 pm

"Let’s talk about these 'tea party billionaires' who have each given $250,000 to the Prop. D campaign: Michael Moritz and George Hume."

Yes, let's talk, Melissa. What is it about billionaires buying elections that stirs your sympathy so much that you jump to defend them?

"According to the nonprofit, nonpartisan National Institute on Money in State Politics, Moritz did not contribute to any Wisconsin folks, but he did give $11,000 to Ohio Republican John Kasich’s gubernatorial race and $24,000 to the Ohio Republican Party in 2010. That same year, George Hume gave $2,500 to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and a combined total of $2,000 to four Republican Wisconsin state senators."

Hmmm, I guess you don't care to delve too deeply into this. If you did, you might ask yourself why ANYONE would contribute big bucks to the notorious duo of right-wing governors best known for stripping the collective bargaining rights of public workers.

"But does this mean they only give to Republicans? Are they really tea party members?"

I think a better question is, Do they give a damn about the 99% who are struggling, or are they just looking out for their own interests as members of the elite 1% (both men are billionaires). Well, let's see. Michael Moritz contributed $5,000 to the sit/lie ordinance which criminalizes the act of sitting on a sidewalk. The main targets~ the homeless, day laborers, Gay youth and anyone who is down on their luck.

He has also contributed to Max Baucus' campaign, the "blue dog" Democrat who colluded with the Obama administration to sink the public option.

The Hume family is notorious for their union-busting tactics. Check out this piece by David Bacon and Bill Berkowitz~ "San Francisco's Hume Family -- Building a Rightwing Empire on Dried Garlic and a Busted Union"

http://dbacon.igc.org/Strikes/12Hume.htm

"Hume has donated $500 (the maximum amount) to Ed Lee for Mayor. Remember that Lee is Prop. C’s biggest champion. Hume has also donated to Feinstein for Senate, John Kerry for President, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and even gave $1,000 to the Friends of Hillary Clinton."

This is pretty meaningless. Ed Lee represents the downtown corporate interests. The rest are Wall Street Democrats. In fact, Democrats like Obama, Clinton, et al, have taken more money from Wall Street than their Republican challengers. Ask Matt Gonzalez how much faith he has in the Democrats.

George Hume contributed $20,000 to George W. Bush and a host of right-wing causes and candidates. But I guess you don't care to look too closely, eh Melissa?

George is VP and trustee of the Hume Foundation, a major funder of right wing think tanks like the Pacific Research Institute (PRI), the Heritage Foundation, and the Claremont Institute. Check out these sites, Melissa. Their agenda is clear~ they are calling for a switch to defined-contribution 401(k) style system and an end to collective bargaining rights for public workers.

"Moritz supported Matt Gonzales over Gavin Newsom in the 2003 mayoral race, and donated thousands to Equality California for the campaign to defeat Proposition 8. He has also contributed to Obama for America, and other Democratic candidates for office."

Again, this means very little. It's common for these corporate vultures to hedge their bets by contributing to both parties. Apparently, Moritz thought that Gonzalez stood a good chance of being elected in '03. That's just a way of buying influence. I think it's much more indicative of Moritz's agenda that he supported John Kasich, who doesn't even live in the same state. It's also interesting that in an op-ed in the WSJ last year, Moritz mentions Willie Brown as one of the few politicians supporting Prop B, but entirely neglects to mention Gonzalez.

"While Moritz and Hume have contributed to Republican candidates, too, I think it’s fair to say neither of these men would be welcome at a tea party meeting."
What makes you so sure? The Hume family is one of the funders of the Pacific Research Institute and its right-wing Libertarian agenda. The Koch Foundation also supports PRI, and other right-wing think tanks, and is a major backer of the Tea Party groups. To be fair, I'm not sure about Moritz, but I'm sure Hume would feel right at home.

"But Moritz and Hume aren’t the only rich people who give to both parties. Prop. C is mostly funded by public employee unions, but wealthy Warren Hellman is lending his support with $154,500 dollars in contributions so far. Hellman has contributed to Republican candidates in New York and Hawaii and even right here in California. For example, Hellman donated $50,000 to Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2005 and $20,000 to (George W. Bush-backed) Republican gubernatorial candidate Richard Riordan in 2002."

Yes, Hellman and Moritz are hedging their bets. As I've said before, they playing "good cop/ bad cop" with the workers. Either way, the workers get screwed. Many in the rank and file don't support either measure.

"Know who else gave money to Riordan that year? George Hume."

Ah yes, the libertarian-leaning Republican. Why am I not surprised.
Forget the ad, Melissa~ it was poorly done, IMHO. What we should really be asking ourselves is why we should support billionaires buying our democracy.

NO on Prop C AND Prop D!

Posted by Lisa on Oct. 24, 2011 @ 6:18 pm

Why are so reluctant to discuss the merits of these proposals as opposed to smearing the proponents? You're only preaching to the choir.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 24, 2011 @ 7:35 pm

Neither proposal gets at the root of the problem. Props C nor D are merely a downpayment on the bill, so further austerity measures are in store for the workers, unless we fight back. Take a look at Greece.

Never mind that the wealthy and corporate elites who got us into this mess refuse to pay their fair share of taxes. They are not seen as part of the solution and we demand to know why.

As I see it, there are three motives behind the push for pension ‘reform’~

1. Striking the "coup de grace" to the unions as the last stronghold against corporate power.

2. Turning defined benefit pensions into 401k's and undermining collective bargaining rights~ "Wall Street stands to gain from "the fat fees a massive expansion of 401K's would bring...by weakening the nation's leading shareholder activist organization, CalPERS." ~Calitics, 'Big Money Doesnt Like Being Held Accountable'

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/04/11/965728/-Big-Money-Doesnt-Like-B...

3. Diverting attention from the 1% of wealthy individuals and corporations who refuse to pay their fair share of taxes, as they dodge responsibility for their role in crashing the economy.

The good news is that the people occupying Wall Street know full well what this is about. They are strong, vocal and out in the streets. And they are standing up for the workers, just as they have in Spain and Greece. The revolution is on!

Posted by Lisa on Oct. 25, 2011 @ 6:17 pm

@Greg, you are of course correct oh swami, guess my head was still up the at the river (though it could have been another place where it sometimes gets stuck).

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Oct. 24, 2011 @ 9:06 pm

Whichever 'guest' it is, would you care to enlighten us with an in depth discussion and analysis of these two proposals.
NO ON C-D-E-F.
YES-YES-YES- AVALOS.
NO-NO-NO-NO-LEE.
GO NINERS.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Oct. 24, 2011 @ 9:12 pm

"Ask not for whom the bell tolls".
This is way above my pay grade or level of expertise, so I'm just casting bread on polluted waters. Imagine, if you will, that the putsch planned by the Pac Heights Mafia succeeds, Mr Ed's unethical/illegal tactics work and he is appointed Mayor.
This whole conspiracy has stunk to high heaven from day one, but it is a familiar stench in this town controlled by 'criminal enterprises'. IMHO this latest perversion of our 'democracy' screams out for legal action. I submit that those of you who have the know-how and ability to make this happen start now, if you haven't already, preparing and gathering evidence for a recall petition to be submitted on the day of Mr Ed's annointing. Thank god/ess that I'm neither lawyer or politician, but couldn't this also be an opportunity to introduce supportive evidence of 'pattern of conduct' and 'prior bad acts' by the usual suspects and finally publicly expose, in a court of law, the corruption and criminality that has been rife in our town for decades. As he has about as much chance of becoming Mayor as I do of growing new hair or teeth, maybe our Shitty Attorney could pursue this all the way to State Court with the same fervor he demonstrated when he denied 33,000 SF residents their right to vote.
Just my 2c.
AVANTE ALCALDE AVALOS.
GO NINERS.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Oct. 25, 2011 @ 3:07 pm

What bothers me most about Adachi is that, instead of working together with people, he is colluding with right-wing billionaires (the 1%) who want to buy this election.

And don't hand me the argument that Adachi approached them first, not vice versa. Honestly, what does that matter? If Adachi were a true progressive, he would have said, "Whoa, what am I getting myself into here? Holy crap, do I really want a notorious unionbuster like George Hume backing my measure?" And what on earth is he thinking by teaming up with PG &E shill Joe Nation?

David Waggoner has a brilliant piece at FCJ about how these billionaires are buying out our democracy. His conclusion is spot on~

“As San Franciscans debate public employee benefits, the influence of nonprofits and which candidate is more progressive, moderate or conservative, the Hellmans, Conways and Moritzs – the 1% class – must be clinking their champagne glasses in toast to their fabulous success: another election bought and paid for, another cycle of smoke and mirrors.”

http://www.fogcityjournal.com/wordpress/3102/ron-conway-buying-our-democ...

Posted by Lisa on Oct. 25, 2011 @ 5:27 pm

Yeah,

I still hold out hope that we'll keep Ross as our supe in D-5 for another year but if that doesn't happen then I hope it's Waggoner who replaces him. As appointed by Mayor Adachi. I have no inside info on anything though.

Check out David's pic at FCJ in Luke's coverage of Jeff's kick-off. Hell of a great time. Lots of dancing and great and diverse crowd.

Go Niners!

h.

Posted by h. brown on Oct. 25, 2011 @ 5:47 pm

Agreed Lisa, it's a conundrum. Let's start by accepting that: They are all 'politicians', Strike 1. They all have ties to big money backers, Strike 2. They all make deals and fuck up, Strike 3.
If you consider the totality of their work and actions over the years, who has been less beholden, who has been most focused on protecting the rights of all the people. I think that of those who have any chance of 'winning' there are only two worth mentioning, Avalos and Adachi. The dilemma is choice for #3.
Just my 2c

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 11:57 am

Pat,

I'm sure Adachi means well. I will even acknowledge that he is a great PD. But if he can't figure out the anti-democratic agenda of his backers, this calls his judgment into question.

This is serious business~ much more serious than most progressives realize. Adachi may have trouble recognizing it, but the Humes and the right-wing think tanks they fund have a definite agenda. They would like to seize control of the commons, bust the unions, drive down wages and benefits for ALL workers, and turn us all into exploitable low-wage serfs.

And now they've have taken their assault to the cities, particularly in Calfornia. Take a look at their pension 'reform' proposals for San Diego and other cities in this state. They are proposing of 401K plans for new workers and limiting or curtailing their collective bargaining rights. Even more alarming, they are actually changing city charters to make it more difficult to repeal. And they are even going after living wage ordinances in the cities that have enacted them. (Note to Matt Gonzalez, is this what you want?)

They have been driving down workers wages over the past thirty years, and pretty successful at busting the unions. This is why the economy is unlikely to recover anytime soon. (In fact, worldwide economic collapse is imminent). If you want to see what coming down the pike, keep a close eye on Greece.

There is only one way forward now~ resist, resist, resist!!! And if Adachi were a leader, he would join us. Well, at least we can agree on one thing, compa~

Avalos para Alcalde!!

Posted by Lisa on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

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