Endorsements 2012: San Francisco propositions

Yes (sigh) on Prop B. And vote hell yes to deny corporations personhood -- that'd be Prop G

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Vote No on Prop F -- It's wishful thinking that San Francisco could replace all the water that comes in from Hetch Hetchy.


PROPOSITION A

CITY COLLEGE PARCEL TAX

YES

The scathing accreditation report by the Western Association of Schools talks about governance problems at the San Francisco Community College District — a legitimate matter of concern. But most of what threatens the future of City College is a lack of money.

Check out the accreditation letter; it's on the City College website. Much of what it says is that the school is trying to do too much with limited resources. There aren't enough administrators; that's because, facing 20 percent cuts to its operating budget, the college board decided to save front-line teaching jobs. Student support services are lacking; that's because the district can barely afford to keep enough classes going to meet the needs of some 90,000 students. On the bigger picture, WASC and the state want City College to close campuses and concentrate on a core mission of offering two-year degrees and preparing students to transfer to four-year institutions. That's because the state has refused to fund education at an adequate level, and there's not enough money to both function as a traditional junior college and serve as the training center for San Francisco's tech, hospitality and health-care industry, provide English as a second language classes to immigrants and offer new job skills and rehabilitation to the workforce of the future.

It's fair to say that WASC would have found some problems at City College no matter what the financial situation (and we've found more — the nepotism and corruption under past boards has been atrocious). But the only way out of this mess is either to radically scale back the school's mission — or to increase its resources. We support the latter alternative.

Prop. A is a modest parcel tax — $79 dollars a year on each property lot in the city. Parcel taxes are inherently unfair — a small house in Hunters Point pays as much as a mansion in Pacific Heights or a $500 million downtown office building. But that's the result of Prop. 13, which leaves the city very few ways to raise taxes on real property. In the hierarchy of progressive tax options, parcel taxes are better than sales taxes. And the vast majority of San Francisco homeowners and commercial property owners get a huge benefit from Prop. 13; a $6 a month additional levy is hardly a killer.

The $16 million this tax would raise annually for the district isn't enough to make up for the $25 million a year in state budget cuts. But at least the district would be able to make reasonable decisions about preserving most of its mission. This is one of the most important measures on the ballot; vote yes.

PROPOSITION B

PARKS BOND

YES

There are two questions facing the voters: Does the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department need money to fix up badly decrepit, sometimes unsafe facilities, and build out new park areas, particularly in underserved neighborhoods? Has the current administration of the department so badly mismanaged Rec-Park, so radically undermined the basic concept of public access to public space, so utterly alienated neighborhoods and communities all over the city, that it shouldn't be trusted with another penny?

And if your answer to both is yes, how the hell do you vote on Prop. B?

Comments

There is a lot of misinformation being spread by the opponents of Prop. F. A YES vote on Prop. F is the obvious choice. I think that the ideas behind Prop. F are a win/win for San Francisco. The idea is to study more efficient use of the Tuolumne River system. Nobody is proposing to take away San Francisco's water source which is the Tuolumne River. The 100 year old dam at Hetch Hetchy is just one of 9 dams in that system. It seems that a lot of people have a hard time understanding that fact. It seems that many people are fooled by the term "Hetch Hetchy Water" when it is really "Tuolumne River Water" which happens to include an old dam at Hetch Hetchy and several other locations along the Tuolumne River watershed.

Posted by Jon Lula on Oct. 06, 2012 @ 10:10 am

"It seems that many people are fooled by the term "Hetch Hetchy Water" when it is really "Tuolumne River Water" which happens to include an old dam at Hetch Hetchy and several other locations along the Tuolumne River watershed."

Here's a clue - it's real, real easy to supply SF with water in April. However, most denizens of the city also expect to have water in October, when it hasn't rained or snowed in California in months and months. This means that you need a "reservoir", which given the vagaries of California's climate, means that you need to be able to store more than six months of water usage somewhere.

You can get all the "Tuolumne River Water" you want in April - if you still want it in October, you need Hetch Hetchy.

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly Persistent on Oct. 07, 2012 @ 10:22 am

Check out this informative article in the Huffington Post on the Proposition F issue:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-marshall/its-the-tuolumne-stupid_b_19...

The article untangles a lot of the misinformation out there.

Posted by Niners Fan on Oct. 07, 2012 @ 11:54 am

Please see pages 4 & 5 of the SFBG's endorsement pages:
http://www.sfbg.com/2012/10/03/endorsements-2012-san-francisco-propositi...
entitled:
WATER AND ENVIRONMENT PLAN: NO, NO, NO

Posted by Judy Berkowitz on Oct. 06, 2012 @ 9:56 pm

Wow, you guys are the only city in the whole country that destroyed part of a national park with a dam and you don't even want to authorize a study to remove it? San Francisco is not full of liberals, it is full of hypocrites. I will change my opinion only if San Francisco votes yes on Proposition F.

Give up your intrusion on our national parks or we will take it back from you!

Posted by Chief Tenaya on Oct. 07, 2012 @ 1:05 am

I will vote to do whatever.

What a relief.

Posted by matlock on Oct. 07, 2012 @ 2:59 am

"Wow, you guys are the only city in the whole country that destroyed part of a national park with a dam"

...well, except for Seattle, which has three dams in a national park.

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly Persistent on Oct. 07, 2012 @ 5:49 am

Leaving Hetch Hetchy dam standing is a little like keeping a few slaves after the civil war, just because it's "easier".

Posted by Guest on Oct. 07, 2012 @ 9:41 am

Oh oh! I think I've struck a thick vein of hypocrisy! Happens every time you prick a Repuglican.

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 07, 2012 @ 10:12 am

NP's at all, it's a matter for the federal government.

The issue is whether we should dam Hetch Hetchy. If it wasn't dammed now, nobody would suggest damming it. Therefore, it should go and the same water stored downstream

Posted by Guest on Oct. 07, 2012 @ 10:24 am

if there is petro-money to be made at it.

Remember "Drill Here!" "Drill Now!"? Remember the Alaska National Wildlife Recreation Area? Remember the Canadian oil sands/pipline?
\
There already is toxic metal pollution entering Yosemite National Park from mining operations right on its border, but all Repugs want to do is save the valley by destroying San Francisco's water supply and dividing their opposition.

Don't be simple. The Repugs and Demoblicans in the federal government are *already* in thrall to big oil. What San Franciscans need to do is get busy implementing the provisions of the Raker Act; that which these enemies of the people who have been putting this foul plan forward have been fighting all along.

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 07, 2012 @ 12:12 pm
Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 08, 2012 @ 10:34 am

Slaves = horrible, HORRIBLE analogy. Not even close to reality. Thanks for exposing yourself as an irrational wingnut. Trying to transition back to the "good old days" (meaning a century ago) will take 50+ years to realize based on conservative estimates of similar ecosystem bounceback rates. In the meantime the former dam site will be a horrendous clusterf*ck of mud, twisted concrete and non-potable water. AND in the meantime, what the hell is SF supposed to do for water? What will we have to do to replace the electricity we get from the dam? Oh right, we'll probably have to make a LOT of less-than-ideal environmental tradeoffs, thus diminishing the returns of doing this in the first place. Sorry folks, but the window to roll back Hetch Hetchy expired a good 50-60 years ago. Doing this now is a nonstarter. If you want to block future Hetch Hetchys from happening FINE, I think you'd be surprised at the number of us "No on F" people who would actually support that cause. But enough with this revisionist history bullshit. Undoing HH now is a BAD IDEA and will not somehow magically undo the past, undo slavery, put the Lakota back in charge in the midwest, blah blah blah, which supporters of this ill-conceived bill seem to be more focused on than doing what's actually pragmatic and right IN THE HERE AND NOW. NO ON F.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2012 @ 8:35 am

The dams NEAR North Cascades National Park in Washington state are outside the national park.

Face the truth: Now that the two dams in Olympic National Park in Washington are in the process of being removed, San Francisco stands alone as the undisputed "leader" in national park destruction and environmental hypocrisy.

Posted by Chief Tenaya on Oct. 07, 2012 @ 11:42 am

See my response up above - the dams are physically in the center of North Cascades National Park, in a National Park Service-administered "national recreation area".

If that trick is all that is required to keep dams "out of a national park", nothing stops us from creating a "national recreation area" for Hetch Hetchy.

Then Hetch Hetchy won't be in a national park either.

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly Persistent on Oct. 07, 2012 @ 3:18 pm

You are so misinformed about the North Cascades. That park was created after the dams were built, which is why the reservoirs are outside the park. Hetch Hetchy Valley was included in Yosemite National Park when it was created in 1890. The dam was completed in 1923.

So now you want to remove the whole Tuolumne River watershed from Yosemite National Park, that is roughly half the park. Wow, there is no end to the hypocrisy. Face it, with the removal of the 2 dams in Olympic National Park, San Francisco stands alone as the only destroyer of a national park.

Posted by Chief Tenaya on Oct. 08, 2012 @ 10:05 am

So, to sum up, decades ago some reactionary engineers decided that San Francisco needed a clean water supply, for some unknown reason.

Despite that fact that there were any number of equally good sites much closer to San Francisco, they chose to build a dam in an isolated mountain valley far away from San Francisco. It is unclear why they did this - perhaps they took sadistic glee in despoiling a mountain valley.

Fortunately, today, we realize that there were any number of equally good sites much closer to San Francisco, so we can take out the dam in in the isolated mountain valley, and build an equally good new dam much closer to San Francisco. Win-win! Or, we can cut water consumption in San Francisco by 75%, which is equally simple and cheap to do.

I mean, how hard could it be to provide a clean water supply to a major city?

P.S. I am a liberal arts major.

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly Persistent on Oct. 07, 2012 @ 6:17 am

opened it up. I guess nobody at SFBg screens the ad department's business.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 07, 2012 @ 10:26 am

Check this out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jc3Ig_rOjbw

If it is good enough for Indiana Jones, it is good enough for me. YES on F.

Posted by Niners Fan on Oct. 07, 2012 @ 11:49 am

Fuck "Indiana Jones"

While were at it, Fuck Steven Spielberg and Walt Disney's corpse.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 07, 2012 @ 12:20 pm

Anybody who votes no on Prop F should be banned for life from visiting Yosemite National Park.

Posted by Chief Tenaya on Oct. 07, 2012 @ 11:57 am

Anyone who votes yes on F should be banned for life from drinking water in San Francisco.

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly Persistent on Oct. 07, 2012 @ 3:22 pm

I think you mean "...drinking water from Hetch Hetchy," which they won't need to, since there will be no such thing.

You are so misinformed about the North Cascades. The park was created after the dams, which is why the reservoirs are outside the park. Hetch Hetchy Valley was included in Yosemite National Park when it was created in 1890. The dam was completed in 1923.

So now you want to remove the whole Tuolumne River watershed from Yosemite National Park, that is roughly half the park. Wow, there is no end to the hypocrisy. Face it, with the removal of the 2 dams in Olympic National Park, San Francisco stands alone as the only destroyer of a national park.

Posted by Chief Tenaya on Oct. 08, 2012 @ 9:58 am

Won't pass.

Maybe CCSF should...I dont know...collect student fees FIRST because gouging middle-class taxpayers??

Posted by Guest on Oct. 08, 2012 @ 10:01 am

perfactly happy to let CCSF continue to be what it has always been - a bastion of mediocrity.

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 08, 2012 @ 10:33 am
Posted by Niners Fan on Oct. 08, 2012 @ 10:01 am

The destruction of Hetch Hetchy was a tragedy, but it's been almost a century, and San Francisco benefits from clean hydropower and some of the best drinking water in the country.

I oppose the building of new dams, but this thing was built in the '20s, and an idealistic desire to make things look like they used to won't actually save any animals, plants, or habitats. Instead, we'll spend billions of dollars trying to replace the power and water we get from Hetch Hetchy--and we'll have to do new environmental destruction in order to do that. The massive environmental damage caused by Hetch Hetchy's construction is literally over. It was over when that entire habitat was flooded.

Think of all the global-warming gases we'll spew trying to replace all that clean power and trying to figure out a way to get water when we have an efficient system in place.

Posted by John on Oct. 15, 2012 @ 10:55 am

will you be posting endorsements for the Berkeley Oakland area? Hope so....

Posted by Guest Martha Boesing on Oct. 17, 2012 @ 8:25 am

The Guardian and The Chron have the exact same endorsement list for SF City Propositions. I can't remember that ever happening before.

Posted by GlenParkDaddy on Oct. 28, 2012 @ 11:31 pm

Disclaimer: I am a pro-environment, pragmatic progressive who often--though by no means always--mirrors the sentiments of SFBG and various other local left-leaning voices come election time. The fact that I spend most of my energy fighting the hysterical right often occludes the fact that I am just as disdainful of the hysterical left. Prop F is one such hysterical left measure. In an alternative universe, the car and the computer were never invented and we're all still pedaling to our jobs as cobblers and coopers, walking around The Shire with milk buckets on our shoulders and mutton in our stew pots. But that is not the case. Nor is it the case that we live in a world that can afford to tear *new* assholes in our already fragile ecosystem. So what to do about Hetch Hetchy? Guess what guys, as far as this parcel of land is concerned, what's done is done. This proposition is not about "saving" anything, it's about an ill-conceived attempt to bring back the good old days (i.e. the days before the white man decimated the West's native population and claimed it for its own) Every way you look at it this proposal is a theoretical one-and-a-half birds in the bush for at least four or five birds in the hand. Hysterical left: PLEASE WAKE UP. All your strident voices do is to weaken the credibility ours on the more pragmatic (i.e. WORKABLE) left side. In other words, you allow our opponents to lump us all together as a part of the mythical unwashed Marxist masses of No Cal politics. Please get a grip and find some other Holy Grail to chase. NO ON F. KEEP HETCH HETCHY AS IS and redirect our energies into supporting renewable energy such as wind and solar...God knows we have enough battles to fight on those fronts already. Thanks and NAMASTE, B***TCHES!

Posted by Guest on Nov. 01, 2012 @ 7:50 am

=v= So the _Guardian_ endorses John Rizzo for D5 Supervisor. During his tenure at City College the place got even worse, but at least HE attended every meeting. So let's vote Yes on A to throw bond debt at that problem. Rizzo's previous gig was at the Golden Gate Park Concourse Authority, overseeing a project that was supposed to generate revenue for Rec & Parks but which has instead been a money sink. So let's vote Yes on B to throw more bond debt at that problem.

If Rizzo wins, I guess we'll be seeing even more _Guardian_-endorsed bond measures to clean up after him.

Posted by Jym Dyer on Nov. 05, 2012 @ 11:24 pm

You're wrong about basic facts. Prop A is a parcel tax, not a "bond tax". Prop B is a "bond tax." Prop B requires interest payments to 1%ers, whereas Prop A doesn't since it's "pay-as-you-go" financing without interest payments.

Please do the rest of us a favor and don't vote if after reading your voter handbook you're still that confused about Prop A and Prop B. (For all other potential voters, vote No against both Prop A and Prop B since the only good taxes are taxes on rents. The landlord and banking classes have made billions over the past few decades while tenants and small businesses have suffered. Don't perpetuate the discrimination against tenants, small businesses and homeowners - Vote No against Prop A and B.)

The truth about John Rizzo that isn't mentioned is that he worked with Milton Marks and other board members to get the FIRST EVER financial and management audit at City College approved, which had been opposed by the college administration. The audit led to the identification of dozens of significant financial issues and abuses that have been implemented over the past few years. Even the Chronicle pointed out that most of City College's fianancial problems occurred a couple of decades before the current board members were elected.

If the poster was honest he'd would have included a little disclosure with his smear comment: "I've hated John ever since he was on the GGP Concourse Auuthority and he didn't vote on the garage issue the way I wanted him to vote. That was over 10 years ago but I still hate John and always will. When people don't listen to me and do as I want them to do, I will hold a very long grudge and will make them pay for not following my orders."

There are lots of whack jobs in SF politics, including landlords who evict tenants but still think they are the coolest people ever. Or biker hipsters who spend hours of time fetishizing coffee and bike accessories and other conspicuous consumption behavior. The whack jobs are not cool, or eccentric, or edgy. But they are one of the big reasons we get whack job candidates like Thea Selby or London Breed who are darlings of the real estate and banking industries since there are billions of dollars to be made by eviciting tenants and converting rent-controlled apartments to TICs and condominiums. The whack job candidates and their whack job supporters make SF politics an ugly place that leads to eventual winners like Willie Brown and Ed Lee.

Vote for John Rizzo if you care about financial accountability and integrity, and for someone who will protect tenants from greedy landlords and developers who want to make billions by evicting tenants and converting apartments to condos.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 06, 2012 @ 5:50 am

It's not about "hate" or other vapid _ad_hominem_ nonsense. It's about integrity, or rather the lack thereof.

Posted by Jym Dyer on Nov. 06, 2012 @ 7:29 am

Oh, and BTW, that stuff that was over 10 years ago? We're still on the hook for it, financially. I flubbed the wording, but the bottom line about the Concourse Authority is that we're stuck with a garage that doesn't generate enough revenue to pay its own rent, much less benefit the park.

Posted by Jym Dyer on Nov. 06, 2012 @ 7:46 am

My 2 cents, grew up in the south bay in Mountain View. I remember my folks paying the water bill, it was the San Francisco Water Dept,, does MV get to vote on getting rid of the dam. Doesn't H.H. provide water to a lot of people, I like the idea of getting rid of the dam, but can we see some options and work on those before we start tearing out stuff.

Posted by Garrett on Nov. 06, 2012 @ 11:53 am

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