Endorsement interviews: Terry Baum

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Terry Joan Baum is the Green Party candidate for mayor. She told us she got in the race to get progressive issues out and on the agenda; she was a candidate before Sup. John Avalos announced, and she says she'd be supporting him if she weren't a candidate. She told us she's the only candidate calling for criminal charges against PG&E in the San Bruno explosion. "I understand that I'm a longshot," she said, "but I've already influenced the debates." Listen to the interview and watch the video after the jump.

Baum by endorsements2011

Comments

Hey there,
You've got a DA candidate where you should have Terry Baum. Please fix! Thanks.

Posted by Guest daniele e on Oct. 03, 2011 @ 3:19 pm

Readers can see the bullet points of Terry Baum's extensive and strong progressive platform, which includes strategies for increasing local revenues, both below and at:

http://terryjoanbaum.com/issues

TRANSIT
San Francisco must have public transit so great, you don’t need your car! Other cities have it, why not us? Get where you want, when you want, with Public Transit!

BUSES
Buses at least every 10 minutes from 6 AM to Midnight
Buses every 30 minutes from Midnight to 6 AM.

BICYCLES
Truly dedicated and safe bike paths throughout the city. What we have now is well-intentioned, but unsafe for cyclists and frustrating for drivers, as bike paths appear and disappear in a single block. Amsterdam and Berlin have achieved deep bicycle friendliness. Let’s develop the best plan for San Francisco.

MUNI METRO STATIONS
Traveling underground is enough of a sacrifice. The stations should be beautiful — murals, mosaics, sculptures. Boston, New York and Moscow have done it. Let’s make Muni Metro Stations a treat for residents and a destination for visitors! We have a right to beauty!

FREE MASS TRANSIT?
I personally feel that very frequent buses and subways are the most crucial improvement to make the system useful for all San Franciscans. But others think that free buses and subways would make more difference. At the least, low income San Franciscans should be able to buy subsidized Fast Passes. As it is now, only students and seniors can.

HOUSING
Housing is a right, not a privilege! We must have more low-income and middleclass housing or we will become Aspen-by-the-Sea, a community of the rich. How boring!

Supportive housing for homeless people – that is, studio apartments in a building with social services on the ground floor. People need help when they get down that far.

Facilitate co-housing. Co-housing is a form of intentional community, where people own/rent their own space and share common space. Presently, there is no co-housing in San Francisco.

Acquire long-vacant buildings through eminent domain and turn them into low income housing. Increase the density of housing along the transit corridors of Mission St. and Geary Blvd. Four-story buildings would not overwhelm the neighborhood, would not need elevators and would add population that would make San Francisco more vibrant and sustainable.

DEMOCRACY
Making our city more of a democracy means, for starters, ending the rule of the Democratic party machine! One-party rule is bad for China, North Korea —- AND San Francisco!

I think of democracy as a goal we’re working toward, rather than something we already have achieved. Here are some things we could do to give more people a bigger voice in how this city is run:

End backroom deals! Enforce the Sunshine laws that demand that government decisions be made out in the open.

Share the Mayor’s power with supervisors and citizens. Have more appointments to boards and commissions made by the Board of Supervisors or elected by the people.

Allow more than three Ranked Choice Voting choices.

Have more public funding for campaigns, with lower requirements for receiving it.

Lower ballot access requirements — fees and signatures.

Lower salaries for the top executive offices.

Reform the Ethics Commission, which is now completely broken. It spends its time going after the little fish and ignoring the whales.

Allow all ballot-qualified candidates in debates.

Lower the number of votes needed to override the Mayor’s veto.

PUBLIC SAFETY
There is much we can do to make the police more responsive to the community.

Community Policing
- Foot Patrols
- More city residents hired
- Keep police on same beat long enough to get to know the locals

ROTC
- Replace it with a similar leadership program built around “first responder” and earthquake response skills. – This will encourage more SF kids to join our police/fire instead of the military. Fewer airport police – redirect them to neighborhoods most in need “Civilianize” jobs that don’t require special training (such as desk jobs.)

REVENUE – NEW POSSIBILITIES
Why did the Board of Supervisors vote to give a tax break to big corporations, at the same time as the city is raising fees for the Arboretum in Golden Gate Park? For once, let’s balance the budget on the backs of the rich! Here are some ideas:

TAXES
Gross Receipts Tax on Business: This would replace the payroll tax, which penalizes businesses that employ a lot of people, and would be much more fair. Income Tax: There is a greater income disparity in San Francisco than in any city in the state. We have more billionaires per square foot than any city in the country. Rich people should pay for the privilege of living in a city with all economic classes!

Property Taxes

Square Foot Tax: This would tax property according to size, and would be more fair.

Vacant Parcel Tax: This would give an incentive to property owners to rent their holdings at whatever the market would bear, rather than waiting for better times and richer tenants.

Raise PG&E Franchise Fee

Downtown Transit Assessment District

Our mass transit system disproportionately benefits downtown businesses, as we all know when we go anywhere BESIDES downtown on public transit. Downtown businesses benefit more — they should pay more.

They are not paying what they’re required to pay, simply because nobody has the guts to demand it of them. Even if PG&E were a competent utility, which it is not, it should pay the fair fee.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 12:55 pm

leave aside, for now, the costs of (say) running Muni the way she wants (which itself, would be prohibitive).

Square footage tax - illegal under Prop 13.

Vacant Property Tax - illegal under Prop 13.

City Income Tax - illegal under State law.

P, G and E fee hikes - passed through directly to consumers, and mostly affecting the poor

Gross Receipts Tax, to replace Payroll Tax - penalizes high-turnover, low-margin businesses like food and drug stores, mostly used by the poor. Helps low-turnover, high-margin businesses like hedge funds and law firms.

Not one of her revenue ideas are viable. They either require changes in State Law, or are regressive. Baum is just way out there, with no foothold in reality.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 1:39 pm

Nonsense.

First let's start with your propaganda fallacy that new taxes are 'illegal' under Prop 13. Complete horse manure.

They are not 'illegal' at all. Some (and it is important to clarify, not all) of them require a high voter threshold to enact, however none of them are 'illegal'. So let's dispense with that fiction right off the bat.

Furthermore a revenue strategy which boldly goes for ballot support and/or changes in state law is essential. Those are -exactly- the sorts of strong moves we need to use to get out of our economic mess; and Baum will aggressively pursue them.

And your comment about the PG&E is bogus. PG&E is a regulated monopoly. It can't just raise rates whenever the hell it pleases for any amount desired. It is severely restricted in that regard.

Finally, here is how Baum's outline for revenues actually reads (which you subtly and deceptively reworded to spin it toward your false emphasis).

"REVENUE – NEW POSSIBILITIES
Why did the Board of Supervisors vote to give a tax break to big corporations, at the same time as the city is raising fees for the Arboretum in Golden Gate Park? For once, let’s balance the budget on the backs of the rich! Here are some ideas:

TAXES
Gross Receipts Tax on Business: This would replace the payroll tax, which penalizes businesses that employ a lot of people, and would be much more fair. Income Tax: There is a greater income disparity in San Francisco than in any city in the state. We have more billionaires per square foot than any city in the country. Rich people should pay for the privilege of living in a city with all economic classes!

Property Taxes

Square Foot Tax: This would tax property according to size, and would be more fair.

Vacant Parcel Tax: This would give an incentive to property owners to rent their holdings at whatever the market would bear, rather than waiting for better times and richer tenants.

Raise PG&E Franchise Fee

Downtown Transit Assessment District

Our mass transit system disproportionately benefits downtown businesses, as we all know when we go anywhere BESIDES downtown on public transit. Downtown businesses benefit more — they should pay more.

They are not paying what they’re required to pay, simply because nobody has the guts to demand it of them. Even if PG&E were a competent utility, which it is not, it should pay the fair fee."

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 2:28 pm

would require a 2/3 vote of the electorate.

Meaning, she has no power to implement them, or even put them on the ballot.

If the votes exist to do that, we can do them now. Baum adds nothing to that.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 4:05 pm

For example the parcel tax.

And as to getting the other taxes passed at the ballot, it makes a huge difference for leaders like Baum, Avalos etc to start leading the charge for such taxes to make it easier to get enough votes to pass them.

You are essentially whining that since things rarely change, we should not try to change things. That's a weak, defeatist attitude...

I'll take progressive action and progressive candidates.

And Baum's strategy to build bridges with other California mayors to fight to amend bad laws at the state level doesn't depend on local voter turn out at all.

The U.S. conference of mayors just called on Obama to end the wars and bring the money wasted on them back home.

There is no doubt that strong leadership and coalition building could unite California mayors around repealing the bad provisions of Prop 13.

You need to think outside the box 'Guest'.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 4:51 pm

For example the parcel tax.

And as to getting the other taxes passed at the ballot, it makes a huge difference for leaders like Baum, Avalos etc to start leading the charge for such taxes to make it easier to get enough votes to pass them.

You are essentially whining that since things rarely change, we should not try to change things. That's a weak, defeatist attitude...

I'll take progressive action and progressive candidates.

And Baum's strategy to build bridges with other California mayors to fight to amend bad laws at the state level doesn't depend on local voter turn out at all.

The U.S. conference of mayors just called on Obama to end the wars and bring the money wasted on them back home.

There is no doubt that strong leadership and coalition building could unite California mayors around repealing the bad provisions of Prop 13.

You need to think outside the box 'Guest'.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 4:55 pm

Prop 218 and 13 define how revenue ballot measures work in California.

If a tax is a special tax, that is, either dedicated or on the ballot when the legislative body of the jurisdiction is not on the ballot, then it requires 2/3.

If the tax is a regular tax, that is not dedicated and on the ballot when the legislative body of the jurisdiction is on the ballot, then it requires 50%+1.

A recent proposition put the same threshold restrictions on fees other than development impact fees.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 5:33 pm

I was really looking forward to this interview (sigh)

Terry Baum for Mayor!!

Posted by Lisa on Oct. 03, 2011 @ 3:43 pm

Minor technical problem. It's fixed now and the right interview is there. Sorry bout that.

Posted by tim on Oct. 03, 2011 @ 4:41 pm

The videos up, but your soundcloud appears to have disappeared off the page. But I'm not sure if the problem is on your end or mine.

Anyway, I really appreciate these interviews...you're doing a great job and asking all the right questions. I'll check back tomorrow.

Posted by Lisa on Oct. 04, 2011 @ 6:07 pm

The woman is whacko!, And she is against public nudity.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 03, 2011 @ 5:11 pm

Including her emphasis on a city income tax and a vacant properties tax. She also has no emphasis on who the San Mateo County DA indicts.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 03, 2011 @ 5:31 pm

With IRV it's not wasted vote,

Adachi is my choice as our next mayor. In the real world. In my fantasy world as a Green, I just love Baum. 'Tax the rich, Duh!' Great campaign slogan.

If things go as it looks there won't be anyone over 30% in the first round. That frees me to vote for Baum in that round and then exercise my second place vote for either Adachi or Avalos depending upon what numbers look like.

That's 3 great Progressive candidates but, again, love John and Terry but Adachi is the one who'll make the best mayor.

See the Dufty MTA Director application ad?

Adachi for Mayor!

Baum for Mayor!

Avalos for Mayor!

Hall for Mayor!

Gascon for DA!

Miyamoto for Sheriff!

Go NIners!

h.

Posted by h. brown on Oct. 03, 2011 @ 6:00 pm

Thanks to the Guardian for doing this interview and asking even the tough questions.

One quibble though. What's up with this demand that Baum somehow be able to tax the rich from her first day in office?

We all know that truly taxing the rich will take time, and require exactly the type of movement that Terry said she intends to engage in with other California mayors if elected.

It would likely take all of her first term, and very probably longer, to get such a tax to happen. So what? If we eventually get a local wealth tax because of the early leadership of a strong and independent Green mayor, good enough.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 03, 2011 @ 8:26 pm

Only Yee, Herrera and Adachi can catch Lee.

So if your main priority is to prevent Lee winning (AKA the "Oakland/Quan Strategy) then those three should be your three picks, in whatever order you favor. It's Nader 2000 all over again.

Likewise, a vote for Avalos might feel good, but could let Lee win.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 04, 2011 @ 9:10 am

Except Guest, that defeating Lee is not the only goal in this race by any stretch.

After seeing Malia Cohen successfully rise from fourth place in her first round, to winning her Supervisorial race in much later rounds in a ranked choice election, those of us who seek the strongest possible progressive in the mayor's office would be fools to not give Baum and Avalos a high rank on our cast ballots, so that they will have a shot at such a win.

It is also very important to remember that placing legitimate high ranked votes for the strongest left candidates is not just about winning. Making candidates like Baum and Avalos contenders for as many votes as possible in this race will send a strong signal to the more center oriented candidates that they had better strengthen and expand their progressive policy positions if they want to get enough votes to win the election (as we have seen in previous elections that an RCV winner can be determined by a -very- small number of swing votes). And you can see from the debates and ads and interviews that those centrist candidates are doing exactly that.

Finally, the more potential the left contenders have of winning, or of at least showing that they will gain more votes than originally expected by election day, the more individual progressive voters will get excited by those possibilities and then actually turn out to -vote- in the election (when previously they would have given up hope and stayed home). And -that- not only gives us a better chance of beating Lee, but it also gives Yee a better chance to beat not only Lee, but also Herrera and Adachi. (And regardless of all the election PR hype that some are stirring up in these and similar blogs and media stories, Yee is clearly more progressive than either Herrera of Adachi.)

All of this is the very beauty and importance of ranked choice elections. They finally give the left the potential to actually win, as well as enough importance to powerfully effect policy, and also effect -which- of the more centrist candidates prevails, even if we don't win.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 04, 2011 @ 10:01 am

It is a high honor and distinct privilege to vote for Terry Baum for Mayor of San Francisco

Posted by Bob Newmark on Oct. 04, 2011 @ 4:52 am

Really,

IRV allows me to do that for the first time. I no longer have to look at the two poor top picks polling well and can pick my actual favorite. Which I wouldn't do, by the way, if I thought that Lee was gonna be close to 50% in first round. I'm doubting that.

I'll probably go ahead and vote Adachi 2nd and Avalos 3rd cause it will get close after the first round.

The kernel here is that if I don't vote for Baum first (where another 1st place vote will feel good on election eve) ... then if I vote for her third then it will never get counted.

Here's the path to victory for Miyamoto:

POA rolls out the tanks for Cunnie engendering large turnout of that demographic.

Miyamoto gets Cunnie's seconds.

Miyamoto (the yearly star of the Chinese Dragon Parade) benefits from heavy Chinese voter turnout.

Smart Progressives believe Mirkarimi's sacrifice of the Progressive Bed-Rock D-5 seat for his own personal interests is wrong either don't vote or they vote for Miyamoto so's the POA choice won't win.

Whatcha think?

Thin?

Baum for Mayor!!

h.

Posted by h. brown on Oct. 04, 2011 @ 2:29 pm

That's where I am right now...

Posted by Guest on Oct. 04, 2011 @ 3:13 pm

Really,

It's a fascinating election and time. Alliances you wouldn't have thought possible are now happening all over the place. This bodes well for students of good government.

Chiu voted against closing the loophole in Healthy SF today by the way.

He also voted in favor of capping matching public funds in this year's mayoral contest 35 days out. And, he's a candidate (law only helps Lee so Chiu's trying to stroke him now?) ...

Big news at Board today was that Malia Cohen found her voice.

It's loud.

And, a mix between Archie Bunker and Amos Brown.

Man, did she lay down the law to them thar lawyers on the Board.

h.

Posted by h. brown on Oct. 04, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

Really,

It's a fascinating election and time. Alliances you wouldn't have thought possible are now happening all over the place. This bodes well for students of good government.

Chiu voted against closing the loophole in Healthy SF today by the way.

He also voted in favor of capping matching public funds in this year's mayoral contest 35 days out. And, he's a candidate (law only helps Lee so Chiu's trying to stroke him now?) ...

Big news at Board today was that Malia Cohen found her voice.

It's loud.

And, a mix between Archie Bunker and Amos Brown.

Man, did she lay down the law to them thar lawyers on the Board.

h.

Posted by h. brown on Oct. 04, 2011 @ 3:39 pm

Really,

IRV allows me to do that for the first time. I no longer have to look at the two poor top picks polling well and can pick my actual favorite. Which I wouldn't do, by the way, if I thought that Lee was gonna be close to 50% in first round. I'm doubting that.

I'll probably go ahead and vote Adachi 2nd and Avalos 3rd cause it will get close after the first round.

The kernel here is that if I don't vote for Baum first (where another 1st place vote will feel good on election eve) ... then if I vote for her third then it will never get counted.

Here's the path to victory for Miyamoto:

POA rolls out the tanks for Cunnie engendering large turnout of that demographic.

Miyamoto gets Cunnie's seconds.

Miyamoto (the yearly star of the Chinese Dragon Parade) benefits from heavy Chinese voter turnout.

Smart Progressives believe Mirkarimi's sacrifice of the Progressive Bed-Rock D-5 seat for his own personal interests is wrong either don't vote or they vote for Miyamoto so's the POA choice won't win.

Whatcha think?

Thin?

Baum for Mayor!!

h.

Posted by h. brown on Oct. 04, 2011 @ 3:39 pm

Please?
And yes, thanks for your work on this coming election. It's helpful to have these interviews handy.

Posted by Guest daniele e on Oct. 04, 2011 @ 6:15 pm

Has been down all day ;( the interviews will return as soon as it does! The perils of contemporary tech ... thanks for your patience.

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