5-in-1 CA & SF Voter Guide for Tues., June 7, 2016: WHY, HOW & WHAT To Vote For

“If you don’t vote, inferior people will govern you.” — Plato-ish

Is it wrong to love three married men and a woman at the same time? Find out why you might want to vote by Tuesday, June 7, 8pm, for our political crushes — Bernie Sanders, David Campos, Aaron Peskin, and Jane Kim!

“Why me? Why vote?” You ask?

It’s time for the USA to stop being so kray! Vote for Bernie to make the USA affordable and create a future to believe in. Vote yes on Prop C so SF will have affordable housing for people who make less than $113,600 (150% of the area median income). Be a voter!

Some political candidates and ballot measures that could have improved your life lost by just a few votes. Even if they lose, your vote helps give their policies clout. Or don’t vote so SF might continue to have the same income inequality as Rwanda ;)

Why This Guide Is 5-in-1

Most voter guides do not back up claims with sources. So we dug up sources and link to them below. We spent 50+ hours doing these things so you don’t have to. We:

Why Vote Early (Even On Weekends) In-Person On Or Before Tues., June 7

If you wait until the last minute, your polling place might run out of Democratic Party ballots. Conservatives vote early which can influence votes. So vote early and tell your friends what you voted for because it’ll influence voters.

Want Your Mail-in Absentee Vote To Count? Don’t Make These Mistakes

Thousands of vote-by-mail (VBM) ballots are rejected because voters:

  • Forget to sign the ballot envelope or include the ballot.
  • Use the wrong envelope.
  • Vote twice (by mail and in-person).
  • Sign the ballot envelope differently than the signature on file which is usually from the Department of Motor Vehicles, where people sign electronically using a stylus on a pad, which can look different than signing on paper.

How & Where to Vote in the USA:

  1. Register to vote by these dates (usually a few weeks before Election Day).
  2. Get fun non-partisan reminders to vote. The best way to get people to vote is a calendar invite with their polling address.
  3. See how many paid hours you can take off from work to vote on Election Day.
  4. When you vote, you can choose to not vote on everything. You can leave some questions blank.
  5. See where to vote in-person before Election Day in CA, on Election Day anywhere in the USA, or in SF. If you requested a VBM ballot, but are afraid it won’t get counted, bring your VBM ballot and envelope. Then ask for a standard ballot and feel instant satisfaction feeding it through the vote counting machine. (Only fill out a provisional ballot as a last resort. they are hand counted and sometimes don’t get counted).
  6. If you can’t vote at a polling place, mail your CA vote-by-mail (VBM) ballots by June 6 (to be safe) or drop it off at any polling place by June 7, 8pm in the county where you are registered to vote.
  7. At your polling place, you have the right to vote if you are a registered voter even if your name is not on the list. (You will vote using a provisional ballot which will be counted if you are eligible to vote). You have the right to get help casting your ballot from anyone you choose, except from your employer or union representative.
  8. You can help other people vote if you have their consent.
  9. Keep your ballot stub receipt. See online if your CA vote-by-mail or Provisional Ballot was counted.
  10. If you see illegal election activity, or if your ballot is challenged, not counted or lost, take a photo, video or screenshot and report it to:

How To Vote For Bernie in CA For President

Do not write “Bernie Sanders” on a non-Democratic party ballot because it will not count!

  1. Ideally at least a four weeks before Election Day, either register as a Democrat or a No Party Preference (NPP) voter. We recommend holding your nose and permanently register with the Democratic party because then you can vote for some of the most local influencers — the SF Democratic County Central Committee (DCCC). More on that below.
  2. Ideally at least three weeks before Election Day, check online to make sure you’re registered with the party you want. Many of our friends and family thought they registered correctly. When they found they didn’t, it was too late. So now we check online for them.
  3. If you’re a NPP and permanent vote-by-mail (absentee) voter, fill out this postcard your county should automatically send you. Choose ‘Democratic Party’.

3. If you’re a NPP voter and don’t want to risk having your vote-by-mail not count, vote at a polling place and request a Democratic party crossover ballot. If you don’t, you’ll get a NPP ballot, which will not list any candidates for president!

Surprising Reasons to Hold Your Nose & Register as a SF Democrat

If you don’t want SF to continue to be run by tech and real estate companies, you must be a registered democrat and vote for Democratic County Central Committee (DCCC) Reform Slate candidates. The DCCC is the most influential Democratic group because:

  • According to KALW: They are the official local Democratic Party. Rich donors can give candidates unlimited money, and thereby increase the chance that candidates will vote in favor of the rich. Candidates often run for DCCC because it’s a stepping-stone for higher elected offices.
  • A lot of people just vote for what is mailed to them by the DCCC. Right now the some of the people on the DCCC aren’t even really Democrats, but only call themselves that. For example, the DCCC endorsed Ed Lee last year for mayor.
  • Virtually all SF elected officials are Democrats. Some claim to be progressive. But they are funded by Republicans, and vote in ways that hurt low- and mid-income people.

In order to vote for the SF DCCC:

  1. If you only fill out this postcard, you cannot vote for the DCCC.
  2. Ideally at least a four weeks before Election Day, fill out the slightly longer paper form or online CA voter registration form and register as a Democrat.
  3. Ideally at least three weeks before Election Day, see online if your county registered you as a Democrat. Many of our friends and family thought they registered as Democrat. When they found they weren’t, it was too late. So now we check online for them.
Below you’ll find a short voter guide, and in-depth one.

Short Voter Guide


President: Bernie Sanders

US Congress, District 12 (SF): Barry Hermanson (symbolic vote against the current state of the Democratic Party)

US Senator: No endorsement

CA Senator, District 11: Jane Kim

CA Assembly, District 17: No endorsement

CA Assembly, District 19: Phil Ting

SF Superior Court Judge: Sigrid Irias

SF Democratic County Central Committee (DCCC) 17th Assembly District (If you live in SF’s East Side, select all 14):

SF DCCC 19th Assembly District (If you live in SF’s West Side, select all 14):
 1. Brigitte Davila

2. Sandra Lee Fewer

3. Hene Kelly

4. Leah LaCroix

5. Eric Mar

6. Myrna Melgar

7. Norman Yee


CA Prop 50 (No recourse for wrongfully suspended legislators): NO POSITION

Bay Area Prop AA (Regional wetlands tax): NO POSITION

SF Prop A (Public Health and Safety Bonds): NO POSITION

SF Prop B ($4.5B for parks vs. other city services like housing, homeless services, public health): NO

SF Prop C ( Temporarily increase affordable housing units from 12% to 25% for people who make $113,100 or less — 150% of the area median income — in buildings with 25+ units): YES

SF Prop D (Investigations of Officer-Involved Shootings): YES

SF Prop E (Paid Sick Leave): YES

Your In-Depth Voter Guide

President: Bernie Sanders

Bernie won in 20 states. The last states vote soon — CA, NJ, NM, ND, SD votes on June 7, and DC votes on June 14! Voting for Bernie gives him more clout to shape the Democratic Party agenda.

Robert Reich, former US Secretary of Labor, says in this video:

  • If Congress stays in Republican hands, no Democrat can pass legislation. Democrats will have to rely on executive orders and regulations. Polls say ‪‎Bernie would beat ‪‎Trump. ‪‎ Hillary would not.
  • Americans would elect a democratic socialist like Bernie because Americans love parks, schools, and social security, and don’t want what we have, which is socialism for the rich.
  • Americans and the middle class would save more on healthcare. For profit healthcare is more expensive than Bernie’s single payer plan.

See who’ll pay for Bernie’s proposals for ‪‎healthcare for all and free college.

Sign the MoveOn petition to have voters (not party insiders) to choose the presidential nominee.

United States Senator: No Endorsement (per SF Tenants Union)

Democratic candidate Kamala Harris did nothing to take on political corruption while in SF and didn’t address Airbnb’s removal of thousands of CA homes from residents for tourists. In 2014 alone, Airbnb leaders gave Harris over $20,000.

In 2014, her counterpart, the NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, took Airbnb to court and found that 33% of revenue generated by NYC Airbnbs — $168M — went to hosts who had three to 272 properties that they did not live in, some of whom earned millions of (likely untaxed) dollars annually.

Congress, District 12: Barry Hermanson

According to the SF Bay Guardian:

  • Incumbent Democrat Nancy Pelosi most famously turned the Presidio into a corporate park, allowing George Lucas to build an office building in what was supposed to be a national park, saving him $60M in taxes, and setting the standard for the privatization of national parks everywhere.
  • If the Green Party candidate, Barry Hermanson, gets more votes than the Republican candidate, Hermanson could face Pelosi in the November election. Voting for Hermanson is a way to protest the direction of the Democratic Party.

Barry Hermanson’s track record:

  • From 1980 to 2005, Hermanson ran a SF business to alleviate the exploitation of temporary workers. At the time, most workers were paid 50% to 60% of client billing rates. Hermanson paid 80% to 85%. Unlike his competitors, he transparently listed billing and pay rates on employee paystubs.
  • In 1999 and 2000, he was Co-Chair of the SF Living Wage Coalition, which passed legislation raising wages for 20,000 City contractors.
  • In 2002, he ran for SF District 4 Supervisor, earning the endorsement of almost every progressive organization in SF.

State Senator, District 11: Jane Kim

Join the SF Bay Guardian and SF Green Party, SF Tenants Union, SF League of Pissed Off Voters, and many more to vote for Jane.

According to the SF Bay Guardian:

  • The winner of this race could wind up as a candidate for Congress, or mayor. So your vote can greatly shape your life.
  • Pretty much every left-leaning group in the city is with Kim.

According to the SF Examiner, Kim’s leadership on the Board of Supervisors, led to increases for affordable housing and eviction protections and efforts to reform the criminal justice system such as by opposing building a new jail. Kim also has a plan for free tuition at City College.

She’s endorsed by these people and more:

  • Senator Bernie Sanders
  • Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich
  • Former CA Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, AD17
  • CA Nurses Association, CA Teachers Association

Why Jane Kim’s opponent, Scott Wiener, sucks:

Wiener opposed studying the fact that there’s been a 69% increase in evictions near City bus stops used by shuttles for tech workers.

In 2014, 50% of Wiener’s donations came from Republicans, serial evictors and tech companies like Airbnb that tried to evade $25M in taxes. In 2015, he took away the right for nonprofits to go after landlords that evicted to rent on Airbnb.

State Assembly, District 17: No endorsement

Te SF Bay Guardian is not endorsing the incumbent, David Chiu because when he first ran for public office, he positioned himself as a progressive. He has sold out, and in the process, won higher office.

Airbnb met with SF Supervisor David Chiu 60 times and gave him $600K and both wrote a law that is not enforceable.

State Assembly, District 19: Phil Ting

As a former Assessor, he’s introduced legislation to close loopholes in Prop 13, a scam that allows businesses to cheat the state when their property changes hands. Ting, unlike Chiu, has aligned himself with the progressives.

SF Superior Court Judge: Sigrid Irias

You can tell a lot about someone in-person instead of just in writing. So see her video interview. Sigrid’s bio:

  • During high school, Sigrid worked to pay for Catholic school tuition, she worked her way through UC Berkeley as a seamstress and donut store clerk, and supported herself and her young son as she worked her way through U.C. Hastings College of the Law.
  • Sigrid got her younger two kids through high school as a single parent.
  • In 2012, she was elected the president of SF La Raza Lawyers Association, a nonprofit dedicated to diversity and social justice.

The SF Tenants Union likes the way she’s handled landlord-tenant cases as a as a volunteer (pro-tem) judge. The two top finishers will face the voters again in November.

SF Democratic County Central Committee (DCCC)

It’s time to replace the chair of the DCCC who is a lobbyist for the Board of Realtors. Don’t vote for DCCC candidates that got thousands of dollars from real estate and tech leaders and companies.

In 2015, the current DCCC got $10k from Airbnb, and a month later sent tons of inaccurate flyers opposing the November Prop F ballot measure that would have brought some Airbnb tourist rentals back on the market for residents. The DCCC voted to continue to take 9,500 SF units from residents for tourists. DCCC treasurer Tom Hsieh was paid more than $100,000 as a campaign consultant for Airbnb’s No on F campaign.

In 2016, some DCCC members got thousands of dollars from Airbnb, and then voted for Airbnb to not delist thousands of illegal SF Airbnbs.

Vote for these candidates supported by the SF Bay Guardian, SF Tenants Union, SF Examiner, and SF League of Pissed Off Voters, and more:

DCCC 17th Assembly District (If you live in SF’s East Side, select all 14):

1. Alysabeth Alexander

2. Tom Ammiano

4. David Campos

5. Petra DeJesus

6. Bevan Dufty

7. Jon Golinger

8. Prathima Gupta

9. Frances Hsieh

10. Jane Kim

11. Rafael Mandelman

12. Sophie Maxwell

13. Aaron Peskin

14. Leroy Wade Woods

15. Cindy Wu

DCCC 19th Assembly District (If you live in SF’s West Side, select all 7):
 1. Brigitte Davila

2. Sandra Lee Fewer

3. Hene Kelly

4. Leah LaCroix

5. Eric Mar

6. Myrna Melgar

7. Norman Yee

CA Prop 50 (No recourse for wrongfully suspended legislators): NO POSITION

We agree with the SF Green Party to vote “no position” because Prop 50 has:

  • No recourse for wrongfully suspended legislators to get their back pay restored if their suspension was reversed.
  • No requirement that the suspended legislators must have committed any crime — suspensions can occur for any reason, including ideology.

The LA Times also says Prop 50:

  • Doesn’t set any criteria for what transgressions would justify suspension of pay, and there’s no mechanism to ensure that it would be applied consistently.
  • Could force out legislators from modest means, because they can’t afford to lose their paycheck.

CA Bay Area Prop AA (Regional wetlands tax): NO POSITION

According to the SF Bay Guardian:

  • Prop AA tax would be levied and administered by the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority (SBRA), a public agency created by the CA Legislature. The Authority is governed by a five-member board of appointees who are chosen by the president of the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), which is on the verge of a hostile takeover by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). ABAG and MTC operate with little oversight (which means, in the end, in the interest of developers, not the public).
  • Prop AA furthers the privatization of government, stating that the SBRA shall give priority to projects that meet the selection criteria of groups include the Bay Planning Coalition, a private organization that last year backed MTC’s efforts to remove policies to prevent evictions from the region’s land use and transportation blueprint, Plan Bay Area.

SF Prop A (Public Health and Safety Bond): MAYBE

The SF Tenants Union is taking no position because it’s passing on costs to tenants. But the SF Bay Guardian, SF Examiner, SF Green Party, and SF League of Pissed Off Voters are endorsing it.

According to the SF Green Party:

  • This is a $350 million bond measure, most of which $272 million will go towards a seismic retrofit. Smaller parts of the bond will go the Fire Department’s Ambulance Deployment Facility ($58 million) and to new homeless shelters and service facilities ($20 million).
  • Unlike most bonds put forward by Mayor Lee’s administration, the legal language of Prop A requires specific amounts of money to be spent on the above projects.
  • The Green Party rarely support bond measures, but does when the money will be used for public infrastructure.
  • The only drawbacks are that SF’s public hospital was named after Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, who donated very little money relative to the amount that taxpayers have been asked to contribute. It is unfortunate that this bond measure does not include language requiring the restoration of the original name, “SF General Hospital.”

SF Prop B ($4.5B for parks vs. other city services like housing, homeless services, public health): NO

According to the SF Bay Guardian, and SF Green Party:

Join these groups and vote no:

  • Community groups: SF Sierra Club, SF League of Women Voters, SF Tomorrow, SF Tenants Union, HANC — Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council
  • Political clubs: Central City Democrats, District 3 Democratic Club, District 8 Progressive Democratic Club, Potrero Hill Democratic Club, SF Green Party, SF League of Pissed Off Voters, SF Libertarian Party, SF Republican Party
  • Media: SF Bay Guardian, SF Chronicle

SF Prop C (Temporarily increase affordable housing units from 12% to 25% for people who make $113,100 or less — 150% of the area median income — in buildings with 25+ units): YES, YES, YES

According to the SF Examiner, Prop C temporarily increases affordable housing requirement from 12% to 25% (15% for low-income residents and 10% for middle-income residents) until the SF Board of Supervisors passes an ordinance to update the requirement based on further study.

SF Prop D (Investigate of Officer-Involved Shootings): YES

Currently, the SF Office of Citizen Complaints (OCC) is supposed to investigate charges of police misconduct. The mayor appoints the head of the OCC.

According to the SF Green Party:

  • The OCC is a toothless organization, without the power to actually fire or even discipline police officers. However, Prop D is a tiny improvement to existing law, because officers are not currently legally required to cooperate with OCC investigations.
  • Prop D would require the OCC to investigate all police shootings, and would also require police to cooperate with those investigations.

We need real police practices reform. It won’t hurt to vote YES on Prop D, but the OCC has no teeth, so it will be a symbolic gesture rather than real change (SF Tenants Union).

SF Prop E (Paid Sick Leave): YES

According to the SF Bay Guardian, Prop E would make the city’s sick-leave law consistent with state law, without reducing the benefits that San Franciscans get.

According to the SF Green Party, employees could:

  • Use paid sick leave in more circumstances, such as to avoid domestic violence, or to take care of a foster parent.
  • Begin to accrue sick leave on their first day of employment, and would keep any sick leave they had accrued if they were temporarily laid off and then rehired.

Stop serial evictors like Airbnb from buying our politicians again!

Sign a Credo petition to pass law to end anonymous corporations used by the super-rich to donate millions in untraceable money to sway our elections via super political action committees (superPACs) and independent expenditures (IE). The U.S. is one of the easiest and most popular places to set up anonymous companies, which fuel crime, terrorism, and tax evasion. Anyone can set up a shell corporation in the U.S. without disclosing its true owners.

“‘Tis I, Ron Conway, I’ve come to take your home. Don’t cry or it’ll wake my pet, Mayor Ed Lee, whom I fed $600,000 to obey me.
Where are my manners? Let me introduce myself. I’m a major investor in Airbnb. You know, the company that tried to evade $25M in taxes and has been taking 10,000 entire units a year in SF for tourists.

I am one of Mayor Lee’s closest advisors. I helped pass a law to lower business taxes for tech companies that I invest in like Airbnb, Twitter, Square and Pinterest. Oh, and I’m Republican. You might have seen me at a fundraiser for Jeb Bush for president. I also gave $50,000 to the presidential campaign of George W. Bush.

Now that we’ve gotten to know each other, my pet Mayor Lee and I will have the privilege of taking your home so SF will continue to have almost half of new SF condos as second homes for the upper class and billionaires like me.”

Almost everywhere, “Airbnb will probably get you evicted, priced out…and ruin your life.” If you don’t want bedbugs or to get evicted, vote Yes on F. Because of sites like Airbnb, SF tenants in:

One SF tenant lawyer gets 60 calls a week, many from people being illegally displaced so landlords can rent on Airbnb. The City has not issued notices to many violators.

The SF Planning Department 2015 Housing Balance Report shows that for every 10 affordable units that developers build, 8+ units were off the market by landlords. So we need to preserve existing housing.

Airbnb spent $8M fighting Prop F to protect their profits. Airbnb:

And this is true:

The City Controller stated on a net basis, a housing unit withdrawn from the market for short-term rentals produces a negative impact on the city, even if the unit generates host income, visitor spending and hotel tax every day of the year.

Share & Join Us

Since people are voting now through June 7, please share this on Facebook and Twitter and follow us! And tell everyone you know because studies show that face-to-face chats persuade people more than phone, print and online outreach.

Since Facebook doesn’t show all our posts to all our followers, get our monthly email!

‪Save trees: get your fat voter info book online

Frustrated By Voters Getting Wrong Info At Polling Places?

Make money as a poll worker!

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.