SF State students analyse how local props, candidates would…

SF State students analyse how local props, candidates would…

Illustration: Valeria Olguín

On Tuesday, Nov. 5, San Francisco voters will be asked to vote on six local propositions that could change the way we do things in San Francisco. Voters will also elect a new District Attorney and choose a member of the School Board. In an interest to ensure that Latino voters are informed with fair explanations and recommendations before voting, students in Teresa Carrillo’s upper-division Latino Politics class (LTNS 660) in the Latina/Latino Studies Department at SF State’s College of Ethnic Studies have carefully researched local propositions A-F to understand what changes are being proposed and how they might affect the Latino community. We also graded the candidates in terms of their responsiveness to Latino political interests. Listed below are explanations and recommendations for El Tecolote readers. We hope that you will represent your community by taking the time to vote.

Prop A: Fund affordable housing

Prop A will allow San Francisco to issue bonds to borrow up to $600 million to help those who can’t afford housing in San Francisco. The bonds will allocate $220 million for affordable housing for low-income individuals and families, $150 million to repair and rebuild public housing and $150 million to construct housing for seniors. The money will come from property taxes, hotel taxes, developer fees and local sources. Prop A would fund 2,800 new homes for low-income families. Latino families are getting evicted in San Francisco at a much higher rate than other groups. Prop A will help the Latino population and other low-income populations to confront the problem of eviction and to be able to afford housing in San Francisco.

Prop B: San Francisco Disability and Aging Services Charter Amendment

A “yes” vote means you are in favor of changing the name of San Francisco’s Aging and Adult Services Department and Commission to Disability and Aging Services, and that you are in favor of requiring at least one member of the seven-member commission to be older than 60, one member who is disabled, and one member who has served in the U.S. military. Prop B will provide a better opportunity for representation of interests that are more varied and responsive to the Latino community in general, and to Latinos and others who are elderly and/or disabled in particular. We support Prop B because it will mean greater diversity of viewpoints on the commission and that these diverse voices might advocate for positive change for the Latino community’s disabled and elderly.

Illustration: JuanLudd

Prop C: Lift the ban on sale of e-cigarettes in San Francisco

Prop C is an attempt to overturn a local law passed in 2019, which suspended the sale of e-cigarettes and flavored vapor products in San Francisco, until further review by the Food and Drug Administration. A coalition known as SF Kids vs. Big Tobacco pushed to pass the earlier law because e-cigarette companies like Juul were marketing and selling products to children. One study estimates that 18 percent of high school students in San Francisco use e-cigarettes. We recommend a “no” vote on Prop C so that the original law that banned the sale and laid out regulations and restrictions on vapor product vendors and advertisements will be upheld. We believe this will support the well-being of youth in our community.

Prop D: Tax rideshare companies to improve public transportation and infrastructure

A “yes” on Prop D would authorize a tax on ride-share companies such as Uber and Lyft, at a rate of 1.5 percent to 3.25 percent. The revenue would go towards improving and maintaining Muni services and improving pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure.  Even though this new tax will slightly increase the price of rideshare transportation, we support it because of its potential to fund improvements in public transportation and other modes of transport such as biking and walking. So many Latinos are young and low-income; we are a community that is dependent on public transportation services and we anticipate that Prop D will be a net gain for Latinos.

Prop E: Allow affordable housing for educators on public land

Prop E would allow 100 percent affordable housing for educators to be constructed on public land, opening new opportunities to create affordable housing in the city. Without Prop E, housing cannot be built on public land. Prop E will make the Educator Housing Project a priority, allow housing to be built on public land, expedite the review process, and allow for the Planning Department to approve 100 percent Affordable and Educator Housing Projects without having to be reviewed by the Planning Commission. This proposed change is good for Latinos because we are currently experiencing historically high rates of homelessness and lack of affordable housing in San Francisco. Public school teachers and other educators would be the targeted beneficiaries of Prop E, so if we want to recruit more Latinos to be teachers in our schools, we should make it more viable for educators to live here.

Prop F: Transparency in political donations and ads

Prop F would force Super PACs to disclose their top three donors in both their print and visual advertisements, as well as lower the threshold to be considered a top donor to $5,000. Prop F would also ban donations made by people or companies with an interest in land use, zoning, or city planning to the mayor, the district attorney, the board of supervisors, or candidates for these positions. Prop F is beneficial for Latinos since there will be more transparency in political advertisements and donations. If Prop F passes, we will be able to see who is supporting a measure and better understand who might benefit from it. Prop F would help prevent big companies from getting their way in issues such as housing and development by making political donations.

Among the four candidates competing to be San Francisco’s next District Attorney, there is general agreement on the reforms that out-going District Attorney George Gascón supported. We have focused our evaluation on how the candidates differ and how responsive they are to Latino political interests. 

Chesa Boudin

Grade: A

Chesa Boudin is our top choice for District Attorney (DA) because we see him as the most responsive to the Latino community. Boudin is an attorney in the Public Defender’s Office who has first-hand experience with the broken criminal justice system because his parents were incarcerated. He is passionate about making changes that will prevent crime, reduce the number of misdemeanors going to trial, and make our city safer and more just for the Latino community. If elected, Boudin has pledged to defend the rights of immigrant communities, continue to uphold Sanctuary City policies, support state and local policies that prohibit local authorities from notifying ICE with information about immigrants in the system, protect immigrant communities from ICE, and advocate for the national “Clean Dream Act,” which would offer a pathway to citizenship for young migrants…

Transportation Services Jon Cartu

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