GrowSF San Francisco Voter Guide for the June 7, 2022 Primary Election

The June 7, 2022 primary election in San Francisco has over 20 contests to vote on. Read GrowSF's voter guide to learn more about the candidates and ballot measures and make an informed decision.

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San Francisco

City Attorney

Vote David Chiu

David Chiu is running unopposed, but GrowSF is a huge fan and would back him against almost anyone. Chiu was a champion for housing and small businesses in his time in the Board of Supervisors and Assembly, and he'll use his experience as an attorney to both defend San Francisco against lawsuits and ensure that government officials don't break the law.

Who's running?

CandidatePartyProfessionQuestionnaire
David ChiuNon-partisanAppointed City AttorneyRead it

✅ Yes on Proposition A

Muni Reliability and Street Safety Bond

Vote Yes

What is it?

A $400 million bond to finance "the cost of the construction, acquisition, and improvement of certain transportation, street safety, and transit related capital improvements" including projects like: repair & renovation of SFMTA bus yards, signaling improvements, speed improvements, safety and traffic signals, modernizing streets and sidewalks (including increasing accessibility), and traffic calming.

Legislative digest (PDF)
Full legal text (PDF)

Why is this on the ballot?

California Government Code section 53506 and Article XVI of the California Constitution mandate that general obligation bonds of this size be put to a vote. Bonds must be approved by the voters by a 66.66% + 1 majority.

Sponsor: Mayor Breed
Co-Sponsors: Supervisors Shamann Walton, Rafael Mandelman, Ahsha Safai, Matt Haney, Gordon Mar, Myrna Melgar, Hillary Ronen, and Dean Preston
Placed on ballot by: Unanimously with Supervisors Shamann Walton, Rafael Mandelman, Ahsha Safai, Matt Haney, Gordon Mar, Myrna Melgar, Hillary Ronen, and Dean Preston
View vote details on legistar

Why vote yes?

Bonds are the best way to finance large capital improvement projects because the city gets great lending rates and pays back the money with inflated dollars. That means we get great new things and pay for it later with cheaper money. In this period of rising inflation, this great deal will only get better.

And this bond, in particular, is vital for ensuring San Francisco both meets its carbon emissions goals and builds a city that is safe and accessible for all.

❌ No on Proposition B

Building Inspection Commission

Vote No

What is it?

Legislative digest (PDF)
Full legal text (PDF)

Why is this on the ballot?

This is a City Charter amendment. All charter amendments must be approved by a 50% + 1 majority.

Sponsor: Supervisor Myrna Melgar
Co-sponsors: Supervisors Aaron Peskin, Hillary Ronen, Rafael Mandelman, Ahsha Safai, and Gordon Mar
Placed on the ballot by: Unanimously by Supervisors Shamann Walton, Rafael Mandelman, Ahsha Safai, Matt Haney, Gordon Mar, Myrna Melgar, Hillary Ronen, and Dean Preston
View vote details on legistar

Why vote no?

Prop B contains a couple good reforms, and one deal-breaker reform. Unfortunately, the power grab by the Board of Supervisors is too much for us to stomach.

What's Bad?

Prop B's deal-breaker reform gives the Board of Supervisors veto power over the Mayor's appointments to the Building Inspection Commission. Currently, the Mayor may directly appoint four members, and the Board of Supervisors may appoint three members. Prop B removes the Mayor's appointment powers and gives full authority to the Board of Supervisors – they can deny any of the Mayor's choices for purely political reasons.

This imbalance of power will cause the Building Inspection Commission to be a lap-dog for the Board of Supervisors. The Board has a terrible track record on housing issues, and this will only make it worse.

This change will be out-of-step with other Commissions that seek to balance power across the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors. The Building Inspection Commission needs this same balancing act to prevent one branch of government from taking full control.

What's Good?
Prop B does contains two good reforms, though: 1. Allows the Mayor to hire and fire the Director of the Department of Building Inspection (DBI), from a list of at least three qualified candidates provided by the Building Inspection Commission. (Under current law, the BIC chooses the Director directly) 2. Reforms the credential requirements of members of the BIC to allow members from other fields.

On the first point, GrowSF believes that the city's chief executive should have the power to hire and fire the heads of city departments. The Mayor is that chief executive and must hold their department Directors accountable. Every other city department has a Director that can be fired by the Mayor for doing a bad job, but not the Department of Building Inspection. This has allowed a culture of corruption and unaccountability to take hold.

On the second point, GrowSF first had some qualms about removing the requirement that all seats on the Building Inspection Commission (BIC) have certain credentials — for example, engineers and residential home builders are required to hold specific seats. But ultimately we believe that the regulated shouldn't be regulating themselves, and mandating that the BIC be composed entirely of people employed in the construction industry reeks of regulatory capture.

Still, there is a need for industry voices and experts in the field to weigh in on regulations, and this reform does provide that – only four of the seven seats have been opened up to all. Three seats remain reserved for credentialed experts.

Overall, though, we don't think the trade-offs are worth it for Prop B. Vote no.

❌ No on Proposition C

Recall Timelines and Vacancy Appointments

Vote No

What is it?

This is a City Charter amendment that dramatically shortens the period of time when an elected politician may be recalled by the voters, and makes it illegal for an appointed successor to run for re-election.

Currently, voters may recall an elected official in the middle 75% of their term. Under this proposed law, it would be illegal to recall a politician for most of their term, leaving just 37.5% of the term when a recall is legal.

Legislative digest (PDF)
Full legal text (PDF)

Why is this on the ballot?

This is a City Charter amendment. All charter amendments must be approved by a 50% + 1 majority.

Sponsor: Supervisor Aaron Peskin
Co-sponsors: Supervisors Shamann Walton, Hillary Ronen, and Dean Preston
Placed on the ballot by: Aaron Peskin, Shamann Walton, Hillary Ronen, Dean Preston, Connie Chan, Gordon Mar, and Matt Haney
View vote details on legistar

Why vote no?

There are two great reasons to oppose this charter amendment:

  1. If the law had been in place, the Board of Education recall would have been illegal. The Board of Education recall won with nearly 80% of the vote, so if you voted Yes then Aaron Peskin must think you're a criminal.
  2. It bans the replacement from running for election. This is anti-democratic and likely unconstitutional, and disproportionately hurts women and minorities.

If you just voted Yes on the Board of Education recall (see our endorsement), then you should vote No on Prop C. This ballot prop would have made it illegal for you to vote for recall, and would have banned the three new Board of Education members from running for reelection.

Banning the appointed replacements from running for reelection for their own seats would not just disincentivize qualified people from accepting the caretaker appointment, but it would also disproportionately hurt women and people of color because they are more likely to be appointed to open seats. This isn't just an attack on democracy, it's an attack on equitable representation itself.

Timelines for recalls
To give you a good sense on the impact of Prop C, GrowSF made this spreadsheet, which compares the current law to Prop C. You'll see that it dramatically shortens the time when voters can exercise their right to recall bad elected officials.

Proposition C timelines

Office of Victim and Witness Rights; Legal Services for Domestic Violence Victims

Vote Yes

What is it?

This is an ordinance that will create a pilot program for a new Office of Victim and Witness Rights, which will provide "comprehensive services to victims and witnesses." It also establishes a right to civil counsel for victims of domestic violence.

Legislative digest (PDF) (not available as of 05/02/22)
Full legal text (PDF)

Why is this on the ballot?

This is on the ballot because the Supervisors could not find enough votes to make it a law via the Board of Supervisors, so the Supervisors took it to the voters.

Sponsor: Supervisor Catherine Stefani
Cosponsors: Supervisors Matt Haney, Rafael Mandelman, and Ahsha Safai
View vote details on legistar

Why vote yes?

Victims of domestic violence deserve a right to counsel, and Prop D provides it. Currently, victims of violent crimes often lack the resources and access to lawyers to defend their rights and seek justice. This new office will ensure that all victims of domestic violence will receive legal counsel, translation services, and other "comprehensive services."

In addition to counsel for domestic violence victims, it also establishes a new Office of Victim and Witness Rights that will advocate for and provide services to victims and witnesses of all types of crime. This will ensure victims are not left behind by the justice system and they receive the support necessary to obtain justice and return to their lives.

One extra note: typically, GrowSF will oppose ordinances that create new departments because, by San Francisco law, the only way to reform laws created by ballot measures is yet another ballot measure. However, this ordinance explicitly grants the Board of Supervisors full authority to "modify the duties of the Office [of Victim and Witness Rights]" by a majority vote. This is the correct way to introduce laws at the ballot box.

❌ No on Proposition E

Behested Payments

Vote No

What is it?

This is an ordinance that would prevent the City from coordinating or soliciting donations from philanthropic organizations to other organizations in the city.

Legislative digest (PDF) (not available as of 05/02/22)
Full legal text (PDF)

Why is this on the ballot?

This is on the ballot because the Supervisors could not find enough votes to make it a law via the Board of Supervisors, so the Supervisors took it to the voters.

Sponsor: Supervisor Aaron Peskin
Co-sponsors: Supervisors Dean Preston, Connie Chan, Gordon Mar, and Shamann Walton
View vote details on legistar

Why vote no?

Supervisors Peskin, Preston, Chan, Mar, and Walton want you to believe this is an anti-corruption bill. But in reality, it will starve the city of much-needed philanthropic dollars, defunding arts programs, public parks, LGBTQ organizations, and public health initiatives. The city has a large budget, but programs like those just mentioned have their budgets supplemented by philanthropic organizations and individuals.

Prop E would make it impossible for the city to work with philanthropic organizations to supplement budgets. Had it existed at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, innovative programs like community learning hubs, and SF New Deal (which provided meals to needy people and kept local restaurants operating) would have been illegal.

Don't let Supervisors Peskin, Preston, Chan, Mar, and Walton kill philanthropy in San Francisco. Vote no.

❌ No on Proposition F

Refuse Collection and Disposal

Vote No

What is it?

This establishes price controls on commercial waste collection, restructures the residential Refuse Rate Board, and allows that future amendments to this law can only be done by a supermajority of the Board of Supervisors.

Legislative digest (PDF)
Full legal text (PDF)

Why is this on the ballot?

This is an amendment to a previous ballot proposition. According to San Francisco Charter section 14.101, ballot props can only be amended by other ballot props, so despite every single Supervisor supporting this, they are obligated to take it to the voters.

Sponsor: Mayor Breed
Co-Sponsors: Supervisors Shamann Walton, Rafael Mandelman, Ahsha Safai, Matt Haney, Gordon Mar, Myrna Melgar, Hillary Ronen, and Dean Preston
Placed on ballot by: Mayor Breed and unanimously with Supervisors Shamann Walton, Rafael Mandelman, Ahsha Safai, Matt Haney, Gordon Mar, Myrna Melgar, Hillary Ronen, and Dean Preston
View vote details on legistar

Why vote No?

The technocratic changes in Prop F are fine-to-good, and allowing the Board of Supervisors to amend the law is definitely better than the status quo (currently only amendable by another ballot measure). But those changes come at the cost of setting a price ceiling on commercial waste collection.

Price ceilings almost always result in worse service for customers, and we have no reason to think waste collection is any different. Expanding the price ceiling to commercial customers of any waste disposal service — not just Recology — will not just hurt the employees of the waste collection businesses, but limit competition and reduce quality of service for both small and large businesses.

❌ No on Proposition G

Public Health Emergency Leave

Vote No

What is it?

This is an ordinance that would institute sweeping new regulations on sick leave that are only applicable to San Francisco businesses.

Legislative digest (PDF)
Full legal text (PDF)

Why is this on the ballot?

This is on the ballot because the Supervisors unanimously placed it on the ballot. There is no legal reason this must go to a public vote rather than be passed as a regular law.

Sponsor: Supervisor Gordon Mar
Co-sponsors: Supervisors Hillary Ronen, Dean Preston, and Connie Chan
Placed on the ballot by: Unanimously with Supervisors Shamann Walton, Rafael Mandelman, Ahsha Safai, Matt Haney, Gordon Mar, Myrna Melgar, Hillary Ronen, and Dean Preston
View vote details on legistar

Why vote No?

I know it looks like we're opposing sunshine and puppy dogs, but GrowSF is opposing Prop G on purely technocratic, good-government grounds.

While there's nothing uniquely wrong with this ballot prop, it shouldn't have been a ballot prop to begin with. You'll notice above that the Supervisors unanimously voted to put this initiative on the ballot. Unlike propositions A through F, there is no legal reason we should be voting on this.

This is a common fundraising strategy for politicians running for reelection. Since donations to ballot props are not subject to donation limits, running a ballot prop campaign allows them to bypass campaign finance laws and promote themselves supporting something that sounds nice — in this case the universally popular "public health emergency leave"?

Worse, any law enacted via a ballot prop can only be changed or repealed by a subsequent ballot prop (see Prop F, above), which locks up the gears of government, leading to our current crisis of a government unable to govern. Prop G does provide some ability for the Board of Supervisors to amend this, but only to expand it, not to rein it in or fix bureaucratic mistakes.

San Francisco shouldn't be in the business of imposing unique sick leave laws on local businesses — that should be at the state and federal level. By making San Francisco even more complicated and expensive for businesses to operate in, we ensure that small businesses struggle to start up and succeed.

Vote no.

✅ Yes on Proposition H

Recall Measure Regarding Chesa Boudin

Vote Yes

What is it?

A recall of District Attorney Chesa Boudin. If Boudin is successfully recalled, Mayor London Breed will appoint a successor who will serve until the November 8, 2022 election. If Prop C passes, the appointed replacement would not be able to run for reelection. (See Guide to recalling local elected officials for more legal details.)

Why is this on the ballot?

A coalition of Democrats and Independents organized a recall campaign, collected over 80,000 signatures, and qualified for the ballot.

Why vote Yes?

We support criminal justice reform. We also want residents to feel safe. We believe San Francisco can have both — but not under District Attorney Chesa Boudin.

Boudin fights ideological battles with politicians when he should be focused on helping victims. Boudin antagonizes the police when he should be charging criminals. Boudin dismisses the completely valid feelings and needs of victims. Boudin is implementing sweeping and unpopular changes that have left people feeling unsafe.

Among our concerns:

  • More than 85% of felony domestic violence cases at the end of 2020 were dismissed by Boudin.
  • Boudin refuses to prosecute drug dealers responsible for 1,500 overdose deaths in two years.
  • Boudin claimed the killing of an elderly Asian grandfather wasn't racially motivated because the suspect was having a "temper tantrum" before the attack.
  • One of Boudin's criminal investigators testified she was told to withhold evidence in a case and believed she would be fired if she refused.
  • Boudin fired the victim's advocate in his office who spoke out against Boudin giving a man who killed a woman three months probation instead of prison time.
  • Superior Court Judge Bruce Chan questioned the stability of Boudin's office, criticizing high turnover, disorganization, and mismanagement.
  • More than 50 attorneys have quit — a third of Boudin's office — leaving behind a demoralized and inexperienced staff. Former prosecutor Shirin Oloumi told the San Francisco Chronicle: "The victims of crime did not count among [Boudin's] priorities unless it helped public perception."
  • Boudin resisted sharing data about case outcomes. It took media outlets invoking the public records request law to reveal data showing a decline in convictions.

San Franciscans didn't sign up for a social experiment. We voted for criminal justice reform, not criminal justice abolition. Unfortunately, Boudin's radical and irresponsible policies have left us all feeling unsafe, and feeling safe is essential to implementing reforms. Boudin is undermining the very goals he claims to support.

Looking at the data, San Francisco was already a leader in criminal justice reform before Chesa Boudin. San Francisco incarcerates among the fewest people in the nation, according to the Vera Institute of Justice. Nationwide, roughly 630 out of every 100,000 Americans are in prison, but in San Francisco we're around 144 out of every 100,000.

Even back in 2016, long before Boudin's 2019 election, San Francisco arrested the fewest people in the state according to the Public Policy Institute of California — the majority for violent crimes. Chesa Boudin's crusade against arresting and jailing criminals means that we're now arresting and charging fewer violent offenders than before he took office.

Experts in criminal justice reform know that the best deterrent to crime is a high likelihood of getting caught. Long or harsh prison sentences do not deter crime, but knowing that you'll probably get arrested does. San Francisco should be pursuing reforms that guarantee police will catch people breaking into cars and homes — which means many more police officers where crimes are being committed. We don't need to lock 'em up and throw away the key, we just need the police and the DA to work together effectively.

Recalling Chesa Boudin will not solve all of our problems overnight, but it is an important first step. We need to hire more police officers, bringing San Francisco's 233 officers-per-100k residents in line with the European Union average of 299. We need to help people escape drug addiction through well-funded social programs. And we need the police to arrest the criminals doing repeat drive-by car break ins, violent crimes, and selling fentanyl.

Recalls are a tool best used sparingly. When voters decide the costs of waiting for the next election are too high, we must act. We must remove public officials who are doing their job so badly that they have lost not just the trust of the public, but who are actively harming us. Chesa Boudin must go.

State

Governor

Vote Gavin Newsom

Governor Newsom has disappointed us (many, many times), but there's still no one better with the experience necessary to govern the planet's fifth largest economy.

Who's running?

CandidatePartyProfession
Joel VentrescaDemocraticRetired Airport Analyst
Luis Javier RodriguezGreenWriter / Poet
Ronald A. AndersonRepublicanContractor / Inspector / Businessman
Gavin NewsomDemocraticGovernor Of California
Anthony "Tony" FanaraDemocraticOwner Of Restaurant
Anthony TriminoRepublicanEntrepepreneur / CEO
Robert C. Newman IIRepublicanFarmer / Psychologist
Jenny Rae Le RouxRepublicanEntrepreneur / Mom / Businesswoman
Shawn CollinsRepublicanMilitary Officer / Attorney
Armando "Mando" Perez-SarratoDemocraticNone
Cristian Raul MoralesRepublicanDirector Of Operations
Daniel R. MercuriRepublicanFather / Business Owner
Brian DahleRepublicanSenator / Farmer
Ron JonesRepublicanNone
Lonnie SortorRepublicanBusiness Owner
Major WilliamsRepublicanEntrepreneur / Businessman
Leo S. ZackyRepublicanBusinessman / Farmer / Broadcaster
Heather CollinsGreenSmall Business Owner
Serge FiankanNo Party PreferenceSmall Business Owner
James G. HaninkNo Party PreferenceRetired Educator
David LozanoRepublicanExecutive Officer / Attorney
Woodrow "Woody" Sanders IIINo Party PreferenceEntrepreneur / Director / Engineer
Frederic C. SchultzNo Party PreferenceHuman Rights Attorney
Reinette SenumNo Party PreferenceNone
Michael ShellenbergerNo Party PreferenceHomelessness Policy Advocate
Bradley ZinkNo Party PreferenceChildren's Book Author

Lieutenant Governor

Vote Eleni Kounalakis

Eleni has served as Lieutenant Governor for four years and has done nothing to lose our trust or respect. Her opponents all lack the background and experience to do the job better.

Who's running?

CandidatePartyProfession
Mohammad ArifPeace & FreedomBusinessman
David HillbergNo Party PreferenceAviation Mechanic / Actor
Eleni KounalakisDemocraticLieutenant Governor
William Cavett "Skee" SaackeDemocraticCalifornia Trial Attorney
Jeffrey Highbear MorganDemocraticBusinessman / Engineer
David FennellRepublicanEntrepreneur
Angela E. Underwood JacobsRepublicanBusinesswoman / Deputy Mayor
Clint W. SaundersRepublicanMental Health Worker

Secretary of State

Vote Shirley Weber

Shirley Weber is the incumbent Secretary of State, having been appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to replace Alex Padilla. She has done a good job in office, and GrowSF believes she will continue to do the job well.

We admire her career and personal history. Weber is the daughter of a semiliterate father who fled the Jim Crow south when his life was in danger, she brings incredible dedication and grit to everything she does. She graduated from UCLA with a Ph.D when she was only 26 years old, and taught for four decades at San Diego State. She is one of the few California Democrats who have stood up to powerful Teachers Unions, most notably in 2015 when she proposed a bill that would require teachers to be evaluated based on their students' performance.

And we admire her efforts to restore the right to vote to people on parole for a felony conviction – all citizens deserve the right to vote.

Who's running?

CandidatePartyProfession
Gary N. BlennerGreenTeacher
Shirley N. WeberDemocraticAppointed California Secretary Of State
Rob BernoskyRepublicanChief Financial Officer
Rachel HammRepublicanAuthor
James "JW" PaineRepublicanTeamster Truck Driver
Raul Rodriguez Jr.RepublicanRetired Warehouseman
Matthew D. CinquantaNo Party PreferencePrivate Investigator

Controller

Vote Malia Cohen

Unlike the other contests on this ballot, the Controller's race has several highly qualified candidates. Ultimately, Cohen edged out her competitors for our endorsement, but you might come to a different conclusion than we did.

The four most qualified candidates are:

  • Malia Cohen (D), a Lowell High School grad, former SF Supervisor, and current member of California's Board of Equalization
  • Ron Galperin (D), the current Los Angeles Controller
  • Lanhee Chen (R), a Harvard grad, former Social Security Advisory Board member under Obama, and professor of public policy at Stanford
  • Steve Glazer (D), a California State Senator and accountant

Malia Cohen (D) currently serves as the chair of the California Board of Equalization and is a former San Francisco Supervisor for District 10. If elected, she would be California's first Black controller. She holds a BA in political science from Fisk University, and a Masters of Science in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University. In her role on the Board of Equalization, she is involved in limited oversight of California's finances, though the office has been largely stripped of its former duties:

After being reduced to its constitutional responsibilities in 2017, the Board retained almost none of its tax and fee responsibilities. The only property taxes it actively administers in its entirety are state-assessed properties and the Private Railroad Car Tax; the Board acts only in an appellate role in collecting the Alcoholic Beverage Tax and Insurance Tax, reviewing appeals of denials of claims for refund.

However, the Board does continue to appraise and audit public utilities, railroad companies and properties owned by counties outside of their own jurisdictions, known as 'state-assessed properties', and hear appeals from its own staff appraisals.

Wikipedia

Both Malia Cohen (D) and Ron Galperin (D) are endorsed by the current controller, Betty Yee. But only Cohen has secured the endorsements of Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Lee, and other top Democratic figures and top labor unions. So, if you make your decisions based on a combination of endorsements, experience, and education, you'll probably want to vote for Malia Cohen.

Ron Galperin (D) brings real-world experience as Controller of California's largest city: Los Angeles. Galperin is the first gay man to be elected citywide in LA, and as controller oversaw an $11.2 billion budget and over 40,000 employees. If you want someone with the real-world experience for the job, you'll probably want to vote for Ron Galperin.

Lanhee Chen (R) would bring a political outsider's perspective to a vital government oversight office. Chen graduated with degrees in law and political science from Harvard, served on the Social Security Advisory Board under President Obama, and currently teaches public policy at Stanford. Chen was endorsed by the LA Times, which described him as a fiscal watchdog that is "independent from the party in power." So, if you value an outsider's tenacity and eagerness to investigate the party in power, then you'll probably want to vote for Lanhee Chen.

Finally, Steve Glazer (D) is a sitting California State Senator with decades of political experience. He served on the Senate Budget Committee and the Legislative Audit Committee, and currently serves on the Agriculture Committee, Education Committee, Governmental Organization Committee, and Insurance Committee while chairing the Elections and Constitutional Amendment Committee. Ultimately, your political capital and experience matter when taking on such an important position, and if that's what is important to you then you'll probably want to vote for Steve Glazer.

Again, we landed on Malia Cohen, but we hope we've given you enough information to make an informed decision for yourself.

Who's running?

CandidatePartyProfessionQuestionnaire
Laura WellsGreenFinancial AnalystRead it
Malia M. CohenDemocraticCalifornia State Board Of Equalization MemberDid not return questionnaire
Ron GalperinDemocraticController, City Of Los Angeles / AttorneyDid not return questionnaire
Steve GlazerDemocraticCalifornia State SenatorDid not return questionnaire
Yvonne YiuDemocraticChief Financial OfficerDid not return questionnaire
Lanhee ChenRepublicanFiscal Advisor / EducatorRead it

Treasurer

Vote Fiona Ma

Fiona Ma is the incumbent, and during her tenure California has achieved record budget surpluses. Of course, we can't attribute that to just her, but hey it helps! Both Fiona Ma and her main opponent are licensed CPAs (certified public accountants). Fiona Ma is the safe and stable choice for guaranteed performance.

Who's running?

CandidatePartyProfession
Fiona MaDemocraticState Treasurer / Cpa
Meghann AdamsPeace & FreedomSchool Bus Driver
Andrew DoRepublicanChief Financial Officer
Jack M. GuerreroRepublicanCouncilmember / Cpa / Economist

Attorney General

Vote Rob Bonta

As Attorney General, Rob Bonta has worked hard to hold cities accountable for their anti-housing policies. Under Bonta's leadership, California has rejected illegal "housing element" plans from cities that seek to exclude new residents by keeping the supply of housing artificially small. Rob Bonta must continue this vital work to ensure cities follow the law for fair and abundant housing.

Who's running?

CandidatePartyProfession
Dan KapelovitzGreenCriminal Defense Attorney
Rob BontaDemocraticAppointed Attorney General Of The State Of California
Eric EarlyRepublicanAttorney / Business Owner
Nathan HochmanRepublicanAttorney / General Counsel
Anne Marie SchubertNo Party PreferenceDistrict Attorney

Insurance Commissioner

Vote Ricardo Lara

While we haven't been thrilled with Ricardo Lara's performance, we don't think any of his opponents would do a better job. Marc Levine is probably his most high-profile opponent, but Levine thinks that insurance rates for people in fire-prone areas are too high, while economic analysis shows that rates are too low. People need to be discouraged from living in fire-prone areas, and higher rates for insurance provide that disincentive.

However, Lara also wants the state to force insurance companies to cover structures at high risk of wildfires, ensuring that people continue to live and work in disaster-prone areas. This will lead to more death and destruction.

We'd like to extend a special thanks to Jasper "Jay" Jackson for his thoughtful answers on the GrowSF questionnaire. Most candidates running for statewide office ignore the smaller, non-partisan groups hoping to share useful information with voters, but Jackson showed true grace in providing us a full suite of answers. If you're the kind of person who likes to reward people for their charity, you might want to vote for Jasper "Jay" Jackson.

Who's running?

CandidatePartyProfessionQuestionnaire
Nathalie HriziPeace & FreedomTeacher / Union OfficerDid not return questionnaire
Veronika FimbresGreenNurseDid not return questionnaire
Jasper "Jay" JacksonDemocraticParalegalRead it
Marc LevineDemocraticMember, California State AssemblyDid not return questionnaire
Vinson Eugene AllenDemocraticMedical Doctor / BusinessmanDid not return questionnaire
Ricardo LaraDemocraticInsurance CommissionerDid not return questionnaire
Greg ConlonRepublicanBusinessman / CpaDid not return questionnaire
Robert HowellRepublicanCybersecurity Equipment ManufacturerDid not return questionnaire
Robert J. MolnarNo Party PreferenceHealthcare Advocate / BusinessmanDid not return questionnaire

Board of Equalization, District 2

Vote Michela Alioto-Pier

Michela Alioto-Pier is the best candidate for the job, and she will bring her perspective as a woman who uses a wheelchair to statewide office. Michela is a former two-term San Francisco Supervisor, where she focused on economic growth and making the city spend money more effectively. As Supervisor, she created the Office of Economic Analysis, which analyzes the economic impact of proposed laws, and the position of City Economist which advises the Board of Supervisors on economic issues like job and housing growth, including modeling the economic effects of new legislation.

In short, Michela Alioto-Pier cares about economic growth and holding the government accountable for the money it spends.

Who's running?

CandidatePartyProfessionQuestionnaire
Michela Alioto-PierDemocraticSmall Business OwnerRead it
Sally J. LieberDemocraticCouncilwoman / Environmental AdvocateDid not return questionnaire
Peter Coe VerbicaRepublicanInvestment AdvisorDid not return questionnaire

Superintendent of Public Instruction

No Endorsement

Who's running?

CandidatePartyProfessionQuestionnaire
Marco AmaralNon-partisanTeacher / TrusteeRead it
George YangNon-partisanSoftware Architect / FatherContact information unavailable
Tony K. ThurmondNon-partisanSuperintendent Of Public InstructionDid not return questionnaire
Joseph Guy CampbellNon-partisanMontessori Education PublisherContact information unavailable
Lance Ray ChristensenNon-partisanEducation Policy ExecutiveContact information unavailable
Jim GibsonNon-partisanCyber Security ProfessionalContact information unavailable
Ainye E. LongNon-partisanPublic School TeacherContact information unavailable

Assembly, District 17

Vote Matt Haney

Matt Haney and David Campos are running for Assembly yet again! In case you didn't get tired of voting on this race in February and April, don't worry — you get two more chances! Haney is the best candidate in this race. For more, see our endorsement of Matt Haney for Assembly in the April 19th runoff election.

Who's running?

CandidatePartyProfessionQuestionnaire
Bill ShiremanRepublicanEnvironmental Solutions EntrepreneurRead it
David CamposDemocraticCriminal Justice AdministratorDid not return questionnaire
Matt HaneyDemocraticSupervisor, City And County Of San FranciscoRead it

Assembly, District 19

No Endorsement

GrowSF declined to make an endorsement in this contest. While Phil Ting is qualified for the job, his behavior disqualifies him from our endorsement. Karsten Weide is a feisty underdog, but we were not satisfied with his answers on our endorsement questionnaire.

Read both questionnaires and vote your conscience.

Who's running?

CandidatePartyProfessionQuestionnaire
Phil TingDemocraticAssembly Budget ChairRead it
Karsten WeideRepublicanIndustry AnalystRead it

Federal

Congress, District 11

Vote Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi is the only person qualified for this position who aligns with our values. We need her sober and competent leadership in the face of so much uncertainty.

Unfortunately, Pelosi did not return the GrowSF questionnaire, but her decades of service make it pretty clear how she legislates and holds her coalition together. We do think she should retire and pass the torch, but none of her challengers are qualified to take her place.

Who's running?

CandidatePartyProfessionQuestionnaire
Nancy PelosiDemocraticMember Of CongressDid not return questionnaire
John DennisRepublicanIndependent BusinessmanRead it
Shahid ButtarDemocraticPublic Interest AdvocateRead it
Jeffrey PhillipsDemocraticGig WorkerRead it
Bianca Von KriegDemocraticActress / Community OrganizerDid not return questionnaire
Eve Del CastelloRepublicanBusiness ConsultantContact information unavailable

Congress, District 15

Vote Kevin Mullin

Longtime Congresswoman Jackie Speier retired this year after 14 years of service. We thank her for everything she has done. Kevin Mullin is a great successor, and has been endorsed both by our favorite State Senator, Scott Wiener, and the outgoing incumbent, Jackie Speier. Mullin will bring his years of experience as a South San Francisco City Council member & Mayor to Congress.

Kevin Mullin was a small business owner before entering politics, and knows how hard it is for small businesses to thrive in San Francisco and California. In his GrowSF questionnaire, Kevin Mullin said it was too hard to open a new business, run a business, hire staff at a living wage, and obtain the various licenses and permits necessary to run a business.

Equally importantly, Kevin Mullin knows that it's too hard to build housing and has the legislative chops to help solve our housing shortage. We agree with Kevin that it's too hard to expand or redevelop your own home, build subsidized and market-rate housing, and build homeless shelters. We also agree that we need state or federal intervention in San Francisco's too-strict zoning code, which makes it illegal to build things like a duplex or triplex in almost 80% of the city.

What is an "out there" change that you would make to state/local government policy, if you could? (For example: changing how elections work, creating a Bay Area regional government, etc.) To some representatives in state and local government, addressing the housing crisis by building more units of housing for all levels of income and making it easier to build affordable housing is one "out there" change I have been fighting for, but would take the opportunity to change more. We benefit as a community when everyone has a home. Our current housing crisis must be addressed by preserving and drastically increasing affordable and market-rate housing stock and expanding tenant protections. This can be achieved through changing zoning laws, supporting economically diverse neighborhoods through multifamily housing, streamlining housing approvals, stabilizing rents, and preventing displacement.

We'll leave you with his top three priorities, in his own words:

  1. Climate: I would like to address contributors to climate change and more climate resiliency programs.
  2. Housing: I'd like to address our housing crisis by increasing the supply of all types of housing for all income levels and making it easier to build and maintain affordable housing.
  3. Election reform: I would like to increase campaign contribution transparency and strengthen our democracy with mail in ballots and access to vote for every citizen.

Who's running?

CandidatePartyProfessionQuestionnaire
Emily BeachDemocraticBurlingame City CouncilwomanRead it
Gus MattammalRepublicanSmall Businessman / EducatorRead it
David CanepaDemocraticSan Mateo County SupervisorRead it
Jim GarrityNo Party PreferenceSecurity Safety ManagerContact information unavailable
Kevin MullinDemocraticCalifornia State AssemblymemberRead it
Ferenc PatakiRepublicanRealtorContact information unavailable
Andrew WattersDemocraticAttorney / Software DeveloperDid not return questionnaire

Senate

Vote Alex Padilla

Alex Padilla is running against a suite of mostly unserious challengers. He is the only candidate with serious political experience. Alex Padilla was appointed by Governor Newsom to replace Kamala Harris after she vacated the seat to become Vice President. Padilla is a former engineer and former member of the governing board of MIT, so we know he values good education. His 25+ years of experience in government (LA City Council, State Senate, and Secretary of State) have prepared him well for the difficulties of the US Senate.

The lack of any serious challenger does highlight a problem with California democracy — the Democratic party prevents qualified candidates from running against their top pick. In this case, Padilla is highly qualified and will do the job well, but the party should not be picking the winners.

Who's running?

CandidatePartyProfession
John Thompson ParkerPeace & FreedomSocial Justice Advocate
Don J. GrundmannNo Party PreferenceDoctor Of Chiropractic
Eleanor GarciaNo Party PreferenceIndustrial Worker
Sarah Sun LiewRepublicanEntrepreneur / Non-profit Director
Akinyemi AgbedeDemocraticMathematician
Alex PadillaDemocraticAppointed United States Senator
Obaidul Huq PirjadaDemocraticAttorney
Yvonne R. GirardRepublicanRetired Government Employee
Mark P. MeuserRepublicanConstitutional Attorney
Cordie WilliamsRepublicanDoctor / Business Owner
Deon D. JenkinsNo Party PreferenceNone
Dan O'DowdDemocraticNone
Douglas Howard PierceDemocraticMissing Children's Advocate
Timothy J. UrsichDemocraticDoctor
James P. BradleyRepublicanCeo / Business Owner
Jon ElistRepublicanSmall Business Owner
Myron L. HallRepublicanPodiatric Physician
Robert George Lucero Jr.RepublicanExecutive Business Consultant
Enrique PetrisRepublicanBusinessman / Investor
Chuck SmithRepublicanRetired Law Enforcement
Carlos Guillermo TapiaRepublicanBusiness Owner / Realtor
James "Henk" ConnGreenTeacher
Pamela ElizondoGreenMarijuana Plastic Entrepreneur
Daphne BradfordNo Party PreferenceEducation Consultant

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