Monday, November 07, 2005

SF Local Proposition Endorsements

The Third Path endorses the following San Francisco local propositions:

  1. YES • bonds to improve SF City College • Education is among the most important investments we can make in the future of our city. In order to continue to have the high-tech jobs our economy needs, we need a well-educated workforce.

  2. NO • bonds for street and sidewalk improvements • We ought not have to float a bond measure just to fix our streets and sidewalks — it's like taking a credit card advance to buy a box of Band-Aids.

  3. YES • Ethics Commission changes • Don't leave the Ethics Commission open to be manipulated by the next Willie Brown. (Hint: not all mayors are ethical.)

  4. NO • Municipal Transit Agency • Shifting some appointments to the President of the Board of Supervisors (instead of the Mayor) won't make the buses come any sooner.

  5. YES • Election date for two local offices • It's a simple "housekeeping" measure.

  6. NO! • Neighborhood Firehouses • The nuts and bolts of this sort of policy should never be decided by initiative; the process is just too inflexible. If you have a beef with the staffing levels of our firehouses, take it up with the Supes.

  7. YES • Access to Golden Gate Park garage • Don't increase traffic on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive through the park.

  8. NO! • Firearm Ban • Gun violence in San Francisco is a real problem, but Prop H is not a real solution. We need reasonable gun control laws on the state and federal level, but not ridiculous overreaching blanket bans on the local level. Prop H wouldn't even slow down the criminals, but it would hurt law-abiding citizens.

  9. NO • Military recruiting in public schools • Don't let the Iraq War distract you from the legitimate need for the United States to have a strong military, nor even from the legitimate role of the military in providing educational and career opportunities. This initiative would not curb genuinely abusive practices by some military recruiters, and in fact it would not even slow military recruiting in San Francisco schools. What it would do is yet again make San Franciscans look like silly, out of touch "loony left" wingnuts. We don't need that any more than we need "rabid right" wingnuts.
Whatever else you do on Tuesday, first of all, vote. Equally important, though, is to take just a few moments to look at what you're voting on. Will the specific proposal you're voting on actually do what you want, or is it yet another case of trying to hit a nail with a scalpel? Voting for a bad proposition to "send a message" to City Hall / Sacramento / Washington will only make the problems worse.

Just an observation: my endorsements for the state propositions exactly match the San Francisco Bay Guardian (, but we disagree on five out of nine local measures. Hmm.