Party in Progress – Wednesday, MAY 2!


Project One
251 Rhode Island
San Francisco
Wednesday May 2

Facebook invite here

Buy tickets here

On June 5, San Francisco voters will have an opportunity to make the local Democratic Party more progressive, more relevant, more responsive to you and me.

The Democratic County Central Committee (DCCC) is the governing body of the local Democratic Party. The endorsement of the San Francisco Democratic Party is perhaps the most important political endorsement in the city. And it will play a key role in electing candidates for Supervisor and School Board this November, among others…

Come show your support for the Community First slate of candidates for the DCCC! If you are unable to come, we are accepting donations of any amount at:

With Musical Entertainment by:

…and a special performance by Entertainment Commissioner ANNA CONDA!

You may purchase tickets or make a donation at:

The Community First candidates are:

John Avalos, David Campos, David Chiu, Petra DeJesus, Matt Dorsey, Chris Gembinski, Gabriel Robert Haaland, Leslie Katz, Rafael Mandelman, Carole Migden, Justin Morgan, Leah Pimentel, Alix Rosenthal, Jamie Rafaela Wolfe

Mike Alonso, Wendy Aragon, Kevin Bard, Chuck Chan, Kelly Dwyer, Hene Kelly, Peter Lauterborn, Eric Mar, Trevor McNeil, Arlo Hale Smith

Sponsored by:

SEIU Local 1021
David Chiu, President of the Board of Supervisors
Supervisor John Avalos
Supervisor David Campos
Supervisor Eric Mar
DCCC Chair Aaron Peskin
DCCC Member Rafael Mandelman
DCCC Member Alix Rosenthal

Thank you for your support!

Buy tickets here

THURSDAY! Elect Women 2012

Elect Women 2012!
Thursday, April 26, 5:30-8pm

Brick & Mortar Music Hall
1710 Mission Street, San Francisco

Facebook Invite here

Buy tickets here

The numbers are surprising. Women comprise only:

* 4 of 11 members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors

* None of the elected citywide executive officers (Mayor, City Attorney, etc.)

* 7 of the incumbents running for re-election on the SF Democratic County Central Committee (DCCC), out of 24 seats

It’s time to bring parity to the DCCC, the governing body of the San Francisco Democratic Party.

The women candidates for the SF DCCC have banded together to form a powerful slate of our own. We call it “Elect Women 2012,” and it features a broad diversity in age, race, sexual orientation, experience and ideology. It’s a true cross-section of San Francisco.

We hope you can join us at our only fundraiser before the election on June 5! If you are unable to make it, we’d be grateful for a donation to our cause. Please call 415-377-6722 if you are interested in volunteering or in sponsoring the event.

Thank you for your support!

Purchase your ticket or make a donation here:

Platinum Ticket: $100
Gold Ticket: $50
Individual Ticket: $25

Featuring musical entertainment by an all-women DJ lineup:
Icon (Illeven Eleven Records/
Shooey (Space Cowboys)
Tamo (Angels of bAss/Space Cowboys)

Honored Sponsors:
Betty Yee, member, State Board of Equalization
David Chiu, President of the SF Board of Supervisors
Supervisor Malia Cohen
Supervisor Christina Olague
Former State Senator Carole Migden
DCCC Member Alix Rosenthal
Stacy Owens & Marissa Quaranta
Sharmin Bock
London Breed
Natalie LeBlanc
Marjan Philhour
Janet Reilly
Heidi Sieck

Elect Women 2012 includes:

District 19 (West Side of SF)
Mary Jung
Meagan Levitan
Suki Kott
Wendy Aragon

District 17 (East Side of SF)
Alix Rosenthal
Carole Migden
Hydra Mendoza
Jamie Rafaela Wolfe
Jo Elias-Jackson
Leah Pimentel
Leslie Katz
Malia Cohen
Marily Mondejar
Petra DeJesus
Zoe Dunning

For more about the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee:

Purchase your ticket or make a donation here:

Good News: Less Campaign Mail!

San Francisco voters were absolutely buried in campaign mail in November 2011.  It was out of control. And annoying. Even to me! And I love this stuff.

The reasons were many. There were three highly contested races on the ballot (Mayor, Sheriff, District Attorney), each for a citywide office, and with well-funded candidates in each.  Most of those candidates did not have citywide name recognition, and so their consultants told them they needed to reach the voters at least three times before voters would remember them.  So those candidates tried to out-mail each other to get your attention. This is why you got multiple mail pieces for the same candidate, often in a single day. I know! What an outrageous waste of paper.

I had friends who told me they weren’t going to vote because they were so irritated with all the mail. Ugh.  Not good.

But guess what? I’ve got great news. You are not likely to get anywhere NEAR the amount of mail for the upcoming June election.  I can guarantee it.

Mail costs money.  The only contested candidate races  in June are for the Democratic County Central Committee, and DCCC campaigns don’t have anywhere NEAR the level of funding as the campaigns did in November.  A viable DCCC candidate will raise and spend $15,000, whereas a viable Mayoral candidate raised and spent at least $400,000 (!!) in 2011. Yeh. Big difference. And that doesn’t even include the millions of dollars in independent expenditures spent on the November election – separate from the campaigns themselves. You won’t see a lot of independent expenditures in the June election. If any.

There are a couple of ballot measures that will be trying to grab your attention, and you will probably get mail from them. The campaign to defeat Proposition A will be well funded, because it threatens the livelihoods of hundreds of garbage and recycling workers in the City, and Labor is on their side, as well as most, if not all, elected officials in town. There are a few statewide ballot measures that could put together well-funded campaigns, but that has yet to be seen.

So all in all, it promises to be a sleepy election, mail-wise.

Does that make you less annoyed with the campaigns? And maybe even more likely to vote? I hope so.

Why Do Endorsements Matter?

This week I am celebrating receiving the endorsements of the Irish American Democratic Club, United Educators of San Francisco, the Potrero Hill Democratic Club, and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021. I’m honored to have each of these endorsements, and I’m proud that this is such a diverse group of organizations!

But how do these endorsements happen, and why do they matter? Here’s a brief glimpse into what it’s like to run for office.

There are a myriad of political organizations in San Francisco, based on the members’ ethnic backgrounds, union affiliations, Supervisorial District, passions about issues, neighborhoods, age, gender, immigrant status, you name it. Each club asks the candidates to complete a questionnaire and come in to meet the members for an endorsement interview. Sometimes we get 10 minutes, sometimes we get 2. Sometimes we are grilled with tough questions, sometimes we are shooed off stage with polite applause. Sometimes the club seems really interested in what you have to say… and sometimes they made their decision before you even walked in the door. And not in a good way.

By the end of this week, I will have completed 15 endorsement questionnaires of varying length and intensity. Each of them requires a little bit of research, some careful consideration, and a lot of writing. It’s exhausting.

And important. This is where candidates get vetted by the true blue activists, the community leaders, the volunteers, the people who work tirelessly behind the scenes in San Francisco politics. These are the “super voters” – the ones who share a passion for politics, whose friends and family look to for guidance about voting, especially in down-ticket races like judgeships or DCCC. They also donate to campaigns and volunteer their time if they get excited about a candidate.

And some of these clubs send out slate mailers to voters who share their interests, thus expanding the club’s influence over the outcome of the election.  Many voters read these slate mailers (and nothing else) before they vote. This is particularly true in a race like DCCC, where there are dozens of candidates, and only a few with any significant name recognition. So the more slate mailers a candidate appears on, the more likely it is that he or she will win.

We candidates like to complain to each other about the daunting task of completing all of the questionnaires on time and making it to the interviews… which all seem to be scheduled at overlapping times at opposite sides of the city. But we all know that this is how the voters figure out where we stand on the broad range of issues affecting San Francisco. This is the stuff that Democracy is made of.

Did you answer the questions thoughtfully? Did you hold up under the scrutiny? Do you have what it takes to get elected? Will you fight for certain causes once in office? These are the things the endorsing organizations want to know. And in a race like DCCC, especially in an election where the turnout is expected to be very low, endorsements can make all the difference.

Elect Women 2012

When I first ran for the DCCC two years ago, I promised to enlist the Democratic Party in recruiting more women to run for office. Having served as President of the National Women’s Political Caucus (SF chapter), having graduated from the Emerge Program, having volunteered for countless campaigns, and having run for office myself a few times, I am uniquely qualified to do this work. I supported a few great women candidates in 2010 and 2011, but I was disappointed at how few women were willing to throw their hats in the ring.

The numbers are surprising. Women comprise only:

– 4 of 11 members of the Board of Supervisors

– None of the citywide executive officers (Mayor, City Attorney, etc.)

– 7 of the incumbents running for re-election on the SF Democratic County Central Committee (DCCC), out of 24 seats

I am going to work hard until we achieve something that resembles parity on the party’s governing board. The DCCC often serves as a proving ground for new candidates, and it’s a great way to get your start in San Francisco politics.

But why do so few women run? What I hear is that politics – particularly in San Francisco – is too nasty, too personal. That the scrutiny is too intense while you’re also holding down a job and holding together a household.

And so this election cycle, I have gathered the women candidates for DCCC into a slate of our own. We call it “Elect Women 2012,” and it includes all 18 of the women candidates, featuring a broad diversity in age, race, sexual orientation, experience and ideology.  It includes a former State Senator, one current and two former members of the Board of Supervisors, a School Board member, four elected incumbents, three appointed incumbents, and many other women from a broad range of backgrounds. The idea is that we will support each other through the experience, particularly the women who have never run before. We view each other as colleagues, not as competition. We are out to show that we can disagree without being disagreeable.

And the hope is that San Francisco politics will become less toxic when more of us are elected.

Our slate was featured in the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday, and we expect even more ink to come! Stay tuned.