Voting Begins NOW

Holy moly, the election is here. Voting begins in San Francisco on Monday, May 7.

In San Francisco, 60% of the electorate votes by absentee, meaning, they get their ballot mailed to them 30 days before Election Day (June 5). And San Franciscans may also vote at City Hall any week day between May 7 and June 5.

I’ll be putting out my Voter Guide very soon with my insights and recommendations, and I hope you’ll hep me spread the word that THERE IS AN ELECTION HAPPENING.  Not many people know about it, because there hasn’t been much controversy. Except, well, regarding a certain slate of female candidates, and a ballot measure threatening the livelihoods of San Francisco waste and recycling workers. (Vote NO on A!)

The key to my campaign will be getting out the vote… convincing the Democrats we know to return their absentee ballots and get to the polls. I’d be grateful for any help you’re willing to provide… get out and vote, forward my voter guide, come with me to walk a precinct! It’s crunch time. Thanks.

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.

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.

Thank You, Milk Club and Assembly Member Tom Ammiano!

Today I am honored to be endorsed by the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club and Assembly Member Tom Ammiano.

The Milk Club is one of the biggest and most important democratic clubs in town, named after civil rights leader Harvey Milk, who became the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1978.  This was the first democratic club I joined when I became involved in politics in San Francisco, and I consider it one of my political home bases.  I am grateful to the club membership for voting to endorse me last night.

Assembly Member Tom Ammiano (A.D. 13) is a hero of mine, a public servant for over three decades, a friend of Harvey Milk’s, and a champion of civil rights, public education, health care and marijuana policy reform.  His legislative accomplishments are too many to list here! I am proud to count him as an endorser.

Why Your Vote Will Count Even More in June

The upcoming election on June 5 *might just be*
the lowest turnout election in San Francisco history. Why?

Because the only things on the San Francisco ballot are a few sure things, a small number of ballot measures, and the Democratic County Central Committee (DCCC).

The sure things include the Democratic Party nominations of President Obama, once-and-future Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Assembly member Tom Ammiano (Go Tom!), and many other uncontested races. (Yawn)

The two San Francisco measures probably won’t energize voters. One could change the way the City’s waste management contract is awarded, and one is a policy statement regarding the funding of Coit Tower. Uh huh. We’re not talking about marriage equality or the right to choose, which are the kind of issues that get San Franciscans all riled up.

There are 6 statewide ballot measures, some of which seem really interesting to government nerds like me, such as Governor Brown’s tax measure (good), a measure that fiddles with term limits (good), and the so-called “Paycheck Protection Act,” which is a direct attack on public employee unions (very, very bad). I am hoping that these measures draw people out to vote, but I am not optimistic.

So this is where you come in.  The turnout is going to be so low, that a handful of votes can actually determine the outcome of this election! It means that your vote will actually mean a whole lot to those of us who are running campaigns. How exciting for you!

I hope to see you at the polls.

p.s. Not sure if you’re registered? Check here. Want to re-register as a Democrat so you can vote for me? Go here. Thank you!