San Francisco schools and their leaders have been in the spotlight recently for a variety of controversies. Some parents have pushed for schools to reopen sooner. A member of the school board is suing the district. An effort to recall some board members is underway. And an initiative to rename certain schools has come under fire.
Redistricting, the process by which electoral districts are drawn, will happen locally as well as at the state and federal levels. San Francisco will use census and resident input to redraw its supervisorial districts, a process that begins this year and will likely carry on into 2022. Alison Goh, president of the League of Women Voters of San Francisco, explained to “Civic” how the process will work and outlined the transparency and outreach the League wants to see from the city.
Recent corruption scandals at City Hall highlight the need for good-government reforms, especially after efforts to create a public advocate’s office failed in July 2020. “It was a lost opportunity,” said David Campos, former supervisor and current chief of staff for District Attorney Chesa Boudin. The measure benefitted from precedents set in cities across the country that were similarly wracked by graft and mismanagement, including Detroit, Chicago and New York.
Newsrooms across the country have been in overdrive most of this year, covering a global pandemic, a primary and a presidential election and protests against systemic racism and police brutality. Contributors with YR Media, a national network of young journalists and artists, many of them people of color, have been covering the events of 2020 with reporting and perspectives that are rarely afforded space and attention in national or corporate outlets.
Young people have led the way on major social and political movements in recent years, from climate action to Black Lives Matter demonstrations. Youth have also been mobilizing to get the right to engage more directly, through local elections.
Every odd-numbered San Francisco supervisorial district had an election in November. One race was extremely close and several were targeted by big independent expenditure money. But Joe Eskenazi, managing editor at Mission Local, reports that money was apparently ineffective, failing to propel candidates to victory and failing to dissuade voters from passing new tax measures.
More than 61% of San Francisco voters approved Proposition B, a charter amendment to split the Department of Public Works in two and add oversight commissions to both departments. Proposition B came on the heels of a city corruption scandal, investigations into which are ongoing.
With the majority — but not all — of San Francisco’s votes tallied, a series of maps created by local designer Chris Arvin show how differently, or similarly, residents in different neighborhoods voted from one another by location. Arvin joined “Civic” to discuss the maps and what they show, and a new tool he developed that offers an analysis of the correlations between precinct demographics and contest outcomes.
We will update election results here as new information becomes available from the San Francisco Department of Elections. See our San Francisco November 2020 Nonpartisan Voter Guide for background information on these local measures and candidate races.
In the event that Donald Trump refuses to concede after the results of Tuesday’s election become clear, Bay Area organizers are ready to respond with street demonstrations and other civil disobedience. For weeks, groups like Bay Resistance have been hosting trainings and developing plans to mobilize residents, elected officials and business leaders to demand the results of the election be recognized.