November 2022 SF Election Guide

Blue and red banner for November 2022 San Francisco Nonpartisan Voter Guide

This is a nonpartisan analysis of the San Francisco ballot for the Nov. 8, 2022, election. It was created by Madison Alvarado, Liana Wilcox, Sylvie Sturm, Mel Baker, Camellia Burris, Yesica Prado, Lisa Rudman, Kurt Aguilar, Ambika Kandasamy and Lila LaHood.

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Election Guide Index

Need information on how and where to vote? This page from the San Francisco Department of Elections explains how to register to vote or update your registration, and gives details on your options for voting by mail and in person through early voting and on Election Day.

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Want to focus on audio? Listen to our election playlists for the local propositions and select candidate races.

Learn how we chose the order for listing names in this guide and how we came up with questions for the candidates.

We are collaborating with KALW this election season. You’ll hear audio segments from our “Civic” team on our own KSFP 102.5 FM and on KALW 91.7 FM. You’ll see ballot summaries from our election guide on KALW.org. We are also partnering with CalMatters to bring you their statewide coverage of California ballot measures.

San Francisco Ballot Measures

Proposition A — Retiree Supplemental Cost of Living Adjustment; Retirement Board Contract with Executive Director

This charter amendment would adjust supplemental cost-of-living benefits for people in the San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System who retired before Nov. 6, 1996. It would eliminate a requirement that the retirement system be fully funded based on the prior year’s market value of its assets. Also, the system would adjust those retirees’ base allowance to account for the five years when they didn’t receive supplemental payments because of the full-funding requirement, and supporters say this change would affect approximately 4,400 retirees, in a system of 74,000 active and retired employees and their families. This measure includes a provision that would allow the system’s executive director to be hired with an individual employment contract —a departure from the city’s standard relationships with government employees. This measure requires more than 50% affirmative votes to pass.

Read our full analysis of Proposition A.


Proposition B — Public Works Department and Commission, Sanitation and Streets Department and Commission

Proposition B would undo a charter amendment approved by voters in November 2020 to take responsibilities away from the Department of Public Works and form a Sanitation and Streets Department. The charter amendment was meant to address enduring complaints about the city’s dirty streets and overflowing garbage containers, and about how much is spent cleaning up. And, in the wake of numerous corruption charges within Public Works, it also established oversight commissions for both departments, and annual controller’s performance audits and cost and waste evaluations. The problem with the charter amendment, according to those who now want it gone, is that it boosts city costs by $6 million annually. This measure requires more than 50% affirmative votes to pass.

Read our full analysis of Proposition B.


Proposition C — Homelessness Oversight Commission

Proposition C is a proposed charter amendment that creates the Homelessness Oversight Commission to oversee the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. In 2016, former Mayor Ed Lee established that department to manage all housing and social services for San Franciscans experiencing homelessness, including street outreach, homeless shelters, transitional housing and permanent supportive housing. The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing is the eighth largest city services department with a spending budget of approximately $672 million in FY 2022-23, and $636 million in FY 2023-24. The department is not subject to direct oversight by a city commission. This measure requires more than 50% affirmative votes to pass.

Read our full analysis of Proposition C.


Proposition D — Affordable Housing – Initiative Petition

One of two proposals focused on streamlining affordable housing projects, Proposition D is backed by Mayor London Breed and YIMBY groups — those who say they support adding housing of all types, including market-rate housing. If the measure passes, 100% affordable projects, multi-family developments for educators and mixed-income projects with 15% more affordable units than currently mandated by the city, will receive expedited approvals. Proposition D exempts 100% affordable projects from discretionary approval by city commissioners and officials, allowing them to bypass the California Environmental Quality Act, which Proposition D’s backers say slows or endangers projects, and creates mandatory time frames within which the Planning Department must respond to project applications. Opponents criticize the measure’s changes to income requirements for 100% affordable developments, noting that the average income for an affordable building would be raised from 80% of area median income to 120%, and that some units could have rent higher than market-rate. This measure requires more than 50% affirmative votes to pass.

Read our full analysis of Proposition D.


Proposition E — Affordable Housing – Board of Supervisors

Written by Supervisor Connie Chan and passed by the Board of Supervisors, Proposition E would amend the city’s charter to expedite affordable housing. As with the competing Proposition D, Chan’s policy streamlines approval for 100% affordable projects and teacher housing but has different requirements for mixed-income projects to qualify: 30% of the entire project must be affordable. Proposition E has mandates for two and three-bedroom units for families in addition to higher labor standards, requiring a “skilled and trained” workforce. The measure also requires the city to create an annual Affordable Housing Allocation report on the progress and funding of affordable housing. Opponents of the measure said that affordability requirements are so high that they would make projects infeasible, and criticized it for allowing the Board of Supervisors to maintain discretionary funding approval over 100% affordable projects. This measure requires more than 50% affirmative votes to pass.

Read our full analysis of Proposition E.


Proposition F — Library Preservation Fund

Proposition F would extend the Library Preservation Fund for another 25 years. The fund draws 2.5 cents out of every $100 from existing property taxes and would continue at this rate if the extension is approved. The fund is designated to provide library services and materials, and to operate library facilities. The fund is in addition to the baseline amount allocated to the library calculated by the controller based on San Francisco’s discretionary revenues. The new measure also outlines temporary freezes to the baseline funding when the city’s budget experiences a deficit. The measure would also continue the practice of setting system-wide weekly hours and maintain the process of holding public hearings every five years to evaluate the possibility of adjusting service hours. This measure requires more than 50% affirmative votes to pass.

Read our full analysis of Proposition F.


Proposition G — Student Success Fund – Grants to the San Francisco Unified School District

Proposition G is a charter amendment to establish a Student Success Fund that would be operated by the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families for 15 years. The purpose is to provide grants of up to $1 million to San Francisco Unified School District schools to improve academic achievement and social/emotional wellness of students. The fund is modeled on the community school framework and would be paid for using a designated amount from the city’s excess property tax revenue, which is separate from existing funding. This measure requires more than 50% affirmative votes to pass.

Read our full analysis of Proposition G.


Proposition H — City Elections in Even-Numbered Years

Proposition H would move elections scheduled for odd-numbered years to even-numbered ones. Proponents argue that a much larger proportion of the electorate votes in presidential elections — which occur in even-numbered years — and say that consolidating elections would strengthen democracy. If approved, this measure would save the city $7 million every election cycle. Other cities, including Los Angeles and San Jose, have already made similar changes. Mayor London Breed, who would get an additional year in her tenure should this pass, opposed the measure. Proposition H requires more than 50% affirmative votes to pass.

Read our full analysis of Proposition H.


Proposition I — Vehicles on JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park and the Great Highway

Proposition I would overturn an ordinance that has closed John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park to most private motor vehicles seven days a week and closed the Great Highway along Ocean Beach to such traffic on weekends and holidays. The city would be forbidden from proceeding with plans to eventually close the Great Highway between Sloat and Skyline boulevards — a stretch that is subject to coastal erosion. This measure requires more than 50% affirmative votes to pass.

Read our full analysis of Proposition I.


Proposition J — Recreational Use of JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park

Proposition J would change the city’s park code to make permanent the closure of John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park to car traffic and closing the Great Highway at Ocean Beach on weekends and holidays. Supervisors approved those changes in April 2022. Some of those elected leaders put Proposition J on the ballot to combat Proposition I, which would overturn their spring decision and change the city charter to prevent similar legislation in the future. This measure requires more than 50% affirmative votes to pass.

Read our full analysis of Proposition J.


Proposition L — Sales Tax for Transportation Projects

To help fund public transportation projects, Proposition L would continue a 0.5% city sales tax for 30 years and allow for the issuance of up to $1.91 billion in bonds to be repaid with proceeds from the tax. Revenue would be used for programs outlined in the 2022 Transportation Expenditure Plan, including public transit maintenance and station improvements, neighborhood-level investments in pedestrian and bike safety, support for paratransit services, the extension of Caltrain downtown, and funding for equity-focused projects. Proposition L would initially generate around $100 million per year, and increase to $326 million by 2052, giving a boost to San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency after a $400 million bond measure failed in June. Proponents say the tax will increase the city’s chances of getting state and federal funding for projects in the future. Opponents say voters showed their lack of interest in funding transportation when they rejected the Muni bond in June, and that spending by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, which oversees the use of transportation sales tax proceeds, is out of control. This measure requires a two-thirds majority vote to pass.

Read our full analysis of Proposition L.


Proposition M — Tax on Keeping Residential Units Vacant

Proposition M imposes a tax on owners of residential buildings with three or more units who have kept units vacant for more than 182 days in a year. While disincentivizing prolonged vacancies, authors of the Empty Homes Tax Ordinance aim to increase the number of housing units available in San Francisco,while also raising revenue for rent subsidies and affordable housing. Opponents say encouraging housing construction is a better way for addressing the city’s housing crisis than punishing owners of vacant units.This measure requires more than 50% affirmative votes to pass.

Read our full analysis of Proposition M.


Proposition N — Golden Gate Park Underground Parking Facility; Golden Gate Park Concourse Authority

Proposition N would give the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department control of the Music Concourse Garage in Golden Gate Park. The 800-space parking garage is managed by a nonprofit created by a ballot measure in 1998 that raised private donations to help finance the facility. Supporters of Proposition N cite a series of financial scandals and mismanagement of the garage and say the parking lot is underutilized because parking rates are set too high. They want to amend the earlier ballot measure to give control of the facility to Rec and Park. This measure requires more than 50% affirmative votes to pass.

Read our full analysis of Proposition N.


Proposition O — Additional Parcel Tax for City College

This proposed parcel tax will generate funding for services at the City College of San Francisco, including skills-focused programs for residents (such as English tutoring), workforce development training, student support and academic enrichment for historically underrepresented students. The Controller’s Office estimates the tax will generate $37 million annually, a boost to City College’s funds after years of class cuts, faculty layoffs, shrinking enrollment and financial crises. The tax would be levied from 2023 to 2043, and would be based upon the size and type of property, with adjustments for inflation. In 2023, rates would range from $150 for single-family homes up to $4,000 for large commercial properties. City College must submit an annual spending plan to the mayor and Board of Supervisors to receive the revenue. This measure requires more than 50% affirmative votes to pass.

Read our full analysis of Proposition O.

Local Races

Community Survey

In September, the San Francisco Public Press asked residents to identify issues that concern them. Those responses informed the questions we posed to candidates for this election guide, and we will use them in our ongoing reporting. Would you like to tell us about your concerns? We are continuing to gather responses.


Board of Supervisors, District 2

Question for the candidate:

We asked San Francisco residents to tell us about the most pressing issues in their districts. According to survey responses we received, homelessness and housing affordability are the top concerns citywide. As supervisor in District 2, what do you plan to do about those issues, and how will you address concerns about reckless drivers and pedestrian safety in your district?

Photo of Catherine Stefani
Catherine Stefani

Running unopposed, Catherine Stefani is the District 2 Supervisor, a role she has filled since 2018. Before her current position, she worked as a senior aide to Supervisors Michela Alioto-Pier and Mark Farrell from 2007 to 2016 and as the San FranciscoCounty Clerk from 2016 to 2018. The top three issues she has focused on include ending gun violence, prioritizing public safety and supporting small businesses. In 2021, city leaders signed into law a bill authored by Stefani to ban the sale of ghost guns—untraceable firearms without serial numbers that are often made from kits ordered online. The following year, voters approved a ballot initiative she authored to create an Office of Victim and Witness Rights with the goal of offering free legal services and other assistance for victims of domestic violence.

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Board of Supervisors, District 4

Question for the candidates:

We asked San Francisco residents to tell us about the most pressing issues in their districts. According to survey responses we received, homelessness and housing affordability are the top concerns citywide. If you are elected supervisor in District 4, what do you plan to do about homelessness and housing affordability? And how will you address the tension in your district between residents who want more access for cars and those advocating for preservation and expansion of slow streets, as well as the interests of neighbors asking for better public transit?

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Joel Engardio

Joel Engardio — who has run for District 7 supervisor three times (due to redistricting, he now resides in District 4) — previously worked as a columnist at the San Francisco Examiner and as a director and producer at PBS’ Independent Lens. Public safety and education are part of Engardio’s platform. He is a leader of the local organization Stop Crime SF. Engardio is gay and married to a Taiwanese immigrant, which he cites when discussing his desire to stop anti-Asian hate. On his website, he has expressed support for criminal justice reform, calling for the prosecution of serious crimes and repeat offenders while seeking police accountability, as well as ensuring funding for crime prevention programs. He was in favor of the recall of former District Attorney Chesa Boudin. Regarding education, Engardio has stated that he supports permanent merit-based admissions to Lowell High School and a return to a public school system rooted in neighborhood access as opposed to the current lottery system. He was a strong advocate for the San Francisco School Board recall.

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Gordon Mar

Gordon Mar has served as the District 4 Supervisor since 2018. Previously, he worked as executive director of two local organizations: Jobs with Justice San Francisco and the Chinese Progressive Association. Mar, whose father immigrated from China, has focused on neighborhood safety and anti-Asian hate, creating a five-point community safety plan for his district and requiring police to report crime victim demographics. Housing affordability and education are among his other top issues. On his campaign website, he has cited his work on promoting the Sunset’s first two affordable housing projects solely for teachers and working families. He has also mentioned leading negotiations to guarantee free tuition for residents to attend City College classes for a decade and obtaining raises for public school teachers.  

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Board of Supervisors, District 6

Question for the candidates:

We asked San Francisco residents to tell us about the most pressing issues in their districts. According to survey responses we received, homelessness and housing affordability are the top concerns citywide. If you are elected supervisor in District 6, what do you plan to do about homelessness and housing affordability? And how will you address concerns in your district about public access to bathrooms and the need for more supportive services for people who don’t have permanent housing as well as for those living in supportive housing?

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Matt Dorsey

Matt Dorsey is the District 6 Supervisor, a role he was tapped to fill by Mayor London Breed after former D6 Supervisor Matt Haney was elected to the state Assembly in April. Previously, Dorsey worked as the director of strategic communications for the San Francisco Police Department and as a senior adviser and communications director for the city’s Attorney’s Office. Dorsey, who has spoken about his recovery from addiction, has focused on the city’s drug crisis in his campaign. He has pushed for safe consumption sites and in June laid out a plan for “right to recovery zones” around treatment facilities with increased police presence and enforcement of drug laws. Dorsey has supported Breed’s Affordable Homes Now bill and was in favor of the Boudin and school board recalls. Dorsey is openly gay and HIV positive, both of which are part of his public persona. 

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We were unable to reach or did not receive either an audio or text response from Matt Dorsey.

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Ms. Billie Cooper

Longtime Tenderloin resident and transgender LBGTQ+ activist Ms. Billie Cooper is an HIV/AIDS survivor and a veteran focused on equality, low-income housing and residential equity. Cooper is the founder of TransLife, a multiracial group for trans and nonbinary people to connect and receive support on issues related to gender-affirming care, sexual health, sex work and more. In a debate held in August, she spoke about the high rents of new construction in the Tenderloin as a barrier for most of the neighborhood’s residents. Regarding Boudin’s recall, she said in the debate that the “jury’s still out.” 

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We were unable to reach or did not receive either an audio or text response from Ms. Billie Cooper.

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Honey Mahogany

Honey Mahogany is the chair of the San Francisco Democratic Party. She was formerly the chief of staff to former Supervisor Matt Haney and co-president of the Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club. Mahogany has also supported Breed’s Affordable Homes Now bill, but she was not in favor of the school board and Boudin recalls. She has stated that the city’s police department is understaffed and has called for more police accountability and the expansion of street ambassadors. She has said she would prioritize mental health crises among people who are unhoused by expanding Mental Health SF, in addition to focusing on affordable housing. If elected, Mahogany would be the first queer, transgender and nonbinary city supervisor, and the first out Black board member, according to The Bay Area Reporter. 

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Cherelle Jackson

Cherelle Jackson is the co-chair of the Service Employees International Union Local 1021 Workers with Disabilities Committee. She is an activist for a wide range of causes supporting marginalized groups, and has served as a delegate for the California Democratic Party. In her candidacy questionnaire, she expressed interest in investing in community ambassadors, supporting small businesses and working with local partners to build job skills, though she refrained from picking her top three issues, stating that it is important to tackle all issues impacting residents. In an August debate, she called for increased investment in harm reduction practices and workplace programs for people struggling with addiction. 

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Board of Supervisors, District 8

Question for the candidates:

We asked San Francisco residents to tell us about the most pressing issues in their districts. According to survey responses we received, homelessness and housing affordability are the top concerns citywide. If you are elected supervisor in District 8, what do you plan to do about homelessness and housing affordability? And how will you address concerns about the need for supportive services in your district and other help for people without permanent housing?

Photo of Kate Stoia
Kate Stoia

Kate Stoia, an attorney, has served on the boards of three nonprofits. On her campaign website, she has stated that she has a son and a daughter and became a foster parent in 2017. She has also detailed how the process of having five houses remodeled has given her insight into the “bureaucracy and corruption that is holding San Francisco back.” Stoia is a proponent of building more housing at all levels, including luxury housing, as a solution to the housing crisis. In addition to streamlining the permitting process for housing, Stoia has mentioned that she will push for ending local comment on new businesses that is currently required through the permitting process, adding that new businesses should be permitted by the city within 30 days. She is also pushing for more court-ordered treatment for those struggling with addiction and mental health crises. 

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Rafael Mandelman

District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman has been on the city’s Board of Supervisors since 2018. In his campaign, Mandelman has underscored his record on homelessness and mental health, highlighting legislation he has authored regarding conservatorships for unhoused people struggling with mental health and substance use disorders and preserving board-and-care facilities. Regarding public safety, Mandelman opposes reducing several items in the police department’s budget including training and overtime and told The San Francisco Bay Times that he believes that “public safety requires the detention and effective rehabilitation of serial offenders.” He has also said he supports the expansion of community policing efforts like neighborhood foot patrols. Affordable housing is another area Mandelman has spotlighted in his campaign, citing legislation he introduced to allow for more fourplexes though it was rejected by Breed. Mandelman is one of two current supervisors who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community. 

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Board of Supervisors, District 10

Question for the candidates:

We asked San Francisco residents to tell us about the most pressing issues in their districts. According to survey responses we received, homelessness and housing affordability are the top concerns citywide. If you are elected supervisor in District 10, what do you plan to do about homelessness and housing affordability? And how will you address concerns about the condition of public infrastructure in your district, in particular, crumbling streets and trash on sidewalks and roadways?

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Brian Sam Adam

Brian Sam Adam is a public information officer for San Francisco’s Department of Technology and became involved in politics after interning for Assemblymember Evan Low, who represents parts of Silicon Valley. Campaigning on a promise to represent “ALL of District 10,” Adam is spotlighting three key issues: housing, transit and public safety. He is a proponent of expediting approval of the Affordable Housing Element, reallocating more funding for constructing new housing, and streamlining permitting for properties with high levels of affordability. Regarding public safety and transit, Adam called for expanding camera usage and lighting throughout the city, redirecting low priority calls to entities like the Street Crisis Response Team, and expanding funding for San Francisco’s Municipal Transit Agency.  

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Shamann Walton

District 10 Supervisor and President of the Board of Supervisors, Shamann Walton previously served as the president of the Board of Education. Walton, who identifies as Black, underscored his equity-focused response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which hit Black communities and the Bayview especially hard. He launched the Bayview Essential Services hub to provide access to healthcare providers, vaccine and food distribution, among other things. He also met with community stakeholders when creating a District 10 Community Safety Plan to address violence, and set up the city’s first Sheriff’s Oversight Board to develop a use-of-force policy and other oversight measures. Walton is backing the Board of Supervisors’ affordable housing ballot measure and is against car-free JFK, a policy he called “segregationist.” Walton listed his top three issues as housing affordability, equitable distribution of law-enforcement resources, and local hiring and workforce training, especially in the Black community. 

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We were unable to reach or did not receive either an audio or text response from Shamann Walton.


Board of Education

Voters may select up to three candidates to sit on the San Francisco Board of Education.

Question for the candidates:

During the pandemic, the switch to remote learning revealed and exacerbated major disparities in access to education, especially for students of color and low-income students. In our survey of San Francisco residents, many respondents also reported that inequality and mental health were the most pressing issues in their districts. Given the lessons we learned from the pandemic, if elected, how do you plan to address mental health crises among students and inequalities across San Francisco Unified School District schools?

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Lisa Weissman-Ward

Lisa Weissman-Ward is the third temporary appointment to the school board by Mayor London Breed. She is an immigrants’ rights lawyer and educator at Stanford Law School. She highlighted the balancing of the SFUSD budget — from a projected $125 million shortfall — as a key achievement of the school board during her recent tenure, in addition to rescinding staff and teacher layoffs and hiring a new superintendent. Weissman-Ward, a half-Jamaican, half-Jewish parent to two SFUSD students, cited loss of trust as a major issue the school district is facing. To address this problem, she says she wants to focus on tools, staff and programs that are improving the leadership gap, use her listening skills as an educator to hear from all stakeholders, and have the school board be more transparent about financial decisions in the district. She is campaigning alongside fellow incumbent Lainie Motamedia, though the two have split from Ann Hsu

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Gabriela López

The former president of the SFUSD Board of Education, Gabriela López is an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco and previously taught at San Francisco’s Flynn Elementary. López was one of three school board members recalled by voters in February, in part due to the board’s push to rename schools while students struggled with remote learning, and her support of a lottery-based admissions system for Lowell High School. The only K-12 educator running for a seat, López spotlighted her experience teaching in public schools, volunteering at San Quentin State Prison and organizing educators as a union-building representative as hallmarks of her efforts to center social justice in her work. López lists values such as increasing school funding, improving special education and investing in college preparation.

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Lainie Motamedi

Another Breed appointee, Lainie Motamedi served for four years as the co-chair of the Public Education Enrichment Fund Committee before her current role as a board member. Like other incumbent board members, she cited the hiring of a new superintendent, approval of a balanced budget and the restoration of merit-based admissions at Lowell High School as part of her efforts to improve SFUSD schools. Motamedi also critiqued the slow return to in-person schooling and decried its effects on her two children. The daughter of two Los Angeles Unified School District teachers, Motamedi listed student success, fiscal responsibility and engaging with the community as her top priorities. She is campaigning alongside fellow incumbent Lisa Weissman-Ward, though the two have split from Ann Hsu

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Photo of Ann Hsu
Ann Hsu

Ann Hsu holds a temporary appointment to the Board of Education made by Mayor London Breed following the recall of three former members in February. She is running for reelection and listed academic excellence for all students, safe schools and fiscal discipline as some of her top priorities. Hsu has come under fire for racist comments she made about Black and brown parents, causing several organizations and politicians to call for her to step down from her current role. Hsu, who is Chinese, was a vocal advocate for the recall of three former board members, citing frustration among Chinese/AAPI and other parents regarding slow school reopenings during the COVID-19 pandemic and lack of leadership from SFUSD. She supported the return to merit-based admissions at Lowell High School. Hsu is a parent to twins at Galileo Academy of Science and Technology.  

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Alida Fisher

Alida Fisher in her campaign emphasizes her experience navigating schools as a parent — formerly a foster parent and now an adoptive parent to four African American children. She is the advocacy chair for San Francisco Unified School District’s Community Advisory Committee for Special Education. Fisher’s children have attended seven district schools. She says her journey to identifying their various learning differences “transformed me from active parent into parent activist,” and opened her eyes to her white privilege. Building on her emphasis on equity, Fisher wants to reinvest in restorative practices, mandate implicit bias training for all employees, and create more support systems in schools to improve outcomes for students, especially students of color. Her top three concerns are staffing shortages, lack of mental health support in schools and poor reading scores. Fisher is against merit-based admissions at Lowell High School, which recently returned to that system after two years of admitting students by lottery. She previously ran for a board seat in 2018. 

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We were unable to reach or did not receive either an audio or text response from Alida Fisher.

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Karen Fleshman

Karen Fleshman played on her identity as a white woman named Karen when starting her organization Racy Conversations, which facilitates workshops on racism, bias and sexual harassment in the workplace. In addition to being a parent to two children in SFUSD schools, Fleshman has also worked as a consultant for youth-serving nonprofits in San Francisco, which she said brought her to visit most SFUSD schools. If elected, her priorities include encouraging the adoption of practices across district school sites to address student mental health crises, advocating for more benefits and on-time pay for teachers, working to create more budget transparency, and creating a multi-year plan with community stakeholders to create consensus around priorities and equity in the school district.  

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Community College Board, 4-year term

Voters may select up to three candidates to sit on the City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees for four years.

Question for the candidates:

City College has experienced declining enrollment and financial woes over the past several years, leading to the loss of courses meant to provide opportunities to students of diverse backgrounds, such as ESL or trade classes. In our survey of San Francisco residents regarding the most pressing issues in their districts, several respondents highlighted access to quality public education and economic opportunity in a city with an extremely high cost of living. If elected, how do you plan on balancing the realities of CCSF’s existing budget and smaller course catalog with its mission to serve a diverse community of students who have a wide array of educational needs?

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Jill Yee

A former CCSF student, professor, department chair and academic dean, Jill Yee is banking on her decades of experience at City College to garner support. Yee helped establish the school’s Asian American Studies program and developed educational programs for incarcerated and formerly-incarcerated students. During massive budget cuts in 2019 that resulted in cancellation of classes across City College and jeopardized some students’ on-time completion of programs, Yee emphasized prioritizing classes for first generation students who will be affected by California’s new funding formula for community colleges over others, such as lifelong learners who want to take classes for fun. Her vision includes developing enrollment-based budgets, promoting classes that lead to careers, developing strong internship programs, and building student and faculty housing.

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Brigitte Davila

Brigitte Davila has served on the City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees since 2015 and has been a professor at San Francisco State University for 28 years. Davila, who is Latina, has worked closely with many Latinx organizations in her role as program director of the Raza Studies Community Service Learning Program. In May she voted to make cuts to faculty, including over 100 part-time teachers, stressing the importance of making “painful decisions” to be in good standing for the accreditation process. She points to convincing voters in 2020 to approve a $845 million bond for developing and maintaining City College facilities as a board success. Enrollment is a central focus for Davila, who said the board is launching a dual enrollment program for high schoolers who wish to take college courses, as well as a new enrollment plan to address pandemic losses. Davila is campaigning with candidates John Rizzo, Thea Selby, and Murrell Green, who is running for a two-year term. 

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John Rizzo

John Rizzo has served on the City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees since 2006 and is the vice president and chair of the board’s facilities committee. He is also on the Standards Review Team of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. A longtime environmental activist, Rizzo said he used this experience to help create the City College’s first Sustainability Plan, which he plans to update if reelected. Rizzo voted to lay off 38 faculty members in May to balance the college’s budget following decreased enrollment and tax revenue during the pandemic. Through various “hard decisions” to end structural deficits, he contends the board has placed itself in a strong position for the accreditation process it will begin this year, including building up a fully-funded reserve two years in a row, replacing outdated equipment and repairing student facilities. Rizzo is campaigning with candidates Thea Selby, Brigitte Davila and Murrell Green, who is running for a two-year term.

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Vick Chung

Vick Chung, a former student trustee who sat on the board in 2021, is drawing on experiences as a student leader in programs such as Project SURVIVE in their campaign. Chung, who uses gender-neutral pronouns and identifies as queer and Asian, pointed to their experiences as the child of refugees as important groundwork for their ability to serve immigrant communities and people of color at CCSF. Building on a shared platform with Solomon and Martinez, Chung also trumpeted the trio’s collective vision of providing fully-funded support services for a diverse range of students, including hosting events with community-based organizations and providing more courses for lifelong learners, transfer students, cultural enrichment and civic engagement. Chung is campaigning with Anita Martinez and Susan Solomon. 

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We were unable to reach or did not receive either an audio or text response from Vick Chung.

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Susan Solomon

Born and raised in San Francisco, Susan Solomon is a former educator who recently retired from her role as president of the United Educators of San Francisco. She is vice president for political activities of the San Francisco Labor Council. Solomon led the school district’s  union through the first 15 months of the pandemic, including a prolonged negotiation with the district over how to reopen schools with the city suing the school district to reopen in February 2021. Solomon cited City College layoffs, course cancellations and other austerity measures as key motivators for her decision to run for office. Her vision includes promoting and expanding Free City College, providing workforce training and transfer degrees, hiring more Black and brown faculty, rescinding layoffs and creating a budget through a transparent and inclusive process that listens to community stakeholders. Solomon is campaigning with Anita Martinez and Vick Chung.

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Photo of Thea Selby
Thea Selby

Another incumbent, Thea Selby has been on the City College Board of Trustees for the past seven years and served as its president in 2017. Selby is a chair of the nonprofit advocacy organization San Francisco Transit Riders — experience that came in handy when she built on a student-driven campaign to negotiate $400,000 in funding for free transit passes for students. She plans on supporting the campaign further should she be re-elected. Selby voted to lay off faculty and cut courses in May when balancing the budget. Selby said she wants to focus on growing enrollment now that the budget has been balanced, in addition to stewarding the $845 million bond passed by voters in 2020 to build a new performing arts center. As chair of the Student Success and Policy Committee, she and committee members found $2 million to help students pay debt incurred during the pandemic. Selby is campaigning with candidates Brigitte Davila, John Rizzo and Murrell Green, who is running for a two-year term.

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Anita Martinez

Union leader Anita Martinez is a retired CCSF teacher, administrator and former president of the American Federation of Teachers 2121. She also ran for the Community College Board in 2020. Martinez is championing a more inclusive and transparent budget, the passage of the San Francisco Workforce Education Reinvestment in Community Success Act and more user-friendly registration and counseling for those who need help navigating the system. She is also pushing for more eco-friendly policies at the school that respect staff as necessary upgrades are made. In May she decried the cutting of classes and firing of employees under the current incumbents, and said that CCSF’s shift from a community college to a junior college is “killing” the school. Martinez is campaigning with Susan Solomon and Vick Chung.

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Jason Zeng

Jason Zeng is a data engineer who works as a contract manager for the Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Zeng, who unsuccessfully ran for the San Francisco City College Board of Trustees in 2015 following the accreditation crisis, shared that he experienced severe financial hardship and homelessness during the pandemic, influencing his views on the importance of education as a route out of poverty. His vision includes building recruitment pipelines with local companies and investing in research facilities to increase enrollment and generate more revenue. His platform focuses on keeping education a free public good, streamlining coursework for graduation and ensuring ease of access to virtual and physical classrooms.

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Photo of Marie Hurabiell
Marie Hurabiell

Marie Hurabiell is a member of the Georgetown Board of Regents as well as the Board of Directors of Stop Crime SF, a group that heavily advocated for the recall of former District Attorney Chesa Boudin. Hurabiell came into hot water for a since-deleted 2021 tweet calling critical race theory “dangerous nonsense.” She has apologized for the tweet and said, “it was a really stupid thing that I said.” After her unsuccessful run in 2020, Hurabiell is running on a platform that includes balancing the City College of San Francisco budget, hiring a permanent chancellor (there have been nine in the past eight years), creating partnerships to increase student job placement and opportunities and engaging in initiatives to improve the wellbeing of students and faculty.

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Photo of William Walker
William Walker

William Walker is no stranger to the City College Board of Trustees, having served on the board as a student representative. Since then, he has worked as a researcher on transportation issues and as a community organizer, focused on improving access and participation for Black, indigenous and people of color in spaces where they have been historically excluded. Walker, who identifies as Black and gay, has run for this position twice before, and on his third run is pushing for enrollment growth, which he says would combat the displacement of residents of color and LGBTQ+ individuals who can’t make living wages in the city. His plan to increase enrollment includes expanding concurrent high school enrollment and introducing courses in areas such as urban planning. 

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Community College Board, 2-year term

Voters may select one candidate to sit on the City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees for two years.

Question for the candidates:

City College has experienced declining enrollment and financial woes over the past several years, leading to the loss of courses meant to provide opportunities to students of diverse backgrounds, such as ESL or trade classes. In our survey of San Francisco residents regarding the most pressing issues in their districts, several respondents highlighted access to quality public education and economic opportunity in a city with an extremely high cost of living. If elected, how do you plan on balancing the realities of CCSF’s existing budget and smaller course catalog with its mission to serve a diverse community of students who have a wide array of educational needs?

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Daniel Landry

Daniel Landry is the founder and executive director of the San Francisco CATS Academy, a grassroots organization serving disenfranchised communities by promoting culture, arts, athletics and other talent through mentoring, scholarship and other programs. Landry is San Francisco born and raised, and unsuccessfully ran for District 5 Supervisor in 2020. He also sits on San Francisco’s African American Reparations Task Force. Billing himself as the only “independent candidate,” Landry cited balancing City College’s fiscal budget, supporting students and teachers, increasing enrollment and ensuring the school maintains its accreditation as key issues. He lauded the passage of Free City College in 2019, a program that guarantees eligible residents free tuition through 2029. Landry wants to extend this partnership between the school and the city, and lobby for more funding “on all governmental levels.”

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We were unable to reach or did not receive either an audio or text response from Daniel Landry.

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Murrell Green

Murrell Green, dean of academic counseling and student services at West Valley College, was appointed to the City College Board of Trustees by Mayor London Breed in May after previous board member Tom Temprano stepped down. Raised in San Francisco, Green touts his many years of experience in higher education as a department chair, financial aid academic counselor and administrator at various institutions. Green also volunteers for several organizations focused on the advancement of underserved communities in higher education, especially Black communities. In his campaign, Green says key concerns for City College are shrinking enrollment, retention and social justice, as well as faculty layoffs and underutilized facilities. He also emphasized lack of customer service as a key place for improvements when it comes to increasing enrollment. Green is campaigning with candidates Thea Selby, John Rizzo and Brigitte Davila, who are running for four-year terms. 

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We were unable to reach or did not receive either an audio or text response from Murrell Green.

Photo of Adolfo Velasquez
Adolfo Velasquez

Adolfo Velasquez, a retired academic counselor and former chair of the Department of Education Opportunity Program & Services at City College, is drawing on his years at the college to boost his candidacy. Velasquez first became acquainted with City College as a student 30 years ago, and is campaigning with a focus to “Keep CCSFF a Community College!” by bringing back classes that serve lifelong learners, working adults and English language learners. He also wants to expand New Directions, a program that assists formerly incarcerated students transitioning to the college. Another central part of his platform is no more layoffs of faculty and classified workers, a plan he hopes to accomplish through more financial oversight and transparency, especially if Proposition O passes, which would significantly boost the City College budget. 

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Assessor-Recorder

Question for the candidate:

A great many people who used to commute to offices downtown are still working remotely. Are you expecting a higher rate of requests for reassessment of commercial property? How will this affect the city’s tax base and its ability to provide services and maintain infrastructure?

Photo of Joaquín Torres
Joaquín Torres

Initially appointed to this role by Mayor Breed in February 2021, Joaquín Torres is seeking reelection in a fast turnaround from his February 2022 election. He is also president of the San Francisco Housing Authority Board of Commissioners. Previously, Torres worked as director of the city’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, leading efforts to alleviate the pandemic’s impact on businesses and workers. Torres cited closing the Assessor-Recorder Office’s roll on time, modernizing its systems to increase ease of access to the public, continuing a financial education series for families and focusing on the Transfer Tax Audit as top priorities. The grandson of Mexican immigrants, Torres’s plan to further racial equity goals in the office includes diversifying staff, advancing the conversation regarding racially-restrictive covenants, and executing programming with nonprofits to expand estate planning resources for communities of color. 

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District Attorney

Question for the candidates:

We asked San Francisco residents to tell us about the most pressing issues in their districts. According to survey responses we received, crime is a top concern. What are your priorities when it comes to addressing crime? Where would you focus your efforts in combating crime?

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John Hamasaki

Former San Francisco Police Commissioner John Hamasaki is a criminal defense attorney who helped write commission policies on investigations of domestic violence, and police interactions with LGBTQ+ and deaf individuals. Hamasaki, who is Asian, said being the victim of a hate crime prompted him to reconsider his relationship with policing and criminal justice. He is campaigning on the promise to be an independent DA who holds City Hall accountable and who addresses the root causes of crime instead of “war on drugs” and “tough on crime” policies. His priorities include promoting a universal income program to prevent crime, reducing drug sales while dismantling large-scale organizations, ending cash bail, tracking and prosecuting anti-Asian hate crimes, and cracking down on wage theft. Hamasaki was a vocal critic of the Boudin recall but hasn’t voted since the November 2020 election. He says he wants to bring back the restorative justice referrals program, and supports diversion programs for caregivers and misdemeanors. Hamasaki faced criticism in March 2021 for controversial tweets about teenagers and firearms that veered into the personal when discussing other supervisors. He has since apologized. 

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Photo of Brooke Jenkins
Brooke Jenkins

Current District Attorney Brooke Jenkins was appointed to the role by Mayor London Breed following the recall of Chesa Boudin. Jenkins, who left the attorney’s office in October 2021 to volunteer for the Boudin recall campaign, caused controversy when records revealed that she was paid over $100,000 to consult for several non-profits closely linked to the recall effort. One of several candidates pushing for stringent punishments for repeat offenders, Jenkins also supports enhanced penalties for drug dealers and increased use of the Community Justice Center court for those struggling with addiction. She has also expressed desire to work closely with police and said she will consider prosecuting some 16 and 17-year-olds as adults. Jenkins, who identifies as Black and Latina, decided in September to establish a vulnerable victims unit and new post-conviction review unit that differs from Boudin’s former unit and his separate innocence commission.  

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We invited candidates to share audio responses to questions that we formed using survey responses from the San Francisco community. Brooke Jenkins submitted a text response but did not provide an audio segment. Read Jenkins’s response.

Photo of Joe Alioto Veronese
Joe Alioto Veronese

Joe Alioto Veronese is a civil rights attorney of 22 years who has also served on San Francisco’s police and fire commissions, as a state criminal justice commissioner, and as a police officer and investigator under former San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan Veronese supports some criminal justice reforms, such as eliminating cash bail and opposes no-knock warrants, but also said he is open to gang enhancements, which are additional punishments tacked onto felony sentences due to alleged gang ties. These have been criticized for being racially-biased and criminalizing relationships between members of low-income Black and brown communities, and were largely eliminated under DA Boudin. Veronese stated that he would seek a City Charter amendment that would allow the District Attorney to appoint the Chief of Police instead of the Mayor. His top priorities include ending “the revolving door for violent criminals,” prosecuting property crimes and arresting fentanyl dealers. 

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We invited candidates to share audio responses to questions that we formed using survey responses from the San Francisco community. Joe Alioto Veronese submitted a text response but did not provide an audio segment. Read Alioto Veronese’s response.

Photo of Maurice Chenier
Maurice Chenier

Maurice Chenier has been practicing civil defense law since 1993 and once took out nomination papers to run against one of San Francisco’s most famous former district attorneys — Vice President Kamala Harris. Chenier, whose nephew was shot and killed in 2005, said he wants to focus on homelessness, petty thefts and break ins, as well as victims of homicides if elected. Though he has a sparse campaign presence, Chenier has made his position for tough-on-crimes policies clear, saying he is the “the most pro-police candidate there is,” and that “We need a definite commitment to punish crimes. And then rehabilitation, which I’m all for, can be applied by other agencies.” Though he said one’s voting history should be personal, he said, “in general, I vote for conservative measures, especially with respect to crime.” 

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Public Defender

Question for the candidates:

What will you do to ensure that clients of the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office receive equitable and timely defense? 

Photo of Rebecca Young
Rebecca Susan Feng Young

Rebecca Susan Feng Young is challenging her former boss for the first contested public defender race in San Francisco in 20 years. Young quit her role as deputy public defender last year and went to work as assistant district attorney for former DA Chesa Boudin. She was later fired by Brooke Jenkins. Critiquing the current office with “losing sight of its mission,” Young cited frustration with increased managerial staff and the promotion of inexperienced attorneys, which she said has led to skyrocketing caseloads for felony rotation attorneys. If elected, she said she will establish minimum experience qualifications for attorneys assuming leadership positions, institute requirements for carrying out serious or violent felony cases, balance caseloads for felony line attorneys, and train women of color for leadership roles, among other goals. Daughter of an immigrant from China, Young said that she would commit to increasing office diversity with trainings, and work with justice partners to eliminate racial inequality in outcomes. She said clients are being assigned burnt out, unprepared attorneys, and staff is becoming demoralized. She also highlighted her work under former Public Defender Jeff Adachi. 

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Mano Raju

Mano Raju has served as San Francisco’s Public Defender since 2019 and previously worked in the office as a deputy public defender. As public defender, Raju has spearheaded several efforts to further racial and economic equity, including a pilot program that increases jury diversity by compensating low-income jurors who otherwise would not be able to serve, a paid internship program for youth to invest in empowerment instead of incarceration, and an integrity unit to curb police, prosecutorial and judicial misconduct through access to public records. The son of Indian immigrants, Raju emphasized community care as an onus for running, and said if reelected he will continue to push for decarceration and the protection of those he serves from “cruel & ineffective tough-on-crime policies.” Raju sued San Francisco Superior Court during the COVID-19 pandemic due to delays that left people in jails awaiting trial for dozens and sometimes hundreds of days. Critics of Raju, including his opponent Rebecca Young, have said that policy efforts in the office have led to overworked, under-resourced attorneys who are distracted from their heavy caseloads. 

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BART Director, District 8

Question for the candidate:

In our survey of San Francisco residents, many respondents reported safety, access to public transit, and homelessness as the most pressing issues they face. If reelected, how do you plan on addressing these concerns as they fall under BART’s purview, especially given pandemic losses in revenue?

Photo of Janice Li
Janice Li

Having served on the board since 2018, Janice Li is seeking reelection for District 8 director for the multi-county Bay Area Rapid Transit system. Li, who was the first Asian American woman and first queer woman of color on BART’s board, also works at Chinese for Affirmative Action directing a coalition that advances the rights of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Throughout massive declines in BART ridership during the pandemic, Li advocated for federal financial assistance to balance BART’s budget, introduced the agency’s first low-income fare program and created an ambassador program that hired social workers to assist unarmed police officers in calls related to homelessness, mental health and drug addiction. Li has supported the development of affordable housing development on BART land. 

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We were unable to reach or did not receive either an audio or text response from Janice Li.

California Races

State Assembly, District 17

Question for the candidates:

We asked San Francisco residents to tell us about the most pressing issues in their districts. According to survey responses we received, homelessness and housing affordability are the top concerns citywide. If you are elected to the State Assembly, what do you plan to do about these issues?

Photo of David Campos
David Campos

David Campos stopped his campaign for this seat in April, though his name appears on the ballot.

Photo of Matt Haney
Matt Haney

Matt Haney is the current District 17 assemblymember, a role he took over in May following former Assemblymember David Chiu’s departure to serve as San Francisco’s city attorney. Before his current position, Haney was the supervisor in District 6, where he focused on policy related to mental health, affordable housing and homelessness. Haney’s goals include ending exclusionary zoning, building 100,000 units in San Francisco in the next 10 years, investing in mental health services to address the root causes of homelessness, and developing a state-level Overpaid Executive Tax modeled after a proposition he authored in San Francisco that levies a tax on companies with significant gaps between executives and lower-paid workers. 

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We were unable to reach or did not receive either an audio or text response from Matt Haney.


State Assembly, District 19

Question for the candidates:

We asked San Francisco residents to tell us about the most pressing issues in their districts. According to survey responses we received, homelessness and housing affordability are the top concerns citywide. If you are elected to the State Assembly, what do you plan to do about these issues?

Photo of Phil Ting
Phil Ting

Incumbent Assemblymember Phil Ting was first elected to this role in 2012, and currently sits as Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee. Prior to his election, Ting served as San Francisco’s Assessor-Record, where he helped clear a five-year assessment backlog that recovered $290 million in unpaid taxes. In his time in the Assembly, Ting has authored bills to increase access to CalGrant scholarships, strengthen handgun laws, and restore wetlands. As budget chair, he has also worked with Gov. Gavin Newsom and other legislators to distribute money from budget surpluses to Californians in the form of COVID-19 and inflation relief checks.  

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We invited candidates to share audio responses to questions that we formed using survey responses from the San Francisco community. Phil Ting submitted a text response but did not provide an audio segment. Read Ting’s response.

Photo of Karsten Weide
Karsten Weide

Karsten Weide is an industry analyst at IDC, a market research firm for information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology markets. Weide is an immigrant from Germany who said that his experiences with relatives in East Germany have turned him against socialism. If elected, Weidie wants to increase charges for repeat offenders and drug dealers, expand police department funding, and make other tough-on-crime policy changes. This includes his position that people struggling with homelessness and addiction should have to choose between rehabilitation and jail. To address the homelessness crisis, he also said that the emphasis should be on adding 4,000 more shelter beds instead of building more affordable housing.  

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We were unable to reach or did not receive either an audio or text response from Karsten Weide.


Board of Equalization, District 2

Question for the candidates:

How will you help county assessors’ offices that may be facing challenging assessment puzzles in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Photo of Sally J. Lieber
Sally J. Lieber

Former California Assemblymember Sally J. Lieber is branding herself as the “corporate-free candidate” in the race. During her time in the state Assembly, Lieber focused on issues related to economic opportunity, such as authoring legislation to increase California’s minimum wage and advocating for mortgage protections. She also worked on legislation to increase environmental protections and protections for survivors of sexual assault or other crimes. Lieber is pushing for a fair and equitable tax system that treats the diverse range of taxpayers with respect, offers increased transparency from the board, and ensures larger entities “pay their fair share” to provide the state with critical revenue for other departments. 

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We were unable to reach or did not receive either an audio or text response from Sally J. Lieber.

Photo of Peter Coe Verbica
Peter Coe Verbica

Peter Coe Verbica is the managing director at Silicon Private Wealth and Viant Capital, and has served as president of the California Congress of Republicans, as well as president of the South Peninsula Area Republican Coalition. If elected, Verbica said he will prioritize lowering taxes, encouraging the growth of Taxpayers’ Rights Advocates offices, and assisting the California County Tax Assessors with addressing backlogs as well as applying Proposition 19 in the most tax-friendly way possible. That bill was passed by voters in November, changing property tax benefits related to family inheritances as well as benefits for seniors, people with disabilities and people affected by natural disasters. 

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Order of Candidate Names Within Races

Wondering why we listed candidates’ names this way? California has been using the “randomized alphabet” to determine how candidates’ names appear on the ballot since 1975, a practice that began after placing names in alphabetical order on ballots was deemed unconstitutional. San Francisco has 31 versions of the ballot for this year’s elections — if you’re a resident and registered to vote, you’ll see a different assortment of races depending on where you live, and the placement of names within a particular race may appear in various orders. For races with multiple orderings, we chose to list candidate names as they appear on Ballot Type No. 1. You can learn more about this process here

California Ballot Measures

For the statewide ballot measures, we are sharing one-minute video summaries from our friends at CalMatters. We recommend the full CalMatters voter guide for information on statewide candidate races.

Proposition 1 — Constitutional Right to Reproductive Freedom — Legislative Constitutional Amendment

Proposition 26 — Allows In-Person Roulette, Dice Games, Sports Wagering on Tribal Lands — Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute

Proposition 27 — Allows Online and Mobile Sports Wagering Outside Tribal Lands — Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute

Proposition 28 — Provides Additional Funding for Arts and Music Education in Public Schools — Initiative Statute

Proposition 29 — Requires On-Site Licensed Medical Professional at Kidney Dialysis Clinics and Establishes Other State Requirements — Initiative Statute

Proposition 30 — Provides Funding for Programs to Reduce Air Pollution and Prevent Wildfires by Increasing Tax on Personal Income Over $2 Million — Initiative Statute

Proposition 31 — Referendum on 2020 Law That Would Prohibit the Retail Sale of Certain Flavored Tobacco Products

All California Propositions in One Video

CORRECTION (10/21/22): Supervisors Rafael Mandelman and Matt Dorsey both identify at LGBTQ+. An earlier version of Mandelman’s biography that appeared in this election guide incorrectly described him as the only current supervisor who identifies as LGBTQ+.

— You have reached the end of the election guide. —

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