San Francisco election results analyzed

November 12, 2007

San Francisco is still counting votes from last week’s municipal election, but this afternoon two veteran political observers will review and analyze the results so far in a lunchtime event near Union Square.

At 12:30 today, Monday, Nov. 12, David Latterman of Fall Line Analytics and political consultant Jim Stearns of Stearns Consulting will speak at a forum at the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research offices, 312 Sutter St. at Grant, fifth floor. Stearns has steered a number of successful campaigns in and around San Francisco, and Latterman is an astute analyst who can translate statistics into meaning. It should be an interesting hour.

This SPUR event is free for members and $5 for nonmembers.


Election thoughts and Prop. F blight

November 6, 2007

Well, a combination of personal and professional obligations over the past two weeks kept me from writing as extensively ahead of San Francisco’s November election as I would have liked.

In fact, it turns out that Proposition E is the only fall ballot measure I was able to write about in advance. That’s kind of funny, because it’s the one of the bunch I think is least relevant to the quality of life and governance in San Francisco. But that’s life, I suppose. Go ahead and plan, but don’t be surprised at how different the outcome looks from what you wanted.

A side note on Proposition F. Someone has been sticking up campaign posters for Proposition F on public property on the west side of San Francisco. The signs started popping up a week or two ago, and they all have a similar appearance: They all sport a jaggedly cut edge, as if someone with an unsteady hand had cut them quickly with scissorspropF_sign from a larger piece of card stock, they all are affixed crudely with gray duct tape, they all appear on public property or on street fixtures in the public right-of-way, they all are taped up low enough that the person who put them up probably was less than 6 feet tall and probably wasn’t using a ladder. And one more thing: None of them bear any indication of who paid for them. They do have a printers’ union bug and the number “317,” but no committee ID number or any other identifying information.

I found these posters on a light pole in the median of Sunset Boulevard, on the north side of the west end of the Sloat Boulevard overpass over Sunset, on the south side of the central support of the Sloat Boulevard overpass, on a utility box in the median of Sloat Boulevard a few blocks west of 19th Avenue, on part of the red-light camera apparatus on the northeast corner of Sloat Boulevard and 19th Avenue, on a utility box at the same corner, and in Glen Park near the BART station.

I’ve noticed a welcome reduction in the number of campaign signs posted in public places this season (there’s a new rule regulating posting on public property), but some supporter of Proposition F apparently decided to make an exception. I suppose I should be happy they aren’t movie-ad posters affixed with wheat paste, but it looks like blight to me anyway.

Proposition E: “Question Time”

October 31, 2007

Requiring Mayor to Appear Monthly at a Board of Supervisors Meeting

Proposition E would amend the San Francisco City Charter to require the mayor to appear in person at one regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors per month.

This proposal differs from a similar measure voters approved in November 2006. That measure was a nonbinding policy statement suggesting that the mayor should pop in on a board meeting now and then, but Proposition E would add a monthly Board of Supervisors appearance to the duties legally required of the mayor under the charter.

The purpose of that appearance, according to the language of the measure, is for the mayor to “engage in formal policy discussions with members of the board.”

Read the rest of this entry »

To do: Wednesday, Oct. 24

October 24, 2007

High-speed rail recommendations: The Metropolitan Transportation Commission is scheduled to vote this morning on a committee recommendation for a dual-route high-speed rail system connecting the Bay Area and Southern California. The meeting starts at 10:05 a.m.
Metropolitan Transportation Commission, 101 Eighth St., Oakland, Calif., 510.817.5757.

Agenda (look for item 9a)

If you can’t make the meeting, listen to the live audiocast here on the MTC’s RealMedia stream — but note that the link will function only when the event starts, and meetings don’t always start on time.

A group of rail-transportation advocates and environmentalists plan to protest before the meeting, apparently because the MTC would include the Pacheco Pass alignment (roughly near Gilroy) as part of its recommendation.

Geek out with SFDOE: The San Francisco Department of Elections holds an open house today starting at 3:30 p.m. to explain how it will conduct the upcoming election. Room 48, in the basement of City Hall. If you go, skip the elevator and find the stairs. As you descend into the flourescent-lit, linoleum-paved underbelly of city government, note how rounded the white marble steps are, and imagine the number of footsteps of politicians, lobbyists, power brokers and bureaucrats it must have taken to wear them down so well.

Ballots and Brews: The San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association hosts a discussion of the measures on S.F.’s November ballot, starting at 5:30 p.m. SPUR’s web site lists staff members and SPUR committee members as the speakers, but I understand that one of the city’s better “quantitative market research” analysts and a sharp observer of local politics probably will be there, too. If you’re behind on your homework as a voter, this is a great way to relax with a beer after work and learn something at the same time. This is an event of SPUR’s “Young Urbanists” membership group, targeted at people younger than 40, but they don’t turn older people away.

Ballots and Brews, 312 Sutter St., Fifth Floor.

Party with Bush: While it’s perhaps not as interesting as a Camp David kegger with Dubya, there is indeed a party with a Bush in San Francisco tonight. It’s the Pacific Research Institute‘s annual fund-raising dinner, and the president’s brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, is among the expected guests at the libertarian-minded think tank’s gala, which starts at 6 p.m.

PRI Annual Gala Dinner, Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 600 Stockton St., San Francisco.

Barry Bonds speaks: Barry Bonds in conversation with Ray Taliaferro of KGO radio at 7 p.m. at Hotel Nikko. An event of the Commonwealth Club.

Western SoMA plan: The Western SoMA Citizens Planning Task Force discusses the development of a Western SoMA  Community Plan — a document to guide the future zoning and physical development of San Francisco’s western South of Market Area. The meeting is at 7 p.m. at Bessie Carmichael Elementary School, 375 Seventh St., San Francisco.