Observations on San Francisco’s November 2008 election, part 2

November 10, 2008

More good stuff from the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association’s post-election analysis of the Nov. 4, 2008 election with Alex Clemens of Barbary Coast Consulting and David Latterman of Fall Line Analytics, plus a couple of my own comments (See part 1 of the observations here). This round includes Prop. 8, Chris Daly’s role as bogeyman, the next president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and Ron Dudum’s future:

Prop. 8 aftermath. The victory of California Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment withdrawing the right to civil marriage from gay men and women, has been deconstructed a million ways to Sunday already. Various analysts have offered their opinions: Prop. 8 won because African-American voters are more conservative on social issues than the electorate at large, and they came out in great numbers to vote for Barack Obama; or Obama is partially to blame because he wasn’t vocal enough about opposing Prop. 8 (and he said he was personally opposed to gay marriage); or San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom didn’t campaign against it actively enough; or Newsom was too visible and became a negative factor; or the anti-8 campaign just screwed up by being fractured in the beginning and missing out on key fundraising opportunities.

Whatever the explanation, both Clemens and Latterman said that support for gay marriage seems to be increasing by about one percentage point per year, and they expected to see the issue on the ballot again.

Clemens said he believed that the next time gay marriage appears on the ballot, supporters of gay marriage won’t rely on a paid-media campaign of television ads and mailers. Instead, they’ll do something like what the Obama campaign did with its vast pool of volunteers. That is, the campaign will be fought in the field, with supporters of gay marriage (probably including as many straight supporters of gay marriage as they can find) going door to door and talking with individual voters.

Alex Clemens, David Latterman and Gabriel Metcalf discuss the outcomes of the Nov. 4, 2008 election at SPUR.

Alex Clemens, David Latterman and Gabriel Metcalf discuss the outcomes of the Nov. 4, 2008 election at SPUR.

My own guess about the fate of gay marriage in California is that the legal challenges to Prop. 8 will go on so long that a measure seeking to undo it will hit the ballot before all those challenges are resolved. If that’s within two years, I’d bet the new anti-8 proposition will lose, but in just a few years longer a subsequent proposition spelling out a constitutional right to civil marriage for gay men and women will win. After that, a few measures seeking to replicate Prop. 8 will come up, but will lose, before supporters decide to direct their money elsewhere.

Regarding the impact the victory of Prop. 8 may have on Newsom’s ambitions to be governor of California, Clemens said that while it may have a negative effect now, a few years down the line it may be good for Newsom to be seen as the father of gay marriage in California. “Four years from now,” said Clemens, “it will be a badge of honor.”

Daly done as a demon? District 6 Supervisor Chris Daly’s days as an effective bogeyman for opponents such as the Apartment Association, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and others seeking to bring the city’s moderate and conservative voters to the polls may be done, according to Alex Clemens of Barbary Coast Consulting and David Latterman of Fall Line Analytics.

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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.”

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Taraval Street Fair 2007

October 27, 2007

Just got back from the first Taraval Street Fair, so deep in the Sandy Quarter of San Francisco you could almost hear the surf on Ocean Beach. Not a bad start for a new event, but not particularly exciting. Along with a decent coffeehouse, the establishment of a genuine common cultural event is one of my dearest hopes for the southwest corner of the Sunset District, so I look forward to next year’s fair. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom was there for a bit, but he took off before I got a chance to talk with him. Supervisor Carmen Chu, pictured below presenting a commendation to the Taraval-Parkside Merchants Association, was there as well. Best booth at the fair, though, was Young Punks, an outfit that makes sarcastic onesies. How could you not love that?

cchu

taravalfair


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