November meetup: Election recap with Corey Cook
Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:00:00 pm

On November 20, San Francisco for Democracy, in association with the Noe Valley Democrats and a number of other clubs, welcomed Dr Corey Cook to give us his analysis of the November election.  Dr Cook teaches Political Science at USF, and is often featured on TV and other media for his expertise in local elections.

Cook informed us that nationally, the Republicans took 9 Senate and 12 House seats, the worst Democratic losses since 1928. They also added three governorships and established supermajorities in 17 states.

Fundamentals driving the election included a precipitous decline in Presidential and Democratic approval since 2012, slow economic growth, “strategic challenges,” and the fundraising differential. Democrats were generally outspent, and outside expenditures played a major role everywhere, with seven House races involving over $10 million in campaign spending.  According to exit polls, presidential approval was identical to 2010's terrible numbers. But the biggest factor was the turnout gap, as the Democratic coalition depends on those least likely to show up – non-”whites” and younger voters.


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Endorsements for November 4 Election
Sat Sep 6, 2014 9:00:00 pm

along with link to videos, ballot measure info, and candidate questionnaires, may be found on the PAC page.  This is rigamarole we have to do for legal reasons.


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Bad Week for Democracy in CA – Will Democrats Make it Worse?
Tue Aug 12, 2014 11:14:00 pm

This week the California Supreme Court threw Proposition 49 off the ballot, denying Californians the opportunity to advise Congress and their State legislators to overturn the US Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United decision. But this Thursday, something even worse could happen.  In response to SEIU California and the California Teachers Association’s surprising opposition to SB 52, the California DISCLOSE Act, California Democrats may actually kill this overwhelmingly popular bill.

Killing SB 52 would be an outrageous repudiation of everything the Democratic Party and its activists stand for. Hundreds of organizations endorse SB 52, and only 3 oppose it: SEIU CA, CTA, and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.


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June membership meeting
Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:15:00 am

The June 12 membership meeting blended sausagemaking with environmental issues.

David LattermanFirst up was Fall Line Analytics consultant and USF professor David Latterman, addressing what the June 3 election may tell us about the "state of the city."  Latterman disputes that the success of Prop B indicates an increasingly negative attitude among San Franciscans toward development in general.  Pointing to other successful waterfront height ballots in the past, he says that the failure of the 8 Washington initiative and success of June's Proposition B probably say more about San Franciscans' aversion to tall waterfront buildings than anything else.

With respect to the Campos-Chiu race (Latterman works for the Chiu campaign), he says that Campos “did what he had to” by “going negative,” but is going to have to pick up a lot of new voters in September to have a chance, since Chiu not only won by four points in June but is likely to pick up the Republican eight percent of the electorate in the Fall.

Latterman still supports the top two primary for "encouraging bipartisanship," and says that the distortions it caused in the Controller and Secretary of State races were exceptions, and probably won't happen again.  We'll see; one thing we know for a fact is that it puts third parties out of business.


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May Meetup: The Housing Crisis
Sat May 17, 2014 6:55:00 am
Tim Colen, Sara Shortt, Calvin Welch, Brad Paul

News flash!  In the midst of a "housing crisis," we are building investment properties for Saudi princes, Russian mobsters, and investment banks instead of housing.  Film at 11 (or video here). 

Postscript: the May 3 paper Chronicle featured an interview with a gentleman who has lived at One Rincon for a number of years now with no neighbors either on his floor or the floors above or below.  The Chron, of course, attributed this phenomenon to the "economic downturn."


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April Meetup: NSA Surveillance / A.L.E.C.
Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:11:00 pm
Rainey Reitman and Chris Conley

Rainey Reitman of Electronic Frontier Foundation and Chris Conley of the ACLU gave us an overview of issues surrounding the NSA's surveillance program, and Common Cause's Sarah Swanbeck discussed the American Legal Exchange Council, and its California collaborators.  Watch video here.


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Honored Not Dead
Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:01:00 pm

San Francisco for Democracy would like to take this and every opportunity to show off the four Certificates of Honor we received at our tenth anniversary party.  We will be hanging these on our office wall as soon as we have an office or a wall.


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June 2014 Endorsements
Sat Apr 12, 2014 2:39:00 am

are on the PAC page.


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Board of Supervisors: democracy & public accountability must be restored to City College
Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:17:00 pm

This week the SF Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a strongly worded resolution directed to the State Chancellor of the Community College system, Brice Harris, urging him to bring democratic decision-making, transparency and public accountability back to CCSF by restoring the duly elected Board of Trustees.    Sponsored by Supervisor David Campos and co-sponsored by Supervisors Mar, Avalos, Wiener, Yee, Kim, Chiu and Cohen, the resolution was ultimately approved by all 11 supervisors at their March 25th meeting.

While much criticism has been directed toward the ACCJC which issued its de-accreditation order against CCSF last July, this resolution focuses on poor decision making and lack of public accountability by the current all-powerful boss of the college,  Bob Agrella.   Originally invited to campus as a Special Trustee by the Board of Trustees in 2012, Agrella was subsequently elevated to the role of “Special Trustee with Extraordinary Powers” by the State Chancellor and Board of Governors in July, 2013, which is when the duly elected Board was suspended.


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Night of the Two Davids (annual party)
Sun Feb 2, 2014 11:32:00 pm
"so after close inspection, the first Harvard lawyer declared them to be deer tracks. The second Harvard lawyer disagreed, saying they must be elk tracks..."

San Francisco for Democracy held its tenth annual membership party on January 25.  Click here for the photos...


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High Voter Turnout And Civic Health
by Peter Wong, Fri Oct 31, 2014 3:14:00 am

Ed Kilgore offers a timely blog post for The Washington Monthly relevant to the upcoming Election Day.  He takes issue with the accepted wisdom among Republicans and the media that those who vote despite a lack of "enthusiasm" are somehow committing fraud against the electoral process. 


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Wizard of ACCJC, Dr. Barbara Beno, testifies in SF Superior Court
by Tom Brown, Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:40:03 pm

The all-powerful Dr. Beno, Wizard of the ACCJC, testified in court on Tuesday and Wednesday about her role in the decision making process that led to ACCJC’s termination order for City College of San Francisco effective July 31, 2014. 

On Tuesday, City College supporters attending the trial were thrilled to hear Wizard Beno (who goes by the title “President”) make several admissions about how she intervened in the evaluation process, thereby contributing to evidence that her agency was guilty of unfair business practices.

Prior to receiving Beno’s 2012 sanction letter, City College was fully accredited without sanction.  The visiting evaluation team had submitted a detailed report which recommended, for the first time, that City College be placed on “probation’. But the report went through an "editing" process in Beno’s shop on its way to the Commissoners who alone have the authority to issue sanctions.  At that point the probation recommendation had morphed into  “show cause”, a severe sanction which the Commision approved at one of its closed door meetings.


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Tom Ammiano ties the knot at Delancey Street Celebration
by Tom Brown, Sun Sep 21, 2014 3:15:37 pm

Assemblyman Tom Ammiano's career of public service was celebrated on September 20, 2014 at Delancey Street.  MC'd by Harvey Milk's Tom Temprano, the celebration began with songs of love from Jazz singer Paula West, followed by a video featuring classic clips from Tom's early public life. 

Then to the surprise of many, Tom tied the knot with his partner Carolis Deal in a traditional wedding  ceremony officiated by Harry Britt.


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Board of Supervisors unanimously endorses carbon fee and dividend
by Jeff Whittington, Tue Sep 9, 2014 9:50:00 pm
Dave Massen addresses Supervisors prior to vote

At 5:47 p.m. on Tuesday, September 9, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to urge the U.S. Congress to enact a revenue neutral carbon tax.  The resolution was authored & lobbied for by San Francisco CCL member Andrew Kingsdale.  Sponsoring Supervisor Avalos' press release follows the fold.


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Who threw the spitball? We'll never know
by Joni Eisen, Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:04:00 pm

“SB 52, which requires disclosure of the top funders behind ballot measures, will not move forward this legislative session,” begins the press release today (Aug. 29) from Senator Mark Leno, author of the bill. Ever since the Assembly Appropriations Committee voted to pass SB 52 August 14, it’s been a fight to the death. The ones who did the killing were Democrats - not Republicans. They withdrew their support of a major priority of their party and most of their constituents, at the bidding of Big Labor - not Big Pharma, Big Ag or Big Oil.

I would have loved to have seen exactly who the most lily-livered cowards were - but it was not to be. If the California DISCLOSE Act had come up for its originally-expected vote on the floor of the Assembly Saturday, we all could have seen the most craven slaves to Big Labor’s money exposed.


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Unions, Democrats STILL trying to kill disclosure in California
by Jeff Whittington, Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:03:00 pm

Perhaps you heard last week that SB52, the California DISCLOSE Act, passed out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee with a unanimous Democratic vote. Within two hours, three of those Democrats had heard from their union masters and changed their vote - Jimmy Gomez of Los Angeles and Bill Quirk of Hayward changed theirs to "abstained," while Sebastian Ridley-Thomas of Culver City changed his vote to a flat-out "no."  By the odd rules of the Appropriations Committee, an abstention has exactly the same effect as a "no" vote.


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Shocking Opposition to California DISCLOSE Act
by Joni Eisen, Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:10:00 am

SEIU California officially opposes the DISCLOSE Act. They are specifically against the most important thing the DISCLOSE Act will do - mandate the clear and unambiguous disclosure, on political ads, of the top three funders of those ads. Why? What do they want to hide?  

This makes no sense. Californians overwhelmingly want to know who is really paying for political ads, and SEIU represents thousands of ordinary working people whose voices are being drowned out by the flood of dark money spent on elections by wealthy individuals and corporations.* Disclosure is an official part of the CA Democratic Party platform.  


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Mark Ruffalo & Maureen Taylor join water shutoff protests in Detroit
by Tom Brown, Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:20:20 pm

Even though notables such as Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden spoke at this year's Netroots Nation convention in Detroit,  the highlight for me was Friday's protest against water shutfoffs by the City of Detroit.   The State of Michigan now has 17 "emergency managers" who, like CCSF's special trustee with extraordinary powers,  pursue a privatization agenda to satisfy corporate demands.  

Actor Mark Ruffalo and Michigan Welfare Rights leader Maureen Taylor were at the head of the march shouting "Water is a Human Right!"  (see video below).  I didn't know who "Mark Ruffalo" was until, on Friday, he just showed up on stage after the Elizabeth Warren speech to invite us all to join him at the lunchtime rally. 


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SF4D members attend CCL International Conference
by Jeff Whittington, Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:20:00 am
with CA 07 Rep Ami Bera

Over June 22-25, Citizens' Climate Lobby held its fifth annual international conference at the Omni Shoreham in Washington, DC..  About 600 volunteers from nearly every state visited approximately 500 congressional offices, the closest we've yet come to hitting them all.  Since the number of participants has been doubling each year, we expect 1200 attendees in 2015.


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Eventful week in the battle to save CCSF (and other California community colleges)
by Tom Brown, Sun Jun 8, 2014 11:10:23 am

The ACCJC's intransigence in sticking firm to its arbitrary closure deadline for City College of San Francisco may be on the wane.  This week ACCJC President Barbara Beno held a mostly secretive 3 day meeting in a hotel near the state capitol.  She also met with State Chancellor Brice Harris and CCSF Chancellor Art Tyler on their demand that she send a new evaluation team to City College to take into account the work that has been done over the last year.

On Friday, Beno received a scathing letter from Congresswoman Jackie Speier who said:  "I believe the actions of the ACCJC to date threaten not only the existence of City College but also the ACCJC itself."  And even if Beno remains firm, she very well may be forced to back down as a result of the court action taken against her agency by SF City Attorney Dennis Herrera. The trial is set for October. 

There's increasing awareness among politicians and educational leaders across the state that the ACCJC's unfair and secretive practices, combined with numerous conflicts of interest, must come to an end.  On Friday, community college students, faculty and staff came from Los Angeles,  San Diego, Fresno,  San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco and elsewhere to protest against Beno's unfair practices.

Here's a short (15 minute) video I did of the event:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsLTUExAI2g


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Event:

An Evening with Tom Ammiano
Thursday, Dec 11
 First Unitarian Universalist Church, 1187 Franklin, 7:00pm
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