2012 San Francisco Endorsement Information
The endorsements on this list are NOT a complete list of endorsements. For a complete list see our endorsements page, or see the printer friendly version of our San Francisco Endorsements.
This page contains more information about some, but not all, of our endorsements.
Mar, Chiu, Rizzo, Campos, and Avalos for SF Supervisor
The Sierra Club endorses Eric Mar, David Chiu, John Rizzo, David Campos, and John Avalos for San Francisco supervisor. Four are incumbents with outstanding records for the city's environment, and the other, John Rizzo, has a distinguished record both as a City College trustee and a Sierra Club leader.
Eric Mar (District 1)
Supervisor Eric Mar has sponsored or co-sponsored numerous successful ordinances on energy and the environment including:
- banning smoking at farmers' markets;
- empowering installation of 25,000 solar panels at Sunset Reservoir;
- increasing incentives for low-income and non-profit applicants to install solar panels;
- requiring more recycled water for park irrigation;
- mandating a 20% reduction in the city's vehicle fleet and a gradual conversion to clean-air vehicles;
- updating green-building requirements.
The Group also joins Mar in opposing the demolition of the Park Merced garden apartments. The Sierra Club endorses Eric Mar for re-election.
David Chiu (District 3)
The Sierra Club endorses David Chiu for re-election as Supervisor.
Phone companies distribute 1,500,000 phone books in San Francisco each year. David's legislation to restrict distribution of unsolicited Yellow Pages directories saves tons of carbon-dioxide emissions and millions of dollars in recycling costs annually.
David has introduced legislation to fight Ellis Act evictions in District 3. Such evictions aid conversion of affordable housing into smaller numbers of more expensive units with more parking.
David is working to make it easier for developers to install on-site water-treatment systems, which allow them to recycle wastewater for use in toilets. He is also working to require owners of certain commercial buildings to install faucets for refilling reusable water bottles.
On the waterfront David has led the fight to stop the increased height limit of the 8 Washington development and worked to make sure that development projects favor the city and the port.
David's legislation has greened nail salons by creating a first-of-its-kind program to encourage phasing out of toxic chemicals in nail polishes.
Vote for David Chiu.
John Rizzo (District 5)
John Rizzo has a proven record of environmental activism and political experience.
A long-standing Sierra Club activist, John is currently president of the Board of City College. As a Community College trustee, John has:
- created new green-jobs training programs for disadvantaged populations, seeking public and private funding;
- advocated for new bicycle facilities;
- supported and promoted the collection of waste in separate compost, recycling, and trash bins.
Citywide, John has been a strong advocate for protecting parks and open space from overdevelopment, as well as for traffic calming and livable streets.
John has also worked for many years on energy policy. He has been an effective advocate for GoSolarSF (see August-September, page 4) and for a more-sustainable energy policy.
John will be a strong environmental voice on the Board of Supervisors.
David Campos (District 9)
Supervisor David Campos has become the driving force behind CleanPowerSF, the landmark program that will offer San Franciscans the choice of 100% clean energy and create local green jobs.
Campos led efforts to provide free Muni passes for low-income youth, especially important in light of recent and additional planned drastic cuts to school buses. This program would help keep families of all income levels living in the city rather than moving to auto-dependent suburbs.
Campos voted against the increased height limit of the 8 Washington development and against demolition of the Park Merced garden apartments.
Campos is a leader on keeping our parks open and accessible.
Help re-elect David Campos.
John Avalos (District 11)
In four years on the Board of Supervisors, John Avalos has strongly and consistently supported local clean energy, helped protect low-income communities from being poisoned by toxic waste sites, and introduced legislation to save endangered species and improve public access at Sharp Park (see http://theyodeler.org/?p=2406).
John often bicycles to work and is responsible for legislation allowing employees to bring bicycles inside commercial buildings. He is currently working on legislation to develop transit-oriented affordable housing near a local BART station. He is a visible and recognized leader on environmental issues.
Help the Sierra Club elect these leaders. Projects include phoning and going door to door. To volunteer, contact Bay Chapter conservation organizer Gwynn Mackellen at: firstname.lastname@example.org or (510)848-0800, ext. 304.
Why is the Sierra Club neutral on San Francisco Prop B?
The Sierra Club, with deep regrets, is neutral on Prop B, the Clean and Safe Neighborhood Bond Act.
This measure is a general-obligation bond to fund capital projects for parks and port lands. It proposes to fund further renovations of neighborhood parks and of waterfront parks connected to the Blue-Greenway, and--thanks in large measure to the activism of Sierra Club volunteers--would provide substantial funds for much-needed environmental projects in Golden Gate and McLaren Parks. Generally the Sierra Club supports bond measures which benefit parks and open space. The Club was very supportive of the 2008 Neighborhood Act, with its funding for the Trails Program.
This year, however, we have strong reservations about supporting the park bond.
- the bond contains too little for nature and habitat restoration, and is instead overly weighted towards large hardscape projects;
- the projects targeted for environmental purposes are ill-defined, and the text offers little assurance that the money would actually be spent on environmental projects;
- the Club for some time has worried that the Recreation and Parks Department (RPD) favors commercialization of the parks rather than open public access. We oppose numerous major capital projects RPD is proposing, including the proposed re-build of an 18-link golf course in Sharp Park, new roads and structures in the Arboretum (see November-December 2011, page 6), and a new industrial recreational facility proposed for the West End of Golden Gate Park (see August-September Yodeler, page 7)--this last partially funded through previously approved bond monies.
For all these reasons, the Club can not support another capital bond measure at this time.
The Sierra Club remains neutral on Prop B.
Support Measure C for affordable housing in San Francisco
The Sierra Club urges San Francisco voters to approve Measure C.
Affordable housing is badly needed in San Francisco. Without it, lower- and middle- income workers are forced to live in less-expensive housing farther away from jobs, transit, and services, and often end up driving long distances to work (with adverse consequences for air quality and the climate in general). Especially since the dissolution of redevelopment agencies, other funding streams are not available for producing affordable housing or for housing-assistance programs.
Measure C would amend the city charter to create a Housing Trust Fund that would support development of several thousand new permanently affordable rental homes.
The San Francisco Bay Chapter of the Sierra Club, in consultation with Loma Prieta Chapter, has taken a neutral position on San Francisco Ballot Initiative Measure F: “The Water and Environment Plan”. That measure would set aside $8 million and create a task force to study the draining of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir as well as mandate specific water conservation initiatives.
The Sierra Club, on historic principle, is in favor of the goal of restoring Hetch Hetchy Valley to its original splendor within Yosemite National Park. John Muir, a Sierra Club founder, described the Hetch Hetchy Valley as "one of nature's rarest and most precious mountain temples." Muir led an unsuccessful attempt to prevent the construction of O'Shaughnessy Dam, a battle he lost in 1913 with the passage of the Raker Act.
The San Francisco Bay Chapter arrived at its neutral position on Measure F after extensive dialogue with the Sierra Club chapters covering areas that would also be affected by the initiative, including the communities of San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Alameda Counties that depend on the San Francisco Regional Water System.
“We are uncertain whether the mandates of Proposition F clearly serve the needs of the entire water system”, said Rebecca Evans the chair of the San Francisco Group. “If proposition F passes, we will work with the Task Force to make sure these concerns are addressed. We will also continue to work with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to create an increasingly sustainable water system, as well as support the long-term vision of a restored Hetch Hetchy Valley”.
Vote no on 31
Prop 31 is 8,000 words of well-intentioned but muddled tinkering with the state budget process. It would allow local government to overrule important state regulations, and it would further complicate legislative decision-making.
Vote no on Proposition 32, the "Billionaires’ Bill of Rights"
Prop 32 masquerades as campaign-finance reform for both corporations and labor unions, but actually would cripple political action by environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club and by organized labor, with only minor limitations on business.
It would prohibit use of payroll deductions to collect “political funds”. This apparently even-handed restriction is grossly discriminatory, since unions get almost all of their funds through payroll deductions, and businesses almost none. Furthermore Prop 32 exempts common organizational structures such as LLCs, partnerships, real-estate trusts, venture capitalists, land developers, and law firms.
Prop 32 defines public-employee unions as “government contractors”, forbids them from attempting to influence any government agency with which they have dealings, and extends that restriction to political-action committees of any membership organization seeking stronger civil-rights or environmental protections, such as the Sierra Club.
Vote No on Proposition 32.
Vote yes on Prop 37
Proposition 37, the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act, mandates labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to give Californians the right to choose what we put in our bodies and feed to our children.
The sale of GMO-containing products, unlabeled and without proof of safety, is essentially the largest ongoing science experiment in history, conducted without the consent of the experimental subjects, or any way to track possible health effects. Concerns are growing about the results of GMO cultivation--dramatic increases in pesticide use, impacts on soil fertility, and the creation of super-weeds. Cross-contamination by genetically engineered pollen is a direct threat to organic farming.
The lobbying power of the biotech industry has blocked all previous GMO-labeling efforts. Prop 37 gives voters a way around entrenched economic interests. This is an opportunity to lead the way for the nation on this critical environmental and human-health issue.
Vote yes on Prop 39 for clean-energy jobs
Prop 39, the California Clean Energy Jobs Act, will require multi-state companies doing business in California to pay taxes based on in-state sales. This change recover $1 billion a year in lost revenues, providing increased increased funding to vital state programs--including the environment.
In addition, for the first five years, Prop 39 dedicates a portion of the new revenues to energy-efficiency programs which will create jobs and reduce the state’s long-term energy costs. This new investment will generate 20,000 to 30,000 new construction-related jobs with direct investment in energy-efficiency and clean-energy projects.
For more information on Prop 39, visit: www.YesonProp39.com
Obama for president
The Sierra Club has endorsed President Barack Obama for re-election in 2012. Some of our many reasons include:
- historic fuel-efficiency standards;
- limits on toxic mercury emissions;
- rejection of a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline;
- ban on uranium mining at the Grand Canyon;
- appointment of Lisa Jackson as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and strong support of the EPA;
- quick reversal of many of the disastrous environmental policies of the previous administration; and
- standing between intractable anti-environment forces in Congress and some of our most critical environmental protections.
We urge all readers to lend a hand in ensuring that President Obama is reelected in November.