tv [untitled] October 9, 2011 1:30pm-2:00pm PDT
from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. >> i am columnist who writes about san francisco politics, and a member of the san francisco league of women voters. i am here with the league and sfgtv to discuss proposition e on this november's ballot. ♪ propositioned e would allow the board of supervisors and the mayor to amend or repeal
initiative ordinances and declarations of policies that are passed by the voters beginning in january 2012. initiative ordinances and declarations of policy are the only kinds of measures that would be subject to proposition e. for three years after a particular measure takes effect, the board and the mayor may not amend or repeal it. after the first three years, the board and the mayor may amend or repeal the measure with a two- thirds vote at the board. after seven years, the word and the mayor may amend or repeal the measure with a simple majority vote to the board. proposition e will not allow the border mayor to amend or repeal. measures that the voters approved before january 1, 2012, or measures that the voters place on the ballot by collecting required signatures or charter amendments and bond measures. ♪ i am here with supervisor wiener, a member of the san francisco board of supervisors, who is also a sponsor of proposition e.
thank you for being here. why should we vote for proposition e? >> it is very basic reform of our ballot measure system but our system in san francisco in california as a whole is broken. they're too many things that belong to the ballot. other measures that on the ballot that should be handled at city hall, that we should not be throwing at the voters. and then, one measure they are passing on the ballot, they have a rule in california, we're the only state in the country that does this come aware that measure can never ever be touched, not even moving one comma after 30 years without going back to the voters for another ballot measure. it is a completely rigid system that does not benefit anyone. it is bad government. prop e would basically balance that out a little bit by saying that for ordinances that are put on the ballot by the board or the mayor does not in any way affect signature drive ballot measures.
or the mayor put an ordinance on the ballot that, for the first three years, it would be untouchable by the board. for the next four years, the board could amend the measure with a supermajority two-thirds vote. after seven years, the board could read the legislation like any other piece of legislation, subject to the legislative process that is how it is done in every other state that allows voters to legislate, except california, and i think it is just a good government measure. >> can you think of an intense where, had we had proposition e in place, the voters would have not had to go back and vote again on some cleanup legislation? >> yes, if you look at prop f right now, we're asking the voters, among other things, should political consultants have to file with paper or electronically? should they have to file every month or every three months? but the most voters, if you ask them, would say that should not
be on the ballot. that is the kind of legislation that should be handled by the board, but we have to put it on the ballot because the boaters that the original ordinance. i also have been working with both tenant and landlord advocates to clean up the rent control ordinance so that it reflects accurately what courts have ruled. they have started on some of our provisions, but the municipal code is inaccurate because it does not reflect those rulings. i regret that it is to try to come up with cleanup legislation, and it turns out we cannot do it because most of those provisions were enacted by the voters. even if a court strikes something done, we cannot even clean up the municipal code to reflect that without going back to the voter. that does not make sense. >> what do you say to voters who are nervous about giving the power over to amend something that have passed at the ballot to politicians, to members of the board, and to the mayor? >> first, prop e only affects a
small percentage of ballot measures. italy impacts, at most, 20% of ballot measures. 80% are completely off limits. it also does not in any way allow us to minnesota measures that were placed on the ballot -- allow us to replace measures that were placed on the ballot by voters. what it does do is say that when the mayor or the board put something on, we need to have some flexibility after the fact. a lot of times, we see the board of supervisors but measures on the ballot that are not well thought through, that have come out of no public process, with no prior scrutiny, and then the >> if they vote yes, they shouldn't be amended again, it goes back to the voters. in reality, it's too difficult to run a campaign for it. this is a very, very limited,
very, very modest good government measure that really does continue to respect the will of the voters. >> thank you very much. up next, we'll hear from an opponent of proposition h. i'm here with eileen hanson, a former member of the san francisco ethics commission where she served for six years. ms. hanson is an opponent to proposition e. >> why should voters vote on proposition sthench >> it takes away the rights of voters. it's a perfect example of the voters able to have their say and vote and proposition e is a measure that once the voters have spoken, amend that decision or repeal that decision. so this measure actually undoes what the voters have said and that's not appropriate, in my view, or in the view of many, many, many who have come forward to oppose proposition
everyone. >> persons who are in favor of proposition everyone argue that it's limited in scope. it doesn't apply to amendments put on the ballot of voters signatures and it's 20% of the measures passed by the voters. how do you address that snitch >> it applies to e issue that was put on the ballot by the mayor or board of supervisors. while it doesn't apply to measures put on the ballot through signature gathering, it applies to very important measures that came to us through our elected officials. again, once the voters have spoken, regardless of how the measure ended up on the ballot, who are we as elected officials, anyone who is elected to undo the voice of the voters. i believe that democracy is about the voters' choice. once the voters have spoken, that is the end of the story. there are plenty of measures that i personally disagree with
that i wish haven't passed and what i do need to do about it? i need to work to get those measures to come back to the ballot. i need to work my elected officials. i do not expect my elected officials to undo what the majority of voters have said. >> certain officials who have endorsed proposition e said they have done it to voter concerns and anger to have vote for so many propositions over and over. the idea behind the proposition is to allow them to clean up certain propositions so we can cut back on the frequency and the number of ballot propositions that voters have to contend with. how do you address that issue? >> certainly, some people are concerned that our ballot in california is too long. i have not heard any good government advocates say that. i actually haven't heard many individuals or haven't seen any organized opposition to our ballot, so i'm concerned that this measure comes really not from voter advocacy or voter
concern, but comes from people who believe that the voters should not be the folks who have the ultimate choice. and to me, that's arrogant. it's patronizing to voters. the message about proposition e sponsored by supervisor weiner as well as f sponsored by supervisor weiner both come from the place saying that elected officials know better than the voters. whether there is too much on our ballot or not, the voters, it seems to me, should not be talked down to, should not be told that they need a measure like this because as supervisor weiner has said, the voters go to the ballot. it's a complicated ballot. they don't know how to understand the ballot. there hasn't been a lot of vetting of the issues. there hasn't been a lot of discussion before things get to the ballot. so the poor voters get to the voting booth and don't know what to do and it's not fair to
them. >> i believe that the voters particularly our voters in san francisco are very educated, are very knowledgeable. they believe in democracy. they want to vote on measures and they don't want to be told that they're not smart enough to figure out what to vote for and what to vote against. so once they have made that choice, we need to respect that choice. >> thank you. >> thank you. we hope you found that informative. for more information about proposition e and the other ballot arguments, please visit the website of the league of women voters at sfvotes.org. remember early voting is available monday through friday at city hall, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. if you don't vote early, be sure to vote on tuesday, november 8.
>> prop f we change the registration, filing, and fee requirements for campaign consultants. under the city's campaign consultants ordinance, campaign consultants working on local campaigns must register with the city's ethics commission and file periodic reports. prop f would redefine a campaign consultant to mean any individual who earns at least $5,000, instead of the current $1,000, for campaign consulting services within a 12-month time span. require that campaign consultants file reports monthly, instead of quarterly reports. other is the commission to require electronic filing of all required information instead of paper reports. and finally, and the fees payable to the city for they no longer depend on the number of clients. it would also allow the city to change any of the campaign
consultant ordinances requirements without further voter approval. ♪ ♪ impossible. announcer: when you open a book, you can explore new lands... [bird screeches] meet new friends, and discover new adventures. there are amazing possibilities when you open your mind to reading. [roar] you can log onto he library of congress website and let the journey begin. >> i'm melissa griffin, i write about city politics and a member of the league of women voters.
i am here to discuss a proposition g, voters will be faced with on november's valid. -- ballot. proposition g would increase the sales tax rate by 0.5% for a total tax rate of 9%. this would only happen if the state does not increase the sales tax by either 1% before november 30, 2011 or 0.75% before january 1, 2015. the city would pass a tax increase to pay for public safety programs and the other half for programs for children and seniors. the city will start collecting this additional sales tax on april 1, 2012. it would apply for 10 years. prior to july 1, san francisco
had the sales tax rate of 9.5%. the city decreased by 1% when it allowed to expire. san francisco only gets a fraction of this 8.5% sales tax. 7.25% goes to this day, the city receiving about 1%. -- goes to the state, the city receiving about 1%. i'm here with -- thank you for being here. please tell us why you are in favor of proposition g. >> i believe the low income children, seniors, firefighters, and police officers are worth half a cent. it will restore funding that
was cut from these programs. proposition g " restore $30 million so the children will have a better start in life and a better chance of succeeding in high school and college. >> san francisco has one of the highest sales tax rates. are you concerned that the passage will affect our tourism or adversely affect the economics? >> i am not concerned with that at all. tourism accounts for 40% of the revenue. it will still be lower than the sales tax prior to july 1 of this year. >> my understanding is that it will be eliminated if the state raise the sales tax within the next year. in light of that, palace of the city is able to plan, budget,
and expect those revenues if it passes. >> that's a good question. it is about local control. they can decide where their tax dollars go, in light of lack of leadership of politicians in sacramento, but we are not counting on that type of leadership occurring any time soon. it would be helpful that the politicians will listen to the need of san franciscans and act accordingly when they enacted the next sales tax. up next, we will be talking with an opponent. i'm here with howard, former chairman of the san francisco republican party. he is an opponent of proposition g. thank you for being here. why should voters vote against
proposition g? >> in this age of high unemployment and high high unemployment -- of high unemployment, a regressive sales tax will hurt everyone. just to give you an idea, in 2000, the budget was $4.2 billion. in 2010, the 2011 budget is 6.8 $3 billion. that is more than the budget -- $6.83 billion. that is more than the budget of any other states. if you look at the way city hall is, there is over 100 commissions, boards, advisory boards, so on and so forth that
overlap. they can combine a lot of them and save a lot of money. >> in light of the fact that this tax has already been proposed, it recently expired. how can you see consequences as a result of increasing the sales tax just .5%. >> it takes money away from the people that needed them most. if you are an upper-middle-class person, it won't harm you. but on lower end, it does harm you. that is why we should not pass if. >> proponents say that we have to do this to offset the tax at the state level. how do you propose that the city deal with the extraordinary budget cuts that i've come from the state?
>> proponent to are mostly public employees and employees of nonprofits will have you believe the sky is falling if they don't get this raised. if they go back to 0 base budgeting, do good budgeting, good management, they have plenty of money to run the city. >> we hope that that was helpful. for information on ballot measures, visit the web site of the league of women voters at sfvotes.org. early voting is available at city hall monday through friday 8:00 a.m. to 8 5:00 p.m. 8:00 a.m. to 8 5:00 p.m. if you don't vote early, vote on
♪ >> i am mellisa griffin, a columnist and member of the san francisco league of women voters. i am here is city hall with the league and sfgtv to discuss prop h that will be on this year's november ballot. ♪ >> prop h would make it official city policy to encourage the san francisco unified school district to establish certain priorities for assigning students to specific schools. currently, parents may apply for their children to attend any school in the school district. if a school does not have space for all applicants, the school district and immense students based on certain priorities, such as whether they're older
siblings attend the same school, whether the student lives in the schools attendance area, or whether the students elementary school is a designated feeder school for the middle school. prop h when they get city policy to encourage the school district to ensure that all students have the opportunity to attend a quality neighborhood school. after signing siblings to the same school, the highest priority should be to assign each student to the schools close to their homes. finally, the school district should provide students with the opportunity to attend schools with language immersion rather special programs, even if those schools are not close to their homes. ♪ i am here with kris miller, chairperson of students first, a group that sponsored prop h. ms. miller, thank you for being here. why should voters vote for prop h? >> for starters, the reason that prop h was adopted to begin with
is roughly 14,000 signatures from san francisco county voters that also, as i do, feel passionately about children being able to attend schools near their neighborhoods. it makes sense. everyone automatically assumes that the child attends a school near their neighborhood or has that option in san francisco. as we know, from previous policies in different things with in government here, san francisco is special. san francisco is definitely special in this respect, that we have not followed suit with many of the major metropolitan cities and allow parents the right to automatically opt into their neighborhood schools. san francisco has been having issues with this policy for years. there are thousands of parents who have left the city, over 5000 since the 2000 census. since the mid-1960s, we have lost a little under half of our student population. this is one of the major reasons why. prop h is basically simply proposing that parents or
children within certain neighborhood school areas are given the option of sending their children to the school in closest proximity to their home. that is all we are proposing, nothing more. just that within the current citywide lottery system, that parents are given the option of sending their children to school near their home, as opposed to being bussed across town, where were the district decides the children will go. that is basically the premise of prop h. >> opponents have argued that the current school assignment system does give substantial weight to a child's geographic location when deciding -- one assigning the to a school. how do you respond? it's very simply, one, that comment is not factually based. roughly 30% of parents in the city, according to the school district -- we're not sure if
these are accurate numbers, a roughly 30% of the parents in the san francisco unified school district are opting to send their children to their neighborhood schools. for some reason, they're not able to honor that. a seemingly small number of parents. the fourth consideration -- out of four considerations for the placement system, never the proximity is the fourth. in most cases, within many different school districts, it does not come into consideration because the schools are full of the time to get to that proximity consideration. not only that, but that is only for elementary school placement. in middle school and high school, this consideration has been completely taken away. there's absolutely no consideration whatsoever. it is a citywide lottery system period. so that statement is not true. i just gave you the facts. if you want to look it up on iran, it is right on the
website -- if you want to look it up on your own. >> it is argued that keeping children in their neighborhoods will lead to gentrification in san francisco. how do you respond? >> i will tell you what it will actually lead to from the actual perspective, not from a hypothetical perspective that is not based on this a big numbers. if you look at the statistics, from the current policies, they do not focus heavily on a neighborhood school-based placement system. in the last 10 years, we have moved further and further towards segregation within our school district. the interesting thing is, the current system does not focus heavily on neighborhood school proximity, and the reason for that is to keep the school ever spent to give children more opportunity in areas and better performing schools that would not otherwise have the opportunity to go to a higher performing schools. right now, we actually have a huge issue with schools re segregating in the last 10
years. if the current policies are re segregating the schools in san francisco, one would assume that parents and voters in the city would vote to change that policy. if we are asking for the opposite of what they are, presumably we are going to be either improving the situation, are in the worst-case scenario it will stay the same. so that allegation makes no sense from a fact-based perspective. >> thank you so much, ms. miller. next, we will hear from an opponent of prop h. ♪ i am now with rachel from the san francisco board of education. the board of education recently voted unanimously to oppose prop h. thank you for being here. why do you oppose prop h? >> for several reasons. first, it is not well-written, and has a lot of unintended consequences. primarily, i oppose it because it is a very simplistic way of
dealing with a very complex problem. i have been working on student assignment, but as a parent -- for many years, i put my kids through the process. i have talked to parents across the city as a candidate for public office. since i was elected to the board, the board has been the last two years working on a news to defend a policy. it is the most complex problem i have ever worked on in my personal or professional life. and i do not think that is the kind of thing that can be resolved by a voter checking a yes or no on the ballot box. >> recent census numbers show that families with small children have been leaving the city in record numbers because of people would argue that the current school assignment system has something to do with that. do you believe the current system is working? >> i do the the current system is working. we spend a lot of time and a lot of money, a lot of resources, redesigning the system, because we knew we had a problem. one of the things w