By Calvin Welch, HANC Member
November’s vote, at both the local and national level, was more consequential than most.
Not only do we have a new national administration which campaigned on a set of proposals that, if implemented, would have far reaching consequences for our City, but with all three branches of the Federal government now in Republican Party hands, the possibility of those proposals becoming policy is probable.
At the local level, a majority of newly-elected supervisors are not allied to Mayor Lee. Two are, however, and adding the appointment the Mayor has to replace Wiener, a simple majority of the new Board is expected to vote with the Mayor on most issues. With the voter rejection of Prop J, the sales tax increase the Mayor unwisely built into his budget, a $50 million budget problem has appeared following the election.
With the defeat of the Democratic Party at the national level, calls for a new direction are now being made. Congresswoman Pelosi narrowly survived a leadership challenge, but there is a looming fight for national party chair pitting Obama against Sen. Warren. The Sanders campaign has stayed together in a new organization called "Our Revolution" and nominated a host of local candidates across the nation. In California it nominated 10 local candidates, winning six of the races including the mayors of Berkeley and Stockton, two state legislators, a congresswoman and a city council member. Its two local picks, Dean Preston for D5 Supervisor and Jane Kim for State Senate, both lost.
Part of the December general membership meeting will be devoted to how the Haight-Ashbury voted in the election, how that vote compares with Citywide outcomes, and what that vote means given the national state of affairs. We will discuss possible post-elections actions needed to be taken. Key issues and Supervisor races will be examined and discussed, attempting to discover what lessons can be learned about the outcomes and how those lessons might be applied to the future.
More San Franciscans voted in this election--over 415,000--than in any other in our history although the 80.7% turnout of all registered voters falls just short of the record of 81.3% in the first Obama election in 2008. A second record was set for the number of absentee ballots cast--some 263,079--blowing past the previous high of 178,505 cast in 2008.
The presentation at the monthly membership meeting will be based on the assumption that it is possible to discern meaningful insights to citywide and even national political trends by the examination of local votes on local issues. At the very least you will be heartened, on the whole, to live in a neighborhood that votes the way we in the Haight-Ashbury. Bring a friend and your questions and concerns for a night of numbers, opinions and all holding hands together.
Park Branch Library, 1833 Page Street, at 7 pm, Thursday, December 8.