As an experienced campaign manager and a volunteer on the Proposition A campaign, I am deeply offended by Randy Shaw’s analysis of Prop A’s defeat.
The Proposition A campaign, under the strong leadership of Esther Morales, Sharen Hewitt, Carolyn Tran, Mattie Scott, Supervisor Daly and John Avalos, the League of Pissed Off Voters, Power PAC, SF Youth Commissioners, SF People’s Organization and the Chinatown Community Development Center, brought together a powerful coalition led by young people, people of color, and the families of homicide victims. More than any other campaign I’ve seen in this town, the Proposition A campaign engaged people directly affected by the issue and gave them a platform to tell the truth about violence in San Francisco.
The Proposition A campaign was also disciplined and strategic. Volunteers dropped over 30,000 pieces of Yes on A literature in precincts across the city. Prop A volunteers got out approximately 18,000 League of Pissed Off Voter guides, over 2000 Harvey Milk Democratic Club slate cards and more. The campaign managed to garner an impressive and diverse list of endorsements that included District Attorney Kamala Harris, Assembly members Mark Leno and Leland Yee and the San Francisco Chronicle. Over the course of the campaign, at least 200 people volunteered for Proposition A.
Prop A’s defeat came as a shock to everyone in town who was paying attention. Certainly some people, like myself, were over-confident. But this campaign was passionate and effective and was far from “below the radar screen”. It is ignorant and wrong to write it off. Without this strong campaign, it appears unlikely that Prop A would’ve gotten this close.
The real questions to me remain: Why did Proposition A lose? Could it be because the majority of San Franciscans are simply not concerned that African Americans and Latinos are getting killed at a record rate in our city? Why did more progressive activists not get involved in the Prop A campaign? What are all of us going to do now to step it up?
These are the questions we need to be asking and I’m not sure why Beyond Chron isn’t asking them.
We should be outraged and disappointed in the San Francisco electorate and we should be committed to working together now more than ever to do something about the increasing violence in our city.
Mattie Scott, who last a child to homicide, said it best when she looked across Powell’s restaurant in the election night party. “Look at this room. This is exactly what Dr. King was talking about,” Scott said. “We have to be pissed off and angry until every child gets their fair share.”
I find your strong support for Prop B unusual, while not doing anything to stop evictions, it does everything for Realtors and some home sellers. Voters approved the first mandatory marketing item for selling a home in San Francisco. Now, people who are lucky enough to own a home with no evictions can use this a marketing tool to further drive up the price of real-estate, thus further alienating those of middle income who wish to buy a house in San Francisco. Finally, Prop B does nothing that doesn’t already happen in the contract and negotiation stage of buying a house. Prop B is a waste of tax money and serves no practical purpose.
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