SF Green Party BART Candidate Questionnaire 2018
Due Date: Friday, Aug 24


1. There are 10 sections to this questionnaire. Each section corresponds with the 10 Key Values of the Green Party.

2. Each section begins with a written question and ends with several multiple-choice questions. Please don't skip the written question.

3. The multiple-choice questions are answered by checking the box in the appropriate column to indicate which is closest to your position:

+ = Support / Agree / Yes
- = Oppose / Disagree / No

: = Undecided / Don't know / No opinion

4. The world is too complex to always break down neatly into yes/no/maybe choices, so feel free to clarify any answers to multiple choice questions with a few words.

Candidate Name: Janice Li

Phone Number: (716) 725-1533

Website: http://janice.li

E-mail: me@janice.li

Name of Campaign Manager: n/a

Major Endorsements: Supervisor Jane Kim, Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, Former Supervisor Eric Mar, Former BART Director Tom Radulovich (all the previous candidates have been endorsed by the SF Green Party); BART Director Bevan Dufty, Sierra Club, Rose Pak Democratic Club, Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club, League of Pissed Off Voters

Incumbent Board Member whose votes most reflect your values: BART Director Bevan Dufty

Incumbent whose votes least reflect your values: BART Director Joel Keller

1) Grassroots Democracy: Please describe how you make your political decisions. What is the main basis for your decision making (e.g., consultation with your constituents, political consultants, colleagues, unions, businesses, donors, or your gut feelings)?

First, I believe in listening to the community and one of the reasons I'm running is because I believe the west side has consistently been forgotten and has not had a seat at the table when it comes to public transit.

I have been doing community-driven work for the last 10 years, and for the last five years, I've been at the SF Bicycle Coalition, one of the largest grassroots advocacy organizations in the city. I first started as a community organizer focusing on the west side, and now I lead the team.

I make decisions by listening to people, respecting opinions, but holding strong to my values. I do this by being present in community, being accessible at all times, and always being honest and consistent. I would never tell one group one thing and say the opposite to another group just to gain favor. My honesty and my approach has garnered respect across all sides in my time as community organizer at the SF Bicycle Coalition, which is why I am proud to have diverse support across the political community.

+ - ?
[ ] [ X ] [ ] More transit agencies should have elected boards of directors.
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Create a system of public financing for all elected officeholders, including elected transit agency directors
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Create limits on campaign contributions to members of elected transit agency boards
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Regulate contributions to officials who are elected to regional boards
[ ] [ X ] [ ] My campaign accepts corporate contributions
[ ] [ X ] [ ] My campaign accepts contributions from paid lobbyists or related entities having any interest in City and County of San Francisco or beyond

2) Ecological Wisdom: Please outline your view of the major environmental and ecological issues facing San Francisco and your proposed policies to address them.

I am proud to receive the sole endorsement from Sierra Club for the BART Board District 8 race.

I co-chaired the Port of San Francisco's Waterfront Working Group alongside Rudy Nothenberg, a 33-member advisory committee that developed over 100 policy recommendations for land use, transportation and resilience. I am proud that these recommendations were just approved by the Port Commission last week. When it comes to ecological wisdom, we must put our region's resilience to climate change and seismic risk at the forefront. Living at Ocean Beach, I see what sea level rise has done and the sand erosion that occurs with increasing regularity.

San Francisco must lead the way in developing the strongest policies to fight against climate change. Transportation is a huge contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and we must do our part to increase sustainable transportation, including biking, walking and public transit, which are both decisions around transportation as well as land use.

If elected BART Board, I would seek to implement the BART Sustainability Action Plan with urgency, which was just approved this past December. Tragically, it took 14 years for the agency to issue its first Sustainability Action Plan even though the Sustainability Policy was adopted in 2003. BART has a lot of catch-up to play, and it will take leadership from the BART Board to hold the agency accountable. As a long-time advocate for sustainable transportation, I'm both ready and experienced to do just that.

+ - ?
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Reducing or eliminating parking minimums in new housing and commercial developments
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Congestion tolls on Doyle Drive
[ ] [ X ] [ ] Livermore BART extension
[ ] [ X ] [ ] Rail Around the Bay BART extensions to Warm Springs, San Jose, and Santa Clara

3) Social Justice:

A) Did you take a public position on the Oakland Airport Connector? Please explain.

I was not involved in this project because I was not in the Bay Area during the planning, approval or groundbreaking for this project -- therefore, I had no position at the time. Of course now with hindsight, this funding was not the best use of BART's finite resources and if elected, I would certainly be wary of pipe dream solutions especially if a more affordable and accessible option is possible.

B) What are your views on Transit-Oriented Development and efforts to create affordable housing? How do you see peak oil impacting your votes on the BART Board of Directors?

Given that AB 2923 (Asm. David Chiu's BART TOD bill) is expected to make its way to Governor Brown's desk, it will soon be on BART to develop new policies and processes to adhere to the new standards in this bill by 2022.

This is critical, and it will take significant leadership from the BART Board to ensure that the framework for developing BART land is equitable, advances the highest rates of affordability (perhaps going above and beyond the 20% minimum that was set in the bill), and ensure strong community ownership and self-determination over each project.

I'm admittedly not well-versed in peak oil theory but I would agree with Tom Radulovich -- on my part, I would ensure my decisions were peak oil aware if elected to BART Board and work under the assumption of the most near-term peak oil scenarios.

+ - ?
[ X ] [ ] [ ] BART directors should focus on maintaining the existing system as opposed to building extensions to suburbs.
[ ] [ X ] [ ] Hiring more fare evasion teams
[ ] [ X ] [ ] Fences around BART property to prevent camping

4) Nonviolence: What are your solutions for improving the accountability of the BART police force while making the system safer? Do you think the BART police force should exist? Do you think BART police officers should carry guns and/or tasers?

There is now a Citizen Review Board and Independent Police Auditor's office in place. However, that has not stopped the violence at BART stations or the incidences of BART police violence, including the killing of Sahleem Tindle earlier this year.

Given that, I would urge strong, comprehensive reform of BART police, including requirements for trainings on crisis intervention, implementation of community policing principles, the establishment of a use of force policy that starts with deescalation tactics, and more. This work must happen urgently, and BART Directors must be involved with engaging a broader community, particularly communities of color that have been unequally impacted by police violence.

+ - ?
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Create of a BART police force citizen oversight committee
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Create an office of the Independent Police Auditor for the BART police
[ ] [ ] [ * ] Automated surveillance of BART system to alert police of illegal activities

Noting that this item, as part of the BART safety action plan proposed by BART GM Grace Crunican, was not approved at the August 9th board meeting, there is clearly not support for the use of this technology yet.

I have two chief concerns: 1) I share the opinions of groups like Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU in that the acceptance and use of facial recognition technology is on the pathway to a total surveillance state, which puts marginalized communities further at risk and 2) I am not convinced that BART has developed an adequate data privacy and sharing policy to ensure the information they collect is safeguarded against ICE or other such agencies.

Assuming implementing this technology would be costly, I would rather spend those funds on increasing resources for BART workers, hiring social workers, and finding proactive solutions to ensuring our BART stations are safe and dangerous situations are identified and deescalated immediately. No amount of facial recognition technology would have stopped Nia Wilson or Jessica St. Louis from being killed.

5) Decentralization: In general, the Green Party supports the principle of decentralization. What is your proposal for making our Bay Area transit agencies at once decentralized and at the same time efficient, affordable, and appealing?

While I understand the principle of decentralizing, many of the problems across the 27 Bay Area public transit agencies is caused by territorialism and lack of coordination and integration, which has made our regional transit inefficient, unaffordable and unappealing.

However, much of our region's problems are more of inadequacies of existing government structure because our supposedly centralized authority for the Bay Area, the nine-county Metropolitan Transportation Commission, is ineffective and failing at keeping our region's transportation efficient, affordable and appealing.

If elected to BART Board, I'm committed to bringing leadership where MTC has failed and joining in the conversations of developing a more coherent vision for governance, whether that means more policy guidance through state legislation or more broad and aggressive reform of MTC.

+ - ?
[ ] [ ] [ X ] Create one regional, elected transit agency
[ ] [ ] [ X ] Create a system whereby a portion of sales and property taxes assessed by transit districts must be spent in those transit districts

6) Community Based Economics: What economic policies, including taxation, land use from the Planning Department, and investment from the Redevelopment Agency would you propose that would drive capital into our communities and keep that capital here for residents?

I've been deeply involved in conversations around transportation funding, both in San Francisco and broadly in the region. I was a chief architect for the expenditure plan in 2016 (Prop J) through my leadership in the Transit Justice Coalition; I served on the BART Bond Citizen Advisory Committee and campaigned to help win Measure RR; and most recently, I was a part of Mayor Ed Lee's Transportation Task Force 2045, where I led advocacy to push for a wide range of revenue mechanisms to fund the 2016 Prop J framework for expenditures.

In short, I know transportation funding very well.

My guiding principle has been to prioritize progressive revenue mechanisms so that those benefiting financially from growth in the region pay their fair share in reinvesting back into our transportation infrastructure. However, we have to be creative. Particularly on TTF 2045, I consistently pushed for elected officials to consider a broad range of revenue mechanisms so that we can find the right one, whether that's gross receipts tax, congestion pricing, impact fees, etc. As an example, a current proposal that I support is AB 1184 (Ting), which was originally brokered by Sup. Aaron Peskin to establish a per-ride fee for transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft.

+ - ?
[ ] [ ] [ X ] Local hiring requirements should be enforced
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Downtown transit assessment fee
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Citywide transit assessment fee
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Prop 13 limits on tax increases should apply only to residential properties

7) Feminism: Women continue to be underrepresented in government. Why do you believe this is the case? Is this a bad thing, and if so, what would you do to remedy this?

If elected, I would be the first woman to ever serve in either of the two BART districts (8 and 9) that cover the majority of San Francisco. Why is this the case, even in 2018?

Particularly in the transportation field, we rarely see women in positions of leadership, particularly women of color. I want to change that.

I have been in so many meetings with electeds' offices or City staff to discuss transportation projects and policies, and so often, I'm the only person of color and the only woman in the room.

I do think this is a problem because issues like personal safety do not affect genders equally. Gender diversity on the BART board is important to ensure all genders are represented and policies that are passed are responsive and reflective of community needs.

If elected, I would seek to empower other women to step up into positions of leadership in the transportation sector. I would also work to encourage more women to run for office or seek positions on boards, commissions or advisory groups. And I'm committed to building out a pipeline for women to step into leadership roles, because I know I am where I am today because other strong, supportive women have mentored me along the way.

+ - ?
[ * ] [ ] [ ] The City should help provide more quality childcare to working parents

I proudly supported Prop C in this year's June elections for affordable childecare

8) Respect for Diversity: Do you think the significant money lost in civil case suits like Oscar Grant's and others jeopardize the relationship between unions and management to impose/draw up any present/future union- management agreements or contracts?

No. I do not believe civil case suits are the source of the issues between labor and BART management.

+ - ?
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Non-citizen residents should be able to vote in all local elections
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Full rights for transgender persons
[ ] [ X ] [ ] Boards and commissions now reflect the ethnic diversity of San Francisco
[ ] [ X ] [ ] Boards and commissions now reflect the political diversity of San Francisco
[ ] [ ] [ * ] My campaign reflects the diversity of San Francisco

I currently do not have any paid campaign staff, but I would certainly seek to ensure my lead volunteers were representative of the diversity of San Francisco, and more specifically, the BART District 8 constituency.

9) Global and Personal Responsibility: What are your thoughts on how the 2013 BART contract was negotiated?

I believe that the 2013 BART contract was handled disastrously and the effects are still felt as strongly as ever. My understanding is that BART management sought to disempower unions rather than listen to workers' concerns, seek common ground, and ultimately resolve known issues. The impasse led to the strike, which led to the tragic loss of two track workers' lives and near-irreparably damaged relationships between labor and management. And of course, the region grinded to a halt, as workers around the Bay Area (including BART workers themselves, of course) lost wages.

We cannot risk this scenario again, with contracts set to expire on June 30, 2021. Many of the issues remain unresolved, and new issues have arisen that have not been addressed. If elected, I would do everything in my power to listen and communicate consistently and honestly. I would ensure both BART management and fellow BART directors were interacting directly with union officials rather than using an in-between only so that requests and concerns were heard directly and early on. I would make myself accessible, available and always ready to listen.

As needed, I would encourage arbitration but would listen to labor unions to ensure arbitration is fair and in good faith so that the process is agreed upon by both sides.

[ X ] [ ] [ ] BART should hire outside help to negotiate union contracts

10) Sustainability: What does the Transit First City Charter provision mean to you? How has Transit First fared in recent years, and how would you enforce that Charter Provision if elected?

Transit First set forth a set of principles, but despite its place in the City Charter, the policy is quickly discarded or deemphasized whenever convenient to do so. This is unacceptable, and part of the reason I'm running for this seat is to be a strong, pro-public transit advocate voice on the BART Board.

With that said, it will not be good enough to be an independent advocate on my own if elected. It's important that I work closely with like-minded BART Directors, particularly the other two directors representing San Francisco (Bevan Dufty and Lateefah Simon), to ensure there would be cohesion in always upholding the Transit First Policy when making policy decisions.

+ - ?
[ X ] [ ] [ ] MUNI should be funded greater levels and be free to the rider
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Higher residential construction along neighborhood transit corridors, which may include raising height limits by two to three stories.
[ X ] [ ] [ ] State law change that lets bicycles treat stop signs as yield signs and red lights as stop signs
[ X ] [ ] [ ] I ride MUNI, bicycle and/or walk instead of driving on a regular basis
[ ] [ X ] [ ] Allow residents to park on the sidewalk without getting a ticket, unless their neighbors complain
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Congestion pricing for parking
[ ] [ X ] [ ] Power more City vehicles using corn-based ethanol
[ ] [ X ] [ ] Residents should be allowed to park in the street in front of their own driveway for free
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Support expanding parking meter hours to include later evening hours and weekends
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Remove parking spots and car lanes to create dedicated bike and bus lanes or wider sidewalks

Due Date: Friday, August 24, 11:59 pm.

Please submit by email to cc@sfgreens.org. For more information, call Erika McDonald at 415-337-1499. Please return your answers in plain text (not HTML, PDF, or Word format), so that we can post all candidates' answers in the same format.

The SF Green Party invites all candidates who return completed questionnaires on time to speak and answer questions at our candidate forum and endorsement meeting (tentatively scheduled for Wed, Aug 29 from 6-9 pm). If you need to schedule a particular time slot, or if
you are unable to make the meeting, please be in touch with us at cc@sfgreens.org. Otherwise, we'll interview candidates as you arrive. Our forum and endorsement meeting will take place in the theater on the 2nd floor of the Redstone Building, located at 2940 16th Street
(between Mission and South Van Ness, 1 block from 16th St BART).

Completed questionnaires will be posted on our website, http://sfgreenparty.org.