San Francisco Green Party Supervisor Candidate Questionnaire 2018
Due Date: Wednesday, Feb 21.


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: Rafael Mandelman
Phone Number: 415.516.7761
Web site:
Name of Campaign Manager: Kyle Smeallie
Are you receiving public financing: Yes
Signed voluntary spending limit: Yes
Campaign Manager: Kyle Smeallie
2nd, 3rd endorsements in District: N/A
California Nurses Association
Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club
Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club
National Union of Healthcare Workers
SEIU Local 1021
IFPTE Local 21
Sierra Club
San Francisco Berniecrats
San Francisco Tenants Union
United Educators of San Francisco (UESF)

Mark Leno, Former State Senator & D8 Supervisor
Bevan Dufty, BART Board Member & Former D8 Supervisor
Tom Ammiano, Former State Assemblyman & D9 Supervisor
Art Agnos, Former San Francisco Mayor
Sandra Lee Fewer, District 1 Supervisor
Aaron Peskin, District 3 Supervisor
Jane Kim, District 6 Supervisor
Norman Yee, District 7 Supervisor
Hillary Ronen, District 9 Supervisor
Lateefah Simon, BART Board of Directors, District 7

Incumbent Supervisor whose votes most reflect your values: Hillary Ronen
Incumbent whose votes least reflect your values: Mark Farrell
If the election were held today, who would you support as Board President: I have good relationships with many of the members of the Board of Supervisors, but I would be likely to support one of the Supervisors who have endorsed me in this race -- Hillary Ronen, Sandy Fewer, Norman Yee, Jane Kim or Aaron Peskin.
Who would be your second and third choices: See above.
Who are you endorsing for Mayor in 2018 (all 3 choices, if applicable): Mark Leno
Who did you endorse for Mayor in 2015 (all 3 choices, if applicable): I did not make an endorsement in this race.
Who did you endorse for Sheriff in 2015: I did not make an endorsement in this race.

1) Grassroots Democracy: What are your thoughts on Instant Runoff
Voting, and District Elections? How have they worked to date? What
would you change in the future?

I proudly campaigned for both IRV and District Elections when they were on the ballot in the 1990s and early 2000s. District Elections have fundamentally changed City Hall's responsiveness to needs of our neighborhoods and at this point it's hard to imagine a San Francisco without them. IRV has helped to increase election turnout by doing away with late-year special elections and is a similarly indispensable electoral tool when it comes to making sure all the voices in our electorate are heard. While they certainly don't solve the problem, both go a long way towards making big money less influential in the electoral process.

+ - ?
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Sub-government such as Neighborhood Assemblies, Networks or District Councils
[ ] [ ] [ X ] Some commissions should be democratically elected
[ ] [ X ] [ ] The Mayor should appoint all commissioners
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Voters' right to recall elected officials
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Residency requirements for elected officials should be strictly enforced
[ ] [ X ] [ ] Ethics Commission should be disbanded
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Ethics Commission meetings should be televised
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Ethics Commission should prioritize investigating violations from well-funded campaigns
[ ] [ 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

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

San Francisco must provide leadership on climate change by reducing our carbon emissions, building a world class transit system and ensuring that new development meets the highest environmental standards. I supported Community Choice Aggregation (CleanPowerSF), and as a Supervisor I will continue to push to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and accelerate our conversion to renewable energy sources. As someone who takes public transportation every day to work and as a past Board president of Livable CIty (formerly Transportation for a Livable City), I am a passionate advocate for improved public transit. I have supported every ballot measure to get more revenue for Muni over the last two decades, and I will continue to champion our public transit system as Supervisor. Finally, I believe we can and must do everything we can to require developers to build in the most environmentally-sustainable manner current technology allows, and as a City, we should be anticipating the inevitability of sea level rise in our land use planning.

+ - ?
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Phasing out all diesel buses (e.g., Muni, tour, shuttles)
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Public Power
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Community Choice Energy should be rolled out to all SF customers this year
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Install local/regional clean energy, efficiency, and battery storage to supply 50% of our electricity by 2030
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Reducing or eliminating parking minimums in new housing and commercial developments
[ X ] [ ] [ ] As in Bayview, halt all US Navy Treasure Island transfers of lands tested by Tetra Tech, to private developers
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Natural Areas Program
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Mass Tree Removals & Tier One herbicides should not be used in public parks
[ ] [ ] [ X ] Artificial turf on City-owned athletic fields

3) Social Justice: A) What is your assessment of homelessness in San Francisco, and what solutions do you propose?

Homelessness is personal for me. My mother suffered from serious mental illness for most of her life and was homeless for a time when I was young. As an adult I was able to get a conservatorship over her, and get her into safe and reliable care. I've witnessed firsthand the failures of our system to provide sick and mentally ill folks the help they need. And I know what it takes to get people off the streets. Over the last eight years our City budget has nearly doubled--from $6 Billion to $10 Billion annually, and yet in that time we've significantly reduced the number of psychiatric beds at SF General Hospital, leaving those San Franciscans most acutely in crisis literally nowhere to go. As Supervisor I will work tirelessly to ensure that we have the short and long-term psychiatric facilities we need to care for folks who cannot care for themselves, expanded residential and outpatient drug treatment resources for those in need of treatment and strong and effective case management services. But that only addresses the most visible piece of the crisis. The much larger portion of the homeless population, which is largely invisible, is comprised of people who are not mentally ill or drug-addicted but have suffered economic and/or health setbacks in an increasingly stratified and unforgiving economic environment. We can't solve that portion of the crisis without addressing economic inequality and significantly expanding public investment in the acquisition of land and buildings and preservation and development of permanently affordable housing for San Franciscans who cannot afford market rents.

+ - ?
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Project Homeless Connect
[ ] [ X ] [ ] Care Not Cash
[X ] [ ] [ ] Community courts
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Healthy SF
[ X ] [ ] [ ] SF's sick leave requirements
[ ] [ X ] [ ] Law against sitting down on SF sidewalks
[ X ] [ ] [ ] I support more homeless navigation centers in my district

B) What are your views on housing affordability, what public sector strategies have worked, which have failed, and what are your proposals?

I have dedicated a significant portion of my professional career to helping build affordable housing in the Bay Area. Effectively addressing housing unaffordability is one of the most important challenges of our time and place. And when it comes to the nuts and bolts of making sure affordable housing gets built, no one on the Board of Supervisors has more experience than I do. As City College Trustee, I have championed the development of affordable housing for faculty and staff, and I have led the Board in committing City College resources to address the issue of homelessness among our students, including through the development of homeless student housing.

District 8 has been ground zero for evictions over the last ten years, and yet we have produced distressingly little affordable housing during that time. When a senior in a rent-controlled unit is evicted from his or her home in the Castro or Noe Valley, the odds of that senior being able to remain in San Francisco are small. I've worked for decades with local governments and affordable housing developers to build thousands of affordable housing units around the Bay Area, and building and preserving more affordable units in San Francisco, and especially District 8, will be a top priority for me as Supervisor. It requires identifying sites currently in public ownership or sites the City could acquire. It requires public resources, which is why I have campaigned for every affordable housing funding measure over the last decade and will continue to work tirelessly to identify new potential sources of revenue for affordable housing production and preservation. And it requires an unwavering commitment to finding those additional resources and using them effectively to house the growing numbers of individuals and families who simply cannot afford the market rents and sales prices in San Francisco.

+ - ?
[ ] [ ] [ X ] Building more market rate housing will lower housing costs for current SF residents
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Impacts of all new development should be paid for in advance by fees on developers
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Community Land Trusts
[ ] [ X ] [ ] Rent Control is too strong
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Elected Rent Board
[ X ] [ ] [ ] HOME-SF (density bonus program)
[ ] [ ] [ X ] Ban on Airbnb and other short term rentals
[ ] [ ] [ X ] Require full disclosure of all corporate/speculative interests in parties purchasing/developing property
[ ] [ ] [ X ] Vacancy tax on empty homes
[X ] [ ] [ ] Pied-a-terre Tax on residential property owners who do not reside in SF
[ ] [ X ] [ ] Condo conversion is currently too difficult

4) Nonviolence: What are your solutions for SFPD accountability while making the streets safer?

As a member of the Democratic County Central Committee, I worked to push the City to implement President Obama's 21st Century policing reform to ensure our law enforcement serves and protects every community, regardless of ethnicity or income, and that they are held accountable when they do not. But obviously much more work must be done. Community policing is one measure that's been shown to be effective, and I strongly support efforts to increase foot patrols in our neighborhoods. Body-worn cameras, and improving policies around their use, also hold promise for more accountability from officers. As a member of the Board of Supervisors, I will continue to insist that we implement common sense reforms to improve the relationship between our police and all the communities that they serve.

+ - ?
[ ] [ ] [ X ] Prioritize SFPD enforcement of moving violations
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Support expansion of foot patrols
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Demand stricter accountability in future MOUs with the SFPD
[ X ] [ ] [ ] The Board of Supervisors should be able to set policies and priorities for the SFPD through legislation
[ ] [ X ] [ ] Support a public safety program modeled after NYC's "Stop and Frisk."

5) Decentralization: What are your thoughts on the Kaufman Charter of 1996? Does it need revisiting?

I have reservations about our "strong mayor" system in San Francisco. Particularly in regards to commissions, I believe it has been extremely beneficial to split appointment authority for some commissions between the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors, and I think it would be good to split appointment authority for additional boards and commissions, including for Rec and Park and the MTA.

+ - ?
[ ] [ ] [ X ] Bring the Housing Authority under the Board of Supervisors
[ ] [ ] [ X ] Will you create formal district councils to advise you?
[ ] [ ] [ X ] Charter amendment allowing voters to choose the replacement of an elected official being recalled on the same ballot as the recall vote
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Immediately implement open-source voting system on the local level

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

As an urban development attorney, I have spent the last 17 years building affordable housing, revitalizing commercial districts and making more livable neighborhoods in the Bay Area. I know that one of the most important aspects of fostering healthy communities, and making sure economic growth is to the benefit of people who live here, is making sure small businesses can thrive in our City.

Small businesses are the lifeblood of our local economy and the first place we should go to drive capital into our communities. Many elected officials pay lip-service to small businesses, but we need a Supervisor who will do more than talk. When I am elected I will be the Small Business Supervisor. Not only will I introduce legislation to support legacy businesses and simplify the application process, my door will be open to all small business owners in the district looking for help.

San Francisco's existing formula retail regulations are important tools to ensure that our neighborhoods have a say in their future. Local small and independent businesses are the driving force and main job creator in our economy. Supporting these businesses is exceptionally important because they keep money local. Most formula retailers send their money out of our local economy to large corporations based in other states so if we're going to allow formula retail in our neighborhoods we need to make certain that these businesses are supported by the neighborhood and add significant value to our local community.

+ - ?
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Legislation limiting formula retail outlets/chain stores
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Conditional Use permit required for big box stores
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Municipal broadband as a public utility
[ ] [ ] [ X ] Neighborhood cooperatives prioritized as a local supply chain for legalized marijuana
[ X ] [ ] [ ] I support recreational marijuana stores opening in my district
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Local hiring requirements should be enforced and expanded to include private projects
[ ] [ ] [ X ] Conversion of some golf courses into soccer fields
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Prop 13 limits on tax increases should apply only to residential properties
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Commercial Rent Control

7) Feminism: Do you believe women are underrepresented in city
government? If so, why do you believe this is the case? Is this a
bad thing, and if so, what would you do to remedy the situation?

Despite being one of the most progressive cities in the country, women continue to be underrepresented in city government. I'm proud to have supported dozens of women in their candidacies for elected office. In the 2016 election I was proud to support Hillary Ronen, Sandy Fewer, Kimberly Alvarenga and Jane Kim. I will continue to support good, qualified progressive women for positions in city government as Supervisor.

+ - ?
[ X ] [ ] [ ] The City should help SFUSD provide child care for children of working parents
[X ] [ ] [ ] The DPH should provide reproductive health services
[ ] [ X ] [ ] Require parental consent for minors seeking an abortion
[ ] [ X ] [ ] Require parental notification for minors seeking an abortion

8) Respect for Diversity: Tell us what you believe are the best and the
worst aspects of San Francisco's diversity. How would you try to
protect the best while trying to change the worst?

The mixing of different kinds of people with different backgrounds, views and talents is one of the greatest things about urban life. It is good for our economy, for our culture and for our politics. Unfortunately, our diversity is diminishing rapidly as San Francisco becomes an increasingly expensive place to live. Making sure we keep our diverse population starts with making sure that people at all income levels have a place to live, and that's why I'll make sure we get housing, especially affordable housing, built in San Francisco.

+ - ?
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Multilingual government and public education
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Undocumented immigrants should have equal access to education and health care
[ 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
[ X ] [ ] [ ] My campaign reflects the diversity of San Francisco

9) Global and Personal Responsibility:
A) What are your thoughts on the Board of Supervisors taking positions on state, national and
international issues?

Between 1939 and 1945, six million European Jews (including my grandfather) and millions of others were slaughtered, and the world largely stood silent. Since that time, the Jewish community has vowed as a mantra never to let that happen again. I believe that on issues of significant moral import (e.g., Proposition 8, Darfur, DACA) , where an advocacy group believes it would be useful for the city government to weigh in, it is reasonable and good for the residents of San Francisco to express their views through their elected representatives.

+ - ?
[ ] [ X ] [ ] City government cooperating with the PATRIOT Act
[ ] [ X ] [ ] City government cooperating with ICE/Secure Communities
[ ] [ X ] [ ] City government should boycott Israel until it complies with UN resolutions
[ ] [ ] [ X ] SF supervisors should take a position on offshore oil drilling outside CA

B) 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)?

I believe it is the duty of an elected official to first and foremost serve the needs of her or his constituents. For me, that means a neighborhood-first approach, wherein residents have a voice in their local governance, and decisions are not imposed from on high. I believe the past decade in San Francisco has been dominated by a top-down approach to policy making at City Hall, and the effects on our communities--from increased homelessness to inadequate transit--has been significant. As Supervisor, I will work to reverse that trend and make sure constituents have a more active role in shaping the future of their City.

+ - ?
[ ] [ ] [ X ] Fleet Week and the Blue Angels flyover
[ ] [ X ] [ ] In a severe recession, environmental regulations should be suspended to create jobs
[ ] [ X ] [ ] Business taxes are too high

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?

As mentioned above, I have served as Board president of Livable CIty (formerly Transportation for a Livable City), and I am a passionate advocate for improved public transit. We're a world-class City, and we deserve world-class transit, but the reality is far from it. We need to start by making sure we invest more in our public transit infrastructure, to keep up with our growing population. That means identifying a package of revenue measures to generate the tens of billions of dollars we will need to keep up with the increased demands on service that comes with an increase in our housing stock.

+ - ?
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Muni should be funded sufficiently to replace most car use, and be free to the rider
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Downtown Transit Assessment Tax to support Muni
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Citywide Transit Assessment Tax to support Muni
[ ] [ ] [ X ] More weekend closures of streets in/near my district to cars (e.g., Car-Free GGP)
[ 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 ] [ ] [ ] Bus Rapid Transit expanded to all major transit corridors in SF
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Car hailing services like Uber and Lyft should be regulated as taxis, or banned
[ ] [ 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 biofuels (e.g., corn-based ethanol)
[ X ] [ ] [ 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

Your positions on selected current and past Propositions:

+ - ?
[ X ] [ ] [ ] June 2018 Eviction Defense
[ ] [ X ] [ ] June 2018 Tasers for SFPD

[ ] [ X ] [ ] Nov 2016 Prohibiting tents on public sidewalks
[ ] [ X ] [ ] Nov 2016 Neighborhood crime unit
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Nov 2016 Vacancy appointments
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Nov 2016 16-17 y.o. voting, local elections
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Nov 2016 Non-citizen voting, school board
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Nov 2016 Prop 62 (Ending Death Penalty)

[ X ] [ ] [ ] June 2016 Prop B (Rec and Park legislation)

[ X ] [ ] [ ] 2015 Prop F (Short Term Rental Regulation)
[ X ] [ ] [ ] 2015 Prop I (Mission Luxury Housing Moratorium)

[ X ] [ ] [ ] Nov 2014 Prop H (Natural Grass in Parks)
[ X ] [ ] [ ] June 2014 Prop B (Waterfront Height Limits)

[ X ] [ ] [ ] 2011 Prop C (Mayor's Pension measure)
[ ] [ X ] [ ] 2011 Prop D (Adachi's Pension measure)

[ ] [ X ] [ ] 2010 Prop L (Ban on Sitting on Sidewalks)
[ X ] [ ] [ ] 2010 Prop M (Foot Patrols)

Due Date: Wednesday, Feb 21, 11:59 pm.

Please submit by email to 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, to be scheduled in late February
or early March. We are currently working on organizing a joint
candidate forum in collaboration with other progressive political
organizations. Although the criteria for participation in such a
forum are still to be determined, completing our questionnaire will
make you eligible for the Green Party's endorsement.

Completed questionnaires will be posted on our website,