SF Green Party BART Candidate Questionnaire 2020
Due Date: Tuesday, Aug 18


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: Patrick Mortiere
Phone Number: (571) 230-0825
Web site: patrickforbart.com
E-mail: patrickforbart@gmail.com
Name of Campaign Manager: Patrick Mortiere
How much do you expect to spend in this contest: Between $1,000-$1,500
Major Endorsements: N/A
Incumbent Board Member whose votes most reflect your values: Janice Li/Bevan Dufty
Incumbent whose votes least reflect your values: Debora Allen

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)?

It's a mixture of consultation with constituents and avid transit riders, as well as my background in politics and my values that I hold dear. I enjoy going around the city with campaign signs affixed to my bike and sparking up conversations with folks who are interested in transit and have feedback on how BART can be improved. These are people who are passionate and in-touch with the direction BART should be moving. As a rider myself, I feel connected with them on these policies, and I talk a lot of their feedback to heart when forming my stance on issues and laying out my campaign platform.

+ - ?
[ 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 think one of the greatest issues we face in the bay is pollution brought on by private vehicles and the noticeable increase in congestion on our freeways in recent years. The amount of drivers and people reliant on cars is growing, and there needs to be a shift toward public transportation. However, incentivizing public transportation means meeting potential riders where they are. That means developing high-density housing near transit hubs where people can then use public transit to quickly and efficiently commute to and from the workplace. I'm deeply concerned about climate change, and how greenhouse gases from industries in the Bay contribute to pollution. This includes factories and factory farming. We can shame individuals for their greenhouse gas emissions, but truthfully it's major corporations that make up the bulk of pollution. So in order to both encourage lower greenhouse gas emissions, as well as raise revenue for improved public transportation infrastructure, there should be a tax on high-polluting companies in the area.

+ - ?
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Reducing or eliminating parking minimums in new housing and commercial developments
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Congestion tolls on Doyle Drive
[ ] [ ] [ X ] Livermore BART extension

I'm hopeful BART can extend to Livermore someday, but I do think there needs to be a focus on shoring up finances for BART first, and improving service and reliability, particularly given the pandemic and subsequent economic fallout.

3) Social Justice:

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

I was not in the Bay Area and privy to this decision when it was made. But I don't think BART could have anticipated the affect that ride-share companies would've had on the system when they signed off on it. That being said, surcharges for using the connecter is ridiculous. Shuffling the cost of the expansion onto riders who rely on public transportation as a cost-effective alternative to private transportation seems counterintuitive.

B) What are your views on Transit-Oriented Development and efforts to create affordable housing?

I'm hopeful for TOD, but I don't think BART's plan goes far enough and fast enough in addressing affordable housing. The affordable housing component of BART's TOD plan, coupled with AB 2923, are meant to move this development along quicker, but as we know, housing projects can be stalled and delayed for months or years. Advocating for legislation that cuts down on the inevitable red tape that would delay these projects is a logical next step in ensuring BART can meet its goal of 7,000 affordable housing units on BART property by 2040. But even then, that number is too low, and when BART revisits the plan in a few years, I plan on moving the goal line and increasing those numbers. 7,000 units isn't going to make a dent with the massive housing shortage the Bay Area is facing in this moment.

+ - ?
[ 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

I believe the fences are there to protect the safety and well-being of folks. Too many times we hear about people being struck or killed by Amtrak trains along the Capitol Corridor route. That being said, I oppose homeless encampment sweeps, and would like to see outreach efforts made to move these folks into supportive housing or navigation centers if possible.

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?

I do think there needs to be a police department in place, or at least sworn officers on call to respond to serious crimes. I absolutely don't think BART PD officers should carry tasers, and I also don't think guns are necessary. The best thing BART can do in this moment to ensure riders feel safe and to deter crime is to provide coverage on trains and at stations through a bolstered ambassador program. An independent police oversight board is also critical, along with regular audits of the department, both in terms of conduct and in terms of spending, to ensure the department is working effectively and efficiently.

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

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?

Improving a community stakeholder system in decision-making across transit boards is key in decentralization. Having voting committees that are appointed by the BART Board and inform decision-making processes allows for a more localized approach to leadership.

+ - ?
[ 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?

People want to work and shop where they live, and that starts with providing inclusive neighborhoods and affordable housing opportunities. The city has done a good job in building up neighborhoods in the East and Southeast parts of the city, but more can be done to support those communities. I do believe in local hiring requirements for new businesses that employ a certain number of employees, as we see in the case of newly licensed cannabis stores in the city. And I also believe there should be more land and development set aside for affordable rate leases to encourage local businesses and growth and bring people from other parts of the city into these up-and-coming neighborhoods to generate some revenue. I don't have any concrete proposals at this moment, but will look into this further, and will work with the Board in determining ways in which we can make sure our communities all over San Francisco are thriving.

+ - ?
[ 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?

I think it's absolutely a bad thing. I interviewed Phylicia Rashad a few years ago, and I asked her, "Do you think the world would be better off with more women in politics?" And she candidly answered with, "No. Because women are becoming more like men. They're dogged." I took it as a tongue and cheek response to the fact that there are women in politics that bring down other women, such as the case of Phyllis Schlafly. But I do think there are plenty of capable, progressive, brilliant women who would be perfect for roles in politics if it weren't for the patriarchal society we live that demeans women, belittles women, and underscores their achievements - which deters them from running because of feelings of self-doubt. I think there needs to be concerted efforts to propel women into politics and support their campaigns. These entities already exist in some capacity, but more can be done around changing the rhetoric of women in politics. Young women like Alexandria Ocasio Cortez are already sending shockwaves across the country, and proving to young women and young women of color that there is a place in politics for them. The goal from here on out should be to continue electing women into politics and embolden the next generation of female leaders to step up to the plate.

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

As an advocate and lobbyist for education and childcare, this is a no-brainer. Absolutely!

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?

+ - ?
[ 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

I think I bring a lot to the table with my background and my life experiences. But as a cis-gendered white male (as is the case with the other three candidates running for this position), I would be more inspired by a candidate who was a woman or woman of color.

9) Global and Personal Responsibility: How will you re-open the system in the time of COVID? Who will you take advice from in making
this decision?

Cleanliness is of utmost importance. I've visited stations during COVID, and workers are cleaning around the clock at stations. Trains are also being cleaned daily and surfaces are being wiped down. That being said, face masks should continue to be mandated by passengers, and BART needs to ensure their employees are also receiving adequate and ample PPE. Currently, that's not the case, and I've heard complaints from employees that they either aren't receiving proper PPE, or that their break rooms aren't large enough to accommodate workers while adequately social distancing. Those complaints are valid and need to be addressed. I'll take advice from health experts for one thing, and I believe BART can be doing more to study ways to make the stations and trains cleaner given their unique placement as mass people carriers.

[ X ] [ ] [ ] BART should hire outside help to negotiate union contracts
[ ] [ ] [ X ] Riders should be removed from the system if not wearing masks
[ ] [ X ] [ ] Trains should be retrofitted to allow the windows to open

BART riders without masks should be offered masks as provided by BART. Sometimes obtaining a mask can be a matter of equity, so BART shouldn't send people away if they can't afford a mask. That being said, if a rider refuses to accept a mask, then they should be removed from the system for compromising the wellbeing of others in an unprecedented, once-in-a-century health emergency.

As for the windows, BART is equipped with upgraded filters and a system that circulates the air every 70 seconds. This isn't perfect, like what we see on airplanes, but it's significantly better than longer commuting options like we see on Amtrak. Opening windows may also contribute to the spread of the virus by moving the air around in random patterns, and spreading aerosol droplets further.

10) Sustainability: The current funding crisis on most transit systems demonstrates the problem with relying on passenger fares to fund
transit. What ideas do you have for raising operating revenues needed
to run more frequent and reliable service? How will you use your
position to advocate for these changes?

I think this is the biggest long-term issue that BART needs to be working on. And unfortunately, it's taking a pandemic to come face-to-face with the reality that under current and past BART leadership, the can was being kicked down the road with no real effort to find new funding streams. BART now faces a nearly $1 billion deficit over the next three years, which can be solved through an influx in federal aid. But in these uncertain times and a polarized political climate in DC, that's not a sure thing. For starters, BART should increase the cost of parking at their station lots. The fact that they're capped at $3 while other systems like DC Metro charge nearly $5 for parking shows how much the market has changed and how BART has fallen behind on capitalizing on increased revenue. That's a short-term solution, however, that won't bring in nearly enough money to comfortably position BART for generations to come. Shoring up resources to not only curb BART's reliance on passenger fares, but potentially eliminate the need for fares altogether, is going to take a mixture of prospecting for eligible grant money, working with the state legislature on budget/bill asks that would adjust tax revenue being brought in (e.g. Prop. 13), and working on a regional ballot measure that would tax wealthy companies and high-polluting corporations in the area to offset the damage being done to the environment through investments in public transportation and bike/pedestrian infrastructure.

+ - ?
[ X ] [ ] [ ] BART should be funded greater levels and be free to the rider
[ 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 biofuels (e.g., 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