San Francisco Green Party Supervisor Candidate Questionnaire 2022
Due Date: Sat, Sep 3
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: rafaelmandelman.com
Name of Campaign Manager: Jack Hebb
Are you receiving public financing: We have applied to receive public financing and are awaiting a determination.
Signed voluntary spending limit: Yes. 2nd, 3rd endorsements in District: No
SF Labor Council, SF League of Conservation Voters, Harvey Milk Democratic Club, former District 8 Supervisors Scott Weiner, Bevan Dufty, and Mark Leno. Full list available at: https://www.rafaelmandelman.com/endorsements
Incumbent Supervisor whose votes most reflect your values: Rafael Mandelman
Incumbent whose votes least reflect your values: I do my best to work with all of my colleagues and endeavor to find common ground with all of them.
If the election were held today, who would you support as Board President: It would depend on who was running.
Who would be your second and third choices: See above.
Who did you endorse for Mayor in 2019 (all 3 choices, if applicable): Mark Leno.
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 was a strong supporter of Instant Runoff Voting (or Ranked Choice Voting) when it was before the voters in 2002. IRV/RCV provides the voter with greater ability to express voting preferences compared to first-past-the-post voting, and it avoids a costly run off election. I continue to wonder, however, if we haven't lost something in giving up a runoff that allowed voters to focus their thinking on the final two choices.
District elections give voters direct access to their Supervisors, and provide geographically concentrated communities of interest the opportunity to gain political representation (for example, the Supervisor representing the Castro has always been LGBT+ under the district-based election model).
+ - ?
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Sub-government such as Neighborhood Assemblies, Networks or District Councils
[ ] [ ] [ ? ] Some commissions should be democratically elected
[ ] [ - ] [ ] The Mayor should appoint all commissioners
[ ] [ ] [ ? ] Voters' right to recall elected officials
[ ] [ - ] [ ] Ethics Commission should be disbanded
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Ethics Commission meetings should be televised
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Ethics Commission should prioritize investigating violations from well-funded campaigns
[ ] [ - ] [ ] My campaign accepts corporate contributions
[ ] [ - ] [ ] 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.
I am proud to have a strong environmental record on the Board of Supervisors. I sponsored the resolution that declared a state of climate emergency in San Francisco and directed city departments to work together to devise a plan for meeting SF's net zero GHG emission goal by 2050. I also authored the City's ordinance banning natural gas in new construction.
Over multiple budget approval processes, I have worked with environmental advocates to secure General Fund dollars for the Department of the Environment to work on issues like building decarbonization and expansion of electric vehicle infrastructure. I also have advocated and secured funding to support the Department in identifying potential dedicated revenue (e.g., a carbon tax) to pay for costs associated with transitioning to a green economy.
San Francisco needs to reduce the 40% of greenhouse gas emissions derived from transportation in combustion engine vehicles. I co-sponsored legislation to allow for more electric vehicle charging stations in neighborhoods across San Francisco. As Vice Chair and Chair of the County Transportation Authority, I have helped allocate hundreds of millions of dollars in local sales tax, vehicle registration fees, and TNC taxes to pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements, transit infrastructure investments, and paratransit operations in every part of the city. I was an early and consistent supporter of Car Free JFK and I have supported slow streets in my District.
If re-elected, I intend to continue working on building decarbonization, specifically focusing on the conversion of existing buildings, as well as other environmental priorities, including the conversion of the City's vehicle fleet to all-electric and installation of infrastructure to support the broader transition of private vehicles to electricity as a power source, improving our public transportation system and bicycle/scooter networks to allow people to get around without a private automobile, and expanding the City's tree canopy, sidewalk gardens, and green spaces.
+ - ?
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Phasing out all diesel buses (e.g., Muni, tour, shuttles)
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Public Power with 100% local/regional clean energy mandate
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Install local/regional clean energy, efficiency, and battery storage to supply 100% of our electricity by 2035
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Reducing or eliminating parking minimums in new housing and commercial developments
[ ] [ ] [ ? ] In the Bayview and on Treasure Island, halt all US Navy land transfers to the city or developers, and halt all development, until all sites are retested and cleaned to Residential Standards
[ ] [ ] [ ? ] Natural Areas Program
[ ] [ ] [ ? ] Tree Removals
[ ] [ ] [ ? ] Use of herbicides in public parks
[ ] [ ] [ ? ] Addition of SF Groundwater to City's potable supply
[ ] [ ] [ ? ] Artificial turf on City-owned athletic fields
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Managed retreat, Coastal Zone protection, and restoring wetlands in response to Global Warming
3) Social Justice:
A) What is your assessment of homelessness in San Francisco, and what
solutions do you propose?
No issue has occupied more of my time and attention over the last four years than our City's homelessness crisis, and especially the mental health and addiction challenges experienced by many of our unhoused residents. I have strongly supported and will continue to fight for additional resources to end homelessness for as many people as we can. I will also continue to push for immediate exits from the street for any unsheltered person willing and able to accept an exit and for a more assertive response (through case management where possible, conservatorship where necessary) and appropriate placements for people who need higher levels of care.
I worked to open a Hummingbird Navigation Center in my district (which to my regret was re-districted out during this year's redistricting process). I also worked to open a safe sleep site at Everett Middle School during the worst days of the pandemic. I have tried without success to get the City to purchase either of two hotels on Market Street for use as housing for homeless youth (the owner was not interested in selling). I believe every district should do its fair share to alleviate homelessness.
+ - ?
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Project Homeless Connect
[ ] [ ] [ ? ] Care Not Cash
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Community courts
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Healthy SF
[ + ] [ ] [ ] SF's sick leave requirements
[ ] [ ] [ ? ] Law against sitting down on SF sidewalks
[ + ] [ ] [ ] 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 supported and will continue to support additional dedicated revenue for the acquisition, preservation and development of regulated affordable housing. In fact I think I have campaigned for every affordable housing measure that has appeared on a San Francisco ballot in the last twenty years. I also used District add-back dollars to pay for a study of affordable housing needs in District 8, and will continue to try to identify sites and funding for affordable housing preservation and development in the District.
With regard to market rate housing, I believe that it is too easy to build extremely large single family homes in San Francisco and too hard to build multi-unit small and medium sized apartment buildings. During my time in office, I have passed laws to constrain the development of “monster homes” in District 8 and to create a path to allow development of up to four units on any RH-zoned parcel in San Francisco and up to six units on corner lots. I am disappointed that the Mayor vetoed my fourplex legislation, but I plan to continue trying.
+ - ?
[ ] [ ] [ ? ] Building more market rate housing will lower housing costs for current SF residents
[ ] [ ] [ ? ] Impacts of all new development should be paid for in advance by fees on developers
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Housing as a right
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Community Land Trusts, Housing Co-ops
[ ] [ - ] [ ] Rent Control is too strong
[ ] [ ] [ ? ] Elected Rent Board
[ + ] [ ] [ ] HOME-SF (density bonus program)
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Social Housing (similar to https://www.sfcommunityhousingact.com/)
[ ] [ ] [ ? ] Ban on Airbnb and other short term rentals
[ ] [ ] [ ? ] Require full disclosure of all corporate/speculative interests in parties purchasing/developing property
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Vacancy tax on empty homes
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Flipping taxes on housing speculation
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Pied-a-terre Tax on residential property owners who do not reside in SF
[ ] [ - ] [ ] Condo conversion is currently too difficult
4) Nonviolence: What are your solutions for SFPD accountability while
making the streets safer?
I have been a strong supporter of Street Crisis Response Teams (a top recommendation of the 2019 Methamphetamine Task Force that I co-chaired) and other alternatives to overusing police where other people can get the job done better. I also believe, however, that even as we pursue these alternatives, we continue to need police officers, that their work becomes more complicated and time-intensive as we implement necessary policing reforms, and that recruitment and retention of a diverse police force capable of addressing our public safety challenges while building trust in all of San Francisco's neighborhoods is one of the most important things local government needs to do right now.
I have also been a strong supporter of the City pursuing alternatives to incarceration where we can. I voted for the legislation to close Juvenile Hall and to close 850 Bryant. However, I also believe that we continue to need humane places to involuntarily detain people who have committed serious crimes and/or serial offenders. I have advocated for additional locked and unlocked treatment facilities for people with behavioral health needs, including those in the criminal justice system, and for more effective discharge planning and placements for those leaving jail. I have also been a leading advocate on the Board for the City living up to our Treatment on Demand policy, including for those within the criminal justice system.
+ - ?
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Prioritize SFPD enforcement of moving violations
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Support expansion of foot patrols
[ ] [ ] [ ? ] Demand stricter accountability in future MOUs with the SFPD
[ + ] [ ] [ ] The Board of Supervisors should be able to set policies and priorities for the SFPD through legislation
[ ] [ - ] [ ] Support a public safety program modeled after NYC's "Stop and Frisk"
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Prosecution of SFPD Officers involved in violet attacks on, and fatal shooting deaths of, SF residents and visitors
[ + ] [ ] [ ] End cash bail for nonviolent crimes
[ ] [ ] [ ? ] Cut police funding and increase social program spending to better address root causes of crime
5) Decentralization: What are your thoughts on the Kaufman Charter
of 1996? Does it need revisiting?
I think about the Charter and potential amendments a lot, but for the moment I have observations rather than proposals. San Francisco municipal government seems broken to me, and I wonder if it has something to do with the separation of powers principles reflected in its charter. We all understand the benefits of checks and balances in our federal government; the Founders put our system in place to avoid tyranny. They were fearful of too much government and built the federal constitution to avoid that. Separation of powers is far less common, and probably less necessary, at the local level. Most California counties and cities are run by legislative bodies that select a chief administrator to oversee the day-to-day administration of government consistent with the policy directives of the legislative body. San Francisco has a “strong mayor” form of government, but that mayor's efficacy is limited by the built-in, inherent tension between the mayor and a board of supervisors that may not share the mayor's goals, priorities or approach. Most cities and counties also have far fewer members of their legislative bodies, five or seven instead of the eleven supervisors we have, and I do think a smaller board would likely be a more effective one. Lastly, even within the basic framework we have in San Francisco (i.e., strong, independently elected mayor), it strikes me that there could be a benefit in bringing more functions of City government under the purview of the City Administrator. One of the biggest problems I see with City government is the silo-ization of functions across departments; it would be good to find some structural fix (e.g., stronger city administrator, deputy mayors, etc.) to try to break down those walls and have our local city government function as more of a unified whole. I would also like to see more parts of City government under the City Administrator.
+ - ?
[ ] [ ] [ ? ] Bring the Housing Authority under the Board of Supervisors
[ ] [ ] [ ? ] Will you create formal district councils to advise you?
[ ] [ ] [ ? ] Charter amendment allowing voters to choose the replacement of an elected official being recalled on the same ballot as the recall vote
[ ] [ ] [ ? ] 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?
I support redistributive taxation policies at all levels of government to reduce the wealth gap and ensure adequate revenue for important public priorities. I think investments in people (education, job training, small business assistance) are among the most important of those priorities.
+ - ?
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Legislation limiting formula retail outlets/chain stores
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Conditional Use permit required for big box stores
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Municipal broadband as a public utility
[ ] [ ] [ ? ] Neighborhood cooperatives prioritized as a local supply chain for legalized marijuana
[ + ] [ ] [ ] I support recreational marijuana stores opening in my district
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Local hiring requirements should be enforced and expanded to include private projects
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Strong preference for union jobs
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Conversion of some golf courses into soccer fields
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Conversion of some golf courses into wild open space
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Prop 13 limits on tax increases should apply only to residential properties
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Commercial Rent Control
[ ] [ ] [ ? ] Transition all residential and small business rental
properties into not-for-profit trusts and co-ops
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Vacancy and flipping taxes on local small business property
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Transaction/Flipping taxes on all asset speculation to increase city budget
[ ] [ ] [ ? ] San Francisco Public Bank by 2025
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?
I do believe women are underrepresented in city government, certainly on the Board of Supervisors, and I think it's a problem. I believe it is important to support women running for office, and I have a strong record of doing just that.
+ - ?
[ + ] [ ] [ ] The City should help SFUSD provide child care for children of working parents
[ + ] [ ] [ ] The DPH should provide reproductive health services to both residents and visitors
[ ] [ - ] [ ] Require parental consent for minors seeking an abortion
[ ] [ - ] [ ] 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?
I believe San Francisco's diversity is its strength and cannot think of a “worst” aspect of it.
+ - ?
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Multilingual government and public education
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Undocumented immigrants should have equal access to education and health care
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Non-citizen residents should be able to vote in all local elections
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Full rights for transgender and non-gender-binary persons
[ ] [ ] [ ? ] Boards and commissions now reflect the ethnic diversity of San Francisco
[ ] [ ] [ ? ] Boards and commissions now reflect the political diversity of San Francisco
[ + ] [ ] [ ] 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
I generally think the Board of Supervisors should focus on local issues. Nonetheless, I think it is appropriate for the Board of Supervisors to weigh in on state, national and international issues where they may be especially important to the City and/or its residents.
+ - ?
[ ] [ - ] [ ] City government cooperating with the PATRIOT Act
[ ] [ - ] [ ] City government cooperating with ICE/Secure Communities
[ ] [ - ] [ ] City government should boycott Israel until it complies with UN resolutions and international law
[ ] [ ] [ ? ] 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 try to consult widely among interested/affected parties, to hear as many perspectives as there may be on an issue, and to get as much information as possible in the time we have.
+ - ?
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Fleet Week and the Blue Angels flyover
[ ] [ - ] [ ] In a severe recession, environmental regulations should be suspended to create jobs
[ ] [ ] [ ? ] 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?
I strongly support Transit First. I campaigned for Proposition A on the June ballot, and my top electoral priority for this year (aside from my re-election) is renewal of the Transportation Authority's half cent sales tax. This sales tax helps fund approximately a hundred million dollars of investment annually in local and regional transportation systems that pass through San Francisco and will help fund our local match to draw down billions of dollars in Federal funding for downtown extension of Caltrain and eventually High Speed Rail into the transit center in the basement of the Salesforce Tower, as well as other important infrastructure projects and capital investments. .
In 2019, I worked with the Mayor and then-Chair of the TA Aaron Peskin to convene the Transit Reliability Working Group to identify barriers to Muni service improvement and strategize ways to overcome these challenges. While the Covid-19 pandemic has delayed the implementation of these findings, they do provide a blueprint for progress at Muni.
+ - ?
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Muni should be funded sufficiently to replace most car use, and be free to the rider
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Downtown Transit Assessment Tax to support Muni
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Citywide Transit Assessment Tax to support Muni
[ ] [ ] [ ? ] More weekend closures of streets in/near my district to cars (e.g., Car-Free GGP)
[ + ] [ ] [ ] State law change that lets bicycles treat stop signs as yield signs and red lights as stop signs
[ + ] [ ] [ ] I ride Muni, bicycle and/or walk instead of driving on a regular basis
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Bus Rapid Transit expanded to all major transit corridors in SF
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Car hailing services like Uber and Lyft should be regulated as taxis, or banned
[ ] [ ] [ ? ] Scooter/similar vehicle rentals should be required to store vehicles on private property
[ ] [ - ] [ ] Allow residents to park on the sidewalk without getting a ticket, unless their neighbors complain
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Congestion pricing for parking
[ ] [ ] [ ? ] Power more City vehicles using biofuels (e.g., corn-based ethanol)
[ ] [ ] [ ? ] Residents should be allowed to park in the street in front of their own driveway for free
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Support expanding parking meter hours to include later evening hours and weekends
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Remove parking spots and car lanes to create dedicated bike and bus lanes or wider sidewalks
Your positions (at the time) on selected current and past Propositions (skip any for which you didn't live or vote in SF, or didn't take a position at the time):
+ - ?
[ + ] [ ] [ ] June 2022 Prop A (General Bond)
[ ] [ - ] [ ] June 2022 Prop C (Recall Reform)
[ ] [ ] [ ] June 2022 Prop H (Boudin Recall)
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Nov 2020 Prop G (16-17 y.o. voting, local elections)
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Nov 2020 Prop I (Real Estate Transfer Tax)
[ + ] [ ] [ ] June 2018 Prop F (Eviction Defense)
[ ] [ - ] [ ] June 2018 Prop H (Tasers for SFPD)
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Nov 2016 Prop D (Vacancy appointments)
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Nov 2016 Prop N (Non-citizen voting, school board)
[ ] [ - ] [ ] Nov 2016 Prop Q (Prohibiting tents on public sidewalks)
[ + ] [ ] [ ] Nov 2016 Prop 62 (Ending Death Penalty)
Due Date: Sat, Sep 3, 11:59 pm.
Please submit by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, call
Barry Hermanson at 415-255-9494. 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 will invite all candidates who return completed
questionnaires on time to speak and answer questions at our candidate
forum and endorsement meeting (scheduled for Wed, Sep 7 from 6:30 - 9
pm). Please note the earlier start time. We hope to finish all
candidate interviews by around 8. 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 email@example.com. Otherwise, we'll interview
candidates as you arrive. This will be a hybrid meeting, so you may
also talk to us via Zoom if you prefer. Our forum and endorsement
meeting will take place at the Redstone Building, on the third floor
(room TBA). The Redstone is 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,