San Francisco Green Party Supervisor Candidate Questionnaire 2012

Instructions: 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.
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: David Chiu
Phone Number: (415) 226-9564
Web site:
Name of Campaign Manager: Jen Kwart
Are you receiving public financing: None of the candidates are receiving public financing.
Signed voluntary spending limit: Per Section 1.128 of the SF Campaign & Governmental Conduct Code, there is no such thing as a voluntary expenditure ceiling for Supervisor races.
2nd, 3rd endorsements in District: None.

Major Endorsements: I have received all of the major organizational endorsements in my race thus far, including the San Francisco Democratic Party, SF Labor Council, Sierra Club, SF Tomorrow, SF Rising Action, Coleman Action Fund, United Educators of SF, California Nurses, SEIU 1021, SF Firefighters, SF Building Construction Trades Council, Latino Democratic Club, Irish American Democratic Club, Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, FDR Democratic Club, and SF Democratic Women in Action, along with Attorney General Kamala Harris, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, State Senators Mark Leno and Leland Yee, District Attorney George Gascon, Public Defender Jeff Adachi, Treasurer Jose Cisneros, Assessor Phil Ting, a super majority of the Board of Supervisors, a majority of the Board of Education and the Community College Board of Trustees, and many leaders from the District 3 neighborhoods of North Beach, Chinatown, Telegraph Hill, Russian Hill, Nob Hill, Polk Street, Union Square, Barbary Coast and Fisherman's Wharf.

Favorite Incumbent Supervisor: David Chiu ;)

Least favorite: As Board President, my job every day is to build consensus, and it has been important for me to have a good relationship with each of my colleagues to work on the myriad of challenges facing our City.

If the election were held today, Who would you support as Board President: David Chiu

Who would be your second and third choices: See my answer to the "Least Favorite" question.

Who did you support for Mayor in 2011: I ran for Mayor this past November.

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 have supported ranked-choice voting (RCV), since it has led to greater diversity of representation at the Board of Supervisors, allowed voters to express more electoral preferences, and saved money. However, I have proposed an amendment to support Supervisor Farrell's most current proposal to allow for a run-off election in Mayoral races, if RCV is used to select the top two candidates for the run-off election and the two election dates are chosen to maximize turnout.

I have always strongly defended district elections, including in this op-ed I co-authored with Assemblyman Tom Ammiano last year:

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[ ] [ ] [ x ] Sheriff Mirkarimi should be restored to office.
As a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors about to consider the matter, we have been advised by the City Attorney's Office to not comment on the topic.

[ x ] [ ] [ ] Sub-government such as Neighborhood Assemblies, Networks or District Councils
Community engagement is key to delivering for our neighborhoods. In District 3's North Beach neighborhood, we brought together residents, local businesses and community leaders to directly tackle the issues they face together in a neighborhood council. Our neighborhood council model has empowered the community to face their problems first-hand and provides them the resources and access to do so, and I would support expanding this citywide.

[ ] [ ] [ x ] Some commissions should be democratically elected.
[ ] [ x ] [ ] The Mayor should appoint all commissioners.
[ 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
[ ] [ x ] [ ] My supervisorial campaign is using leftover funds from a DCCC campaign

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

In recent years, San Francisco has led the country in protecting our environment. As President of the Board of Supervisors, I'm proud to have passed four major pieces of first-in-the-nation legislation: our country's highest standards for regular energy audits in San Francisco's commercial buildings; a program to encourage the phasing out of the "toxic trio" of chemicals commonly found in nail polishes; urban agriculture legislation which permits gardens throughout the City and allows for the sale of garden produce; and groundbreaking legislation preventing the mass over-distribution of unwanted Yellow Pages. If re-elected, I would continue my leadership in this area, and lead the fight to make sure San Francisco remains on the forefront of the environmental movement.

While there are numerous environmental issues, I believe our top priorities are: (1) reducing energy consumption, particularly in our commercial and residential buildings; (2) improving our public transit system, to make it easier for people to transition from private cars to other transit modes, including Muni, car share, bikes, walking, and taxicabs; (3) conserving, protecting and expanding our open spaces, water sources and coasts. As Board President, I have already been addressing these areas. I would continue to partner with the private sector as well as environmental advocacy organizations to implement cutting edge-energy alternatives for our city.

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[ x ] [ ] [ ] Phasing out diesel tour buses
[ x ] [ ] [ ] Public Power

I supported Prop H's Clean Energy Act in 2008 to ensure that San Francisco achieves clean energy goals as quickly as possible and to study options to improve electric services. If the Act had passed and such studies showed that public power would result in reduced utility bills, set higher standards for renewable energy and lead to greater city revenues, I would support moving forward.

[ x ] [ ] [ ] Community Choice Aggregation
I have supported efforts to implement a Community Choice Aggregation program that achieves the goals of creating local jobs, supplying locally generated renewable energy at costs comparable to PG&E, and reasonably and cost effectively shifting the City's energy portfolio to a majority renewable energy portfolio. I will be reviewing the most recent proposal from Shell Energy with these goals in mind.

[ x ] [ ] [ ] Tidal power that might be harnessed in San Francisco Bay should be publicly controlled.
[ ] [ x ] [ ] New runways in the bay at SFO
[ x ] [ ] [ ] Reducing or eliminating parking minimums in new housing and commercial developments
[ ] [ ] [ x ] Congestion tolls on Doyle Drive
[ x ] [ ] [ ] Natural Areas Program
[ x ] [ ] [ ] Artificial turf on City-owned athletic fields
While I supported the most recent Beach Chalet project with all but one of my colleagues, we need to ensure that any artificial turf proposal be carefully evaluated for its environmental impact.

3) Social Justice:

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

Our city's homeless debate often swings between the ideological pendulum of a law-and-order approach that criminalizes behavior associated with homelessness and a service-based approach that does not always get to the root of the problem. We must integrate the two approaches, as well as incent the construction of truly affordable family housing to end the cycle of homelessness once and for all:

As a Supervisor, I have worked with the city's Planning Department and the Mayor's Office of Housing to pass a comprehensive update to the city's low-income affordable housing program, bringing it in line with recent state requirements while ensuring that affordable units are built. I am committed to bringing together public, private and nonprofit stakeholders so we can prioritize the creation of truly affordable housing. As I did with the Hunter's Point Shipyard redevelopment project, I will work to craft agreements in which new developments must have a significant percentage of units that are permanently affordable and suitable for our families and workforce.

I support San Francisco's existing Surplus Property Ordinance, which requires such property to be transferred to the Mayor's Office of Housing to be used to create affordable housing, particularly for San Franciscans who are homeless. I would work with all City departments to make sure that they are abiding by the letter and the spirit of the ordinance.

Supportive housing with a continuum of care services is one of the most important things we can do to address homelessness, as well as to care for seniors and other communities in need of care. I'm proud to have amended the planning code to incent the construction of senior housing, as well as to sponsor the legislation turning 150 Otis into affordable housing for homeless veterans.

It is unacceptable that LGBT youth make up a disproportionately high percentage of San Francisco's homeless population. Promoting supportive and accepting families is probably the single biggest thing we can do to significantly lower risk of LGBT youth homelessness. The City can and should implement outreach programs that educate families on the effects of rejecting their children who may come out at an early age. We must also take seriously the reality of emotional and even physical abuse of LGBT youth by their own communities, and make clear that things like bullying will not be tolerated in a City like ours.

We need to continue to innovate new solutions for their public health care and connect the homeless with integrated services they need and deserve - health care, drug or alcohol treatment, mental health, job training, and affordable housing.

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[ x ] [ ] [ ] Project Homeless Connect
[ x ] [ ] [ ] Care Not Cash.
[ x ] [ ] [ ] Community courts
[ x ] [ ] [ ] SF's minimum wage law
[ x ] [ ] [ ] SF's health care mandate
[ x ] [ ] [ ] SF's sick leave requirements
[ ] [ x ] [ ] Law against sitting down on SF sidewalks

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

Throughout my career, I have taken an active role in advocating for affordable housing. Prior to taking office, I served as chair of one of San Francisco's leading affordable housing organizations that has developed over 2,000 units of housing for tenants, seniors, immigrants and working families. As a Supervisor, I sponsored legislation that insulated our city's Inclusionary Affordable Housing Program against recent court decisions, facilitated the creation of housing cooperatives, incentivized the construction of senior housing, created permanently affordable rental housing for homeless veterans, and protected tenants facing Ellis Act evictions by owners who wanted to replace housing units with garages.

I am committed to bringing together public, private and nonprofit stakeholders so we can prioritize the creation of affordable housing. I will work to craft agreements in which new developments must have a significant percentage of units that are affordable and suitable for low and middle income families and workforce. I will also work to allow for greater housing density where appropriate, especially along commercial and transit-rich corridors. Finally, I will protect rent control in order to retain families that might otherwise be forced out of the city due to rising costs.

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[ ] [ x ] [ ] Impacts of all new development should be paid for in advance by fees on developers
[ x ] [ ] [ ] Community Land Trust
[ ] [ x ] [ ] Rent Control is too strong
[ ] [ ] [ x ] Elected Rent Board
[ ] [ ] [ x ] Amnesty for illegal in-law apartments
[ ] [ x ] [ ] Condo conversion is currently too difficult
I would not support increasing condo conversions without broader policy solutions that address the lack of affordable housing and the diminishing rental housing stock in San Francisco.

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

As a former prosecutor and judge-arbitrator for a neighborhood community court, I have first-hand experience with our criminal justice system. I know that public safety requires extensive collaboration between our police department, District Attorney, court system, probation and social service programs that can prevent crimes in the first place. No single cause explains why people commit crime, and no single strategy will solve all of our problems.

I believe there are at least three root causes of crime in our city. The first is poverty and economic desperation, often caused by persistent unemployment or a lack of real job opportunities. The second is unstable family life; studies have shown that lack of parental supervision, care, and involvement are predictors of future delinquent behavior. The third is untreated mental illness and substance abuse.

We have have a three-pronged approach to tackling crime - addressing these root causes, preventing crime before it happens, and enforcing the laws on the books.

To address the root causes, we must prioritize economic development, education and family services, and public health services - particularly for those in socioeconomically struggling neighborhoods. I will continue to champion policies that encourage small business growth, local hiring, community development, and job training. Our city must put general fund dollars into education and family services, aligning the two wherever possible; investing in after-school programs, programs for at-risk youth, truancy programs, and youth employment will help prevent crime now - as well as 5, 15, and 25 years from now. And we cannot balance our budget by cutting public health services that so many depend on, literally, to live.

To prevent crime, I believe strongly in community policing. That means promoting formal and informal mechanisms for residents to collaborate with the police department, and supporting beat patrol officers to build effective relationships. I also believe good data analysis is crucial to effective crime prevention, which is why the SFPD should continue to integrate the CompStat model into its everyday policing, and we need to implement our JUSTIS program to share data between law enforcement agencies.

To enforce the law, the SFPD must continue to implement ongoing reforms and modernization. Additionally, with many police officers retiring, we need trained professionals to replenish the ranks. In the last budget, I supported funding for new Police Academy classes because it's critical for long-term public safety.

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[ ] [ 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."
As a former civil rights attorney, I oppose a "stop-and-frisk" program and co-sponsored a resolution at the Board of Supervisors reiterating that position.

5) Decentralization: What are your thoughts on the Kaufman Charter of 1996? Does it need revisiting?
No constituents have ever asked me to revisit the 1996 Charter, but I'm always open to considering reasonable changes.

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[ ] [ x ] [ ] Bring the Housing Authority under the Board of Supervisors
[ ] [ ] [ x ] Will you create formal district councils to advise you?
[ ] [ x ] [ ] Two aides for each Supervisor are sufficient
[ ] [ x ] [ ] Charter amendment allowing voters to choose the replacement of an elected official being recalled on the same ballot as the recall vote

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?

Over the next five years, we will still have significant budget shortfalls, and in addition to future budget cuts, we should consider new revenue sources. For years, I have advocated replacing our current business payroll tax, which is viewed by economists as a job-killing tax that is only paid by 8,000 of our City's 80,000 businesses, with a gross receipts tax that could increase revenue by broadening its tax base; I hope we will see the passage of business tax reform this November. I have supported legislation to allow San Francisco to re-establish the Vehicle License Fee to the level it was at before Governor Schwarzenegger gutted our state finances by rolling back the fee that had existed for decades. I also recently proposed obtaining new revenues from leasing some of the City's unused high-speed communications infrastructure -- called dark fiber -- to the private and nonprofit sectors.

Planning must be streamlined and transparent in order to be a stimulant and not a drag on our local economy. But in San Francisco, we just have too much land use bureaucracy. In addition to the Planning Department, we have the MTA, Mayor's Office of Economic and Workforce Development, Building Inspection, and other agencies. We need to find a way to consolidate these departments, and create a planning process that make sense for all parties. That means we cannot continue to treat big development projects the same as planting a sidewalk tree or adding outdoor seating to a restaurant. It also means decisions shouldn't be made by a select few but instead by all citizens - renters, homeowners, business owners, and community leaders alike. Everyone should be able to quickly understand regulations and obtain the necessary permits without bureaucratic hassle.

The Redevelopment Agency has been central to the most significant development projects of recent decades, including Mission Bay, Hunter's Point and Treasure Island, with Transbay next in line. Redevelopment has been crucial to the creation of affordable housing in San Francisco. I joined most San Francisco leaders as part of the larger effort to persuade the Governor to reform and not eliminate Redevelopment. I understand very well the challenges that its elimination poses - it puts many projects that San Francisco has worked on for years at risk due to inadequate funding. I have been working with fellow Supervisors to ensure that there is funding available for existing projects to continue, and if reelected, I will ensure that there is adequate funding in the budget for them to be completed.

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[ x ] [ ] [ ] Legislation limiting formula retail outlets/chain-stores
I believe San Francisco's unique retail character, especially in our neighborhood commercial corridors, depends on the vibrancy and variety of locally-based merchants that serve both residents and visitors alike. I support the current formula retail controls that are in place now.
[ ] [ ] [ x ] Conditional Use permit required for big box stores
[ x ] [ ] [ ] The biotech payroll tax break
[ x ] [ ] [ ] Municipal broadband
[ x ] [ ] [ ] Local hiring requirements should be enforced
[ x ] [ ] [ ] Conversion of some golf courses into soccer fields
[ x ] [ ] [ ] Prop 13 limits on tax increases should apply only to residential properties

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 am a long-time civil rights advocate and former civil rights attorney who passionately believes that more women and minorities ought to be elected and appointed to local, state and federal office. In the past, I have supported numerous local women candidates with my time, money, fundraising assiztance, and strategic help. I have encouraged younger women to run, and have supported the Emerge program to recruit and train more local female candidates for political office. I have also assisted and advised several women through the judicial appointments process who are now state court judges. I intend to continue these activities -- to seek out, recruit, advise and campaign for great women candidates -- so that we can work together to eliminate the gender disparity in the political world

As a Supervisor, the vast majority of my appointments have been women: Debra Walker to the Building Inspection Commission, Kathleen Dooley to the Small Business Commission, Jan Blum to the Park, Rec and Open Space Advisory Committee, Hillary Liang to the Youth Commission, Karen Melender-Magoon to the Library Citizen Advisory Committee, Nafiseh Lindberg to the Graffiti Advisory Board, Aiko Pandorf to the Family Violence Council, and Dorothy Liu to the Ethics Commission. I have actively sought our qualified, diverse candidates for this positions and championed them both privately with my colleagues and publicly with San Franciscans at large. I continue to support for the Department on the Status of Women's gender equity principles projects. We also need to look into our budgeting process, to ensure that there is a fair distribution of resources by gender.

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[ 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?

Throughout our history, San Francisco has been a beacon of diversity to the rest of the world, and I believe it continues to be among our greatest strengths. But in recent years, I have heard from too many San Franciscans who aren't sure if they have a place in our City anymore. Whether it is day laborers from the Mission, African American families in the Bayview, or Chinese seniors in public housing, if we're going to succeed as a city, we need to make sure people of diverse backgrounds can live here.

To do that, we must acknowledge that this is a problem worthy of government attention, then take concrete steps to solve it. First, we must make economic development of neighborhoods a priority. Second, we must provide truly affordable housing for low-income and middle-class families, which is why I've spearheaded efforts to facilitate the creation of housing cooperatives and ease the requirements for purchasing units at below-market rates. Third, San Francisco cannot continue to lose families because our schools struggle. I am committed to working with SF Unified School District to build the strongest education system in the state.

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[ x ] [ ] [ ] Multilingual government and 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: What are your thoughts on the Board of Supervisors taking positions on state, national and international issues?

Overall, I believe voters elect their officials to deal primarily with issues of local concern, and that would continue to be my focus if reelected. That said, cities are laboratories of democracy, and their elected officials can lead the way in shaping the larger debates by staking out strong positions on issues of concern outside of our city borders. San Francisco is at its best when we're leading the way on issues of social justice, as we've recently done with marriage equality and universal health care. We have a responsibility to continue to show the rest of the country and the world that smart, progressive policy based on shared values can work. I also believe that San Francisco's Supervisors should be advocates for the City at both the state and federal level because their budget decisions so clearly affects the resources available to us locally.

When it comes to foreign policy, over the years, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors has garnered negative national political attention when it wades into controversial issues of foreign policy, such as last year's debate over the Flotilla resolution. Since we are not the United States Congress and are elected to solve issues of local concern, I would not support future legislative action that attempts to support controversial foreign policy matters.

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[ ] [ x ] [ ] City government cooperating with the PATRIOT Act
[ ] [ x ] [ ] City government cooperating with ICE
[ x ] [ ] [ ] City government should boycott Arizona until policies are changed
[ ] [ x ] [ ] City government should boycott Israel until policies are changed
[ x ] [ ] [ ] Fleet Week and the Blue Angels flyover
[ ] [ x ] [ ] Business taxes are too high
[ ] [ x ] [ ] In a severe recession, environmental regulations should be suspended to create jobs
[ ] [ x ] [ ] SF supervisors should take a position on offshore oil drilling outside CA

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?

To enhance San Francisco's quality of life, preserve our environment, and ensure our economic health, we must chart a course towards a more efficient and reliable transportation system that meets the needs of our residents, and prioritize development that is truly transit-oriented. That's what Transit First means to me.

We can fulfill our Charter's "Transit First" mandate by better managing what we have to get the most out of our existing transportation system; using technology to make Muni and parking more efficient; prioritizing environmentally sustainable ways of getting around; and making transportation convenient, safe and affordable for people in all parts of the city.

As someone who doesn't own a car, I personally understand our city's transportation challenges. I have supported free Muni passes for youth, opposed proposed Muni fare increases, and supported implementing the TEP's recommendations to improve Muni. Since Muni operations have been underfunded, I have also advocated to restore the Vehicle License Fee gutted by Governor Schwarzenegger, which alone could generate over $50 million per year for transit.

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[ x ] [ ] [ ] MUNI should be funded greater levels and be free to the rider
I agree with the 1st half of statement, and believe youth should be able to ride for free.
[ ] [ ] [ x ] Downtown Transit Assessment Tax to support MUNI
I am open to various revenue possibilities to support MUNI.
[ ] [ ] [ x ] Citywide Transit Assessment Tax to support MUNI
I am open to various revenue possibilities to support MUNI.
[ x ] [ ] [ ] Higher residential construction along neighborhood transit corridors, which may include raising height limits by two to three stories.
[ ] [ ] [ x ] Diversion of money set aside for seismic retrofit projects into a solar energy incentives program
[ ] [ 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 on Geary
[ ] [ ] [ x ] Allow residents to park on the sidewalk without getting a ticket, unless their neighbors complain
[ x ] [ ] [ ] I agree with the recommendations in the Peak Oil Task Force Report
[ ] [ ] [ 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 ] [ ] [ x ] Oppose 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 ] [ ] [ ] 2012 Prop A (City College Bond)
[ x ] [ ] [ ] 2012 Prop B (Park Bond)
[ x ] [ ] [ ] 2012 Prop C (Housing Trust Fund)
[ x ] [ ] [ ] 2012 Prop D (Consolidating Municipal Elections)
[ x ] [ ] [ ] 2012 Prop E (Business Tax Reform)
[ ] [ x ] [ ] 2012 Prop F (Restore Hetch Hetchy Planning)
[ x ] [ ] [ ] 2012 Prop G (Corporate Personhood)

[ x ] [ ] [ ] 2011 Prop C (Mayor's Pension measure)
[ ] [ x ] [ ] 2011 Prop D (Adachi's Pension measure)
[ x] [ ] [ ] 2011 Prop E (Amendments to initiative ordinances)

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