San Francisco Green Party Mayoral Candidate Questionnaire 2015


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: Reed Martin
Phone Number: 415-579-1575
Web site:
Name of Campaign Manager: Tara Holmes
Are you receiving public financing: n/a
Signed voluntary spending limit: Yes
Major Endorsements: SF Tenants Union
2nd, 3rd endorsements for Mayor 2015: Francisco Herrera, Amy Weiss
Who are you endorsing for Sheriff in 2015: No endorsement.

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 am generally happy with instant runoff voting and highly advocate a more broad adoption of the concepts behind it. I would advocate for better clarity, however, as it has not entirely met its goal. I would love to see San Francisco evaluate ways to improve the concepts behind IRV.

+ - ?
[ 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 ] Supervisors appointed to fill vacancies should not be allowed to run in the next election
[ ] [ ] [ X ] Mayor Lee's efforts to remove Sheriff Mirkarimi from office
[ 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.

Ecologically, we need to develop a true plan to commit to, support, and expand our natural spaces; take back our street trees to manage municipally, rather than transferring to property owners; work to reduce pollution and particulate matter by reducing private vehicle traffic and committing to public transportation. I'm torn regarding congestion tolls, as I appreciate the goals of reducing private vehicle traffic, noise, and pollution, but congestion taxing disproportionally costs lower income drivers. I’d much rather see better public transportation options that outweigh private vehicle benefits. From a power perspective, it's important that San Francisco move to a 100% renewable energy model, including building an interconnected mesh of renewable energy within the city itself. Not only is this ecologically sound, it's more resilient in the event of natural disaster.

+ - ?
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Phasing out diesel tour buses
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Public Power
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Community Choice Aggregation
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Tidal power that might be harnessed in San Francisco Bay should be publicly controlled.
[ 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

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

San Francisco needs true Housing First initiatives to help get our most vulnerable off the streets and into more stable situations. We also need to ensure that we have reliable and quick social service responses to crises of food, shelter, or counseling. Anyone in San Francisco who sees someone in need or in a crisis should be able to contact a social service department to respond, rather than relying on police.

+ - ?
[ 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

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

I strongly support visions surrounding Community Land Trusts. I disagree with the notion that Rent Control is too strong, but I encourage San Francisco to look into models that can more holistically address rental affordability.

While supply and demand plays a role in our affordability model, it's important to understand how it is affected on an extremely constrained resource, particularly one that is so vital to humanity. When global real estate speculation affects "demand" for housing for San Francisco residents, we have a problem. So while increasing supply is important, so is decreasing fabricated demand. We can start by instituting policies that reduce or remove housing from speculation markets. Other world cities facing affordability crises have looked to policies such as residency requirements or vacancy taxes.

On the rental side, reducing incentives for landlords to evict tenants (ie., to increase rent to market rate) is imperative. Vacancy control is one method of handling this situation, but it has been a multi-decade struggle and remains un-passed. I have a few thoughts on this, and have proposed the evaluation of two additional visions: Rent Caps and what I call Balanced Rent. (1) Rent Caps have recently been implemented in cities like Berlin as a means to keep rents from over-inflating, and continue between tenants. Rent Caps have the potential to help keep regions from increasing costs too quickly. There's a lot of potential in San Francisco as we watch influx of wealth into certain neighborhoods, driving market rental prices up. (2) Balanced Rent is a model designed to even out rental prices based on an income-weighted distribution to bring rental costs more in line with a diverse population. This model would allow for tenants of multiple income levels to live in the same buildings paying different rates, and, unlike with rent control, landlords would receive the same income from each tenant, disincentivizing evictions. This has the added benefit of allowing tenants of a wide variety of incomes the opportunity to move into a new apartment.

+ - ?
[ 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 ] [ ] [ ] Amnesty for illegal in-law apartments
[ ] [ X ] [ ] Condo conversion is currently too difficult

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

Particularly in light of the recent videos that have surfaced regarding specific SFPD incidents, nonviolence is critical to how our safety and protection forces operate. We need immediate task forces to respond to crises of shelter, food, and counseling, rather than the SFPD. This force should be unarmed and specifically trained in crisis prevention, de-escalation, and nonviolence. The SFPD needs to continue to increase these skills as well, in addition to helping officers understand their own inherent biases and how to remove them from their reactions to situations. Officers need to spend more time interacting in the neighborhoods and less time isolated in vehicles. A police force exists to protect and support our communities and neighborhoods.

+ - ?
[ ] [ ] [ 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?

The Kaufman charter gave quite a bit of power to the mayor, which is particularly bad in moments of poor leadership and external influence other than our residents. I think the Kaufman Charter absolutely needs revisiting. District councils are one important way of handling this.

+ - ?
[ 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?

+ - ?
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Legislation limiting formula retail outlets/chain-stores
[ 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

In addition to some great ideas outlined above, keeping capital within San Francisco is a critical component to how we can support and grow our community and shared prosperity. In my campaign, I have two proposals that directly address community capital: (1) Cash SF and (2) Marklets.

Cash SF is a model for local transactions that removes the burden of fees from local businesses and residents through a program designed to allow direct transactions between local banks, credit unions, and local business. Drawing on the innovation from the technology sector, but applied to direct community benefits rather than profits, we can create a cashless payment system that allows direct transactions just by using a San Francisco City ID or automated through a smartphone.

(2) Marklets are a concept for a city and neighborhood sponsored small business incubation program, with the goal of lowering the barriers to San Franciscans to create and run their own business with as little initial overhead as possible. Through a revenue-sharing model, the city would be able to provide aspiring business owners space on public property, in exchange for money coming back from the business profits to directly support the neighborhood. If a Marklet experiences success, the owners can leverage the capital they've gained to move into other commercial properties in the city.

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?

Women are absolutely underrepresented in city government, which is not necessarily true of other organizations that work in the community pushing for positive change. It's important that we make gender balance a part of our discussions, and help create initiatives to get more women involved in government. Better parental leave policies and citywide pre-K programs are also critical to empowering women and parents.

+ - ?
[ 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?

San Francisco has fabulous diversity, but we're at risk of losing so much. In an economic boom time, instead of providing prosperity and quality of life improvements across the board, we're displacing individuals and communities, often at the expense of our cultural and economic diversity. Cultural Preservation Districts are incredibly important, as well as helping to balance and equalize the opportunities within our city.

+ - ?
[ 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: A) What are your thoughts on the
Board of Supervisors taking positions on state, national and
international issues?

San Francisco is a leader in progressive politics, and I generally support taking stances on larger issues when there is the possibility for positive influence.

+ - ?
[ ] [ 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)?

My political decisions are certainly the culmination of consultation of constituents, colleagues, community and neighborhood leaders, as well as experts in particular areas. Finding the best ideas and understanding the root causes, rather than surface-level reactions, is imperative to help building a longer-term vision and a path to get there. I reject the notion that donors or businesses should have direct decision-making power over a candidate, and I don't believe money has any place in San Francisco politics. My campaign strongly supports organizations like Represent Us and the American Anti-Corruption Act, and I will seek to craft local ballot measures to ensure San Francisco becomes a model city in this respect.

[ ] [ ] [ 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?

Transit First has never truly existed in San Francisco outside of a good theory. As a board member of the San Francisco Transit Riders, we worked to raise awareness of a proposition passed 22 years ago, asking the mayor, the board of supervisors, and other city officials to ride transit regularly. As an avid Muni rider, I strongly advocate for better public transit in San Francisco. Through transit assessment taxes, vehicle licensing fees, and potentially even payroll taxes for businesses whose employees rely on Muni, we have a real opportunity to not simply improve, but to grow Muni to meet the needs of San Francisco. My bigger transportation vision is laid out in the "New Muni Metro" concept at, which looks at how we can address some of the pressing transit needs of today, while preparing for expansion.

+ - ?
[ X ] [ ] [ ] MUNI should be funded greater levels and be free to the rider
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Downtown Transit Assessment Tax to support MUNI
[ X ] [ ] [ ] Citywide Transit Assessment Tax 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 retofit 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
Note that I do support rapid transit on Geary very strongly. I do not support the current too-expensive, too-slow, too-little-benefit models proposed on Geary. The city of Paris built a subway line (14) ten years ago that is almost the same length as Geary. Not only does it take 13 minutes end-to-end instead of 75, it has 1/8th the operating costs. Vancouver replaced a bus line with BRT and saw a 20% ridership boost and a 15% reduction in time along the corridor. Vancouver then replaced that same BRT with an automated subway and saw ridership increase 800% with a 75% reduction in time, bringing the per-passenger operational cost down by almost 95%. There are moments when capital projects are the right decision, and Geary is long overdue.

[ ] [ 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 ] [ ] [ ] 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 ] [ ] [ ] 2015 Mission Luxury Housing Moratorium
Despite arguments regarding whether building or not building is good policy for affecting our housing prices, communities in San Francisco are in crisis. There has been a false dichotomy created around these two sides, and the rhetoric needs to stop. While it's reasonably clear that we do need to continue to build, building alone will not realistically lead to a massive reduction in housing costs, which is what would need to happen to impact these communities. Even in the best estimates, building alone would help slow increases--or even marginally decrease costs--which is much needed, but simply isn't enough for almost half of our city's residents today.

While I don't believe halting construction is a good policy, or even a good idea, the city needs a real housing plan, in conjunction with a real affordability plan. The Mission Moratorium is about exactly that: forcing the city to create a real plan. When workers decided to band together and protest for minimum wage laws and other workplace rights, one could easily argue that removing productivity from the company would lead to a decrease in income, and thus would negatively impact worker salaries. But it's the pressure that this put on companies that led to positive change, even when it had negative impacts in the very short term. I strongly support a neighborhood's desire to have control over their own neighborhood and community, particularly as it continues to apply pressure to the city to make better decisions for its residents.

[ X ] [ ] [ ] 2015 Short Term Residential Rental Regulation

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

[ ] [ X ] [ ] 2013 Prop B (8 Washington Development)

[ X ] [ ] [ ] 2012 Prop B (Park Bond)

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

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