San Francisco Green Party Supervisor Candidate Questionnaire 2014
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: Michael Petrelis
Phone Number: 415-621-6267
Web site: https://www.facebook.com/petrelis4supe8
Name of Campaign Manager: Mitch Hightower
Are you receiving public financing: No
Signed voluntary spending limit: N/A
Campaign Manager: Mitch Hightower
2nd, 3rd endorsements in District: None
Major Endorsements: Housing advocate Tommi Avicolli Mecca, Union & Milk Club member Sue Englander, Progressive community organizer Andy Blue, Latina health activist Laura Guzman, African-American transgender leader Veronika Fimbres, and body freedom advocate Elwood Miller.
Favorite Incumbent Supervisor: David Campos
Least favorite: Scott Wiener
If the election were held today, Who would you support as Board President: David Campos
Who would be your second and third choices: John Avalos, Jane Kim
Who did you support for Mayor in 2011 (all 3 choices, if applicable): John Avalos, Terry Baum, Jeff Adachi
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?
Ranked choice voting is a big leap forward to democracy, giving folks
the chance to vote for several candidates at one time, thus avoiding
the need for a costly run-off election. I think most voters fully
understand this method and it is not confusing to average citizens.
Related to RCV is the need to implement other voting reforms starting
with universal vote by mail, as Oregon and Washington State have done
without fraud or major trouble. VBM saves voters time in that they
don't have to schelp to a polling station, take off from work or
caring for family and friends, wait in line, etc.
There is also great cost savings with VBM and for folks, such as the
homeless or those who want to visit a polling station to cast a
ballot, City Hall is where those folks could vote.
Let's also allow for same-day registration and voting.
+ - ?
[ 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
[ ] [ ] [ ] Ethics Commission meetings should be televised They are aired on SF Gov TV.
[ 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.
Our immediate need to conserve water and use what we have is of prime
concern to me. I've called on the City Hall to stop using fresh water
to maintain its green lawns around the building and in Civic Center.
Air quality in Bay Area would vastly improve if we got more folks out
of their cars and using BART, CalTrans, AC Transit,
Muni and SamTrans, and one way to do this would be to tax big banks
and tech companies to fund free public transportation.
Let's also develop methods of accepting un-used bikes and helmet,
along with receiving donations from bike companies, and giving the
bikes away for free to low and moderate income families and
individuals. To maintain the bike in good working order, I'd allocate
City funds to pay independent bike repair to fix and tune up the bikes
+ - ?
[ 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?
To fully fund Community Land Trusts, we must tax big banks and tech
firms and real estate developers, then earmark those funds to the
trust to buy properties for low income people to prevent them from
The trusts should also purchase land and buildings that are solely to
house either people currently in shelters, SROs and on the streets,
but we must also require condo developers to set aside at least 25% of
new units for low income folks, including those receiving SSI and SSDI
or other forms of public assistance, and keep the rent of those unite
I've also proposed opening public bathhouses for the homeless to use
to shower, maintain good hygiene and wash their clothes. Further,
homeless folks at these bathhouses should be allowed privacy for
sexual activities because they too deserve sexual fulfillment. I would
make sure social service agencies have outreach workers present to get
folks into rehab and other programs, along with STD, HIV and other
health testing available for free.
+ - ?
[ 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?
My suggestion is to tap into the vast knowledge of the many community
experts at the Tenants Union, the Housing Rights Committee, the Anti
Eviction Mapping Project and individual housing rights advocates to
establish a policy-making body and implement solutions.
I am not an expert in these matters and believe it's time to turn to
those nonprofits and individuals with the knowledge and skills to
create do-able solutions, both short and long term.
+ - ?
[ 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?
As someone who has filed half a dozen complaints with the Office of
Citizens Complaints over police misconduct, I want to see the OCC
strengthened. We need to change state law that prevents the OCC from
being fully transparent. Presently, the OCC cannot release the names
of officers under investigation and when investigations and mediations
are concluded, the agency is prohibited from releasing full details to
I attended Police Commission meetings at the Hall of Justice at 850
Bryant before they were aired on SF Gov TV and complained during
public comment that the commission needed to meet on neutral territory
and not at the HOJ where many folks felt they had received a raw
deal. I also pushed for meetings to be held at the way more accessible
by public transit City Hall, where the meeting rooms were camera
equipped to air the hearings on TV. Those changes have been
I still attend commission meetings to complain or compliment police
officers and the top brass, when need be. To make our streets safer,
we need more citizens engaging with the OCC and getting real
accountability from the agency, while also pushing the police
commission to be more active disciplining errant and rogue officers.
We need officers to shoot to wound in dangerous situations. It is
vital to prevent the killing of people like Alex Nieto and Sheila
DeToy that cops are not trigger happy and aiming their weapons at
citizens with the intent to kill to stop a potential crime or getaway.
+ - ?
[ ] [ ] [ 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 am not familiar enough with this matter to comment.
+ - ?
[ 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?
We need to stop tax exemptions granted to tech companies and place
higher taxes on big banks, while placing an appropriate, way more than
$1 a day, levy on the tech buses using City infrastructure and these
taxes must be made retroactive to 2000.
+ - ?
[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
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?
In my view, and various dealing with myriad City agencies and public
employees over the decades, I've dealt with many woman of all colors,
ages and backgrounds. I have judged each of them individually and have
tremendous respect for their work and wisdom that benefit our City.
I would have to see stats about the number of women running City
departments, or in the second tier of decision-making power, and those
that sit on all boards and advisory committees before commenting
In general though, I believe San Francisco has delivered a diversity
that reflects our many residents in City governance and is always
trying to do better with appointing historically underrepresented
groups including women, LGBT people, and people of color, and there
can and should be room for improvement.
+ - ?
[ 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?
As an engaged citizen and accountability activist who spends countless
hours at public and private meetings for social and political bodies,
I know first hand just how beautifully diverse practically all of them
are in terms of who sits on a board or influences their policies.
One of the best things about San Francisco's diversity is that we
often see politicians asking if panels are diverse or need more
diversity in terms of people of color, economic status, women, LGBT
persons, and just asking such questions is a good thing.
There is no terrible aspect to our City's diversity.
+ - ?
[ 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?
Under previous members of the Board of Supervisors, I was instrumental
persuading them and previous Mayors to take stands and issue
proclamations about such LGBT global problems as Iran hanging gay
people, Uganda proposing to execute LGBT persons, and also to laud the
United Nations for addressing anti-gay hatred and oppression.
In my view, San Francisco is a beacon of hope to not just LGBT people
around the country and world, but to many folks who tireless work for
social justice and economic fairness, and with that in mind we have a
duty to weigh in when needed on issues beyond out City borders.
+ - ?
[ ] [ 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 speak with various friends and political acquaintances, especially
those who have opinions different than mine or possess more expertise,
as one way to make the right decision before taking action. I also do
much research about current practices or laws, while always looking to
see how other people have solved problems or brought attention to an
My activism begin the third grade at Woodrow Wilson Grammar School in
West Caldwell, NJ, in the late 1960s. A group of us kids were upset we
had to eat lunch on cold wrestling mats in the gym, instead of the
janitors setting up tables and chair for us. We went on strike one
day, made signs in art class, ate lunch on the playground tables
outside and marched around the blacktop basketball court.
This being the 1960s and a liberal enclave of New Jersey, the teachers
and principal thought we were cute and smart to stage this action and
we soon had tables set up for lunch time.
I learned the value of incorporating what was on the news of the day,
working with friends and like-minded people, and have goals that the
other side could easily meet. Still operate that way today in my
[ ] [ 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?
I am a lifelong believer and ride of public transportation and as part
of my commitment to have as small a carbon footprint as possible, I've
never learned how to drive a car or motorcycle. This means I've never
driven nor owned any sort of fossil fuel operated vehicle.
That said, I am not familiar enough with the Transit First City
Charter and would need plenty of educating from folks like, well, the
Green Party and the SF Bicycle Coalition and transit rider groups.
I must also state that an overwhelmingly amount of my expertise over
the decades, as a person living with AIDS and gay man, has been
devoted to healthcare issues on myriad fronts and hope the Green Party
takes this into account when considering an endorsement of me.
My commitment to and interest in public transit issues are deep, but I
just don't have the time to research them fully.
+ - ?
[ 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
[ ] [ ] [ 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 ] [ ] [ ] 2014 Prop A (Transportation Bond)
[ x ] [ ] [ ] 2014 Prop B (Population-based Transit Funding)
[ ] [ x] [ ] 2014 Prop E (Soda Tax)
[ x ] [ ] [ ] 2014 Prop G (Real Estate Transfer Surtax)
[ x ] [ ] [ ] 2014 Prop H (Natural Grass in Parks)
[ x ] [ ] [ ] 2014 Prop I (Park Code Changes)
[ x ] [ ] [ ] 2014 Prop J (Minimum Wage Increase)
[ ] [ x] [ ] 2014 Prop L (Transportation Priorities)
[ ] [ ] [ x] 2014 Prop 43 (Water Bond)
[ ] [ x] [ ] 2014 Prop 46 (Malpractice/Drug Testing)
[ x ] [ ] [ ] 2014 Prop 47 (Change some Nonviolent Felonies to Misdemeanors)
[ x] [ ] [ ] June 2014 Prop A (Emergency Services Bond)
[ x ] [ ] [ ] June 2014 Prop B (Waterfront Height Limits)
[ ] [ x ] [ ] 2013 Prop B (8 Washington Development)
[ ] [ n ] [ ] 2012 Prop B (Park Bond)
[ ] [ ] [ x ] 2011 Prop C (Mayor's Pension measure)
[ ] [ ] [ x ] 2011 Prop D (Adachi's Pension measure)
[ ] [ x] [ x] 2011 Prop E (Ammendments to initiative ordinances)
[ ] [ x ] [ ] 2010 Prop L (Ban on Sitting on Sidewalks)
[ x ] [ ] [ ] 2010 Prop M (Foot Patrols)