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: Amy Farah Weiss
Phone Number: Available upon request
Web site:
Are you receiving public financing? If I'm able to raise the required amount
Signed voluntary spending limit: Yes
Campaign Manager: Amy Farah Weiss
2nd, 3rd endorsements for Mayor 2015: SF Tenants Union
Who are you endorsing for Sheriff in 2015: Ross Mirkarimi

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 started promoting ranked-choice voting for the 2015 Mayor's race as soon
as I filed my intent to run paperwork in early December 2014. At that point
I wasn't sure who else would enter the race, but I wanted to build
alignment and a shared platform as much as possible with whomever shared my
values as a candidate. Francisco, Stuart, and I are making history in San
Francisco by being the first Mayoral candidates to align directly with a
message of using ranked-choice voting to vote 1-2-3 to replace incumbent Ed
Lee. District Elections are very important for providing access, focus, and
accountability for neighborhood issues.

[ + ] Sub-government such as Neighborhood Assemblies, Networks or District
[ + ] Some commissions should be democratically elected
[ - ] The Mayor should appoint all commissioners
[ - ] Supervisors appointed to fill vacancies should not be allowed to run
in the next election
I'm open to democratically electing vacancies. But in the current system,
if the best person for the job is the one who is appointed, they should be
allowed to run.
[ - ] Mayor Lee's efforts to remove Sheriff Mirkarimi from office
[ + ] Residency requirements for elected officials should be strictly
[ - ] 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
Not to my knowledge

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 alignment with Community Choice Aggregation and CleanPowerSF, let's aim
for San Francisco to become a national leader in industries that support
a balanced climate, such as alternatives to fossil fuels in both energy
production and product manufacturing. Additional major issues include the
need to conduct an EIR and enforce regulations for Transit Network
Companies (such as Uber and Lyft), address the statewide drought by
developing local guidelines in support of technological advances in water
re-use, purification, and conservation, develop a clear understanding of
sustainable growth in regard to local and regional industry, housing,
transit and resources, and work to restore our marsh land along the bay in
preparation for sea-level rise.

[ + ] Phasing out diesel tour buses
[ + ] Public Power
[ + ] Community Choice Aggregation
[ + ] Tidal power that might be harnessed in San Francisco Bay should be
publicly controlled.
I have heard from people working on CleanPowerSF that this would be
difficult to implement, but I am very open to promoting research in this
[ + ] Reducing or eliminating parking minimums in new housing and
commercial developments

I want to promote incentives for shared car fleets, biking, and public
transit for new developments.
[ ? ] Congestion tolls on Doyle Drive
[ + ] Natural Areas Program
[ - ] Artificial turf on City-owned athletic fields
I am very displeased with the decision to move forward with artificial
turf at Golden Gate Park.

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

In January 2015, the head of the SF Department of Public Works declared
an emergency "due to the inadequacy of facilities to link over 6,000
chronically homeless individuals with needed services". Street homelessness
is found to have profound health impacts on the individuals experiencing
homelessness such as exacerbating disease, undermining addiction recovery,
increasing vulnerability to violence and generally shortening life
expectancies." The Coalition on Homelessness recently released a report
called "Punishing the Poorest" (,
which is an investigation of the impacts of criminalization on homeless
people in San Francisco.

As Mayor, I would work with the Coalition on Homelessness to implement
their policy recommendations as well as create innovative interim/mid-term
housing and wellness solutions on currently underutilized city-owned land
(see the 2009 case study by Nicholas de Monchaux who catalogued over 1500
city-owned remnant parcels:

[ + ] Project Homeless Connect
[+/-] Care Not Cash
I like that Care Not Cash links support to housing subsidies, but falls
short if we don't have enough quality interim/long-term housing options. On
a somewhat related note, I am inspired by Italy's Marcora Law that allows
for the pooling of benefits in support of creating community serving worker

[ + ] Healthy SF
[ ? ] SF's sick leave requirements
[ - ] 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?

We need to ensure that a diverse range of workers and culture makers can
afford to live in San Francisco, as well as protect housing for our elderly
and disabled neighbors. As a Mayoral candidate I am interested in exploring
new investment approaches for housing development that democratize
investment opportunities and minimize risk by providing a limited, but
predictable return on investment. SF Community Land Trust has already
worked with the organization "Fundrise" to explore the ability to raise
money for existing housing, and we are on the cusp of being able to use
this crowdfunding technology to locally invest in new development.

[ + ] Impacts of all new development should be paid for in advance by fees
on developers
[ + ] Community Land Trusts
[ - ] Rent Control is too strong
[ + ] Elected Rent Board
[ + ] Amnesty for illegal in-law apartments
[ - ] Condo conversion is currently too difficult

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

Six of our 11 Board of Supervisors recently passed a population-based
staffing policy in San Francisco despite decreasing crime statistics, a
text scandal that exposed the existence of racial bias in the SFPD,
statistics that show an alarmingly disproportionate number of arrests for
our decreasing African American population, and statistics that demonstrate
the high cost of using the criminal justice system to address

I have been advocating for the development of cost-effective and
evidence-based programs that reduce crime and increase neighborhood
well-being in alignment with the Community Peace Plan (a violence
prevention plan that was developed by the African American Community
Police Relations Board and Latino & Asian Pacific Islander Coalition
starting in 2002). The Mayoral election is a time for us to explore
strategic and innovative approaches to help us achieve the safety outcomes
that are important to our neighborhoods and city. As an example, we could
use a public innovation funding approach to encourage the development
of neighborhood education, training, and activity programs in crisis
neighborhoods that could be evaluated for their impact on crime statistics
and cost for criminal justices resources. Another idea is to develop a
"Stewards of Peace" program that provides paid training and employment
opportunities for neighbors in crisis neighborhoods to gain and use skills
in unarmed physical and verbal de-escalation skills and mental-health

We should focus our law enforcement efforts on targeting risky,
unpredictable behavior that violates the spirit of the law by obstructing
someone's right of way, causing physical harm/undo stress, or obstructing

San Francisco has become the epicenter for transit network companies like
Uber and Lyft who resist data sharing and regulations meant to protect
driver, rider, and pedestrian safety. TNCs have flooded our streets with
tens of thousands more cars with drivers from out of town in a way that is
creating tension on our streets through increased congestion and behavior
that puts pedestrians and other modes of transit at increased risk.

[ +/- ] Prioritize SFPD enforcement of moving violations

I support Vision Zero's "focus on the five" policy and measures to
increase flow and safety on the streets, but priority should be given to
preventing and addressing crime.
[ + ] Support expansion of foot patrols

Yes, but with the caveat that I support the development of unarmed foot
patrols in which neighbors are trained and hired to promote verbal and
physical de-escalation.
[ + ] 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."

5) Decentralization: What are your thoughts on the Kaufman Charter of
1996? Does it need revisiting?

I agree with the SF residents that challenged the process set forth for the
appointment of department heads, arguing that the charter's requirement of
Commission recommendations of candidates to the Mayor should be revealed to
the public and open for comment.

[ ? ] Bring the Housing Authority under the Board of Supervisors
I would need to explore this issue in greater depth
[ ? ] Will you create formal district councils to advise you?
This seems like a good idea in conjunction with District Supervisors and
efforts to promote participatory democracy and planning through technology
[ - ] Two aides for each Supervisor are sufficient
This question is dated, since to my knowledge Supervisors are able to have
3 aides now (which is a good thing)
[ + ] 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?

I will lead San Francisco in establishing policies for City contracts that
favor worker co-ops as well as create business development support for
worker co-ops that are formed to hire underemployed/homeless residents for
community-serving enterprises.

I will build off of the work of Supervisor John Avalos and other
Supervisors to explore the development of a municipal bank in San

In addition to supporting Evolve California's statewide efforts to amend
Proposition 13 so that corporations pay their fair share of property tax
(see for more info),
I am interested in exploring creative solutions for equitably sharing value
gained from the sale of residential properties. Keep in mind that the
following idea is an early stage "thought exercise" intended to initiate
discussion and shape people-powered policy:

The San Francisco Bay Area has experienced an enormous boom in property
value and housing costs in recent years, as well as a burgeoning housing
crisis. While normally a portion of the property value gain is shared with
the community, increasingly it is not shared in San Francisco due to the
Proposition 13 cap on annual tax increases. Voters initially supported
Proposition 13 in order to protect our elder and fixed-income neighbors
from losing their homes due to unaffordable annual increases in property
tax, but this good intention has unfortunately created widening disparities
within our city. Although local government, neighbors, tenants, and/or
community organizations contribute to gains in property value for property
owners, the community is currently limited from sharing in that prosperity
and therefore loses vital revenue to support local services and
neighbor(hood) well-being.

An existing mechanism for sharing appreciated value for private property
in San Francisco is the transfer tax, which is a percentage of the sale
price of the property. Existing transfer tax is based upon the gross price
of the property sale rather than the net gain, which means that
hypothetically homeowners pay a certain percentage even in the unlikely
event that they lost value from their initial investment.

Instead of proposing a modification to existing transfer tax in which we
raise the percentage across the board - or even modifying existing transfer
tax in a graduated way. I would like to explore a fair and efficient
opportunity for San Francisco to raise money to address our housing crisis
is a property gain tax that is similar to transfer but only requires
property owners to share from the actual gain on their initial investment.
Actual gain would be calculated through the tax assessor's records,
allowing for the deduction of capital improvements that were not passed
through to tenants and previously paid property taxes.

Read more on my website:

[ + ] Legislation limiting formula retail outlets/chain-stores
[ + ] Conditional Use permit required for big box stores
[ - ] The biotech payroll tax break
[ + ] Municipal broadband
[ + ] Local hiring requirements should be enforced
[ ? ] Conversion of some golf courses into soccer fields
[ + ] Prop 13 limits on tax increases should apply only to residential

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?

As someone who has lived in society with a female experience, I am
personally working to remedy the situation of underrepresentation of women
in city government by running for elected office I often hear leaders
within the progressive community in San Francisco speak to the importance
of supporting "emerging women leaders", but in my experience there needs to
be more intentional and structured support to mentor and promote female
leadership. That being said, I am grateful to live in a time in which I can
benefit from the gains achieved through feminist activism and to live in a
city which has more balanced leadership in regard o gender/sex than most.

[ + ] The City should help SFUSD provide child care for children of working
[ + ] The DPH should provide reproductive health services
[ - ] Require parental consent for minors seeking an abortion
To my knowledge parental consent isn't required in CA so this is a moot
[ - ] Require parental notification for minors seeking an abortion
To my knowledge parental notification isn't required in CA, so this is a
moot point

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 am impressed by the diversity within many of San Francisco's
Commissions, including the current Planning Commission. San Francisco's
number one need in support of diversity at present is to support healing
and pathways to prosperity for our African American neighbors who have
suffered through institutionalized racism from the redlining and
redevelopment of the past. We should also be national leaders in supporting
the healing and pathways to prosperity for our transgender community,
especially transgender women of color. MEDA has recently highlighted the
thousands of Latino families that have been displaced from the Mission, and
the City should be supporting the efforst of MEDA and Calle 24.

[ + ] Multilingual government and education
[ + ] Undocumented immigrants should have equal access to education and
health care
[ ? ] Non-citizen residents should be able to vote in all local elections
I would like to hear more about how a proposal like this could be
[ + ] Full rights for transgender persons
[ +/- ] Boards and commissions now reflect the ethnic diversity of San
Some of them, not all
[ ? ] Boards and commissions now reflect the political diversity of San
[ + ] 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

I think it is especially important to take positions on state or national
issues that impact local laws regarding equity and well-being.

[ ?/- ] City government cooperating with the PATRIOT Act
This is a broad statement which makes it hard to give a yes or no answer,
but I do not support government surveillance of citizens and I will work to
ensure proper judicial oversight, public accountability, and the ability
to challenge government searches in court.
[ ?/- ] City government cooperating with ICE/Secure Communities
Once again, this is a broad statement which makes it hard to give a yes or
no answer, but I am in support of Sanctuary City policies that prevent
detention of undocumented residents who do not have violent felonies. I am
open to adjusting the specifics of our policy in collaboration with social
justice advocates in order to serve individual and collective well-being.

[ ?/- ] City government should boycott Israel until it complies with UN
Given the United States' current support of Israel and our country's own
actions in the Middle East, shouldn't we first take accountability here
before waging a boycott?

[ + ] 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 am an open-minded critical thinker who has spent many years of my career
researching issues/topics in order to educate and empower others to make
informed decisions regarding individual and collective well-being. As you
can see through my work with Neighbors Developing Divisadero (
I am a vocal advocate for and practitioner of
involving as many stakeholders as possible in the planning process through
community meetings and surveys. I make decisions through a combination of
independent research, hearing and considering all sides of an issue,
identifying and assessing existing models, identifying necessary activities
and measurable outcomes for success, and consulting trusted policy makers
and community advocates. If I become Mayor I will reach out to the San
Francisco, regional, and national policy makers and subject matter experts
I most admire (including Supervisor Eric Mar, Supervisor John Avalos,
Supervisor Jane Kim, Former Richmond Mayor/Current Richmond Supervisor
Gayle McLaughlin, Robert Reich, Naomi Klein, Van Jones, Bernie Sanders,
etc.) to build an innovative economic and environmental plan for San
Francisco that is truly equitable and sustainable.

[ - ] 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 support Transit First's efforts to reduce automobile-related pollution
and greenhouse gas emissions, promote people-powered transportation modes
(e.g. walking and cycling), and create a more livable city. One of the
first things I would do as Mayor is call for an Environmental Impact Review
on Transit Network Companies (e.g. Uber and Lyft) to assess the additional
amount of cars that they bring into the city and their impact on
congestion, public transit, and emissions. I would also support an EIR with
a similar type of assessment for tech shuttles that support the commutes of
upwards of 15 thousand workers between San Francisco and Silicon Valley. We
need to be forward thinking about investing in the expansion of our
regional transit system and create innovative, sustainable, and pro-worker
options to fill current gaps in transit needs.

[ +/- ] MUNI should be funded greater levels and be free to the rider
This contains two distinct issues. We should fund Muni to the levels
needed and provide pricing options that are based on income.

[ + ] Downtown Transit Assessment Tax to support MUNI
[ + ] Citywide Transit Assessment Tax to support MUNI
[ + ] Higher residential construction along neighborhood transit corridors,
which may include raising height limits by two to three stories.
[ - ] Diversion of money set aside for seismic retrofit projects into a
solar energy incentives program
I support local build out programs and investment in seismic safety
[ + ] State law change that lets bicycles treat stop signs as yield signs
and red lights as stop signs
With the caveat that any behavior that puts pedestrians/drivers in the
right of way at risk would be ticketed.
[ + ] I ride MUNI, bicycle and/or walk instead of driving on a regular basis
[ + ] Bus Rapid Transit on Geary
[ ? ] Allow residents to park on the sidewalk without getting a ticket,
unless their neighbors complain
[ + ] I agree with the recommendations in the Peak Oil Task Force Report
[ ? ] Congestion pricing for parking
I'm in support of pilot projects to test the impact of congestion pricing
[ ? ] Power more City vehicles using 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 on selected current and past Propositions:

[ + ] 2015 Mission Luxury Housing Moratorium
[ + ] 2015 Short Term Residential Rental Regulation

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

[ - ] 2013 Prop B (8 Washington Development)

[ +/- ] 2012 Prop B (Park Bond)

I appreciate the investment in our parks, however legitimate concerns have
been raised about Rec and Park spending.

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

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