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: Jamie Whitaker
Phone Number: 415-935-5810
Web site:
Name of Campaign Manager: Self-managed
Are you receiving public financing: No
Signed voluntary spending limit: Yes

2nd, 3rd endorsements in District: None
Major Endorsements: None, though both District 6 Democratic (Central City Democrats and South Beach District 6 Democratic Club) clubs did not endorse the encumbent either.

Favorite Incumbent Supervisor: John Avalos - he tends to be the least influenced by money from lobbyists and stands up for community health and the environment.

Least favorite: Malia Cohen
If the election were held today, Who would you support as Board President? John Avalos

Who would be your second and third choices? David Campos or Eric Mar
Who did you support for Mayor in 2011 (all 3 choices, if applicable): Jeff Adachi, John Avalos, Dennis Herrera

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?

+ - ?

[ ] [ ] [ X ] Sub-government such as Neighborhood Assemblies,
Networks or District Councils
I believe opening up the current governing bodies to public input, more
transparency, and information about community health and environmental
impacts would be a greater benefit for getting more citizens involved. We
should allow for "Facetime" or "Skype" video conferenced PUBLIC COMMENT so
that folks can participate in local government meetings without missing
work or leaving family/pets to do so for an unpredictable period of time.

[ X ] [ ] [ ] Some commissions should be democratically elected
Planning, Recreation and Parks, Port, Ethics, and SFMTA/Transportation
Commission members should be democratically elected, in my opinion. At
minimum, the Board of Supervisors should get an equitable number of
appointments to those Commissions that currently get 100% Mayoral

[ ] [ 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
Waste of $1 million that could have paid for a new playground in District
6 on existing city owned land at Steuart and Howard Streets. This was an
awful example of the petty politics that wastes so much of the public's

[ X ] [ ] [ ] Residency requirements for elected officials
should be strictly enforced

[ ] [ X ] [ ] Ethics Commission should be disbanded
It is a pretty toothless Commission right now - needs to be beefed up and
given some real teeth to guard the public's interests.

[ 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
I promise that I will not knowingly accept political contributions from
lobbyists. Unfortunatley, it seems that most of our current Board of
Supervisors does so according to this article:

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

+ - ?

[ X ] [ ] [ ] Phasing out diesel tour buses

[ X ] [ ] [ ] Public Power
I believe the best use for Treasure Island is to create a windmill and
solar panel farm to help provide public power sources to San Franciscans.

[ 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
I absolutely support piloting congestion pricing for weekday evening
outbound traffic from San Francisco's downtown core because it so clearly
affects the air quality and health of District 6 residents. We must figure
out how to get residents of the East Bay who work in downtown San Francisco
to carpool, use transit, or otherwise stagger the times at which they
arrive and leave in their own private car to avoid a gridlocked and deadly
air pollution demise to downtown's residential rebirth.

[ ] [ ] [ X ] Natural Areas Program
I need to learn more about this issue. I'm not in favor of killing trees
if there are no resources to replace the trees because they play such an
important role in mitigating air pollution/carbon - especially in the
Mission neighborhoods. We need more trees in SoMa! Read related on a MIT
study on this topic:

[ ] [ X ] [ ] Artificial turf on City-owned athletic fields
Specifically, I think it is horrible to even this of plastic capping
natural earth in Golden Gate Park or any other natural areas. The east side
of the City is desperate for more public recreation spaces, and the east
side has piers and other manmade structures that could get turfed for these
purposes - and they're closer to the Bay Area's public transit spoke of

3) Social Justice:

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

+ - ?

[ X ] [ ] [ ] Project Homeless Connect

[ ] [ ] [ X ] Care Not Cash
I'm in favor of finding housing and getting folks off the streets, but I
am not sure Care Not Cash is an ideal tool in doing this if it forces
panhandling and other dignity-damaging behaviors to get by in very
expensive San Francisco.

[ 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?

+ - ?

[ X ] [ ] [ ] Impacts of all new development should be paid for
in advance by fees on developers
It is unbelievable how the Planning Department keeps pursuing planning
area efforts, now the Central SoMa Planning effort, without considering the
Department of Public Health's Sustainable Communities Index data or the
SFCTA's reports on gridlock downtown. We need to hit the pause button on
the Central SoMa Plan's office-centric goals and let's digest the existing
entitled projects and Plan Areas first. Right now, Boston Properties has
Willie Brown trying to reduce the Community Facilities District charges for
the Transbay Redevelopment/Transit Center District zone, and I'm afraid the
bought off politicians on the Board of Supervisors may just cave in to the
ask. Developers should pay for improvements.

[ 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?

+ - ?

[ 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
Not so much micromanaging the SFPD, but certainly making sure they enforce
traffic laws since more people died in 2013 from cars hitting and killing
them than bullets from guns in San Francisco.

[ ] [ 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?

+ - ?

[ ] [ ] [ X ] Bring the Housing Authority under the Board of
The Housing Authority certainly needs a more effective manager than what
has been the recent trend of bullies.

[ ] [ ] [ X ] Will you create formal district councils to
advise you?
I would want to make good use of data - from experts and with surveys
available online so that the will of the people and the problems can be
vetted and analyzed. For the many residents of District 6 who may not have
access to a computer or the ability to use one, I'd have paper copies for
interns to help distribute.

[ X ] [ ] [ ] Two aides for each Supervisor are sufficient
I think two is probably enough, but District 6 is probably the most
justified to have three with all of the development planning,
transportation issues, and lack of new infrastructure investments in the
District. Citizens with a strong interest in topics can be subject matter
experts and voluntarily help out the office, in my opinion.

[ ] [ ] [ X ] Charter amendment allowing voters to choose the
replacement of an elected official being recalled on the same ballot as the
recall vote
This sounds like it may bias the vote of the people, and I'm not sure if
it would be best compared to a fresh election within 3 months time of the
successful recall. I need to learn more on this topic.

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

[ X ] [ ] [ ] Conditional Use permit required for big box

[ ] [ X ] [ ] The biotech payroll tax break

[ X ] [ ] [ ] Municipal broadband
Chattanooga is a good example of Municipal Broadband working well!

[ X ] [ ] [ ] Local hiring requirements should be enforced
We should also insist on businesses providing college scholarships and
internships to our low-income kids for whom college might otherwise be out
of reach. The Twitter tax break should be providing a benefit of sponsoring
kids with promising computer programming abilities in middle school and
high school to go to college (or a trades program to learn programming) and
to get a job at a mid-market tech company that is being subsidized by San
Francisco taxpayers through the payroll tax break.

[ X ] [ ] [ ] Conversion of some golf courses into soccer

[ 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?

+ - ?

[ ] [ ] [ X ] The City should help SFUSD provide child care
for children of working parents
I'm a latchkey kid myself - I went to a non-profit daycare before and
after school every day for primary school. I believe non-profit community
centers could play a role in providing the child care and playgrounds for
before and after school hours. SFUSD first needs to concentrate on opening
a new school in Mission Bay where land is set aside for one to be built and
where there are hundreds of kids fastly approaching primary school age.
Without a SFUSD school in east SoMa, the parents will not have any skin in
the game to donate time or money to our public schools because those
resources will be consumed by private schools who see the opportunity in
east SoMa.

[ X ] [ ] [ ] The DPH should provide reproductive health

[ ] [ ] [ X ] Require parental consent for minors seeking an
I would want to learn the legal ramifications (potential of the City and
County of San Francisco being sued) for violating other state or federal
laws if we waive 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?

+ - ?

[ 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
I believe non-citizen residents with kids in the schools or who are
themselves public school/college students should be able to vote in the
SFUSD and City College Board elections. I do not believe they should have
a vote in other elections without some thoughtful means to verify the
person has lived in San Francisco for at least 5 years and is not just
flown in to get a corporate politician/crony elected Mayor or something
similar. I'm afraid our non-citizens are also the most vulnerable to money
and threats of deportation by the rich and powerful.

[ X ] [ ] [ ] Full rights for transgender persons

[ ] [ X ] [ ] Boards and commissions now reflect the ethnic
diversity of San Francisco
I do not see adequate representation of the Latino community, for example.

[ ] [ X ] [ ] Boards and commissions now reflect the political
diversity of San Francisco
It seems that there is a very small, incestuous group of folks where
husbands and wives sit on department or commissions, making the
public-at-large very suspect.

[ ] [ ] [ X ] My campaign reflects the diversity of San
I come from the neighborhood activists ranks of San Francisco instead of
the politicos. The challenge I've experienced is that many neighborhood
activists who know and trust me do not want to cross the incumbent for fear
of retaliation later. I'm a gay, labor union member (IFPTE Local 21), civil
servant, multi-racial (Caucasian and Native American) son from a blue
collar family (factory worker dad who dropped out of high school and 1st
grade public school teacher mom) from a suburb of Detroit, and I certainly
feel uncomfortable in environments that lack diversity - if that helps you
make the call on this point.

9) Global and Personal Responsibility:

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

+ - ?

[ ] [ ] [ X ] City government cooperating with the PATRIOT Act
I need to learn more about this Act. I worry about privacy concerns and
the corporate influence over our government, elevated to our attention by
Edward Snowden.

[ ] [ ] [ X ] City government cooperating with ICE/Secure
I abhor families getting broken up by ICE/Secure Communities. Kids raised
in the USA should be naturalized as citizens when they complete high
school, in my opinion.

[ ] [ ] [ X ] City government should boycott Israel until it
complies with UN resolutions
I'm certainly uncomfortable and appalled about the geographic apartheid
taking place that harms the Palestinians, but I don't know how different it
is from our own geographic apartheid that happens in many American cities.

[ X ] [ ] [ ] SF supervisors should take a position on
offshore oil drilling outside CA
I believe we should because our County borders the ocean, and it affects
our lands and waters.

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)?

[ ] [ X ] [ ] Fleet Week and the Blue Angels flyover
Tremendous waste of resources over high-density population. This should be
performed in more desolate locations if it is so important for recruitment

[ ] [ X ] [ ] In a severe recession, environmental regulations
should be suspended to create jobs
Even in the current growth spurt in San Francisco, the effect of more
traffic gridlock on our transit system, response times by
emergency/ambulance vehicles, air quality, and other issues is being
completely ignored by the Planning Commission, majority of Board of
Supervisors (see 8 Washington and Central SoMa Planning effort), and Mayor.

[ ] [ ] [ X ] Business taxes are too high
We need to figure out how to help more mom and pop shops and services get
started so that we don't have to rely on national chains to fill ground
floor retail spaces that have been vacant for years.

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?

+ - ?

[ X ] [ ] [ ] MUNI should be funded greater levels and be free
to the rider
I believe this should be the ultimate goal - free service, adequate
frequency, safe, clean, and well-maintained buses. Congestion pricing,
7-day/7am - 11pm parking meter enforcement could help get us a few steps
closer to that goal.

[ ] [ ] [ X ] Downtown Transit Assessment Tax to support MUNI

[ X ] [ ] [ ] Citywide Transit Assessment Tax to support MUNI
Perhaps create a new special district with democratically elected board
members to focus on transit service in San Francisco and connections to the
adjacent counties by land and water. A water taxi service from Crissy Field
to the Hunters Point Shipyard (looping in Treasure Island) seems like it'd
be helpful if the craft could be fueled with an alternative to fossil

[ X ] [ ] [ ] Higher residential construction along
neighborhood transit corridors, which may include raising height limits by
two to three stories.
If there is a fixed rail line within 3-4 blocks, I think there should be
an 85 foot height limit for residential purposes as a goal. It shouldn't
all be focused downtown, resulting in 400' - 800' tall residential
high-rises that are very expensive to build (and thus very expensive for

[ ] [ ] [ X ] Diversion of money set aside for seismic retofit
projects into a solar energy incentives program
What other sources are available? Carbon taxes on buildings maybe - giving
them direct incentive to use solar or other clean public power sources?

[ 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
I've used the Bay Area Bike Share to fill the void of public transit
options in my Rincon Hill neighborhood in SoMa. We have no local bus
service east of 2nd Street following the cut back of the 12 Folsom bus to
turn at 2nd instead of traveling along the Embarcadero to serve my "transit
oriented development" neighborhood of high-rise residential buildings. I
walk and take MUNI mostly.

[ X ] [ ] [ ] Bus Rapid Transit on Geary

[ ] [ X ] [ ] Allow residents to park on the sidewalk without
getting a ticket, unless their neighbors complain
Sidewalks should be kept clear for seniors and those with mobility
challenges to safely pass - regardless of whether they live next door or in
another country, frankly.

[ ] [ ] [ X ] I agree with the recommendations in the Peak
Oil Task Force Report
I probably do if this is an environmental prioritizing report, but I just
do not know about this Report.

[ X ] [ ] [ ] Congestion pricing for parking
I believe demand-based pricing is the only fair way to effectively manage
parking on the streets. Blue placards should not be a de facto free pass
either unless it is shown that the person works or lives nearby and does
not have a better alternative. Technology could make building in such
excepts feasible.

[ 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
How can this equitably be managed with 400'-800 foot tall residential
towers containing 350+ residential units? The City must be able to manage
the demand for publicly owned street parking.

[ X ] [ ] [ ] Support expanding parking meter hours to include
later evening hours and weekends
I know this is not a popular stance, but I believe we should have a
standardized enforcement schedule citywide. Let's use the Port of San
Francisco's schedule of 7 days per week, 7am - 11pm. We must manage our
publicly owned spaces to the benefit of all those who do and who do not own
cars. Our transit, bike, pedestrian, and general infrastructure must be
funded for community health, environment, and livability goals to be
reached by San Francisco.

[ X ] [ ] [ ] Remove parking spots and car lanes to create
dedicated bike and bus lanes or wider sidewalks
Yes, we need to ensure the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians because
that is the only way to help encourage more bicycling and walking as
opposed to driving private cars which increases delays to transit and
emergency response vehicles - and increases poisonous air pollution that
the World Health Organization says kills 7 million people annually (source:

Your positions on selected current and past Propositions:

[ ] [ X ] [ ] 2014 Prop A (Transportation Bond)
The big problem is that this bond measure is very poorly written and
provides zero promises/accountability for exactly what the $500 million
will fund. It just says that the bag of money may be used for any one of
several possible projects that may or may not improve safety for bicyclists
and pedestrians or improve MUNI bus services. They need to come back to
voters in 2015 with a well-written bond measure that lays out $x dollars
will go to new buses, $x dollars will go to building protected, dedicated
bike lanes, $x dollars will go to THESE SPECIFIC TEP projects. I'm afraid
SFTMA's Board has no trust, and I cannot support this $500 million bond
measure without specifics. Sorry.

[ ] [ X ] [ ] 2014 Prop B (Population-based Transit Funding)
Set asides are a horrible way to budget. Scott Wiener should have pushed
this during the budget process that started in the spring of 2014 and ended
in July 2014. If this measure were tied to new revenues, such as reenacting
parking meter enforcement on Sunday afternoons and/or congestion pricing
downtown on weekday evenings for outbound cars, I would be on board - but a
set aside that will take away from other General Fund programs is a dumb
way to go.

[ ] [ X ] [ ] 2014 Prop E (Soda Tax)
People choose whether or not they want to have a sugar sweetened beverage,
and this is a nanny tax I cannot support. I believe this is a regressive
tax and it will not significantly decrease the calories consumed by San
Franciscans. Worse, I fear it will trigger more San Francisco residents
hopping into their cars to do their entire grocery shopping trips in San
Mateo county, harming local businesses and adding to traffic gridlock and
deadly air pollution. If the Board wants to tackle a public health issue,
it should be tackling the number of private cars on our roads during
weekday evening rush hour and decreasing air pollution that is proven to
kill 7 million people worldwide every year by the World Health
Organization. While citizens can choose whether or not to have water or a
sugar sweetened beverage, we cannot wake up and decide to not BREATHE. Air
quality needs to be a focus of the next District 6 Supervisor, and I will
absolutely focus on it if elected.

[ 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)
This $15 minimum wage increase should easily pass - I have heard it was
polling in the 75%+ range when first floated.

[ ] [ X ] [ ] 2014 Prop L (Transportation Priorities)
Measure L is incredibly backwards and needs to go down in flames to stop
any notion that we're going to make traffic gridlock and deadly air
pollution even worse in San Francisco.

[ ] [ ] [ X ] 2014 Prop 43 (Water Bond)
I need to read up on this - I heard there is still a lot of corporate pork
and irresponsible, lobbyist-driven spending.

[ ] [ X ] [ ] 2014 Prop 46 (Malpractice/Drug Testing)
The last group of people that we need to enhance job prospects are
malpractice lawyers. There's probably a few good ideas here, but overall
an awful policy.

[ ] [ ] [ X ] 2014 Prop 47 (Change some Nonviolent Felonies to
I need to read up on this proposition. If this means illegal drug users
(as opposed to dealers), I support the idea.

[ 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)
While I am a big advocate of more open spaces and parks, you have to
understand the nuance that District 6 only has 0.17 acres of parks per
1,000 residents, and the Recreation and Parks Department rents out two
Mountain Dew Tour, Salesforce, and other corporations the few public park
spaces in District 6 to raise money for other areas. At the same time,
SoMa's population has quadrupled from about 10,000 in 1990 to over 40,000
in 2010, but no new public grassy parks (just a skate park over by the
freeway (wonder what the particulate matter in the air measures there?)).
Also, District 6 properties, because of Prop 13 and all of the new
construction, comprise over 20% of the total taxable properties - meaning
we pay 20% of the principal of any General Obligation bond measure that
passes. For the $195 million 2012 Parks bond, we will pay about $39 million
of the principal through District 6 property taxes. Do you know how much
SoMa will get invested from the $195 million parks bond that District 6
pays $39 million into? $1 million for South Park - and that's not even
enough to bring South Park up to par. This 2012 Parks Bond was absolutely
geographically discriminatory and another example of the exploitation
practiced against District 6 by a City Hall department that treats District
6 like a ghetto whose children and seniors should be treated like second
class citizens. We need a new Parks Department leader other than Phil
Ginsburg who can treat all neighborhoods equally and recognizes the need
for more parks and open spaces in District 6 (and not renting out Civic
Center Plaza, Justin Herman Plaza, and Union Square to every corporation
that knocks on their door).

[ X ] [ ] [ ] 2011 Prop C (Mayor's Pension measure)
I'm a City employees, and I agree that pension reform was needed to help
the City do the most good for the most people in the long run.

[ X ] [ ] [ ] 2011 Prop D (Adachi's Pension measure)
Jeff Adachi brought this issue to the forefront in 2010, and the City I
better off for it. I'm a City employee, and I agree that pension reform
was needed to help the City do the most good for the most people in the
long run.

[ ] [ ] [ X ] 2011 Prop E (Ammendments to initiative
I don't recall what this measure was about. I want to preserve the rights
of citizens to start ballot initiatives.

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

[ X ] [ ] [ ] 2010 Prop M (Foot Patrols)