Amy Farah Weiss is a pro-worker candidate with a bold equity agenda to strategically create a "Fair Share" economy supporting workers, tenants, small property owners, and small businesses. In 2015, SEIU 1021 endorsed Weiss' Mayoral run which revolutionized local politics and garnered nearly 80,000 first, second, and third place votes,but political leadership is attempting to keep Weiss' message from the workers by disallowing her to speak at their upcoming endorsement meeting on the evening of January 25th 2018.
David Campos, Former District 9 Supervisor and Chair of San Francisco's Democratic Central Committee was also shocked to learn the Weiss is being kept from speaking directly to the workers.
Help organize against this unjust and undemocratic process!
1. Write an e-mail to SEIU's 1021 Political Director, Michael Weinberg, and cc Weiss' campaign.
cc: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
As an SEIU worker I demand that pro-worker Mayoral candidate Amy Farah Weiss have a chance to share her platform in person with members of SEIU before they vote on their endorsement on January 25th 2018. SEIU 1021 endorsed Weiss in 2015 and she received nearly 80,000 first, second, and third votes on a budget of less than $15,000. Put equity initiatives and collaborative leadership front and center in your endorsement process and support a Vote 1-2-3 Slate. At the very least, don't silence the voice of someone who speaks for the people.
2. Show up and support Amy on the night of January 25th at 6PM at 350 Rhode Island, Suite 100
3. Read Amy's SEIU 1021 Endorsement Questionnaire answers below and share this link with your fellow workers.
SEIU Local 1021, San Francisco
Questionnaire for San Francisco Mayor Candidates
Election: June 2018
Candidate Name: Amy Farah Weiss
Occupation: Founder/Executive Director of the Saint Francis Homelessness Challenge
What is your Political Party: Democrat (running as Democratic Socialist)
What is your campaign budget:
I will work with the budget available to me, but will not put an emphasis on raising money. In the 2015 Mayor’s race it took me 6 months to raise the filing fee to get on the ballot, and I raised an additional $8,000 to run a campaign that garnered nearly 80,000 1/2/3 votes (with over 23,000 first place votes). This time around I sent out a Facebook message to 60 supporters the day after Ed Lee’s tragic passing, asking them if they would help me raise the money to get on the ballot, and within 6 hours I received over $6,500 in pledges from 55 people; That’s what gave me the confidence to enter the race.
I have an amazing all-volunteer campaign team, including a field organizer, events coordinators, artists, tech support, and advisors that are subject matter experts in cooperative economics, systemic sustainability, labor, health care, CleanPowerSF, public broadband, affordable housing development, homelessness, small businesses, and organizational development and leadership.
I am working both publicly and behind the scenes to 1) Encourage London Breed to sign Mark Leno’s fair campaign pledge so that we can stop the arms race and blood sport that campaigning has become in San Francisco; 2) Persuade Mark Leno to resist applying for hundreds of thousands of dollars in public financing which could be used to address our encampment and affordable housing crisis instead; and 3) Embolden my contacts in the tech and campaign world to call-in Reid Hoffman, Ron Conway, and other tech titans and political operatives to invest in affordable housing this campaign cycle rather than mudslinging IE’s that cheapen our democracy.
How much money have you raised to date $10,000?
What is your current cash on hand? $3,500
How do you plan to raise the remainder?
I will use whatever money comes into my campaign via personal connections, e-mail solicitations, and events to 1) Print posters/buttons/flyers from local union print shops, 2) Provide gift certificates from local businesses to low-income residents and artists who volunteer with voter registration efforts or make campaign-related materials, 3) Facebook ads, and 4) Events that welcome all candidates and their supporters.
Who are the key constituencies in your campaign?
Social/Economic/Racial Justice activists and coalitions, tenants, small property owners, students at SFUSD/CCSF/SF State, city workers, the cannabis community, worker-owned co-ops, unhoused/shelter residents, the LGBTQ community, tech workers, artists, small business owners, students, the hip hop community, District 5 (where I grew roots and became politically activated in San Francisco), open source voting advocates, public bank advocates, CleanPowerSF advocates, and public broadband advocates.
What issues have you taken a leadership role on that are important to SEIU Local 1021 members?
- I have been advocating for a public bank since I supported John Avalos’ Mayoral campaign and fought against Chase bank displacing two local businesses in my Divisadero neighborhood in 2011. I am currently a member of the Public Bank Coalition and use SF Fire Credit Union for my personal and campaign banking.
- I began publicly advocating for inclusive, culturally-enriching, and sustainable development as the Founder and Director of the nonprofit “Neighbors Developing Divisadero” in 2011. As the Director of NDDivis I went to hearings at the Planning Commission to support affordable housing development, higher inclusionary rates in market-rate development, common sense regulations for Airbnb, and the “Pause for a Plan” efforts of Mission housing activists. I conducted online surveys on Airbnb legislation, new housing development, and revitalization efforts for the Harding Theater that I shared with local government and developers.
- In the 2015 Mayor’s race I stood up for our city by challenging Ed Lee with a people-powered, collaborative, solutions-oriented campaign style that revolutionized San Francisco politics. I developed policy initiatives that could have created thousands of units of affordable housing for city residents, workers, and families while simultaneously supporting local workforce development for the building trades. I developed initiatives to address the encampment crisis. I developed initiatives to create a “Fair Share” equitable economy and stop the growing tide of inequity. All of these initiatives are still relevant and ready to launch for June 2018.
- In the 2015 Mayor’s race I proposed that the City start treating our encampment and shelter shortage crisis like a true crisis by activating underutilized land for community-integrated “Transitional Eco-Villages”. After the race I immediately founded “Saint Francis Homelessness Challenge” (SFHC) and began researching, developing, and piloting the Transitional Village model in collaboration with encampment residents, impacted housed neighbors, businesses, local community orgs, City service workers and Department leadership (DPW/DHSHS/SFPD/DPH/HAS).
- Over the last two years I continually tried to link arms with City Hall, including Mayor Lee, the BoS (Jane Kim, London Breed, etc), and Department Heads (Jeff Kositsky, Muhammed Nuru, and Barbara Garcia) in order to strategically and collaboratively address service gaps that actually institutionalized encampments. I began piloting San Francisco’s first community-integrated Transitional Village model with collaboration and support from Impact Hub SF, condo residents at 1875 Mission, Mission Housing Development Corporation, Asian Neighborhood Design, Lava Mae, and Downtown Streets Team in July 2017. This model is now ready to scale to transition 1,000 people off of our streets into Transitional Villages if City Hall links arms with SFHC and our Safe Organized Spaces Working Group and puts Phil Ting’s AB-932 and AB-857 into use.
- Shortly after I was voted onto the San Francisco Community Land Trust Board in early 2016, I was asked to join the SFCLT staff as Operations Manager by then-Organizational Director, Tracy Parent. I continued on as Director of the Saint Francis Homelessness Challenge while I worked FT at SFCLT for 8 months to help transition leadership from Tracy to a new Organizational Director, develop a new website and online member management system for the organization, develop new outreach and education materials, and worked with 4 of SFCLT’s co-op to achieve compliance with 501c3 paperwork and develop new tools for selection, grievances, move-out agreements, and cooperative self management. The selection tools and process that I developed with co-op residents served as the model for MOHCD’s new screening and selection process for co-op housing.
What is your path to victory?
“Resist. Organize. Lead.”
“Outcomes over Egos.”
“Vote 1-2-3 for Equity”.
These phrases are the guiding values and framework for a winning campaign. San Francisco voters, residents, and workers are ready for a pragmatic visionary to guide us collaboratively towards becoming an Epicenter of Equity. Towards this goal, my all-volunteer campaign team is working with me to develop ready-to-launch equity initiatives for June 2018, and we will lead the conversation around equity issues.
I have been using social media, especially Facebook, as a grassroots organizing tool since 2011. In 2015 I developed the “Vote 1-2-3 to Replace Ed Lee” campaign and Facebook Group, which grew to over 10,000 members the month before the 2015 election. I am still an administrator of this 9,000 member strong group, now named “Vote 1-2-3 SF”.
For the 2018 Campaign I launched a new group called “Vote 1-2-3 for Equity 2018” (123forequity.org) for all candidates and supporters to discuss equity issues for the Mayor’s race. I removed myself as an administrator/moderator and am now a participant of the 1,400 member and growing group.
My campaign team is working on an engaging voter registration strategy, and city-wide GOTV strategy for Vote by Mail ballots (which are distributed in the beginning of May) and for election day. Our hope is to register and engage thousands of new voters and have the highest turnout in history for a June election.
My collaborative leadership, bridge-building, and solutions-oriented approach will garner tens of thousands of first, second, and third place votes, which will give me the votes to rise to the top at the end of the Instant Runoff Voting. I am automatically directing my supporters to vote for Jane Kim as their #2 choice since she is an upper echelon politician and far and away the second most progressive candidate after me. I am still open to the third place choice for a candidate since I would like Mark Leno, London Breed, Angela Alioto, and Ellen Lee Zhou to demonstrate their dedication to equity issues and collaborative leadership during the campaign. For now, my directive to supporters is WEISS/KIM/(MODERATE OF YOUR CHOICE).
Most of my fellow candidates will have to engage in political gymnastics in order to try to distinguish themselves from Ed Lee while also trying to appeal to his voter base. I can appeal to everyone through my “outcomes over egos” and bridge building approach. Questions to ask Jane, Mark, London, and Angela: If you truly believe that the City needs a radical change in 2018, why did you endorse Ed Lee in 2015 (and/or 2011)? Why did you sit back and wait for a politically opportune moment to run for Mayor rather than take a stand when we needed your leadership the most?
Why are you running for office?
If elected, here are a handful of initiatives that I would hit the ground running with in June. There are more. In fact, we could joyfully work together as collaborative leaders and implement these initiatives right now if my fellow candidates were willing to shake up the status quo. But I cannot wait for “established” politicians to do the right thing. We must take responsibility for our City, neighborhoods, and communities and become the leaders we’ve been waiting for.
Transitioning 1,000+ people off of the streets into Safe Organized Spaces this year
Lifting all boats with a "tighten from the top" approach that bolsters the base (especially during lean budget cycles)
Building thousands of affordable housing units for our low-to-mid income workforce, residents, and families while supporting small property owners and the building trades.
Making our streets and BART stations safer, cleaner, and more vibrant through job creation for mental health workers, artists, and underemployed
Making SF a state leader in equitable access to cannabis for harm reduction and healing
Ramping up climate justice mobilization and CleanPowerSF to fulfill Gavin Newsom's goal of 100% renewable
Using technology to support voter engagement and open source democracy
Investing in a city-wide broadband and Wi-Fi network to provide high speed, affordable internet access for all SF residents
Move San Francisco forward as the first major city in the United States to implement a public bank
Supporting economic justice and reparations to sustain and grow our African American community.
Please describe your historic work with unions: Have you supported a contract fight, walked a picket line, written a letter of support, or been on a delegation supporting labor? Have you ever been part of a union? If so, which union and for how long?
I grew up in San Jose, California where both of my parents worked at union jobs. My mom is a retired registered nurse who worked at Valley Medical Center and my father is a retired appliance salesman who worked at Western Appliance. I remember my dad telling me about an issue where he played a role in healing a rift between management and his fellow workers regarding bonuses, and in that regard I am a chip off the old block.
I was briefly a union member via UFCW when I worked as a bagger for a summer at Nob Hill foods after high school and before starting college at DeAnza Community College.
I transferred to UC Santa Cruz and earned a B.A. in Sociology. I left Santa Cruz a year after graduating and returned a few years later in 2004. I participated in a few actions for the UC Santa Cruz teaching assistants, represented by United Auto Workers Local 2865 and organized by my good friend, Max Alper. I continued attending actions/strikes with Max throughout the years, including the Castlewood Country Club lockout of 61 food service workers who were members of UNITE-HERE Local 2850.
Have you ever crossed a picket line? Please explain. NO
Would you pledge never to contract out existing city work? Please explain your thoughts on contracting out.
YES. I do not support the privatization of government services in order to reduce salaries, benefits, or worker rights. Public services should be administered with the welfare of the public and betterment of the community as their sole purpose, never for a profit motive.
What work that is currently contracted out could be brought back in house for City employees to perform?
HealthRight 360 (formerly Walden House, Haight Ashbury Free Clinic, Asian American Recovery Services, etc) should either be unionized and have an increase in compensation and benefits for workers, or be brought back in house for City employees to perform.
Mental health counselors and direct service workers for shelters are chronically underpaid which makes it almost impossible to live in San Francisco and generally do not have workers rights through unions.
Do you believe in card check neutrality, and the right to form a union for all contractors receiving public dollars? Please explain.
As a pro-labor candidate, I pledge that elected I would always publicly support card check recognition and neutrality agreements.
In tough economic times, budget deficits necessitate difficult choices including cuts. What is your budget philosophy on budget cuts? What programs should be cut first and which cuts should be made last?
One of my slogans for this campaign is “Tighten from the top to bolster the base”. Everyone working for the City and for nonprofit organizations knows that the status quo response when the economy dips is to cut funding for essential jobs and services. When I am in the Mayor’s office I will immediately begin to demonstrate the “tighten from the top” philosophy by putting back $200,000 of the Mayor’s salary into a fund to be redistributed for increased resources for essential programming. I will work together with my team to foster a sustainable and resilient budget so that we can work towards preventing, and mitigating if necessary, lean budget cycles.
In the event of an unpredictable economic downturn I would consult with City workers and union organizers to design equitable solutions such as furloughs and pay cuts for all instead of cutting city jobs.
Please describe the relationship you intend to have with unions, including SEIU?
I firmly believe that all stakeholders should have a seat at the table when it comes to developing and evaluating programs and policies that impact them, especially direct service workers who work with the community on the ground and see the needs up close. I developed an Interdisciplinary M.A. program in Organizational Development at SF State in 2010, and over the last decade I have put my skills of strategic planning, program development, and program evaluation to use in support of community well-being. I utilize a bottom-up inclusive approach to evaluating programs and would want to work with SEIU workers.
SEIU 1021 workers have been under attack for several years. One of the ugliest tactics has been mass-scale lay-offs of specific job classifications, and re-offering the same job duties with a new title and 6.25-25% less pay. What is your position on this tactic and how would you use your sought position to influence your belief?
All workers need the ability to have affordable housing in the City that they serve. I utilize a systems-thinking approach in my leadership, and I would work with both service workers, union representation, administrators, and department heads to devise a “tighten from the top” approach rather than cut from the bottom.
What should be done through recruiting and hiring to address the City’s legacy of racial discrimination in the employment of African American and Hispanic males?
Everyone should watch the short KQED film “Take this Hammer” featuring James Baldwin and Orville Luster (if you haven’t already seen it) in order to see firsthand the frustration felt by African Americans in regards to institutionalized racism and job discrimination. It is time to repent and atone for the wrongdoings of our City and Country by developing programs that support economic justice and reparations for the African American community. Your point is well taken that this has occurred to the Hispanic community as well.
As Mayor, I will work to increase training and internship programs in the building trades to expand programs such as City Build and Asian Neighborhood Design. This will dovetail with a program to build thousands of Additional Dwelling Units (ADU’s) within the existing building envelop of 37,000 eligible parcels citywide to provide affordable housing for SF residents and workers. We could target outreach for these programs to residents who live in BMR housing and large Co-ops. While I was working as the Operations Manager at the San Francisco Community Land Trust I saw the opportunity to develop the skills and economic opportunities for Co-op residents (such as the MLK Marcus Garvey Co-op and Freedom West Co-ops) so that repair/plumbing/contractor work could be “contracted-in” to building residents.
We can also work to stabilize and heal our unhoused encampment and shelter population (which is disproportionally African American and Hispanic) and create opportunities for these residents to build upon existing skills in a way that gives back to the community.
Programs that support coding skills and pathways to employment within the tech industry should be expanded within our public education system from middle school to college with an emphasis on communities that have suffered from institutionalized racism.
Quickly rising housing costs have pushed many employees out of San Francisco housing. This has eroded am important base of political support for services in the City.
How can the City and County stop displacement of our communities of color, poor, and working class people?
I recently went to Sacramento to support the repeal of Costa Hawkins, and I have been gathering signatures for the “No eviction without representation” and the parcel tax to increase SFUSD teacher salaries on June ballot measure.
As Mayor, I will do everything in my power to disincentivize property owners from keeping housing units vacant through the development of a vacancy tax or “Empty Dwelling Management Orders”, especially with the thousands of units that were illegally being kept off of the market through Airbnb.
I would also guide the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development to expand upon the online DAHLIA Housing Portal program as a feeder site for property owners with vacant units so that low-to-mid income workers and residents who pay more than 30% of their income for rent or have had to move outside of the City can be matched up with affordable rental opportunities.
We must develop programs through the City that help prevent evictions by providing tenants, small property owners, and nonprofit property owners with mediation and conflict resolution support prior to getting to the point of legal proceedings. We must also work with small property owners to address their needs for building maintenance and a sustainable ROI so that they don’t sell their properties to the 1% who will then Ellis Act and displace existing tenants, including tenant screening and selection support and increasing outreach and funding for the Small Sites Program to purchase 5-25 unit buildings.
As Mayor, I will support the development of new financing structures and building programs that increase the amount of affordable housing in new developments as well as jumpstart the development of Additional Dwelling Units for local residents/workers.
What does “affordable housing” mean to you?
Affordable housing is technically defined as no more than 30% of your income being dedicated to the cost of housing. Currently approximately 19% of SF residents pay over 50% of their income towards rent. We need more stratified affordability ranges in each new development so that low-income workers, families with two mid-income earners (such as a nurse and a teacher, or a nurse and a firefighter), and higher-income earners are contributing no more than 30% of their income (with a reasonable cap) while simultaneously supporting the financial sustainability and maintenance of the building.
What would you do to encourage development of housing that is affordable in San Francisco?
As Mayor, I will help develop new financing structures and building programs that increase the amount of affordable housing in new developments as well as jumpstart the development of Additional Dwelling Units for local residents/workers. See my answer to #13 for more detail.
Do you support or oppose equipping SFPD with tasers or similar devices?
OPPOSE. SFPD is currently tasked with implementing Crisis Intervention Team protocol and developing the skills of its officers to use crisis de-escalation skills.
Black people remain the highest of all ethnicities impacted by police brutality and the use of force in San Francisco. What steps will you take to hold police accountable for violence against black people?
As Mayor I would work with a diverse group of stakeholders (including the Officers for Justice and social justice organizations such as Justice for Mario Woods) to develop restorative justice programs for officers who have used unnecessary force or shown bias against people of color.
What is your vision for the San Francisco jail currently housed at 850 Bryant?
As Mayor I would like to create more structured mental health care and rehabilitation facilities for people who are currently a danger to themselves or others due to a mental illness/trauma, drug addiction, impulse control, aggressive behaviors, and the impacts of institutionalized racism.
There is a current need to create safe conditions for a daily jail population that ranges between 1,250 and 1,300 prisoners. In addition to ensuring safe conditions for prisoners, our goal should be to decrease criminal behavior by providing adequate shelter, economic opportunity, and mental health and recovery programs in our community.
REVENUES FOR LOCAL SERVICES
Please describe your understanding of the City’s current financial situation.
After the fraudulent lending practices of the big banks caused the economic collapse of 2008-2010, San Francisco focused on creating tax breaks to lure large tech companies to Market Street rather than taking the opportunity to develop a new economic paradigm through the creation of a public bank, initiating vacancy taxes and re-activation programs for blighted and vacant properties on Market Street and city-wide, investing in job creation towards renewable energy goals, creating incentives and development support for worker co-ops, and ensuring that we “tighten from the top to bolster the base” rather than cut from the bottom. Our City leaders, including Gavin Newsom, Ed Lee, David Chiu, and Jane Kim, pushed for short-sighted policies that led to rapid population growth and displacement.
Last June, Mayor Lee introduced a two-year budget plan with $10 billion in spending for the 2018-2019 fiscal year (about a 5% increase from the previous fiscal year), with approximately $5 billion going towards general fund spending on services including public health, supportive housing, police and fire and recreation and parks. The existing budget plan includes $50 million Affordable Care Act reserve and a $10 million state and federal impacts reserve.
Mayor Lee asked all city departments to submit their budget proposals with a 2.5 percent cumulative cut in each of the next two fiscal years, along with a directive not to add any more employees.
Please describe the circumstances under which you would support creation of any new tax preferences, i.e. tax “breaks”, what kinds of accountability you would require to prevent abuse and how would you propose to pay for them?
With the lowering of the Corporate Tax Rate at the Federal Level, San Francisco should expect larger corporations to pay their fair share to ensure that all San Franciscans have their basic needs of dignified housing/shelter, health care (including dental and mental health/wellness support), food, transportation, child care, education, and a way to support their livelihood while serving the greater good. Investing money into the healing and maintenance of our neighborhoods and systems will increase well-being for all San Francisco residents and decrease our currently growing economic divide.
Name your top three budget priorities.
- I will redirect the nearly $30 million in funds currently allocated to SFPD/DPW to clean up and respond to conditions at tent encampments into the development of 20-50 community-integrated Safe Organized Spaces to support the stabilization, healing, and vocational/housing goals of 1,000+ unhoused/unsheltered residents.
- I will work with the BoS, Planning Department, the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, the building trades, CityBuild, Asian Neighborhood Design, and small property owners to create a new financing program, screening process, and implementation strategy for building 1,000+ Additional Dwelling Units (ADUs) for SF residents/workers currently paying over 30% of their income for rent.
- Increasing funding for community-integrated mental health services, including neighborhood crisis prevention and de-escalation services.
What new revenues would you propose to support public services?
- A 20-cent-to-$1 fee for Uber and Lyft rides in San Francisco to fund local transportation, like Muni
- A pied-a-tierre/ “luxury tax” for Non-primary Residence Homes: In major U.S. cities, such as New York and San Francisco, real estate has become an attractive investment for the world’s elite to park their capital. These billionaires buy luxury apartments that often lie empty, typically in cities that are experiencing housing crises. In New York City, some activists have proposed a pied-a-tierre tax that would apply a 4% property tax to apartments and homes owned by non-primary residents. According to the Fiscal Policy Institute, if a pied a tierre tax was applied in New York to properties with a market value above $5 million, it would generate $250 million annually.
- Corporate income taxes
- A vehicle license fee on second vehicles
- A revenue bond to build up infrastructure for a city-wide broadband and Wi-Fi network to provide hi-speed affordable internet for all residents
Do you support the City and County pursuing establishment of a public bank as a way to save General Fund dollars without raising taxes and passing cuts down to the workers and/or the public? How would you put your ideas into action?
Yes. I am currently a member of the San Francisco Public Bank Coalition. As a Mayoral candidate I support the creation of a Task Force to build off of the findings of the 11/2017 Budget and Legislative Analyst report and develop an implementation plan. As Mayor I will work with the Treasurer and Board of Supervisor to support the recommendations of the Task Force and divest as quickly and prudently as possible from commercial banking.
HEALTH CARE AND SOCIAL SERVICES
What would you do to increase access to affordable, quality health care for all San Franciscans?
I have been to rallies in support of SB 562 in order to support full health coverage for all Californians without the devastating deductibles and co-pays that prompt many to ration needed care. As Mayor I would work with a diverse group of stakeholders to get up to speed on the needs of our current system.
I am particularly interested in learning about best practices from the highly successful Health Plan of San Mateo, a nonprofit program that has helped thousands of residents navigate Medi-cal and insurance options. With a range of programs to help disabled seniors, children, the undocumented and others who can’t afford insurance but don’t qualify for federal subsidies, the health plan of San Mateo now has nearly 150,000 members and its expansion over the decades has had immense benefits for hundreds of thousands of residents who’ve received help securing insurance and quality care. The health plan is able to draw federal funding from the state and reimburse doctors in their network who treat Medi-Cal patients. Because the plan has steered more low-income patients away from emergency rooms and into preventative care, it proved providing insurance ends up saving the government money. Since the plan has scored so well, it’s actually able to reimburse doctors at a higher rate than the state normally pays due to those savings
As Mayor I would also include more funding for staffing and programming for harm reduction, mobile outreach, and community-integrated mental health services.
What do you see as the role of General Hospital, Laguna Honda Hospital, the Public Clinics, and Non-Profit Community Clinics (e.g. Hyde Street Community Services) in providing health care, and is there an effect when they are contracted to large hospital chains?
General Hospital, Laguna Honda, Public Clinics, and Non-Profits Community Clinics are important providers of essential health services for SF residents and serve as a lifeline and safety net for low-income, uninsured, and Medical patients. We must continue to fund and expand their services and make sure that the quality of care stays affordable. Contracting to private companies may be cheaper in some ways but these private companies often cuts corners to turn a profit and are less willing to work with low-income, higher-needs patients.
Do you support or oppose hospital caregivers having a voice in staffing decisions at hospitals? SUPPORT
Non-profit hospitals are exempted from paying property taxes as well as other city and county fees, and in return are expected to provide other tangible benefits to the community. Yet many of these hospitals are failing to meet acceptable forms of community benefit, including charity care contributions to the uninsured. If elected, what kind of public oversight and accountability measures would you actively and publicly support?
These non-profit hospitals need to meet their community benefit agreements with 360 degree evaluations from all stakeholders, including patients, front-line workers, administrative staff, and leadership. If more community-integrated comprehensive mental health programming and dignified shelter is funded through the City, it will benefit everyone, including non-profit hospitals, because it will take away some of the burden from emergency services.
If elected, would you actively support proposals to increase state funding to upgrade public hospitals and clinic infrastructures? YES
What would you do to decrease caseload levels for eligibility and social workers ?
Train and hire more eligibility and social workers and continue to make improvements to streamline the eligibility process.
How do you propose to improve access and increase funding for training and referrals as well as to develop career ladders to attract more workers to the healthcare industry?
San Francisco should invest in the expansion of our existing internship, certification, training, and job placement programs for mental health and health care at CCSF, SF State, and UCSF. The development and reactivation of housing units that are affordable to healthcare workers at 30% of their income is the most important issue at present in retaining healthcare workers.
What role should the Health Commission have in oversight and decision making regarding necessary services, such as the subacute unit at St. Luke’s Hospital?
The Health Commission should solicit 360 degree feedback from all stakeholders, including patients, front-line service workers, administration, and leadership and involve those stakeholders in decision making and policy development.
What do you see as your role as Mayor in relation to the School District?
As Mayor, I would work to support affordable housing opportunities for teachers, paraprofessionals, school service workers, and unhoused SFUSD families.
I would work with a diverse group of stakeholders (including administrators, teachers, paraprofesionals, subject matter experts, and students) to fund and develop programming in alignment with common core state standards that ensures every child in SFUSD graduates with 1) Skills in mindfulness, basic coding, media literacy, and basic building construction, 2) The ability to understand the science behind climate change and carbon draw down practices, and 3) The experience of participating in the local politics.
Do you support citywide pay parity for classified staff in our schools and community college? YES
What can San Francisco do to build on the success of Free City College?
A next step should be to expand upon vocational training and job placement programs that link local students to career pathways in CleanPower SF, community health/mental health care, the cannabis industry, and building trades.
As Mayor I would support hiring protocols that gave a screening and selection advantage to graduates of San Francisco public education institutions (SFUSD, CCSF, SF State, and UCSF).
Should members of the public serve on the San Francisco Employees’ Retirement fund board? Explain your answer?
Similar to the Community Land Trust model of multi-stakeholder board oversight, the SFers Board should include workers and a diverse array of subject matter experts from the community who are geared towards safe and sustainable investments that support a high-quality of life for retirees while supporting economic, social, and environmental justice and well-being.
As Mayor, I would work with a diverse stakeholder group, including worker/union representatives, in order to create a collaborative nomination, screening, and selection process for new appointees.
Should members of the public serve on the San Francisco Health Service Board? Explain your answer.
Yes. As Mayor, I would work with a diverse stakeholder group, including worker/union representatives, in order to create a collaborative nomination, screening, and selection process for new appointees.
Please describe your beliefs on Sanctuary City, Immigration Reform, and the County’s role on issues of immigration:
The city and county of San Francisco is responsible for protecting our residents, documented or otherwise. The United States has directly contributed to the political and economic instability of many countries through trade agreements (such as NAFTA), CIA interference in democratic movements, imperialism, and unjust wars (Iraq, Philippines, etc). We should use a systems-thinking approach to directly support immigration, refuge, and integration to political, economic, and climate refugees.
What actions would you take to support workers engaged in union activity such as bargaining and organizing?
I would have meetings with all stakeholders to collaboratively assess what a fair contract would be in order to balance the system and the needs of workers. We should ensure that all San Francisco workers know about their right to unionize, including workers in the cannabis industry and gig economy.
Is there anything else you believe is important for the members of SEIU to know about you and your campaign?
It’s time to go beyond “having a horse in the race” and redesign the track of the campaigning process. The 2018 Mayor’s race should put equity issues front and center and ensure that candidates are solidly on board for implementing these initiatives prior to giving them your endorsement.
I encourage SEIU 1021 to choose a Vote 1-2-3 slate with Weiss in your #1 ranked choice and Kim in your #2 slot (most likely Leno in your #3 position since London Breed has yet to distance herself from Independent Expenditure money). This will send a message that you are choosing a public servant with years of direct service, community organizing, program development, and strategic planning experience who rolled up her sleeves over the last 8 years to tackle the biggest issues facing San Francisco, not a politician who stood by and/or endorsed Ed Lee for Mayor in 2015 during a time of escalating economic and social injustice.
I am prepared to hit the ground running in June 2018 to lead the City’s Departments, budgeting process, and Commission appointments in implementing a comprehensive Platform for Equity. I am a pragmatic visionary who knows how to take a concept, such as “ending encampments” and “building affordable housing” and turn it into a program with a budget, list of components, timeline, and measurable outcomes. I am a collaborative leader and bridge builder who can bring together all sides of an issue to work together towards the greater good.
Never underestimate the power of integrity, collaborative leadership, strategic equity initiatives, grassroots organizing, social media, and solid endorsements to have more impact than a campaign budget.