The Libertarian Party of San Francisco gives a HUGE shout out to The Libertarian Party of Yolo County! The Advocacy and Leadership Training Conference 2014 which they hosted on July 19, was outstanding. The conference organizers were welcoming and gracious, the speakers knowledgeable of tools and characteristics necessary to lead a successful advocacy organization, and the luncheon delicious.
All the topics were tremendously useful. To mention just three:
Gale Morgan, Northern Vice Chairman of the Libertarian Party of California, talked about successful “elevator speeches,” concise responses that are short enough to deliver during an elevator ride, but memorable enough to plant a seed in the listener’s mind.
Steve Macias, Press Aid to California Assemblyman Dan Logue, provided information on the role of aids, assistants, and other “gatekeepers,” all of whom can either be allies or not, depending on when and how they are approached by those seeking the ear of a Congressperson. Steve also encouraged Libertarians to continue in our efforts in spite of our party’s relatively small size, since we will be the ones to pick up the pieces when Big Government implodes under its own gargantuan weight!
Kelly Mordecai, Constitutional scholar and author of The Hidden 4th Branch, gave the historical background of the Grand Jury, and encouraged us to educate ourselves and others about the crucial role grand juries plays in ensuring that no one, including individuals in high government office, is above the law. The “Right of Petition” was penned in the Magna Carta in 1215 AD, it remains a tool available to anyone wanting to address malfeasance at any level of government, and it depends on each one of us to keep an eye on it in order to protect its survival.
Great job, Yolo County Libertarians. Thank you.
San Francisco Board of Supervisor John Avalos, along with co-signing Supervisors David Campos, Eric Mar, and Jane Kim, sponsored the above proposed resolution. The Board voted on July 8, 2014, to postpone a decision. This proposal has been around since September of 2013, when Supervisor David Campos urged the Board to adopt a similar measure. You can see our analysis of that 2013 proposal in our article, Supervisor Campos to Explore Underwater Property Eminent Domain.
The idea of seizing underwater mortgages from private lenders is not going away. To the contrary, according to what Supervisor Avalos indicated during the meeting of July 8, he is looking forward to working with the rest of the Board, the Controller’s Office, and the City Attorney to craft a Joint Powers Authority Ordinance to be introduced later in 2014 – note the reference to an ordinance, not a mere resolution.
The forging ahead with this proposal is occurring in spite of investors giving every indication that they stand ready to flood every entity involved with lawsuits. Wells Fargo, Deutsche, and Mellon banks have already sued, although, as the court decided, prematurely, since the plaintiffs had not yet been harmed. No doubt, everybody will be back in court as soon as any actual seizing of mortgages is attempted!
Although these investors are powerful corporations, they are not voters, upon whom Supervisors depend at election time. Therefore, as always, we encourage voters - ordinary citizens - to get acquainted with the issues, contact their government representatives, and vote wisely.
File No. 140709 starts out by proposing that San Francisco commend the City of Richmond for “their work on creating a Local Principle Reduction Program…” – emphasis ours – and gets worse with each “Whereas.” Here are our primary concerns with Supervisor Avalos proposal:
Applies only to homeowners who are still making payments on their mortgages. It does not apply to borrowers who are no longer able to pay, and are truly facing foreclosure.
Applies only to securitized mortgages. Traditional mortgages still being held by original lenders are not included, no matter how underwater they are.
Many thanks to those on the Pride Team for making the 2014 Outright Libertarian booth at the 2014 Pride Celebration a success. It takes teamwork, and members of Outright, Libertarian Party of San Francisco, Marin Libertarian Party, Golden Gate Liberty Revolution, International Society for Individual Liberty, and assorted friends of LPSF who faithfully visit our booth and lend a hand each year made it happen.
No one can say LPSF lives in an echo chamber! We talk to and listen to hundreds of folks, local and visitors from around the world at Pride. We hear heartfelt questioning of the Libertarian call for shrinking government to the original purposes spelled out in our Constitution: “The Constitution was written for a small agrarian society; how can it be still relevant now?” “Can charity help as many people as the government does now?” “Is it not worth it to pay more taxes in order not to see people in need?” “Why is a national ID card controversial?” Our response is always an acknowledgement of understanding of divergent points of view, and a statement of our own: If we allow government the power to give, we necessarily allow government the power to take. If we are OK with government helping the needy, we should be OK with the IRS taxing us to whatever amounts it takes to do so. If we are OK with government intervention in foreign affairs, we should be OK with the NSA listening to our phone conversations to catch possible foreign terrorists.
Interestingly, after sometimes long such conversations, our booth guests and we part with a strong handshake – an acknowledgement that we still live in a largely free society, where we can express our points of view and still live in harmony. Let’s all not ever let that freedom go away!
The June 3, 2014 California Primary Elections are pretty much behind us. Visit the Secretary of State website at http://www.sos.ca.gov/ for results so far if you have not done so already. In San Francisco, the status quo remained the status quo: Democrat candidates won handily over all other candidates, and voters approved yet another bond measure without requiring establishment of an on-going capital improvement fund.
San Francisco’s Congressional District 12 did avail itself of one ray of hope for individual liberties and fiscal prudence by awarding John Dennis 12.1% of the vote. Against Nancy Pelosi’s status quo vote of 73.6%, John Dennis’ 12.1% does not seem impressive; but it is, since it put Dennis in second place, affording him under the new Top Two rule a spot in the General Elections ballot. Therefore, the Libertarian Party of San Francisco will continue to support this libertarian Ron Paul Republican through the November General Elections.
Now on to plans for the November 4, 2014 General Elections! As always our focus will be on local ballot measures, a number of which are complex and from our perspective controversial; see the San Francisco Department of Elections website http://www.sfgov2.org/index.aspx?page=2969 . We plan to have some articles about these initiatives on our website. Also, we will have ballot arguments on the voter pamphlet in keeping with our efforts to offer solutions that are based on the realities of the market, fiscal responsibility, and the benefits of smaller governments. As always we welcome everyone’s feedback, assistance, and monetary contribution. In hopes of receiving your help, we have established a Campaign Committee and placed a Campaign Contributions button on our website.
Plan Bay Area was adopted by a bevy of bureaucrats in July 2013, and now the Plan is everywhere! Given MUNI's shortcomings, the Plan's transportation element is of special concern.
The purported reason for Plan Bay Area’s far-reaching transportation strategy is the urgent mandate of Senate Bill 375 to 1) reduce greenhouse gases, and 2) tie together housing needs with transportation in order to reduce emissions from motor vehicle trips. From a libertarian perspective, Plan Bay Area as a whole and its transportation element in particular, serve to enable massive central planning aimed at obliterating residents’ (voters’) preferences as to where they live and how they travel. For example, parking spaces and car lanes are being replaced by “parklets,” bike lanes, or enormously wide sidewalks – often none of which much used.
To afford San Francisco voters a say on whether or not they are comfortable with Plan Bay Area’s transportation strategy, a coalition of diverse private citizens and groups is working to place the Restore Transportation Balance initiative on the November 2014 ballot. Their website describes the initiative as follows:
“The Initiative is a Declaration of Policy which calls upon the Mayor, the Board of Supervisors, and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) Board to restore balance to San Francisco’s transportation policies. This is the work of a diverse group of passionate San Franciscans who want to ensure our streets are safe, well maintained, and efficient to use for everybody.”
The Libertarian Party of San Francisco’s support of this initiative is consistent with our strong opposition to the arbitrary and coercive nature of Plan Bay Area and its various components.
We propose that instead of forcing difficulties upon those who at present choose to drive automobiles, San Francisco’s transportation strategy focus on substantially improving multiple-occupancy transit of all types so that more people see an advantage in reducing their use of single-occupancy vehicles.