Minutes August 13, 2011
Written by Aubrey Freedman (for Jawj Greenwald)
Minutes of the LPSF Meeting of August 13, 2011
Members Present: Phil Berg, Marcy Berry (Chair), Michael Edelstein, Aubrey Freedman, Ron Getty (Vice Chair), Les Mangus (Treasurer), and Starchild.
Guest: Jim Korn
Chair: No report
Vice Chair: No report
Treasurer: Les Mangus reported that the LPSF has $6,019.90 in its coffers. The amount has gone up in the last month due to the donation snafu with PayPal being resolved, at least for the moment.
Secretary: Minutes of the July meeting were posted online.
Internet/Social Networking: No report.
Initiatives/Ballot Measures: See below.
Membership: No report.
Outreach: No report.
Political Candidates/Activists’ Report: In response to a request for information from Professor Elmendorf, a law professor at UC Davis doing research tracking differences in responses by the same individual/entity when they address different audiences, Marcy Berry dug far back in the party archives and provided the professor with the LPSF’s ballot recommendations from 2004 on. Les Mangus wrote a letter to the editor of the SF Examiner. Aubrey Freedman worked with Starchild on helping to organize the first event of the SF Liberty Coalition. Michael Edelstein worked on phone banking for the Ron Paul campaign. Jim Korn participated in the “slut walk” event in The City. Phil Berg attended a Libertarian meeting in Vancouver. Ron Getty continued his work on Facebook with sending people Libertarian messages on their birthdays. Ron also was awarded the Lights of Liberty award for writing letters about liberty issues.
Jury Rights Day on September 5, 2011. See FIJA.org (Fully Informed Jury Association)
The next meeting of the LPSF will be at the Glenn Park Library on September 10, 2011.
The next meet-up of Starchild’s SF Liberty Coalition will be on Thursday, August 18, 2011 featuring a panel discussion on SF government committees. Joe Eskenazi from the SF Weekly will be the guest speaker.
SF Liberty Coalition-Starchild is the Organizer and Aubrey is the Assistant Organizer. Meets on the 3rd Thursday of each month at 50 Mason Social House from 7-9 PM. The first event was held on July 21 featuring candidates for the upcoming election and also proponents and opponents on the various ballot measures. Attendance was not as high as anticipated, and not as many candidates as expected showed up; nevertheless, Starchild and Aubrey were pleased with the quality of the speakers that did show up. Jim Korn remarked how well timed the event was—that it ended right on schedule at 9PM.
Now that school is about ready to start, Marcy will mail out the packages that Rob Power prepared for the Civics departments in high schools in the Bay Area. Marcy will use the list of high schools that she has from another project. Les offered to help Marcy with the mailings.
Donation problem with PayPal. There was some discussion about whether we can set this up as a business account so that it is not tied to any one person’s Social Security number. Marcy said that she would call the IRS to see if she can get a TIN number for the LPSF.
Recommendations for the ballot measures in the November 8, 2011 election. Ron Getty gave the background and his thoughts on each measure. People asked questions and offered comments, and then a vote was taken on each measure.
A (School Bonds). The City is already over $1.5B in long-term debt. The measure requires a thorough audit of how the money is spent. Instead of selling bonds to raise money for school repairs, the SFUSD could sell some of their unused properties and consolidate students/staff/schools to cut expenses instead of a costly bond measure. The school district hasn’t even used up all their previous bond money. 6 No votes, 0 Yes votes.
B (Road Repaving & Street Safety Bonds). This measure will need to get a yes vote by 2/3 of the electorate to pass. With interest and other costs, it could end up costing $350M. It contains a 50% pass-through feature that will affect renters, and property homeowners will see an additional assessment on their property tax bills if this passes. 7 No votes, 0 Yes votes.
C (City Retirement & Health Care Benefits-pension reform by the unions, the Mayor, and the Board of Supervisors). This is an alternate measure to counter D, the Adachi measure. It is 280 pages long and will exempt the fireman and police employees from any changes to their contributions until June of 2015. This is a “foxes in the henhouse” measure. This measure will save $300M less than D over 10 years. 7 No votes, 0 Yes votes.
D (Retirement Benefits for City Employees-pension reform by Jeff Adachi). For those who earn under $50K/year, this measure will not affect how much they contribute. It won’t change current employees’ pension benefits, but it will affect the amount new employees have to contribute. The employees who earn the highest salaries will have to pay more into their pensions. Will save The City over $1.6B over the next 10 years. Les made the point that this measure doesn’t really solve the problem, and The City may get around D (if it passes) by just increasing the employees’ pay. 5 Yes votes, 1 No vote, and 1 abstaining vote.
E (Amending Initiative Ordinances & Policy Declaration). This measure will enable the Board of Supervisors to rescind an initiative after 3 years if it feels the measure is no longer needed or caused unintended consequences. There was some discussion if this measure would apply to initiatives approved and passed by the electorate or just initiatives passed by the Board of Supervisors. The general consensus was that it would increase the power of the Board of Supervisors. 7 No votes, 0 Yes votes.
F (Campaign Consultant Disclosures). This measure adds a myriad of rules to increase openness in campaigning. The general consensus was that there are already too many complicated rules to comply with. 7 No votes, 0 Yes votes.
G (Sales Tax). Half of one percent increase in SF County, depending on what the State of California ends up doing with its proposal to restore the sales tax increase that ended on June 30, 2011. We were running out of time at this point in the meeting, and a measure increasing the sales tax was deemed not worth wasting time on. 7 No votes, 0 Yes votes.
H (School District Student Assignment System). This measure was designed to give parents an easier chance to get their children into their neighborhood schools. Consideration to proximity to neighborhood schools will be given priority status when the school district assigns students, if the parents request a neighborhood school. 4 No Recommendation votes, 2 Yes votes, 0 No votes.
A motion was passed to approve funds for a paid argument to be printed in the Voter Information Pamphlet for the November 8, 2011 election.
A motion was passed to approve the argument in favor of Proposition D, the Jeff Adachi pension reform ballot measure.