The Libertarian Party of San Francisco meets for official business on the second Saturday of each month, from 3 to 5 p.m. Most of these meetings are held at the San Francisco Main Library at 100 Larkin, just outside the Civic Center BART/Muni station on Market Street. We announce the location of each meeting on the front page of our website and on our Announcements (you can subscribe to our Announcements List by clicking the link on the front page).
A social hour follows from 5 to 6 p.m. at a local establishment (arrive before 5 to walk there with us). Visitors are welcome to call or drop in and join us for the business meeting and/or the social hour.
Meeting Location: San Francisco Main Library – 3rd Floor Conference Room
1. Welcome – Introductions 3:05-3:10
2. Activist Reports – Past & Future 3:11-3:30
3. Announcements 3:31-3:40
4. Membership/Newsletter Report 3:41-3:45
5. Treasurer’s Report 3:46-3:50
6. November Election Wrap-up 3:51-4:05
7. Tax Day 2016 4:06-4:20
8. Affordable Housing Bonus Program 4:21-4:40
9. Ballot Measure Arguments Policy (3rd attempt) 4:41-5:00
Libertarian Party of San Francisco
Minutes for Monthly Meeting at the San Francisco Public Library on Saturday, October 10, 2015
Attendees: Phil Berg, Marcy Berry (Vice Chair), Aubrey Freedman (Chair), Cliff Nelson (guest), Ryan Porte (guest), Starchild, and Jason Williams.
Activist Reports: Marcy had an extremely busy month getting the Libertarian viewpoint out there. She presented the Libertarian arguments against props B and K at a League of Women Voters’ taping, which will be featured at sfgov.tv. She also attended an anti-Plan Bay Area coalition meeting and also the GGLR monthly meeting last month. She presented our argument against Prop K at the Older Women’s League meeting, which went well, and also presented our ballot measure arguments at the Log Cabin meeting last month. She also attended a neighborhood watch meeting on the Westside where residents were very upset about a lot of recent break-ins. Lastly she tabled at the “No on I” booth at the Castro Fair the previous weekend and noted that most folks who stopped to talk were opposed to the moratorium measure. Aubrey sent out the monthly newsletter last month and also tabled at the “No on I” booth. Phil posted comments on Zero Hedge.
• Monday, October 19-7:00-9:00 PM-Golden Gate Liberty Revolution-Monthly Meeting-Moksha Life Center-405 Sansome Street.
• Saturday/Sunday, October 24/25-Code of the West Gun Show-San Jose-tabling with Santa Clara LP (Aubrey indicated he may attend and indicated that others can get a ride with him, if interested).
• Saturday, November 7-7:00-11:00 PM-Free Exchange-Jim Elwood’s in Parkmerced.
• Saturday, November 14-JSA Convention-Santa Clara Marriott Hotel-2700 Mission College Blvd (Aubrey indicated this conflicts with our November meeting, so he will not attend this time).
• Young Americans for Liberty (YAL)-1600 Holloway Avenue (at 19th)-SF State University-Student Group Meetings every Thursday at noon in the Cesar Chavez Student Center/Rosa Parks Room-Outreach Tablings every Tuesday at noon in the Malcolm X Plaza (outside Cesar Chavez Student Center (Starchild noted that he’s not sure YAL is active at SFSU anymore since Nikko has graduated, so this announcement will not be listed anymore).
Membership/Newsletter Report: Aubrey reported that membership is up by 1 to 40 (22 lifetime members and 18 current paid up annual members). He finally complained to Ted Brown (LP State Chair) about the state membership records being in a shambles with no updates to the records for months. Aubrey reported sending the September newsletter to 177 people last month with 1 “Unsubscribe” request (the person moved to the East Bay), no new “Subscribe” requests, 1 bounce, and more comments than usual this time due to his article about sanctuary cities.
Website Report: Marcy reported that the upgrade to a more current version of Joomla went well with no down time, and she is happy with the results. Since Joomla was no longer supporting the old version we were on, she felt the $500 paid to JM Experts was well worth it, with our website sporting a new look and it being more mobile-friendly than the previous version. She said our website is too big for an automatic back-up, and she will look into the cost of subscribing to Akeeba Backups. There was a request to add the feature for folks who come to our website to be able to post comments, but Marcy is afraid that may open up our website to hacking and is opposed to the idea. Besides there are plenty of other avenues for folks to post comments like the LPSF Discussion List and also the LPSF Facebook, and she encouraged, once again, that our members start posting comments to these other avenues. She noted that the LPSF Facebook has 168 likes and needs more new postings.
Treasurer’s Report: Les was working today, so Aubrey gave the report. The current book balance is quite high at the moment: $823.46 (in PayPal) + $2,828.72 in the bank + another $2,000.00 in transit from PayPal to the bank + another $100 pledged for the election promotion not received yet = $5,752.18. However, so we don’t get carried away like government in good times, Aubrey noted that several committed disbursements need to be considered: $500.00 to Marcy for paying the consultant who did a great job on the website migration + $476.93 to be reimbursed to Aubrey for the post card mailing + $150.00 for the annual mail box rental = $1,126.93. He also reminded the group that we have a book balance floor of $2,000.00 (must always keep at least that much cash on hand), and he suggested that we save another $1,500.00 for next year’s events like Pride and Tax Day. That would leave $1,125.25 to work with right now for additional activity for the upcoming election.
November Election Promotion: We discussed how best to publicize the LPSF positions on the ballot measures. The best options were running ads in El Reportero, Golden Gate Xpress (SFSU school newspaper), and Guardian (CCSF school newspaper). Starchild called Marvin Ramirez, the editor of El Reportero, and discussed running the ad containing Starchild’s postcard with our ballot recommendations, but Marvin did not agree with our position on Prop I (Moratorium in the Mission) because he is part of his community and his community wants the moratorium, so he was not keen to accept our ad. Starchild will try to meet with Marvin to get him to change his mind, but that appeared unlikely. We agreed to run the LPSF postcard as an ad in the Golden Gate Xpress for $220.50 for a quarter page and run an ad in the Guardian for $150.00 for a quarter page. We discussed if we should run the ads sooner or later, what with so many voting early these days with mail-in ballots; the consensus was that it is better to run them sooner since early voting has already begun and it makes sense to catch as many folks as possible before they vote. It was agreed that Marcy will run an ad in Facebook for $100.00 advertising our ballot recommendations. Starchild requested a budget of $140.00 for copies of the postcard to put out in public places like coffee shops and stores, which was approved. He will put some type of cartoon on the back of the postcard to catch folks’ attention. Aubrey discussed sending out a second postcard mailing to reach additional registered Libertarians (first mailing was only sent to those who voted a year ago). He sorted the Department of Elections listing seeking out more high-propensity voters and found that the next biggest chunk of voters is about 1,000 registered Libertarians who voted in the November 2012 Presidential election (apparently a lot of Libertarians, just like regular folks, only vote during a Presidential election). He estimates the cost will be about $500.
Ballot Measure Arguments Policy: We ran out of time at the meeting, so this item will be discussed at a later meeting.
Cliff Nelson: Cliff presented his idea on forming a separate country or region with no government. One way to accomplish this would be through fundraising by offering a current government (with solvency problems—not too hard to find these days) a large sum of money for a sovereign piece of land. Some of our members mentioned that there have already been several projects in motion trying out this concept like Free Cities in Honduras and the Kingdom of Tonga. They suggested that he try to hook up with one or more of these groups so as not to try and reinvent the wheel.
Meeting Location: San Francisco Main Library – 4th Floor Conference Room
Welcome – Introductions 3:05-3:10
Activist Reports – Past & Future 3:11-3:30
Membership/Newsletter Report 3:41-3:45
Website Report 3:46-3:55
Treasurer’s Report 3:56-4:00
November Election Promotion 4:01-4:30
Ballot Measure Arguments Policy 4:31-5:00
Members Present: Phil Berg, Marcy Berry (Vice Chair), Mike Denny, Aubrey Freedman (Chair), Les Mangus (Treasurer), Starchild, Jason Williams (new Member)
Activist Reports: Members reported what they did to promote liberty since the last meeting. These actions are the result of individual initiative.
Announcements: Golden Gate Liberty Revolution monthly meeting September 21, Jim Elwood’s Free Exchange October 3.
Membership/Newsletter: Aubrey reported LPSF has 18 current annual members and 22 life members. He sent out his monthly newsletter to 171 recipients. He has included a note on the newsletters indicating that it is membership dues and donations that keep the lights on at LPSF. The newsletters continue to be well received.
Website Report: Marcy reported that the LPSF website needs to be upgraded. The current version, Joomla 2.5, was superseded by 3.0 some time back, and stopped being supported at all in January 2015. Marcy recommended that LPSF allocate $500 to pay a professional Joomla website developer do the work. Phil suggested using an unpaid volunteer. Marcy indicated that her experience with the volunteer upgrade from Joomla 1.5 to 2.5 was not positive, and she did not recommend a repeat. Members present voted to allocate the $500. Les generously pledged $250 to defray this cost.
Treasurer’s Report: LPSF bank statement balance of 08/31/15 $4,688.86. Transactions after that were $2,176.20 check to Aubrey in reimbursement for his payment at the Department of Elections for our paid ballot measures, income of $60 from Mike for his $50 ballot measures pledge and $10 extra donation for operations support, income of $30 from Phil to pay for extra words on one paid ballot measure. The $2,662.66 will be increased by Les’s pledge of $250, and decreased by $150 for the LPSF mailbox in October, and $500 for the website upgrade, leaving $2,202.66, which is close to our reserve amount.
November Elections Strategy:
1. Aubrey presented some ideas of what LPSF can do to promote its positions on the November 2015 ballot. Aubrey will work on his newsletters, send out ballot recommendation postcards, and occasionally posting on Facebook. Marcy will work on website and Facebook promotion, as well as attend elections forums when invited. Mike will post LPSF ballot recommendations on his neighborhood’s Nextdoor social network. Phil and Starchild offered to present LPSF positions in elections forums when the opportunity arises. It will be decided at a later meeting if elections ads are possible and desirable.
2. Aubrey asked for approval of expenditure of $100 to send out around the beginning of October ballot recommendations postcards to LPSF members, and registered Libertarian voters who regularly vote based on S.F. Department of Elections records. Request unanimously approved.
3. Starchild proposed that LPSF recommend Ross Mirkarimi for Sheriff, based on the Sheriff’s record of supporting social issues. His proposal passed, with Aubrey abstaining and Marcy voting no. It was decided that Starchild will write the brief recommendation for the LPSF website to be posted with the other LPSF ballot recommendations.
Remaining Ballot Measures: At the last LPSF meeting members present reviewed and voted on LPSF positions on several proposals on the November 2015 ballot. At this meeting, members voted on remaining measures, as follows:
Proposition C – Expenditure Lobbyists Ordinance: This proposal does not present a Libertarian issue, and arguments could be made pro and con. People who do not quite fit the description of lobbyists, and therefore are not registered as such, are being paid by lobbyists to promote causes. On the other hand, there are hundreds of campaign rules already, and Libertarians do not believe piling up on rules solves problems. NO POSITION.
Proposition D - Mission Rock Development: This proposal seeks to build a mixed use area on a site located just south of AT&T Park, owned by the S.F. Port Authority, currently being used as parking lot. The area will include 1,500 new rental units, 600 of which subsidized so as to be rentable to lower and middle income households, retail spaces, and parks. The proposal will also fix Pier 48 so it can house Anchor Brewing Co. Our recommendation of YES is based on the fact that San Francisco needs new housing.
Proposition E – Requirements for Public Meetings: This proposal was placed on the ballot by the Board of Supervisors. It requires live-streaming of all public meetings by City policy departments via the Internet, comment submissions from anywhere via the Internet, scheduling of specific agenda items at specific times, and translation services available at all meetings. LPSF decided that this proposal has both good and bad aspects. The price tag is not good ($1.7 million one-time cost of installation, and a minimum of $750,000 annually in staff costs), but making the government process more accessible is good. Our recommendation of YES is based on the added accessibility.
Proposition G – Disclosure Regarding Renewable Energy: This proposal was placed on the ballot by PG&E’s employees union, and seeks to limit what the City can call “green,” “clean,” etc., in promotion of its City-owned utilities. Under the City’s plan, utility customers will be automatically enrolled in the municipal utilities program, and will need to opt out if they find the program unsatisfactory or too expensive. Our recommendation of YES is based on this advantage enjoyed by the City which negates the City’s claim of promoting competition, as well as our preference for transparency.
Proposition H – Clean Energy Right to Know Act: This proposal was placed on the ballot by the Board of Supervisors as a pre-emptive strike against Proposition G, which resulted in PG&E agreeing not to promote Proposition G. Proposition H claims that there is no consensus on what is green or renewable power, so the proposal simply says green and renewable is what it is offering in its City-owned utilities. Also, the proposal would “urge” the SF Public Utilities Commission to inform customers what’s in their green and renewable offer. We recommended a NO vote.
Libertarian Party of San Francisco
Minutes for Monthly Meeting at the San Francisco Public Library on Saturday, August 8, 2015
Attendees: Phil Berg, Marcy Berry (Vice Chair), Chris Bowman (guest), Aubrey Freedman (Chair), Les Mangus (Treasurer), and Starchild.
Activist Reports: Marcy worked on ballot measures (Mission moratorium and legacy businesses) and attended a tech conference. Aubrey worked on the short-term rentals ballot measure and the monthly newsletter and filed the semi-annual Form 460 with the FPPC.
•Young Americans for Liberty (YAL)-1600 Holloway Avenue (at 19th)-SF State University-Student Group Meetings every Thursday at noon in the Cesar Chavez Student Center/Rosa Parks Room-Outreach Tablings every Tuesday at noon in the Malcolm X Plaza (outside Cesar Chavez Student Center.
•Monday, August 17-7:00-9:00 PM-Golden Gate Liberty Revolution-Monthly Meeting-Moksha Life Center-405 Sansome Street.
•Free Exchange-Jim Elwood’s in Parkmerced (may be hosted elsewhere this time only)-Saturday, September 5-7:00-11:00 PM.
Membership/Newsletter Report: Aubrey reported that membership is down by 1 to 39 (22 lifetime members and 17 current paid up annual members). He reported sending the newsletter to 209 people last month with 3 “Unsubscribe” requests, 1 new “Subscribe” request, 0 bounces, and 3 comments. He pulled more email addresses from the Department of Elections listing this time and sent the newsletter to them. Marcy mentioned that we’re not “asking for it.” She will post something on the website about becoming a member, and Aubrey will add a little blurb to his newsletter encouraging subscribers to join the LPSF, which will become a permanent mention in the newsletter.
Website Report: Marcy reported that she tries to write one new article each week for the website. The last one was July 29. She did join the LPCA Facebook and that stirred up some interest in our LPSF Facebook. Five new members joined our Facebook, bringing the number of members up to 191 now.
Treasurer’s Report: Les reported that the beginning balance was $3,941.23. During the month we received two membership renewals/donations totaling $100 plus $57 transferred from PayPal for the monthly recurring donations plus an additional donation of $50 pledged earlier in the year. No checks were cut this month. The new ending balance is $4,148.23.
Semi-Annual FPPC Report: Aubrey reported the report was filed on time for the period ending June 30, 2015. Les discovered an error in the beginning balance, so Aubrey noted that he will send in a revised Form 460 to correct the error.
Freedom of Information Requests: We discussed whether the name of the LPSF should be used when submitting FOIA requests. The point was made that submitting requests that take up a lot of time at City Hall without a specific plan to use the information goes against our desire to have small government. Another point of view was that it’s good for the LPSF to get our name out there as a watchdog that’s keeping an eye on government. We discussed if the LPSF officers should vote each time someone wants to so submit a FOIA request and use our name, but we did not come to a definite conclusion. We left it that individuals should submit FOIA requests in their own name, not the party’s name, just like letters to the editor.
Ballot Measure Arguments Due August 13: Chris Bowman from the SFGOP joined us for a discussion of the ballot measures. We discussed which measures the LPSF and the SFGOP would be submitting arguments on at the DOE on August 13. Chris was a bit undecided on Prop F (short-term rentals), so we pointed out how neighborhood disruptions could be handled without the more restrictive law. Also Phil pointed out that there is already a rating system in place for finding out if tenants who have used the hosting platforms have a history of behavioral problems. In turn Chris provided us with some insights into a few of the ballot measures that have a few gray areas: Prop C (new restrictions on expenditure lobbyists)—he pointed out that currently nonprofits and labor unions are paying third parties to lobby government officials for political favors and there is no transparency on any of this, so the measure could help put this in the public light; and Prop E (new requirements for public meetings)—he pointed out that the 48-hour and translation requirements would make it harder to conduct public meetings. However, Phil noted that they currently have apps available that can aid the government to translate from any language into English. We will finish up the ballot measures for which we are not submitting arguments to the DOE at the next meeting for our official ballot measure recommendations.
Minutes submitted by Aubrey Freedman