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
Minutes submitted by Francoise Fielding
1. Welcome – Introductions
Members present: Aubrey Freedman (Chair), Françoise Fielding (recording), Jason Williams (left at 3:40 pm to go to his job).
Guests: Miao Zhu (arrived 3:45 pm), Leo Miretsky (arrived at 4:25 pm)
2. Activist Reports – Past & Future
Jason would like to run for government someday but he is busy with work and school so hasn’t taken any steps yet.
Miao Zhu is thinking of suing the San Mateo police for misconduct. He doesn’t think he can get a lawyer to help with his case. Right now he is working on trying to get the records and is having a hard time. There is a 6 months statute of limitations for filing under state law. Under federal law the period is 2 years. He is also interested in craft brewing but has no specific plans yet. He feels he knows all the technology behind it because he works in a power plant and it is the same kind of machinery but he doesn’t know the food or beverage industry.
Françoise went to Free Exchange at Jim Elwood’s Saturday April 2 to hear Alex Gladstein, Chief Strategy Officer at the Human Rights Foundation, talk about North Korea. The Human Rights foundation is apparently the only human rights foundation with a liberal (as classically defined) orientation. Alex talked about a very interesting project they have smuggling old USB thumb drives filled with western and South Korean movies and TV shows into North Korea. The idea behind “Flash Drives for Freedom,” is to bypass Pyongyang’s state-run media and give North Koreans a glimpse of what the rest of the world has to offer. While few North Koreans have computers, many have video players and smartphones that can read USB files.
Françoise also went to the Commonwealth Club’s program on Income Inequality featuring Yaron Brook, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Ayn Rand Institute, and Alan Auerbach, Ph.D., Professor of Economics and Law, and Director of the Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance, University of California, Berkeley. Among the issues discussed were whether tax hikes and raising the minimum wage are the solutions to saving the American Dream or whether they are “a war on success”. The discussion was not especially enlightening to those of us who are familiar with the arguments but it was encouraging that the lecture was well attended and that there was a fair amount of clapping for the positions espoused by Yaron Brook.
Aubrey, as usual, has been quite busy. The LPSF has gotten calls to attend various endorsement meetings since we wrote the official rebuttals on some of the propositions. Aubrey went to the Republican meeting. The Noe Valley Democrats are meeting next Thursday and the Raoul Wallenberg Jewish Democratic Club will be meeting and next Sunday. Aubrey has also been busy publishing the Newsletter and working on the upcoming Transportation Panel. He is also planning on attending the JSA convention in 2 weeks.
• The “Golden Gate Liberty Revolution” Gun show at The Cow Palace is taking place today and tomorrow from 9 am to 4 pm.
• Young Americans for Liberty is showing a movie “Can We Take a Joke” on April 13th at the University of San Francisco (2130 Fulton) in Cowell Hall 106 at 5:30 pm
• The monthly “Golden Gate Liberty Revolution” meeting will take place at the Moksha Life Center (405 Sansome St) on Monday, April 18th from 7 to 9 pm.
• The Raoul Wallenberg Jewish Democratic Club will host a Forum on Police Accountability (SFPD Chief Greg Suhr, Jeff Adachi, Michael Krasny) at Congregation Sherith Israel (22 California St) on Tuesday May 3rd at 7 pm.
• The Free Exchange Speaker at Jim Elwood’s (Parkmerced) on Saturday May 7th from 7pm to 11 pm will be Alexander McCorbin from International Students for Liberty.
• The Libertarian National Convention will take place at the Rosen Center Hotel and Resort in Orlando, Florida from May 27th at 9 am to Monday May 30th at noon.
4. LP California State Convention Report
Aubrey reported on the State Convention which took place last week-end. He said the highlight of the Convention was the keynote speaker Lily Tang Williams who grew up In China under Mao Tse Tung. She was very entertaining and had pictures. Tim Moen was a firefighter who almost lost his life and then had an epiphany about what he wanted to do: spread the Libertarian message. He is now the leader of the Libertarian Party of Canada. John Moore who is in his first term representing the 8th Assembly District of Nevada became Libertarian. He started his term as a Republican. In CA two Libertarians, Gail Lightfoot and Mark Matthew Herd, are running for the US Senate. Two Libertarians are also running for the State Senate and four for the State Assembly (among them is John Inks who has been Mayor of Mountain View)
Party business: Platform issue - We are in favor of ride-sharing. Starchild will be an alternate to the State Party. The State Party will have a booth at the CA State Fair. The turnout was about 75 people-not outstanding attendance.
Breakout sessions: Anti-war activist Angela Keaton gave a presentation. There was an interesting panel on the anti-vaccine movement. State requirements make vaccination mandatory for children unless they are home-schooled. There is talk of making vaccination mandatory for adults as well. Norma Jean, a sex worker activist, talked about human trafficking. She says the numbers they talk about are not even possible. A gentleman from Los Angeles who represented Holly Mitchell (CA Senator) who is pushing SV 443 (against civil forfeiture) asked for our party’s endorsement on the measure. The vote in favor was really fast.
5. Membership/Newsletter Report
Membership: Our numbers are pretty flat. 20 life members (no change). We have 39 regular paid members (we lost one).
Newsletter: Aubrey had writer’s block. He sent out 168 newsletters. There were no “bounced” newsletters and no “unsubscribes”. There were 4 comments. Aubrey says he is still sending more out. He has added a paragraph on “Liberty Gains and Losses”
6. Treasurer’s Report
Les is still in tax season mode so he didn’t give a report. Aubrey says that last month we had $5,554.18 between our bank account and Paypal. This month we got a check from the State Party for our share of membership fees for $200. Between that, recurring donations (4), and Aubrey and Sam Sloane having renewed their memberships, $489 came in. Les is not cutting checks now but we have $200 earmarked for Marcy for advertising our Transportation Panel on Facebook and $400 committed for Pride. That leaves us with $5,443. We are in good condition.
7. June Election Ballot Measures
We submitted arguments in opposition to Propositions A (City of SF Bond Issue: Public Health and Safety), B (Charter Amendment: Park, Recreation and Open Space Fund), C (Charter Amendment: Affordable Housing Requirements) and Measure AA (San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority “Clean and Healthy Bay” Parcel Tax). Of the 4 Propositions we submitted arguments against, we won the lottery for 3: A, B, and AA so we didn’t have to spend any money. For the June 6th election there are 6 Propositions on the ballot for San Francisco and 1 for the State. Aubrey will write our recommendations on all those proposals for our website.
We have not taken a vote on Proposition D: “Initiative Ordinance: Office of Citizen Complaints Investigations” requiring that the OCC investigate any shooting or injury involving the police even if no complaint is filed. Since Aubrey and Françoise were the only members present, it was decided to put this up for a vote on the Activist List.
Aubrey suggests that since we are in good condition financially we should do a campaign on the ballot measures. He thinks it would be a good idea to run ads in the Golden Gate Express at SF State and The Guardsman at CCSF (about $400) and another postcard mailing (about $350) for a total of $750.
Aubrey says that when he went to speak to a Republican group they said that because of interest in the Presidential Elections registrations are going way up for both Republicans and Democrats. Republican registration hovers around 8%. 1/3 of voters are “Decline to state”.
In the November election there will be 20 State measures on the ballot. The City will no doubt also have plenty.
We are making the rounds to speak about our positions to groups that have invited us. Aubrey is working with groups on Measure AA (San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority “Clean and Healthy Bay” ParcelTax) because it is regional and there are a bunch of groups worked up with respect to it.
There is a lady from “The Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods” who wants to organize with other groups to oppose Proposition B. Aubrey will pass her name along to Starchild.
8. Transportation Panel Discussion (April 10)
We have our panelists. Aubrey got a projector from work and visited the Library. Marcy has been promoting this event heavily. At the last minute, it was noted that the article on the LPSF website that Marcy wrote on the event mentioned only Thomas Rubin, even though a previous article mentioned Gerald Cauthen. Marcy promptly edited the article to correct that oversight. Aubrey is still sending emails. We have about 30 responses. The room can accommodate 40-50 people.
It’s our 3rd year putting on these panels. (Previously we used to do tax protests near BART). Our first panel was on Proposition 13 and last year's was on the housing crisis. Aubrey thinks it would be interesting to do one on homelessness next year.
There being no more issues to be discussed, the meeting was adjourned at 4:45 pm.
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 3:31-3:50
4. LP California State Convention Report 3:51-4:10
5. Membership/Newsletter Report 4:11-4:15
6. Treasurer’s Report 4:16-4:20
7. June Election Ballot Measures 4:21-4:40
8. Transportation Panel Discussion (April 10) 4:41-5:00
Meeting Location: San Francisco Main Library – 4th Floor Conference Room
1.Welcome – Introductions 3:05-3:10
2.Activist Reports – Past & Future 3:11-3:30
4.LP California State Convention April 1-3 3:41-3:50
5.Membership/Newsletter Report 3:51-3:55
6.Treasurer’s Report 3:56-4:00
7.Transportation Panel Discussion (Sunday, April 10) 4:01-4:15
8.Pride (June 25-26, 2016) 4:16-4:20
9.Ballot Measure Arguments (Due March 17) 4:21-5:00
Minutes taken by Francoise Fielding
1 Welcome – Introductions
Present: Members: Aubrey Freedman (Chair), Françoise Fielding (recording), Starchild (arrived at 3:40 pm), Phil Berg (arrived at 4:40 pm) Guests: Chris LeMaster, Zhou Miao, Leonard Miretsky, Cliff Nelson (arrived 4:55 pm) Chris joined us because he took an online survey that told him he was libertarian and because he likes Ron Paul. Zhou came because he is interested Bitcoin and in starting a Bitcoin-like business. He finds there are more and more restrictions on personal liberty.
2 Activist Reports – Past & Future
Chris has been reading Meetup notes and saw that Starchild said the LPSF needed help with respect to members joining city commissions. He is interested in Entertainment (films) and the Small Business Commission. He is curious about the time commitment required. Leo has been registered as a Libertarian voter since he was a teenager. He tries to get views out on Facebook. Zhou wants to become active because Bitcoin is getting into trouble so he thinks being a Libertarian is important. Aubrey did newsletter. He is a member of a small property owners group for whose journal he plans to write an article on the parcel tax proposed for the June ballot. Starchild just came back from the Berkeley Polyamory Convention where he attended some talks. He will talk there informally tomorrow. He sees it as part of the liberty movement. Starchild trying to get current information on contacts for Young Americans for Liberty but has not gotten an answer. He is hoping to have a forum where there is a cross-pollination of students and the larger libertarian movement ie. an ongoing presence (because what has been happening so far is that when students cycle though things tend to end). In Fremont the American Muslim Council is holding a “Hands Around the Mosque Interfaith Action” for civil liberties. Starchild has been playing phone tag with them. The Democratic state convention is being held February 24th. Starchild is going. There is a marijuana advocacy group. He wants to connect with them. He went to Republican convention a few years ago.
* The Golden Gate Liberty Revolution meets the third Monday of every month at the Moksha Life Center at 405 Sansome Street. The next meeting is Monday February 15th 7-9 pm.
* There will be a tabling organized by Niike at SFSU on Tuesday March 1 (from 5:30- 8:30 pm in Jack Adams Hall). Niike has graduated but is still involved with Young Americans for Liberty which is active on the campus.
*Free Exchange has a Social (at Jim Elwood’s in Parkmerced) on the 1st Saturday of every month. There is often a speaker. The next one is scheduled for Saturday March 5th from 7- 11 pm.
*The Libertarian Party’s California convention will be held Friday April 1 from 9 am to Sunday April 3 at 5:30 pm. Hilton LA Airport- 5711 West Century Blvd.
* The Libertarian National convention will be held Memorial Day week-end: Friday May 27th 9 am to Monday May 30th noon at the Rosen Centre Hotel and Resort in Orlando Florida.
*We received a membership renewal form from Californians for Electoral Reform. We will renew with them for $25.
4 Membership/Newsletter Report
We are down 2 people. There are 19 lifetime members and and paid-up membership is 19. A couple of people lapsed at the end of January. Aubrey thinks we may get some back. The Newsletter membership is unchanged. Aubrey sent it to 224 people. He heard from one person who asked to be added and one who bounced. He got 6 comments.
5 Treasurer’s Report
We are doing well. Our bank balance is Balance $4,931.93. We have $387.68 in Paypal. There is a Paypal fee of $15.11. Our total is $5,319.61
We got an unexpected Paypal donation from a woman who gets the newsletter and came to one of our meetings years ago. She was part of “Restore the 4th" (Amendment).
6 Transportation Panel Discussion (Sunday, April 10)
The Speakers are confirmed. Starchild is willing to be the MC. The speakers each want 20 minutes to speak about their ideas at the beginning. Tom Rubin will go first and will have charts etc. His interest is land use and transportation as opposed to light rail. He will talk about plan “Bay Area”. Gerry Cauthen is more pro “good” government but opposes the central subway. He is a technocrat engineer interested in making things run on time. He is with “Save Muni”. Aubrey needs an overhead projector. He may be able to borrow one from work or rent one. Marcy will help with publicizing the event.
7 Pride (June 25-26)
Aubrey hasn’t had time to do anything yet. He went to the Libertarian activist training in Burlingame. Andy Burns talked about outreach. He said when they do outreach in Minnesota they try and do something “catchy” rather than just have Libertarian on their banners. Several ideas were batted around. Starchild suggested something interactive would be good. Some ideas were:
*A wheel with recently enacted laws and an arrow you could spin. You would get a prize if the law you ended on increased liberty- ha;) *Stand up comedy. *An inflatable blow up boxing ring (can be rented for $180 a day). Have people make a donation to get in the ring. Have a donkey costume and an elephant costume and encourage people to cheer one or the other on. *Having a parade presence. The Pink Pistols will be marching. We might be able to get libertarians from the Bitcoin community to march. Paige from the Bitcoin meetup might be willing to help. * A micro-aggression float.
8 Ballot Measure Arguments (due March 17)
There are about 5 of them.
The one we are the most concerned about is:
“The San Francisco Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevention and Habitat Restauration Program” submitted by the San Francisco Bay Restauration Authority. It imposes a parcel tax of $12 on every property in 9 counties. We oppose it because for one thing it is a tax, for another these people weren’t elected, they were appointed for a different job.
The other one we are particularly concerned about is “Transportation 2030: Smart investments for a Better Future” submitted by Mayor Lee. This is a Declaration of Policy which sets the stage for future revenue ballot measures. There are 4 steps to this. Last year they passed a bond measure. This year they want to increase the license fee for cars from 0.65% to 2%. Later they will increase the sales tax, then propose another bond measure. It is written in such a mellow fashion that Aubrey thinks it is sure to pass.
Aubrey will write ballot arguments for these two and Starchild will go over them afterwards.
Three more measures concern Affordable Housing.
There is an Affordable Housing Streamlining Act proposed by Supervisors Wiener, Cohen, Tang, and Farrell. We would not oppose this because it seems to be cutting back on requirements and requires less bureaucracy.
The final two measures are: An “Ordinance amending the Planning Code to maximize inclusionary or affordable housing obligations for housing development projects based on economic feasibility studies” proposed by Mayor Lee and. An ordinance “Setting Minimum Inclusionary Affordable Housing Fee Requirement” proposed by Supervisors Kim, Peskin, Avalos, and Campos.
These last two are competing ordinances which increase what you have to build as affordable in order to be able to build at all.
Aubrey will contact someone he knows who has indicated an interest in running for a BART position. Even if he doesn’t win running even a minimal campaign could focus attention on issues such as getting the restrooms reopened and get a significant amount of votes.
Meeting Location: San Francisco Main Library – 4th Floor Conference Room
Welcome – Introductions 3:05-3:10
Activist Reports – Past & Future 3:11-3:35
Membership/Newsletter Report 4:01-4:05
Treasurer’s Report 4:06-4:10
Transportation Panel Discussion (Sunday, April 10) 4:11-4:20
Pride (June 25-26) 4:21-4:25
Ballot Measure Arguments (due March 17) 4:26-5:00