Libertarian Party of San Francisco Agenda: Saturday, September 12, 2015
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 3:46-4:00
Treasurer’s Report 4:01-4:05
November Election Strategy 4:06-4:35
Ballot Measure Arguments Policy 4:36-5:00
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 The current version, Joomla 2.5, was superseded by 3.0 some time back, and stopped being supported at all in January 2015.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.