Libertarian Party of San Francisco Monthly Meeting
10 February 2018
Phil Berg’s Apartment, Fox Plaza Apartments, 1300 Market St #2910
1. Introductions (3:00 - 3:10)
2. Reports (3:10 - 3:35)
- Chair’s Report
- Vice Chair’s Report
- Treasurer’s Report
- Secretary’s Report
- Newsletter Report
- Outreach Report
3. Speaker (3:35 - 3:55)
4. Unfinished Business
- Tax Day Panel Discussion (4:00 - 4:20)
5. New Business
- Ballot Arguments (4:20 - 4:40)
6. Activist Reports and Upcoming (4:40 - 5:00)
13 Feb (Tuesday)
“Is Capitalism Good for the Poor”
Dr. Gary Wolfram - Co-Hosted with Hillsdale College
7:00pm (doors 6:15pm)
432 Stierlin Rd, Mountain View
17 Feb (Saturday)
Dr. Jordan Peterson Fireside Chat
Hosted by Bay Area Conservatives
Marine’s Memorial Theatre, 609 Sutter St, San Francisco
8:00pm - 9:00pm
28 Feb (Wednesday)
“Black Liberty Matters”
New Student Union Theatre, SJSU
5:15pm - 6:45pm
10 Mar (Saturday)
LPC Executive Committee Meeting
Residence Inn, Sacramento Airport
10:00am - 5:00pm
27 Apr - 29 Apr
Libertarian Party of California Convention
Long Beach Marriott
28 Apr - 29 Apr
JSA Norcal Spring State Convention
Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport, Burlingame
11 July - 14 July
Minutes for February 10, 2018 Meeting of the Libertarian Party of San Francisco taken by Aubrey Freedman.
Attendees: Nick Smith (Chair), Rebecca Lau (Vice Chair), Jawj Greenwald (Treasurer), Aubrey Freedman (Secretary), Francoise Fielding, Mike Denny, Michael Acree, Starchild, Phil Berg, Matthew Davis (guest), Alex (guest), Mary (guest), John (guest), Jess (guest), Kimberly Louie (guest).
Introductions: Matthew Davis moved to The City about a month ago, watches YouTubes of Dave Rubin, and wants to learn more about libertarianism. Jess is “libertarian curious,” has been listening to Phil’s Libertarian thoughts for 10 years, and hasn’t been active since the days of Students for a Democratic Society. Alex is interested in political philosophies and would like to learn more. Kimberly is also attending this meeting because she’s “Libertarian curious.”
Chair’s Report: Nick attended a meeting of Democratic Socialists and knows for sure now why he’s a Libertarian. He was “scared straight.” However, they did have a large attendance of around 100 people and were well organized, and he got some ideas for how to make some improvements within the LPSF. The Socialists had speakers at the meeting—one in the beginning and one in the middle—so he’s going to try and bring in speakers to our meetings to stir up interest. He invited Richie Greenberg, a Republican who’s running for Mayor, but he decided to skip our event. Instead Robert Griffis, who is running for Governor, agreed to join us towards the end of today’s meeting and talk about his candidacy. Nick’s main goal for this year is to grow the party. Current membership is around 45, and he would like to see that at 70 by the end of the year. He also would like to see more social events like happy hours—most likely bi-weekly socials at watering holes in The City—and no party business at the socials. Nick organized a dinner event with Nicholas Wildstar a few weeks ago and would like to plan another event with Zoltan, who is running for Governor also as a Libertarian. He would like to book a room at the library for the Zoltan event in March, and Rebecca will help organize it too. Nick would also like to start forming committees to tackle particular projects and have one contact person to address the group at our meetings on the progress of each project; for example, Tax Day could have a committee for that event and Pride could have another committee to plan that event.
Vice Chair’s Report: Rebecca has been busy with Nick doing all our social media posting, and she contacted Robert to get him to attend and speak to us today. She is also busy redesigning all our artwork on our social media and also on our business cards. She would like to interest more folks to attend our meetings.
Treasurer’s Report: Jawj has just received the credit union statements from Aubrey and reported our total balance in both share and checking accounts is $6,021.51. She hasn’t been able to get into PayPal yet but just got access to the account today, so she will move a nice chunk of the PayPal money over to the credit union by the next meeting. Aubrey estimates that we have around $800 in the PayPal account.
Secretary’s Report: Aubrey reported that membership is slowly creeping upward with 21 lifetime members and 26 regular, currently paid-up members, for a total of 47 which is the highest it’s been since he got active in 2010. He said that the state party now offers different levels of membership and donor levels and especially two-year memberships, which are boosting our membership, adding to our coffers (we just got a check for $250.00 from the state party for dues sharing a few weeks ago), and keeping members longer without lapsing.
Newsletter Report: Aubrey reported that he finally finished the latest newsletter but still has to edit it, so it will go out in a few days. Nick figured out a way to send it from the website in one email blast, rather than the old way of emailing it out in batches of 20, so they will test it within the next few days. The number of recipients has also been slowly creeping upwards, and he estimated that it will go out to around 350 folks this time, plus Nick will have it archived on the website. Also, Nick added a feature to the website to have folks sign up for the newsletter right on the website.
Tax Day Panel Discussion: Aubrey reported that he finally sent out the first invitation for one of our panelists today. He thinks that the hardest part is always to get a noted panelist who is leftist-oriented and opposed to traditional Libertarian views to appear as one of our panelists, so he’s starting with that one first. He prefers the school choice issue over the Minimum Guaranteed Income issue, so he sent the first invitation to Hydra Mendoza-McDonnell, who is the President of the San Francisco Board of Education, and he will continue on down the list of the other members of the school board if she is not interested. He noted that the Minimum Guaranteed Income issue is also a good issue for the panel and could be used next year or, if someone, anyone can get a noted panelist now to argue for a Minimum Guaranteed Income, then we can do that issue this year and school choice next year. Jawj mentioned getting David Friedman as a good panelist to get to argue for school choice or opposed to the Minimum Guaranteed Income, and Aubrey said he would be a great one to get, but first we need someone from the opposing side. If anyone can obtain a noted panelist on the opposing side of where Libertarians stand on either issue, then that’s the issue we’ll go with this year. The event is usually in April, but last year we had so much trouble getting someone in a Sanctuary City to argue the case for Sanctuary Cities that our event wasn’t held until June.
Ballot Arguments: Nick noted that the deadline for the “free” lottery arguments is March 15 and the deadline for Paid Arguments is March 19. For paid arguments, one can cut down on the amount paid to the Department of Elections by 50 cents for each signature obtained. The cost of paid arguments is $200 plus $2 per word and usually runs around $700 or so for a decent-sized argument. We went through the roster of ballot measures listed on the Department of Elections website today, but that list is nowhere being complete as the Board of Supervisors can still put out ballot measures as late as one week before the March 15 deadline. For the referendum on the repeal of the ordinance banning the sale of flavored tobacco products, Starchild is already working with the “Let’s Be Real” group sponsored by R.J. Reynolds in promoting this ballot measure, and it will automatically get the proponents’ free argument in the Voters Handbook, so no need for the LPSF to do anything with this one, other than perhaps sign on to their argument, if it’s liberty-oriented. For the most part, Starchild is pleased with their arguments supporting the referendum. Another ballot measure is a Declaration of Policy regarding the relocation of professional sports teams. Phil relayed a humorous story about Mayflower moving the Baltimore Colts out of the city in the middle of the night. Another interesting ballot measure is an ordinance regarding taser use by the San Francisco Police Department. This measure would authorize the police department to purchase tasers; while tasers would appear to be a less violent show of force than firearms, use of tasers could also be problematic. Starchild showed an interest in writing a ballot argument opposing this measure. There’s a parcel tax of $298 for San Francisco United School District, which should be opposed with a ballot measure argument. Aubrey noted that they changed the title on this one from The Living Wage for Educators Act of 2018 to a rather bland Parcel Tax for San Francisco Unified School District for some unknown reason. It looks like there are 2 competing measures for basically the same purpose—tax on commercial rents for either “Child Care and Education” or “Early Child Care and Education.” It would seem likely that only one will be on the ballot. And yet another ballot measure for “Additional Gross Receipts Tax on Commercial Rents.” Gross receipts, mind you, not net receipts. Another measure is a charter amendment for term limits for the Mayor and Board of Supervisors, with exceptions of course. Two ballot measures dealing with zoning and land use—the first one looks to make it easier to get permission to build, which we would most likely support, and the other one is more convoluted with all kinds of hoops to go through. Another measure is an ordinance to reallocate how the hotel tax money is spent so more money is earmarked for special interests like the arts and homelessness. Lastly a Libertarian-sounding ordinance: no permit required for the Summer of Love Anniversary Concert! One more measure not listed on the Department of Elections website is RM3, a $3 toll increase for all Bay Area bridges, except the Golden Gate Bridge. This measure was supposed to be on the November ballot, but the MTC moved it up to June because they couldn’t wait for the toll money. Aubrey stressed that there’s still another month for more ballot measures to be concocted by the Mayor or Board of Supervisors, so there’s no point writing arguments now since some measures could be withdrawn and others added; rather he suggested that folks pick a measure that moves them and think about some ideas for an argument but wait until the list is finalized next month before actually writing the argument. Mike Denny countered that it’s best to start writing on the sure bets now so folks can chime in with ideas and produce the best argument that contains everyone’s best ideas. Francoise noted that some folks feel more proprietary about their writing, and if they feel it’s going to become a group project, then they just won’t bother to write any argument at all and will leave it for others to do. The only firm commitment at this point was that Aubrey said he would write an argument against RM3 since he already did some research on the topic, and one article in the upcoming newsletter is about RM3.
Activist Reports: Phil continues to bend folks’ ears regarding Bitcoin when he takes Lyft to the JCC. Jawj is wearing a Constitution shirt—reminding folks that there still is a Constitution. Matt has been posting videos on Facebook and promoting vegetarianism and animal welfare. Mike Denny has been after the Jesuit priests and sisters in his parish to stop pushing the use of government force to “help the poor.” One sister kept on pushing her leftist views in her “prayers for the faithful,” and he told her that if she continued to push her politics, he would stop contributing to the parish, and that put a stop to her dogma. He read us a portion of a proposal he’s going to give his pastor who also is pushing leftist politics into his sermons regarding Jesus not expecting to be an agent of the government to help the poor. Aubrey worked with Nick on two Sundays tabling at farmers markets behind Stonestown and on Clement Street gathering signatures to get rid of the Top Two and the recent gas tax increases. He reported moderate success, even though they were assigned tabling areas only in the “Free Speech” zones. Starchild did some online correspondence and managed to make an interview with Alison Foxall (Libertarian in Florida) appear less anti-immigrant. He’s still working with the “Let’s Get Real” folks promoting the ballot measure on the referendum on flavored cigarettes; they have a serious, well-funded campaign and are targeting the 400 convenience stores in The City. He’s still trying to work with the folks at the Epoch Times to get a dialogue going with Libertarians as they’re great on being anti-statist when it comes to China but not so much when it comes to statism in the US. Starchild also got involved in the Arvin Vohra controversy at the LNC; he voted not to censure Arvin even though some of his comments may have been inappropriate because it wasn’t fair to censure him when others who said worse things weren’t censured. Nick attended the most recent meetings of the San Mateo LP and the Santa Clara LP with Rebecca and reported pretty good turnouts at both meetings—12 in San Mateo and about 25 in Santa Clara. He also organized a dinner event for Nicholas Wildstar here in The City, which had a decent turnout. He also attended a Mayoral Forum at the Young Democrats Club which featured 5 of the 6 Democratic candidates for Mayor: Jane Kim, Angela Alioto, Mark Leno, London Breed, and Amy Farah Weiss. They all seemed pretty much the same, with Farah Weiss as the more obvious outsider.
February 13 (Tuesday) – “Is Capitalism Good for the Poor?”
Dr. Gary Wolfram – Co-Hosted with Hillsdale College
7:00 PM (doors 6:15 PM) – 432 Stierlin Road in Mountain View
Feb 17 (Saturday) Dr. Jordan Peterson Fireside Chat
Hosted by Simulation
8:00 PM-9:00 PM – Marine’s Memorial Theatre – 609 Sutter Street in San Francisco
Feb 21 (Wednesday) SmashCut CineFest (4 liberty-leaning films for free)
6:30 PM-9:00 PM – The Roxie Theatre – 3117 16th Street in San Francisco
February 28 (Wednesday) “Black Liberty Matters”
5:15 PM-6:45 PM – New Student Union Theatre, SJSU
March 8 (Thursday) “Are We Killing Free Speech?” – debate at UC Berkeley
Hosted by Berkeley College Republicans and the Ayn Rand Institute
7:00 PM-8:30 PM – 2545 Bancroft Way in Berkeley
March 10 (Saturday) LPC Executive Committee Meeting
10:00 AM-5:00 PM – Residence Inn at the Sacramento Airport
March 10 (Saturday) Zoltan Istvan “The Future of Universal Basic Income”
World’s Fair Nano – Pier 48 in San Francisco
April 27-29 (Friday – Sunday) Libertarian Party of California Annual Convention
Long Beach Marriott
April 28 (Saturday) JSA Norcal Spring State Convention – Jawj volunteered for this event – still need other helpers because it’s the same week-end as the annual state convention – new location for this semi-annual event due to the Marriott in Santa Clara raising their rates
Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport – 1333 Bayshore Highway in Burlingame
April 28 (Saturday) Young Americans for Liberty
Santa Clara – All day free for young people
July 11-14 (Wednesday – Saturday) FreedomFest 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
Speaker – Robert Griffis: Robert is running for Governor and was recently featured in a debate with Nicholas Wildstar and Zoltan Istvan, also candidates for Governor. He suspended his campaign last year but just recently resumed it and has filed with the Secretary of State. The filing fee is $4,000, and he needs to submit 65-100 nominating signatures to the Secretary of State by March 9. The main points of his platform are to default on the federal debt but restructure it so that small investors will be repaid; a tax rebate of $100 if you vote in the June gubernatorial election and another $100 if you vote in the November gubernatorial election; cut the tax rate in half and give a tax break to small businesses; shut down state licensing; don’t enforce regulation; and use of the Governor’s veto power and also the line item veto. His favorite campaign soundbites are “Take California Back,” “Make California Great Again,” and You and The Other Are One.”