San Francisco November 2020 Voter Guide Roundup

Most of us probably know how we’ll be voting in the Presidential/Vice Presidential contest, but if you’re in California, there are many down ballot races and ballot measures that are also important. Affirmative action, the size of our police force, the regulation of dialysis clinics–it’s a lot to go through.

Here are two complementary resources that can help as you make your choices. The first is Cal Matters’ election guide. They’re a nonpartisan nonprofit that explains policy and politics, and they describe each contest in plain language. They also show whose money is backing each measure, and who endorses each candidate. See their guide here.

Cal Matters doesn’t make specific recommendations, however, so I’ve also compiled several major voter guides for San Francisco’s November 2020 election, in the moderate to progressive range. Not every organization made recommendations in every contest, but where they did, they’re gathered here:

State and Federal Races

SF ChronicleYIMBY Action SFUnited Democratic Club
President/Vice PresidentBiden/HarrisBiden/HarrisBiden/Harris
US Representative District 12Nancy Pelosi
State Senator District 11Scott WienerScott Wiener
State Assembly Member District 17David Chiu
State Assembly Member District 19Phil Ting

Education Races

SF ChronicleUnited Democratic Club
SF Board of Education (four slots)Michelle ParkerMichelle Parker
SF Board of EducationJenny LamJenny Lam
SF Board of EducationKevine BoggessAlida Fisher
SF Board of EducationAlida FisherMatt Alexander
CCSF Board of Trustees (four slots)Tom TempranoTom Temprano
CCSF Board of TrusteesJeanette QuickJeanette Quick
CCSF Board of TrusteesShanell WilliamsAliya Chisti
CCSF Board of TrusteesMarie HurabiellVictor Olivieri

California Propositions

SF ChronicleSPURIndivisible SFACLUUnited Democratic ClubYIMBY Action SF
Prop 14 – Re-Fund Stem Cell AgencyNoNoYes
Prop 15 – More frequent commercial property tax assessmentsYesYesYesYesYesYes
Prop 16 – Affirmative ActionYesYesYesYesYes
Prop 17 – Restore voting rights of former prisoners on paroleYesYesYesYesYesYes
Prop 18 – Let 17 year olds vote in primaries if they’ll be 18 before general electionYesYesYesYesYes
Prop 19 – Property Taxes, heirs, and older homeownersNoYesNoYesYes
Prop 20 – Expand list of crimes that don’t allow early releaseNoNoNoNoNo
Prop 21 – Allow local gov’ts to expand rent controlNoNoYesYes
Prop 22 – Exempt app-based drivers from gig worker employee classificationYesNoNoNo
Prop 23 – Increase state regulation of kidney dialysis clinicsNoNoYes
Prop 24 – Expand a 2018 data privacy lawNoNoNo
Prop 25 – Replace money bail with evaluation of defendant’s safetyYesYesYesYes

San Francisco Ballot Measures

SF ChronicleSPURYIMBY Action SFIndivisible SFUnited Democratic ClubLeague of Women’s Voters
Prop A – Health and Homelessness, Parks and Streets BondYesYesYesYesYesYes
Prop B – Split Public Works into two agenciesNoNoYesNo
Prop C – Allow noncitizerns to serve on city advisory boardsNoYesYesYesYesYes
Prop D – Greater oversight of Sheriff’s DepartmentYesYesYesYesYes
Prop E – Eliminate the requirement that the Police Department have 1,971 full-duty officersYesYesYesYesYesYes
Prop F – recallibrate business taxes to phase out certain taxes for some businesses and increase the number of small companies exempted from business tax.YesYesYesYesYesYes
Prop G – allow 16-17 year olds to vote in local elections.NoYesYesYesYes
Prop H – Streamline city’s permitting processes for storefrontsYesYesYesYesYes
Prop I – Increase tax on property sales over $10MNoNoYesNoYes
Prop J – a $288 parcel tax for SFUSDYesYesYesYesYesYes
Prop K – authorize SF to rehabilitate up to 10,000 units of affordable housingYesYesYesYesYesYes
Prop L – tax companies where executives earn way more than employeesNoN/AYesNo
Measure RR (SF, San Mateo, Santa Clara) – increase sales taxes by 1/8 of a cent to raise money for rail systemYesYesYesYesYesYe
Note: ACLU made one recommendation in this section, a YES for Prop G.

San Francisco Supervisors and BART Board of Directors

SF ChronicleYIMBY Action SF
SF Supervisor District 1Marjan PhilhourMarjan Philhour
SF Supervisor District 3Aaron PeskinDanny Sauter
SF Supervisor District 5Vallie BrownVallie Brown
SF Supervisor District 7Joel EngardioMyrna Melgar
SF Supervisor District 9Hillary Ronen
SF Supervisor District 11Ahsha SafaíAhsha Safaí
BART Board of Directors – District 7Lateefah Simon
BART Board of Directors – District 9Bevan Dufty

Here are other voter guides whose recommendations I didn’t compile:

And here are two organizations whose voter guides weren’t yet posted at the time when I wrote this blog post:

If you’re still stuck on a particular ballot measure or proposition, I’ve seen advice that you should vote ‘no,’ because propositions and ballot measures are hard to adjust or undo after the fact, and can have a lot of unintended consequences.

About Littldata: Littldata’s goal is to help parents figure out their family logistics by sharing tools such as maps, calendars, lists, and spreadsheets–as well as research-backed blog posts and data graphics. If you have suggestions about these pod categories or ideas for future content that you’d like to see, or any questions, please contact Lian at Littldata.com!

Reach out to us anytime at littldata@gmail.com. Join Littldata’s mailing list here for updates and special content to make your family logistics easier. Follow Littldata on Twitter @littldata, and on Facebook at Littldata.

Live Blog: SFUSD School Re-Opening Town Hall

I’m live blogging the San Francisco Unified School District “Fall Learning Town Hall,” in which the district will be taking family feedback and questions about school re-openings for the 2020-21 academic year.

6:35 pm: There are more than 2,500 people attending as SFUSD Board President Mark Sanchez opens the Town Hall. Sanchez: “We must be guided by the science…and by what is economically feasible.”

6:38 pm: Superintendent Vincent Matthews acknowledges that there are many questions, and that SFUSD doesn’t have answers to everything. The goals for this meeting include recapping what was learned over the spring and taking feedback on that semester, hearing about public health guidance for schools, and a Q+A about the fall.

6:44 pm: In Spring 2020, most families reported that they were okay, but the disparities between neighborhoods were large.

6:49 pm: A platform called Thoughtexchange has been introduced to collect feedback both through a short survey (on questions such as the below) and provide your thoughts, as well as “to rate the thoughts of others” on a five-star scale. We are now listening to elevator music to allow for time for people to participate in the Thoughtexchange system.

6:56 pm: Most of the attendees tonight seem to be parents of children in the younger grades of elementary, as well as Pre-K. The biggest concerns expressed have to do with the lack of social engagement and interaction, as well and equity in terms of access to teachers, mental health professionals, food, learning and support.

7:00 pm: While plans won’t be finalized until July 28, the general direction should be made clear by this Friday. It’s mentioned that PreK, TK, and K students weren’t given instruction via Zoom, as it was not felt to be developmentally appropriate, so they had less social interaction than older students.

7:05 pm: Ana Validzic from the SF Department of Public Health shares some general safety guidelines that SFUSD will be paying attention to:

  • symptom screening, with temperature checks either at school or at home
  • stable cohorts and physical distancing (6′ when possible, but 3′ for students okay).
  • hand washing on schedules, with every instructional area having hand sanitizer or a hand washing station
  • use of face coverings (masks), although there are exemptions for medical or behavioral conditions; if a mask is not worn, the student needs to maintain 6′ of distance. Face shields cannot replace masks.
  • cleaning and disinfection, with routine cleaning of frequently-touched surfaces; the virus is easily killed and doesn’t require deep cleaning
  • ventilation

7:24 pm: Another round of Thoughtexchange is used to gather questions and feedback about the fall. Here are some of the top comments:

7:27 pm: “We are focusing on safety recommendations for everyone, but with increased focus on older students and staff” given evidence that the youngest children are less at risk and less likely to transmit the disease.

7:30 pm: Dawn Kamalanathan is SFUSD’s Chief Facilities Officer and she worked for 12 years for the Recreation and Parks Department; she’s looking into holding classes outdoors.

7:32 pm: Cloth masks are “perfectly fine” and although SFUSD is scheduled to receive PPE shipments, the general requirement is not for medical-grade supplies.

7:38 pm: Superintendent Matthews: SFUSD wrote to the state to let them know they can’t follow health guidelines if budgets are cut. State came through on PPE, but there are still gaps. There may be another opportunity for funding at the federal level. Mark Sanchez: Spark SF Public Schools is set up to receive donations for SFUSD; they’ve received $5M so far during the pandemic and would be glad for more.

7:40 pm: This Friday, July 10, high-level (i.e. general) recommendations will be published to the website, in advance of the board meeting on July 14. This will give everyone a general sense of the direction–i.e. distanced learning vs. in-person vs. hybrid. The detailed plan will be delivered on July 28, three weeks before the start of school.

7:43 pm: In response to a question about “LIVE distant learning,” Sanchez helps Matthews out to understand that this is meant to refer to synchronous learning experiences rather than asynchronous.

7:49 pm: Matthews: We don’t want to open schools only to have to close them again. Everyone shares the concern about spread of COVID-19. Clarification that as of this moment, given that case numbers are rising, schools are not allowed to open; the May 16 health order that closed schools is still in effect.

7:53 pm: Matthews confirms that SFUSD will meet the needs of all families (albeit imperfectly). Given the situation, if the district goes to in-person learning and there are families who do not feel this is safe, SFUSD will still work to meet these families’ needs.

7:55 pm: Is hybrid learning safer than fully in-person? It’s not known conclusively, but the national and state guidelines are based on the most reliable research.

7:56 pm: Closing comments from Matthews. Families will receive a link to a brief, anonymous survey; they’re working hard to integrate feedback as they develop plans.

Join our Facebook group Pandemic Pods and Microschools – San Francisco Bay Area to connect with families, teachers, and caregivers for your remote learning pod, microschool, or nanny share; and for resources to help you organize your pod.

The images for this post are from SFUSD.

About Littldata: Littldata’s goal is to help parents figure out their family logistics by sharing tools such as maps, calendars, lists, and spreadsheets–as well as research-backed blog posts and data graphics. Reach out to us anytime at  littldata@gmail.com. Join Littldata’s mailing list here for updates and special content to make your family logistics easier. Follow Littldata on Twitter @littldata, and on Facebook at Littldata.

A demographic look at the State of Babies Yearbook 2019

A summary of the State of Babies Yearbook 2019 report and a chart comparing key scores from the report with basic political and economic indicators.

This text appears over a photo of a smiling Black toddler with an adult smiling and clapping behind her.  "Babies are born with unlimited potential. For the 12 million infants and toddlers in the United States, the state where they are born and live during their first three years makes a big difference in their chance for a strong start in life. The littlest among us face big challenges, and we can’t afford to squander the potential of a single child."
Source: State of Babies Yearbook 2019

Nonprofits Zero to Three and Child Trends just dropped a motherlode of data on the wellbeing of babies and toddlers, on both a state-by-state and national level in the U.S. Their State of Babies Yearbook 2019 delves into data across three broad domains: health, families, and early learning.

A table that displays the following text: ZERO TO THREE’s policy framework, grounded in the science of early childhood development, promotes supports for infants and toddlers’ healthy development in three domains: Good Health, Strong Families, and Positive Early Learning Experiences. These domains form the basis for the indicators in the State of Babies Yearbook: 2019.

*Good Health:
Health Care Access/Affordability Food Security
Nutrition
Maternal Health
Child Health
Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health

*Strong Families:
Basic Needs Support
Child Welfare
Home Visiting
Supportive Policies/Paid Leave

*Positive Early Learning Experiences:
Early Care and Education Opportunities Early Intervention and Prevention Services
When babies and toddlers do not have the supports they need to thrive, their development can suffer, leading to lifelong consequences.
Source: State of Babies Yearbook 2019

In each domain, they’ve gathered analyzed a range of data points that provide a snapshot of how babies and families are doing. Some of the factors are direct measures of policies (such as the percent of income-eligible children who have access to Head Start programs), while others are the more complex result of social, economic, and family circumstances (such as the percent of babies whose parents sing and read to them each day). These factors are summarized in a score for each of the three domains. Here’s a page from the resulting report card for California:

A page from the State of Babies Yearbook 2019 PDF that shows the scores for California for Good Health and Strong Families, accompanied by textual analysis.
Source: State of Babies Yearbook 2019

The State of Babies project summarizes each state’s progress in each domain with a score of G (Getting Started), R (Reaching Forward), O (Improving Outcomes), or W (Working Efficiently). In other words, it’s a simple 1-4 scale and a convenient data point to be compared with other factors. So I wanted to see how these indicators of baby and toddler wellbeing compared with basic political and economic factors.

To measure how politically left- or right-leaning each state is, I used data aggregated by Gallup from their 2018 tracking poll, in which respondents were asked whether their political views as liberal, moderate, or conservative. Gallup then creates a “Conservative Advantage” number that is the gap between the percent who identify as conservative and those who identify as liberal. Median household income from the 2015 U.S. Census is used as an indicator of the economic wellbeing of families in each state.

The results are in the chart below. A score of “1” in the State of Babies sections indicates the best conditions for babies, and “4” the worst. For the Conservative Advantage, higher numbers reflect more conservative politics, and lower/negative numbers reflect more liberal politics.

A heatmap chart that shows the three scores from the State of Babies alongside the 'conservative advantage' score from Gallup and median household income, for each state. States are sorted from strongest to weakest State of Babies scores.

The overall trend is that greater wellbeing for babies and toddlers is associated with both more liberal politics and higher median household incomes. A few other points that stand out at a glance:

  • Vermont and Rhode Island both received top State of Babies scores, even though their median household incomes aren’t quite as high as the other states with top scores.
  • Iowa looks like an overachiever in baby care, receiving top scores in both Strong Families and Early Learning, while its politics and median incomes are middle-of-the road.
  • Conversely, Nevada looks like an underachiever in baby care, receiving the lowest scores on all three measures, while its politics and income are both relatively moderate.
  • California is doing well on Good Health and Strong Families, but received the lowest score on Early Learning. The report notes that this “reflects the state’s more burdensome infant care costs as a percentage of single and married parents’ incomes, and its lower percentage of parents who read to and sing songs to their babies daily, when compared to most other states.”
  • Baby and toddler wellbeing indicators tend to trend together, but not always. California, North Carolina, Idaho, New Mexico, and Kentucky all received the lowest score in at least one area while receiving the highest score in another.
  • Alaska is an outlier in a few ways, presumably because of its unique geography, climate, and culture: it has a high income but is quite conservative, and its Strong Families score is high but the others are middle of the road.

This is just a first read, and there’s a ton more data in the Babies Yearbook 2019, which you can access as an interactive or a PDF. They even provide a toolkit if you want to use the data to ask your state and federal lawmakers to make policy changes.

Get the latest Littldata here.

About Littldata: At Littldata, my goal is to help parents figure out their family logistics by sharing calendars, maps, lists, and spreadsheets–as well as research-backed blog posts and data graphics. This post uses Amazon Affiliate and referral links.

I would love to hear from you anytime at littldata@gmail.com. Join Littldata’s mailing list here for updates and special content to make your family logistics easier. Follow Littldata on Twitter @littldata, and on Facebook at Littldata.