Latina Young Democrats endorsement meeting

I went to the endorsement meeting of the Latina Young Democrats tonight, after their co-president contacted LPSF chair Aubrey and he let me know they were looking for someone to speak against Propositions AA (the regional government funding measure), A (bond for seismic upgrades, homeless facilities, etc.), and B (Recreation and Park department set-asides) the three measures for which the LPSF is the official opponent on the June 7 primary ballot.

  There were maybe a couple dozen people present including a few there to speak. I got a chance to hear three candidates for judge, Victor Hwang a former defense lawyer who's on the Police Commission, David(?) Henderson a youngish looking black man, and Sigrid Irias, who touted endorsements from Tom Ammiano and others. I got in a good question about jury nullification to both Hwang and Henderson, but while neither objected to the concept, neither seemed like they would do anything to change how the courts handle it now. Hwang said you can't just go changing the jury instructions, and Henderson agreed. I also got to ask Henderson about pretrial detention, and on that he gave a better answer, sounds like he really wants to pursue reform where arrestees would be subject to "risk assessment" instead of just stuck in jail while awaiting trial.

  Paulina was very friendly and nice and appreciative of my coming. I think she might have felt a little bad that I got there around 730pm, but she didn't have me speak until last, around 830pm, at which point they were already half an hour over time, and I only got perhaps five minutes to speak. I think it was all right though. I actually didn't focus on the specific measures AT ALL, which was maybe a first in my appearances at these things, except to start out by saying that all three were "asks" for more money. I then launched into an extended discourse on the growth of government in SF, how contrary to Democrats' ideals it is not serving the poor and disadvantaged, it is actually operating as a for-profit enterprise and ripping all of us off. I talked about salaries and pensions, and at one point asked whether anyone present made over $100,000 a year. Not one person raised their hand or otherwise admitted to having such an income, although I suspect some of the judge candidates and others actually do. I acknowledged that "a couple of you might", but that I understood why they didn't feel comfortable saying so, being that they were in an "eat the rich" neighborhood. :slight_smile: But it worked perfectly, because I contrasted the lack of six-figure earners present with the Chronicle stat from 2010 that 1 out of every 3 SF city government employees is paid that much. I talked about the SuperBowl, and the fiasco of how much they paid for the "beds" to temporarily get homeless people out of sight.

  I would have gone on longer and gotten into specifics about the measures, but Pauline apologized they had to wrap up. But I'm glad that I talked about the "big picture" stuff I did rather than getting "lost in the weeds" of the specific proposals; I think that was more effective, although it's always hard to tell – unlike for the judge candidates, who each got at least a couple questions, no one had any for me. I even challenged the crowd, "How about any objections? Someone here must think I'm full of shit." That got a little polite laughter, but still no takers. Given a presumably left-leaning crowd in the heart of the Mission, I count the overall results as definitely positive. No one said anything against Libertarians when I was identified as being with the party, and if anyone did disagree, no one cared to debate me. I found out afterward that one woman present was an aide to Aaron Peskin (didn't get her name), and was glad she got to listen.

  I talked afterward with Paulina a bit, and she said the group hasn't been around long (I think she said a year), and that she doesn't really care what people are (Democrats, Libertarians, etc.) I'm still not sure where she's coming from politically, except that when I started talking to her about immigration and open borders, she strongly agreed and told me I was preaching to the choir. She even expressed an interest in coming to a Libertarian meeting, and I gave her the info about when and where we meet. Possibly she is sympathetic to the freedom message? Definitely worth following up.

  I also talked a bit more afterward with Victor Hwang, the judge candidate and Police Commissioner. Specifically I asked him about something I've brought up several times at the Police Commission during public comment, namely the impropriety of police chief Greg Suhr sitting up there on the panel with the commissioners who are supposed to be overseeing him and his department. Hwang told me flat out, "You're right", but that he is "picking his battles". He sure is, as I had not even pegged him as a reformer from what I've heard at the Commission meetings. The one good commissioner, in my opinion, is Petra DeJesus. But Hwang might be a closet good or at least partly-good guy – at least he seemed sincere. And he is a Board of Supervisors appointee (along with DeJesus and Julian Marshall); he said the mayoral appointees are less sympathetic. He thinks they're getting instructions from the mayor's office, but he isn't in the loop. Mentioned that he's going to be coming out with an op-ed piece soon against the SFPD getting Tasers, ghost-written by Jennifer Friedenbach of the Coalition on Homelessness, which is good. He just seems to me overly cautious and concerned with not alienating the more pro-police commissioners, so as to preserve his influence. I think it's a poor strategy, but similar to the thinking of some in the Libertarian Party leadership I've encountered who may personally hold reformist views on stuff but won't stick their necks out or rock the boat.

Love & Liberty,
                                ((( starchild )))

Wow....great report Starchild. Thank you.

Mike

Thanks, Mike! I realize I neglected to spell out that the Paulina I referred to is Paulina Maldonado, the co-president of the Latina Young Democrats who reached out to us.

Love & Liberty,
                               ((( starchild )))