LPSF Political Activity proposal

Hi gang,

Instead of debating about Barr/Root, Anarchy, NAP etc..., how about
entertaining a proposal for some real political activity? Here's an
idea. As the voter turnout was so low in the last election now is our
chance to go for a ballot measure for the next election in Nov. The
number of signatures required is based on voter turnout in the previous
election. I don't know what it was exactly but could find out by calling
the Election Commission. Anyway the number of signatures required would
be about as low as it could ever be for us. And the voter turnout in
November will certainly be very high.

The issue we've been discussing is City Workers' pay and it is a good
one. Except instead of capping wages at $100K, we should be looking at
the entire City payroll and insisting that the average City employee
payroll across all employees be no more than the income of the average
San Franciscan. We could also consider making it some percentage more if
we want. We also need to take into consideration benefits. And since we
don't really know what they are we will have to define how that number
is going to be calculated. It really doesn't make much difference either
way because we already know they are making a fortune relative to the
average San Franciscan. So the numbers will work in our favor no matter
what. We can get the details from the Dept of Labor or Dept of Commerce
or somewhere.

The importance of this is that in this election cycle, we need to have
an issue to rally around. And it is timely. The talk of employee cuts
and government budget problems is all over the news not just here in SF
but all over California. This appeals to the left who doesn't want the
layoffs but they can see how the cuts could be lessened if high paid
employees salaries were brought back to earth. A little class warfare
among the left could be a good thing for this. And the right can get on
board with it too in the interest of "responsible government" as if
there is such a thing.

We need an issue to bring the political candidates to us seeking our
endorsement. And we want everyone asking the candidates about their
positions on it. And this concept has legs in lots of different places.
Maybe we can make it a template issue for other local LP organizations
too. It's a solid and reasonable plan to reduce government that could
get popular support.

I've made some calls and am confident we can raise $10K or more to fund
this. But we are going to have to do some work. What do you think?
Anyone up for this?

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,


Root is going to be in the Pride Parade??? It's a good thing that
he's willing to do it, but my approval is all at his willingness and
not at all at the prospect of the actual occurrence.

    ((( starchild )))

Great idea to use this low turnout to our advantage, Mike!

One suggestion, though. Let's make it be something more positive. We
all know that city employees are overpaid, but an initiative to lower
salaries is a bit negative, isn't it? Couldn't we try to be more
positive? Something like "San Francisco has problem X that affects all
of us. We know that the private sector would have solved this problem
already if not for law/rule/charter item Y. Therefore, we propose
repealing law/rule/charter item Y, so that we can finally solve problem
X that we've all been dealing with for so long.

Of course, I have no idea whatsoever about X and Y. The jitney thing
you all worked on while I was in Boston was along those lines, but I
take it that this was not doable. Is there something else similar that
we can do? I recall the story about the lady who had been making
sandwiches in her kitchen at home to give to homeless people, and she
was shut down because it was not a commercial kitchen with all stainless
steel surfaces, etc. That's the kind of thing we need to find -- a
commonsense issue where the city is standing in the way of private
citizens solving a problem. And it can even be something mundane and
minor, but obvious that the current law is stupid.

What's a problem that affects all (or most, or even a sizable some) of
us in San Francisco? Homeowners, speak up! You are the most regulated
class in this city.


Mike Denny wrote:

The issue is that the political wave forming is related to budgets.
Everyone will be affected. We can ride that wave and be very positive by
saying how we are sorry about layoffs and appreciate how difficult that
can be. And we want the people to know that these layoffs wouldn't be
necessary if only the average public service payroll reflected the
average income of the average San Franciscan. It's just going to be a
statement of policy and crafting the right language and tone are
everything. I'd like it to be subtle and easy to understand.