Minutes for August Meeting

Hi All. Finally, here are the minutes for the last meeting. Please advise
if I missed anything or made any bloopers. Let's wait a few days for
comments, and then I can make any needed corrections and Nick can post the
minutes to the website.

I was going to add one of the changes to the July minutes suggested almost
a month after the meeting when the minutes were already posted to the
website. I now changed my mind since is not the normal procedure we
usually follow, and it's a nuisance to go back and change things well after
folks have had sufficient time to vet the minutes. (Starchild, I'm 100% OK
for *you* to go back and change the July minutes yourself, but I'm not
going to do it at this point.) Thinking ahead, it's been hard enough to
get anyone to be secretary over the years, and if one has to go back and
change things well after the vetting period, we'll never get anyone to fill
the job. I'm currently trying to find a replacement myself, so I suggest
we stick with the current vetting period of a few days for review and
comments after the minutes are posted to the Activist List, and once the
minutes are posted, that's that.

Minutes for August 11, 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), Paul A. (guest), Don Amini
(guest), Terry Chong, Phaedra Fisher (guest), Saul Flores (guest), Caroline
Hutchinson (guest), Alex Mills (guest), Lisa Remmer (guest), Jon Sindell
(guest), and Starchild.

*Introductions:* Paul is new to libertarianism and wants to check it
out. John
is a constitutionalist type of libertarian. Phaedra was active during the
good ol’ Ron Paul campaign days and wants to get back into activism again.

*Chair’s Report:* Nick reported another pretty successful second monthly
“Happy Hour” social gathering at the Thirsty Bear Brewing Co. on the last
Thursday of July. He noted that around a dozen people attended this
time. He’s
been going to the Bay Area Conservatives monthly gatherings. He met Dan
Johnson from “We Do Better” at the national convention and has organized a
call-in with Dan today at 4:30 PM to explain more about his organization
and its mission to solve social problems with voluntary organizations
rather than government-funded solutions. Dan hopes to get a chapter
started in San Francisco and work towards a $500 state tax credit for folks
to give to an organization of their choice. Nick mentioned that Lisa
Remmer, who is running for the 12th Congressional District, is looking for
an endorsement from the LPSF, but the agenda was too full today, so she
will come to the September meeting and pitch her campaign. Lastly John
Dennis is running for Supervisor from District 2 and will join us at 5:00
today to talk about his campaign.

*Vice Chair’s Report:* Rebecca reported that the video from the 5th Annual
Panel Discussion on School Choice is online now on YouTube. She is pleased
with it, and it’s part of the Simulation series run by Allen Saakyan, who
moderated the panel.

*Treasurer’s Report: * Aubrey reported that we have $4,193.92 in the credit
union (unchanged from last month) and $2,426.63 in PayPal for a total of
$6,620.55. No checks were written since the last meeting. We still have
two unpaid expenses to pay from the panel discussion: $300.00 for the room
rental at the Mechanic’s Institute (Rebecca) and $63.11 for the panel
discussion refreshments (Nick). So, while our cash position is $6,620.55
today, our adjusted cash balance will be $6,257.44 once these panel
discussion expenses are reimbursed. Aubrey noted that when he did the Form
460 filing due at the end of July he discovered from going through the
PayPal detail that one of our members became a recurring monthly donor
early in the year, so we have 5 recurring donors now.

*Secretary’s Report:* Aubrey reported that membership is up by 2 members
from last month with 21 lifetime members and 29 regular, currently paid-up
members, for a total of 50. This is the highest it’s been since he has
been an activist, and we have now reached the milestone that he was hoping
to achieve, though we’re still a ways from Nick’s goal of 70 members by
year-end. He noted that we got one unexpected new member from the Golden
Gate Liberty Revolution and also one new member from Marin County that he
doesn’t know anything about. Also good news is that one member who we
weren’t sure about did renew and a long-term donor also renewed. Several
members are taking the two-year memberships now as evidenced by the fact
that 4 current memberships now extend into 2020. (At the end of the
meeting today, another member joined, making it 51 members, and a guest
wanted to sign up, but we were out of forms, so he will join at the next

*Newsletter Report:* Aubrey reported that the August newsletter is in
process. Nick provided the website statistics for the July newsletter: it
reached 1,633 subscribers, though only 15% opened it up and only 2.5%
clicked on anything in the article. The newsletter had 4 articles this
time, including one Nick got inspired to write regarding the latest ban by
San Francisco’s politicians—this time a ban against corporate kitchens for
their employees.

*Outreach Report:* Starchild attended several meetings of the Ballot
Simplification Committee to help ensure the language of the ballot measures
is clear so the voters know what they’re voting for. He appealed the
language on the Seawall and hotel tax allocation to the arts measures and
submitted revisions of the wording, but none of his suggestions were
accepted. He reported that Supervisor Malia Cohen showed up to push her
cannabis tax measure, and also he received a very favorable comment from
Chris Bowman regarding his efforts to improve the ballot measure
language. Starchild
attended a BART meeting regarding recent killings on BART and BART’s
efforts to clamp down on crime on BART. He noted that the BART management
is now intent on adding more surveillance and “hardening” stations, making
it harder to get in and out of BART stations, with more police officers,
automated license readers, and tracking of movement. Starchild noted that
the BART Board voted NO on putting in automated license readers, but staff
put them in anyway. He and Oakland Privacy were there to ensure that the
BART police are constrained, and he noted that the many of those who gave
public comment were opposed to the additional surveillance. The BART
officials felt because the public meeting was held in an urban area that
the emphasis on civil liberties was overshadowing the need for “law and
order,” so the next meeting will be held in the suburbs for the “law and
order” crowd. Starchild also attended a rally for the hotel tax allocation
to the arts outside City Hall, and he was interviewed by a reporter as an
opponent of the earmark, but none of the interview ended up being televised..
Starchild has been working with Alex setting up the SF Liberty Coalition,
which will be a type of townhall caucus of various groups interested in
promoting more liberty for single issues, and hopefully a “cross
pollination” of the groups for an appreciation of greater liberty in all
areas, not just single issues. Former attendee at liberty events Angelo
had a boss who is liberty-oriented, and his place of business is a
potential location for the monthly coalition meetings.

*Ballot Measure Arguments (November Election)*: There are 5 local ballot
measures for this election; most were for new taxes and one was for a bond,
so there wasn’t much discussion as to oppose or not. The bond measure is
for a $425 million bond to rebuild the seawall around the Port of San
Francisco. Obviously this will be a deposit for the project, and the
estimated total cost will very likely exceed the estimated $2-$5 billion
cost, as all these boondoggles end up doing. Starchild will write the
argument for this and include the classic Willie Brown statement about
digging a whole so big that the only way to fill it up is come up with more
money. Then there is “Privacy Policy” ballot measure regarding city policy
regarding privacy and third-party vendors and contractors The City uses; it
sounded innocuous enough but vague. The general consensus was that we will
support this measure but no interest in writing an argument for this one. Then
there’s the additional tax on gross receipts for homelessness, which we had
already discussed in the July meeting, which is an additional tax of
..175%-.69% on gross receipts depending on the business, and for businesses
that pay the tax based on payroll expense rather than gross receipts, it’s
an additional 1.5% of payroll expense. Nick will write the argument
against this one. A new ballot measure is an additional gross receipts tax
on cannabis businesses, plus a second part of the same measure that will
tax businesses that do business in The City but are not physically present
here. Starchild mentioned that this second part of the ballot measure
could potentially be more important than the cannabis tax part due to the
increasing trend for consumers to buy products online, plus someone at the
Ballot Simplification Committee meeting questioned why this wasn’t
considered as two separate ballot measures the voters could vote on. Of
course we will oppose, and Aubrey will write the argument against. The
last measure is an allocation of part of the hotel tax away from the
general fund towards “the arts.” From a Libertarian point of view, we
wouldn’t automatically oppose this one, since it is revenue neutral.. There
was some discussion about maybe not writing an argument against this one
because as it was less important and it might look like, in addition to all
the other things Libertarians are purported to oppose, we hate the arts too..
Others felt that a strong case could definitely be made highlighting an
earmark like this would detract from funding available for basic services
the residents expect, not to mention why is The City funding the arts at
all. Jawj was moved by this issue and will write an argument against this
allocation for special interests.

*Angela Alioto Sanctuary City Ballot Initiative:* Terry Chong is moved by
this issue, so she did a short presentation on this ballot measure which
did not qualify for the November ballot but may qualify for next year’s
election if it gets the required 10,000 signatures (only got 7,500
signatures at this point). San Francisco is well-known as a Sanctuary
City, but this initiative would change local law to allow city officials to
share information with immigration officials if 1) the individual is
convicted of a violent felony or 2) the individual was previously convicted
of a violent or serious felony, and is ordered to stand trial for a new
violent or serious felony charge. Needless to say, the discussion became
quite heated and had to be tabled as we ran out of time. Despite some
concern over the word “serious,” some of our members did sign the petition.

*Speaker Don Johnson, Executive Director of WeDoBetter:* Don’s
organization’s purpose is to help private organizations solve social
problems, rather than relying on government to solve the problems. He
wants to shift the paradyn from look to the government first to look to the
people first. He mentioned the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, where the
government spent $7.6 billion, but the Cajun Navy accomplished 6,000
rescues with only some gas money. In San Diego, Saved in America is a
non-profit that uses Navy seals to find missing children; it takes them an
average of 9 days and $5,000 to find a missing child. Don’s organization’s
plan is twofold: 1) show people what works better and 2) tout the example
of the Arizona Charitable Credit as an example of what is working. For the
last 20 years Arizonans have been able to give $200 to any organization
they choose for charity. The program has grown tremendously over the
years, and in 2016 alone 137,000 taxpayers gave $52 million to food banks. He
gave an example of problematic government funding of non-profits that
provide community service: a domestic violence center that was 80% funded
by the government had to follow onerous rules, and one of them was the
government grant could not be spent on pets, but many abused women wouldn’t
leave their abusers because they didn’t want to leave their pets behind but
could not take them to the government-funded domestic violence center. Thus
the center was not as useful to the community due to the rule. WeDoBetter
promoted SB 1485, which was sponsored by California Senator Mike Morrell,
would have given individuals a $500 credit, not deduction, and a married
couple a $1,000 credit for contributing to “qualified” charitable
organizations. They did get 21 organizations to support the bill, but
unfortunately it died in committee because they couldn’t get letters in
support of the bill submitted in time. Don said they might try again in
2-3 years and may reduce the amount of the credit to $250 for
individuals. WeDoBetter
is not rated by Charity Navigator because it was launched in October of
2017, and your organization has to be at least 7 years old to be rated by
Charity Navigator. Don noted that one only needs 3% political support to
get a bill passed due to the small number of voters who are eligible to
vote and who are registered and who actually vote. He’s been working with
non-profits to get them on board supporting the efforts of WeDoBetter. He
also tries to build coalitions working with such diverse people and
organizations like Carl DeMaio, a conservative from San Diego, and the
Sierra Club. His organization’s goal for 2019 is the support of at least
one city in California and all their political representatives of all

*John Dennis, Special Guest Speaker:* John is running for District 2
Supervisor and wanted to get our endorsement. Many of us were familiar
with John from his 3 previous runs for Congress against Pelosi in 2010,
2012, and 2014 and also his alignment with Ron Paul. John has always done
quite well in District 2, which is the wealthiest district in The City; he
noted that around 80% of the voters in District 2 have no problem voting
for a Republican, and previously he beat Pelosi in 3 District 2
precincts. John
is solidly a “blue” Republican and is staunchly anti-war and was previously
supported by Matt Gonzalez. He had previous writeups in *The Nation* by
John Nichols and even in *Mother Jones* in “Some Guy Running Against
Pelosi.” John has a working-class upbringing and lived in a government
housing project growing up in Jersey City. John came to libertarianism
through Father Jim Sadowsky who associated with Murray Rothbard and Walter
Block. He stuffed envelopes for the Ron Paul 1988 campaign for President. He
wasn’t really interested in running for office again this time, but didn’t
like any of the other candidates running in District 2, and when a homeless
man walked into his house not long ago, he got jarred into action. He is
running against Nick Josefowitz, Catherine Stefani, and Schulyer Hudak—all
Democrats—and noted that all 3 have very similar views on the issues and
keep saying the same thing over and over again. His big issues for this
campaign are the homelessness problem, property crime, and housing. Especially
on homelessness, he noted The City is spending $382 million per year, which
is about $40,000 per person, and that doesn’t include ER visits. He
opposes the Homeless Industrial Complex and the “tech tax,” which shifts
the blame for the problem on the tech industry. He noted that San Jose and
San Diego, both larger cities, have annual budgets of around $3 billion,
while San Francisco’s budget is over $11 billion. He is the only candidate
running for District 2 Supervisor who has private industry experience and
was endorsed by the Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute. John
does not believe in abandoning The City for “Galt’s Gulch” and thinks
things can be turned around here (freedom wise), though he noted it is
tougher to be a libertarian when the issues are local. Though there was
some discussion as to whether the LPSF could endorse a non-Libertarian, our
by-laws stated that it’s OK to endorse someone who upholds libertarian
principles even though they might be registered with another party, so the
LPSF did give John our endorsement. (Subsequently we did find out that in
accord with LPCA’s by-laws, which we’re supposed to adhere to, it is OK to
endorse a non-Libertarian if the race is non-partisan, which is the case


August 15 (Wednesday) *John Dennis for District 2 Supervisor: Meet & Greet*

6:30 PM – Golden Gate Valley Library at 1801 Green Street in San Francisco


August 18 (Saturday) *Northern California Libertarian Party Leadership

*The Northern Vice-Chair of the Libertarian Party of California is hosting
this leadership summit for leaders within California’s 58 counties to
become better organized and develop best practices. This event will
feature panel discussions on issues such as writing bylaws, fundraising,
hosting events, building membership, and more. More information to come

Piatti Sacramento at 571 Pavilions Lane in Sacramento

Contact kolsen@ca.lp.org


August 23 (Thursday) *“None of Our Business” LPSF Happy Hour*

Location TBD in San Francisco – Check Meetup!

Unable to make it to our regular monthly meetings? Just want to kick back
and mingle with liberty-minded individuals? We are kicking off a monthly
“None of our Business” happy hour social, where we can take a break from
party business and talk, life, politics or whatever is on your mind. Come
out for a drink and get to know us!


September 11 (Wednesday) *Larry Elder at the Silicon Valley Liberty Forum*

IFES Portuguese Hall at 432 Stierlin Road in Mountain View


September 14 (Friday) *10th Annual Silicon Valley Mises Celebration*

*Featuring Jeffrey Tucker and Edward Stringham*

6:00 PM in the Corinthian Grand Ballroom at 196 North 3rd Street in San
Jose, CA 95112


September 14-15 (Friday/Saturday) *Classical Liberals in Northern
California Conference*

Inspired by a similar effort in the Carolinas. The conference brings
together dynamic scholars, philanthropists, think-tank directors, business
leaders, and policy advocates to discuss issues affecting freedom in
California. For more information visit: ClassicalLiberals.org.

SJSU Student Union Theatre at 211 South 9th Street in San Jose CA 95112