It's that time of year again when residents can submit arguments to be printed in the San Francisco voter handbook for and against local ballot measures. There are two types of arguments, free and paid, each with a separate deadline. The free arguments are limited to one for and one against for each measure, and consequently are fairly hard to get. Unless you're a sponsor of a measure, you're basically limited to arguments against.
I mentioned at the Libertarian Party meeting on Saturday that the free argument deadline was July 15 (today). I don't recall now where I originally heard or saw that date, but in any case I was (fortunately) wrong. The deadline to submit free proponent and opponent arguments is Thursday, August 14, at noon.
The proponents of each measure have first right of refusal to submit an official proponent argument; official opponent arguments are chosen by lottery from all the arguments AGAINST the measure which are submitted by the deadline. HOWEVER, the Mayor and members of the Board of Supervisors can automatically preempt other opponents if any of them choose to submit arguments against any of the measures! One more really f----d up thing about how local government works.
The deadline for submitting PAID arguments FOR or AGAINST measures -- there is no limit on how many of these arguments can be printed -- is Monday, August 18, at noon. (That is also the deadline for official proponents and opponents to submit rebuttals to each other's arguments.) It's not cheap to submit paid arguments -- the fee is per word, and even a relatively short one can cost in the hundreds of dollars. But considering how many people who read them -- typically, people who are actually planning to VOTE, and may be trying to make up their minds about an issue -- it's arguably a pretty good investment.
Sometimes *who* signs the arguments can carry nearly as much or more weight with voters, than what they say (sad but true political fact). So it will be to our advantage to get various influential people and civic groups to co-sign the official and paid arguments in favor of the prostitution decriminalization measure, if possible.
You can get a free guide to writing ballot arguments (like nearly everything governmental, there are nit-picky bureaucratic rules involved!) at the Elections Department office in the basement of City Hall (room 400). They're open 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday, and their phone number is (415) 554-4375. For a government agency, they are actually remarkably friendly and helpful!
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))