Tag Archives: endorsement

Amazing News from Last Night! – The Sierra Club Endorses Leland Yee for Mayor

Last night, the Sierra Club endorsed Leland as their choice for the next Mayor of San Francisco.

The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest environment organization in the country with over 30,000 members in the San Francisco Bay Chapter alone.  We could not be more honored to have their support.

Will you make a contribution right now to help us get the message out on the big news.

Every contribution to the campaign is matched 4 to 1 – so a $20 donation today is worth $100 to the campaign.  Please donate.

Last year in the State Senate, Leland was one of only two Senators to receive a 100% rating from the Sierra Club, League of Conversation Voters, and Clean Water Action.

Recently, Leland authored and passed legislation to stop offshore oil drilling, protect the Farollon Islands, build the Devil’s Slide Tunnel along Highway 1 and respond to the 2007 San Francisco Bay Cosco Busan oil spill.

That’s why John Rizzo, Political Chair of the Sierra Club – San Francisco Bay Chapter, said “Leland’s vision will help San Francisco lead the nation in environmental stewardship.”

As the race for mayor starts to heat up, you can make a big difference.

Will you make a contribution to help us get the message out about the Sierra Club endorsement?

We have many environmental successes in our city but there is much more we can do.  That’s why Leland’s goal is for San Francisco to have 100% clean energy and recycle 100% of our waste by the year 2020.

Help Leland get to City Hall so we can turn these goals into realities.

If you can, please make a contribution today and help San Francisco become the greatest city in American by 2020.

Thank you for all your help and support.


Jim Stearns

Campaign Manager

Keep the Momentum Going!

Just a few minutes ago, the California Nurses Association (CNA) endorsed my campaign for Mayor of San Francisco!

The endorsement from CNA, which has over 5,000 members in San Francisco, follows major endorsements in the last few weeks from the San Francisco Building and Construction Trades Council, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)and Communication Workers of America Local 9410.

I am deeply honored to have their support.

Will you help us build on the momentum by joining our 20/20 advisory group today and donation $20 or volunteering 20 hours of your time to the campaign?  Donate.  Volunteer.

I will continue to work to ensure San Franciscan has affordable health care.  Our city has led the nation with important health reforms.  As insurance companies across California continue to raise rates and limit care – it’s essential that we do more, especially for our children and families.

To make these policy goals a reality, we need your support.

I’m inviting you to join our 20/20 advisory group.  Here’s how it works:

We are asking supporters to volunteer 20 hours of their time or donate $20 to help build a clear vision for San Francisco’s future.  Donate. Volunteer.

You’ll be invited to a small coffee conversation with me to discuss issues we all face as San Franciscans.  How do we improve our schools?  Make it easier for people to raise a family in the city.  What are the best ways to grow our economy?  How do we improve Muni?

Will you help us build on the momentum of the last few weeks and join our 20/20 advisory group?  Donate. Volunteer.

Thanks for your time and support.  I hope to see you on the campaign train for a cup of coffee!


Leland Yee

How Blue Dogs Kill Hope + CDP Endorsement Process

Interesting piece up on Huff Po now:  Power Struggle: Inside The Battle For The Soul Of The Democratic Party 


Since 1995, members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus have collectively given $6.3 million directly to members of the Blue Dog and New Democrat coalitions, according to an analysis by the Huffington Post of data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. That’s not an overwhelming sum when the average winning campaign nowadays costs more than $1 million, but it represents one-sixth of all giving from one faction within the party to another. It doesn’t include the millions that progressives have given to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee — rank-and-file members are supposed to cough up $150,000 every two years (though many miss that mark), committee chairmen $250,000 and up. The DCCC turns around and funnels that money to conservative Democrats in close races. Add to that the millions spent by organized labor and outside groups such as MoveOn.org, and it’s clear that progressive donors have become major financial benefactors of the conservative Democrats who battled to undermine their agenda. “That tension exists a lot,” George Miller says about the party’s demand that progressives fund their intramural rivals. “That tension exists a lot. And it’s real.”


The money flows almost entirely in one direction: The conservative coalitions have given progressives less than $600,000. While Blue Dogs and New Democrats have each given their fellow travelers $2.4 million in the past 15 years, members of the much larger progressive caucus have helped each other to the tune of just $1.3 million.

Progressives have received very little return on their investment when it comes to important votes. The 34 Democrats who voted against the health care reform bill in March have collectively received $2.1 million from progressive members. More than half of that sum came in the past five years.

The costofwar.com shows the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are rapidly approaching $1 Trillion. 

That number right there is the biggest drag on our progressive hopes. 

We won’t get the real change we seek until we elect more progressives to Congress.

Re the CDP endorsement fight in between Jane Harman and Marcy Winograd:

California CD 36 (Harman) is deep blue. Democratic registration leads Republican by 18 percent. No Republican is going to win that seat. Why not support a Democrat who will stand strong for women, work toward improving healthcare AND support the rest of the CDP platform? Why should the California Democratic Party give its endorsement to a half-a-dem like Harman?

The CDP endorsement process is deliberately complex. It allows for second chances and political manuevering. The Party endorsement is a valuable commodity and deserves to require a series of trials to earn it. 

A question I have is this: I wonder if any electeds from the rest of the State handed some of their appointed slots to Harman for her local endorsement? I know my Assemblywoman up here in Berkeley gave some of her delegates to Karen Bass. I don’t like that part of the process, but that’s what we have. 

I think it’s appropriate there’s a path to to let the Convention as a whole make a final determination after all the inner manueverings for hotly contested races are done. It is indeed a statewide prize to be fought over. From past experience, I know delegates don’t overrule local endorsement votes lightly.

I think it’s a fair fight.

Dan’s Nov. 08 Ballot Recommendations



This will be a close race!  Phone-banking to swing states-including Colorado-continues at your local Obama or United Democratic Campaign headquarters.  Go to http://my.barackobama.com/page… to find the Obama office near you.  

U.S. Congress – C.D. #s 1-53 – Vote for the Democrat in your district!  

IF you live in one of these two districts, please volunteer/contribute to your candidate’s campaign:

 ~  C.D.  #4 – Charlie Brown  [www.charliebrownforcongress.org] – This district is our best chance to turn a red district blue in California this year.  He is running against Tom McClintock, the most ideologically conservative legislator in the state and a carpetbagger from Southern California.  Charlie Brown, he’s “a good man.”

 ~  C.D. #11 – Jerry McNerney  [www.jerrymcnerney.org] – The Democrats, with tremendous grassroots activism, took this seat two years ago, but the Republicans are spending huge amounts of money to take it back.  Let’s make sure we send Mr. McNerney, a leader in renewable energy, back to Congress.  

California State Senate:

~ S.D.  #3 – Mark Leno

~ S.D.  #5 – Lois Wolk [www.loiswolk.com] – This is an open seat that we must keep in the Democratic column.

~ S.D.  #7 – Mark DeSaulnier

~ S.D.  #9 – Loni Hancock – Since I live in this district, I will take this opportunity to say that we are very fortunate to have Loni representing Oakland and other East Bay communities in the St. Senate.  Among her accomplishments, she was successful this year in getting passed and signed into law a ‘Clean Money’ pilot program.

~ S.D. #11 – Joe Simitian

~ S.D. #19 – Hannah-Beth Jackson [www.jackson4senate.com] – This district is our best hope at picking up a Democratic seat in the St. Senate.  Please do what you can to help her win against a very conservative opponent who is misleading voters about his own record.  

~ S.D. #23 – Fran Pavley

~ S.D. #27 – Alan Lowenthal

~ S.D. #39 – Christine Kehoe

California State Assembly – A.D. #s 1-80 – Vote for the Democrat in your district!  IF you live or work in one of the following districts, please volunteer/contribute to your candidate’s campaign.  These are expected to be very close races.  

~ A.D. #10 – Alyson Huber – www.alysonhuber.com

~ A.D. #15 – Joan Buchananwww.joanbuchanan.com – If you live in the Bay Area and want to help the Democrats gain seats in our state legislature, please contact the Buchanan campaign and help in any way possible.  925-806-0560

~ A.D. #26 – John Eisenhut – www.johneisenhut.com

~ A.D. #65 – Carl Wood – www.wood4assembly.org

~ A.D. #78 – Marty Block – www.martyblock.com

~ A.D. #80 – Manuel V. Perez – www.manuelperezforassembly.com


Oakland City Council (at-large seat) – REBECCA KAPLAN

Rebecca is exactly the type of person we need on the Oakland City Council.  She is smart, progressive, experienced and accomplished.  She will shake things up on the city council and move it in a more progress-oriented direction.  She is a former civil rights attorney, policy advocate, environmental activist, and yes, a ‘community organizer’.  She understands the array of issues facing Oakland residents and will work hard to make Oakland a more safe and livable city.  She is well-known for being able to work with a broad cross-section of people and personalities.  Currently, she’s an elected member of the A/C Transit Board of Directors.  She is endorsed by the Alameda County Democratic Party, the MGO Democratic Club, the Sierra Club, East Bay Young Dems, Assembly Member Sandre Swanson, Supervisors Keith Carson and Nate Miley, and a wide array of organizations, elected officials and community leaders.  www.kaplanforoakland.org

Mayor, City of Berkeley – TOM BATES – Mayor Bates has shown leadership and brought people together to get things done in Berkeley.  He’s endorsed by Congresswoman Barbara Lee, the Sierra Club, and a broad range of organizations, public officials and community leaders.  See www.tombates.org/index.htm for details on his priorities.  

Judge – Superior Court (Alameda County seat #9) – DENNIS HAYASHI

Dennis, a public interest attorney, is highly qualified to be a superior court judge.  He is a former attorney with the Asian Law Caucus, and was director of the Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under President Clinton.  He was also the director of the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.  We desperately need more public interest attorneys as judges.  He is endorsed by the Sierra Club, the Alameda County Democratic Lawyers Club, former Attorney General Bill Lockyer, and numerous state and local elected officials, as well as several judges.  Dennis will make a superb Superior Court judge.   www.dennishayashi.com

San Francisco County Supervisors:

   District  #1 – ERIC MAR – Eric is an elected member of the S.F. Board of Education, a civil rights attorney, college lecturer, and long-time progressive political activist.  He’s been recognized for his civic involvement, leadership, and passionate advocate for human and civil rights.  He is committed to working at City Hall and in the Richmond district for working families, thriving neighborhoods, and responsive local government.  To volunteer on his campaign, go to www.ericmar.com.

   District  #3 – DAVID CHIU (rank #1) – As a former civil rights attorney, counsel to a U.S. Senate subcommittee, neighborhood activist and leader, former deputy district attorney, member of San Francisco’s Small Business Commission, affordable housing advocate, and Democratic Party activist, David has the breadth and depth of experience to be an excellent supervisor-responsive, innovative, smart ideas. http://votedavidchiu.org  

TONY GANTNER (rank #2) – Experienced neighborhood and environmental activist, Tony would also be a good Supervisor.  

   District  #4 – CARMEN CHU – She’s moderate-to-conservative by San Francisco standards, but this is the Sunset district and her principal opponent is even more conservative.  

   District  #5 – ROSS MIRKARIMI – Ross has been a very good supervisor for this district and he deserves reelection.  He reaches out to groups of people in his district and strives to develop and support innovative and compassionate ideas and proposals.  

   District  #7 – SEAN ELSBERND – Has only token opposition and will be reelected easily in this relatively moderate-to-conservative district.

   District  #9 – no recommendation – Many good progressive candidates in this district, including David Campos and Mark Sanchez.

   District #11 – JULIO RAMOS (rank #1) – Julio is an attorney, elected member of the San Francisco Community College Bd. of Trustees, an experienced trial lawyer, and former Coro Fellow.  I’ve known Julio for nearly 10 years and I’m confident that he would be an excellent county supervisor.  He’s progressive, compassionate, and is committed to focusing his energy on crime prevention, services to seniors, helping at-risk youth, improving neighborhoods and creating clean streets, and expanding educational opportunities for local residents. www.julioramos.org

JOHN AVALOS (rank #2) – Former supervisorial aide, Avalos would also be a good county supervisor.  

BART Bd. of Directors

   Tom Radulovich (district 9) – Smart environmental leader.  He’s been a very good BART director.  

A.C. Transit Bd. of Directors

   Chris Peeples (at-large)

   Greg Harper (ward 2)

East Bay Municipal Utility District Bd. of Directors

   Doug Linney (ward 5) – Environmental leader on the EBMUD Board.  Certainly deserves reelection.  

East Bay Regional Parks District Bd. of Directors

   Norman LaForce (ward 1) – Norman has shown important leadership as a long-time advocate for parks.  He is currently the chapter chair of the Sierra Club and an experienced attorney for environmental causes.  He will be an excellent EBRPD board member.  

Trustee, Peralta Community College District

   Marlon McWilson (area 2)

San Francisco Community College District –

Several good candidates.  I recommend the following four candidates:

   Natalie Berg

   Milton Marks

   Chris Jackson

   Rodel Rodis

San Francisco Board of Education:

Several good candidates.  I recommend the following four candidates:

   Norman Yee

   Sandra L. Fewer

   Kimberly Wicoff

   Jill Wynns

City Council, Daly City – Judith Christensen – She’s a teacher, is supported by the environmental community, and she’s been a breath of fresh air on a stale city council.  She deserves re-election.  

Mayor, City of Fremont – Gus Morrison – Former Mayor Morrison would do a far better job as mayor once again than either the incumbent or his other opponent.  Vote to put Gus back in the Mayor’s office.  

City Council, Orinda – Victoria Smith – She’s done a good job on the Orinda City Council and deserves re-election.  Go to www.voteforvictoria.com for more information.  

Mayor, City of Sacramento – Heather Fargo – Mayor Fargo is running against a former Pro Basketball player who has no experience in government.  Her opponent is being put forth as a candidate by development interests who do not like Ms. Fargo’s policies.  She’ll do a better job than her challenger.  Vote to re-elect her.  For info on her priorities, experience and endorsements, or to volunteer, go to www.fargoformayor.com

Los Angeles County Bd. of Supervisors (2nd district) – Mark Ridley-Thomas

Ridley-Thomas is the more progressive of the two candidates.  He is a former L.A. City Councilman and a current State Senator.  We will miss him in Sacramento, but he will make an excellent County Supervisor.  He is endorsed by the L.A. County Democratic Party, Sierra Club, Members of Congress Jane Harmon, Brad Sherman, Howard Berman, Hilda Solis, Planned Parenthood, and dozens of other elected officials and community leaders.  Go to www.ridley-thomas.com to learn more.  

Santa Clara County Bd. of Supervisors (2nd district) – Richard Hobbs – Endorsed by the Santa Clara County League of Conservation Voters and the local Sierra Club chapter.  That’s good enough for me.    

…Propositions follow…


1A – YES High-Speed Train System for California.  $9.95 billion bond measure to fund construction of a long overdue high-speed rail system in California.  Additional monies would come from federal and private sources.  Once in operation, this will help reduce traffic on north-south major highways, reduce the need to expand airports, and help reduce the total output of greenhouse gases that might otherwise occur without such a train system.  You’ll be able to get from the L.A. area to San Francisco in about 2-¾ hours.  This expensive capital project that will be in existence for several decades or longer is just the type of project that bond measures were made for.  This has broad support from business leaders to the environmental community.  Go to www.californiahighspeedtrains.com for more information and please vote YES on 1A.  

2 – YESConfined Farm Animals.  This initiative will ban some of the worst confinement practices of polluting confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), and is an important step in promoting a modern approach to agriculture that is productive, humane, and more healthful.  www.yesonprop2.com

3 – YES Children’s Hospitals Bond.  $980 million bond measure to assist with construction and modernization of nonprofit children’s hospitals in California.  Up to 20% of the funds would go to University of California teaching hospitals throughout the state.  

4 – NOParental Notification and Waiting Period for Abortions by Minors.  This Constitutional Amendment would mandate that doctors deny an abortion to teenagers until the parent is notified and a waiting period has gone by. This measure creates onerous procedures for minors, including those in troubled families, to obtain a lawful abortion.  This election is the third time that this measure is on the ballot.  We defeated the previous two, and we need to defeat this one as well.  Vote No!

5 – YESNonviolent Drug Offenses and Rehabilitation.  This measure expands drug treatment diversion programs for criminal offenders, expands prison and parole anti-recidivism programs, and reduces certain penalties for marijuana possession.  It also creates a separate state cabinet level position in charge of rehabilitation (separate from the current Corrections department).  Also reduces parole time for certain nonviolent drug offenses and expands parole time for serious and violent felons.  This is an important initiative if we’re ever going to deal with overcrowded prisons and take meaningful steps to move people away from a life of crime.  Most crimes are committed by people who have committed crimes before.  If we can reduce the number of repeat offenders, we will be making great strides in reducing crime overall.  Vote Yes!

6 – NO – Law Enforcement Funding and Penalties.  Substantially increases state funding for law enforcement activities without identifying where that money will come from, which means it will require additional cuts in other services such as higher education, medi-cal and state parks.  Increases penalties for specified crimes, and allows hearsay testimony to be used more freely.  This initiative requires all public housing residents to have criminal background checks done on them annually.  It also changes the composition of the existing juvenile justice coordinating councils in each county by eliminating the requirement that the councils include representatives of community-based substance abuse treatment programs.   This proposition does many things and a few of them may seem appealing.  But overall, the initiative goes overboard and would be very costly to the state.  It would increase crowding in our prisons and jails, require cuts in other discretionary spending at a time when the budget has already been cut to the bone, and incarcerate juvenile offenders at a time when what we need more of is treatment and rehabilitation programs.  Most of this initiative takes us in the wrong direction.  The ACLU, Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice, the Youth Law Center, the California Democratic Party, the L.A. City Council, the League of Women Voters and over 25 newspapers, among many others, urge a NO vote on Prop. 6. www.votenoprop6.com

7 – NORenewable Energy Statutory Changes.  This proposition purports to increase the generation of electricity from renewable resources, such as solar and wind.  However, this initiative was so poorly drafted and vetted that every major environmental group and virtually all of the renewable energy industry companies and associations in California are opposing it.  Prop. 7 put loopholes into the renewable energy statute for the first time-something the Legislature had rejected on more than one occasion.  It creates problems with the transmission siting process and creates a counter-productive cost policy that could actually discourage the development of large-scale solar projects.  It also has a provision that could shut out the small renewable energy company from being part of the solution.  Overall, it creates uncertainty at a tine when the renewable energy industry needs clarity.  There are too many flaws to list here.  Please join with the Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists, Environment California, the CA League of Conservation Voters, the California Wind Energy Association, the Calif. Democratic Party, and over three dozen newspapers in opposing this well-intentioned, but wrong-headed initiative.  Vote NO! www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/clean_energy/no_on_prop_7.pdf

8 – NOElimination of Right to Marry for Same-sex Couples.  This proposed constitutional amendment would very simply take away the rights of some adults in our state to marry.  This is a question of fundamental fairness and equal protection under the law.  Do get fooled by the misleading ads by the proponents.  Proudly vote NO to keep same-gender marriage legal in our state.  

9 – NOParole and Victims’ Rights (Constitutional Amendment).  Appears to give additional benefits/rights to victims of crimes.  However, California already requires that crime victims receive several specified rights, some of which are duplicated here.  Says that restitution payments to victims come first before any other debts that the criminal already owes.  Allows victims to withhold information from the accused during pre-trial proceedings.  Severely reduces the ability of the state or of judges to provide early release to inmates at state prisons.  Reduces the number of parole hearings (and lengthens the time between parole hearings) to which inmates are entitled.  There are a number of constitutional questions raised by this initiative.  Overall, this would be an expensive initiative to implement without any proven gain in public safety.  Please join with the ACLU, the CA Democratic Party, over three dozen newspapers, the League of Women Voters, and the former warden of San Quentin State Prison in opposing Prop. 9.  Vote No. www.votenoprop9.com

10 – NOAlternative Fuel Vehicles Bond.   Prop. 10 is an inefficient use of public dollars at a time when our state budget is in crisis.  This is a $5 billion mostly self-serving initiative where nearly three-quarters of the money would likely go to subsidize the natural gas vehicle industry.  This measure is being bankrolled by T.Boone Pickens, the Texas oil and natural gas tycoon.  While the rebates in the initiative sound attractive, they are not based on a consistent environmental metric and they do not require any improvement in smog emissions as a result of how the money is spent.  There are better solutions available that would get us more environmental benefits for less money.  Don’t be fooled.  Join with the Consumer Federation of California, the Sierra Club and several other environmental groups, along with the League of Women Voters, Latino Issues Forum, and over 30 newspapers in opposing the Prop. 10 giveaway.  Vote No.   www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/clean_vehicles/no_on_prop_10.pdf  

11 – ? – Redistricting Commission.  This is a difficult one.  I’m leaning ever so slightly toward voting No.  Here are a few pros and cons along with some of the key supporters/opponents.  On the Yes side, it certainly makes sense to have a relatively independent commission, not legislators themselves, draw the district lines for legislators every 10 years.  If the result of this measure is the creation of a larger number of so-called competitive districts, that could lead to making a larger number of our elected representatives more responsive and accountable to the voters in their districts.  From a purely good government point of view, creating a redistricting commission is long overdue.  And this proposal is more logical than previous ones because it excludes Congressional districts (including them would be unfair because other states, such as Texas, don’t have similar commissions).  On the No side, from a purely partisan point of view, this could lead to either more Republicans being elected, or more likely, the same number of Dems and Reps being elected, but more of the Dems would be the so-called moderate, business-oriented Democrats-often the ones who don’t support environmental legislation.  Also, if the Commission becomes deadlocked on approving a plan, it would be kicked to the state supreme court to appoint a so-called special master.  Supporters of 11 include the League of Women Voters, Common Cause, AARP, NAACP, Governor Schwarzenegger, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Steve Westly, Gray Davis, Leon Panetta, California Democratic Council, numerous Republican clubs.   Opponents of Prop. 11 include the California Democratic Party, California League of Conservation Voters, MALDEF, California Federation of Teachers, Senator Barbara Boxer, AFSCME, Asian Law Caucus, and many, many Democratic clubs around the state.

12 – YES – Veterans’ Bond Act.  This is a $900,000,000 bond measure to provide home and farm aid to California veterans.  The monies would be spent on loans to veterans that they would have to pay back with interest.  Veterans often get the short end of the stick from the federal government.  Regardless of what we may think of the current war in the Middle East, our veterans deserve our thanks along with modest financial assistance.  Vote Yes.



N (OUSD) – NO – This is a $120/year parcel tax to fund teacher salaries for the stated purpose of attracting and retaining qualified teachers in Oakland’s public schools, with 15% of these funds going to Oakland’s charter schools.  We already pay $195/year parcel tax for Oakland’s public schools.  This proposed additional parcel tax does not have the support of the local teachers’ union-the group of people that purportedly would benefit the most.  Apparently, this was put on the ballot with virtually no input from the various stakeholders that should have been involved.  While it’s not easy to oppose a tax increase for public schools, this one appears to have very little support.

KK (Berkeley) – NO – Passage of this measure would require that the voters of Berkeley approve the creation of any transit-only traffic lanes, such as Bus Rapid Transit lanes, in Berkeley.  This would hinder efforts to promote more effective transit options in Berkeley and be a set-back for environmentally oriented transportation planning in the East Bay.  We elect representatives to make these decisions for us based on a deliberative process.  Let’s allow them to do their job.  The Sierra Club urges a No on measure KK.  

NN (Oakland) – YES – This measure would authorize the City of Oakland to levy a parcel tax for the express purposes of adding 105 police officers (on top of the 803 required by Measure Y passed in 2004) AND 75 crime investigation technicians to the Oakland police force, as well as to purchase a computerized crime data management system.  Virtually everyone agrees that we need more police and crime investigators in Oakland to help combat, deter and solve crimes.  The question is will we try to pay for this within our existing city budget, or will we find a new funding source for this vital service.  I say the responsible thing is to raise additional revenue so it won’t come out of other vital city services.  The parcel tax would start at less than $9.50 per month, but could rise as high as $23/month a few years from now.  Nevertheless, this is an essential service.  I strongly recommend a YES vote!

OO (Oakland) – NO – This measure would dramatically increase the already-existing “Kids First” fund in the City of Oakland.  The measure specifies that at least 2.5% of the entire Oakland city budget must be spent on the specified children’s programs.  Currently, the city must spend at least 1.5% of the City’s discretionary funds on these kids programs.  This measure does not specify where the money would come from other than the city’s general fund.  If the city didn’t have any ‘kids’ fund today, I would probably support this; but at a time of severe budget problems and significant cutbacks, we can’t afford this budget set-aside without identifying a new funding source at the same time.  These additional funds would have to come from cuts in other existing programs (senior services, parks, libraries, fire, etc.).  I recommend a NO vote.  

VV (AC Transit) – YES – This is a parcel tax to support AC Transit operations and bus maintenance.  The measure would double the existing parcel tax to a total of $96/year, with the tax expiring in 2019.  The purpose of this increase is to avoid fare increases and make sure transit services affordable and attractive.  I urge a Yes vote.  

WW (E.B.R.P.D.) – YES – Measure WW is the East Bay Regional Park District’s Bond extension to protect wildlife, purchase open space, and acquire and improve our regional parks and trails.  The current bond measure will be expiring soon.  This measure merely puts out a new bond to continue with the same level of funding.  In other words, your property taxes will not increase because of this measure.  Please vote YES on WW.  

 SAN FRANCISCO local ballot measures:

  A – Yes – This is a much-needed bond measure to re-build San Francisco General Hospital.  This is a no-brainer.  SFGH, which serves as the primary trauma center in San Francisco, does not meet seismic safety standards.  This bond measure is long overdue.  Vote Yes!

  B – Yes – The city is in dire need of more affordable housing.  While budget set-asides are not usually the best way to determine policy priorities, this one seems important enough to justify using this mechanism.  Vote Yes for more affordable housing in San Francisco.

  C – No – Prop. C uses a chainsaw approach in a situation that calls for a scalpel.  Top management should not be allowed on city commissions and no employee should be on a commission for the department in which they work; but Prop. C bans all city employees from serving on virtually all city commissions.  This overly broad measure is unnecessary and would prevent some good people from volunteering their service as a city commissioner.  Vote No.  

  D – Yes – This sounds like a smart plan for the Port of San Francisco’s Pier 70, and it’s really something that the Board of Supervisors should have the authority to do on their own through the annual budget process.  But it appears that a vote of the public is necessary to make this happen, so vote Yes.  

  E – Yes – This measure would increase the number of signatures required to recall a district level elected city official in San Francisco.  Recall petitions should not be easy, and this measure would make the city more consistent with existing state law.  A Yes vote makes sense to me.  

  F – Yes – Voter participation increases in even-numbered years, and the more people who participate in a local election, the more representative the result would be.  This is a good government.  On top of that, the city would also save some money that could be used for other essential services.  I urge a Yes vote.  

  G – Yes – This seems like a modest effort to make sure city employees have an opportunity to not lose any of their retirement benefits due to having to take parental leave in the past.  Vote Yes.  

  H – Yes – This is a local clean energy initiative that primarily deals with (a) setting aggressive goals for using clean sources of electricity (including Hetch Hetchy electricity), (b) requiring the San Francisco’s PUC to conduct electricity resource planning, including the development of a comprehensive plan to move San Francisco toward clean and efficient electricity generation and use, and (c) potentially moving toward a public power system of electricity distribution.  PG&E is understandably spending several million dollars to defeat it.  Don’t be fooled by the ads.  Prop. H includes a provision that simply adds one additional purpose for which a vote of the public is not required for the issuance of revenue bonds.  There is already in the City Charter eight situations when a vote is not required.  Revenue bonds are different from general obligation bonds.  Revenue bonds are paid back through income and savings from using the facilities that are built, not from property taxes.  Remember, Vote NO on 7, but YES on measure H.  Go to www.sfcleanenergy.com/about-the-clean-energy-act/frequently-asked-questions to find out the facts on this measure.  

  I –  ? – Not sure if this is necessary or even a good idea, and it essentially duplicates a provision in Prop. H anyway.  No recommendation.

  J – Yes – I’m generally leery of giving unelected commissions the authority to designate buildings as historic landmarks.  However, this measure does not do that.  It still retains final decisions on new historic building designations with the elected Board of Supervisors.  But this measure does allow this new commission to decide on permits once building are already designated as landmarks or deemed historic.  Overall, this seems like a well-crafted and balanced measure in terms of authority and oversight.  I recommend a Yes vote.  

  K – No – This measure does not appear to be well thought out.  While it may make sense to decriminalize prostitution and prioritize police investigations toward more serious crimes, this measure goes overboard.  I suggest voting No.  

  L – Yes – This appears to duplicate what was already approved by the Board of Supervisors regarding the funding for a Community Justice Center court.  Nevertheless, the services that will be provided by this CJC court are a big step in implementing valuable anti-recidivism programs.  It’s worth reaffirming this and putting it into statute so the initial funds can’t be decreased.  Vote Yes.  

  M – Yes – This measure provides additional protections and recourse for renters who are harassed by their landlord.  I recommend a Yes vote.  

  N – Yes – This measure does two things.  First, it doubles the real estate transfer tax for properties that sell for more than $5 million.  Second, it would reduce, but not eliminate, the tax for properties where the seller had installed a solar energy system or made seismic safety improvements.  This would incentivize homeowners to make needed seismic retrofit improvements as well as encourage them to install solar panels on their roofs.  The increase in the transfer tax for upper end properties would essentially pay for the tax losses on the other properties that have their transfer tax reduced.  Sounds like a great idea.  I urge a Yes vote.  

  O – Yes – This merely modernizes the city’s telephone user tax and modifies the fee that is used to fund local 911 services.  These changes are due to recent court rulings.  Vote Yes.  

  P – No – This removes almost all the members of the Board of Supervisors from the existing County Transportation Authority.  While adding the Mayor to this authority makes sense, taking away a majority of the board does not.  This is a power grab that should be rejected-I urge a No vote.  

  Q – Yes – This measure closes a loophole in the city’s payroll tax for businesses and increases the dollar threshold for the small business exemption, so a larger number of small businesses would be exempt from this tax.  This makes sense to me.  Vote Yes.  

 R – No – We all despise George W. Bush, so who would want to name anything-even a sewage treatment plant-after him in San Francisco.  This is a silly measure that should not be on the ballot.  Let’s not encourage these types of things.  Vote No.  

  S – Yes – This is merely a policy statement dealing with budget set-asides that voters can choose to ignore at any time in the future.  Nevertheless, it makes sense to ask elected officials and voters to consider the points outlined in this policy statement.  Might as well vote Yes.  

  T – Yes – This prioritizes substance abuse treatment and calls upon the city’s Department of Public Health (DPH) to implement a plan to make sure that sufficient treatment services to meet demand.  The city would be required to provide sufficient funding to allow DPH to meet expected demand.  Drug treatment is an important part of helping homeless and other people improve their lives.  Vote Yes.  

  U – Yes – This is merely a declaration of policy urging California senators and local members of Congress to stop funding the Iraq war.  The measure carries no force of law.  It does suggest that funds to facilitate a safe and orderly withdrawal would be acceptable.  Might as well vote Yes as a way of expressing your opposition to the war.    

  V – No – This is an unenforceable policy statement urging the SF School Board to reinstate Junior ROTC programs at some district high schools.  After extensive debate, the school board voted to phase out JROTC programs in San Francisco public schools.  Even though this is only an advisory measure, I would recommend reading the pro and con ballot arguments.  It seems on balance that those against the JROTC programs have stronger arguments, especially since some students are enrolled in this program by their parents against their will.  Neither this measure nor the action taken by the school board has or will have any impact on ROTC programs at public universities and colleges.  I respectfully urge a No vote.  


   A – YES – A parcel tax of $3 per month to fund anti-gang and violence prevention programs, including after-school programs and mentoring, as well as graffiti removal.  

   B – YES – A measure to remove some height restrictions on affordable housing in order to be eligible for certain pots of state and federal monies.  

   J – YES – $3.5 billion bond measure for community college construction, classroom repair, nursing and apprenticeship training, and earthquake safety.

   R – YES – Metropolitan Transportation Authority 1/2-cent sales tax to fund rail extentions, repair potholes, and relieve traffic congestion.  

CA Superdelegate Crystal Strait Chooses Obama

Friend of Calitics and DNC superdelegate Crystal Strait has endorsed Barack Obama today, one of several recent superdelegate endorsements for Obama that have now given him a lead with the supers over Hillary Clinton for the first time in the campaign. Strait, who is also the political action director for the California Democratic Party, is quoted in a press release put out by the Obama campaign:

While representing the Young Democrats of America at the DNC, my number one priority is to ensure that young people are fully represented at the polls and in the Party. Barack Obama has shown a real commitment to young voters in his campaign and in response young people have overwhelmingly voted and caucused for Obama in these primary contests. We know that if a young person votes three times in a row for a Party, they become a Party voter for life. We know that because of high youth turnout in 2004 and 2006, 2008 is the third and critical election for young voters. And that’s why I know I want to pledge my delegate vote to Barack Obama.

This is pretty solid reasoning, and not just because it mirrors my own thinking. Crystal Strait helped to put together a panel on youth voters at the San José CDP convention in March and many of the stats she cites were presented there as well, and I recall thinking to myself “if this isn’t a powerful argument for an Obama nomination I don’t know what is.”

Her decision comes after some intense lobbying. As Frank Russo notes at the California Progress Report Chelsea Clinton had met with her on several occasions to try and win Strait’s support, and both Hillary and Bill Clinton had “private conversations” with her as well. There are bound to be some questions about why Strait did not make this decision sooner, as the reasons she cited were apparent several months ago – but it is clearly an important decision.

And it’s the right decision. Kudos to Crystal Strait for throwing her support behind Barack Obama.

Liveblogging SD-3 Regional Endorsement Meeting

(The only live line in the room – promoted by Lucas O’Connor)

(Cross-posted on California Majority Report).

I’ll be liveblogging the SD-3 regional endorsement battle between Senator Carole Migden, Assemblymember Mark Leno, and former Assemblymember Joe Nation. Stay tuned! This should be fun, horrifying, or a fascinating drama depending on your perspective.

[Update by Lucas] Leno campaign is reporting more than 50 Leno supporter ballots are missing.  “Disenfranchisement” is running through the room.

5:41 — Sorry for the delay. I had connection issues. One of the moderators assured the crowd that “this is a fair and open process, and we will wait for all ballots to be counted.” Around 5:30 or so, Leno spoke followed by Migden. Both touted their records as one would expect. Said Leno, “Without choice, there is no accountability. Without accountability, there is no responsibility.” Meanwhile, Migden emphasized the gender imbalance in the Senate, concluding her speech with “I am a woman. I am a woman. And let me just say, I still am a woman.” Voting officially closed at 5:41, and they say results will be coming in 20 minutes or so.  

6:29 — Counting now. Attention Adam Borelli. You’re wanted in room. Currently 15-9 Migden ahead.

6:38 — Currently 46-27. About 270 in total.

6:47 — Some dispute over a vote by Migden’s folks. It would be a “fair and open process” if the moderators articulated into the microphone a little more! Seriously, I have no clue what that was about. Anyway, we’re up to 75-57. Migden still ahead.

7:05 — 128-97. Migden ahead.

7:13 — Vote is 149-115 with 2 for Nation, 2 without endorsement, 1 challenge against Leno, 1 questionable, and 2 unmarked. That leaves the unofficial but close enough for this famished soul tally at 55% Migden and 42% Leno. The next step: once the vote is finalized, Leno folks are going to try and gather enough signatures (300) of delegates to remove the endorsement from the consent calendar. If they succeed, the endorsement vote will happen during a general session with all delegates able to vote. The Leno folks have until 11 pm to gather the signatures. Obviously, the missing ballot issue earlier delayed this process a bit. I suspect this isn’t the last we’ve heard of that incident from the Leno campaign.

Pasadena Democracy for America endorsed Russ Warner in the CA 26th Congressional District

Pasadena Democracy for America endorsed Russ Warner for the CA 26th Congressional District last Thursday in Monrovia.


We finally have a solid candidate to run against David Dreier – a 25 year incumbent Republican for the 26th CD.  Russ Warner will help us turn another red district blue and we’re excited about that.

It’s not too early to start working for Russ’ campaign.  Pasadena DFA intends on precinct walking, phone banking, tabling at farmers markets throughout the San Gabriel Valley, and doing whatever we can to “Fire Dreier”.  

We have responsibility, residing in a blue 29th CD, to help our red neighboring CD’s get Democrats elected.  We take that seriously!

Harry Belafonte endorses John Edwards!

I think there may be some dispute between supporters of different candidates about who has the coolest celebrity endorsement, but for my money, the best one so far this campaign season is the endorsement of John Edwards today by Harry Belafonte.

Belafonte, who became famous in the 1950s by popularizing Calypso music from the Caribbean, has been a long time human rights activist. Among other things, he worked with the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement in the 1960s. He hasn’t stopped working for the betterment of humanity since.

The Life of Harry Belafonte

Belafonte with Sidney Poitier and Charlton Heston at the 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington

From wikipedia:

Like Robeson and other African-American entertainers, Belafonte’s success in the arts did not protect him from racial discrimination, particularly in the South of the United States. As a result, he refused to perform in the South of the U.S. from 1954 until 1961. In 1960, President John F. Kennedy named Belafonte as cultural advisor to the Peace Corps. Belafonte was an early supporter of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and one of Martin Luther King’s confidants. He provided for King’s family, since King made only $8,000 a year as a preacher. Like many civil rights activists, he was blacklisted during the McCarthy era. He bailed King out of the Birmingham City Jail and raised thousands of dollars to release other imprisoned civil rights protesters. He financed the Freedom Rides, supported voter registration drives, and helped to organize the March on Washington in 1963.

In 1968, Belafonte appeared on a Petula Clark primetime television special on NBC. In the middle of a song, Clark smiled and briefly touched Belafonte’s arm, which made the show’s sponsor, Plymouth Motors, nervous. Plymouth wanted to cut out the segment, but Clark, who had ownership of the special, told NBC that the performance would be shown intact or she would not allow the special to be aired at all. American newspapers published articles reporting the controversy and, when the special aired, it grabbed high viewing figures. Clark’s gesture marked the first time in which two people of different races made friendly bodily contact on U.S. television.

And there’s a lot more…

In 1987, he received an appointment to UNICEF as a goodwill ambassador. Following his appointment, Belafonte travelled to Dakar, Senegal, where he served as chairman of the International Symposium of Artists and Intellectuals for African Children. He also helped to raise funds, alongside more than 20 other artists, in the largest concert ever held in sub-Saharan Africa. In 1994 he went on a mission to Rwanda, and launched a media campaign to raise awareness of the needs of Rwandan children. In 2001 he went to South Africa to support the campaign against HIV/AIDS. In 2002, Africare awarded him the Bishop John T. Walker Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award for his efforts to assist Africa. In 2004 Belafonte went to Kenya to stress the importance of educating children in the region.

I’ve been a fan of Belafonte for many years, ever since my mother introduced me to his music when I was probably in junior high school. One year, my sisters and I asked her what she wanted for Christmas, and she told us she wanted a copy of Harry Belafonte’s hit record from the 1950s, “Calypso.” That was the first time I ever heard of him, and this great album quickly became one of my favorites. I got to see him in concert probably least about 20 years ago now, and it was a wonderful concert!

Since I am a fan of Harry Belafonte, I want to share with you a couple of entertaining videos of him that I found on YouTube. I hope you will enjoy these!

Harry Belafonte on the Smothers Brothers Show

Harry Belafonte on the Muppet Show

Harry Belafonte and Nat King Cole

Belafonte’s endorsement of John Edwards today

Here’s what Harry Belafonte had to say about John Edwards when he endorsed him today in South Carolina. (Article and Video here.)

Belafonte is a likable, friendly man: one genuinely concerned with people and the state of this country. He says John Edwards is the only candidate also concerned and compassionate enough to try and deal with it.

“I’ve looked at his platform on education, healthcare, poverty, what young people are going through and I have come to believe he’s the best candidate,” Belafonte said.

He says all the other candidates talk about the plight of the middle class, While only Edwards talks about the poor.

“I also happen to believe that had he not so forcefully and precisely put the issue of poverty into this campaign, I don’t think we’d be talking aobut it as much as we are,” Belafonte said.

Belafonte feels Edwards was sincere when he announced his candidacy in New Orleans, saying it showed a commitment to the people devastated by hurricane Katrina.

“I’ve talked with John Edwards. I’ve looked into heart and his soul,” Belafonte says.

He added that Edwards has the makings of a great president. Belafonte attended a rally with Edwards at the College of Charleston.

Thank you to this great humanitarian, Harry Belafonte, for recognizing and supporting the promise of another great humanitarian, John Edwards.

The above is cross-posted from Daily Kos

(Note: Updated below to fix a mistake about the location.)

As an example of Harry Belafonte’s respect in the activist community, this Sunday in San Francisco, he will be honored by the ACLU of Northern California with the Chief Justice Earl Warren Civil Liberties Award at the organization’s Bill of Rights Day Celebration. I wish I could be there.

Celebrating the Bill of Rights,

Achieving Justice for All!


registration opens at 1 pm


light refreshments, no-host bar



wheelchair accessible

JOIN US in Honoring:

Harry Belafonte

Click here for information on tickets.

Interview with Friends of the Earth Action President Blackwelder Re Edwards Endorsement

Interview by Tom P, and cross-posted from Daily Kos with his permission.

Last week, Friends of the Earth Action (“FOE Action”) endorsed John Edwards.  This week, I interviewed Brent Blackwelder, President of Friends of the Earth and of Friends of the Earth Action, about FOE Action’s endorsement of John Edwards.

Part I of the interview is in this diary. 

Here’s a little about FOE Action for those unfamiliar with it:

Founded by David Brower in 1967, Friends of the Earth Action has established a 35-year record of not only fighting the tough battles, but winning them too. FoE Action provides extra political muscle on legislative battles here in the U.S. for to our sister organization, Friends of the Earth, which is part of a network of affiliates in over 70 nations around the world. 


FoE Action looks beyond the symptoms of environmental degredation, to the systemic causes.

FOE Action

Come around after the fold to hear a real hero of the struggle to save our planet.

Mr. Blackwelder is a long-time advocate for the planet and the people on it.  He has worked in Washington DC for over 30 years fighting for clean air, clean water, and a healthy planet.  He has testified before Congress on environmental issues more than 100 times. 

Mr. Blackwelder was founder and first chairman of the board of American Rivers, our nation’s leading river-saving organization. He also founded the Environmental Policy Institute, which merged with Friends of the Earth in 1989.  In 1994 he became president of Friends of the Earth and FOE Action. 

More on Mr. Blackwelder here: Friends of the Earth

On October 14, FOE Action became the first major environmental organization to endorse a candidate for president, and they endorsed John Edwards:

WASHINGTON, DC — Friends of the Earth Action (FOE Action), one of the longest-standing, national environmental organizations in the country, today announced its endorsement of Senator John Edwards for President, citing his leadership on real solutions to combat global warming and his unequivocal position against dangerous and expensive nuclear power.

“Friends of the Earth Action enthusiastically endorses John Edwards for President,” said Brent Blackwelder, president of FOE Action.

Friends of the Earth Action Endorses John Edwards

Mr. Blackwelder answered 10 questions that I sent him via email.  Here is Part I of the Interview.  I will publish the remaining questions and answers in Part II tomorrow.

Q:  What most differentiates John Edwards from the other Democratic presidential candidates with respect to environmental issues?

A:  Of the leading Democratic candidates for president, John Edwards is most committed, and best prepared, to halt global warming and promote a healthy, livable planet for our families and our future. Friends of the Earth Action feels John Edwards has set the paces among all of the Democratic candidates by putting forth a plan that provides real action to combat global warming. 

We encourage people to visit our web site,  www.foeaction.org . to learn more about why we endorsed Edwards and facts about his environmental record.

Q:  John Edwards has proposed a global warming plan that will reduce greenhouse pollution by 20 percent by 2020, and reduce it by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050.  What in this plan do you feel will be most effective in achieving this reduction?

A:  John Edwards plans to share America’s clean energy technology with other nations in exchange for binding greenhouse reduction commitments. If necessary, he will insist that strong labor and environmental standards in our trade deals include commitments on climate change. This new deal will require global participation, promote shared responsibility, and let American workers and businesses compete on a level playing field.  In addition, Edwards’ plan will lead America to a new energy economy by investing in clean, renewable energy and creating a million new jobs. 

Q:  Polluters often attempt to present a false choice between environmental degradation and jobs.  In fact, clean, green technologies can mean more jobs for Americans, and good paying jobs.  Edwards proposes creating at least 1 million “green collar jobs” by investing in clean energy and energy efficient technologies.  Can you explain the relationship of economic growth, including good paying jobs, and using clean, green technologies?

A: Edwards really gets it: green does not have to mean fewer jobs.  If our nation makes  serious and smart investments in clean energy technologies, such as wind, solar and geothermal, we can create good-paying jobs, expand markets for the renewable energy industry and secure our country’s energy future. 

Renewables are secure and viable alternatives to dirty, fossil fuels and costly and dangerous nuclear power. They can be scaled up relatively quickly, which means jobs and economic growth for states and local communities in the U.S., particularly in rural areas that have been hardest hit by economic downturns but have the space for these technologies to be constructed and brought online.

Q:  What can FoE Action do to help John Edwards be nominated and then elected?  I understand you plan to set up an independent campaign on Edwards’ behalf in New Hampshire.  How will that work?  How can people inside and outside New Hampshire help you ?

A:  We plan to be especially active in New Hampshire, establishing an independent campaign and organization to carry the message about John Edwards’ global warming plan and his vision for a healthy environment. There is a powerful, untapped environmental constituency out there that is up for grabs in this country and we are here to lend our voice to push that constituency toward Edwards.  We believe he has the right vision and record to tap that constituency. 

In New Hampshire, there are a lot of Democratic primary voters who care deeply about the quality of their environment and cite it as a top concern when choosing a nominee for president. In particular, voters in the Granite State are looking for real action to combat global warming. We plan to spend the next 3 months letting these voters know that John Edwards is the candidate best qualified and most committed to help achieve this big and bold goal. 

Please visit the FoE Action website to find out how you can get involved in our campaign to elect John Edwards as president: www.foeaction.org.


I’d like to thank Brent Blackwelder for granting me this interview and Jenna Moran for facilitating it.  I will publish Part II of the interview tomorrow.

I also want to thank Mr. Blackwelder for his years of service to people and our planet in fighting corporate polluters and a corrupt government.

And like he says:  Please visit the FoE Action website to find out how you can get involved in our campaign to elect John Edwards as president: www.foeaction.org.

Palm Springs City Council – Rick Hutcheson Endorsed by The Desert Sun

The Desert Sun in its Sunday, October 14, 2007, edition, endorsed Rick Hutcheson for Palm Springs City Council.

“Hutcheson, a planning commissioner and co-owner of a real estate company, is a creative thinker with an impressive background in business and government. He brings ideas for the future.

More below the flip…

The Desert Sun continued:

“On the Planning Commission, Hutcheson pushed for conservation, green building standards and renewable energy in the general plan.

“He’s voted for developments like the Mondrian Hotel and Port Lawrence, showing he recognizes the importance of development to the city’s economic vitality.  But he also understands the need to balance development and preserve neighborhoods.

“He is proposing an emergency ordinance to review current regulations, like signage and parking, that affect businesses.  He wants “ambassadors” to assist people seeking permits or approvals from the city.  He also favors using the city’s business improvement district to develop a block-by-block marketing plan.  “This is not Manhattan,” he said.  “This is a workable amount of space and working with our local residents we can figure out how to do a better job.”

“He wants to create more signature events to bring people downtown in slow months, and he favors giving John Wessman a deadline for replacing the Desert Fashion Plaza.  He said the city must “act quickly.”  But we think it will be harder and far more complex than he realizes.

“Strong leadership in business will be tantamount to ensuring the type of downtown revitalization Palm Springs is going to need. Hutcheson can do this job.  He has great ideas.

Hutcheson recognizes the importance of public safety and has some ideas for increasing the number of police officers on the street. One idea: consider using private security to respond to alarms. He said the city responds to 2,000 false alarms a year.”

The Desert Sun continues:

“He knows what matters.  “First thing, the city has to deliver on the basics,” he said.  “That means clean streets, clean benches, stop the graffiti and vandalism, trim the Palm Trees.”

“He has broad-based support from the planning commissioners, neighborhood groups and three Democratic clubs, the AFL-CIO, the Palm Springs Police Officers Association and the Fire Safety Unit.  He also counts councilman and mayoral candidate Steve Pougnet as one of his closest advisers.

Hutcheson is smart, has been actively involved in the city and is a progressive thinker.

The endorsement of The Desert Sun along with the ringing endorsements of the three major Democratic Clubs in Palm Springs, including the Desert Stonewall Democratic Club, the Palm Springs Democratic Club, and the Democrats of the Desert Democratic Club, aa well as the endorsements of many civic, political, and neighborhood organizations should go a long way towards helping Hutcheson attain his goal of a first term on Palm Springs City Council.