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Off Year

Because San Francisco runs its municipal elections on a weird schedule (mayor, DA, public defender, and sheriff the year before a presidential election; treasurer and a few other offices the year after), I voted today. Go me.

Of course, it wouldn't be an election without a few propositions in the mix, so we had a few of those as well, including a particularly annoying example of zoning-by-ballot-box. As a result, I find myself in the unusual position of supporting a well-funded developer who is opposed by organizations like the SF Democratic Party and the Sierra Club. Why? Because the developer got their approvals exactly like they were supposed to -- it's not the developer who's trying to take an end-run around the city planning process. This is one of my major beefs with San Francisco: we can't have a coherent, comprehensive city plan, because whenever someone either wants or doesn't want a project, it ends up on the ballot. So everything happens piecemeal, based on the whims of whoever can be bothered to come to the polls in that particular year. This is especially a problem in these off year elections. I cast my vote after work, around 6pm, and according to the counter on the ballot reading machine, I was only the 26th person to do so in my precinct. Off-year elections are decided by a tiny, tiny percentage of the voting public.

Anyway, my irritations with the California proposition system are many and well-documented, so I won't go off into the full rant today. ;) But it's democracy in action, for good and for ill.

This entry is also posted at http://owlmoose.dreamwidth.org/647500.html. There are currently comment count unavailable comments on DW.

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owlmoose
Nov. 7th, 2013 02:03 am (UTC)
All good additional points. It was going to bee even worse in this election, because someone was agitating for the city to be required to send the entire environmental impact report relating to the proposition B development project to every single registered voter in the city -- a text the size of a phone book. Fortunately good sense prevailed. Consider the environmental impact of *that*.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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