Our Endorsements: SF’s June 5, 2018 Elections

Successfully achieving our mission of promoting the bicycle for everyday transportation requires public support and political power. That is why one of the objectives of our 2018-2022 Strategic Plan is to “elect powerful champions for bicycling as mayor of San Francisco, in key supervisorial districts, and to other important offices citywide.” Members helped us craft that goal, members voted on our endorsements for the June 5 elections, and members elected us as your SF Bicycle Coalition board of directors.

This election is particularly challenging for us, because transportation is overshadowed by other important issues like housing and homelessness. But we also understand that this is a critical election for all San Franciscans who bike. In considering these endorsements, we checked our broader opinions at the door and focused on what is best for advancing our mission of promoting the bicycle for everyday transportation.

While our member vote showed a diversity of opinions, it also showed clear preferences for the endorsements we have ratified as your SF Bicycle Coalition’s board of directors. We believe the candidates we’ve endorsed will elevate biking in our city and be the leaders for smart, accessible and affordable transportation that San Franciscans deserve.

For the 2018 San Francisco elections on June 5, our official endorsements are:

  • Mayor: Jane Kim and Mark Leno (dual endorsement)
  • Board of Supervisors, District 8: Rafael Mandelman
  • Yes on Regional Measure 3
  • No on Proposition H

Mayor: Amid a packed mayoral field, members strongly favored Jane Kim and Mark Leno, with all other candidates significantly behind them. Both Kim and Leno boast records and positions on transportation issues that garnered the strong support of our members.

Jane Kim has a long history of actively supporting street safety projects in District 6, which she presently represents on the Board of Supervisors. She authored the City’s 2014 Vision Zero resolution. As chair of the SF County Transportation Authority’s Vision Zero Committee, she led the effort to institutionalize the Vision Zero approach to street safety and repeatedly held City departments accountable for implementing it. Kim has demonstrated political leadership in fast-tracking bike lane projects there, including the Polk Street contraflow, Folsom Street, Turk Street, Seventh and Eighth streets, Division Street, and more. She is the most visible and outspoken supporter of bike share and congestion pricing among the candidates. Kim has a long history of engaging with our organization, from her experience learning how to bike through our bike education offerings. She consistently shows a strong understanding of transportation policy and was the first — and so far only — mayoral candidate to share a detailed transportation platform.

Mark Leno has been a member of the SF Bicycle Coalition for 20 years. He has been a strong ally at the Board of Supervisors, State Assembly, and State Senate. He sponsored the 2001 resolution for the first permanent bike lane on Valencia. We endorsed Leno during his successful run for state senator in 2008. He was widely regarded as one of Sacramento’s most effective lawmakers and regularly put forward environmentally-friendly bills. Specific to transportation, he passed Assembly Bill 1358 in 2008, the Complete Streets Act. This groundbreaking law required cities throughout California to consider the needs of people walking and biking when making general plans and enabled SF to secure substantial One Bay Area Grants funding for projects like Masonic Avenue, Second Street and Mansell Street. Leno also championed Senate Bill 1492, which authorized San Francisco to increase the vehicle license fee upon voter approval, which could bring critical funding to transportation projects.

Kim and Leno were the clear favorites in our member voting for good reason and both deserve our endorsement. Ranking our two endorsed candidates as your first and second choices can help your vote elect a very bike-friendly mayor, even if your first choice is defeated.

Board of Supervisors, District 8: We endorse Rafael Mandelman, who has expressed vocal support for the Upper Market Street project without ever backtracking on that support. He supported the 17th Street protected bike lane, as well. Our members favored Mandelman by a two-to-one margin over the next candidate, Supervisor Jeff Sheehy.

Yes on Regional Measure 3: This measure proposes a graduated $3 bridge toll increase for all seven state-owned bridges in the Bay Area, which will bring in $4.5 billion for transportation capital improvements. We believe this funding is critical for the upkeep of Bay Area transit and will bring important investments to bicycle and pedestrian improvements, including $150 million for SF Bay Trail and Safe Routes to Transit projects.

No on Proposition H: We have strong concerns that the passage of this measure would undermine a robust, public discussion around the SF Police Department’s use of tasers. Proposition H would take away the ability of the Police Commission to set taser policy for the Police Department, effectively shortcutting established policymaking processes. If passed, this initiative would allow using tasers on nonviolent people. Given the intersection of police brutality and traffic stops involving young men of color, like the brutal police beatings of cyclists D’Paris “DJ” Williams in 2013 and Donovan Reid in 2016, we oppose Proposition H. This law would not make us safer. In fact it would put people who bike — particularly people of color who bike — at greater risk. (You can read more from the campaign in their SF Examiner op-ed here.)

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