Your Hyperlocal Analysis of 2016 Primary Election Results in Bernal Heights

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Citizens! On Tuesday we did the Democracy Dance, as many tens of thousands of San Franciscans went to the polls to vote in the 2016  California Primary. Now that the results are in, Bernalwood reached out to Neighbor Adam to provide some of his signature, precinct-by-precinct analysis of how Bernal Heights voted.

In this installment, Neighbor Adam looked at two of the most hyperlocally polarizing (and Zeitgeist-revealing) contests on the ballot: The Democratic presidential campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, and the face-off between D11 State Senate candidates Scott Wiener and Jane Kim.

According to the results posted by the San Francisco Department of Elections, Clinton thumped Sanders by nearly 20,000 votes citywide, winning 55% of the vote vs. Sanders’s 44%. The D11 State Senate contest was much closer, with Scott Wiener edging out Jane Kim by 3000 votes, 46% vs. 44%.

But how did Bernalese vote? For that, let’s go to Neighbor Adam at the Bernalwood Election Analysis Desk:

Here’s a quick analysis of the Democratic primary for president and the State Senate race between Wiener and Kim. These numbers are based on the final numbers on Election night, but there are still some vote-by-mail votes yet to be counted. Not sure how much they will change the results, but I don’t think much.

The Elections department didn’t  break out the votes by neighborhoods, like they have in the past, so I was stuck having to look at the precincts. These don’t match up exactly with the neighborhoods (N. Bernal and S. Bernal) that Elections has used in the past, so I had to approximate. The biggest difference this time around is that I omitted 3 precincts that are officially part of “South Bernal” but that we all consider part of Glen Park.

So what we have so far:

Democratic Presidential Primary

South Bernal
Sanders – 1104 – 46%
Clinton – 1306 – 54%

North Bernal
Sanders – 1880 – 50%
Clinton – 1848 – 50%

State Senate Race

South Bernal
Jane Kim – 1266 – 54%
Scott Wiener – 1093 – 46%

North Bernal
Jane Kim – 2151 – 59%
Scott Wiener – 1513 – 41%

(Note: Percentages are based on the total votes just for the top two candidates; third-place and other votes are not included. But these other votes generally made up less than 5% in each race.)

There are a couple of interesting takeaways here.

First, as we witnessed in past elections, North Bernal (which includes everything north of Cortland, but also includes a few blocks south of Cortland from Folsom to Bayshore) leans slightly left of South Bernal. This is much more obvious in the Wiener/Kim race than it is in the Clinton/Sanders race.

I looked at Bernal micro-neighborhood differences, based on Bernalwood’s subdistrict map:

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Quite honestly, not a whole lot of difference. For South Bernal, most precincts went Clinton, with Sanders winning only south of Holly Park (in precinct 7944, which includes a bit of the Holly Park sub-neighborhood and a bit of the Baja Cortlandia sub-neighborhood).

The most interesting discrepancies can be found in North Bernal, where Sanders won the precincts bordering Mission and Cesar Chavez, with Clinton winning the precincts going up the hill and over to Cortland St. It looks to me there is something of an elevation issue for North Bernal — the higher up the hill you are, the more likely you were to vote for Clinton.

In the Wiener/Kim race, every precinct in both North Bernal and South Bernal favored Kim, except three: the two precincts that make up The Lost Tribe of College Hill (which Wiener now represents as their district Supervisor, and which he won handily) and a single precinct in The Hill People of Powhattan subregion, directly above the 101 (where Wiener squeaked out a win). Kim won every other Bernal district by fairly large margins, across the board.

The second interesting takeaway is that Kim’s totals did not mirror Sanders’ totals. For instance, Kim’s strongest precinct in Bernal was 7936, in Cortlandia, which was also a Clinton stronghold. It’s tempting to say that quite a few Kim voters broke right and voted for Clinton (or that quite a few Clinton voters broke left to vote for Kim), but it bears observing that more people voted for Kim/Wiener than voted for Sanders/Clinton. This is no doubt due to the nonpartisan nature of the Kim/Wiener race, meaning that that election was on every ballot, where the Clinton/Sanders race was only on the Democratic ballots (which some “no party preference” voters could request if they wanted).

It’s hard to know, then, how much gender may have played a role in Bernal’s vote totals (accounting for Kim and Clinton winning the neighborhoods) vs. how much did the third-party voters play a role in the Kim-Wiener race.

One final detail: The Department of Elections says that voter participation was 49.9% of registered voters in North Bernal, and 46.3% in South Bernal.

So there you have it, Citizens! Very special thanks to Neighbor Adam for crunching the numbers, and onward we go to the General Election in November.

Citizens! It’s Election Day in Bernal Heights!

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Citizens of Bernalwood, today is the day to strap on your democracy and get thee to a polling place. It’s Primary Election Day, 2016!

Here’s some last-minute guidance from your San Francisco Department of Elections:

All San Francisco polling places citywide are open for voters from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

San Franciscans can confirm the location of their polling place at sfelections.org/pollsite or by calling (415) 554-4375.

Voters may also vote at the City Hall Voting Center. Located on the ground floor of City Hall, the Voting Center is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Vote-by-mail voters may drop off their ballots from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at any polling place in San Francisco, at the Department’s Ballot Drop-off Stations outside two City Hall entrances–the main entrance at Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place (Polk Street) and the Grove Street entrance– or at the Department’s office.

Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked with today’s date and received by the Department of Elections no later than Friday, June 10.

Got that?  Good!

Happily, voter-participation in Bernal Heights is usually rather high, and if Neighbor Tom’s experience this morning is any indication, that trend is set to continue this year:

PHOTO: Election Day on Precita Avenue, 2011 by Telstar Logistics

UPDATED: Cheerful Painted Rock Becomes Charged Political Battlespace

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Until now, painted rock on the north side of Bernal Hill has mostly been used as a festive way to celebrate seasonal holidays like Valentine’s DayChristmas, and St. Patrick’s Day. Also: your mama.

Over the weekend, however, the  colorful decor took an unfortunate turn as the rock became a political canvas where supporters of Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton took turns bashing one another.

Neighbor Karen documented the battle between the Bernie-ites and the Clintonistas.

This past Thursday: the gold-painted rock was painted blue. (shown above)

Saturday AM: Two women were spotted adorning the blue with “Bernie Rocks”:

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By Sunday, this was defaced:

Rock.Defacement

Later Sunday, this countered the defacement:

Rock.Defense

Frankly, this is an unfortunate development. Aside from the fact that slogans painted on a rock are unlikely to influence the behavior of even one actual voter, the only real winners in the debate are the killjoys who have always opposed any painting on the rock at all.

Just saying: As a surface for seasonal art and creative expression, the painted rock has become a Bernal Heights icon. But as a battlespace between rival Democratic factions, the rock is about as much fun as political discourse on cable television. Or, put another way, all that is pretty much the exact opposite of this:

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UPDATE 26 April, 9:50 am: Ah, that’s more like it. Neighbor Christiano tells us that as of this morning, the rock has been transformed yet again. Yay!purplerock

PHOTOS: Blue rock battle by Neighbor Karen. Cupid rock from 2012, by Neighbor Rally.

MUNI Riders Resist Complaints; Say New Mission Street “Red Carpet” Is Working

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Your Bernalwood editor rode a MUNI 14 bus down Mission Street yesterday for the first time in a long time. The bus was modern and new, and the ride was conspicuously swift. Thank you, Mission Street red carpet!

A few weeks ago, D9 Supervisor David Campos decided to stand with the cars, arguing that the new Mission Street red carpet and transit improvements must be rolled back:

I have heard from many of you — car commuters frustrated by traffic jams that stretch multiple blocks; pedestrians concerned about increased safety risks because of irate drivers; residents along the corridor dealing with nonstop yelling and honking horns; and small businesses unable to get goods into their stores because unloading zones have been taken away. That’s why I’m calling on the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to make a radical shift in the program

While it’s certainly true that the new configuration on Mission Street has caused some disruption and side-street spillover, it’s not at all clear the program should radically revised right now.  A “Transit First” policy is city law, after all, and it takes time for old habits to change and new traffic patterns to become familiar. Best of all, there are already signs that the red carpets and mandatory turns are working as intended; MUNI riders say the changes have dramatically improved bus service along Mission Street:

Writing at the N Judah Chronicles, transit blogger Greg Dewar says the backlash typifies why it’s so devilishly hard to make MUNI the much-better transit system everyone says they want:

If you’ve ever wondered why it is hard to Get Things Done with Muni, the current brouhaha over improvements in the Mission to the 14 Mission, and to traffic in general is an example. Muni rolled out some significant improvements to the 14 Mission line, and already there’s “anger” from a few nuts online. The changes have had less than a few weeks to take hold, but apparently dealing with the changes is too difficult for some people to handle like adults – hence the temper tantrums online in places like the infamous “NextDoor.com” and in the media.

These folks have found politicians eager to score political points, enough so that the SFMTA may back down on plans it has been working on for almost TEN years (and about a zillion “community meetings” in the process).

The SF Transit Riders, a grassroots organization that represents public transit users, has launched a #KeepMissionRed campaign to support the red carpet lanes:

Starting in March, after a decade of numerous community discussions, planning and studies, Muni finally started installing transit priority treatments on Mission Street. Just a month in and despite flagrant violations by drivers, they are already benefiting riders by making their rides faster and more reliable.

However, there has been a major backlash against these changes, and some, in particular Supervisor David Campos, have called for rollback of this major progress. It is a betrayal of the 65,000 riders who are served by the 14, 14R and 49 buses, as well as a betrayal of the Transit First charter of this city.

Along with my high-speed ride down Mission Street yesterday, I’ve also noticed that the morning traffic backups at the Mission/Cesar Chavez intersection have subsided. The line of cars waiting to turn left from Cesar Chavez onto South Van Ness is longer than it used to be, but the new queue seems to move pretty quickly.

It’s reasonable to assume that some adjustments to the new red carpet configuration may be needed. But a “radical shift” to the program, as Supervisor Campos has suggested, would be irresponsible and unprogressive. The recent rollback of the single-lane configuration for the San Jose Avenue exit from I-280 provides an encouraging sign that transit officials will abandon new traffic schemes when time, data, and experience demonstrate that changes aren’t working as intended. Truth is, we don’t yet know what’s best for Mission Street.

Patience seems like the best policy here. The red carpet lanes on Mission Street need more time  to settle in. If we sincerely want to improve our public transit system, the SFMTA should be encouraged to try new things, and we should expect that real progress usually takes time to reveal itself.

PHOTO: Top, a worker installs flexible bollards to prevent traffic from crossing Mission Street at Cesar Chavez, April 7, 2015. Photo by Telstar Logistics

Bernal Hill Is Backdrop for NY Times Article on New Housing Politics

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In case you missed it over the weekend, Sunday’s New York Times described the shifting dynamics of housing politics in San Francisco, as a new generation of activists seeks to fight displacement and sky-rocketing rents by building more housing for everyone in San Francisco, more quickly.

The article is an interesting read for anyone who cares about affordability in San Francisco, but the online version of the story opens with a drop-dead gorgeous view of Twin Peaks and Noe Valley as seen from Bernal Hill during a perfect golden sunset.

From our hill, the City’s multitudes are revealed.

When you’re done bathing in the fullscreen warmth of that image, the article goes on to frame the housing debate as a struggle between old-guard San Francisco ideologues and a younger generation of activists who are priced out of the housing market:

Across the country, a reversal in urban flight has ignited debates over gentrification, wealth, generational change and the definition of the modern city. It’s a familiar battle in suburbs, where not-in-my-backyard homeowners are an American archetype.

In San Francisco, though, things get weird. Here the tech boom is clashing with tough development laws and resentment from established residents who want to choke off growth to prevent further change.

[Sonja Trauss from the Bay Area Renters Federation]] is the result: a new generation of activist whose pro-market bent is the opposite of the San Francisco stereotypes — the lefties, the aging hippies and tolerance all around.

Ms. Trauss’s cause, more or less, is to make life easier for real estate developers by rolling back zoning regulations and environmental rules. Her opponents are a generally older group of progressives who worry that an influx of corporate techies is turning a city that nurtured the Beat Generation into a gilded resort for the rich.

Those groups oppose almost every new development except those reserved for subsidized affordable housing. But for many young professionals who are too rich to qualify for affordable housing, but not rich enough to afford $5,000-a-month rents, this is the problem.

Adding to the strangeness is that the typical San Francisco progressive and the typical mid-20s-to-early-30s member of Ms. Trauss’s group are likely to have identical positions on every liberal touchstone, like same-sex marriage and climate change, and yet they have become bitter enemies on one very big issue: housing.

The Times article also includes some nifty multimedia audio and a cameo from our D9 Supervisor David Campos, so check out the whole thing.

D9 Supervisor Candidates Square Off in Bernal Heights

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The political hopefuls competing to become the next District 9 Supervisor convened last Thursday night, as the Bernal Heights Democratic Club (BHDC)  held a candidate endorsement forum at the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center.

Our current D9 representative, Supervisor David Campos, is termed-out this year, and five candidates seek to replace him. They are:

  • Joshua Arce: 40, a pragmatic progressive with close ties to the labor, nonprofit housing, and environmental movements.
  • Iswari España: 42, a training officer with the San Francisco Human Services Agency.
  • Edwin Lindo: 29, A Bernal resident and Bernal Height Neighborhood Center board member who is also active with the San Francisco Latino Democratic Club.
  • Hillary Ronen: 40, A legislative aide to David Campos and his chosen successor, backed by the progressive establishment.
  • Melissa San Miguel 29, a former policy manager with the National Center for Youth Law and former MissionLocal reporter

Reporter Joshua Sabatini from the San Francisco Examiner attended the BHDC endorsement forum, and he proclaimed Ronen and Arce to be the front-runners. Here’s how he described Ronen’s pitch:

Ronen says she is part of a larger movement to preserve the progressive majority bloc on the Board of Supervisors, running for one of the three open seats this November with termed out progressive supervisors.

She has secured the sole endorsements of the traditional progressive candidate backers like Service Employees International Union 1021 — the government employee’s largest labor union — and the California Nurses Associations, Unite Here Local 2 and former Assemblymember Tom Ammiano.

Ronen blames the Mission’s crisis on Mayor Ed Lee and his allies for “short-sighted thinking and shutting out community voices and only listening to corporate voices — and their horrible negotiations.”

For the past six years, Ronen has served as an aide to Campos. Before that she was an attorney with La Raza Centro Legal, a group which advocates for low-wage and immigrant workers.

Arce, for his part, presented himself as a coalition-builder:

[Arce] said he voted for a measure last November that would have imposed a moratorium on market-rate development in the Mission. The measure, Proposition I, was opposed by real estate interests and developers, and lost at the ballot.

Arce condemned Ronen as part of a failed status quo unresponsive to district needs. “It’s not progressive to talk about meeting the needs of our community, but not returning phone calls or emails,” he said.

“People look at the Mission as being at a crossroads,” Arce said. The path forward, he added, is “working with communities and not only that but bringing people together.”

Arce frequently used the pronoun “we” during the interview. He prides himself on a political style he describes as forging unconventional coalitions to achieve policy wins.

Assembly member David Chiu, Supervisor Scott Wiener and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom are among those endorsing Arce.

By the end of the night on Thursday, the Bernal Heights Democratic Club overwhelmingly endorsed Hilary Ronen — an outcome that basically pre-ordained, given the close ties that exist between Supervisor Campos’s office and the BHDC.

The general election for the D9 Supervisor’s race will take place on Nov. 8, 2016

PHOTO: D9 Supervisor candidates at the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center, March 10, 2016. From left to right, Melissa San Miguel, Hillary Ronen, Edwin Lindo, Josh Arce, and Iswari España. Photo by Emma Chiang for the San Francisco Examiner

That Awkward Time Supervisor Campos Crashed a Community Crime Safety Meeting to Give a Campaign Speech

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Opinion Disclosure Warning: The post that follows describes a recent unpleasant encounter with our District 9 Supervisor. It is strongly opinionated. If that’s a turn-off, I apologize, and I recommend you skip this post. Thanks for your understanding. — Todd Lappin

 

Now that the notes from last week’s Northeast Bernal Community Meeting have been posted, I also wanted to describe an incident that happened during the meeting, involving David Campos, our D9 Supervisor.

Supervisor Campos was not involved in the planning and organization of last Thursday’s community meeting. (More on that below.) Refreshingly, however, he showed up at the meeting along with his aide (and D9 Supervisor candidate), Hilary Ronen. That was a good thing, because the crime problem in northeast Bernal is such that residents there need all the official attention they can get. But halfway through the meeting, Supervisor Campos kind of went off the rails.

During a Q&A period, Campos raised his hand. The moderator called on him to speak, and Campos stood up. He started in with a pronouncement that there was “an elephant in the room.” He repeated this a few times. It left people scratching their heads, because until that moment the meeting had generally been constructive and elephant-free.

After a pause, Supervisor Campos pivoted to a speech about how the reason a representative from the Mayor’s office (Jason Elliott) was standing in the front of the room was because of his friendship with Joshua Arce (the 2016 D9 Supervisor candidate who had helped facilitate the meeting). Campos began building up a head of steam around the idea that the Mayor sent his deputy chief of staff to the meeting only because the mayor something something something something something and then…

Then I stood up, and told Supervisor Campos he was way out of line.

Actually, I said a bit more than that, and in a much more emphatic way. Basically I urged Supervisor Campos to discontinue the theatrics, in no small part because the very community meeting he was attending had been necessitated by the fact that Supervisor Campos’s office has done a poor job of responding to Bernal constituents concerns about crime problems in Bernal Heights.

Here’s some backstory: The Northeast Bernal Neighbors Alliance was formed in no small part because many Bernal neighbors in that section of our neighborhood have been unable to get a response from Supervisor Campos’s office about their crime problems. Many emails to his office have gone unanswered. Many many. I know this because when Campos’s office ignores emails about crime problems from Bernal neighbors, many of those neighbors write to me instead. I receive a lot of these emails. Many many.  Bottom line: Last week’s community meeting happened because  a neighborhood that had been neglected by David Campos’s office organized a new neighborhood group to get some help without having to rely on David Campos.

Hilary Ronen was sitting next to her boss as things got heated, and she looked stricken. I felt bad for her, because it was mortifying.

It was mortifying because Campos showed everyone in the room that he was looking at the meeting through the cheap lens of political gamesmanship, instead of listening to what Bernal residents were telling him about the crime problem in their community.

Fortunately, just before things got too hot, Buck Bagot intervened to redirect the conversation. (Note to History: Buck is a Bernal treasure.) Then the meeting resumed. There was no further speechifying from Supervisor Campos, although he did often try to politicize the issues discussed in the room by blaming others for this or that.

Look, it’s great that Campos’s office has finally decided to engage with his northeast Bernal constituents. But his effort to turn a grassroots community meeting into political spectacle was inappropriate. The most important take-away from last week’s meeting was that our Bernal neighbors need all the help they can get. It’ll take a lot of on-the-ground organization, and a lot of interagency coordination, and a lot of hard work to make northeast Bernal a safer community.

Last week, David Campos signaled that he’s more interested in scoring political points than he is in doing the real work required to be part of the solution. Yet hope springs eternal: There’s another community meeting about crime and public safety this Thursday, Jan. 28, 6 pm, at the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center, and David Campos helped organize this one. Bernalwood will provide full details about that meeting tomorrow.

GRAPHIC: Northeast Bernal  Crime Incident Map, May 2015 to January 2016, via SFOpenData. David Campos photo via Wikipedia.