Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The oppressed women of San Francisco

San Francisco Women’s Political Committee (SFWPC) November 2008 General Election Candidate Questionnaire

Directions: Please complete all sections of this questionnaire, include attachments if necessary, and return it by August 20th at 5:00 p.m. to Frances Hsieh, SFWPC Endorsements Chair, at f.hsieh@yahoo.com.

Candidate Name: Rob Anderson
Office Sought: District 5 Supervisor
Political ID #: Am I supposed to have a number?
Campaign Manager's Name:
Campaign Address:


1. How will you promote the election and advancement of women in local, state and federal elections? Describe specific examples.
Are you implying that women in SF are an oppressed group? I don't believe it, and I have no intention of doing anything to promote women just because they are women.

2. How will you support the appointment of women to the City’s commissions and boards?
I won't support anyone just because she's a woman, or black, or gay, etc. For me politics in SF is about policy, not identity.

4. What have you done in the past to promote the election and advancement of women in local, state and federal elections, and/or the appointment of women to the City’s commissions and boards?


1. What are two or three of the major issues that need to be addressed to make San Francisco’s communities safer and more livable?
We need to begin to deal with what I call the Punks with Guns issue by aggressively confronting the toxic rap/hip-hop culture many young black and Hispanic men grow up with that encourages misogyny, homophobia, and violence.

2. What will you do to make San Francisco more family friendly?
I'll continue to support Mayor Newsom's initiatives on quality-of-life issues, like homelessness and graffiti. On the other hand, the mayor and city progressives are supporting an aggressively pro-development policy that's creating mostly market-rate housing in overlarge projects: the Rincon Hill luxury highrise condos, the Market/Octavia Plan, and UC's rip-off of the property on lower Haight Street for a massive housing development. Accelerating the gentrification of San Francisco doesn't help families. Nor do the city's aggressively anti-car policies make the city family-friendly. Any family that can find affordable housing in SF will also need a car to do the shopping and get the kids to school and other activities. The anti-car Bicycle Plan and raising parking fines and fees only makes it harder to drive in the city, which makes it harder for middleclass families with children to stay in SF.


1. Do you support raising wages so that all San Francisco workers can meet their family’s basic needs with one full-time job? If you support this concept, what will you do to advance sustainable wages for all workers?
San Francisco already has a living wage ordinance that's helpful to those who work in the city's hotels and restaurants. Ultimately, however, what wages are "sustainable" for a particular business will be decided by market forces. Putting even more city mandates on local businesses---especially smaller businesses---is a bad idea and will only make it harder for businesses to stay in SF.

2. According to current federal comparative statistics, females make $0.85 to the dollar for a man in a comparable position. Do you support the concept of pay equity in the workplace for comparable work? If you support this concept, what will you do to advance pay equity in the workplace?
I support equal pay for equal work, but I don't know that the Board of Supervisors has a role to play on that issue.


1. What are the major issues in health care for women in San Francisco and how will you address them?
Since you're presuming to speak for women in SF, maybe you should tell me what these issues are and how they should be addressed.


1. What should the role of the government be in expanding quality, accessible childcare, early education and elder care resources? Please give one example of what you will do.
Government can pay for these services. For example, I'm the official caretaker for my 92-year-old mother, for which I receive a monthly government stipend. I have no plans to do anything at all on these issues or know that any action by the Board of Supervisors is even called for.

2. What new funding sources would you support to ensure that all San Francisco families have access to quality dependent care programs?
Do these programs need more money? If you have something specific in mind, let's hear it.


1. Do you support a woman’s fundamental right to choose a safe, legal abortion and will you take action to uphold this fundamental right? What action will you take?
Yes, I think it's a fundamental right, but I don't know that any action by the Board of Supervisors is called for on the issue.

2. Do you support a minor’s access to abortion without parental notification, consent or a court agency order?

3. What were your positions on the November 2005 Proposition 73 and November 2006 Proposition 85? Have you worked for or against these propositions?
I don't remember what those propositions were about.

4. What actions do you plan to take on this November’s Proposition 4?
I plan to vote against it.

5. What is your position regarding laws governing a physician’s medical judgment to determine the safest and most appropriate procedure to terminate a pregnancy.
I don't know that more laws are necessary. "Terminate a pregnancy"? You mean "abortion"? Best to avoid euphemisms, since it just sounds disingenuous when discussing abortion, an issue that requires candor and clarity.

6. Do you support public funding of family planning and pregnancy termination services without restriction for low-income women who depend on the government for their health care?
Yes. But "pregnancy termination services" is another lame euphemism for abortion.

7. Do you support any type of restrictions to abortion, family planning resources, birth control access or reproductive health services?


1. How will you improve San Francisco’s response and handling of cases involving intimate crimes such as rape, child prostitution and domestic violence?
Does the city's response need improvement? I'm under the impression that District Attorney Kamala Harris is pretty good on those issues. I'm certainly going to vote against legalizing prostitution in SF.


1. What will you do to help eliminate sexual harassment and sexual discrimination in the workplace and society in general?
There are already laws and policies in place to discourage this behavior, and I don't know that we need any more.

2. Is Affirmative Action still necessary for women and minorities? If so, what would be your top priority to ensure affirmative action for women and minorities?
No, I think affirmative action is a bad idea. Government aid should only be given to the poor, not on the basis of race or gender.


1. What will you do to promote and improve the quality and affordability of childcare and Pre-K-12 education programs for the children of San Francisco?
I don't know that the Board of Supervisors has a role to play on childcare in SF. The city is now providing $40 million a year to city schools and will probably provide more in the future. Improving education programs is up to the school board, not the Board of Supervisors.


Why are you running for this office and what are your major issues?
I'm running because Supervisor Mirkarimi represents everything that's wrong with city politics and policy. He's a knee-jerk progressive on most issues---like the war in Iraq, Critical Mass and the anti-car bicycle fantasy---and he's simply awful on large development issues, like the Rincon Hill luxury condos, the Market/Octavia Plan, and UC's hijacking of the old extension property on lower Haight Street. And, like all so-called progressive leaders in SF, he's essentially been MIA on the homeless issue, even though Mayor Newsom has been putting in place programs that will help the city deal with homelessness for years to come.

Demographically, or otherwise, who do you consider your base of support and why?
My base of support will include all those fed up with knee-jerk progressivism, those who support the mayor on the homeless issue, and those who are concerned about the city's aggressively pro-development policies that are changing the city for the worse.


1. Please attach a resume listing your professional experience and your community involvement.
No dice on the resume. This is my third run for District 5 Supervisor, which, with my blog, constitutes my "community involvement." My "professional experience"? I've worked mostly in blue collar jobs---in a couple of garment factories, in a lot of kitchens as a dishwasher, in a lumber mill, etc.

2. Please attach a list of your endorsements, both groups and individuals.
I haven't asked for any endorsements and don't expect to get any, but I do hope to get some votes.