Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


RandySF's Journal
RandySF's Journal
February 22, 2024

San Diego: Stormwater tax one step closer to making it on November ballot

SAN DIEGO — A stormwater tax is one step closer to making its way on the November ballot after a San Diego City Council committee voted unanimously Wednesday to direct staff to take a closer look at what this measure would look like.

Several people from environmental groups, as well as some San Diegans, spoke out in favor of this tax during the Rules Committee meeting.

If the measure is approved by voters, it would provide a source of funding specifically for stormwater. According to the city, it would be a special parcel tax, which is a form of property tax.

Council President Sean Elo-Rivera's staff laid out to the committee why it believes this measure is needed, citing a $1.6 billion infrastructure deficit. Staff also pointed out 1000 people were displaced from homes and businesses after significant flooding January 22.


February 22, 2024

Technology allows disabled voters to cast ballots independently with Express Vote

While the option of voting by mail remains popular, the majority of voters still cast ballots in person, either during early voting or on Election Day, data shows.

But for disabled citizens, voting at a polling place unassisted – without the help of a family member or poll worker – would be nearly impossible without the aid of special machines available at every precinct.

The machines, called Express Vote, can be used by people with nearly any disability. "We certainly try to provide every tool and every assistance – as much or as little assistance as someone would like," said Ron Turner, supervisor of elections for Sarasota County. "We want to honor the voter's independence and be able to cast that ballot, you know, independently and secretly."

The Express Vote machines have a large touchscreen that can adjust the size of the type; headphones are available, and the keypad has Braille labels for voters with vision impairments.


February 22, 2024

WI: Pressure builds to allow early processing of absentee ballots, here's why the effort is stalled

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) --After a top Republican indicated it's unlikely a bipartisan bill geared towards speeding up election results won't pass this year; pressure continues to build with Democrats and Republicans urging the Senate to act.

On Wednesday, Gov. Tony Evers and Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson were the latest to call out lawmakers in the state Senate to pass legislation that would allow clerks to begin processing absentee ballots the day before an election.

"There's always this issue of making it more and more difficult for local officials to do their damn job," Evers told reporters during an event in Kenosha. "That bill should have been passed."

The "Monday processing bill" has broad support and passed the Assembly, but the Senate has yet to vote on it.


February 22, 2024

Missouri Senate filibuster forces removal of 'ballot candy' from initiative petition bill

A Democratic filibuster that stretched more than 20 hours ended Tuesday when Senate Republicans stripped provisions critics derided as “ballot candy” from a proposal to make it harder to pass constitutional amendments proposed by initiative petitions.

By an 18-12 vote, with nine Republicans joining nine Democrats in the majority, language that stated non-citizens could not vote on constitutional amendments was removed, as were sections barring foreign governments and political parties from taking sides in Missouri ballot measures.

The Senate then, by a voice vote, gave first-round approval to the bill that would require both a statewide majority and a majority vote in five of the state’s eight congressional districts to pass future constitutional amendments proposed by initiative petitions or a state constitutional convention.

The proposal would alter the way Missourians have approved constitutional changes since the first statewide vote on a constitution in 1846.


February 22, 2024

S.F. ballot measure to mandate drug screenings for welfare recipients could be blocked if passed

Proposition F, Mayor London Breed’s proposal to require welfare recipients in San Francisco to undergo drug testing and treatment in order to keep their benefits, will remain on the March 5 ballot despite a union’s arguments that the city was required to negotiate over the measure’s impact on overstressed workers. But if the measure passes, the courts will be asked to block it — and may well do so — until city officials hold good-faith meetings with the union.

That was what happened in San Diego in 2018, after the city’s mayor promoted a privately sponsored ballot measure cutting employees’ pension benefits. A union argued, and the state Supreme Court unanimously agreed, that state law required the city to meet and confer with the union before reducing anyone’s benefits.

There are differences between the two cases. The San Diego measure directly affected union members by reducing their pensions, while Prop. F’s direct impact would be on the low-income adults under 65 who receive cash benefits from the city.

But Service Employees International Union Local 1021 says its members who work for the city would be affected in many ways: Already understaffed and regularly working overtime, they would have to work longer hours, get additional training, undergo increased stress and even face threats from people whose benefits are denied because they are unable to stop using drugs.


February 22, 2024

San Francisco crime debate heads to ballot as Proposition E

With crime concerns looming large over San Francisco’s March primary, one government body has found itself at the center of The City’s supercharged public safety debate: the Police Commission, a citizen oversight group that sets policy for the San Francisco Police Department and conducts disciplinary hearings for officers.

In recent years, the commission’s longstanding work to push for reforms in the SFPD has come to be seen by some residents as an impediment to effective crime-fighting in The City.

Over the past several months, Mayor London Breed has taken direct aim at the powerful seven-member body in her campaign for Proposition E, a ballot measure that would limit some restrictions now faced by the Police Department while also adding new public-outreach requirements for the commission’s policymaking process.

“There has been too much focus on adding bureaucracy to the work of our officers,” said Breed in a press release announcing Prop. E in October. “We can pass this measure while still keeping important reforms in place.”


February 22, 2024

Trump's Abortion Plan Leak Inflamed His Campaign and Energized Democrats

LATE LAST WEEK, the New York Times reported that Donald Trump privately told his allies he backs a 16-week national abortion ban with some exceptions. Inside the Trump campaign, the news was immediately met with deep annoyance, anger, and a scramble for damage control, two people familiar with the matter tell Rolling Stone.

Prior to the report, the former president and 2024 GOP frontrunner had repeatedly stressed to advisers that he wants to avoid announcing specific abortion policy positions, at least during this stage of the election cycle, sources close to him say. This is, of course, largely because he understands the dismantling of Roe v. Wade — which he engineered — has become a grave political liability for Republicans.

Members of Trump’s senior staff were maddened by the leak to the Times, venting to one another that whoever blabbed to the media about this wasn’t being helpful, the two sources recount. They weren’t the only ones upset by it: The report also served to inflame some of the anti-abortion movement’s most uncompromising figures, who lashed out at Trump for being insufficiently “pro-life.” Some Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill winced at the news too; they, like Trump, hoped to spend the first half of 2024 talking about abortion as little as possible, according to one GOP lawmaker who bemoaned the recent string of conservatives’ election losses that have largely been attributed to “the Dobbs effect.” Democrats, on the other hand, were thrilled.

To Democrats and their allies in the movement for reproductive rights, Trump’s decision to back a national abortion ban is viewed as both an electoral gift and a major political blunder on his part. In recent months, President Joe Biden‘s team has determined that campaigning on abortion rights, including by elevating highly personal experiences of specific women willing to tell their stories, has been particularly powerful and effective. According to one Biden campaign official, his team is preparing to prominently wield these attacks against Trump between now and Election Day. Hours after the Times report was published, the Biden campaign called a press conference to highlight the contrast between the candidates.


February 22, 2024

Matt Gaetz Tried to Body-Shame This Teen Online & She Raised More Than $1M for Abortion Access

Hungry for a public disgrace of a gross political figure with a dash of someone thoroughly owning a bully? (Duh, of course, you are.) Let us call forth Olivia Julianna, the 19-year-old Gen-Z for Change political strategist, who, after being publicly shamed by Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz on Twitter has raised $1 million for abortion funds in 72 hours.

Julianna’s fundraising campaign began following Gaetz’s speech during a Jul. 23 Student Action Summit in Florida.

“Why is it that the women with the least likelihood of getting pregnant are the ones most worried about having abortions?” he said. “Nobody wants to impregnate you if you look like a thumb,” he told the crowd of young conservatives, without even a touch of self-awareness. “I’m thinking, March? You look like you’ve got ankles weaker than the legal reasoning behind Roe v. Wade.”

When Julianna saw his comments, the activist fired back. “It’s come to my attention that Matt Gaetz — alleged pedophile— has said that it’s always the ‘odious.. 5’2 350 pound’ women that ‘nobody wants to impregnate’ who rally for abortion.”


February 22, 2024

Which states could get new congressional maps in 2024?

After the 2020 census, each state redrew its congressional district lines (if it had more than one seat) and its state legislative districts. 538 closely tracked how redistricting played out across the country ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. So everything is done and dusted, right?

Not so fast, my friend. More than a half-dozen states face the prospect of having to go through the redistricting process again, mostly due to federal and/or state litigation over racial or partisan gerrymandering concerns. Both Democrats and Republicans have the opportunity to flip seats in districts drawn more favorably than they were last cycle. For example, Democrats appear poised to pick up at least one seat in Alabama and could theoretically get more favorable maps in Louisiana and Georgia. Republicans, meanwhile, could benefit from more favorable 2024 maps in North Carolina and New Mexico.

We’ll be using this page to relay major developments in midcycle redistricting, such as new court rulings and district maps, and examine how they could affect the political landscape as we move deeper into the 2024 election cycle. We’ll predominantly focus on congressional maps, but will share the occasional key update on conflicts over state legislative districts.

Some key states to watch:

New York proposes a new congressional map
Louisiana has a new congressional map. What will that mean moving forward?
Democrats sue over Wisconsin’s congressional map
North Carolina has a new congressional map
Alabama gets a new congressional map
Where things stand in Texas


February 22, 2024

WI: Gov. Evers Marks The End Of Redistricting Process With A Stop In Kenosha

(WGTD)---Gov. Evers continued to celebrate the successful conclusion of the state’s legislative redistricting process with a stop in Kenosha Wednesday.

Evers addressed reporters and a small group of supporters at Union Park Tavern—a neighborhood bar on the city’s east side.

On Monday, Evers signed into law maps that were approved by the Republican-controlled legislature. The Evers-proposed maps were considered by Republicans to be the least harmful to their cause of all of the maps under consideration by the newly liberal state Supreme Court.

The new maps are believed to give Democrats, over time, a fighting chance of gaining control of the legislature.


Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
Home country: USA
Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 01:53 PM
Number of posts: 56,031

About RandySF

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.

Journal Entries

Latest Discussions»RandySF's Journal