SEIU 1021-supported Measures and Candidates Fare Well in November 8 Elections

In a very tight election for the Fairfield City Council, the candidate endorsed by SEIU 1021 — Pam Bertani — not only beat incumbent Chuck Timm by 125 votes but unseated appointed council member Rick Vacarro. As the polls opened on election day, Bertani actually trailed Timm in absentee votes, but by mid-morning our get-out-the-vote efforts helped give her the lead, which she kept throughout the day.

Bertani’s election was just the start. Most of the candidates and ballot measures supported by SEIU 1021 prevailed on Tuesday.

In San Rafael, Damon Connolly won election to the city council. Across the bay, Jacqueline Asher won a seat on the Emeryville City Council. And in San Francisco, Ross Mirkarimi appears to have won election as sheriff; votes are still being counted, but he’s leading his second-place opponent by a solid 10 percent.

Schools had a good day. In Solano County, Joe DiPaola won election to the Dixon Unified School District board; westward in Marin, Eva Long and Stephanie O’Brien took two of the four open seats on the Community College Board. And Mendocino County member Megan Van Sant was elected to the Ukiah school board.

Despite the apparent election of Ed Lee (whom we did not endorse; again, votes are still being counted) as mayor, San Francisco was the scene of another big SEIU 1021 victory: Proposition C (which the city’s unions drafted in negotiations with Lee) easily beat the competing Prop D for a reform of the city’s pension system that could save $1.3 billion over the next ten years. All in all, our positions prevailed in six of the eight measures on the San Francisco ballot.

Taking the measure of measures

A statewide analysis of revenue measures by the League of California Cities revealed a trend that bucks conventional wisdom:

“Voters on Tuesday approved 82 percent of the 22 non-school tax-related measures, compared to a 65 percent passage rate from 2001 to 2010 …

“Roughly 70 percent of the 16 special tax proposals, which required the support of two-thirds of voters, were approved Tuesday. The passage rate for such measures for the previous 10 years was 46 percent.”

One of those two-thirds measures was Mendocino County’s Measure A, which won with three-quarters of the vote: a 1/8-cent sales tax to save county library services.

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