And, why are there so many ‘Cs’?
The SFPD is controlled by the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee (SF DCCC). While SF city elections are non-partisan, a stamp of approval by the party may offer a boost to some political campaigns, as local pol Nancy Tung explains here.
The DCCC is so powerful because it’s able to skirt campaign finance laws that constrain candidates for government office:
Thus, a city or state candidate running for DCCC can collect unlimited amounts from wealthy individuals or corporations – and spend that money to raise his or her profile against opponents for a city or state office who are constrained by limits on the size or source of donations.SF Chronicle, 4/8/2016
The DCCC has no ethical problem working around these laws. In fact, it appears to have no ethics at all. Consider the flyer it printed below, during the June 2022 election:
You have to look hard to figure out that voting No on Proposition H has nothing to do with Republicans or abortion. It’s to recall SF’s radical District Attorney, Chesa Boudin. It’s clearly meant to deceive, and one can assume that if this is how the DCCCC operates in small matters, it probably behaves the same way in larger ones.
Nationwide, only 29% of people identify as Democrats. Among those with known political affiliations, however, San Francisco voters are overwhelmingly Democrats:
With this wide a swath of voters, it’s worth asking if the SF DCCC represents the city as a whole. Let’s start with the DCCC Executive Committee, which currently consists of eight people. Here are their backgrounds, from their LinkedIn profiles and online bios:
SF DCCC leadership
|Honey Mahogany (chair)||Drag performer, social worker, community organizer|
|Leah LaCroix||Bar Association of SF, BOS clerk, City of SF (former)|
|Keith Baraka||Firefighter, City of SF|
|Li Miao Lovett||Legislative Aide, City of SF|
|Carolina Morales||“Strategist” for Chesa Boudin, District Attorney’s office, City of SF|
|Janice Li||Community organizer, BART director|
|Anabel Ibanez||Political Director, United Educators of SF (teacher’s union)|
The committee is the rounded out by 22 non-executive members (bottom of page), in which you can find most of SF’s far-left politicians, from Jane Kim (formerly of the Green Party) to David Campos to Hillary Ronen to Faauuga Moliga (recently recalled from the School Board). The rest, like the executive committee, are mostly city employees and union or community organizers.
What jumps out at you? For me, it’s the fact that none of these folks work in the private sector, unlike most Americans. While the world certainly needs government clerks and firefighters, these people, without exception, are the ones who win when taxes go up. Unions and city workers are well represented. But many groups aren’t, from retail store workers to business owners to software engineers to mechanics to doctors and nurses to many industries.
And so, unsurprisingly, the the SF DCCC is out of touch with most SF. Take the recent school board recall. Not only did the SF DCCC vote to oppose it, they actually wrote the defense of that opposition that appeared in voter guides. And voters ignored them, in a landslide.
Similarly, they’ve been strong supporters of our radical District Attorney, Chesa Boudin, who is likely to be recalled by voters on June 7.
If the Democratic Party in SF were a fringe group, like the Green Party or the Libertarians, I wouldn’t expect their membership to reflect the city as a whole. But 86% of voters with a known political affiliation here are Democrats, I’m surprised at how much it doesn’t.
For an idea of how Democratic Party leadership looks in a normal city, consider Denver. Local DP leadership consists of a city employee and a life long activist, sure, but also James Reyes, a gay Latino software engineer, and Adrian Felix, also gay and minority, who works in the communications industry.
Does the SFDP, or SF DCCC matter? An increasing number of voters are foregoing party affiliation, with 135,000 voters not registering for one with the city. So the answer is probably “less every year”. However, it is a good idea to be aware of who they are, and, when voting, whether local Democrats represent you.