Extending voting rights in San Francisco . . . to all business owners?

If illegal aliens can vote for San Francisco school board members, why can’t non-resident business owners in San Francisco vote for pro-business policies?

Homeless San FranciscoHere’s a tip if you want to look smart or, perhaps, even be smart: Hang around with smart people. I’m fortunate in that I have found smart people who include me in their midst, as happened last night when I went to dinner with friends.

Because one of the couples at the dinner table lives in San Francisco, the conversation turned to San Francisco politics (among many other fascinating topics about politics and culture). We covered the City’s general decline into a Third World fecal nightmare; the perpetual immaturity of a cohort of people who eschew children (San Francisco is a very childless city); the decline of the rule of law, especially when it comes to San Francisco’s sanctuary city policies; the rent-seeking that is the norm for San Francisco politics; and the general intolerance that characterizes the City. We also talked about two specific things:

1. San Francisco’s decision to grant voting rights to illegal aliens and other non-residents for the specific purpose of electing the school board:

Non-citizen parents and guardians of children in San Francisco Unified School District are now able to register to vote for Board of Education members, the city’s Department of Elections announced.

The department began issuing voter registration forms today for the Nov. 6 election.

San Francisco voters in 2016 first passed Proposition N, which allowed non-citizen voting, winning with 54 percent of the vote. In May of this year, the Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance amending the Municipal Elections Code to begin implementing Prop N by requiring the elections department to develop the required forms and documents.

2. San Francisco’s hostility business, an important point to my friend — I’ll call her Sara — who, though not a San Francisco resident, has a business in San Francisco.

When we got to the subject of the City’s crime-ridden fecal streets, and the fact that this complete breakdown in law and order has led to a decline in tourism and, most notably, a major medical organization’s decision to cancel its convention in the City, Sara said in exasperation, “What about the Chamber of Commerce?” The friend who lives in San Francisco (I’ll call him Samuel) said that the Chamber of Commerce consists the usual Blue state Leftists — wealthy, hard-working people who graduated from American colleges. Theirs is a “never preach what you practice” approach to life, which seems them demand a traditional work ethic of themselves, while insisting that asking non-whites to embrace this ethic is racism and who strongly believe in a government of experts, with themselves as the expert class. Samuel says that these people would never block any of the initiatives coming from the Board of Supervisors.

Moreover, Samuel notes that the entire political body of San Francisco, from the mayor to every member of the Board of Supervisors, has neither experience nor interest in business. The mayor, by her own admission, has lived off of or worked for the government her entire life. The same holds true for the Supes:

  • Vallie Brown has worked in government.
  • Rafael Mandelman was in academia and worked for government.
  • Catherine Stefani worked in government.
  • Ahsha Safaí worked for unions and in government.
  • Sandra Lee Fewer was a community organizer, political activist and worked in government. (Her husband was a police officer, which is admirable, but still isn’t running a business.)
  • Hillary Ronen worked for La Raza and in government.
  • Katy Tang bio stops short of describing anything she did before working relentlessly in government.
  • Norman Yee has spent 35 years in San Francisco politics. While he apparently helped out with his parents’ business, his bio his shy about any practical experience of his own.
  • Jane Kim has never worked in the private sector. Instead, she’s been a community organizer or in government.
  • Malia Cohen also has a bio that avoids mention of anything other than a professional life spent in government or community activism.

Samuel’s observations about the City’s politics and politicians are the kind of things you hear when your friends are smart, informed, and engaged. It was while listening to those points that Sara, who is also smart, informed, and engaged, thought hard about those two points: (1) that San Francisco business owners who are not San Francisco residents currently have no voice in San Francisco politics, even though political decisions ferociously affect their bottom line and even though San Francisco is dependent on their tax dollars; and (2) that San Francisco has decided that people who are illegally in the country should still have a voice in those segments of San Francisco politics that affect them.

“You know what?” asked Sara rhetorically. “I should be allowed to vote in San Francisco on anything that affects my business.”

You know what? Sara’s absolutely right. If the standard in San Francisco is that the only criterion for voting is whether you’re affected by a given political initiative, rather than whether you’re a San Francisco resident or even a legal resident in the United States, San Francisco business owners, whether they live in the City or not, should have just as much a say in City governance as illegal aliens will have in education matters.

So let’s start it here: Let’s see if we can rouse San Franciscans to get an initiative on the ballots allowing business owners to vote on all matters affecting their businesses. Matters affect their businesses would include taxes, homeless policies, ICE, etc.

I suspect a lot of business owners who are San Francisco residents would support this initiative. In the face of the City government’s relentless hostility to business interests, expanding San Francisco suffrage to all business owners, whether resident or not, would give them critical mass to advance their economic interests against the Leftist lunacy that currently dominates in San Francisco politics.

Photo credit: Homeless in San Francisco, by Howard Russell. Creative commons; some rights reserved.