Political Action

UESF has a robust political and community engagement program. Through our political work, we seek to help build resources and support for our public schools and to bring commitment from across the city of San Francisco and the state of California to address the fundamental needs of our students. We also take part in coalition work to address issues of concern for educators and the families and communities we serve in San Francisco, including working to ensure that San Francisco remains an affordable place for all of its residents.

Join the UESF COPE (Committee on Political Education) Subcommittee! UESF members are invited to engage in the political education work of our union. It’s duties are outlined by the UESF bylaws and constitution. The Subcommittee established and leads the endorsement process for political candidates, mobilizes members for political campaigns and organizes political education efforts for our membership.

For more information about UESF’s political program or to join COPE, please contact Cassondra Curiel at ccuriel@uesf.org.

November 2022 Endorsements

The November elections are right around the corner. In every election there is so much at stake. We will continue to endorse different measures and other candidates. Below are our current endorsements for the November general election:  

Board of Education

Alida Fisher

Lisa Weissman-Ward 

Board of Supervisors

Re-elect Gordon Mar, D4

Honey Mahogany, D6 

UESF Endorsed Measures

Student Success Fund Charter Amendment

UESF has been working very closely with Supervisor Hillary Ronen in drafting this measure. This charter would earmark $70 million a year for grants to SFUSD schools of any grade level. Individual schools with input from parents, teachers, principals, and any afterschool or community based program staff, can apply to the Department of Children Youth (DCYF) for up to $1 million to implement a program or programs specifically designed to increase the academic achievement or socio-emotional wellness of their students.

Affordable Housing Production Act (AHPA)

This measure is being proposed by Supervisors Connie Chan, Shamann Walton, and Aaron Peskin with input from us and CHOO. This measure does not change the Area Median Income (AMI) levels nor the overall average of affordability in the definition of affordable housing. By using the existing definition, it would allow for mixed-use projects to significantly increase by 15% the level of affordability across the entire project. For example, adding 15 affordable units to an already existing 20 units out of 100 total units to get ministerial approval.  AHPA also sets standards for these projects with increased affordability prescribing 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom family housing to receive ministerial approval. In addition, UESF was consulted on this measure and added language that addresses standards in building educator affordable housing and maintains the current educator affordability definition. If approved by the voters this measure will bring transparency, predictability, and accountability to City Hall’s affordable housing budget. 

Empty Homes Tax 

Currently, this petition is being circulated to gather signatures to tax owners of buildings of three units or more, where a residential unit has been vacant for more than six months in a given year. The tax rate is higher for larger units, and it increases the longer a home is kept vacant. There are more than 40,000 homes (10%) vacant in San Francisco where we are facing an unprecedented affordability crisis. More than 8,000 people live in the street and thousands others are home insecured. Many of these vacant units are never occupied, which includes investor owned properties. If approved, 4,000 homes will be activated and generate over $38 million annually for rent assistance and vacant building acquisition. 

SF WERCS with City College – Reinvesting in Our Community’s Success Parcel Tax

City College is facing cuts and layoffs that threaten its role as San Francisco’s workforce education engine. Our sister union AFT Local 2121 with SEIU Local 1021 and other labor unions are circulating a petition to gather signatures to approve a revenue measure that will increase $45 million to meet the minimum community demand for City College that serves  over 22,800 Full Time Equivalent Students. Their revenue measure is a progressive and tiered parcel tax in which business will pay a higher rate than a homeowner.

 

Measure that UESF Opposes

Affordable Homes Now Initiative

The Executive Board voted to oppose this petition. It’s an initiative that SPUR and the Housing Coalition’s (HAC) are circulating to gather signatures to have a “streamlining” measure that would exacerbate the trend of building market rate housing with limited public benefit at the expense of housing that is affordable to working people and BIPOC communities who are experiencing extreme housing insecurity. This measure would build educator housing in which the vast majority of educators would not be able to afford living there. In essence, teachers are being used as the Trojan horse to change the affordable housing definition that would have a detrimental effect on all our educators and families. UESF was never consulted when this measure was being created or circulated.