Posts Tagged Mayor Ed Lee
S.F. Mayor Ed Lee works overtime for #SOTU: Maximum Asian, minimum wage in the land of inequality; updated 3:42PDT with preview excerpts
Some observers might think San Francisco must be on President Obama’s “Do Not Call” list after that embarrassing incident during his last visit. That’s when one of the handpicked invitees who stood behind Obama spoke out and disrupted the president’s speech. ( http://aaldef.org/blog/yelling-stop-deportations-an-undocumented-asian-american-stands-up-and-obama-stands-down.html ).
But Obama is merely showing how you can’t let a little thing like that spoil your good attitude. We’re not talking Chris Christie here.
Obama is moving on, because Ed Lee can help him.
So instead of a “shunning,” the president is shining a light on the San Francisco mayor.
Lee fills a number of purposes for President Obama at the #SOTU. If anyone asks,”Is there an Asian American in the house? ” Well, now there will be. (They won’t be in the bomb shelter). As Michelle’s guest, Lee is the son of Chinese immigrants, the first Asian American mayor of San Francisco in the nation’s most Asian American state.
But Lee’s real purpose may be to be the bureaucratic face and prime working example of an elevated minimum wage. SeaTac in Washington has a $15 minimum. But SeaTac is not San Francisco, and Obama needs to show a major city example. That’s SF, with the next highest minimum wage at $10.55 an hour.
Obama wants to raise the fed minimum to $10.10, up from $7.25.
At a time when inequality has become Obama’s “here-and-now” issue, having Lee there is critical to show everyone that $10.10 is do-able. SeaTac is struggling with $15. But new studies show SF’s businesses haven’t been hurt by years of an elevated minimum wage, well above $7. In fact, even conservatives like Bill O’Reilly are coming around to embrace the issue of raising the MW.
Maybe that’s because minimum wages mean conservatives can feel good about finally taxing the poor.
But really, what’s $10.10 an hour? Multiply that by 30 hours (because then bosses wouldn’t have to pay benefits). Then work for 50 weeks and voila. You’re barely above $15,000 a year.
Shack up with another minimum wage earner, don’t have kids, and live in your parent’s trailer, and you can survive on $30,000 a year combined. Sure, why not. (You want to eat too? And have clothes? Wow, no one told O’Reilly that).
No, of course it’s do-able.
You won’t be among the One-percent though.
Maybe this is Obama’s way to discourage future immigration to the U.S.? Land of opportunity?
No, America is the “new” land of inequality.
Preview excerpts from President Obama’s SOTU address– (Second to last graph (bolded) is perhaps the most direct in terms of president’s intention to by-pass Congress if he needs to get things done).
“In the coming months, let’s see where else we can make progress together. Let’s make this a year of action. That’s what most Americans want – for all of us in this chamber to focus on their lives, their hopes, their aspirations. And what I believe unites the people of this nation, regardless of race or region or party, young or old, rich or poor, is the simple, profound belief in opportunity for all – the notion that if you work hard and take responsibility, you can get ahead.
Let’s face it: that belief has suffered some serious blows. Over more than three decades, even before the Great Recession hit, massive shifts in technology and global competition had eliminated a lot of good, middle-class jobs, and weakened the economic foundations that families depend on.
Today, after four years of economic growth, corporate profits and stock prices have rarely been higher, and those at the top have never done better. But average wages have barely budged. Inequality has deepened. Upward mobility has stalled. The cold, hard fact is that even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by – let alone get ahead. And too many still aren’t working at all.
Our job is to reverse these tides. It won’t happen right away, and we won’t agree on everything. But what I offer tonight is a set of concrete, practical proposals to speed up growth, strengthen the middle class, and build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class. Some require Congressional action, and I’m eager to work with all of you. But America does not stand still – and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that’s what I’m going to do.”
“Opportunity is who we are. And the defining project of our generation is to restore that promise.”
(End of excerpt).
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Update: How the West was won? Mayor Ed Lee’s an elected after a Ranked Choice victory in San Francisco
I’ve lauded Ed Lee for reaching “Gold Mountain,” when he was named interim. That alone was a tremendous accomplishment for the community lawyer turned bureaucrat. But his evolution to “elected” is all the more fascinating because of Ranked Choice Voting.
RCV is process that redistributes the votes, working from the bottom up. Each time a last placed candidate was eliminated in the field of 16, a voter’s second choice is distributed accordingly to the named candidate still alive in the race.
Lee, who led at the end of election night Tuesday with 31 percent of the vote to Avalos’ 18 percent, was stalled with just 38 percent of the vote as the RCV vote count was underway Wednesday.
But Lee’s stock rose in round 7 when Public Defender Jeff Adachi was eliminated.
Adachi’s second place votes went mostly to City Attorney Ed Herrera, who got 2,100. Board President David Chiu had 1,721. But Lee did better with 1,935.
Lee’s ability to amass a large number of No.2 votes, particularly from the other top Asian American candidates’ ballots was significant.
In round 8, when State Senator Leland Yee was eliminated, Herrera took 2,092 of Yee’s second choice votes. Chiu took 2,275. But again, Lee got the most from Yee: 2,992 second place votes.
In round 9, Chiu, who raised more than a million dollars and won the endorsement of the San Francisco Chronicle, was eliminated. The winner of Chiu’s second choice votes were Herrera at 2,376, Avalos with 3,832. And again, there was Lee getting a huge chunk, 5,894.
Remember Chiu ran only after Lee promised not to run, but then Lee ran anyway. Lee was like a siphon on Chiu for first and second choice votes. In fact, Chiu’s seconds got Lee close to a majority with 49.02 percent of the votes, but it would take one more round to win it all.
In round 10, when Herrera was eliminated, 6,883 of his second place votes went to Avalos, the top name on the Democratic Party’s slate. But again, there was Lee who took 4,705 No.2s from Herrera.
That’s all Lee needed to enter the 11th round with a whopping 61 percent, more than enough votes for a majority.
And that’s how the sausage was made.
Update: The above analysis was after first 11 rounds of Ranked Choice counts and re-distributions from Wednesday.
Thursday’s count added a 12th round which changed the numbers only slightly as Lee virtually held the same lead, 61 percent to Avalos’ 39 percent. But the race technically is over when Lee got 50 percent and 1 vote.
One interesting fact: Lee padded his vote count significantly by being the second choice for backers of Chiu, Yee and Adachi. Those sloppy seconds added nearly 20 percent to Lee’s total vote.
See my Amok column on the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund blog at www.aaldef.org/blog
For whatever people may say about Ranked Choice Voting, it sure didn’t cut into the power of incumbency.
Even a short-time interim candidate has an enormous advantage as we witnessed with Ed Lee.
His vote pattern for the night was fairly predictable: A huge lead with nearly 40 percent of the early mail in vote, and then a gradual settling to 31 percent (44,451 votes) by the time all the precincts were counted.
The showing of Supervisor John Avalos (26,447/18.7 percent), and City Attorney Dennis Herrera (15,967/1127 percent) were also somewhat predictable. In a Democratic town, both were one and two on the party slate card. A huge advantage and what some wondered was a racist tactic. Five key Asian American candidates, including the interim, and none get named to one of the top two slots?
The real question mark was how the Asian American candidates would do on their own, and it seemed break down by money raised. Boardof Supervisor President David Chiu raised the most money in the least time compared to the other candidates overall. But without the party or incumbency behind him, he managed only a fourth place finish (12,655/8.93 percent).
State Sen. Leland Yee was next with 10,595 votes, or 7.48 percent of the vote, perhaps showing how most of his ardent support in his two-county senate seat may be primarily in San Mateo County.
Public Defender Jeff Adachi was sixth with 9.075 votes or 6.41 percent. Adachi filed his candidacy on the last day and was also tied to a bold but unpopular pension reform proposal that also lost on Tuesday.
Just imagine if Ed Lee had kept his word to David Chiu and not run for Mayor.
Chiu just might be sitting were Lee is right now, leading—but not by a majority.
Instead, the top 6 finishers have 65.5 percent of the vote.
That means that likely the bottom ten with 35 percent of the vote will determine if and when Ed Lee gets the majority he needs.
Lee sits at 31.38. If he’s on slightly more than 19 percent of the second choice ballots of the bottom 10 candidates, he wins. It may be over before we have to count the No.2 choice of Yee at 5th place.
This is either the power of the folly of Ranked Choice Voting. The bottom folks have more power than you think.
Wouldn’t it be better just to have a runoff? More costly, but perhaps more transparent and definitely easier to understand.
RCV makes one wonder, “What the hell happened to my vote?”
The next tally is due by 4pm PST.
Update: San Francisco Interim takes big step toward history: Ed Lee has 39.85 percent of the vote by mail turnout
Interim Mayor Ed Lee took the big lead in the first release of vote-by-mail ballots in the SF Mayoral race.
Lee got a commanding 26,621 votes or 39.85 percent of the votes counted so far.
Supervisor John Avalos and City Attorney Dennis Herrera are next with 10.6 percent and 10.24 percent, respectively. Both candidates were endorsed by the San Francisco Democratic Party.
Board of Supervisors President David Chiu was in fourth with 8.36 percent.
State Senator Leland Yee was in fifth with 8.25 percent.
Public Defender Jeff Adachi was in sixth with 6.33 percent.
This first tally includes just the vote by mail which represents about 14.59 percent of all voters. The next release of votes at 9:45 will include the first ballots from today’s polling.
Those votes could reflect a totally different voter sentiment in light of voter fraud allegations made against some of Lee’s supporters.
But if the trend continues, Lee would be very close to the 50 percent and 1 vote he needs to secure victory.
The top ten candidates received 97.65 percent.
If no one receives a majority, the Ranked Choice Voting will eliminate the lowest ranking candidate one by one and distribute their backers’ 2nd and 3rd choices until one candidate gets a majority of the vote.
More detailed results at :