Coastsider endorses Leland Yee for state senate


Posted by on Mon, May 22, 2006

In addition to Measure S parcel tax, there’s one race on this June’s ballot where your vote really matters. Coastsider endorses Leland Yee in the Democratic primary for State Senate.

Until I started Coastsider, I didn’t pay a lot of attention to state legislative races, so I’m addressing this to those of you who haven’t given much thought to this race.  Most of the time, it doesn’t really matter, because the incumbent always wins.  This year, we have a real race for an important seat.  Incumbent Jackie Speier is leaving due to term limits.  Leland Yee, whose state assembly seat consists mostly of San Francisco, and former San Mateo County Supervisor Mike Nevin are fighting for Speier seat, which represents the two counties.  There’s also a wild card in this race:  former San Mateo Assemblyman Lou Papan seems to be running mainly to settle a score with Nevin [backgrounder].

This is an important race and one in which your vote counts.

I’m going to tell you why I’m voting Leland Yee, and you can decide whether he’s right for you.  In a race between Democrats, I’m voting for a candidate who is concerned about my community. I think it boils down to two things: environmentalism and interest in the Coastside itself.

Leland Yee has a strong environmental record.  On the Coastside, nearly every significant issue at the state level is an environmental issue: fishing, farming, the Coastal Commission, housing, offshore drilling, parks, beaches, open space, and water. Alone among the candidates, Yee has a prominent place for the environmental issues on his campaign site. Yee has been endorsed by Vote the Coast, Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters and League for Coastside Protection. Yee’s environmental record should matter to Coastsiders. 

Leland Yee is clearly interested in the Coastside. In the last year, he has come to the Coastside many times. He will be here again Wednesday at a pre-election event held by the Midcoast Community Council at which Mike Nevin has declined to appear. Yee has clearly identified the Coastside as a key constituency in San Mateo County and has been working hard for our votes.  Even when he was in the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, Mike Nevin gained a reputation for not caring about our community. When you come from a part of the county that is often ignored and treated shabbily when it does get attention, it’s refreshing to see a candidate who’s actively seeking our vote.

I’ll share why I don’t support Leland Yee.

In a time when California has been hit by one of the worst budget crises he supported spending taxpayer money on arranging the state’s buildings in accordance with “feng shui” concepts.

While I do appreciate his interest in the Coastside, this isn’t the kind of leadership we need.  While environmental issues matter, so does fiscal and legislative responsibility.

That’s pretty entertaining.

As silly as that proposal seems to you, it would be a lot sillier to dismiss Yee because of it.  First, as one story points out at the end, it was a resolution with no binding authority. So, any arguments about “taxpayer money” are off the mark. Second, the idea that government buildings should be designed to be pleasant for their occupants isn’t silly at all. Feng shui is one way to get there.  There are plenty of Western traditions that would do the job as well. A good starting place is Chris Alexander’s “A Pattern Language”.

taking environmental issues off the table for a second, how can someone claim to support small businesses AND fight for “living wages?”

He makes a token nod to “controlling workers’ compensation costs,” however, he is actually trying to roll back some of the workers’ comp. reform.

A study in contradictions, and these are some of the more minor issues.

I, for one, do not believe that support for living wages and small business are mutually contradictory.  Nor do I think it’s necessary to roll over on worker’s compensation when reforming the system. But then, I’m a moderate.

So I don’t think the arguments made about “taxpayer money” are off the mark.  I am under the impression that it costs money—at least minimally in administrative costs, time and overhead, etc.—in order to make a resolution, binding or not.

My objection to the proposal doesn’t stem from the backing of Feng Shui as the vehicle for a pleasant work environment—it is that I particularly don’t think it’s a good idea to pitch an idea out that costs us money and time that is, from the start, non-binding.  It seems really wasteful.

I agree with Mr. Parr. Yee has been endorsed by
virtually every environmental organization around, and that’s important. But the really important thing to me is his accessibility. I’ve seen him at innumerable community organization meetings where he stays informed of issues that are important to his constituents. He represents us, the people who live in his district, not the special interests that take the other politicians to lunch and on vacations.

I think it’s the significant that the only comments against Leland Yee so far are from people who are registered as something other than Democrats.

This is a party primary, so if non-Democrats don’t like Leland Yee, that might be considered an endorsement of sorts.

I think it is more signficant that there is only one positive comment for Mr. Yee.  Anyone else?

Actually, I am surprised we haven’t heard from any Democrats who support Nevin.

I support Yee and especially appreciate his interest in the Coastside, specifically many of the issues Barry has pointed out above.

If anyone can point out anything that Nevin has done for or contributed to the coastside, I’d be very interested.  I couldn’t find anything on his website.  I also couldn’t find any mention of the word “environment” on his website!



OK…...I’ll play!

I’m a Democrat who is supporting Mike Nevin.


I haven’t even bothered to check the ballot pamphlet to see if this will be another of those primaries in which independents can ask for a party ballot. If so, I just might get a Democratic one and place a Yee vote. This won’t be a vote “for” Yee, and I certainly won’t be voting for either him or the Republican candidate in November. But it’s not often I have a chance to vote against two strident, arrogant, politically manipulative, anti-coast candidates (Papan and Nevin) with a single mark.

Carl May

Voters who are registered as independent can also request a Democratic ballot at the poll, by the way.

To be a bit more complete, voters who are registered as “Decline to State” may select a non-partisan ballot, or (for this election only) choose a ballot for a party primary that allows non-party affiliated voters access to their primary. That includes the Democratic, Republican, and American Independent parties.

Because the registration deadline for this election has already passed (I think it was May 22), if you are registered in another political party it is too late to change your registration to another party or to Decline to State for purposes of voting in the June 6 election.

Hey, it was twisted, that weird, slimy feeling I had the last couple of times I got one of the major party ballots and cast votes in a primary. So this time Yee will benefit from one more vote in Moss Beach.

Carl May

I want legislators who work for me and my family, not tell me that we cannot afford to solve our problems. I’m voting for Yee because he has the most progressive message of all the candidates, not just on the environment, but on vital issues like universal health care. California needs to convert to a Massachusetts-style healthcare system and Yee was talking about this before we heard about it from there. Check out his website and see for yourself:

ken king

Like Mr Ginna and Ms Felgenstaff, I won’t have the opportunity to vote for him until November, but I’ll be voting for him then (if he makes it to the ballot) on the basis of his environmental record and his strong support for AB 583, the pending clean money proposal.

Feng shui and Chris Alexander? sounds good to me.

Alexander fans, by the way, should try to find a copy of his new The Nature of Order:,byles,73284,10.html

Mr. Yee is the only senate candidate in our district who has made frequent visits to the coastside. Earlier this year he spoke at numerous neighborhood “coffees”. None of these events were fundraisers. While all District 8 Senate candidates were invited to participate in the debates at the Midcoast Community Council meeting,  Mr. Yee was the only Democrat who cared enough to attend.  Apparently he believes we coastsiders have important issues in spite of our relatively low number of voters.

I have spent time volunteering on Mr. Yee’s behalf because I care deeply about future generations.  I want to put more money in schools that in jails, I want to foster preventive health care that will save lives and reduce expensive emergency room care, and I want to protect the environment for my grandchildren.
I believe Mr. Yee is my best choice to accomplish these goals.

Sofia Freer