Elections are Serious Business

“To vote or not to vote is not the question…VOTE!” 




This year’s election date is Tuesday, November 5th. Every year a few weeks before the election, some friends gather in the house of Ahuva and Emanuel Jolish. Emanuel is retired and he loves San Francisco. He is a guide and is interested in the local politics, attends meetings, convenes with those who run for various offices, and helps those of us who are busy with our lives to understand what is really going on.

On our get togethers, we exchange views and opinions. This helps us make educated decisions for whom to vote for, and which issues to support. What is interesting is that Jolish’s family (like in many other families), spouses and growing children might have opposing views. I guess this is what democracy is all about.

The newspapers print  opinions on whom to support. Some have similar views, some differ. This year, the SF Chronicle and Examiner are on opposing sides. And then of course, there are flyers in which, like in any election, each side is claiming that the other is wrong.


What is unusual this year is that those who run for all three major positions are not opposed. It seems no one else wants to deal with our city’s dirty laundry. When it comes to the measures, all four of them could be resolved internally among the supervisors, and not brought up to the ballots. One of the participants in our group pointed this out and as a protest, thought to vote “no” on all of them. During the discussion, she’d change her mind and instead decided to abstain from marking the ballot.

There are two propositions B and C, which deal with the same subject: at what height can a particular new building be built. (For more information, please see some articles in the SF Chronicle fromyesterday and today.) This is a very good example of the dirty politics. There are so many high-rises that are built in San Francisco. When we drive on Van Ness, I notice a very tall new building which is literally growing up from the old one.In my view, it is a very ugly addition, and blocks the view on the hills. The decision to build this one was not brought up to the ballot, and like other decisions about buildings, it should be decided by the competent professionals.Though this brings to mind our national politics — are there competent professionals, or just attorneys/politicians as in San Francisco?



I love San Francisco. Every time when we come back from trips, we are coming home. I want my home to stay beautiful. The city is changing all the time. I remember when the Embarcadero freeway was about to come down, many protested the demolition. In my office, I have posters showing the barren hills in 1847 of the area that used to be called “Yerba Buena”—one hundred years before my birth.  Over the next 160 years, a lot of people contributed to what became San Francisco.

By voting, you are contributing. Please do it.

Meanwhile, enjoy some of my visions of our great city.

Do not keep me as a secret.