Minutes for October 13, 2018 Meeting of the Libertarian Party of San Francisco taken by Aubrey Freedman.
Attendees: Nick Smith (Chair), Rebecca Lau (Vice Chair), Jawj Greenwald (Treasurer), Aubrey Freedman (Secretary), Phil Berg, Eric (guest), Bill Harvey (guest), Annie Henry, Victor Murillo (guest), Shandana Qazi (guest), Allen Sherzer (guest), Starchild, Arthur Tom (guest).
Introductions: Bill is a teacher and hails from North Dakota; he’s been in the Bay Area for three years. Shandana is a student at SF State and is curious about the issues that interest the LPSF. Victor is also a student at SF State and attended our panel discussion on school choice in June. This is Allen’s second meeting here and is coming from the South Bay. Annie hasn’t attended one of our meetings for a while; she had to move out of The City due to the housing costs here and now gets stuck regularly in traffic bottlenecks up in the North Bay and is seriously considering a move to New Hampshire. Arthur is a candidate running for District 4 Supervisor and was recommended by Jon Sindell to attend this meeting and give a presentation on his campaign.
Chair’s Report: Nick was busy most of the last month working on the mailer that just went out a few days ago. We sent out letters to 2,090 registered Libertarians in The City, which included our ballot recommendations on both the local and state measures, a membership form with a return envelope, and a nice letter detailing our activities and accomplishments this year. He just got the latest voter registration file from the Department of Elections, so the mailing list was very fresh. This was a huge undertaking for the LPSF since we had always used Click2Mail in the past and sent out only a postcard at a higher cost. So far the results look promising as he has already seen 5 new Meetup members signed up in the last few days and 2 new memberships, but time will tell. The Santa Clara LP did a similar mailing recently and mailed out letters to 5,600 registered Libertarians. They also lent us their paper folding machine, which cut down on the manual work that Nick and his helpers needed to do. He estimated that 30-40 man/woman hours went into getting the mailer out, but that estimate probably is too low. The actual cost was $785.98, which works out to 38 cents per letter sent, but Nick will ask for reimbursement of around $947.00 because he bought extra supplies that are left over but could still be used for future mailings. He transferred our domain name to Name.com since the last meeting for ease of use. He put a call out for officers for next year for folks to think about. Alex Mills has expressed an interest in serving as Vice Chair next year (and Rebecca expressed interest in the Treasurer position—see September minutes), but Secretary is not covered. (Aubrey mentioned that November is his last meeting, and Jawj offered to write the minutes in the December meeting.) For the upcoming LPSF convention in January, Nick mentioned that we will attempt to update our by-laws in the business part of the convention. They need updating because they are conflicting with the state’s by-laws, and we recently ran into some confusion on whether or not we were allowed to endorse John Dennis for District 2 Supervisor because he is a registered Republican but has definite libertarian values. (Turns out we did do it right because it is a non-partisan race.)
Vice Chair’s Report: Nothing to report at this time.
Treasurer’s Report: Aubrey reported that we have $2,712.81 in the credit union and what he estimates as $2,892.32 in PayPal for a total of $5,605.13. (Nick updated the PayPal balance as he has access to the account and checked it during the meeting and found the balance to be higher at $3,051.00 so we may have picked up additional memberships and donations from the mailer.) During the month we received $16.00 in donations from the gun show in September and $403.51 via PayPal from recurring donations and possible new memberships/donations for total new receipts of $419.51. During the meeting, Jawj wrote a check to Nick for reimbursement costs of the mailer of $937.71. That leaves our ending cash position at $5,605.13 + $158.68 - $937.71 = $4,826.10, which is still in decent shape even after spending quite a bit this year for the June and November elections, thanks to our recurring donors.
Secretary’s Report: Aubrey reported that membership is up by two members from last month with 21 lifetime members and 33 regular, currently paid-up members, for a total of 54. We may not make our goal of 70 members by the end of the year, but we are slowly but surely getting there. New names popped up on the current state membership list that he hadn’t seen before, so Libertarians are joining us and signing up on the state website. From Angela’s state membership records as of the end of September, the top affiliates are LA County with 167 members, San Diego County with 105 members, Santa Clara County with 103 members, Orange County with 81 members (he missed this affiliate last time), and the LPSF comes in at fifth place at 54.
Newsletter Report: Nick reported that the goal for the October newsletter is to go out on October 24th. Rebecca will be writing an article this month for the newsletter. Nick noted that our ballot measure recommendations will be mentioned in the newsletter referring our subscribers to the website for easy reference.
Outreach Report: Starchild has been talking to the folks at radio station KALW about their bias on the ballot measures promoting YES votes on the local ballot measures. He has been calling the station requesting that they present the contrarian Libertarian perspective on the issues. He presented against Prop A (Seawall Bond) at the recent League of Women Voters’ taping (and Nick spoke against Prop E). He also plans to attend the Cato event on November 2 at the Regis Hotel on Third Street entitled Cato Institute Policy Perspectives 2018. Starchild also explained how our three lists (Announce, Activist, and Discussion) are organized for the newcomers at our meeting.
Special Guest—Arthur Tom, Candidate for District 4 Supervisor: Tom presented himself as a San Francisco native who is not part of the political class but is the closest candidate running for D4 supervisor that the LPSF is going to find aligning with the libertarian philosophy. Tom attended the UC Berkeley School of Business and has been a realtor and tax auditor for 30 years. He was highly critical of Muni and also San Francisco’s dirty streets. He feels that he can do a better job of making government more efficient than it currently is. He noted that a navigation center is not needed in The Sunset as there are only 50 homeless people there. He is with us in opposing props 10 (more rent control) and C (tax on businesses for the homelessness industry) since they will create unintended consequences, like housing providers withdrawing from the rental market. He feels more money spent on homelessness means less money spent on after school programs, which is why he opposes Prop C. One achievement he noted was raising $1.5 million for Friends of West Sunset Playground, which was in a state of disrepair with lots of broken glass from vandalism. Tom has no campaign manager nor does he accept public financing for his campaign. When questioned on some of the local ballot measures, Tom did not align with us on some measures. He is for A (bond for the seawall), D (cannabis tax), and E (earmarking allocation to the arts). He noted that taxes are too high yet he leans toward a YES vote on D. He’s also for the conservatorships that the mayor and governor support, but he would support having pot dispensaries in The Sunset. All in all, Tom was a mixed bag, libertarian on some issues, but clearly not pro-freedom on other issues. He will participate in a candidates forum this coming Tuesday (October 16) at Lawton School.
Choose Platform Committee Representative: Each county affiliate can choose a platform committee representative for the next state convention which will be in Concord next April. Amendments to our current platform will be presented before the delegates. The job entails attending a few meetings remotely and meeting at the site of the convention in person with the other representatives just before the convention. It can be contentious as different issues come up like children’s rights, animal rights, and Georgism. There is a fair amount of email correspondence before the convention. Jawj expressed an interest in being our rep but was less interested when Starchild mentioned about the job mostly being online discussions. Starchild has done the job before and offered to do it again this time. The deadline to notify the state party who are rep will be is October 30.
Upcoming Activism Opportunities: Nick went over the current activities the LPSF is involved in. The semi-annual JSA Convention will be next month on November 17 from 1:00-4:00 PM in Santa Clara County. Volunteers are always needed and usually folks come from different Bay Area affiliates to help out and then go out for pizza afterwards. The next gun show at the Cow Palace will be November 10-11, which will unfortunately conflict with our next meeting, so we will skip this one. Amazingly Governor Brown vetoed the bill that would have banned the sale of ammunition at the Cow Palace, which is owned by the state, so the gun shows will continue. Several of us are currently helping out on the John Dennis campaign for District 2 Supervisor. We previously endorsed John at one of our meetings a few months ago.
Activist Reports: Jawj sued her neighbor for taking her cat and having it spaded without her permission. Her cat had strayed over onto her neighbor’s property. Nick organized and was the force behind our recent mailer. He also spoke at the League of Women Voters' taping and presented the case against Prop E (earmarking for the arts), which will be shown on SFGov.TV. (Nick also mentioned that Chris Silber will be giving a lecture on October 22 at the monthly GGLR meeting on the gold standard.) Starchild has been busy organizing his SF Liberty Coalition monthly event. He doesn’t have a topic yet for October. Last month they showed short videos on activism and the event needs more organizations to participate. He will also be participating in an upcoming debate at the Mechanic’s Institute on Post Street on whether the sexual revolution was a mistake or not. We know what side of the debate he’ll be on! Don has been active on the John Dennis campaign and says John has a fighting chance of winning the race; a recent poll showed he’s in second place.
Monday, October 15: Innovative Governance: from Theory to Practice with New Cities
6:30-9:30pm, Monument, 140 9th St, San Francisco, California 94103
From Seasteading to YCombinator, to Sidewalk labs, Silicon Valley has thought a lot about improving governance and new cities. These dreams are finally moving into reality, as dirt is being moved, new cities are being built, and governance is being improved. Come join us for a discussion about what it means to create a new city from scratch, to create a new legal system from scratch, and how combining the two can help alleviate global poverty, accelerate technological innovation, and create the conditions for general human flourishing.
Wednesday, October 17: Cato Institute VP David Boaz at the Berkeley Forum
6:00-7:00pm, Hearst Field Annex XB1, Berkeley, California 94720
Both major American parties have pivoted further away from the ideological center since the 2016 election, as the Republicans become more “right-wing” and the Democrats become more “left-wing." Although the word “liberal” is now colloquially associated with progressive politics, David Boaz, renowned author of The Libertarian Mind and Executive Vice President of the Cato Institute, will historically define what it means to be “Left” and “Right” politically. Furthermore, he will argue that both sides today threaten the liberal values that formed the modern world: free markets, free trade, free speech, tolerance, and equal rights.
Thursday, October 18: Power and The Emerging City
6:30-8:00pm, Utopia, 643 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105
Who controls the future of our cities? How is power related to trust? Who do we trust to achieve change in cities? How do we trust ourselves? If we don’t trust our institutions, who do we trust? Can cities serve as sandboxes of learning and innovation? Do we need to leave public decision making in the hands of elected representatives? What is liquid democracy?
Monday, October 22: The Gold Standard: History, Theory, & Fallacy
7:30 - 9:30pm, Richmond Police Station Community Room - hosted by Golden Gate Liberty r3volution
Chris Silber's second and last monetary economics lecture of 2018 integrates a brief history of the gold standard with the theoretical concepts that govern its operation including the market-driven monetary base, gold's role in monetary aggregates, Gresham's Law, and inflation/deflation. The talk will conclude with a list of fallacies and objections cited by enemies and even friends of gold against replacing today's dominant fiat monetary systems with a gold standard.
Wednesday, October 24: Free San Francisco! Town Hall Caucus Event
6-9pm - Clickup - 580 Howard Street
San Francisco Liberty Coalition is a monthly event series supported by a loose network of local groups that are working to promote liberty in some area or areas of public policy (any group fighting for civil liberties, economic freedom, or both, across the board or on a specific issue or issues).
Thursday, October 25: “None of Our Business” LPSF Happy Hour
7-10pm, ThirstyBear Brewing Co, 661 Howard St
Unable to make it to our regular monthly meetings? Just want to kick back and mingle with liberty-minded individuals? We have a monthly "None of our Business" happy hour social, to take a break from party business and talk life, politics or whatever is on your mind. Come out for a drink and get to know us!
RSVP on the LPSF Meetup Group - meetup.com/the-LPSF
Friday, November 2: Cato Institute Policy Perspectives 2018
10:30-2:00pm, The St. Regis San Francisco - 125 3rd Street, San Francisco, CA
Featuring Magatte Wade, Entrepreneur and Founder of Tiossan; Peter Goettler, President and CEO, Cato Institute; Michael D. Tanner, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; Diego Zuluaga, Policy Analyst, Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives, Cato Institute; and Caleb O. Brown Director of Multimedia and host of Cato Daily Podcast, Cato Institute.
Tuesday, November 13: Governance In An Emerging New World: The Information Challenge to Democracy
3:30-5:00pm, Hauck Auditorium, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
The communications revolution has surrounded society with information, some right and some wrong, and enabled people to communicate and organize like never before. It gives new dimensions to the old challenge of governing over diversity. Participants will examine the rapid spread of information and means of communicating and suggest responses to the governance challenges posed by social media, fake news, and the decline of confidence in institutions. The discussion will address means to protect the political process against conflict and potential polarization stirred up through social media networks and potential rules of the road to govern information warfare.
Saturday, November 17: JSA Convention Tabling
1-4pm, Double Tree by Hilton Hotel (2050 Gateway Place, San Jose, CA)
We will have two Libertarian tables to give out literature, books, and buttons. It will be at a NEW LOCATION this year -- the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel. Usually over 1,000 high school students attend this convention. We will go out to eat afterwards at Pizza California at 1708 Oakland Rd in San Jose, owned by a libertarian.