A city usually famous for its crime is now becoming known for its progressive politics. In Richmond, one of the local city measures that got national attention was the so-called soda tax, which would have taxed sodas at one penny per ounce.
Of the city measures on the ballot yesterday, Berkeley’s Measure S was a nail biter. With only a handful of precincts reporting in, homeless advocates waited anxiously as the initiative held a small but persistent lead.
After midnight, things shifted quickly. The No on S votes gained ground, and by 12:30am, they had a 400 vote lead. Several minutes later, the small crowd exploded in celebration.
The race for supervisor in San Francisco’s District 1, which includes the Richmond district, was a hotly contested one, pitting two Chinese-American candidates with different support bases against each other. Eric Mar, the progressive incumbent, defeated a challenge from David Lee, whose campaign was marked by massive third party spending and was widely seen to be the candidate of downtown business and landlord interests.
California’s 15th District race featured young newcomer and Democrat EricSwalwell challenging the 39-year incumbent Democrat Pete Stark. It didn’t look too good for Swalwell – and even the Democratic party endorsed his rival – but last night Stark was unseated by his challenger.
President Obama is said to have won thanks to the support of his base, which includes young people. The San Francisco offshoot of the young and progressive/liberal organization calls itself the League of Pissed Off Voters, but last night, members were in a pretty good mood.