join us in electing allies to city hall
Compassionate Bay is a grassroots group of volunteers dedicated to seeing political change in the Bay Area in favor of animal rights. Last year, we successfully passed the Fur Ban in San Francisco. Our flagship legislative goal for this year is Right to Know, a groundbreaking consumer transparency law that would require grocery stores and restaurants to make important facts available to the public about the animal products they are selling.
Our ability to pass Right to Know depends on support from local politicians. In the past few months, we have been working on an unprecedented opportunity to elect several champions of Right to Know to City Hall.
To begin with, we had many sit-down meetings with candidates running for Berkeley City Council and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. We discussed the issues they care about and whether they would support our Right to Know legislation. Although we considered a number of great candidates, our plan was to focus on supporting just a few and really making an impact on the few races that we chose.
There was one minimum criterion that each candidate had to meet in order to qualify for endorsement:
Support for Right to Know: Each endorsed candidate should be supportive of and ready to introduce Right to Know if elected. Note that the Right to Know legislation is in draft form so we welcome feedback from candidates and know that it’ll go through some rounds of iteration before being passed in each city. Each candidate we’ve endorsed has read the draft, provided feedback, and is in support with the major tenets of the proposed legislation.
Finally, for each candidate who qualified, we used the following factors to decide which campaigns to endorse and focus on:
Values: We’re supporting candidates who not only support Right to Know, but also reflect our values as a community of grassroots activists. We recognize that the struggles of the marginalized are all interconnected. All of the candidates we’ve endorsed are progressives in their respective races who have regularly shown leadership on social justice issues:
Igor Tregub (Berkeley District 1) stands out as an environmental leader and advocate on housing equity. He was instrumental in securing millions of dollars in funding for affordable housing in Berkeley and crafting anti-displacement ordinances.
Mary Kay Lacey (Berkeley District 8) has been a key member of the mayor’s task force to save Alta Bates Hospital. As a lawyer, she regularly represented the underserved on a pro bono basis. For the last ten years she has focused on representing Native American tribes in federal recognition efforts.
Kate Harrison (Berkeley District 4), as a current member of City Council, has introduced ordinances to increase protections related to Berkeley’s sanctuary city policy and advocated for police reform to combat racial disparities in policing.
Matt Haney (San Francisco District 6) is an eviction defense attorney who fought for tenants stay in their homes (often this is pro bono work), and on the SF School Board he led the reform of SFUSD’s policy on suspensions that disproportionately affect African-American youth.
Community Support: This is a fuzzy measure, but the factors we considered included the number and quality of endorsements, the amount of campaign funds raised, the professionalism of the campaign, and the size and quality of the campaign’s social media following.
Long-Term Prospects: Each candidate, if elected, will influence their city’s policies for at least four to eight years, and in that time we want to have a long and productive working relationship with them.
Every candidate we’ve endorsed has already shown great potential in this regard. It’s also worth mentioning that this is one area in which Matt Haney really stands out. At a relatively young age (35), with his background, track record, and endorsements he’s gotten not just from progressives in SF but also national leaders such as Kamala Harris and Barack Obama, we believe he’s got a lot of potential to be a rising star in the political scene and possibly become influential beyond San Francisco in the future.
We’re confident that each of the candidates we’ve endorsed: Igor Tregub, Mary Kay Lacey, Kate Harrison (Berkeley), and Matt Haney (San Francisco), will stand on the side of the marginalized, and they will be our champions in City Hall. These next three weeks are critically important for making a difference in this election, and it’s our chance to see real political change in City Hall. Join us every weekend to knock on voters’ doors, phone bank, and get out the vote!
Volunteer at these events with Compassionate Bay: