Elections around the United States this fall are slated to create significant change in the country’s political climate. Come November 2, California voters will choose a new governor, senator and lieutenant governor. Additionally, San Francisco residents will vote for district supervisors in even numbered districts. Members of the Foghorn staff certainly do not see eye-to-eye on every political issue, but we all agree that students should be informed about the elections and propositions that maybe have a great effect on all of our lives.
Regardless of whether USF students are registered California voters, it is crucial for us to be cognizant of who runs our government and how local and national elections influence the issues we care about. Currently, five districts in San Francisco are holding elections for district supervisor. USF students who live in the Outer Sunset (district four), the Castro (district eight) or downtown (district 6) will all have the opportunity to elect new supervisors.
On a state level, San Francisco’s mayor Gavin Newsom is running for Lieutenant Governor on the Democratic ticket. His opponent, Abel Maldonado, is the Republican incumbent. Newsom’s campaign is heavily focused on education reform, something that could greatly benefit state schools. His progressive stance on funding for education has received significant acknowledgement as mayor of San Francisco and we can expect that his attention to education will continue if he is elected in Sacramento. Maldonado’s campaign is focusing less on education and more on economic reform. He describes himself as a fiscal conservative, someone who is opposed to raising taxes and an advocate for small businesses.
Also on the state level, Democrat Jerry Brown and Republican Meg Whitman are competing for Governor, as moderate Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger reaches his term limit. Both candidates have used aggressive advertising in the past few months to belittle their opponents. The Foghorn sees this as a childish campaign strategy and hopes most USF students will recognize the arbitrary nature of campaigning against someone, instead of for something.
Possibly one of the most relevant races to USF students is the battle for District Eight representation in the U.S. Senate between incumbent Barbara Boxer and Republican nominee Carly Fiorina. The two candidates disagree on almost every issue, epitomized by Boxer’s background in politics and civil rights and Fiorina’s background as CEO of Hewlett-Packard. Boxer’s priorities in the Senate have been health care reform, the increase of Pell grants and education funding for minorities and advocacy for immigrant families. Fiorina’s campaign has capitalized on her experience in big business, her pro-life and anti-gay marriage beliefs and her disdain for Obama’s health care reform plan.
While these races unfold in the next month, students at USF should stay informed about how each candidate could affect the city of San Francisco, the state of California and the United States upon election. The Foghorn encourages everyone in the USF community to vote, regardless of where they are registered. By staying informed, USF students have the opportunity to become truly active citizens.
Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy
Chief Copy-Editor: Burke McSwain
Opinion Editor: Laura Waldron