San Francisco to vote on minimum police staffing charter amendment on March 5

Welcome to the Thursday, January 11, Brew. 

By: Juan Garcia de Paredes

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. San Francisco to vote on minimum police staffing charter amendment on March 5
  2. Three candidates are running in the March 5 Democratic primary for North Carolina Attorney General
  3. In the latest episode of On the Ballot: More members of Congress have announced they will not seek re-election in 2024 than at this point in previous cycles

San Francisco to vote on minimum police staffing charter amendment on March 5

Voters in San Francisco, California, will decide on a policing-related charter amendment, Proposition B, on March 5, 2024.

Proposition B would amend the city’s charter regarding minimum police officer staffing levels and establish a fund for police officer recruitment and staffing. However, these provisions would only go into effect if voters approve a new tax or amend an existing tax in the future to fund the provisions.

District 6 Supervisor Matt Dorsey originally drafted the charter amendment but opposed it after Supervisor Ahshas Safaí amended it in committee. Safaí’s amendment changed Proposition B, requiring that voters must approve a new tax or amend an existing one for the changes proposed in Proposition B to take effect. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 6-5 to put Proposition B on the ballot.

Proposition B would: 

  • Change the minimum requirement of police officers from 1,700 to 2,074 in the first five years after the amendment takes effect.
  • Require the city to budget enough money to pay for at least the number of police officers employed during the previous year.
  • Require the police commission to set a minimum number of full-time police officers, which may not be reduced by more than 5% per year unless two-thirds of the police commission votes for a larger reduction.
  • Create a fund for police recruitment that would last for five to 10 years. The fund would also develop and administer hiring strategies, and fund hiring incentives for new police officers.

Writing in support of the amendment, Safaí said, “Prop. B would require San Francisco to set and achieve a minimum staffing level of 2,074 officers over the next five years and direct City Hall to be open and transparent with voters about how we pay for it … The first step is simply, to be honest with the residents of this city — to prove to them that we are indeed capable of achieving a minimum police staffing goal while being fiscally responsible about making it happen.”

Supervisor Dorsey said, “Proposition B is a confusing mess of political gamesmanship that actually prevents San Francisco voters from mandating a fully staffed police department — unless and until they pass ‘a future tax measure’ to ‘generate sufficient additional revenue’ to recruit and hire more officers … San Francisco is a $14.6 billion enterprise. We can afford a fully staffed police department. A fully staffed SFPD should be a baseline expectation for the taxes you already pay — not a fee-for-service add-on.”

Ballotpedia covered 16 local law enforcement-related ballot measures in 2023. Eleven were approved, and five were defeated.

San Francisco voters will decide on a total of seven local ballot measures on March 5, in addition to one state ballot measure.

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Three candidates are running in the March 5 Democratic primary for North Carolina Attorney General 

In four days, Iowa Republicans will decide the country’s first presidential nominating contest, kicking off a presidential and statewide primary bonanza that will last through September. 

Throughout the year, we’ll bring you coverage of the most compelling Republican and Democratic primaries—the battleground elections we expect to have a meaningful effect on the balance of power in governments or to be particularly competitive. 

On Tuesday, we previewed the March 5 Republican primary for Alabama’s 1st Congressional District, which features two congressional incumbents: U.S. Reps. Jerry Carl (R) and Barry Moore (R). You can catch our previous coverage of other battleground races here.

Today, we’re looking at the Democratic Party primary for Attorney General of North Carolina, which will also take place on March 5.

Satana Deberry (D), Tim Dunn (D), and Jeff Jackson (D) are running. Deberry and Jackson have led in pre-election polls and media attention. Incumbent Josh Stein (D) is running for governor rather than seeking re-election.

Deberry is the state’s 16th District prosecuting attorney, with responsibility for Durham County. She earlier worked as a defense attorney, general counsel to the state Department of Health and Human Services, and executive director of the North Carolina Housing Coalition. Deberry is a self-described “progressive prosecutor,” which she defines as being “not just focused on the punishment part of prosecution…[but] looking at each individual case and trying to come up with a resolution that is both fair and just.” Deberry wants to bring her model of prosecution from Durham County to the statewide justice system.

“We don’t want people to think that there is not a choice in this race, that there is not somebody who is qualified, who is experienced, who is a prosecutor who has run a large office and who has the courage to do the job … My lived experience makes me a better candidate,” Deberry said.

The Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People endorsed Deberry.

Jackson has represented North Carolina’s 14th Congressional District since 2022. Jackson launched his campaign for attorney general after the 14th District’s boundaries were changed during redistricting and became more favorable to Republicans. Before his election to the U.S. House, Jackson served eight years in the North Carolina Senate and three as an assistant district attorney in Gaston County. Jackson wants to bring his values of honesty and decency to the attorney general’s office.

Following Deberry’s campaign announcement, Jackson’s campaign said, “As a former prosecutor and Army Major in the JAG Corps, Congressman Jackson has spent his life in public service, fighting for North Carolina families. We’re glad to welcome anyone to the race and hope that the primary can be positive and thoughtful.

The six other members of the North Carolina Democratic congressional delegation endorsed Jackson.

The general election will help determine North Carolina’s triplex status. The state is holding elections for all three triplex offices—governor, secretary of state, and attorney general—in 2024. North Carolina has a Democratic triplex because all three officeholders are Democrats.

No Republican has been elected attorney general in North Carolina since 1897. However, local political observers expect the general election to be competitive owing to the candidacy of U.S. Rep. Dan Bishop (R). Western Carolina University professor Chris Cooper said the general election was “probably going to go down as the most expensive AG race we’ve had in the state of North Carolina. I don’t know if it will be the most competitive, but I think it will be among the most competitive.”

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In the latest episode of On the Ballot: More members of Congress have announced they will not seek re-election in 2024 than at this point in previous cycles 

On the Ballot, our weekly podcast, takes a closer look at the week’s top political stories.

In this week’s episode, Producer Frank Festa fills in for host Victoria Rose and sits down with Staff Writer Juan Garcia de Paredes (me) to talk about the number of congressional incumbents who are not seeking re-election this year. 

In this quick chat, Frank and I discuss the number of incumbents in the U.S. House and Senate who have announced they’re not seeking re-election this year and how those numbers compare to previous cycles. We also discuss the recent surge in retirement announcements and dive into some of the reasons incumbents have given for why they’ve decided not to run for another term.

Here’s a quick rundown of the numbers so far: 

As of Jan. 9, 45 members of Congress have announced they would not seek re-election this year. These members include seven U.S. Senators—five Democrats and two Republicans—and 38 U.S. House members—22 Democrats and 16 Republicans.

In the 2022 cycle, 41 members—six Senators and 35 House members—had announced they would not seek re-election. Thirty-eight members had done so at this point in 2020, and 40 had done so in 2018. 

Of the 45 members not running this year, five—all Republicans—announced their intentions after Dec. 15:

  • Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.), and Greg Pence (R-Ind.) are retiring from public office.
  • Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah) is running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by retiring Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah).

Tune in to learn more! Episodes of On the Ballot come out Thursday afternoons, so if you’re reading this on the morning of Jan. 11, you’ve still got time to subscribe on your favorite podcast app before this week’s episode comes out.

Click here to read more about the congressional incumbents not running for re-election this year. Click the link below to listen to this and other episodes of On the Ballot and find links to where you can subscribe.

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