San Francisco just became the largest U.S. city to allow non-citizens to vote in local races. This gives all of those who live, work, and raise their children in the Bay Area an opportunity to weigh in on the school board without requiring citizenship. In 2016, San Francisco residents voted to allow non-citizens with children in the city’s school system to vote for school board members. The city has spent about $310,000 setting up a new registry system but are already facing one major issue. At this time, only 49 non-citizens have registered to vote and that may be due to fears the of being listed on a roll that could be used to identify them by immigration services.
San Francisco is allowing more undocumented people to vote in local elections.
Noncitizens, including those without legal status, will be allowed to vote only in a San Francisco school board race. Just a little more than 40 have registered to vote so far. https://t.co/fPjQxk3ZmW
The program has opened up school board elections to non-citizens who are over the age of 18, city residents and have children under age 19. Now they are taking the program and allowing all undocumented residents to vote on local elections.
California has been a leader when it comes to offering opportunities to those here without papers, including providing designated driver’s licenses, college tuition breaks and child healthcare. Voting is a first in the state and many see it as a reflections of California’s huge immigrant population. San Francisco had started registering non-citizens to vote in the Nov. 6 election back in July and each voter would cost the city to about $6,300 per voter. City officials say one-third of all parents whose children are in San Francisco public schools are non-citizens.
“It will speak to that sort of sense that change is coming to the United States and that change is being done extralegally somehow,” Louis DeSipio, a professor of political science at UC Irvine, told the LA Times.
City officials hope the program gets more non-citizen parents involved but getting them to register to vote might be the hardest part.
Next week undocumented immigrants and permanent legal residents will have their first chance to vote for San Francisco school board. I wrote for @thenation about America's history of non-citizen voting, and the cities now bringing it back https://t.co/CAHjDALjN1
While San Francisco is a sanctuary city, many non-citizens are concerned about having their information out in public records. Following the election of President Donald Trump, fears that signing up to vote could expose non-citizens to immigration authorities might have put a damper on the program and a big reason why only 49 have registered.
Shamann Walton, a San Francisco Unified School District commissioner, says that the low-turnout this year isn’t indicative of the success of the program and sees why many haven’t come forward to vote.
“I share the same fear [as] our undocumented residents,” Walton told the LA Times. “I don’t expect people to rush to the polls and give the federal government the opportunity to attack our city residents.”
San Francisco follows the lead of a few other cities in the U.S. where non-citizens are allowed to vote in local elections, not state or federal.
San Francisco’s move to allow non-citizens to vote has caused some backlash from conservatives that are using it as a political issue. They say it’s yet another example of California’s efforts to protect people in this country illegally from the president’s immigration crackdown. Yet several cities in Massachusetts and Chicago have already allowed at various times non-citizens to vote in local elections.
Sometimes, home isn’t just where the heart is, it’s where you pack it up and move it. San Francisco resident Tim Brown seems to know this truth after buying a home in 2013 and moving it to a new location.
The 139-year-old Victorian house was moved in one piece through the streets of San Francisco to a new location.
The 5,170-square-foot house was relocated from its original address at 807 Franklin St. to 635 Fulton St., just a few blocks away.
Brown bought the home in 2013 with plans to repair it after it fell into disrepair. According to Hoodline, the house has six bedrooms and three baths and “will be relocated to 635 Fulton Street, where an existing building, which housed Bryant Mortuary for nearly 60 years, has already been moved to the eastern side of the 10,415-square-foot site to make room for it. The move is currently slated to occur on February 21, barring any rain delays.”
The house will be combined and turned into a 17-unit apartment building according to a report by SF Gate. A 47-unit apartment complex will be built in the house’s previous lot.
According to users on Twitter, the house’s move became somewhat of a parade as onlookers came out to watch a truck slowly move the historic house.
“It’s the most excitement I’ve had in 10 years. What if it topples?” Camilla Blomqvist said in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle.
According to Phil Joy, a veteran house mover, the house’s quarter-mile move took several years to plan.
According to Joy, the move was particularly difficult because the house was 80 feet in length and part of the path required going downhill.
“We had to get 15 different city agencies to agree to this,” Joy explained about the house which cost Brown nearly $400,000 in moving costs and fees.
Desperate times are here and they are calling for desperate measures. As millions of citizens eligible to vote go out to cast their ballots in hopes of ensuring a brighter future for the United States, many are still wringing their hands in fear. After all, as the past four years have proven, quite a lot can happen in one presidential term, and not all of it good.
Recently, users on Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit have been sharing what they think they will do if things don’t turn out as they plan.
Check out their responses below!
“Vote again next year. Obviously not for president but yeah, mostly just keep doing what I am. Edit: probably look for a new job too – he’s not good for my current employers prospects.” –flamedragon822
“Do what we did in 2016. Resist, protest, support local democrats who affect our lives way more, and go about our lives.
I, personally, have zero desire to leave this country. Maybe I’d prefer to have been born in Canada or Germany, but I was born here, I identify with this country, I like this country, and I’ll fight to fix it rather than leave. It’s never a lost cause.” –10art1
“I’m the other guy. When I was a child my parents were worried I was very sick and they had to weigh the possibility of permanent damage for their child against crippling debt of hospital bills because my country didn’t care enough about me to help take care of me. Well what do you know, now that I’m an adult I don’t care enough about my country to help take care of it.
I’ve moved to Canada. Not specifically for that reason, but it sure is one hell of a perk that even though I’m only a permanent resident me and my family never have to hesitate to get medical help. Most people don’t get a chance to choose their country, but their country has the opportunity to choose them; to help and support and take care of them. America wasn’t there for me then, I feel no obligation to be there for it now.” –camshell
“I won’t lie it would be immensely frustrating. Especially because if Trump does win, it’ll probably be from winning the right combo of swing states again with an even wider margin in the popular vote than 2020. I estimate that Biden could lead by up to 7% in the popular vote this year and still lose the general. But what will I do about it? Nothing mostly. Probably take out my frustration in the form of donating to various causes to reduce the damage this country (and a certain other country that promotes global far-right interests) is doing to itself and the world. The reality is since the beginning of history the left has been stifled. The powerful have both the incentive and ability to protect their power, and the have-nots win only with the help of tremendous luck. Repeated frustrating lost battles in a slow march of progress will always be the way of the left.” –beigebaron
“Same thing I did in 2016… go to bed with a headache.” –xTheBigShow
“Yeah I’m out. I’m an engineering student so I doubt I’ll have trouble finding employment overseas, and Trump winning in 2020 means either he rigged the election (meaning fascism can’t be too far away) or there really are enough ignorant and/or bigoted people in the US to vote that shitstain back in. Either outcome means I no longer want to live in this country.” –-Anguscr4p-
“The following is a copy of the original post to record the post as it was originally written. Leave the country? Riot? Take to Twitter? I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please contact the moderators of this subreddit if you have any questions or concerns.” –AutoModerator
“Probably abandon all the other issues I should be spending my time caring about and focus purely on electoral reform.
The right to rule is given by the consent of the governed. So why are we letting people win on a technicality while the majority of the country is left pounding sand? Where in our constitution does it even account for a two party system? Nowhere! And yet we’ve allowed them to drag us through a civil war, mass incarceration, unfettered capitalism, and blatant foreign interference. It’s painfully obvious the vast majority of people are not a constituent of either party.” – KamikazeSkylark
“There’s a good chance I’ll leave. I’m experienced in EU data protection and technology law, and I’ve had opportunities over in Europe already that I’ve passed up. If trump wins again it’ll be hard to say no next time. I love this country, but at a certain point enough is enough. The problem isn’t just Trump. It’s that so many Americans actually support him.” –spice_weasel
“Probably evolve my participation in the political process beyond simply voting. 2016 spurred me to begin volunteering with Big Brother and my local crisis line. I’ve never viewed myself as having the patience for politics, but if Trump wins in 2020, it may be time to actually get involved in my local politics or with a national political organization. quit my job and get involved in politics full-time with a local or national organization. edit: clarity.”- Reddit user
“I may consider running to be a Congress person. The only problem is I live in a liberal area. I’m not going to be replacing any republican so it’s a moot point at the local level. Our entire local government is all Dem so eh. But hey maybe I can do something.” –PlebPlayer
“The same thing I said in 2016: complain about it on the internet. It’d be sad to see the country damaged more than it already has been, and to watch the dying democracy.” –zlefin_actual
“I’ll probably do the same as most Americans, tune in to season 2 to see what direction the show is going before eventually getting bored and stop watching.” –bender710
“Well night of and day after, I’ll most likely bunker down and stay away from the riots. I’ll probably also read Reddit/Twitter and laugh at people thinking Trump wouldn’t win again. Then I’ll cry for how dumb Americans are, how lazy of a voter base we have, and losing my innocence, again.” –rudedudemood
“He won’t if we vote instead of just saying “he won’t”. Certainly I would not leave the country. Protest. Resist. Fight back in every way.” –MutatedFrog-
“Hope we can break the conservatives back and take their majority in senate so they can no longer protect him.” –datfixinboy
“Get on with my life because I am not American. I consider establishment Democrats to be centrist conservatives anyway.”-nsci2ece
“I’d like to think I’d do something good like resisting, protesting, etc, but if he wins, I’ll probably honestly just give up and do my best to ignore politics until the next elections.” – RavenLabratories
“Same thing I’ve been doing these last 4 years: call out his bullshit, vote against his cronies and make sure we learn from our loss.” –thisisathrowaway_900
“Pray that the U.S can keep itself together over the next four years and focus on getting my political science/law degree so I can run for office myself and get these fascists out of government.”- OfElephantMonkeys
“I’d probably get pretty serious about Canada. I live not far from the border and my company is based out of Vancouver so there’s a possibility of being transferred. I would consider a second Trump turn to be a sign America has given up on getting back on it’s feet. Another several years of protests, riots, racial violence, defunding education, and safety nets even during a pandemic – the most heartless legislation and tone deaf administration I’ve witnessed in my entire life. I don’t think he’s doing it to make America great. I think he’s doing it at his dictators behest to intentionally weaken us and make us less powerful on a world scale, less of a threat to Putin. I think he’s setting the groundwork to allow us to be very easily taken advantage of and I don’t plan on sticking around for any more of this shitshow than is necessary. I want my daughter to grow up in a country where she’s more valuable than her eggs and has a shot at a decent education. May be some place where people actually care about whether or not kids are routinely getting shot up in schools and people don’t go bankrupt from a broken bone.” –Zoklett
“Same shit I always do probably, unless we all die from coronavirus.” –Star_City
“Nothing much. I don’t even know what Trump would do as a 2nd term POTUS. Probably very little…all he cares about is campaigning and trolling. If you remove the notion of a future election, he probably will just sit around his FL house, watch Fox, and play golf with PM Abe.” –DukeofDixieland
“Nothing? Trump is a lame duck president. He’s actually preferable to Biden simply because he has less potential to do harm. As soon as Trump is out of office, most people currently following politics will go back to ignoring politics within a couple of years.” –WBSNE