2021 ADEM Election step-by-step guide

Voting in the ADEM election will let you amplify your vote power by 100x. ADEM sets the direction of the Democratic Party and controls who earns the Democratic Party endorsement for State Assembly, State Senate, US House, and US Senate.

Voters trust and vote with the Democratic Party endorsements. The endorsements can easily create a 12% vote margin (about 62,000 votes) in these high-stakes elections that determine state and national policy.

You must register for ADEMs by January 11, 2021, and some of the prerequisite steps can take several days, so DO THIS NOW!

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Moving From Medium to Hugo

Medium mostly served me well for the five or so years that I used it, but recently I’ve had a desire to take back control over my content. Friends have been leaving medium for substack, but that’s yet another platform where you don’t actually have control over what you produce. After an extremely bad interaction with medium customer support, I finally took the plunge and moved all of my content to my own website at sbuss.dev.

In this post I’ll walk you through the process of setting up a new Hugo-powered website, using medium-to-hugo to automatically export your content from medium to hugo-compatible markdown files, and deploying the final product with netlify.

This tutorial should work on windows, mac, and linux — assuming you’re comfortable using command-line tools.

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November 2020 Voter Guide

I’m doing something a bit different this election… I teamed up with an incredible group of techies to launch the Tech Worker Voter Guide!

We did candidate outreach and performed deep research into every ballot prop. If you live in San Francisco and work in tech, then check out https://techworkers.vote!

We are pro-tech, pro-jobs, pro-immigrant, pro-growth, and pro-progress.

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It’s time to legalize building

If you want to build the future, then we first have to rebuild our institutions.

Marc Andreessen is right: it’s time to build. The majority of us really want to live in a society with adequate housing, incredible medical technology, beautiful high rises and clean, fast, and reliable transit systems. So why don’t we have it? It’s not as simple as just not building, it’s that our institutions don’t allow us to build.

Ezra Klein sums it up well in Why We Can’t Build:

The institutions through which Americans build have become biased against action rather than toward it. They’ve become, in political scientist Francis Fukuyama’s term, “vetocracies,” in which too many actors have veto rights over what gets built. That’s true in the federal government. It’s true in state and local governments. It’s even true in the private sector.

While we in the tech industry have been focused on building internet technology, launching new industries, and building a society capable of responding to the coronavirus lockdown with remote work, NIMBYs and other rent-seekers have made a bright future illegal. They’ve captured our cities and live off the rent. Their philosophy is to reject growth at every opportunity for the sake of their suburban aesthetic and their million-dollar Eichlers. To complain, when a scrappy neighbor starts a company in their garage, about the impact it could have on local street parking. To use the full power of the state to stop a new apartment complex or a new factory or to kill a startup.

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Pissed off at the Pissed Off Voter Guide

NEW: Looking for my latest San Francisco Voting Guide by Steven Buss? Check out the Tech Worker Voter Guide, which I helped create!

If they are so pissed off with the state of the city, then why did they endorse nearly all of the incumbents running in the upcoming March 2020 election? I guess I’d be pissed off, too, if I kept voting for the same people misgoverning San Francisco year after year!

I’m running for the SF Democratic Party County Central Committee (DCCC) which means, among other things, that I get to fill out a bunch of candidate endorsement questionnaires sent by various local organizations. By far the worst one I saw was for the League of Pissed Off Voters. It’s 5 pages of yes/no questions and demands for loyalty to the NIMBY fauxgressive machine. You aren’t allowed to explain your answers. You aren’t allowed to provide evidence. You must toe the party line.

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San Francisco Supervisors are eating the golden goose

Tired of innumerate elected officials mismanaging the city? Support my campaign for Democratic County Central Committee.

San Francisco just passed an increase to the fees on new office construction and it’s being sold as “$400 million for affordable housing.” In fact, of the $400 million, only $154 million is new revenue, and it’s spread out over20 years. That works out to only $8 million per year in new revenue (or about 30 units of subsidized housing1).

This comes at a cost of $300 million to GDP and over 1000 jobs lost over 20 years, and higher rents for nonprofits and businesses. We can build more low-income affordable housing by lowering barriers instead of killing the economy that employs San Franciscans and funds government services.

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November 2019 San Francisco Voting Guide

I will use my San Francisco Voting Framework to give you recommendations for the November 2019 election. The numbers in (parenthesis) are the voting principles I’m applying to my endorsement.

If you think we need this kind of rigorous analysis in the Democratic Party, then please support me: Steven Buss for Democratic County Central Committee.

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San Francisco Voter Framework

I have a general voting framework for ballot props which works most of the time. I’ve developed this framework over several elections and it is now fairly stable:

  1. Prefer to vote for new taxes, preferably without a set-aside
  2. Vote for groups that don’t have a strong lobby (youth, disabled, homeless, low-income people, the environment)
  3. Vote for social policy change in ways that agree with my values
  4. Vote for things that price externalities
  5. Vote against things which increase needless or unhelpful bureaucracy
  6. Vote against things which infringe upon rights of the people
  7. Vote against things which undermine good government
  8. Generally vote against budget set-asides, which limit the ability of representatives to budget effectively
  9. Vote to liberate funds from budget set-asides, to be useful for other purposes (new this election)
  10. Vote to fund infrastructure (new this election)

Don’t just vote NO on every ballot initiative. California’s broken tax system requires that way too many things go to the ballot because the legislature doesn’t have the constitutional authority to pass certain taxes and other laws. Voting NO for everything based on a principle of “we shouldn’t have to vote on so much” ensures the state is poorly run. My long term strategy with much of my political activism is to undo these rules and to bring California back to full representative democracy where ballot initiatives are rare.

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