Political Science Lecturer David Lee, in an Oct. 27 San Francisco Chronicle story, explained pitfalls ranked-choice voting may face in the upcoming San Francisco election featuring 21 candidates for supervisor in district 10. Candidates are endorsing each other for the second or third rank votes, "Marlene (Tran) needs Potrero Hill votes and Tony (Kelly) needs Chinese votes in Visitacion Valley," Lee said. "Ranked-choice voting is supposed to bring diverse constituencies together to support slates of candidates instead of individuals."
Associate Professor of Management Tom Thomas commented in an Oct. 26 The Hill story about Proposition 26, which has gone largely unnoticed by voters but could potentially undermine state climate-change laws. "The low level of awareness makes them fair game for ads but also makes it harder to gain support," Thomas said. "Typically if an initiative starts out with less than overwhelming support -- if it’s an initiative that has to do with business interests -- it’s not likely to win." But he cautions that, with the low awareness, late advertising could sway less educated voters, "those numbers can really move on Election Day. I’d say it’s still a little dicey, it’s still a little up in the air."
An Oct. 25 Forbes magazine story cites findings of the Family Acceptance Project that LGBT youth are eight times more likely to attempt suicide if they experience rejection from their parents. Director of the Family Acceptance Project Caitlin Ryan explained that parents need not choose between church and supporting their children, "I see the faith as a strength," Ryan said. "Their deep values are a strength that enables them to provide for their children, to work hard to get them education, to care for them and nurture them, so there's a lot to build on there."
High times, no ads
In an Oct. 24 San Francisco Chronicle story, Associate Professor of Political Science Martin Carcieri explains the lack of political ads for or against proposition 19 which would legalize, regulate and tax marijuana. "It tells us that this is such a touchy subject you have to be careful… That, plus neither side has a ton of money, and ads are expensive," Carcieri said. "Americans really do believe in personal liberty, and that's part of why this proposition has gotten this far… Of course, this is too much for even a lot of those who believe in personal liberty -- but this time there is also the money argument… Without the desperate economic situation we have now, this wouldn't be on the ballot."
Professor of Labor Studies John Logan commented in an Oct. 21 San Francisco Business Times story on coordinated union strikes against Hilton hotels in San Francisco, Honolulu and Chicago, and "de-marketing" efforts against owner and global operator Blackstone. "Unions have become more sophisticated," Logan said. "In this particular dispute, the union feels the hotels are not prepared to budge. By targeting one particular hotel chain, this is really the only way they are likely to make a breakthrough to force this one particular hotel chain to settle. The others would then follow suit."
Beholder as art
Professor of Art Steve Wilson was the subject of an Oct. 21 St. Louis Jewish Light interview highlighting his wide-ranging artistic output. "Interactive art asks the viewer to get involved. That changes the experience and the possibilities of what you might see or hear," Wilson said. For example, "'Protozoa Games' are video games that you play against protozoa. I wanted people to realize that life at the single-cell level has complexity. Some tasks that I asked humans to do were easier for the protozoa, and that gets people thinking about humility."
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