Updated Nov. 5 at 1:37 p.m.
California voters Tuesday night rejected several propositions backed by local Jewish organizations, while a number of Bay Area Jewish politicians kept their seats or were newly elected.
Here’s a rundown of the results:
State Sen. Scott Wiener: Despite a promising challenge from Democratic Socialist Jackie Fielder, the District 11 incumbent representing San Francisco won handily, 205,000 votes to Fielder’s 142,019. Though Wiener is considered a strong liberal when compared with his colleagues in the Legislature, Fielder promised an even more progressive platform and a vastly different plan on addressing the state’s housing crisis.
“Representing our community in the Senate is the honor of my life,” Wiener said in a statement to J. “I’m deeply grateful to the voters for sending me back to Sacramento for another term. I will work day and night to justify that trust. We face massive challenges — Covid, unemployment, homelessness, climate change, lack of housing, and so forth — and we must focus like a laser on addressing them.”
During his bid for reelection, Wiener faced an onslaught of antisemitic and homophobic attacks, reportedly from the QAnon movement. And on Nov. 2, a mailer was sent out by two Native American tribes that showed Wiener shrugging behind a wall of $100 bills in an attempt to criticize his record on the state’s housing development.
“I was surprised and disappointed to see this attack using age-old antisemitic tropes,” Wiener said in a statement to J. regarding the mailer. “We live in a scary time, with a dramatic rise in antisemitism here and around the world. Depicting Jews with piles of money surrounding us is simply not appropriate, and I hope we won’t see this kind of attack on Jewish elected officials in the future.” Both the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria and Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians did not respond to an email requesting comment.
State Sen. Josh Becker: Representing the 13th District, which covers most of the Peninsula, Becker is a Democrat elected to the state Senate for the first time. A public policy innovator working at the nexus of community activism, technology and social justice, Becker is a 20-year resident of Menlo Park, where he lives with his wife and two children. He was endorsed by a long list of politicians, business leaders and state organizations, and has an MBA and law degree from Stanford.
State Sen. Steve Glazer: The incumbent District 7 Democrat of Orinda won in a landslide victory against Republican Julie Mobley by a margin of almost 40 percent.
Assembly member Rebecca Bauer-Kahan: The incumbent District 16 Democrat won easily against Republican Joseph Rubay by more than 40 percentage points.
Proposition 15: The ballot measure that would tax commercial and industrial properties at their market rate rather than at their purchase price, in an effort to raise money for education, is looking like it will not pass by almost 400,000 votes. Seventy rabbis across the state and the S.F.-based Jewish Community Relations Council endorsed the proposition; however, neither the Anti-Defamation League nor the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism took positions.
Proposition 16: An effort to reinstate affirmative action that had heavy support from California Jews, despite the American Jewish community’s rocky history with the practice, failed by a large margin, close to 1.5 million votes. The proposition was supported by the ADL, the JCRC, the Religious Action Center, Bend the Arc, and the National Council of Jewish Women in California.
Proposition 18: A bid to make some 17-year-olds eligible to vote in primary elections will not pass, likely losing by more than 1 million votes. The proposition was partially spearheaded by Ella Yitzhaki, a Jewish 18-year-old from San Francisco currently a freshman at Cornell University. Yitzhaki testified before an Assembly election committee in June 2019 in support of the measure, which was later endorsed by Rabbi Katie Mizrahi of Or Shalom Jewish Community in San Francisco.
S.F. supervisors: Incumbents Aaron Peskin from District 3, Dean Preston from District 5 and Hillary Ronen from District 9 all are keeping their seats on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Peskin, who got 55 percent of the vote, ran against Danny Sauter, who got 35.3 percent. Preston ran against Vallie Brown, and Ronen ran unopposed.
Oakland City Council: At-large member and incumbent Rebecca Kaplan leads Derreck Johnson by a comfortable 12 percent, and in District 1, incumbent Dan Kalb is leading Steph Dominguez Walton by 24 percentage points.
Sacramento supervisors: Gregg Fishman looks to be the winner in the very tight race for a Sacramento County District 3 supervisor seat. He ran against Rich Desmond. Fishman accused his opponent earlier this month of perpetuating an antisemitic trope when a mailer was sent out by Desmond’s campaign that depicted Fishman shrugging, portraying him as “all talk and no action.”
Walnut Creek City Council: Kevin Wilk was reelected and will serve as Walnut Creek’s mayor in 2021, according to the council’s rotation schedule.