Media Advisory: SF State experts available to comment on gubernatorial race, midterm elections and ballot measures

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 7, 2014 -- San Francisco State University has faculty experts from a range of disciplines available to comment on local, statewide and national elections. Experts can comment on such issues as the California gubernatorial race, the Latino and Asian American vote and media portrayal of political candidates, along with ballot measures in California, San Francisco, Oakland and Alameda County.

For assistance in reaching any of these faculty members, please contact University Communications at (415) 338-1665 or


California politics and propositions

Jason McDaniel, assistant professor of political science, is an expert on California politics and urban politics. He can discuss California's gubernatorial and senate elections and the San Francisco supervisorial elections. McDaniel can also comment on campaign finance; advertising; and how race, class, geography and neighborhood affect voting decisions.

Contact McDaniel at


Elizabeth Brown, associate professor and chair of criminal justice, is an expert on race, crime and juvenile justice. She can comment on California's Proposition 47, which would reduce the penalty for most nonviolent crimes to a misdemeanor.

Contact Brown at (415) 405-2692 (office) or


Media and campaign communications

Melissa Camacho, associate professor of broadcast and electronic communication arts, can discuss how candidates are portrayed in the mass media, particularly television. An expert on feminism, Camacho can comment on the depiction of women involved in political campaigns. She is available for interviews in Spanish and English.

Contact Camacho at (415) 338-6526 (office) or


San Francisco and regional ballot measures

John Logan, professor and chair of labor and employment studies, is a nationally recognized expert on the U.S. labor movement. He can comment on San Francisco's Proposition J and Oakland's Measure FF, both of which would raise the minimum wage, as well as the role of unions in the California gubernatorial and other statewide races.

Contact Logan at (415) 338-2885 (office) or


Sally Baack, professor and chair of management, is an expert on strategic and corporate management and a frequent media contributor on general business issues. She can discuss minimum-wage ballot measures in San Francisco (Proposition J) and Oakland (Measure FF). Baack can also comment on San Francisco's Proposition E and Berkeley's Measure D, both of which would tax sugar-sweetened beverages.

Contact Baack at


Gretchen George, assistant professor of consumer & family studies/dietetics, is an expert on childhood obesity and a registered dietitian. She can comment on the health implications of San Francisco's Proposition E and Berkeley's Measure D, which would tax sugar-sweetened beverages.

Contact George at (415) 338-3421 (office) or


Venoo Kakar, assistant professor of economics, is an expert on macroeconomics and monetary policy and can discuss San Francisco's minimum-wage increase ballot measure, Proposition J.

Contact Kakar at (415) 405-3461 (office) or


Jason Henderson, professor of geography, is an expert on the geography and politics of transportation and land use in cities, including San Francisco, and is the author of the book "Street Fight: The Politics of Mobility in San Francisco." He can discuss San Francisco's propositions A, B and L and Alameda County's Measure BB.

Contact Henderson at


Race, religion, ethnicity and immigration

Belinda Reyes, associate professor of Latina/Latino studies and director of the Cesar E. Chavez Institute, can discuss the Latino vote, immigration and education issues. She is available for interviews in Spanish and English.

Contact Reyes at (415) 405-7586 (office) or


Marcela Garcia-Castañon, assistant professor of political science, is an expert in Latino politics, immigration policy and political communication. She can discuss Latino political engagement, political-message saturation in media and how political messages are crafted for and received by particular populations. Garcia-Castañon can also comment on voter mobilization and turnout generally, and specifically about Latino populations in California.

Contact Garcia-Castañon at


Russell Jeung, professor of Asian American studies, is an expert on Asian American communities and politics. He has conducted research on how race and religion influence Asian American voting behavior. Jeung can discuss the diversity of the Asian American community, political candidates' appeal to this demographic and reasons for the specific voting patterns of Asian Americans.

Contact Jeung at


David Lee, lecturer in political science, is an expert on Asian American politics including voting rights and bilingual access for civic participation. Lee is a longtime community organizer in San Francisco's Asian American neighborhoods and served for almost 20 years as executive director of the nonpartisan Chinese American Voters Education Committee.

Contact Lee at (415) 397-8133 (office) or


National politics

Robert C. Smith, professor of political science, is a nationally recognized expert on U.S. politics and African American politics. He can provide analysis of the midterm elections, including how U.S. Congressional races may impact President Barack Obama's policy agenda. His upcoming book, "Polarization and the Presidency: From FDR to Barack Obama," looks at how presidents and presidential candidates have contributed to American political polarization.

Contact Smith at (415) 338-7524 (office) or


Francis Neely, associate professor of political science, is an expert on how voters form affiliations with political parties, the psychology of partisanship, and the role of emotions in voting. He can also discuss voting behavior and election systems, and has studied ranked choice voting extensively.

Contact Neely at (415) 338-1522 (office) or




SF State is the only master's-level public university serving the counties of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin. The University enrolls nearly 30,000 students each year and offers nationally acclaimed programs in a range of fields -- from creative writing, cinema, biology and history to broadcast and electronic communication arts, theatre arts and ethnic studies. The University’s more than 228,000 graduates have contributed to the economic, cultural and civic fabric of San Francisco and beyond.