64. Michael Weinstein
When we reviewed a draft of this list with our super secret Top 100 brain trust, there was a collective “Ewwww” when we got to Michael Weinstein’s name. “Don’t reward bad behavior,” one said. Loudly. No one will accuse Weinstein, the head of the L.A.-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), of being too timid in his advocacy. In April he caused an uproar: He funded a Bay Area hit piece against Sen. Scott Weiner’s SB50 housing bill that featured a photo of author James Baldwin and charged that the bill would lead to “negro removal.” San Francisco Mayor London Breed and other prominent Black leaders denounced the ad and its message; what will Weinstein come up with when SB50 comes back in 2020? In 2018, AHF was the biggest funder behind Proposition 10 (the Costa-Hawkins repeal), spending over $22 million on the effort, which ultimately went down with less than 40% of the vote. Not to be dissuaded, Weinstein’s group is backing the Rental Affordability Act, which it hopes to get on the November 2020 ballot.
Updated August 21, 2019