Behind the Scenes With Hoodline's 2016 Election Guide

Last October, we debuted a new kind of guide for locals looking to make educated choices ahead of election day. Inspired by a homegrown system that Hoodline product manager Robin Peeples devised for her personal use, the guide organizes all the endorsements from local groups into one easily sortable dashboard to help you see how your interests align with what's on the ballot.

This year, we fielded plenty of requests to recreate our guide for the new election year. So, we did.

Here's what Robin has to say about her approach:

"The guide is a fancier and much more thorough version of something I've done using a spreadsheet every election for years. My strategy had been to look to the eight or ten political and community organizations I trust or identify with — and then see where they agree and disagree. If all ten swing the same way, it's a pretty easy call. The interesting races and propositions are the ones with split votes, so that's where I'll spend time doing my own deeper research."

To create our version, we combed through the websites and newsletters of local groups to find endorsements, which in some cases took a fair amount of digging.

Some organizations hadn't published their endorsements when we launched our guide last week, or were missed in our initial go-round, which means that we're still fielding requests for inclusion. That means that as we continue the forward march to Nov. 8th, we're continuing to update the guide to be as comprehensive and up-to-the-minute as possible.

If you don't see your group's endorsements included, shoot us an email at, and we'll work to incorporate them.

There's also room to improve the guide in future iterations. "We built the tool last year in a bit of a frenzy over just a couple of weeks, so there are a ton of features we'd love to try out someday — things like customized voter cheatsheets and built-in polling," Robin says. So, if you can imagine life after Nov. 8th, stay tuned for future installments.

In the meantime, if you want to join the conversation about local ballot measures on social media, remember to use the hashtag #VotelineSF so we can see what's up.