Regional and San Francisco Ballot Measures
Delegates to the San Francisco Building and Construction Trades Council (SFBCTC) voted March 15 to endorse five of the nine San Francisco measures on the ballot in June’s primary election, as well as Regional Measure 3. The Building Trades Council urges a “Yes” vote on Propositions A, D, E, F and G. The SFBCTC delegates voted to oppose Proposition I and made no recommendation for Propositions B, C, and H.
Regional Measure 3: Regional Transportation Funding and Traffic Relief – Vote YES
If approved by a majority of voters in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma Counties, Regional Measure 3 (RM 3) would allow a $3 bridge toll increase over the next seven years for all seven state-owned bridges in the Bay Area. The measure would raise $4.5 billion for transportation capital improvements and help solve some of the Bay Area’s growing congestion problems. RM 3 would raise tolls by $1 beginning Jan. 1, 2019. Tolls would rise by another $1 in January 2022 with another $1 increase in January 2025. This would mark the first toll increase on the seven state-owned bridges since 2010.
Major projects funded by RM 3 include extending Caltrain to downtown San Francisco, expanding transbay bus services and San Francisco’s fleet of Muni Metro rail cars and adding more vessels to the San Francisco Bay Ferry fleet, as well as many projects in other Bay Area Counties.
Prop A – Revenue Bonds for Public Utilities Commission Clean Power, Water, and Clean Water Facilities – Vote YES
If approved, Proposition A would authorize the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to issue revenue bonds for facilities needed to produce and deliver clean power. It would allow the PUC to incorporate solar electricity, storage and electric vehicle chargers, and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. The bond funds cannot be used to finance construction of power plants that generate electricity using fossil fuels. It requires a two-thirds majority to pass.
Proposition D: San Francisco Commercial Rent Tax for Housing and Homelessness Services – Vote YES
Proposition D raises the tax on the lease of commercial property by 1.7 percent of gross receipts to fund low-income and medium-income housing and homelessness services. Commercial landlords currently pay approximately 0.3 percent of gross receipts. Prop D would generate an additional $70 million annually for the City.
On March 15, Supervisor Ashsa Safai told SFBCTC delegates that the additional revenue would be targeted for housing not already funded through other means – including middle class workforce housing. Safai said funds could be used by the City to buy and renovate existing housing units and partially subsidize housing costs for residents earning between $70,000 and $150,000 annually.
SF Building Trades Council Secretary-Treasurer Mike Theriault said the City owns a plethora of land, including parking lots, which could be sites for affordable and middle-income housing. Since public money would be used on construction and renovation, prevailing wages would be paid on the projects.
Proposition E: Banning the Sale of Flavored Tobacco – Vote YES
Prop E prohibits local tobacco retailers from selling flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, flavored cigars and flavored nicotine solutions used in electronic cigarettes.
Proposition F: City-Funded Legal Representation for All Residential Tenants in Eviction Lawsuits – Vote YES
Prop. F would require the City to establish, fund and operate a program to provide full legal representation for any residential tenant in San Francisco facing an eviction lawsuit. The City currently provides some tenant services, including tenants’ rights education and counseling and free legal representation for a limited number of tenants facing eviction. The cost for the new program would be between $4.2 and $5.6 million annually.
Proposition G – Parcel Tax for San Francisco Unified School District – Vote YES
Proposition G authorizes the San Francisco Unified School District to levy an annual parcel tax of $298 per parcel of taxable real property in the city for 20 years to fund educators’ salaries, staffing, professional development, technology, charter schools and oversight of spending. It would generate approximately $50 million annually. It exempts senior citizens.
The School District could use the funds for the following purposes only:
- To increase the salaries of teachers and para-educators, and to increase the compensation or benefits of other School District employees
- To increase staffing and funding at high-needs schools
- To increase staffing and funding at community schools serving students including those who have been expelled from other schools or are on probation or parole
- To provide additional professional development to teachers and para-educators
- To invest in technology to support educators, students, and families
- To fund charter schools in San Francisco
- To provide oversight to monitor how the School District is spending the parcel tax revenue.
Proposition I: Relocation of Professional Sports Teams – Vote NO
Prop I would set a local policy declaring that San Francisco would not invite or encourage owners of professional sports teams to relocate teams to San Francisco that have been established and profitable in other locations for over 20 years. It is backed by the Mission Bay Alliance, which fought the construction of the new Golden State Warriors arena in the city.
The SFBCTC delegates made no recommendation for Propositions B, C, and H but could revisit Prop C.
Proposition B: Restriction on Board and Commission Members Seeking Office – neutral
Proposition B requires members of boards and commissions to forfeit their seats upon filing for local or state office during their tenure as board members or commissioners.
Proposition C: San Francisco Commercial Rent Tax for Childcare and Early Education – neutral
Proposition C authorizes an additional tax on the lease of commercial property in the amount of 1 percent of gross receipts for warehouse space and 3.5 percent of gross receipts for other commercial properties to fund childcare and early education programs. Since it imposes a similar tax on commercial landlords as Prop D, the measure receiving the most votes would take effect, even if both receive a majority vote.
Proposition H: Tasers for Police Officers – neutral
Prop H would allow San Francisco Police Officers to use Conductive Energy Devices (CEDs)—also known by the brand name tasers. SFPD officers do not currently use CEDs. The San Francisco Police Commission authorized the SFPD to use CEDs starting in December 2018.