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San Francisco 2015 Nonpartisan Election Guide

Propositions A to K, Mayor, Supervisor District 3, Sheriff, Community College and Uncontested

By Noah Arroyo

All told, hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars are on the line on the November 2015 ballot. Excluding Proposition D — the Mission Rock waterfront development — if all measures were approved, the cost of city government would increase by at least about $7.6 million in the first year the new regulations kicked in. Conversely, if Proposition D passed, City Hall would earn a $100 million windfall in initial fees once the Mission Rock project began, in addition to $25 million in annual tax revenue.

And if this year mirrors previous off-year elections, then a minority of San Franciscans will decide the outcome. When Barack Obama ran for re-election in 2012, almost 73 percent of city voters hit the polls — but without the graviatational pull of a presidential competition, the city’s voter turnout has been dismally low. In 2013, only 29 percent of registered voters cast ballots; it was 53 percent last year.

The fewer people vote, the more each vote counts. Not registered yet? You have until Oct. 19 to register for the Nov. 3, 2015, elections. Register online or at any public library, Department of Motor Vehicles or U.S. Post Office.

In a rush? See the bottom of this page for highlights of some of the important issues on this year’s ballot.

Photo by Stella Sladikin / SF Public Press

Proposition A

would create a fund with up to $310 million for helping people remain in, and move to, San Francisco if they otherwise could not afford to do so.

Photo by Stella Sladikin / SF Public Press

Proposition B

would increase paid parental leave for qualified city government workers.

Photo by Stell Sladikin / SF Public Press

Proposition C

would require more people to register as official lobbyists, potentially increasing transparency in government.

Image courtesy of SF Giants http://sfgiantsphotos.mlblogs.com/2012/04/04/mission-rock-proposal-unveiling/missionrock_at-a-glance-040412/

Proposition D

would make it possible for the Mission Rock waterfront development to move forward in the Mission Bay neighborhood.

Photo by Stella Sladikin / SF Public Press

Proposition E

would give members of the public more access to, and control over, the meetings of San Francisco government’s “policy bodies,” which direct City Hall’s agendas.

Photo by Stella Sladikin / SF Public Press

Proposition F

would actively regulate the city’s short-term rental industry, much of which largely operates outside of City Hall’s knowledge and control.

Photo by Stell Sladikin / SF Public Press

PropOSITIONS G & H

would either restrict the defintion of “clean” or “green” energy (G) or nullify that restriction (H).

Photo by Stell Sladikin / SF Public PressProposition I

would block the construction, demolition or conversion of nearly all new, unpermitted market-rate housing in the Mission District for 18 months.

Photo by Stell Sladikin / SF Public Press Proposition J

would help longtime businesses continue operating in San Francisco.

Photo by Stell Sladikin / SF Public PressProposition K

aims to make it easier for developers to build affordable housing using city-owned land.

Supervisor, DIST. 3

Three candidates are vying for the District 3 supervisorial seat on Nov. 3.

Mayor

Mayor Ed Lee is running for a second four-year term and is likely to be re-elected, but is being challenged by five eclectic political newcomers.

Photo by Stell Sladikin / SF Public PressSheriff

Incumbent Ross Mirkarimi faces challenges from two candidates with experience in the department.

Uncontested races

The city attorney, district attorney and treasurer are all running unopposed.

community college board

Four candidates square off to lead City College of San Francisco through a rocky transition.

Highlights on this year’s ballot

  • Maybe you think City Hall should build more affordable housing and help middle-income earners buy their first homes? Proposition A would borrow $310 million to do just that. And Proposition K might make it easier for those homes to be built on city-owned land.
  • Perhaps you like the idea of a new mini shopping center on the waterfront, featuring a 23-story mixture of office space and mostly market-rate homes? That project cannot move forward unless you say “yes” to Proposition D.
  • Or maybe you are distressed at the breakneck pace of luxury housing construction, especially in the Mission District, where much of the city’s building boom has concentrated? Proposition I would temporary halt nearly all new, unpermitted, market-rate housing in that neighborhood, giving city officials and community groups time to figure out how to build more low- to middle-income units.
  • Do you think the city’s bed-and-breakfast industry should remain largely unregulated, so that some people can continue using it as their main income — setting aside thousands of homes for tourists, rather than permanent residents? Proposition F would likely shrink that industry.
  • Or maybe you are worried that San Francisco’s burning real-estate market might be too hot for your favorite decades-old bookstore to weather? Proposition J would create a new, potentially massive city fund to help longtime businesses keep paying their rents.
  • Meanwhile, the ballot’s other measures tweak key aspects of City Hall’s machinery: government transparencylobbyist accountability and city workers’ paid parental leave.

Stay tuned for more coverage through Election Day on Nov. 3. A lot is at stake.

 

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