Help the Public Press grow — become a member today!
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.
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 transparency, lobbyist accountability and city workers’ paid parental leave.
Stay tuned for more coverage through Election Day on Nov. 3. A lot is at stake.
THIS PROJECT WAS MADE POSSIBLE BY DONATIONS FROM THE FUND FOR INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM AND PUBLIC PRESS MEMBERS. You should join us!