San Francisco made it through nearly half the alphabet, we had so many propositions to vote on this year. How did your pet issues do?
WINNER: Local Measure A - San Francisco Transportation and Road Improvement Bond
This was Mayor Lee's baby, a $500 million general obligation bond intended "to construct, redesign and rebuild streets and sidewalks and to make infrastructure repairs and improvements that increase [sic] MUNI service reliability, ease traffic congestion, reduce vehicle travel times, enhance pedestrian and bicycle safety, and improve disabled access." It needed to get 66⅔% of the vote to pass, and it got 71.23%.
SFMTA chief Ed Reiskin was understandably psyched about the prop's win, saying in a statement sent this morning that “Through the passage of Prop A, voters have affirmed the importance in improving transportation in our city. We are grateful to Mayor Lee and all eleven members of the Board of Supervisors, and the SFMTA Board for their tremendous support throughout this endeavor. This is a great first step in securing much needed investment to create safer, more attractive transportation options for San Franciscans today and for the future of our city.” Yeah, Ed, we'll remember that the next time you tell us Muni has to suck because it has no money.
WINNER: Local Measure B - Adjusting Transportation Funding for Population Growth
Supervisor Scott Wiener notoriously faced Mayor Ed Lee's wrath when he proposed this measure, intended to amend the city's charter to increase the amount of money SF provides to the SFMTA based on increases in the city’s population, with the funds to be used to improve Muni and to improve street safety. It needed 50% of the vote to pass, and it has 61%. Neither Reiskin nor Lee have had anything to say about this one, but presumably Wiener's in a pretty good mood thing morning.
WINNER: Local Measure C - Children’s Fund; Public Education Enrichment Fund; Children and Families Council; Rainy Day Reserve
Of course, who doesn't like kids? is apparently what over 73% of voters thought when asked to decide on this measure to amend SF's charter to "support services to children, youth, and their families by extending the Children’s Fund for 25 years and increasing its funding; extending the Public Education Enrichment Fund for 26 years; creating an Our Children, Our Families Council; and dividing the existing Rainy Day Reserve into a City Rainy Day Reserve and a School District Rainy Day Reserve."
In a statement, Coordinator for the San Francisco Child Care Planning & Advisory Council Erica Maybaum applauded the measure’s passage and said it was a victory for child care, and why shouldn't she: the measure's passage meant that the Children’s Fund will see it's funding increased to $65.4 million a year.
WINNER: Local Measure D - Retiree Health Benefits for Former Redevelopment Agency and Successor Agency Employees
This measure, which would make retiree health care benefits available to certain employees of the former San Francisco Redevelopment Agency and the Successor Agency, needed 50% of the vote to pass. It got 55%. Enjoy your retirement, y'all.
LOSER: Local Measure E - Tax on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages
Unlike SF's soda-taxing counterparts in Berkeley, San Francisco voters proved how much they like their Coke by denying a proposed two cent surcharge per ounce on all sugary drinks, which would have raised an estimated $54 million a year to fund health, nutrition, physical education and active recreation programs.
It would have been pretty embarrassing for the American Beverage Association (a consortium of large soda companies) if the measure has passed — after all, they spent $7.7 million to kill the sucker off. Roger Salazar, a No on E spokesperson, seemed relieved, saying in a statement that “Voters know that a new tax on beverages like juice drinks and soda would have driven up grocery prices, and made it more expensive to live and work in San Francisco."
But despite that, 55% of the voters still wanted to approve the tax, inspiring Wiener, one of the tax's supporters, to tell the Ex that though the vote didn't hit the required 66⅔%, "The soda industry got a double black eye today. While we didn't get to 2/3, a majority of voters supported the soda tax despite $10 million in corporate spending against it. No city has ever even gotten close to a majority vote, and tonight Berkeley won in a landslide and San Francisco got a majority."
WINNER: Local Measure F - Pier 70
SF's dilapidated Pier 70 will finally get the mixed-use development it's been shooting for, after this passed with 72% of the vote. According to the SF Business Times, national developers were "hugging and sharing drinks with the neighborhood activists" at the news that the measure passed, pleased that a mixed-use development that includes 1,000 residential units (30% of which will be affordable housing), a million square feet of office space and nine acres of green space over 28 acres, could move forward.
Waterfront development measures have faced significant fire in years past, but this one didn't have any opposition. So why were we voting on this one at all? Because in June, we passed Proposition B, which requires voter approval for all development projects that exceed building-height limits along The City's waterfront. This was the first outing with that new rule, and everyone seems happy at the outcome.
LOSER: Local Measure G - Additional Transfer Tax on Residential Property Sold Within 5 Years of Purchase
Prop G, which would have imposed an additional tax of between 14% and 24% on the total sale price of certain multi-unit residential properties that are sold within five years of purchase or transfer, only managed to get 46% of SF's vote, a blow for housing activists hoping to stem the tide of evictions caused by real estate speculators who are making a business of flipping properties in the city.
Speaking of housing activists, Mayor Ed Lee, who used to be one, never came out in support of the Prop, something Prop G's Quintin Mecke noted to the Ex last night. However, even without the mayor's backing, Mecke says, that 46% illustrates that "there is a desire for change in the city. It shows the winds of change are blowing in our direction." I'm sure if you scroll down right now, you'll see that at least one SFist commenter is already blowing in the opposite direction. Take it away, Fishchum!
LOSER: Local Measure H - Requiring Certain Golden Gate Park Athletic Fields To Be Kept As Grass With No Artificial Lighting
Sorry, gophers! You'll have to find somewhere else to dig your holes to trip up SF's children. At least, that's what SF's voters appeared to be saying Tuesday, when they denied Prop H's efforts to block a multi-million dollar private donation to install turf and lighting at the Beach Chalet soccer fields on the western edge of Golden Gate Park.
And how could it win, with folks like the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, the San Francisco Democratic Party, and the City Fields Foundation (which is managed by the sons of the founders of the Gap) supporting the turf and lighting project? Only 45.85% of SF voters wanted to block the project, so it will move forward.
WINNER: Local Measure I - Renovation of Playgrounds, Walking Trails, and Athletic Fields
Because it's not enough for the effort to block the GGP turf project to lose, Prop I was presented to allow voters to approve the installation of nighttime lighting and artificial turf during park renovation projects if an environmental impact report by city officials determines the changes will double usage of the site.
Opponents (which included the Sierra Club, Golden Gate Audubon Society and 44 groups that make up the Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods) argued that nighttime lighting on the fields will be visible from Ocean Beach and will spoil one of the few natural spaces left in the city. Nonetheless, 54.8% of voters supported it, so it's soccer time!
WINNER: Local Measure J - Minimum Wage Increase
A plan to gradually increase San Francisco's minimum wage to $15/hour by 2018 sailed through with a resounding 76.83% of the vote Tuesday, prompting Mayor Lee to say "I grew up washing dishes in my family’s restaurant. I know firsthand that a few dollars more an hour can make a difference in the lives of hardworking families struggling to afford our City...we can give a well-deserved raise to our lowest-wage workers, and we can do it in a way that protects jobs and small business."
How will this work? The minimum wage will raise to $11.05 per hour on Jan. 1, 2015, $12.25 per hour on May 1, then will continue to increase by roughly a dollar every July until 2018. Here's hoping that in 2018, $15 in SF is actually an amount of money that can be used to buy something. Anything? Gum?
WINNER: Local Measure K - Affordable Housing
This was just an advisory measure, so, yeah, it's more like a general suggestion ("Someone should wash the dishes...") than anything with teeth ("Wash the dishes or I'm going to divorce you.") The suggestion, then, is that it should be city policy to help construct or rehabilitate at least 30,000 homes by 2020, more than 50% of which will be affordable for middle-class households and more than 33% of which will be affordable for low- and moderate-income households, and secure sufficient funding to achieve that goal. 65% of voters said "sure, why not," and voted yes.
LOSER: Local Measure L - Policy Regarding Transportation Priorities
Another advisory measure, Prop L had the vaguest damn ballot description ever, "Shall it be City policy to change parking and transportation priorities?" With that wording, who would disagree?
In actuality, the Sean Parker-backed suggestion would have urged frozen parking fees for city-owned parking garages, meters, parking tickets and neighborhood parking permits for five years, and would also have asked the SFMTA to construct and operate neighborhood parking garages using funds from parking fees and the sale of SFMTA bonds. But, as an advisory measure, it couldn't have forced any of those things to happen, anyway, so Parker might as well have lit the $49,000 he spent on this on fire.