San Franciscans are reminded this morning that ours is a city in a bubble, and not just the real estate/tech one usually invoked here, but a bubble of the liberal kind we too rarely acknowledge. That reminder came in the form of general election results that were so wildly at odds with (most of) our own votes. But just a bit farther down the ballot was an alphabet of local propositions whose results are pertinent to our bubble today. With all 597 precincts reporting as of 2 a.m. this morning and a local turnout of 513,573 people with 114,000 mail-in and provisional ballots still to be counted by the Department of Elections, here are the results of those.
Proposition A passed, giving the San Francisco Unified School District a $744 million facilities bond. $100 million is slated to be spent on building perhaps two schools in Mission Bay and the Bayview, the Examiner reminds us, and $100 million of it will go toward moving Ruth Asawa School of the Arts to the Civic Center area. Prop A got 79 percent of the vote and needed 55 percent to pass.
Measure B also passed, renewing the existing parcel tax for City College. That's $99 per parcel for 15 years with annual audits and oversight, and it won the two-thirds vote it needed with nearly 80 percent of the vote.
Prop C passed, meaning that $261 million will go toward acquiring and updating at-risk multi-unit housing to create affordable units. Prop C amends a 1992 ballot measure to basically transfer unused bond money from an earthquake-related fund. It needed a two-third majority to pass and got nearly 76 percent of the vote.
The progressive bloc of the Board of Supervisors narrowly lost out with Prop D, which received a "no" vote on changing how the mayor could appoint supervisors to vacant positions. The measure asked if mayoral appointees to the board should just serve as placeholders, not allowed to run for reelection as incumbents. This was one of the measures that moderate board members and former mayors warned of. The decision on D came down to a difference of just a few thousand votes, with about 53% voting "no," meeting the necessary simple majority.
The city will once again be responsible for maintaining trees and sidewalks with the passage of Measure E. That responsibility had shifted from the Department of Public Works to local property owners in 2011, but trees will be spoken for by the city by July, with $19 million set aside by the measure. This won't affect taxes and was unanimously supported by supervisors and essentially across the board — including with voters, 79 percent of whom said yes to the transfer.
Youth voting in local elections lost as San Franciscans rejected Local Measure F. Apparently people think 16- and 17-year-olds, who had organized to ask for the right, shouldn't vote, because people over the age of 18 are smart and know better than children, having just demonstrated our capacity for reason beyond repute. The "no vote" came narrowly with about 53 percent of the vote. Prop F's goal was to foster a new generation of voters, instilling in them good civic habits and encouraging participation, but like, whatever.
Meet the new Department of Police Accountability (DPA), everybody: measure G passed, renaming the Office of Citizens Complaints and then some. It's not the world's biggest reform, but with nearly 80 percent of voters in favor, it will allow the DPA complete independence from the Police Department to audit and review SFPD policy. The Mayor gets the authority to set the group's budget. The Examiner recalls that the Office of Citizens Complaints has investigated police misconduct for nearly 40 years and was mandated by voters last June to investigate every fatal police shooting in the city.
It was a close call, but we won't be getting a Public Advocate, as voters rejected Local Measure H. The position was proposed by Supervisor Campos and was to be modeled on similar jobs in cities like New York and Seattle. It would have come with an office of 25 people, and it was roundly opposed by the political establishment as the main thrust of a progressive effort to sap power from the Mayor's office. 53 percent of San Francisco voters said "no, thanks" to Prop H, preferring that our existing public advocates just do their jobs, or maybe redouble their efforts to do them.
Local Measure I was passed to set aside $38 million annually from the city's General Fund until 2037 for assistance to seniors and people with disabilities. That's a pretty serious chunk of change, and the Chronicle opposed the proposition, writing that "the money is an untouchable sum that will be cemented into the city charter with yearly adjustments... It limits future financial decisions, should the city want to adjust priorities." 66 percent of voters passed the measure.
Prop J passed, amending the City Charter to give us a Homeless Housing and Services Fund with $50 million per year for 24 years and Transportation Improvement Fund with $101.6 million per year for 24 years. 66 percent of voters who've been counted gave the measure their approval.
That said, Prop J was sorta counting on a boost it won't be getting from Local measure K, which was rejected by voters who didn't want to raise sales taxes. K would have increased those by 0.75 percent to 9.25 percent and buoyed the city's General Fund. It was endorsed by a majority of supervisors and the Chronicle, who point out that our 8.75 percent tax is among the Bay Area's lowest, and would have still been that way even with the modest increase.
MTA appointments and budgets will remain unchanged: Voters rejected Prop L. The Examiner explains that this is a win for the mayor's office, who currently makes all seven appointments to the SFMTA's board. L would have split those appointments, giving some to the Board of Supervisors (another progressive play) and demanded supervisorial approval for others. "No" on L had 55 percent of the votes that have been tallied, leaving the status quo on the SFMTA's board of directors and also not tinkering with voting and budget systems for the SFMTA.
There will be no new Housing and Development Commission thanks to a rejection by voters of the proposed Measure M, a charter amendment. That would have governed two other new commissions, a Department of Economic and Workforce Development and a Department of Housing and Community Development, but like, now it won't though. Progressives wanted it, the Guardian and the Examiner did too, but the Chronicle endorsed a "no" vote, with which 56 percent of voters agreed.
With the passage of Prop N, non-citizen parents and guardians can vote in School Board Elections, even if their 16- and 17-year old kids can't. 52 percent of voters said "yes" on N, which some critics worry isn't on firm legal ground and could wind up in court.
Prop O passed to exempt Candlestick Point/Navy Shipyard office space from existing city limits. In the Chronicle's editorial, the paper writes that "Prop. O is less a reflection of the shipyard project than it is a reflection of how tangled San Francisco’s development policies are," calling the office space "once-in-a-lifetime," meaning it should be spared the usual annual limit on ew office space, which is 950,000 square feet. This is all part of a plan for a new Bayview neighborhood, and with 52 percent approval for the office development exemption at Candlestick Point/Hunters Point, it looks closer to reality.
A 67 percent "no" vote means that Prop P has failed, and the city won't be forced to get at least three proposals for affordable housing projects on City property. The SF Tenants Union and the SF Democratic Party led the opposition to Measure P, which was supported by Supervisors Farrell and Tang and backed by a realtor PAC — the idea there being that realtors might benefit from a system that put up more barriers to affordable housing, which would incentivize market-rate and luxury construction projects. Shady, and shot down.
San Francisco will expressly prohibit tents on sidewalks, providing for their removal with 24-hour notice and an offer of shelter: Prop Q passed, a highly politicized take on the city's homeless epidemic. The proposition was criticized as cruel and unfair by homeless advocates, who — far from condoning tents on streets — saw the measure as redundant with existing sit-lie laws and an effort to criminalize homeless people's attempts to shelter themselves. Backed by wealthy tech interests in an effort to promote Prop Q's proponent Supervisor Farrell, Prop Q was also backed by Supervisors Cohen, Farrell, Tang, and Wiener. Capitalizing on citizens who are concerned by the recent visibility of tent encampments, Measure Q appears to have won with a 53 percent majority.
Prop R failed, meaning that there won't be a Neighborhood Crime Unit which was proposed by Supes Wiener, Cohen, Tang, and Farrell to create a single command with a mandatory minimum staff to investigate low-level crimes like vandalism and car break-ins. Such duties are currently split across multiple SFPD units, and they'll stay that way because voter's shot down Measure R with a 54 percent "no" vote.
62 percent of voters indicated their support for Measure S, which
passed would channel our 8 percent base tax on hotel room rentals toward arts programs and homeless services. Correction: Measure S failed to meet the two-thirds threshold it needed, so it didn't pass. The Chronicle counseled voters against S, specifically dedicating some of the annual millions from our overall 14 percent hotel tax, writing that "Given the other San Francisco ballot measures seeking to dedicate revenue to homeless services — Proposition J, a $50 million homeless service set-aside for 24 years, and Proposition K, the sales tax increase that proponents say will be partly invested in homeless housing — yet another dedicated revenue stream is unwarranted, especially when the city is in the process of an overall assessment of its homeless programs." Well, Prop K failed, sooo....
T passed, restricting gifts and campaign contributions from lobbyists. Lobbyists, you're on notice — 87 percent of voters wanted to impose limits on y'all, meaning that you can't make campaign contributions to local elected officials or bundle those contributions somehow.
Prop U failed — The amount of income people can make and still qualify for subsidized housing won't change. The income eligibility limit for rental units in affordable housing units in market-rate development projects would have been upped to 110 percent of area median income under Prop U, which was backed by the Board of Realtors. The Chronicle cautioned in an editorial that Measure U "will only worsen tensions because a larger pool of housing hunters will be competing for a very limited supply" while more units won't necessarily be created, and voters agreed, rejecting U with a roughly 65 percent "no" vote.
Soda and sugary beverages will be taxed at one cent per ounce because Prop V passed. About 62 percent of voters in San Francisco approved the measure, smeared by the soda industry as a "grocery tax." It's a rebuke to the massive spending Coke, Pepsi, et al. pumped into this election, and with Oakland also joining Berkeley in its soda tax, the Bay Area just delivered a serious blow to sugar-peddlers.
Prop W passed, so the city will increase the transfer tax rate for sale of property, especially on high-end homes, ensuring that city college will be free. It's a tiered system and ups taxes according to properties' worth. The revenue goes to the city's general fund, although supporters intend for the money to go to free City College tuition for all residents. The Examiner calls this a big win after a three-decades long fight to make the college free, and writes that Prop W could bring in $45 million a year. It passed with 61 percent of the vote.
X won, requiring some Mission and SoMa neighborhood developments to preserve neighborhood arts, business, and community services. Developers will have to replace certain types of zoned spaces if they're demolished for new development, as 60 percent of local voters mandated by voting yes on X.