Your June 2022 ballot will have a $400 million bond measure to upgrade aging Muni equipment if Mayor London Breed has her way, but it will need a two-thirds supermajority from the voters to pass.
Every San Francisco mayor going back to at least Willie Brown has campaigned on some manner of promise to “Fix Muni.” And the results, well, speak for themselves. But Mayor London Breed may end up making some progress on that front, theoretically at least, with a proposed $400 million upgrade to and modernization of the system. But as KPIX reports, that money will only come if a $400 proposed bond measure passes the June 2022 primary ballot, and it needs approval from the board of supervisors before even qualifying for that June 7 ballot next year.
“A reliable transportation system and safe streets are essential to the long-term health of our city and our residents,” Breed said in a statement. “The investments from this proposed Bond, along with significant new funding from the federal government, will allow us to modernize our facilities, upgrade our systems, and make Muni work more efficiently for everyone.”
The measure, should it qualify, is going to be called the 2022 Muni Reliability and Street Safety Bond. Per Breed’s press release, it’s aims would be “Repairing, upgrading, and maintaining aging facilities and equipment to speed up repairs and keep transit moving; Funding on-street infrastructure improvements that will result in faster, more reliable, and more frequent Muni service,” and “ Modernizing the 20-year-old Muni train control system to increase subway capacity, reduce delays and deliver dependable, high-frequency transit.”
But let’s consider the parliamentary civics of this. Being a bond measure, it needs a two-thirds majority approval from the board of supervisors to even qualify for the ballot. That’s a minimum of eight votes. But the mayor’s press release has supportive quotes from board president Shamann Waltion and supervisor Rafael Mandelman, so that’s two votes are presumably in the bag already.
But even if the supes approve it, the measure also needs the same two-thirds supermajority from the voters. That’s an uphill slog, considering that the “Don’t throw more money at Muni” attack mailers pretty much write themselves. And June 7 is also the day of the Chesa Boudin recall election, and I don’t see that being a particularly “low turnout” election, which only makes the two-thirds threshold even more difficult to cross.