San Francisco Mayor London Breed is getting started early to spread the word about some new ballot measures on her agenda.
Breed, along with several other local politicians, held a rally in Japantown Saturday morning that gathered a crowd of dozens, per the Chronicle. She reportedly spoke in support of three bills that will be on SF’s March election ballot, Measures C, E, and F. All aim to tackle, in various ways, the problems behind the Doom Loop narrative: the empty downtown, public safety, and drug issues — but they’re not without controversy.
Measure C would remove SF’s “transfer tax,” the tax (currently ranging anywhere from 0.5% to 6%) that developers face when converting buildings from offices to housing. Its goal is to make it easier for some much-needed redevelopment amid the city’s affordable housing crisis, while about 18.4 million square feet of commercial space in downtown SF remain empty. SF State Senator Scott Weiner was reportedly in attendance and spoke in support of the measure. (Breed has been talking about these Twitter HQ-like tax breaks as part of her sweeping "Roadmap to Downtown San Francisco’s Future" since early last year, as we covered at the time.)
Breed also spoke about Measures E and F, which have already received heavy criticism. Measure E aims to increase police surveillance and decrease police paperwork after incidents like use-of-force ones. As we reported last year, the measure would give police more “tools” to combat crime like drones and additional public surveillance cameras. It would also ease restrictions on vehicle pursuits in the city, allowing police to chase car burglars, for instance, so long as the pursuit is deemed "safe."
Measure F focuses on welfare recipients with substance abuse problems. It would mandate that those receiving cash assistance from the county with such disorders enroll in treatment. It’s already sparked controversy in the city, with Supervisor Aaron Peskin, the board president, questioning if the city can provide enough beds for treatment, as the Chronicle previously reported.
All this is part of the lead up to San Francisco's next election, which will take place March 5, 2024. We’ll also be voting in primaries for President and the Senate then. Breed is up for reelection this November, and polls show that she’s not looking too hot.
Feature image of London Breed via Miikka Skaffari/Getty Images.