GGRA’s November 2016 Ballot Measure Positions
GGRA is Supporting:
Prop A: SF Unified School District Bond: A $744 million San Francisco School Bond (the largest in history) to be used for building an arts and education center, a new elementary school, modernization and seismic upgrades, technology upgrades in schools, and cafeteria renovations. GGRA supports critical funding for SFUSD.
Prop B: City College Parcel Tax: This measure renews (and raises) the SF City College parcel tax that was passed in 2012 and sunsets in 2021. This measure will raise the $79 tax to $99 and extend it until 2032. The money goes toward CCSF’s academic programs. GGRA supports the role CCSF plays in workforce development for the local hospitality industry.
Prop C: Loans to Finance Acquisition and Rehabilitation of Affordable Housing: This measure will amend the existing Earthquake Loan Bond Program to authorize the City to incur general obligation bonded indebtedness for the additional purposes of providing loans to finance the cost of rehabilitating and providing safety upgrades to affordable housing. GGRA supports the rehibilitation of affordable housing.
Prop J: Homelessness and Transportation Improvements Fund: This is the companion measure to Proposition K, the 3/4 cent General Fund sales tax increase, that will establish how the funds would be spent if passed. It allocates $50 million for homeless housing and services and $100 million for transit. Although the GGRA is opposed to the sales tax increase, we support dedicated funding to these two areas if it did pass.
Prop O: Office Development in Bayview and Candlestick Point: Prop M, passed in 1986, places limits on the amount of new office space that the City may approve each year. With major projects, there is very little room left for additional office space. This measure would amendment to the SF Planning Code to exclude new office space constructed in the Bayview/Hunters/Candlestick Point redevelopment area from the annual office space construction limits set by Prop M. GGRA supports development in the South Eastern neighborhoods because it supports new opportunities for our members.
Prop R: Creation Neighborhood Crime Unit: This measure would reorganize the police department by establishing a minimum staffing level of 3% of officers to be assigned to the Neighborhood Crime Unit. Neighborhood crimes focus on things like burglaries, auto break-ins, etc. Neighborhood crime is a huge challenge for restaurants, so GGRA supports this measure.
Prop U: Affordable Housing Requirements for Middle Income : Currently, the City’s Below Market Rate Inclusionary Housing Program income maximum is set at 55% of Adjusted Median Income, meaning a family of 2 would have to make under $44,850 to qualify. This measure would increase the threshold to 110% of median, meaning a two person household making under $89,650 could qualify. Workforce housing is critical for our industry, so GGRA supports more middle income housing.
Measure RR: BART Bond: A $3.5 Billion Bart bond placed on the ballot by the BART Board of Directors. BART infrastructure is deteriorating, and this bond will provide a portion of the needed updates. The assessed value of the average home in San Francisco is $600K, so property taxes would increase over time from $30 to $100 per year. However, the hospitality workforce relies heavily on BART to get to and from work, so the GGRA supports this critical funding.
GGRA is Opposing:
Prop D: Filling Vacancies for Elected Office: Usually, if there is a vacancy on the Board of Supervisors, the Mayor appoints someone until the next election when the appointee must run to keep their office. This would require a special election to fill a vacancy to the Board of Supervisors unless an election was scheduled within 6 months of the vacancy. Additionally, the mayoral appointee could not run for that seat. GGRA opposes a measure that would spend taxpayer dollars for a solution searching for a problem.
Prop K: Sales Tax Increase: The current San Francisco sales tax is 8.75%. At the end of this year, a previous measure that counted for .25% of this will sunset. This measure would raise the sales tax by .75%, making it 9.25%. Of the .75% increase, .5% would go to transportation, and the other .25% would be spent on homeless services (See Prop J). While the funding would go for critical issues, the GGRA cannot support another tax increase that will make doing business in San Francisco more expensive.
Prop M: Housing and Development Commission: This measure would create a Housing and Development Commission that would have jurisdiction over the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) and the Housing and Community Development Office, which both currently sit in the Mayor’s Office. It would cost the City approximately $190,000 a year to run this new commission. GGRA opposes this measure because it simply adds bureaucracy without solving any problems.
Prop V: Tax on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages: A 1-cent per ounce tax on sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs). The tax is on the distribution and not the sale to customers and the money collected will go to the General Fund making it not easily traceable. GGRA is opposed because this tax will force retailers to raise prices while trying to navigate a complicated implementation.
Prop W: Real Estate Transfer Tax on Properties over $5 million: This would create additional tax tiers for properties with a sales value of at least $5 million. The increases would set rates between 2.25% and 3% (as opposed to the 2% to 2.5% that exists today), depending upon value. There is a companion resolution that would allocate a portion of the money collected to provide free tuition for City College SF. GGRA is opposed to this measure because it will result in increased rents, something restaurants continually struggle with.
GGRA took no position on the following Measures:
Prop E: City Responsibility for Maintaining Street Trees: A measure requiring the City take back responsibility for liability and maintenance of all street tress in the public rights-of-way from property owners. The cost will be covered from the City’s General Fund, but the idea is that it could come from excess revenue from the Transfer Tax should that pass in November.
Prop F: Youth Voting in Local Elections: This measure would allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote in San Francisco municipal elections, including Mayor, Board of Supervisors, City Attorney, etc.
Prop G: Department of Police Accountability: A measure that would re-name the Office of Citizen’s Complaint the Independent Department of Police Accountability (DPA). It would give the DPA budgetary independence from the Police Commission. It would also authorize the DPA to conduct reviews of how the Police Commission & SFPD handle claims of officer misconduct.
Prop H: Office of the Public Advocate: This measure creates the position of the Public Advocate to be elected in November 2017. The new office would have a $13 million budget and would have the power to issue subpoenas, introduce legislation, hold public hearings, and more. The office would also house the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE), the Whistleblower program, and the Office of Citizens Complaints. This office would run every 4 years and have no term limits.
Prop I: Funding for Seniors & Adults with Disabilities: A Charter amendment creating a Dignity Fund to support seniors and adults with disabilities. This would require an annual set aside of $41 million with an increase of $3 million per year. It would expire in 2037. There are provisions that would allow the fund to freeze in severe economic downtimes.
Prop L: SF Municipal Transportation Authority (MTA) Appointments and Budget: This would divide the now Mayor’s appoints to the MTA Board of Directors between the Office of the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors. It will also lower the number of votes needed by the Board of Supervisors to reject the MTA budget.
Prop N: Non-citizens Voting in School Board Elections: A measure that would allow San Francisco residents who are not US citizens vote in local School Board Elections.
Prop P: Competitive Biding for Affordable Housing Projects on City-Owned Property: An ordinance requiring the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) to receive at least 3 competitive bids before selecting a ‘best value’ proposal to build affordable housing on City-owned property.
Prop Q: Prohibiting Tents on Public sidewalks: Prohibits tent encampments on public sidewalks and sets a process to remove the tents that includes 24 hour notice, an offer of services with shelter, and a notice to remove and impound any personal property.
Prop S: Allocation of Hotel Funds: The current Hotel Tax is divided between Moscone Center, ‘advertising San Francisco’ (including SF Travel), and the General Fund. This measure will reallocate how the 14% Hotel Tax is spent. Moscone Center would continue to receive 50% of the revenue, 21.8% would go to the General Fund, and the rest would be divided between Homeless Services, Grants for the Arts, and other cultural/arts programs.
Prop T: Restricting Gifts & Campaign Contributions from Lobbyists: This measure would restrict the ability of registered lobbyists to give gifts, including the gift of travel, to any City officers.
Prop X: Preserving Space for Neighborhood Arts, Small Businesses, and Community Services in Certain Neighborhoods: Currently, the Planning Code usually prohibits converting existing PDR, Institutional Community, and Arts uses into office or other uses. However, demolition and replacement, especially for housing, is usually allowed. This measure will require Conditional Use Authorization for new projects and then additionally require projects to replace the square footage occupied by any of these uses. It will apply in parts of the Mission, SOMA, and the South Eastern neighborhoods.