November 2015: No position on Prop F

The San Francisco League of Conservation Voters is extremely concerned about the growing unaffordability of San Francisco housing, especially for renters. The boom in short-term rentals, driven largely by platforms such as AirBnB, is worsening the city’s affordable housing crisis and reducing the number of rental homes available to local workers and families. While we are very sympathetic to the goals of Prop F, we believe it goes too far. Prop F would limit all short-term home rentals to 75 days per year and enforce this with fines on both the hosting platform and owners, and allow interested parties (e.g., neighbors) to sue. The main problem with Prop F is that it would be impossible for the Board of Supervisors to change the legislation in response to unintended consequences. The explosion in the short-term rental market is a new phenomenon, and dealing with it legislatively requires flexibility. Supervisors should be able to change the law as needed.

There are clear problems with the status quo. People are being forced out and priced out. AirBnB doesn’t seem to want to work with the City to find a workable solution. For example, it can and should share hosting data. It’s also not clear how the City will enforce the rules it’s adopted (or the ones Prop F proposes).

The Supervisors recently adopted new legislation to address this problem. Let’s give it time to work.

An unaffordable city is an unsustainable one. We agree that San Francisco needs to address this issue, so while we cannot endorse Prop F, we are also unwilling to oppose it.

November 2015: SFLCV opposes Propositions C and E

The SF League of Conservation Voters agrees that greater transparency and increased participation are worthwhile goals for good government. However, we believe that these two propositions are flawed and would actually end up suppressing diverse perspectives. Oppose Prop C: Expenditure Lobbyists

Prop C would require "any person, other than any government entity, or officer or employee of a government entity acting in an official capacity, who, directly or indirectly, makes payments totaling $2,500 or more in a calendar month to solicit, request, or urge other persons to communicate directly with an officer of the City and County in order to influence local legislative or administrative action" to "register with the Ethics Commission, pay a $500 registration fee, and file monthly disclosures regarding their lobbying activities." It applies to City employee unions, prospective City contractors and non-profit organizations.

Paid lobbyists are already required to register and report their lobbying activities. Prop C would extend that requirement to individuals or groups who spend $2,500 a month on advertising, public relations, public outreach, investigations, reports, analyses and studies urging others to contact city officials in order to influence a city decision.

This proposition would increase transparency about the money spent to influence city government decisions. This is especially useful for profit-driven businesses.

However, requiring nonprofits, many of whom are small, to meet the same complex requirements could drain their limited funds, stigmatize them and drive them out of public policy debates, depriving the city of the input of the communities they organize and represent.

Prop C was put on the ballot by the Ethics Commission, and if enacted by the voters cannot be easily amended. It would be much better for this to go through the Board of Supervisors deliberative process, which includes public comment, discussion and recorded voting.

SFLCV urges you to vote NO on Prop C.

Oppose Prop E: Requirements for Public Meetings

Prop E would require City policy bodies to "publicly post an agenda at least 72 hours before a meeting" and would allow the "public to submit pre-recorded video testimony 48 hours or more before a meeting" to be played during public comment, allow the "public to provide live written, video, or audio comments ... electronically" from anywhere, with translation into English, during public comment. It would also allow a member of the policy board or 50 members of the public to set a time certain for taking up any agenda item. It would also require all meetings to be broadcast live on the internet.

While it contains some interesting ideas, allowing this variety of live and recorded input from anywhere could extend meetings enormously, especially when private interests organize to influence decisions.

SFLCV urges you to vote NO on Prop E.

November 2015: Vote Yes on A & K

Affordable housing is arguably the most important issue for San Francisco’s voters. Two ballot measures in November 2015 seek to address this. The San Francisco League of Conservation Voters endorses both Prop A and Prop K. Proposition A would authorize the City to issue up to $310 million in general obligation bonds to: - acquire, build, or renovate affordable rental housing near established transit corridors, including in the Mission Area Plan; - rehabilitate or reconstruct public housing; - fund middle-income rental housing; and - assist middle-income City residents in purchasing their first home in the City.

This proposition is sponsored by Mayor Lee and supported by the Board of Supervisors, as well as labor, affordable housing advocates and the SF Chronicle.

Another proposition that seeks to help increase affordable housing options in SF is Proposition K. Prop K would support the policy that at least one third of the housing units built on the surplus property sold by the City be affordable to low- and moderate-income households. In addition, Prop K would enforce a 120-day waiting period before the City can sell a property, if the Board of Supervisors is already considering affordable housing development on it.

The proposition is sponsored by Supervisor Jane Kim, and is supported by the Board of Supervisors, as well as labor, affordable housing advocates, and the South Beach Bay Business Association.

At a time when housing prices continue to escalate, Propositions A and K will create financial assistance and land opportunities to increase the supply of affordable housing and provide relief for many San Franciscans who are priced out. Please Join the San Francisco League of Conservation Voters and Vote YES on Prop A and YES on Prop K!

November 2015: Vote No on G and Yes on H for Clean Power in SF

[Ed. Note: This is the first of several posts on our endorsements for the November 2015 election. Check back for more soon!] The two competing ballot measures Proposition G & H are both about the same thing: Controlling how “Clean Energy" is defined for purposes of the upcoming CleanPowerSF power system.

Prop G is sponsored by PG&E’s union and is an attempt to force the CleanPowerSF system into a more restrictive & disingenuous definition of clean power, and to limit what sources CleanPowerSF can use, all to advantage PG&E’s own dirtier power distribution. Why?  To limit loss of customers from PG&E to CleanPowerSF.

Prop H is the competing ballot measure, placed on the ballot by Supervisors London Breed, John Avalos, Scott Wiener and Julie Christensen to protect CleanPowerSF. Prop H fixes the clean power definition back to the state standard & allows for using more sources, though it sets City policy to prefer locally generated sources.

Please Join the San Francisco League of Conservation Voters & the Sierra Club & Vote NO on G and YES on Prop H!

For more info we recommend this article from KQED.

November 2014 Endorsements

Here are our endorsements for the November 4th, 2014 election in San Francisco. Make sure you check back, as we will be posting more information & videos in the following weeks.

A Transportation & Road Improvement Bond YES
B Population-based funding for Muni YES
E Soda Tax YES
F Pier 70 Development Site Height Limit Increase YES
G Surtax on Transfers of Residential Real Property YES
H Requiring Certain Athletic Fields in Golden Gate Park to be Maintained as Natural Grass YES
I Park Code - Children's Playgrounds, Walking Trails, Athletic Fields NO
L Policy Regarding Transportation Priorities in San Francisco NO

Candidate Races:

Race 1st choice 2nd choice 3rd choice
Supervisor D2 Juan-Antonio Carballo (sole endorsement)
Supervisor D6 Jane Kim Jamie Whitaker
Supervisor D8 Scott Wiener (sole endorsement)
Supervisor D10 Malia Cohen Tony Kelly
 
BART Board Nick Josefowitz

Vote NO on Propositions B & C on November 5th!

This November 5th, San Francisco voters will decide on Propositions B & C, two ballot measures regarding the proposed development at 8 Washington along the Embarcadero.  The San Francisco League of Conservation Voters urges you to vote NO on both measures B & C for environmental reasons.In short, the proposed project will build 134 luxury condominiums in a high-rise near the Embarcadero Center buildings downtown, across from the waterfront itself.  The development will be built on what is currently a private tennis club & a parking lot.  If either of the two measures pass, the development will go forward.Proposition B was placed on the ballot by the developer and will give the developer the entirety of the deal they seek, without discretionary review by the City’s planning department.Proposition C was placed on the ballot by opponents of the development and is a referendum on the exception that has been granted for this project to be taller than the currently allowed height limits for waterfront construction.  A “yes” vote would mean that the exception will stand, and a “no” vote would mean the exception would be rescinded.

Proponents argue that the new space will enhance civic life by opening more street space, ground floor retail & some park space to the public, and that the project will contribute significantly to the City's affordable housing fund.

Meanwhile, those who oppose the development focus on the increase in the height limits and characterize it as a "wall on the waterfront" that must be stopped.

While these buildings are significantly higher than the currently allowed height limits for the waterfront, we don't believe they are out of place in the context, given that the highest parts are set away from the water, and are not nearly as high as the nearby Embarcadero Center buildings. Building higher, if done carefully, will allow us to build more densely.  And if San Francisco really wants to address our continuing housing crisis, we will need to build more densely, especially in transit rich areas such as downtown.

That being said, we find this project’s transit & transportation effects to be the most problematic part, and therefore, we oppose the development.

The project includes one parking space for every condo & an additional 200 spaces above and beyond those. We feel strongly that projects in San Francisco’s most transit rich neighborhood do not need one parking space for every unit., This approach to parking violates our Transit First Policy: by building so much parking we encourage people to drive when there are many better options nearby.  More parking will lead to additional cars in our already heavily congested downtown, which will badly impact Muni, create more air and carbon pollution, and reduce the quality of life for everyone.Please Vote NO on both Propositions B & C this November 5th!

 

 

.ps Here are some pro & con args we've read  & found informative: NO: San Francisco Bay Guardian YES: San Francisco Chronicle

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Nov 6th, 2012 Endorsements

City Propoaitions:Prop B: Yes Bond Funding to Improve SF's Parks! Prop C: Yes Build MORE Affordable Housing! Prop F: Yes Hetch Hetchy - maybe, maybe not. STUDY better water recycling system? DEFINITELY!!

Board of Supervisors

  • D1: Eric Mar
  • D3: David Chiu
  • D5:
    1. John Rizzo
    2. Christina Olague
    3. Julian Davis
  • D7: Norman Yee
  • D9: David Campos
  • D11: John Avalos

Community College Board: Rafael Mandelman Chris Jackson Amy Bacharach

School Board: Sandra Fewer Jill Wynns Rachel Norton Matt Haney

BART Board: Tom Radulovich

Jun 5, 2012 Endorsements

PROPOSITIONS NO on Prop A:

San Francisco is making great progress towards our "Zero Waste to Landfill by 2020" goal & Prop A could put that at risk. No on A.

YES on Prop B:

Protect Coit Tower from Recreation and Park privatization efforts. Yes on B.

 

CANDIDATES:

Our endorsements are for the Democratic County Central Committee (DCCC.)

AD 17

  • Avalos, John
  • Campos, David
  • Chiu, David
  • DeJesus, Petra
  • Dorsey, Matt
  • Gembinski, Chris
  • Haaland, Gabriel Robert
  • Katz, Leslie
  • Mandelman, Rafael
  • Migden, Carole
  • Morgan, Justin
  • Pimentel, Leah
  • Rosenthal, Alix Amelia

AD 19

  • Alonso, Mike
  • Aragon, Wendy
  • Bard, Kevin
  • Dwyer, Kelly
  • Lauterborn, Mar
  • Mar, Eric

The Winner the Wild in Plein View

Thanks to all of you who came out for our fundraiser in October. We are very happy to present a small part of the winning piece of Nancy King and Mary Swanson: The Wild in Plein View. They brought 4 panels that (4' each) like the one depicted below, with 11 detail images which are about 3x3". The marvelously depict the wild that surrounds us here in San Francisco.

ART CONTEST: Biodiversity Isn't Just For Rainforests

LOVE SAN FRANCISCO: Biodiversity Isn't Just For Rainforestsa Fundraiser/ART CONTEST for the San Francisco League of Conservation Voters

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2011 at 50 Mason Social House

DETAILS: San Francisco is a wonderful combination of of urban and natural beauty which we love. Help us celebrate life in our favorite city by joining the San Francisco League of Conservation Voters on THURSDAY OCTOBER 20th at the 50 Mason Social Club for our latest "I Love San Francisco" Art Contest & Fundraiser.

Did you know that we in San Francisco live in the middle of a Biodiversity Hotspot? To highlight the fact that San Francisco ITSELF is in one of a handful of regions critical to protecting global biodiversity, the theme will be "Biodiversity Isn't Just For Rainforests."

In addition to the art contest (which you'll help judge!), there will be light appetizers and drinks, and of course local environmental activists and politicians. Join us & support our work!

WHAT: I LOVE SF Art Contest/Fundraiser for the San Francisco League of Conservation Voters WHEN: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20th, 2011 - 7 to 10PM HOW MUCH: $10-$25 Sliding Scale OR BECOME A SPONSOR (free admission) WHERE: 50 Mason Social House (50 Mason St at Market Street in SF) WHO: You, the SFLCV Board, and many others! BE A SPONSOR: Please consider sponsoring our fundraiser at the Street Steward ($100), Neighborhood Protector ($250), or City Champion levels ($500). Sponsors will be publicly thanked at the event & will be admitted free (+1).

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CONTEST DETAILS:

  • Any art, or writing or poetry that celebrates San Francisco, especially its biodiversity
  • All art will remain the property of the artists & will be returned to them after the event. Their may be an opportunity to leave it on display at the gallery (details soon.)
  • All contestants must inform the SFLCV of their INTENT to enter by FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7th at noon, via email or phone (info AT sflcv DOT org)
  • All contest entries must be submitted to an SFLCV Board Member by SUNDAY, OCTOBER 16th.
  • There must be at least 5 contestants for the contest to occur. If there are less than 5 contestants by the Friday, October 7th deadline, there will be no contest & no prize will be awarded.
  • Any contest entry must be displayable or presentable at the fundraiser event on THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20th
  • The prize will be an 8GB Apple iPod Touch awarded at the fundraiser. Depending on the number of entries and the number of attendees, there may be additional prizes & the contest may be broken into multiple categories.
  • For more details fee free to email the SFLCV for more info (info AT sflcv DOT org)

ABOUT THE SFLCV: The San Francisco League of Conservation Voters is where the environmental movement meets local politics.

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Our mission is to promote environmental protection through active participation in the San Francisco political system and to enhance the integrity of that political system for all San Franciscans. As such, we promote conservation and protection of natural resources, environmental justice, and sustainability, as well as good government issues and political reforms.

Our primary means for achieving these goals are: Supporting legislation and candidates that promote our goals; Informing the voting public about such legislation and candidates. Lobbying public officials on behalf of such legislation; Creating such legislation itself.

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