November 2018: Vote YES on Prop C for a Healthy SF

November 2018: Vote YES on Prop C for a Healthy SF

Prop C, the “Our City, Our Home” ballot measure aims to build on San Francisco’s current efforts to address homelessness and protect those vulnerable to becoming homeless in a holistic way. By imposing a gross receipts tax on SF businesses with gross receipts of $50 million or more, or a payroll tax on certain companies, the City will double its funding for permanent housing, mental health services, personal care services, and homelessness prevention programs. The benefits of this additional funding are numerous, including keeping our city, our home healthy.

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November 2018: Vote John Rizzo and Thea Selby for City College Board

The San Francisco League of Conservation Voters is endorsing John Rizzo and Thea Selby, both incumbents, for renewed terms on the board of City College.

John Rizzo worked to keep CCSF accreditation with free tuition for San Franciscans and to build affordable student and staff housing at City College's Balboa Reservoir property. He also worked to promote the training and hiring of people from disadvantaged communities to work at City College and to increase crosswalks and bike lanes and bike parking around the campuses. Rizzo supports discounted Muni passes for students, and green building elements, including NET-Zero energy use in new or renovated City College buildings. He advocates hiring a Director of Sustainability to enforce the Sustainability Plan.

Thea Selby regularly takes City College classes to keep in touch with students and faculty, and has children in public schools. She worked to keep accreditation with free tuition for San Franciscans and supports Rams Transit Passes for students, retaining the Diego Rivera mural, improving maintenance, rehabilitating CCSF's buildings sustainably, and building affordable student and staff housing at City College's Balboa Reservoir property. Selby is a long-time public transit and walking advocate and will work to increase pedestrian safety and free a main campus street from auto congestion to improve pedestrian, bike, and Muni access. She supports developing hiring more staff to implement CCSF's Sustainability Plan.

For City College Board, vote John Rizzo and Thea Selby.

Read their questionnaire responses here.

November 2018: Experience and Passion - Nutter for BART Board Director, District 8

November 2018: Experience and Passion - Nutter for BART Board Director, District 8

SFLCV supports Melanie Nutter for BART Board Director for District 8. BART needs leadership that will ensure the system is not only safe, reliable, and accessible for all, but is also environmentally sustainable. Melanie Nutter has a wealth of relevant experience to accomplish each of these goals. Given her 25-year career in environmental protection, sustainability, and government, candidate Nutter will be a strong voice and fierce advocate for the environment if elected to BART Board. Her experience also means that she has working relationships with many leaders of city and transit governments that will allow her to foster open communication between agencies to create an efficient web of transit. Vote Nutter for BART Board!

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November 2018: District 10 needs a strong leader for the community and the environment; vote for Theo Ellington (1) and Tony Kelly (2)

Soon, Board President Malia Cohen will be termed out after eight years, and District 10 will see a new supervisor. Meanwhile, the district continues to struggle with serious environmental and community issues. These include decades of toxic pollution and transportation decisions that isolated this area from the rest of the city.

Against this sober backdrop, SFLCV is pleased to announce our first-place endorsement of Theo Ellington. We believe Ellington has the priorities and experience to tackle D10’s big issues head on.

Ellington is first and foremost pro-housing, and especially affordable housing. Thousands of homes have been built and will continue being built in D10 — and they’re needed. The city and regional affordable housing crisis is not going away any time soon. San Francisco’s failure to deliver housing projects is shameful. For too long, NIMBYs in the city have stopped housing projects or reduced their size, exacerbating the crisis. We need a leader who will help. If done right, building more mixed-income housing in D10 will help stem the flood of people becoming homeless in our city — and will also support local businesses, public transportation, and community investments, including open space. Ellington understands the needs for benefits and better infrastructure for the community as new development comes in, and we believe he’ll speak up to make sure these benefits materialize.

Second, Ellington supports public transit and calls for better options for the district, including improving the T (or offering alternatives) for local residents, providing better east-west connections, and adding water transit too. He is a strong supporter of bike amenities and infrastructure. This is critical at a time when San Francisco needs to reduce cars on local streets, get to Vision Zero, and provide better, greener transportation options for everyone. In various parts of the city recently we’ve seen opposition to bike lanes and bike share, and we need a leader who will work with the local stakeholders to promote biking, and not undermine it.  

Finally, Ellington strongly opposes the long legacy of making District 10 what he calls a “dumping ground” of “toxic soup.” Along with local homeowners, he recently filed a complaint against Tetratech for falsifying their cleanup, and says he is committed to turning this toxic legacy around.

SFLCV is endorsing Tony Kelly in the second position. Tony has a long history of civic engagement, advocacy work, and community leadership in D10. His unwavering passion and deep knowledge of environmental and community issues, especially around the Shipyard cleanup and the power plant closure, demonstrate he will continue to fight for D10 at City Hall.

You can read Theo Ellington’s answers to our candidate questionnaire here.

You can read Tony Kelly’s answers to our candidate questionnaire here.

November 2018: Vote Gordon Mar for District 4

SFLCV supports Gordon Mar for Board of Supervisors in District 4. The Sunset needs new leadership for the environment, particularly advocacy for building more new homes here. Gordon Mar has been a labor and community activist for 20 years, and we believe he has the vision and community ties to guide the Sunset toward more sustainable approaches on increasing housing; investing in public transit and biking and walking infrastructure; and supporting San Francisco’s climate goals.

Most critically, Mar supports increasing housing in the Sunset, and prioritizes building more affordable homes along transit corridors. In speaking with our board, Mar said that the reason he’s running for Board of Supervisors is that the Sunset is threatened by the affordability crisis facing San Francisco. He wants to ensure that people can live and thrive in San Francisco regardless of income, and we believe he’s ready to move forward discussions around affordable housing. The neighborhood is ready for change, both as residents move to the Sunset from other, more dense parts of the city, and as longtime homeowners want to ensure the neighborhood will be affordable for their children. Mar aims to streamline the process to approve building new housing, such as creating incentive programs to build more housing in the Sunset (particularly in-law units) with grants, tax coupons, or greater access to financing for residents who want to add housing where they live.

Mar bikes for fun with his family, and is a daily MUNI rider; he supports recommitting MUNI to its fossil-free pledge and supports congestion pricing in San Francisco to provide revenue for MUNI, with the goal of getting people out of their cars and onto public transit. He also suggests expanding free MUNI to college students. Mar supports more promotion of CleanPower SF to encourage more sign-ups, including a focus on outreach to more diverse populations. (Mar helped expand San Francisco’s curbside recycling to include single-resident occupancy (SRO) housing in Chinatown, and worked with residents to help them use it.)

Mar’s experience in organizing and speaking up for the most vulnerable, his care for the environment, and his thoughtful willingness to talk through issues will be assets to the Board of Supervisors.

For District 4 Supervisor, vote for Gordon Mar.

You can read Gordon Mar’s answers to our candidate questionnaire here.

November 2018: For D2 Supervisor, Pick Nick!

Nick Josefowitz’ long and productive commitment to the environment, from building solar power plants to improving regional public transit, makes him the clear environmental choice for Supervisor in District 2.

He brings a keen understanding of the connection between transportation and land use, and the need to make development patterns more sustainable and climate-friendly by building more homes close to transit. This is illustrated by his leading an initiative to build thousands of new homes close to BART, 30% of which will be affordable. As a BART director, he also helped lead the successful effort to pass a $3.5 million infrastructure bond, bringing significant new money for public transit. He helped put BART on a path toward using 100% renewable energy (the agency is now only at 4% but says it will reach 90% in 2021).

Josefowitz is a strong advocate for safer, better walking and biking conditions in San Francisco, and he bikes around the city himself. He is a strong supporter of Vision Zero—the goal of reducing all fatal and serious traffic crashes to zero—and calls for delivering street safety projects faster. At BART, he worked to prioritize access to stations on foot and by bike.

Josefowitz is eager to tackle the urgent problems facing District 2 and the entire city—such as homelessness, the affordable housing crisis, property crime, and police accountability—while moving forward to make the city better for the climate and families. He has demonstrated understanding of local policy impacts and the regional context. His environmental track record, public- and private-sector experience, data- and outcome-driven decision-making, and ability to empathize with the wide range of perspectives in D2, together will make him a welcome and effective addition to the Board of Supervisors.

For District 2 Supervisor, vote for Nick Josefowitz.

You can read Nick Josefowitz’s answers to our candidate questionnaire here.

November 2018: SFLCV endorses both Matt Haney and Christine Johnson for District 6

The San Francisco League of Conservation Voters endorses both Matt Haney and Christine Johnson for District 6 Supervisor.

Matt Haney

Matt Haney is a strong voice for the environment and for equity. Currently a member of the School Board, Haney sponsored a resolution setting a school district goal of phasing out fossil fuels by 2040, as well as initiatives to reduce water and energy use. As District 6 Supervisor, he supports expanding CleanPowerSF by making Super Green (100% renewable energy) the default, along with a balanced payment plan to make varying energy bills more affordable.

Haney has promoted biking and walking throughout the school district, helped create a district transportation plan, and sponsored a resolution for the school district to adopt Vision Zero, the citywide goal of zero deaths in traffic crashes. He is a strong supporter of protected bike lanes.

Haney calls for building homes that are affordable to people of all income levels, not just luxury housing, and wants to get public agencies more involved using public land for affordable homes, and also open space. On the School Board, Haney led an initiative to build affordable housing for SFUSD teachers and protect them from evictions. As new development occurs in fast-growing neighborhoods like SOMA and Mission Bay, Haney seeks to increase services for residents and fund them with transit impact fees and community benefit districts.

On the School Board and in his career, Haney has been a champion for social justice, including through his work with Van Jones. These credentials are particularly relevant in District 6, home to the city’s widest gap between rich and poor.

We believe that Matt Haney would build coalitions and get things done, including safer, greener transportation, solutions for homelessness, more affordable homes, and a more sustainable city.

Here are Matt Haney’s responses to our questionnaire.

Christine Johnson

Christine Johnson is a strong voice for smart, sustainable cities. Johnson grew up in New York City; she and her mother, a nurse who worked two jobs, had to move every few years when landlords would raise their rent. This experience shaped her interest in how cities work, as well as her empathy for renters and opposition to displacement.

Johnson brings experience in public finance and engineering and urban policy and planning codes, having served on the San Francisco Planning Commission and as SPUR’s San Francisco director, as well as the Hunters’ Point Land Use Citizens’ Advisory Committee and others.

Johnson’s goals include speeding up development of housing, improving the quality of life, cleaning up the streets, rebuilding the seawall, and creating more open space for residents to enjoy.

Johnson has concrete ideas on how to achieve these goals. For example, she strongly supports public transit, and aims to speed up the delivery of transportation projects through her role in overseeing Measure RR, the $3.5 billion BART bond. Johnson also supports congestion pricing to reduce car use in District 6 and raise funds for improvements for walking and biking as well as public transit, and faster roll-out of protected bike lanes along with more space for bike storage throughout the district. Further, Johnson commits not only to changing building codes to support zero net energy, but also creating new financing tools to increase the energy efficiency of buildings. She also strongly supports the use of recycled water wherever possible.

We believe Johnson’s policy, planning, and financing knowledge, as well as her keen interest and engagement with urban and environmental issues, would make her an effective leader for District 6 and the city.

Here are Christine Johnson’s responses to our questionnaire.

November 2018: Vote Yes on A to strengthen our seawall and protect San Francisco

The San Francisco Seawall is a critically important, but invisible, piece of city infrastructure. It extends along the eastern edge of the city, all the way from Mission Creek to Fisherman’s Wharf, keeping water out of the city’s downtown. The Seawall protects buildings, Muni and BART tunnels, and electrical and sewer systems. It was completed in 1920 (after 40 years of construction) before modern seismic standards existed. It is almost 100 years old. The Seawall is vulnerable to earthquakes as well as sea level rise — which means, so are we.

Prop A proposes to evaluate, strengthen, and repair the Seawall, working with city transportation planners and public outreach to identify the best options. Funds would be used for:

  1. Earthquake Projects (Ground strengthening and liquefaction remediation; Constructing a new Seawall; Wall, wharf, and pier retrofits and replacements; Building retrofits and seismic joints; Utility replacements, relocations, and bypasses)

  2. Flood Protection Projects (Flood walls and barriers; Changes to surface grading; enhance foundation)

  3. Mitigation and Enhancement Projects (Public access, transportation, environmental, or other benefits that may be identified as work is planned)

This measure would not raise taxes, as it is part of the city’s General Bond planning; new debt is issued when old bonds expire. The bond leverages other funding as well, including state, federal, and private funding. Strengthening the Seawall will be expensive, but letting it fail would be far more costly.

The San Francisco League of Conservation Voters supports Prop A because there is a serious need to repair this basic infrastructure that keeps water out of our downtown. This kind of planning, to protect our infrastructure over the long term in the face of a changing environment, is the kind of planning our cities should be doing. This is good government. It’s also smart climate adaptation planning. We only wish all our city, state, and national planning for climate change was like this.

Vote yes on Proposition A.

June 2018: Vote for Rafael Mandelman for District 8 Supervisor

Rafael Mandelman is a long time local leader who we are proud to support this June. In over a decade of serving on the San Francisco Democratic Central Committee (DCCC), he has consistently backed pro-transit, pro-housing, and pro-environmental policies and revenue measures that are critical for keeping San Francisco a livable, sustainable, equitable city. We are counting on him to be a strong voice and a hard worker on the Board of Supervisors to fight for these issues. We also trust that he has the broad political base and skill to balance hyper-local neighborhood concerns with the voices of other stakeholders that are pushing for more housing, safer streets, and more reliable transit.

As a member of the City College Board of Trustees, Mandelman has championed affordable, walkable, transit-oriented development on the Balboa Reservoir in Ingleside. There, he also pushed for the implementation of the College’s Sustainability Plan, supported LEED (green building) standards, and supported a smoke-free campus.

Mandelman is a supporter of safe streets for biking and walking, and of getting Vision Zero projects (to reduce all traffic deaths to zero) implemented quickly. He is committed to raising the significant amounts of money the city needs to have a high-quality public transit system that supports our growing population. He supports divesting from fossil fuels as well. He is a SuperGreen customer of CleanPowerSF, and (to be fair, like his opponent) supports making SuperGreen the default for all users, so that users would have to opt out of clean power rather than opting in, which should dramatically increase the use of clean power in the city, and reduce pollution and carbon emissions. He tells us he “will be the Board’s strongest advocate for green energy and improved public transportation” — we can’t wait!

For District 8 Supervisor, vote for Rafael Mandelman.

June 2018: Vote YES on Prop G to Fund Public Teacher Salaries

Many families currently leave San Francisco—heading to the suburbs where they drive far more and use more resources—because they are concerned about the quality of education in the city. Here, teacher turnover is high; many teachers leave their schools each year, and many new recruits are teaching without a credential, as credentialed and experienced teachers are hard to recruit in a city of low salaries and high costs. Prop G is one good step toward addressing this.

Proposition G would establish an annual parcel tax to fund San Francisco schools, specifically to increase teacher salaries. Currently, despite San Francisco’s high cost of living, teacher salaries here are lower than in most other Bay Area school districts. Prop G’s salary increase will help teachers afford to live in San Francisco, reducing teacher turnover and improving the quality of education in the city’s public schools.

Prop G will help keep teachers and families in San Francisco, reducing the pressure to move to less dense and more car-dependent parts of the Bay Area. The SFLCV encourages a Yes vote on Prop G.

Prop G would work by authorizing the city to collect an annual parcel tax of $298 (on real estate) in San Francisco over 20 years, beginning July 1, 2018. The amount of the tax would be adjusted annually to account for inflation. This is a flat parcel tax on all private land, shops, and homes. There are two exemptions to the tax: 1) senior citizens 65 and over who own and live in the property, and 2) a parking space attached to an exempted residence owned by the same senior citizen.

A small amount of the tax would also go to provide funding for charter schools in San Francisco. In June of 2008, San Francisco voters approved a similar tax to benefit SFUSD (San Francisco Unified School District) at the rate of $198 per parcel for a period of 20 years, expiring in July 2028.

Vote YES on G.

June 2018: Vote YES on Prop F to Provide Legal Representation for People Facing Eviction

San Francisco has seen steeply rising rates of evictions ever since the economic downturn; the numbers roughly doubled from 2007 to 2015, peaking at 2,400 eviction notices served in 2015, with somewhat lower numbers in 2016 and 2017. In a city where almost two-thirds of residents are renters, the threat of eviction is stressful and real. Plus, in a city like San Francisco, there are few other comparable options nearby; in San Francisco, people evicted from a rent-controlled apartment could have to move many miles away, or even out of the region, to find rent that they can afford. Despite this threat, fighting eviction is out of reach for many tenants, as attorneys who deal with evictions can cost $400/hour.

Proposition F would help. Prop F would require San Francisco to create and run a program that would provide (and pay for) legal representation for tenants facing eviction. This is similar to something we already do, providing a public defender for people facing trial. The SFLCV endorses Proportion F for several reasons:

  • Keeping residents in their homes in a safe environment, not on the streets, is critical to a thriving urban center, and a livable, sustainable city. In addition, rent-controlled buildings, which are often targeted for evictions, are some of the best affordable housing our city has, allowing lower-income people and older people to stay in a city that is pricing many people out.

  • Displacement pushes people to the fringes of the Bay Area, creating long commutes and increasing driving and pollution.

  • Evictions contribute to our homelessness crisis.

  • Legal representation gives people a tool to fight unfair evictions; it does not prevent people from being evicted for cause (for example, not paying rent, breaking the lease, etc.).

Unlike many ballot initiatives, Prop F leaves the implementation details to the city and simply outlines the required outcome. It also allows the Board of Supervisors to amend the initiative, while most ballot initiatives can only be amended via additional ballot measures. The program must be implemented within 12 months of becoming effective. Legal representation continues until the eviction proceeding is withdrawn, the case is dismissed, or judgment is made. All residents of the city are eligible, except those who reside in the same dwelling unit as the landlord or master tenant.

Some believe this program should have an income eligibility requirement. But people who can afford legal representation are likely to seek their own (just as people who can afford a lawyer in other matters get their own, while people who cannot are represented by public defenders). Nationally, only 10% of evicted tenants go into an eviction proceeding with legal representation, so clearly most tenants would benefit from representation.

A right to counsel will protect thousands of tenants from being unfairly evicted from their homes.

YES on F!

June 2018: Vote Yes on Prop D to Fund Affordable Housing in San Francisco

San Francisco is experiencing an affordable housing and homelessness crisis. This is a sustainability issue as well. Urban living uses fewer resources, especially in terms of transportation, water, and energy. As people are unable to afford homes in San Francisco, they move to less densely built and often distant suburbs, putting them farther from job centers. Transit options are limited, so driving increases, and that hurts air quality, water quality, and the climate.

What’s more, homelessness is a fundamental failure of sustainable urban livability. A sustainable city takes care of the people who live there. People need homes for their health, safety, and basic well-being. Homelessness impacts everyone, and all San Franciscans benefit from a just transition to a more sustainable city.

Proposition D would raise funds to help more San Franciscans find homes they can afford, particularly homeless people and others most in need. It would do so by raising the tax on commercial landlords from 0.3% to 1.7% of gross receipts, generating an estimated $70 million per year. Small businesses and non-profits are exempted from the tax.

Prop D funds programs that include: rent subsidies for low-income seniors; rehabilitation of single-room-occupancy units; supportive housing for people with severe mental illness or substance abuse; and navigation centers, including one for homeless youth. It also includes some funds for middle-income housing.

Prop D and Prop C

The San Francisco League of Conservation Voters supports good government as well as sustainability, and we are concerned that Prop D competes with Prop C, which would increase commercial landlord taxes to fund early childhood education in San Francisco. The League has endorsed Prop C.

Prop D contains a “poison pill” stipulating that only one measure can pass: if Prop D passes, Prop C will not. We are disappointed that our elected leaders did not work together on these measures and iron out this conflict before they went to voters.

However, we feel that both Prop C and Prop D are important enough to support. We realize they cannot both win, but we are endorsing both because we endorse the goals of both.

We support Prop D in particular because it addresses what is possibly our city’s toughest problem. We do not feel we can refuse any opportunity to address San Francisco’s crisis of homelessness and unaffordable housing.

For that reason, we urge you to vote Yes on Prop D.

June 2018: Vote YES on Prop A - Allow the SFPUC to Issue Bonds for Clean Energy Infrastructure

Summary of the Measure:

The SF Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) can currently issue revenue bonds for water projects; Prop A would expand the types of projects its charter allows to include clean power as well.

Water bonds are subject to the following requirements, and the new clean power bonds would be as well: First, the bonds must be approved by a 2/3 vote of the Board of Supervisors and majority votes of the SFPUC and the Public Revenue Bond Oversight Committee. Second, an independent engineer must also certify that proposed bond projects will meet cost and schedule requirements. Third, the SF Planning Department must certify that these projects comply with the California Environmental Quality Act.

SFLCV’s Position:

Prop A will help San Francisco increase the infrastructure needed to meet our clean energy goals, reduce our carbon footprint, and reduce particulate emissions by allowing the SFPUC to seek funding for clean power infrastructure and projects. The SFPUC has historically done a good job managing its revenue bonds, and we feel confident about expanding its charter for clean power.

In addition to funding projects directly related to clean power infrastructure such as rooftop solar, the charter amendment allows funding of other clean energy technologies that help stabilize energy demand and supply. These include vehicle charging stations, energy storage, distributed energy, and smart grid innovations. The measure specifically disallows projects that generate electricity using fossil fuels or nuclear energy.

The energy provided by the SFPUC currently saves the city approximately $40 million per year over what it would spend on electricity from PG&E. Allowing the city to build more clean power infrastructure that in turn will generate more electricity will save the city more money (the difference between SFPUC- and PG&E-generated electricity, multiplied by the increased amount of electricity generated). It will also provide more revenue, from SFPUC’s private energy customers such as Salesforce and Digital Realty, that will be reinvested in San Francisco's clean and renewable energy facilities. Federal law now requires San Francisco to own more of the equipment used to deliver electricity to customers, and amending the charter allows the SFPUC to finance such facilities efficiently.

Vote YES on Proposition A!

June 2018: Vote YES on Prop C to Fund Early Education & Childcare

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Early education and care for children in San Francisco is expensive. On average, daycare and preschool here cost $20,000 a year. There is some public early care and education in San Francisco, but the demand for it far outstrips the supply. Today, 2,400 children are on the waitlist, and many more families do not qualify for the waitlist but struggle to afford public early education and care for their young children. This is also a gender equity issue, as high costs often push mothers, especially those with lower incomes, to set aside careers to care for children themselves.

The city’s successful Preschool for All program, passed in 2004, already helps families with 4-year-olds. As a result, preschool enrollment has increased significantly, as has San Francisco children’s school readiness. But families with younger children still struggle.

Much of the work of the San Francisco League of Conservation Voters is about making urban living—already arguably the most sustainable way of life for the planet—sustainable for more people. This means that urban living should be affordable. If families cannot afford to live in San Francisco (already a problem for many) because they cannot afford childcare, they will likely move to a place that is more suburban. There, they will have a far larger ecological footprint, losing all of the efficiencies of urban living, driving more and consuming far more resources.

Prop C would help families, especially those with lower incomes
Proposition C proposes to fund early childhood education and care—daycare and preschool, for children up to age 3—to help families making up to 200% of Area Median Income (AMI); 200% AMI for a family of three is $207,500. It would get all the families off the current waitlist; these families earn up to 85% of the state median income (SMI); 85% of SMI for a family of three is $63,240. Prop C would also increase services for children up to the age of six.

In addition, Prop C would increase wages for early care and education providers; these are often women of color, doing some of the most important work in our society for some of the very lowest pay.

Prop C would do all this by increasing the tax on commercial landlords in San Francisco. It would increase the tax rate from the current very low level of 0.3% to 3.8%, to raise an estimated $130 million per year. It exempts small businesses that make less than $1 million in gross receipts per year, and allows deductions for small businesses that rent to nonprofits, and non-formula (non-chain) retailers.

The San Francisco League of Conservation Voters believes it is important to make San Francisco an affordable place to live for families, especially those with lower incomes, as well as for teachers and childcare workers, and to support women’s ability to work outside the home. Prop C will help do all of this.

We urge you to vote YES on Prop C.

June 2018: Vote YES on Prop E to Ban the Sale of Flavored Tobacco in San Francisco

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For decades, we have known that tobacco products are dangerous and addicting, causing serious health problems from emphysema to cancer. Smoking is also terrible for the environment: it pollutes the air, creates litter throughout our streets and our cities, endangers children and wildlife, and puts trash and toxic chemicals into the Bay and the ocean.
 
Legislation on tobacco use has reduced smoking and has done much for public health and the environment. However, tobacco companies are constantly seeking new ways to sell their products, including vaping/e-cigarettes and cigars. In what appears to be a thinly disguised effort to create a new generation of users, these companies are now selling flavored tobacco in bright, fun packaging that looks like candy.
 
A federal study found that 81% of kids who ever used tobacco products started with a flavored product. The risk is not only to the older children who are lured into smoking these products; nationally, on average, four young children a day drink e-cig liquid nicotine and are poisoned.

Meanwhile, in San Francisco
In 2017, to protect children from this potentially deadly marketing, the Board of Supervisors approved an amendment to the Health Code in 2017 to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products in San Francisco.
 
Tobacco companies reacted by launching a well-funded signature-gathering attempt to put the legislation on the ballot, hoping for a no vote to overturn the ban and keep their candy-colored products on the shelves.

The flavored tobacco ban is now being brought to the voters for approval as Proposition E. If it passes, it will take effect in 2018 to prevent the sale of flavored tobacco products in San Francisco.
 
Tobacco companies are throwing a lot of money into this election to fight Prop E. They are claiming that this ban would affect local mom and pop stores; there is no research to support this. What research does show is that more tobacco retailers exist in areas with larger black, Latino, and low-income populations, putting the children in communities of color most at risk from these toxic flavored products.

Vote Yes on E
The SF League of Conservation Voters supports Yes on E to protect public health and support a clean city, Bay, and ocean. This referendum has strong support from a significant number of health, youth, social service and political organizations, medical providers, and city leaders.  

We urge you to vote Yes on Prop E.

June 2018: Vote YES on Prop B - Charter Amendment

Proposition B - Charter Amendment: Appointed Board and Commission Members Seeking Elected Office

Summary of the Measure:

Proposition B will amend the San Francisco City Charter to provide that appointed members of City boards and commissions forfeit their offices upon filing a declaration of candidacy for state or local elected office. There are three exceptions to the forfeiture requirement. First, it does not apply to appointed members of a citizen advisory committee. Second, an official that is appointed to an otherwise elected position is not subject to the forfeiture requirement if they choose to run for the office to which they were appointed. And, third, the requirement does not apply to elected officials in general. Additional information can be found on the Department of Elections website

The measure is sponsored by Supervisors Peskin, Kim, Safai, and Yee.

SFLCV’s Position:

Prop B is meant to eliminate any possible conflicts of interest created when an appointed board or commission member runs for elected office. It has been a long-standing practice in San Francisco for appointed members of City boards or commissions to step down from their appointed position upon announcing their candidacy for an elected office. Prop B memorializes this tradition in the City Charter and advances good government.

Vote YES on Proposition B! 

June 2018: Vote YES on Regional Measure 3

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Voters in each of the nine Bay Area counties will consider Regional Measure 3 (RM3) on June 5, 2018.  If approved by a majority of voters in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma counties, toll revenues would be used to finance a $4.45 billion slate of highway and transit improvements with the primary goal of reducing traffic congestion and improve transportation options throughout the San Francisco Bay Area’s state-owned toll bridge corridors. Voter approval of RM3 would raise tolls on the region's state-owned toll bridges by $1 beginning Jan. 1, 2019. Tolls would rise by another $1 in January 2022 with another $1 increase in January 2025.  Key Benefits:

  • RM3 plans ahead and will make vital transportation improvements to address the impact of growth before it makes traffic worse.

  • It will relieve traffic congestion by bringing the region’s public transit system into the 21st century - modernizing, connecting and expanding their existing rail, buses, and ferries.

  • It will connect BART and other commuter rail services; increase ferry service; and improve connections between buses, trains, and bikes so that many can get to work, school and home more quickly.

  • Emphasis on transit, bike and ped investments will help improve the region’s air quality.

Previous RM1 and RM2 helped fund major regional transit projects including eBART, Warm Spring Extension, Transbay Terminal, regional ferry vessels, and SMART Rail Extension.  This time, RM3 will allocate 75% of funding toward transportation/bike/ped projects, including:

  • Purchasing new BART cars to run more frequent trains and reduce crowding.

  • Improve transbay bus service and carpool access to improve commute times across bridges.

  • Purchasing new San Francisco MUNI trains and buses to expand service, reduce crowding, and improve reliability.

  • Developing and transitioning to the next generation of the Clipper transit card to support a universal, seamless public transit fare payment system.

  • Planning and designing a second transbay rail crossing to provide additional capacity for BART and other rail service.

  • Extending Caltrain to the Transbay Transit Center in downtown San Francisco.

  • Building new ferry terminals, upgrading ferry facilities and buying more boats.

  • Generate approx. $150M for regional bike/ped improvements.

RM3 will continue to mandate strong taxpayer safeguards, including independent financial audits with citizen oversight and setting performance standards that every transit agency must meet to ensure they get funding. It even creates a Transportation Inspector General to oversee audits and conduct investigations of how the money is spent. This will hold elected leaders accountable to spend funds as promised in the categories explicitly described in the measure.

Many of the projects in the RM3 program will serve EJ communities throughout the region. Opportunities for community input will be available at the regional level as part of the citizen’s oversight committee, and at the local level as part of each project as it goes from planning to implementation.

Finally, there is a strong nexus that increasing the cost of driving will shift more people to public and active transportation.  The toll increase will do just that, and the RM3 investments in transit, biking and walking will help accommodate this shift. As the region continues to grow, ongoing investments to transit, biking and walking are critical to keeping the region moving and thriving for everyone at all income levels.  For these reasons, the SFLCV endorses RM3.

June 2018 Mayoral Endorsement: #1 Mark Leno #2 Jane Kim #3 London Breed

As environmentalists, we at the San Francisco League of Conservation Voters are appalled by the Trump administration’s continued assault on the environment. However, California's leading role in confronting and countering disastrous federal policies is a bright spot in dark times.

At the local level, in the fast-approaching mayoral election, we find San Francisco in a strong position, as all three front-runners in the race have real environmental credentials. We can honestly say we would look forward to working with any of their administrations to advance the causes of climate protection, sustainable transportation, dense and affordable housing, clean energy, water conservation, and natural resource protection.

In that light, the San Francisco League of Conservation Voters is pleased to endorse, in ranked-choice order, 1. Mark Leno, 2. Jane Kim, and 3. London Breed.

#1 Mark Leno

We are proud to endorse Senator Mark Leno as our first choice for mayor of San Francisco. He is the strongest environmental leader on the ballot as well as the most proven administrator and politician, excelling in each office he has held, from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, to the State Assembly, and most recently, the State Senate.

The sheer breadth of Leno’s environmental work over the past decades has been remarkable, from sponsoring the 2001 resolution for the first permanent bike lane on Valencia Street and authoring San Francisco’s first inclusionary housing ordinance in 2002, to getting SB350 passed in 2015. SB 350 set the nation’s highest standards for fighting climate change with state  goals to increase electricity production from renewables to 50% by 2050 and to double energy efficiency in buildings by 2030. He also co-authored the Complete Streets Act in 2007 to build streets for walking and biking as well as driving. He has a nuanced understanding of sustainable transportation policy and a commitment to freedom from fossil fuels. His work on a wide range of environmental issues including toxic flame-retardant chemical reform, pesticide ingredient disclosure, fracking moratoriums, clean water, renewable energy, methane gas emission reduction, community-choice power, and combating ocean acidification have been exemplary.

While other Sacramento stalwarts have returned home and been capable mayors (whether we agreed with them or not), our greatest questions regarding a Leno administration are whether he is prepared for the changes in San Francisco politics since his tenure on the Board of Supervisors and for the contentious melee of City Hall. We are counting on his experience and his energy, and we believe he is up to the challenge.

#2 Jane Kim

Supervisor Jane Kim, our second choice, has championed a number of important environmental causes and is notable as the only candidate in the race (so far) who has shared a detailed transportation plan. Her leadership on Vision Zero, the ongoing effort to reduce vehicle-related deaths on city streets to zero, has been critical. She is the only candidate who has publicly backed congestion pricing for San Francisco, demonstrating her ability for authoring bold new initiatives. This type of innovative transportation policy is perhaps the most important area where San Francisco can lead the nation in cutting-edge environmental action. Additionally, Kim has been a tireless champion for building affordable housing, a cornerstone in maintaining thriving, dense urban centers as a primary means to combat suburban sprawl and climate change.

While Kim brings a keen intelligence and a passion for progressive causes, she remains unproven in managing a bureaucracy as large and cumbersome as San Francisco’s. Because Kim has proven herself in every office she’s held to date, we believe she can do the job as mayor.

#3 London Breed

Board of Supervisors President London Breed, our third choice, has impressed us most with her championing CleanPowerSF*, San Francisco’s clean energy program. After the program languished for 12 years, Breed took it upon herself to get CleanPowerSF off the ground, despite a significant effort by PG&E to prevent it, and she has continued to defend and advance this critical clean-energy program. President Breed has also worked on a pharmaceutical take-back program, which helps our wildlife and waterways, and she passed the most far-reaching styrofoam ban in the country, an important step to protect San Francisco Bay and oceans from plastic pollution. We appreciate that she intends to build more homes, including much-needed affordable homes, and is raising funds to do it with initiatives like Proposition D, though we are unhappy about the “poison pill” in that measure. She also passed legislation to purchase new Muni trains and helped establish the popular 5 Rapid line.

We are concerned that President Breed’s coalition remains cozy with many of the businesses interests that have slowed environmental progress over the past three administrations. That said, her track record is strong enough to earn an endorsement.

With these three candidates leading the race for mayor of San Francisco, the San Francisco League of Conservation Voters is optimistic for the next mayoral administration and for our city.

The San Francisco League of Conservation Voters is  proud to endorse Senator Mark Leno #1 for Mayor of San Francisco, and endorse Supervisor Jane Kim as #2, and Board of Supervisors President London Breed as #3.

 

 

 

 

*We regret failing to recognize her environmental leadership on this issue in particular during her 2015 Board of Supervisors campaign when we instead endorsed her opponent.


 

Thank you for a great Earth Day Celebration!

Thanks to everyone who joined us for our 2018 Earth Day Celebration on Wednesday, April 18. It was great fun, and we are thrilled to build on this momentum. Do you feel good about having done something for the environment? We hope so!

For photos from the event, go to this Google album or this album on our SFLCV Facebook page.

We are working on our June election endorsements right now, so stay tuned for the formal announcement. Our research and interviews are designed to help you in the voting booth.

And yes, voting is right around the corner. Please make sure you are registered to vote. Mark your calendar for Election Day on on June 5!

We're working hard on voter education by that deadline — and here's how you can help:

  1. Make a donation to support our advocacy and voter education
  2. Like us on Facebook and share our posts when they matter to you
  3. Join our email list — we promise our emails will be infrequent and important! (Signup is at the bottom of the page)

Thank you again for supporting the all-volunteer efforts of the San Francisco League of Conservation Voters. We support champions of sustainability and smart, effective environmental policy — for everything from the climate, to transportation, housing, energy, waste, public health, and biodiversity.

Thank you to our sponsors:
Amandeep Jawa
BART Board Director Nick Josefowitz
Yin L. Yin & Wilbert Sequeira Sandoval
Tim Chan
Eliet Henderson
Tony Kelly
Lawyers for Clean Water, Inc.
Kristina Pappas & Phillip Davis
Leah Pimentel for School Board
Supervisor Ahsha Safai
Assemblymember Phil Ting
Senator Scott Wiener