In November, San Franciscans will have their chance to vote on Proposition C to “authorize and regulate the sale of electronic cigarettes and other vapor products.” Prop C was, until recently, heavily backed by e-cigarette maker Juul. Despite its supporters’ statements that Prop C would properly regulate e-cigarettes, there are several reasons SFLCV endorses a no vote on Prop C.Read More
Supervisor Brown has been a voice and vote for environmental issues since she was appointed in July 2018 to fill Mayor Breed’s seat. She also has a long history of environmental advocacy prior her time on the Board. We appreciate her experience and knowledge of the city legislative process, earned through her work as an aide to former Supervisors Mirkarimi (Masonic Avenue Streetscape Improvement Project, CleanPowerSF, plastic bag ban 1.0) and Breed (CleanPowerSF, neighborhood preference in affordable housing). She has a consistent track record on local issues and has shown a willingness to listen, and we find that she makes smart, thoughtful decisions. Since her appointment last year, Brown worked on several environmental issues, including expansion of the plastic bag ban, energy use reporting for large residential buildings, and renewable energy mandates for large commercial buildings. Most recently, she introduced legislation to end natural gas use in municipal buildings.Read More
Prop E addresses the city's affordable housing crisis for mid-income residents and working families, especially teachers. It increases allowed density and height on large lots (over 10,000 sq ft) and publicly owned land (e.g., school and city college land) for multi-family, 100% affordable housing for very low income, Low income, and those earning up to 120 % of Median Income. It does not, however, allow these changes for development on park lands; nor does it allow removal of any existing housing--two aspects of the proposed laws that protect open space and help ensure increases in housing levels, respectively. In other words, Prop E “would allow 100 percent affordable and educator housing to be built on public land.”Read More
On November 5th, San Francisco voters will have an opportunity to place a tax on Uber and Lyft ride-share services in the city. Proposition D, if passed, would impose a 3.25% tax on rides carrying a single passenger and 1.5% tax on shared rides and rides in zero-emission vehicles. The tax could potentially bring between $30 million and $35 million annually to fund public transit and improved bike and pedestrian safety measures.
Approximately 50% of the revenue would go to San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) for more Muni buses, trains, drivers, and service for the disabled and elderly, while the other 50% would go to San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA) to improve bike and pedestrian safety.Read More
SFLCV has voted to endorse Chesa Boudin as first choice, Leif Dautch as second choice, and Suzy Loftus as third choice in the race for District Attorney. These candidates support moving San Francisco DA’s office towards a more just society where marginalized communities have meaningful recourse and an additional voice fighting against the pollution and contamination that has disproportionately impacted them for far too long.Read More
Our recent local elections have become more expensive. One reason is the post-Citizens United flood of money from political action committees (PACs) into campaigns at all levels of government. Local ethics rules require that mailers and other advertising disclose their funding sources, but when PACs are the source of funds, voters don’t know who has funded the PACs. A PAC’s funding source may only be revealed months after the election has ended, making the existing disclosure requirements ineffective at providing true transparency.
Prop F closes this loophole. If this measure passes, campaign advertisements will be required to disclose the name of the top 5 contributors of $5,000 or more; if any of the top 5 contributors are PACs, campaign advertisements must also disclose the top 3 contributors of $5,000 or more to those PACs.Read More
San Francisco League of Conservation Voters
for an Earth Day celebration
Wednesday, April 24, 6-8 pm
Covo, 981 Mission Street @ 6th Street
Nearest BART: Powell
Light food | Cash bar
$35 in advance | $40 at the door
Crissy Field $500 -- Mount Tam $250 -- Fort Point $150
Thank you to our sponsors:
Amandeep Jawa & Kimberly Conley
Tim Chan & Chris Waddling
Assemblymember David Chiu
Kristina Pappas & Phillip Davis
Assemblymember Phil Ting
Yin L. Yin & Wilbert Sequeira Sandoval
Thea Selby, Trustee of the City College of San Francisco
Senator Scott Wiener
Adrian Cotter & Liz Pallatto
All proceeds support SFLCV’s political advocacy for local candidates and ballot initiatives that protect the environment, support good government, and create a more healthy and sustainable San Francisco for all.
If you can’t join us but still want to support, make a gift here.
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.Read More
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.
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!Read More
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 Tony Kelly’s answers to our candidate questionnaire here.
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.
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.
SFLCV supports Rafael Mandelman for Board of Supervisors in District 8. We endorsed Mandelman in the June 2018 election and continue to support him for Supervisor in District 8 this November. See our June 2018 endorsement here.
The San Francisco League of Conservation Voters endorses both Matt Haney and Christine Johnson for District 6 Supervisor.
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.
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.
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:
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)
Flood Protection Projects (Flood walls and barriers; Changes to surface grading; enhance foundation)
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.