November 2015: YES on Prop D

Proposition D is a vote for the Mission Rock project, a waterfront development proposed on what is now a large parking lot, across Lefty O'Doul Bridge from AT&T Park. Specifically, Prop D would raise waterfront height limits from 40 feet, to up to 240 feet, on a piece of SF Port property mostly zoned for open space. Proposition D reached the ballot due to voter approval of Prop B in 2014, which required voter approval whenever a development plans on exceeding the 40-foot height limit along the waterfront. The site, known as Lot A, is currently a vast surface parking lot that holds 2,300 cars. The rezoning would allow the Giants to move ahead with a plan that calls for 1,500 units of housing, 8 acres of parkland, 1.5 million square feet of commercial space and a new brewing facility for Anchor Brewing Co. at Pier 48. The parking will be replaced by a garage on the southern end of the property.

Forty percent of the new homes will be affordable. About half of this will target middle-income families earning more than 120 percent of area median income, $122,300 for a family of four. The rest will start at 55 percent of AMI, $56,000 for a family of four, and go up from there.

Prop. D is opposed by the Sierra Club, San Francisco Tomorrow, Livable Cities and the Coalition of San Francisco Neighborhoods. Opponents say the proposed buildings are too tall, the project has too much parking, and the property should be used for open space, in keeping with the state public trust laws that preserve public access and limit use of the public waterfront lands to mainly maritime and water-related recreational uses.

SFLCV shares these concerns, yet we respect that the developers have incorporated numerous public concerns and designed a project that could provide a model for future development across the city. In addition to the 40% affordable housing standard, some of the sustainability features include:

  • Mission Rock will be San Francisco’s first Type 1 Eco-District – the city’s highest environmental standard, meaning that a community has a set of energy, water, transportation, and waste targets to achieve.
  • All buildings shall be designed to the LEED Gold standard (with specific requirements for water targets above and beyond LEED).
  • Implementation of integrated stormwater management in the street design
  • Integration of infrastructure across all buildings, allowing for enhanced water and energy efficiency. For example process water from the Anchor facilities can be used for toilet flushing in the buildings. Or waste heat from Anchor may be used to heat the buildings
  • Consideration of sea level rise and implementation of open space parkland along the waterfront.

SFLCV urges you to vote YES on Prop D.

November 2015: YES on Prop J

Small businesses are suffering in the current rental market. They, like residents, are being priced out. Prop J is a new idea to help, by supporting “legacy businesses.” The City is already creating a Legacy Business registry. To be considered for the registry, a business or nonprofit must meet three criteria: they must have been in San Francisco for at least 30 years and founded or headquartered here; they must have contributed to neighborhood history or identity; and they must commit to maintaining their defining physical features or traditions.

Prop J proposes to create a fund to provide grants to legacy businesses and to landlords that sign long-term leases (at least 10 years) to legacy businesses. Prop J would also cover 20-year-old businesses that meet the same criteria and are at risk of displacement.

This is an interesting idea and worth a try. It is a pilot program: the funding is only guaranteed for the first year. If voters support it and it works, the Board of Supervisors is likely to continue to support it.

We’ve all seen beloved businesses close or move out of San Francisco. Prop J could help support businesses that bring our communities together. SFLCV recommends a Yes vote on Prop J.

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.

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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  • 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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Fundraiser... Thanks!

Thanks to all came out for our 3rd Celebrating the Urban Environment at 111 Minna. We had a good time and hope you did as well. We in particular want to thank the artists for their contributions to the evening. Andrew Turner was the winner of the people's choice award:

Todd Berman Adrian Cotter Lawrence Cuevas Todd Gilens Dave Hunkins Papi Menon Sarah Soward Jake Thomason Andrew Turner

We would also like to thank our sponsors:

Amandeep Jawa California League of Conservation Voters Adrian Cotter & Liz Pallatto Susan King Trent Orr John D'Avolio John Holtzclaw Michelle Jesperson Steven Krefting Dan Nguyen-Tan Eric Smith Johanna Wald