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Election, Supervisor's Report

Important ballot initiatives this November

This November’s ballot contains a number of local measures that will have a significant impact on the future of San Francisco. Though I have opinions about every proposition on the ballot, there are four in particular about which I feel very strongly and believe are the most critical for our city. I wanted to briefly highlight each of these ballot initiatives, including my reasoning for voting for or against them.

Yes on Proposition A

Proposition A is a $500 million general obligation bond that will fund critical transportation infrastructure improvements — all without raising property taxes or any other taxes. If passed, the bond dollars will be used for Muni infrastructure upgrades to improve transit services, upgrades to key transit corridors citywide to reduce congestion, and pedestrian safety improvements to make our streets safer for everyone. Muni has not put forward a bond in more than 40 years, and if we are serious about improving our transit system for everyone, this is the right investment for our city.

Proposition A is part of San Francisco’s 10-year capital planning process, and as a result it went through a careful planning process. With our city’s population continuing to grow, it is crucial that we make additional improvements and investments in our entire transportation system to meet the growing demand. Additionally, by investing and improving our transportation system, it will help residents who drive by reducing congestion and traffic that we all experience and drives us crazy. Prop A is endorsed by Mayor Lee and all 11 of my colleagues on the Board of Supervisors; please vote yes on A.

Yes on Proposition C

Proposition C is the reauthorization of the Children and Youth Fund and the Public Education and Enrichment Fund, which San Francisco voters have overwhelmingly supported in the past. The reauthorization of both of these funds will amount to more than $125 million in funding for services and programs citywide for our children, youth, and families — and, just like Proposition A, will do so without raising taxes.

These two funds have ensured for years that there is support for critical children’s services, such as after-school programs, family support centers, workforce and job-training programs, health-care initiatives, and counseling services. In addition, the funds help support and enhance programs for sports, arts and music. Education and family services are the areas that have proven to deliver better outcomes for our children if we make greater investments, and as a father of three young children, I wholeheartedly support additional investments in our city’s children and families. It is simply the best investment we can make. And, just like Proposition A, Proposition C is endorsed by Mayor Lee and all 11 of my colleagues on the Board of Supervisors; please vote yes on C.

No on Proposition G

Proposition G is a misguided attempt to address San Francisco’s rising cost of housing, which is without doubt one of the biggest issues we are facing as a city. Proposition G is being billed as the “anti-speculation tax,” but it is pure and simply a new housing tax that will have the opposite effects of what the supporters are claiming the initiative will achieve. Instead of helping our city’s affordability crisis, Proposition G is only going to make it worse with its unintended consequences if it passes.

Proposition G would create a new tax on San Francisco homes — up to 24 percent of the total sales price. The measure is only going to make housing in our city even more expensive because the measure will encourage homeowners to hold on to their properties longer, restrict the supply of housing even more, and cause the prices for housing to continue to rise. Additionally, the housing tax does not include any exemptions for seniors or life emergencies that may occur and unfairly penalizes homeowners with extreme tax rates that are not seen in any other city in the country. Though the supporters of Proposition G claim to have the best intentions in putting this measure forward, they clearly missed the mark and will only make matters worse. Please vote no on G.

No on Proposition H / Yes on Proposition I

Proposition H was placed on the ballot by obstructionists who were upset that numerous local and state boards and commissions disagreed with their objections to the installation of new, safer turf sports fields at Beach Chalet for our city’s children and families. In an ideal world, all of our sports fields would be grass and mowed like putting greens on a golf course, but the reality is much different; we continue to underfund the number of gardeners our Recreation and Park Department needs, and San Francisco has historically inclement weather. Many of our fields are riddled with potholes, and when it rains the fields are closed for days, resulting in canceled practices and games. As a father of three young children who has coached a number of their sports teams over the past few years, I speak from first-hand experience that there are simply not enough sports fields for our city’s children and families.

Proposition I, placed on the ballot in response to Proposition H, would ensure that obstructionists do not hold up crucial improvements and projects for our city’s families and children. Proposition I ensures that if our Recreation and Park Department certifies that any park improvement project doubles the usage of that facility, and the proposed project has cleared necessary environmental review, park improvement projects can proceed without additional, unnecessary delays. Proposition I will not cost the city any additional resources and is a simple, straightforward solution to restore, improve and expand projects that will simply let our kids play. Please vote no on H and yes on I.

Please feel free to email me at mark.farrell@sfgov.org if you have any questions, or call my City Hall office at 415-554-7752. Don’t forget to vote by absentee or at the polls on November 4!

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