2016 Agenda for Sustained Prosperity

San Francisco is a bright spot in the nation’s economy, rebounding from the Great Recession with strong employment and economic growth across economic sectors. With San Francisco’s laudable economic success come challenges of affordability, mobility, growth and other issues. In 2016, the Chamber will advance an agenda that supports economic sustainability as well as attract the talent and visitors that will help keep our city prosperous for years to come.

Improve Affordability

San Francisco is a high-cost city for both residents and businesses. The Chamber is working to help ensure affordability for both those who live here, as well as the job creators that sustain the economy.

  • Cost-of-Doing Business – Encourage policies that stabilize the cost-of-doing business and ensure that businesses – from all economic sectors – are not priced out of San Francisco.
  • Affordable Housing – Partner with city agencies, private sector employers and housing advocates to lead joint strategies that support housing affordability and keep people of all skill levels in San Francisco.

 

Support Economic Sustainability

Sustained economic prosperity depends on a vibrant business climate. The Chamber is working to ensure a favorable environment in which all businesses can grow and prosper.

  • Business Regulations – Work with legislators, business industry representatives and stakeholder groups to ensure businesses of all sizes are not hindered by an overabundance of burdensome and intrusive regulations.
  • Small Business – Promote San Francisco’s small businesses and formulate favorable public policies to sustain small business success in the city.
  • Business Tax Reform – Continue to assist in the implementation of Prop E, the Chamber-supported gross-receipts tax passed by voters in 2012 which replaces San Francisco’s payroll tax with a more equitable gross receipts tax that will not hinder job creation.

 

Enhance Mobility

A robust and efficient transportation network is vital to ensuring livable communities, productivity, commerce and a clean environment. The Chamber is working to boost transit options and investment in San Francisco and across the region.

  • Infrastructure Investment – Continue to support vital infrastructure projects that will increase and enhance mobility and funding, while creating jobs and economic benefits, including the Central Subway Extension, High-Speed Rail/Caltrain, Transbay Transit Center, SFO Terminal 1 redesign and other projects.
  • Public Transportation – Participate in transportation planning and the budgetary process to improve public transit, traffic flow, parking, bicycle, and the pedestrian experience and identify new funding without imposing downtown congestion pricing fees.
  • Employer-sponsored Transit – Work with employers and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) to maintain and grow employer-sponsored transit programs including commuter tax benefits, corporate shuttle buses, vanpools and other strategies to encourage carpooling and reduce congestion and air pollution.

 

Build the 21st Century Workforce

Education and skills are the keys to both individual prosperity and economic vitality in San Francisco. The Chamber supports workforce development initiatives that help prepare the 21st century workforce and ensure a pipeline of future talent for the businesses driving the economy forward.

  • Unite-SF – Convene partners from the city, school district, higher education, labor and business around common education goals.
  • Workforce Development – Support policies and programs that improve student outcomes and pathways to success, preserve San Francisco City College, and encourage partnerships that connect the private sector with the city’s public education system.
  • City College – Partner with the city to support re-accreditation of City College – a critical workforce development pipeline – for future workers and employers.

 

Spur Economic Growth

As state and federal funding continue to become scarce, it is increasingly important for San Francisco to pursue its own initiatives to spur and sustain economic growth. The Chamber is working to advance projects, events and industries that will give added lift to the local economy.

  • Economy-boosting Development – Support large-scale projects that will create jobs, housing and economic benefits such as the Treasure Island redevelopment, Transbay Transit Center Downtown Tunnel Extension, Parkmerced, Warriors Events Center, 5M, Mission Rock development and others.
  • Sporting Events – Continue to champion high-visibility sporting franchises and events such as the 2016 Super Bowl to boost the local economy and provide business opportunities for San Francisco companies.
  • Clean Economy – Continue to support AB 32 (the Global Warming Solutions Act), Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy (CICE), GoSolarSF and other initiatives that grow our clean economy, protect the environment and create jobs in the green tech sector.
  • Long-Range Planning – Encourage the city to complete the update of its three year Economic Development plan and move forward with the Mission Rock, Treasure Island, South of Market, and Neighborhood Housing plans.
  • Housing First Policy – Enact a charter policy provision to expedite approval of affordable & workforce housing.
  • CEQA Reform – Join statewide efforts to reform the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to ensure that vital housing and infrastructure projects do not fall victim to NIMBYist (Not In My Backyard) strategies.
  • Attract and Retain Business – Collaborate with San Francisco Center for Economic Development (SFCED) to continue city funding of business attraction and retention program.

 

Improve Safety & Civility

Safety and civility are essential to a high-quality of life in San Francisco. The Chamber is working to ensure that our city is safe and civil for all those who live, work and visit.

  • Integrate Business Community – Support efforts to reverse the negative and harmful stereotyping recently directed at the city’s growing technology sector and help integrate the tech community into the city’s broader business community and civic life.
  • Downtown Community Benefits District (CBD) – Convene property owners to develop a new CBD to improve traffic flow/safety, cleanliness and commerce in the city’s downtown core.
  • City Safety – Propose alternative solutions for increased police presence on city streets and neighborhood commercial districts while advocating for a return to 1,971 police staffing levels.
  • Street Behavior – Work with businesses, city government and non-profits to encourage “civil street behavior” and organize support to reduce homelessness in San Francisco.Resilient City – Join SPUR and other organizations in plans to strengthen San Francisco’s structural and economic resilience following an earthquake or other disaster.

 

Ensure Good Government

Even the best legislative ideas can have unintended consequences. The Chamber is working to ensure that our representatives at City Hall fully vet proposed legislation, make the tough infrastructure investments needed to support long term growth, and reduce excessive process and unnecessary, burdensome regulations that slow innovation.

  • Legislative Engagement – Proactively engage and educate the Mayor, Supervisors, agency staff and the City Attorney on potential public policy impacts during the drafting process before legislation is introduced.
  • Long Range Investment – Defend major local, regional and state infrastructure projects from misdirected and short-sighted criticism, such as High-Speed Rail and water system upgrades.
  • Regulatory Engagement – Proactively engage with City and County officials on the development, implementation and enforcement of regulations that govern the conduct of business and impact the economy.
  • Legality of Approved Ordinances – Require more transparency in the drafting of local laws and encourage the City Attorney to prevent enactment of illegal legislation.