Looking Back, Moving Forward

In January, the Chamber of Commerce identified seven focus areas to support employers, drive economic prosperity, and enhance the quality of Bay Area life. With the Board of Supervisors returning from its summer break, we’re taking a quick look back to measure our progress at City Hall, while also mapping out the important work left to do.

With the local economy recovering from the Great Recession, spurring economic growth is among the Chamber’s key focus areas. We supported four pieces of legislation to enhance economic growth, including enabling the Treasure Island Development to move forward and an agreement to transform the Schlage Lock factory site into a community of homes and retail. All four of these ordinances passed – and all but one passed unanimously.

Improving affordability is a major priority area for the Chamber this year – and three key ordinances were passed with the Chamber’s endorsement, including landmark housing legislation by Supervisors Chiu and Wiener that facilitates thousands of units to enter the housing market and a November ballot measure that reaffirms the City’s commitment to addressing the housing affordability crisis. While one ordinance placing additional burdens on rental owners passed despite our opposition, positive steps were taken to grow the City’s affordable housing stock.

Economic sustainability is another Chamber 2014 priority, and the Board passed four ordinances this year designed to promote enduring economic activity. The Chamber worked closely with individual Supervisors to mitigate negative impacts the legislation could have on the business community, such as those associated with the minimum wage increase and health spending requirements.

Recognizing the need to build the 21st century workforce, the Chamber worked closely with Supervisors Cohen and Kim on the unanimously passed Fair Hire ordinance to help formally incarcerated individuals back into the workforce. Progress was also made to enhance mobility with passage of two Chamber-endorsed measures, including placing the Transportation Bond on the ballot.

It’s difficult to think of anything more important than the security of residents and employees, and efforts to improve safety and civility. The Chamber’s scorecard on this issue reads 4-0, including legislation allowing construction of a larger, seismically safe jail; a graffiti prevention ordinance; passage of an Earthquake Safety Bond; and the successful effort by Supervisor Farrell to implement Laura’s Law.

More can be done to ensure good government. Despite passage of two measures that create unnecessary conditions and restrictions on business, our opposition assured the failure of an ill-conceived Charter amendment designed to limit the Mayor’s appointment power.

The Chamber is proud of the role it has played advocating on behalf of these key areas for the benefit of all San Franciscans. We acknowledge Mayor Lee for his leadership and the Board for its work. This scorecard is a progress report, – and there’s still much work left for us all. Let’s get to it.

To read the complete scorecard, visit http://www.sfchamber.com/newspolicy/policy/2014_year_mid_scorecard_final.pd