San Francisco voters stood up for economic prosperity in last week’s election, ushering in moderate candidates and policies that will help ensure the city’s long-term fiscal health. Equally notable is the manner in which key measures were developed and supported through partnership and cooperation. Tuesday’s local election provides not only a path toward sustained economic recovery, but a new collaborative framework to tackle some of the city’s most pressing problems still ahead.
Mayor Ed Lee’s resounding victory will have a positive and lasting effect on the local economy. As Interim Mayor, Lee demonstrated a strong focus on jobs and economic growth, supporting both new developments such as Parkmerced and Treasure Island, as well as incentives to keep businesses in San Francisco, such as the Mid-Market Payroll Tax Exemption. Mayor Lee’s approach to these priorities now sets the tone for the next four years.
If there is one word to describe this tone, it is collaborative. The Chamber applauds Mayor Lee for his approach to policy making and we are proud to have been part of the consensus group that worked to develop and support voter-approved Prop C, brining needed pension and health benefits reform to San Francisco. Our broad coalition of city leaders, business, labor and community groups was successful because everyone was at the table, willing to compromise and to become part of the solution.
The Chamber also joined our partners in labor – the Alliance for Jobs and Sustainable Growth – in supporting voter-approved Props A (the School Facilities Bond) and B (the Street Repair Bond). Together, these investments will enhance our school buildings and city streets with little impact on property taxes. Both are sound investments in our city’s economic assets.
The campaign season may be over, but a new framework for effective and cooperative policy making has emerged at the right time. Next year, the city will address some of its most significant challenges. San Francisco will attempt to revamp its business tax system. It will continue preparing for the America’s Cup. And Mayor Lee will enter into negotiations with every major city union. There is a lot at stake for San Francisco’s economic future.
These challenges will require close partnership and collaboration. As we prepare to address these and other issues, the Chamber stands committed to again work with Mayor Lee, our city leaders and our partners in labor and in the community to keep San Francisco on the path towards sustained economic prosperity.