SF Chamber Announces November 2016 Election Ballot Measure Positions

Business advocate weighs in on 24 local measures, one regional measure and seven state measures

San Francisco, Calif. – The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, which represents 2,500 member businesses and more than 200,000 employees in San Francisco and across the Bay Area, today announced its ballot positions for the November 8, 2016 election.

The SF Chamber of Commerce took positions on 24 local measures, one regional measure and seven state measures. A complete list of positions can be found in the Chamber’s Voting Guide here.

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“The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce has endorsed the measures that best grow our local economy, support small business and make necessary infrastructure improvements in the Bay Area,” said Jim Lazarus, Senior Vice President of Public Policy. “The Chamber is acutely aware of the mounting tax burdens on our businesses, and will work to challenge measures that create a hostile climate for business.”

Weighing in on the business-related initiatives, the Chamber will work through its political action committee (PAC), SF Forward, as well as partner business and civic organizations to actively support and oppose key initiatives impacting the local economy.

A few highlights of the SF Chamber’s positions:

Quality of life issues are at a crisis point in the City. To create a civil and humane environment for residents, the Chamber supports Proposition Q (Safe and Open Sidewalks) as a commonsense and compassionate solution to the growing sidewalk encampments that are a public health nuisance and directly affect many residents, business owners and their customers. Additionally, the Chamber supports Proposition R (Neighborhood Crime Unit) which will require the Police Chief to establish a dedicated crime unit to reduce home burglaries, car break-ins and street crime.

Recognizing the mounting pressure to build affordable housing in The City, the Chamber supports Proposition P (Competitive Bidding for Affordable Housing) and Proposition U (Affordable Housing for Middle Income Residents). Together these measures will bring the costs of affordable housing down while increasing access to affordable housing for middle income residents such as teachers, nurses and bus drivers.

There are several propositions on the ballot that seek to erode the mayor’s ability to manage local government by dividing responsibility and creating a costly and unnecessary new bureaucracy. Because a mayor’s ability to govern is essential to maintaining a functioning city, the Chamber opposes Proposition D (Filling Supervisorial Vacancies), Proposition H (Public Advocate), Proposition L (MTA Appointments and Budget Process) and Proposition M (Establish Housing and Development Commission). “The mayor must be responsible for the efficient and effective delivery of government services, and by stripping him or her of that power, we are muddying the waters of accountability,” said Lazarus.

The Chamber supports two bond measures that will provide essential infrastructure improvements.

The first, Proposition A (San Francisco Unified School District Bond), will fund seismic and tech-oriented upgrades, school repairs, a green schoolyards program and a new elementary school on the City’s eastside.

On a regional level, the Chamber supports Proposition RR (BART Safety and Reliability Bond). The $3.5 billion General Obligation Bond will be used for infrastructure upgrades like train control systems, station congestion relief and critical safety improvement. BART is critical to our region’s transportation network, and in the last decade daily passenger volumes have grown from less than 300,000 riders to over 440,000. Ridership is expected to grow to over 600,000 by 2040 and BART needs upgrading to handle that daily number.

“Voters are going to have to wade through a challenging and dense ballot this November, and we hope they stay focused on the key measures that have the potential to improve the economy and our quality of life for years to come,” said Lazarus. “The Chamber is either neutral or opposed to a number of new tax measures on the ballot. That’s due, in part, to the fact our local legislators failed to build consensus for the 2016 ballot, unlike the outreach that was done around the Gross Receipts Tax proposal in 2012. San Francisco is not an easy place to do business, and business owners need some relief after the recent adoption of several challenging mandates including increased minimum wage, health care spending, paid sick leave and the soon-to-be implemented paid parental leave.”

For the Chamber’s Voter Guide, visit sfchamber.com/votingguide

About SF Chamber
The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce is the largest and most influential business membership organization in San Francisco. The Chamber serves more than 2,500 member businesses and over 200,000 employees from companies of every size and industry in San Francisco and across the Bay Area. Acting on our mission to attract, support, and grow business through advocacy, economic development, and business development in San Francisco, the Chamber delivers more than 250 programs and events each year and advocates for a prosperous economy and high quality of life for everyone who lives, works and visits the city. More information about the Chamber is available at SFChamber.com.