sf.citi Voter Guide: June 2022 Election in San Francisco

Our June 2022 San Francisco Voter Guide is an sf.citi staple for the City’s tech industry come election time. We offer an easy-to-digest overview of the eight San Francisco ballot measures and an explanation of where sf.citi stands on each one. sf.citi structures our ballot recommendations around the interests of our members and what we believe best contributes to a thriving San Francisco tech and business community. Whether you work for an sf.citi member company or not, we hope you find our recommendations helpful as you navigate San Francisco’s June 2022 election.

As San Francisco sheds many of its COVID-19 restrictions and fully embraces a return to “normal”, all political decisions loom large for the City’s recovery. We cannot overstate the importance of participating in local elections, so make sure to prepare for the June election and vote down the ballot to have a role in shaping the future of San Francisco.

All registered San Francisco voters will receive ballots in the mail starting on May 9. Register to vote here by May 23 if you haven’t done so already. Or if you enjoy the experience of voting in person, find your June 7 polling place here


Measure A: Muni Reliability and Street Safety Bond

Sponsored By: Mayor London Breed, Supervisors Shamann Walton, Rafael Mandelman, Ahsha Safai, Matt Haney, Gordon Mar, Myrna Melgar, Hillary Ronen, and Dean Preston

Notable Supporters: Supervisors Connie Chan, Catherine Stefani, and Aaron Peskin, State Senator Scott Wiener, Assemblymember Phil Ting, Treasurer Fiona Ma, Assessor-Recorder Joaquin Torres, Board of Equalization Chair Malia Cohen, BART Board Directors Bevan Duffy and Janice Li, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, San Francisco Labor Council, San Francisco Transit Riders, SF YIMBY, SPUR, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, GrowSF

Notable Opposition: San Francisco Taxpayer Association

If passed, what will Prop A do? Proposition A would authorize the City to borrow up to $400 million in bonds to finance the costs of construction, acquisition, and improvement of certain transportation, street safety, and transit-related capital improvements.

Due to San Francisco’s debt management policy, the City is able to keep the property tax for bonds below the 2006 rate only by issuing new bonds as prior bonds are paid off. However, if needed, the estimated tax required to fund this bond would result in an average property tax rate increase of $10 per $100,000 for 30 years starting in 2022. Landlords would be able to pass up to half of this property tax increase onto tenants.

Talk to me about the $$$. The $400 million in bonds does not divide the funding by specific projects, but rather, the bond sets $250 million aside to repair and upgrade the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s (SFMTA) infrastructure such as the agency’s outdated bus yards, rundown facilities, and aging equipment—some that are nearly 100 years old. The rest of the funding would go to improving Muni service and street safety, including but not limited to, installing more transit-only lanes, widening sidewalks at bus stops, investing in more bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, and, most importantly, updating Muni’s antiquated train control system.

According to transit officials, this bond would also help the City compete for federal matching funds.

sf.citi recommendation: Yes
Having a reliable transportation system and safe streets are integral for the long-term health and success of a city. To ensure that San Francisco does not fall behind, the entire city leadership came together to put forward this $400 million bond to provide essential equipment updates and safety improvements. The City took one of the safest and most reliable routes to secure new funding by choosing to raise this money through a bond. At sf.citi, we support these collaborative proposals that fund vital City services and programs without raising taxes. We recommend voting “yes” on Proposition A.

Note: This measure needs a two-thirds supermajority to pass.


Measure B: Building Inspection Commission

Sponsored By: Supervisors Myrna Melgar, Aaron Peskin, Rafael Mandelman, Ahsha Safai, and Gordon Mar

Notable Supporters: Supervisors Catherine Stefani, Shamann Walton, Hillary Ronen, and Matt Haney, San Francisco Labor Council, Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee, San Francisco Land Use Coalition

Notable Opposition: GrowSF

If passed, what will Prop B do? Proposition B would amend the San Francisco charter to reform the duties, composition, and appointment method for members of the Building Inspection Commission. This includes eliminating designated commission seats for specific industries or stakeholder groups, implementing a formal nomination and confirmation process for all nominees, and requiring the commission to seek approval from the Mayor for hiring and firing the Department of Building Inspection (DBI) director.

sf.citi recommendation: Yes
In response to the federal corruption investigation of the Department of Building Inspection, this measure provides critical reforms to restore public trust and better serve San Francisco residents. sf.citi fully supports efforts to increase transparency, accountability, and good governance. We recommend voting “yes” on Proposition B.


Measure C: Recall Timelines and Vacancy Process

Sponsored By: Supervisors Aaron Peskin, Shamann Walton, Hillary Ronen, and Dean Preston

Notable Supporters: Supervisors Connie Chan and Gordon Mar, San Francisco Labor Council, Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club, IFPTE Local 21, San Francisco Democratic Party

Notable Opposition: Grow SF, SF Parent Action, Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, UA Local 38, San Francisco Republican Party, San Francisco Taxpayer Association

If passed, what will Prop C do? Proposition C would amend the San Francisco charter amendment by changing the rules for recall elections. The measure would make elected officials eligible to be recalled only after their first 12 months in office, an increase from the current six months. It would also ban recalls from taking place if the official’s term ends within 12 months, whether or not they are eligible for reelection. Effectively, this measure creates a two-year window in which an elected official in San Francisco can be recalled. For example, under this measure, the recall election of three Board of Education members in February of this year would have been barred since the members would have been up for reelection in November 2022.

The other main change from Proposition C involves reforming the mayoral appointees. While the mayor would still appoint replacements after a successful recall under this measure, those replacements would not be permitted to run for that office in the next scheduled election—thus creating a lame duck official from day one. And if the mayor happens to be recalled, the President of the Board of Supervisors would become acting mayor until the full Board of Supervisors chooses an interim.

This measure applies to all elected citywide positions: mayor, assessor-recorder, city attorney, district attorney, public defender, sheriff, treasurer, Board of Education, Board of Supervisors, and Community College District Board of Trustees.

Talk to me about the $$$. This measure does not involve a monetary component. but according to the measure’s author, Supervisor Peskin, it could help the City save money. This year’s recall elections have already cost taxpayers $3.25 million. However, it’s hard to say how much money this will save the City since the only recent recall election before this year was Mayor Dianne Feinstein in 1983.

sf.citi recommendation: No
San Francisco voters faced two recalls this year after facing only one in the past 100 years. This measure was created as a knee-jerk response to these recalls and would severely restrict the recall process. The new guidelines would include limiting the window of when an elected official can be recalled to two years and installing a lame duck official in the event of a successful recall, creating a city leader unbeholden to voters and deterring a successful route that has increased diversity among elected city officials. sf.citi does not support efforts to limit the democratic process and recommends voting “no” on Proposition C.


Measure D: Victims and Witness Rights

Sponsored By: Supervisors Catherine Stefani, Matt Haney, Rafael Mandelman, and Ahsha Safai

Notable Supporters: Supervisors Myrna Melgar, Gordon Mar, and Aaron Peskin, State Senator Scott Wiener, City College Trustees Thea Selby, Shanell Williams, and Aliya Chisti, former Mayor Willie Brown, San Francisco Democratic Party, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, Stop Crime SF

Notable Opposition: None

If passed, what will Prop D do? Proposition D would establish the Office of Victim and Witness Rights to provide victims of domestic violence comprehensive support. This new city office would integrate victims’ services currently spread across multiple departments into a singular office and provide domestic violence victims the right to civil counsel, which would provide free assistance with issues related to child custody, immigration, housing, restraining orders, finances, and employment.

This office would partner with Bay Area legal groups with the hopes that crime victims who are hesitant to seek help are given an avenue to access free resources and a right to civic counsel. The office would also be separate from the police department and District Attorney’s office as a way to encourage more victims to seek out help.

Talk to me about the $$$. City officials would determine the cost and size of this new city office in next year’s budget. As a base price, however, city officials have already placed an estimated $1 million to $3 million cost on the office’s right to civil counsel service.

sf.citi recommendation: Yes
In recent years, the Board of Supervisors has become a de facto clearinghouse for domestic violence victims flustered by the City’s complex bureaucracy. At sf.citi, we believe that the City should do everything in its power to help domestic violence victims in their most dire time of need and that is exactly what this measure would accomplish. The one-stop shop created by this measure would simplify the City’s complex process and provide victims with critical services and legal counsel. For those reasons, we recommend voting “yes” on Proposition D.


Measure E: Behested Payments

Sponsored By: Supervisors Aaron Peskin, Dean Preston, Connie Chan, Gordon Mar, and Shamann Walton

Notable Supporters: San Francisco Labor Council, San Francisco Democratic Party, Alice B. Toklas LGBTQ Democratic Club, Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club, San Francisco Friends of Ethics

Notable Opposition: Supervisors Catherine Stefani, Myrna Melgar, and Rafael Mandelman, State Senator Scott Wiener, GrowSF

If passed, what will Prop E do? Proposition E would expand the prohibition on soliciting behested payments—a payment made at the behest of an official for a legislative, governmental, or charitable purpose. As the law currently stands, San Francisco elected and appointed officials are barred from directly receiving donations and gifts. City officials, however, can solicit donations from individuals as long as the payment is made on their behalf to a third-party organization such as a nonprofit, otherwise known as a behested payment.

State and local laws require elected officials to report behested payments, but only if the amount exceeds $5,000. Appointed officials, on the other hand, are exempt from reporting a behested payment. This means that city officials can legally solicit donations from individuals who have business with city officials or registered lobbyists as long as it’s to a third party.

Proposition E would completely overhaul the current behested payments system by banning appointed or elected officials from soliciting donations to nonprofits from interested parties, including registered lobbyists, city contractors, and other individuals who seek to influence them. The measure also requires future amendments to local behested payment restrictions to receive approval by the Ethics Commission and a super-majority approval by the Board of Supervisors.

sf.citi recommendation: No
While sf.citi supports efforts to curb government corruption—especially in the wake of the widespread pay-to-play scandal that swept City Hall—this measure, however, threatens to take a sledgehammer approach and cause more harm than good. This measure would hamper the City’s ability to partner with nonprofit organizations on projects and restrict how they receive charitable support. As the City recovers from the deleterious effects of the pandemic, now is not the time to impede the vital services these organizations provide our communities. Issues of homelessness, housing, equity, environmental justice, and public safety are more important now than ever, and this measure would further subjugate vulnerable communities already disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. As such, we recommend voting “no” on Proposition E.


Prop F: Refuse Collection and Disposal

Sponsored By: Mayor London Breed, Full Board of Supervisors

Notable Supporters: San Francisco Labor Council, San Francisco Democratic Party, Alice B. Toklas LGBTQ Democratic Club, Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club, SF Affordable Housing Alliance, San Francisco Taxpayers Association, San Francisco Apartment Association

Notable Opposition: GrowSF

If passed, what will Prop F do? Proposition F would restructure the garbage collection rate-setting process and governance system. The measure would remove the City Controller from the Refuse Rate Board and replace the City Controller with a Ratepayer Representative. The City Controller would then serve as the Refuse Rate Administrator—monitoring waste collection rates, expenses, and revenues—instead of the Public Works Director.

These changes would increase refuse rate transparency and accountability while implementing rate-setting safeguards. It would mark the first significant change to the 1932 ordinance governing city trash collection.

The measure would also give city leaders the power to cancel Recology’s decades-long monopoly on San Francisco trash collection without going back to the ballot.

sf.citi recommendation: Yes
As a part of the investigation of the Mohammed Nuru scandal, Recology agreed to pay the City $95 million for overcharging customers. This measure seeks to restore trust in the refuse rate process by making the necessary changes to provide fair and transparent contracting and business practices. sf.citi believes in protecting the consumer and supports rate visibility and accountability for San Francisco customers. We recommend voting “yes” on Proposition F.


Measure G: Public Health Emergency Leave

Sponsored By: Supervisors Gordon Mar, Hillary Ronen, Dean Preston, and Connie Chan

Notable Supporters: BART Director Janice Li, San Francisco Labor Council, San Francisco Democratic Party, Alice B. Toklas LGBTQ Democratic Club, Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club

Notable Opposition: San Francisco Republican Party, GrowSF

If passed, what will Prop G do? Proposition G would amend the San Francisco Paid Sick Leave Ordinance to make the two extra weeks of paid leave (80 hours) made available through this COVID-19 emergency ordinance permanent for any public health crisis. This includes any public health emergency such as unhealthy air quality for employees who primarily work outside.

The measure would apply to private employers that have more than 100 employees worldwide. Employees would be able to utilize this paid leave when they are sick, need to isolate themselves, or need to take care of a sick family member.

If the measure passes, the ordinance would go into effect on October 1, 2022.

sf.citi recommendation: No
Many San Francisco employers already provide substantive paid time off (PTO) options and benefits to their employees. This measure creates an undue administrative burden and is an overreach of government oversight on private businesses during a time when businesses continue to recover from the economic downfall caused by COVID-19. sf.citi recommends voting “No” on Proposition G.


Measure H: Recall District Attorney

Sponsored By: Placed on the ballot by voter initiative.

Notable Supporters: Supervisor Stefani, Grow SF, San Francisco Taxpayers Association, San Francisco Republican Party

Notable Opposition: Assemblymember Phil Ting, Supervisor Connie Chan, BART Director Janice Li, ACLU of Northern California, San Francisco Democratic Party, California Nurses Association, United Educators of San Francisco, Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club

If passed, what will Prop H do? Proposition H asks San Francisco voters if they want to recall District Attorney Chesa Boudin. If the recall is successful, Mayor London Breed would appoint the replacement District Attorney, who would then have to run for reelection in November. If Proposition C passes, however, the mayoral appointee would become a lame duck and would be barred from running for reelection.

sf.citi recommendation: Abstain
Historically and as a part of sf.citi policy, we do not weigh in on individual candidate races. Because Proposition H affects the current seating of an elected official, sf.citi decided to follow precedent and not take a stance on this effort.

The recall is a critical decision for the City, and either outcome will have long-lasting ramifications. Make sure to research the recall ahead of the election and dive into the details withh Ballotpedia, the San Francisco Chronicle, the New York Times, or any of the other reputable publications covering the recall.