San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors will review and discuss dozens of policy recommendations beyond a proposed $5 million payment to each qualifying Black resident — the option that captured national media attention and inspired a handwringing frenzy — when it meets March 14 to discuss the city’s draft Reparations Plan.
Its proposals are non-binding, with the committee noting in the plan that “it will be up to the community to create the momentum to ultimately get these recommendations officially codified into San Francisco law.”
Urban renewal was a publicly and privately funded effort across the U.S. wherein local governments acquired land in areas deemed “blighted” — often using a racially biased lens — through eminent domain, forcibly displacing residents and demolishing existing buildings with promises to rebuild. In San Francisco, urban renewal targeted Black cultural centers and neighborhoods, uprooting thousands of families and destroying lively, well-established communities.
Now, San Francisco is giving renewed attention to a program that aims to bring displaced residents and their descendants back to the city as the Board of Supervisors prepares to review a draft Reparations Plan to address historic harms against Black San Franciscans at a meeting March 14.
The Board of Supervisors passed a plan to build 82,000 housing units over the next eight years, maintaining city control over the permitting and building processes. Some critics said the plan does not do enough to prevent low-income residents from displacement as more market-rate apartments are built.
Despite San Francisco officials’ attempts to get ahead of storms, many unhoused people said they were having a hard time accessing shelter beds and other resources to protect them from the rain.
Housing advocates say San Francisco’s eight-year housing plan doesn’t include a comprehensive strategy to build enough affordable housing, to the detriment of the plan’s race and equity goals.
San Francisco residents revealed their top local concerns in a recent Public Press poll. They were given the chance to weigh in on some of those matters during this November’s election.
Proposition O, also called the San Francisco Workforce Education and Reinvestment in Community Success Act, is a proposed parcel tax to generate funding for a variety of services and programs at the City College of San Francisco. This proposed tax would begin in 2023 and continue through 2043, generating an estimated $37 million annually — though that number would increase over time as the tax is adjusted for inflation.
Proposition L is a proposed extension of the city’s current 0.5% sales tax until 2053 to help fund public transportation projects. The measure also allows the city to issue up to $1.91 billion in bonds to be repaid with proceeds from the tax, which the city controller estimated will generate $100 million per year in its early years, increasing to about $236 million by 2052. Revenue from the tax would be used to fund the 2022 Transportation Expenditure Plan, which includes a variety of programs focused on basic transit maintenance, major transportation improvements, paratransit services, congestion reduction, pedestrian and bike safety, and community-based equity planning.
The second of two bills meant to expedite the approval process for affordable housing, Proposition E — aka the Affordable Housing Production Act — was written by District 1 Supervisor Connie Chan and sent to the ballot by a 7-4 by the Board of Supervisors in late July.
Proposition D, dubbed Affordable Housing Now by its creators, is one of two competing proposed amendments to San Francisco’s city charter that would streamline the production of affordable housing projects.