Sylvie Sturm appeared on KALW’s “Your Call” with host Rose Aguilar for last week’s Media Roundtable to talk about her reporting on San Francisco’s opioid crisis and recent rise in deaths, what the city and nonprofits are doing to address it, and how initiatives might be funded.
Proposition N — Golden Gate Park Underground Parking Facility; Golden Gate Park Concourse Authority
Proposition N would give the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department control of the Music Concourse Garage in Golden Gate Park. The 800-space parking garage is managed by a nonprofit created by a ballot measure in 1998 that raised private donations to help finance the facility. Supporters of Proposition N cite a series of financial scandals and mismanagement of the garage and say the parking lot is underutilized because parking rates are set too high. They want to amend the earlier ballot measure to give control of the facility to Rec and Park.
Proposition M — Tax on Keeping Residential Units Vacant
Designed to combat San Francisco’s long-standing housing shortage, an empty homes tax on the November ballot, Proposition M, would apply to multi-unit residential buildings with prolonged vacancies. Voters will decide the fate of the measure that has garnered support and criticism for its exemptions and low tax amount.
Proposition L — Sales Tax for Transportation Projects
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.
Proposition J — Recreational Use of JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park
Proposition J is primarily designed to counter another measure on the ballot — Proposition I — which would overturn a Board of Supervisors ordinance passed in April 2022 closing off John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park to motorized vehicles.
Proposition I — Vehicles on JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park and the Great Highway
Proposition I would overturn an ordinance that has closed John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park to most private motor vehicles seven days a week and closed the Great Highway along Ocean Beach to such traffic on weekends and holidays. The city would be forbidden from proceeding with plans to eventually close the Great Highway between Sloat and Skyline boulevards — a stretch that is subject to coastal erosion.
Proposition H — City Elections in Even-Numbered Years
Proposition H would move elections scheduled for odd-numbered years to even-numbered ones. Proponents argue that the measure is a boon for democracy since it could lead to double the number of voters casting ballots. San Francisco election participation data indicates that in even-numbered years, nearly twice as many voters turn out than in odd-numbered years.
Proposition G — Student Success Fund – Grants to the San Francisco Unified School District
Proposition G is a charter amendment to establish a Student Success Fund that would be operated by the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families for 15 years. The purpose is to provide grants of up to $1 million annually to San Francisco Unified School District schools, Pre-K through 12th grade, to improve academic achievement and social/emotional wellness of students.
Proposition F — Library Preservation Fund
Proposition F would extend the Library Preservation Fund for another 25 years, to June 2048. The fund currently draws 2.5 cents out of every $100 dollars from existing property taxes — a property tax set-aside — and would continue at this rate with the Proposition F extension. The fund is designated to provide library services and materials, and to operate library facilities.
Proposition E — Affordable Housing – Board of Supervisors
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 — Affordable Housing – Initiative Petition
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.