SFHAC Takes Positions on November’s Ballot Measures
True to form, the City’s November ballot is going to be crowded with a long list of candidates for state and local offices as well as state and local ballot measures and initiatives. Being a 501(c)3, SFHAC cannot take a position on candidates races. But, we’re becoming more active on taking positions on ballot initiatives that could potentially impact our mission and goals. In fact, SFHAC will set up a Ballot Analysis Committee in 2015 to do this more formally.
For November’s cycle, SFHAC has written voter handbook ballot arguments for three initiatives: Prop A, the general obligation bond to fund the MTA; Prop F, for the Pier 70 redevelopment; and Prop K, the affordable housing policy statement. Props F and K are directly tied to housing, Prop A only indirectly so.
Here are excerpts from our ballot arguments:
Prop A – Transportation and Road Improvement Bond We strongly support Prop A “because housing and good transit go hand-in-hand for a thriving, vibrant city. It’s becoming increasingly clear that our City’s future livability critically depends on a fully funded transportation plan, which Prop A does. It is not possible to keep the City’s economy healthy, address environmental challenges and add the housing we so badly need, without fixing our over-burdened public transit system.”
Prop F – Pier 70 Redevelopment “After reviewing Forest City’s proposed design for Pier 70 in detail, our members concluded that this development is an excellent one that deserves your support – it’s much too good an opportunity to pass up. It will open a long-derelict, fenced-off part of our waterfront and create in its place a desirable new neighborhood. It brings vibrant new uses: housing, retail, offices, historic preservation and beautiful open space to an area that now is inaccessible to the public. Forest City has done an exemplary job in incorporating extensive community input. The design modestly increases heights, and adds housing in proximity to the City’s new job centers that will address the current jobs-housing imbalance in this area. Finally, it proposes up to 2,000 badly needed new homes with 30 percent of them permanently affordable – a far higher rate than most standard market-rate developments can deliver.
“Political gridlock and endless process have stalled the revival of too much of our waterfront – the voters have a chance to jump-start the rebirth of a key piece of it. We vigorously opposed Prop B, the June 2014 waterfront height limit ballot measure and the reason why the current Pier 70 ballot measure became necessary. We believe Prop B is poor public policy, sets a harmful precedent and is probably illegal. In spite of this, no public interest is served by delaying this project any longer – Pier 70 should be put back into productive use as soon as possible. This is an excellent proposal that will build a wonderful neighborhood with lots of housing at a time we absolutely need it.”
Prop K – Affordable Housing Our current housing affordability crisis “threatens San Francisco’s future as a diverse, inclusive place. Prop K is the fortunate compromise by Mayor Ed Lee and the Board of Supervisors to address this challenge. It’s a consensus-based approach by our leaders to the housing problems we face – something that too rarely happens.
“Our housing prices have exploded because we have a red-hot economy that continues to attract thousands of new workers, many from hi-tech, to a city with a chronically inadequate supply. Our housing production has not come close to keeping up with this relentless demand. Worse, our past strategies to build or fund affordable housing are not sufficient. The City’s hollowing out of its middle class is a sad testament to this.
“Prop K deserves your vote because it recognizes the urgent need to increase the supply of new housing and to target it more intelligently to those who need it worst, especially our middle-income folks. Prop K recognizes that while we need to build more housing, we also need to increase our funding to subsidize affordability for the large number of folks that want to stay in San Francisco, but cannot access market-rate housing. Prop K was written to recognize the broad consensus that exists across the political spectrum for these goals. If we ever plan to solve our housing affordability crisis, all the housing stakeholders must come together and begin finding solutions that work.”
If you live in San Francisco, please be sure you are registered to vote. You can register up to Monday, October 20. And if you are in favor of San Francisco being a pro-housing city, the SFHAC encourages you to vote YES! on Prop A, Prop F and Prop K.
The Housing Action Coalition is a member-supported non-profit that advocates for the creation of well designed, well-located housing at all levels of affordability. We believe more housing means more choices and better solutions. View all posts by Housing Action Coalition
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