Council Recommends ‘Yes’ on Props A, B and E
The San Francisco Building and Construction Trades Council has endorsed three of the five local measures on the June 7 ballot. The Council recommends a “Yes” vote on propositions A, B and E. Delegates voted to remain neutral and take no position on C and D.
Proposition A: Public Health and Safety Bond - YES
Proposition A is a $350 million public safety bond supported by Mayor Ed Lee and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. The measure would fund the construction and improvement of critical community health care facilities, emergency response and safety, and homeless shelter and service facilities.
The bond measure would provide $272 million to fund seismic improvements and upgrades to fire safety systems at San Francisco General Hospital and renovate and expand the Southeast Health Center and other high-demand neighborhood health clinics. San Francisco General Hospital treats more than 100,000 patients a year. Some of the buildings on this campus do not meet seismic safety standards for hospitals and are not expected to remain functional in the event of a major earthquake.
The measure also includes $58 million to repair and modernize neighborhood fire stations that are in need of repair and modernization, and to build a higher-capacity, more efficient and seismically safer facility for City-owned ambulances to improve emergency medical response. The remaining $20 million of the $350 million bond would fund construction and improvements to homeless shelters and homeless service sites that are inadequate and need repair.
Proposition B: San Francisco Park Fund Charter Amendment - YES
Proposition B, introduced by Supervisor Mark Farrell, would amend the City Charter to extend the Park, Recreation and Open Space Fund until 2046 and give the Recreation and Park Department a minimum baseline amount from the General Fund each year. In 2000, San Francisco voters created the Park, Recreation and Open Space Fund that mandates that the City sets aside and deposits into the Fund a portion of the property tax it collects. The Department must use that money to provide park and recreational services and facilities. The current amount of the set-aside is 2.5 cents for each $100 of assessed property value. The fund will expire in 2031, and Prop B would extend the fund another 15 years and mandate an increasing level of funding for the Recreation and Park Department.
Proposition E: Paid Sick Leave Ordinance - YES
Prop E was put on the ballot by the Board of Supervisors. It would amend the City’s Paid Sick Leave Ordinance passed by voters in 2006 to parallel broader state law provisions that were recently enacted without reducing the Paid Sick Leave Ordinance’s coverage. It would allow employees to use paid sick leave hours for the broader purposes authorized by state law.
Proposition C: Affordable Housing Requirements Charter Amendment - Neutral
Building Trades Council delegates voted to take no position on Prop C, which would amend the city charter to increase requirements for affordable housing on developments with 25 or more units and to give the San Francisco Board of Supervisors the authority to change the existing percentage requirements through ordinances rather than charter amendments. The City’s Charter currently requires private developers of new market-rate housing to provide affordable housing by paying into a city affordable housing fund or making at least 12 percent of the on-site housing units available at below market rate based on area median income. The current requirement of 12 percent is fixed in the City Charter and can’t be amended without voter approval. Removing the 12 percent cap from the City Charter would give the Board of Supervisors the power to change the requirement without putting it before San Francisco voters. The Board of Supervisors adopted legislation May 3 that calls for studying the economic feasibility of increasing the percentage of inclusionary affordable housing. (See sidebar).
Proposition D: Office of Citizen Complaints Investigations - Neutral
Prop D would require the Office of Citizen Complaints (OCC) to investigate any incident occurring within the City in which a San Francisco police officer fires a gun killing or physically injuring someone. The OCC is responsible for investigating complaints of San Francisco police misconduct. It is not required to investigate incidents involving police officers if no one files a complaint. Prop D would require the OCC to investigate any incident occurring within the City in which a San Francisco police officer fires a gun killing or physically injuring someone, even if no one files a complaint.
Proposition 50 - YES
California Suspension of Legislators Amendment
The June ballot will have only one statewide ballot measure, Proposition 50, a Constitutional Amendment (Senate Constitutional Amendment 17) put on the ballot by the state legislature. The State Building and Construction Trades Council and California Labor Federation recommend a YES vote for Prop. 50. The measure sets a procedure for the legislature to suspend a State Senator or Assemblymember, requiring a two-thirds majority vote in the respective chamber of the state legislature in order to suspend a state legislator.
Prop 50 defines the removal of rights, privileges and powers of a suspended legislator. It would prohibit a suspended legislator from exercising any of the rights, privileges, duties, or powers of his or her office, or from utilizing any resources of the legislature while the suspension is in effect. Additionally, the suspended member could have his or her salary and benefits forfeited during the suspension period if such a provision is included in the suspension resolution. A two-thirds vote would be required to end the suspension unless a suspension termination date was included in the original suspension vote.
According to ballotpedia.org, “Senate Constitutional Amendment 17 was developed in the wake of the legislature’s inability to force three suspended legislators to forfeit their salaries and benefits. On March 28, 2014, the California Senate voted to suspend Ron Calderon (D-30), Roderick Wright (D-35) and Leland Yee (D-8) until all criminal proceedings against them were dismissed. The three were involved in separate criminal cases. Before the March 28, 2014, suspensions, the California Legislature had never before suspended a member in its 164-year history. The Legislative Counsel noted that the Senate had the authority to suspend the three, but could not suspend their salaries or benefits. The annual salaries of the senators, at the time of their suspensions, were $95,291. SCA 17 would allow the legislature to terminate the salaries and benefits of suspended legislators.”
Bay Area Measure AA - Yes
The San Francisco Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevention and Habitat Restoration Program
The San Francisco Building and Construction Trades Council has endorsed Measure AA, the parcel tax measure on the June ballot in all nine Bay Area counties. Measure AA will fund restoration of wetlands throughout the Bay Area through a $12 annual parcel tax. The tax would raise $500 million over 20 years, enough to build 20 miles of new levees and restore an estimated 15,000 acres of wetlands.
Measure AA will restore wetlands throughout the Bay Area that provide habitat for fish and wildlife and filter out pollutants from water to reduce toxins that threaten the ecosystem. Wetlands also act as a natural barrier against flooding and can serve as barriers to protect coastal infrastructure from flooding as sea levels rise as a result of global warming. The Clean and Healthy Bay Ballot Measure will reduce pollution of bay waters, expand wildlife habitat, increase bayside recreation opportunities, and protect shoreline communities from flooding.
Measure AA will
- Reduce trash, pollution and harmful toxins in the Bay
- Improve water quality
- Restore habitat for fish, birds and wildlife
- Protect communities from floods
- Increase shoreline public access
Measure AA will fund many projects around the San Francisco Bay, including several in San Francisco from Crissy Field to Pier 94. They include:
- Completion of restoration and park improvements and operation and maintenance of wetlands and visitor amenities at Candlestick Point and Yosemite Slough.
- Design and construction of a new soft shoreline to create habitat, improve public access, and protect the park from sea level rise at China Basin.
- Design and construction of shoreline improvements to support habitat creation, protect against erosion and remove creosote piles along Islais Creek.
- Design and construction of a new 4-acre shoreline and park area, including natural habitat areas, living shoreline, wetlands, and public access areas at Pier 70.
Measure AA will also fund removal of creosote pilings in San Francisco Bay that are leaching chemicals and negatively impacting fish and wildlife and replacement with native habitat for herring spawning.
Measure AA requires two-thirds approval by the voters of the nine-county Bay Area, and all counties would be affected regardless of the vote in each county.
Democratic County Central Committee Endorsements
The San Francisco Building and Construction Trades Council has endorsed 26 candidates for election to San Francisco’s Democratic County Central Committee (DCCC), the governing body of the local Democratic Party. The DCCC is comprised of local Democrats elected by voters in each Assembly District, and Democratic elected officials.
San Francisco Building Trades Council Secretary-Treasurer Mike Theriault said the Council endorsed the slate of candidates because DCCC will play an important role in November’s elections through its endorsements. He said the endorsement was contingent on the candidates signing the Building Trades Council’s Pledge for Sustainable Communities.
The endorsed candidates include incumbents, members of the Board of Supervisors, union members and activists.
Assembly District 17
- Joshua Arce, Community Liaison, Laborers Union Local 261
- London Breed, member SF Board of Supervisors
- John Burton, former state Senator and current state democratic party chair
- Malia Cohen, member SF Board of Supervisors
- Zoe Dunning, First Vice Chair of the San Francisco Democratic Party
- Tom Hsieh Sr., former Supervisor
- Gary McCoy, former aide to Supervisor Julie Christensen
- Leah Pimentel, San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee Vice Chair
- Rebecca Prozan, Manager, Public Policy and Government Affairs at Google
- Alix Rosenthal, Democratic County Central Committee activist
- Arlo Smith, former District Attorney San Francisco
- Francis Tsang, Mayoral spokesman
- Scott Wiener, member SF Board of Supervisors
- Leroy Wade Woods, activist
- Jill Wynns, member SF Board of Education
Assembly District 19
- Angela Alioto, former Supervisor
- Kathleen Anderson, Administrative Officer, Pacific Media Workers Guild
- Keith Baraka, firefighter
- Mark Farrell, member SF Board of Supervisors
- Bill Fazio, attorney
- Tom Hsieh Jr., DCCC activist
- Mary Jung, DCCC Chair
- Trevor McNeil, DCCC activist
- Emily Murase, member SF Board of Education
- Rachel Norton, member SF Board of Education
- Marjan Philhour, political consultant
The SFBCTC endorsements for Supervisor for November 2016
In addition to the endorsements for State Senate and DCCC, the Building Trades Council made endorsements for Board of Supervisors for the November 2016 General Election. Organized Labor will have more information about the endorsements in future issues.
District 5<(Fillmore/Western Addition, Lower Haight, Haight-Ashbury, Cole Valley, Inner Sunset, Hayes Valley, JapanTown and Alamo Square): London Breed, Supervisor.
District 9 (Mission, Bernal, St. Mary’s Park, Portola): Joshua Arce, Community Liaison for Laborers Union Local 261, for Supervisor in District 9, where Supervisor David Campos is termed out.
District 11 (Excelsior, Ingleside, Oceanview, Outer Mission): Ahsha Safai,former Deputy Director for the Mayor’s Office of Community Development, who narrowly lost his bid for election in 2008 to John Avalos and now hopes to succeed him; and Kimberly Alvarenga, Political Director for Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021.