On June 5, Bay Area Voters Can Make Their Voices Heard

By: Carlo David

On June 5, 2018 registered Bay Area voters will have the opportunity to make their voices heard. At UWBA, we value our Public Policy work and aim to inform and educate voters on key issues that address the root causes of poverty at all levels of government. Below are a few local ballot measures to take note of that could potentially have consequences on working families and communities across the Bay Area.

Measure A: “Alameda County Sales Tax For Childcare and Early Education”

Given the rising costs of childcare and growing need for early education programs across Alameda County, proponents of Measure A are seeking to impose a 30-year half-percent (0.5%) sales tax on gross receipts from retail to fund childcare and early education initiatives. With a projected annual revenue of $148 million, funds will be allocated towards expanding childcare centers and early education programs, especially for low-income families on the waitlist. Proponents of the measure are also seeking to increase wages for childcare workers, many of whom are relying on government assistance to meet their basic needs.

Proposition C: “San Francisco Commercial Rent Tax to Fund Childcare and Early Education”

Children’s advocates in San Francisco mobilized to gather signatures and push for an initiative to fund the expansion of childcare and early education. Co-sponsored by Supervisors Norman Yee and Jane Kim, Proposition C will increase tax on commercial warehouses to 1% and other commercial properties to $3.5% with reported annual gross receipts of $1 million or more. Exemptions will be made for those leasing spaces to non-profit organizations.

The San Francisco Controller’s Office projects an annual revenue of $140 million, which proponents of the measure plan to allocate towards ensuring access to essential childcare and early education programs and services, especially for families earning 85% (or below) the state median income, or $63,000 for a family of three.

The measure requires only a simple majority or 51% the vote. Since Proposition C is competing with Proposition D for the same revenue source, both measures must meet the minimum threshold required for each to pass, 51% and 67% respectively. Otherwise, neither measures pass. Should both meet the minimum threshold required for each, the measure with more votes ultimately passes.

Proposition D: “San Francisco Commercial Rent Tax to Fund Homelessness and Housing Services”

A vote for Proposition D would increase commercial rent to 1.7% on gross receipts of $1 million or more. Exemptions will be made for commercial properties leasing spaces to non-profit organizations.

The San Francisco Controller’s Office projects an annual revenue of $78 million. Proponents of the measure plan to allocate the funds towards creating more affordable housing units for working families and low-income seniors, expanding homeless services and navigation centers and protecting tenants, especially those at risk of eviction.

The measure requires a two-thirds majority or 67% the vote. Since Proposition D is competing against Proposition C for the same revenue source, both measures must meet the minimum threshold required for each to pass, 67% and 51% respectively. Otherwise, neither measures pass. Should both meet the minimum threshold required for each, the measure with more votes ultimately passes.

Measure E: “City of Richmond General Funds to for Youth Services Initiative”

Children and youth advocates and proponents of Measure E in the City of Richmond are seeking to revise the Richmond City Charter and require the city to set aside 3%, or $900,000, of the city’s general funds over the next three fiscal years to fund programs for children and youth (from ages 0 to 18). Additionally, a vote for Measure E will create a department of children and youth with an oversight body that will oversee the allocation of the funds.

The measure requires a simple majority or 51% of the vote to pass.

Measure K: “City of Richmond Amendment to Measure E General Funds for Youth Services Initiative.”

A vote for Measure K is a revision of Measure E, requiring the city to start its funding obligation beginning July 1, 2018. Additionally, Measure K would eliminate 20% limit on how much the city can fund public agencies.

Regional Measure 3: “Bay Area “Traffic Relief Plan” Bridge Toll Increase”

A vote for Regional Measure 3 will increase bridge toll across seven state-owned bridges by $3 over the next six years (2019, 2022 & 2025). With a projected $4.5 billion in revenue, proponents of the measure are seeking to fund a slate of transportation projects across the region, including but not limited to expanding BART and ferry service, Caltrain, Transbay terminal buses, creating direct connections between countries like Alameda, Contra Costa and Marin.

Voters from across nine Bay Area counties–Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Solano–will have the opportunity to vote on the measure, which requires a simple majority of 51% of the vote.

Proposition F: “San Francisco City-Funded Legal Representation for Tenants Facing Eviction”

Affordable housing and tenant’s rights advocates are pushing for increased legal representation for tenants facing eviction. Proposition F will provide free legal representation on behalf of tenants on all eviction-related matters. The measure would require legal representation be made available within 30 days of eviction notice. Exceptions will be made for eviction proceedings involving landlords who dwell in the same unit as the tenant.

However, the measure does not bind the Mayor or the Supervisors to fund the program. Funding will be determined by the budget process.

The San Francisco Controller’s Office estimates up to 3,500 San Francisco tenants could potentially benefit from the measure. Currently, the city through the Mayor’s Office on Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) provides tenant services of all sorts–legal representation for tenants of certain income background, tenant education, counseling and outreach–which costs the city around $4.4 million annually. Offering legal representation on all eviction-related matters would cost the city between $4.2 and $5.6 million, including $200,000 for staffing to carry out implementation.

Read more about each measure or proposition below:

Measure A: “Alameda County Sales Tax For Childcare and Early Education”

Proposition C: “San Francisco Commercial Rent Tax to Fund Childcare and Early Education”

Proposition D: “San Francisco Commercial Rent Tax to Fund Homelessness and Housing Services”

Measure E: “City of Richmond General Funds to for Youth Services Initiative”

Measure K: “City of Richmond Amendment to Measure E General Funds for Youth Services Initiative.” 

Regional Measure 3: “Bay Area “Traffic Relief Plan” Bridge Toll Increase”

Proposition F: “San Francisco City-Funded Legal Representation for Tenants Facing Eviction”

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