Monday, November 05, 2007

San Francisco Elections

So there's an election in San Francisco tomorrow, and they're expecting record-low turnout. There are secondary reasons contributing to this (among them: a law banning signs from utility poles), but it's really the election itself that has people worked up into a frenzy of apathy. There's no credible challenger for Mayor Newsom. The District Attorney is running unopposed. Most of the ballot measures are strictly snoresville.

That's not to say you can stay home. There are two propositions that matter, and they matter a lot:

  • Proposition H would mandate thousands of new (private) parking spaces at the expense of transit, trees, and on-street parking. San Francisco has long been one of the nation's most public transit-friendly cities, but Proposition H would go a long way toward reversing that. Kvatch wrote about this in August, and his post title sums up the choice: do we want to be Paris or Los Angeles? Anyone who has seen downtown San Francisco during rush hour knows that the streets can't accommodate all these cars (Republican) Don Fisher wants to create parking spaces for. Vote no on Proposition H.

  • Proposition A would earmark more parking revenue for Muni, give the Metropolitan Transit Authority more control, and confirm limits on parking. If Proposition A passes, Proposition H is nullified even if it gets more votes (it's complicated). It's another step forward for our transit-first policy--not the ultimate fix for Muni, but it moves us in the right direction.
In a low-turnout election, the conservative business interests win. The only way Proposition H could pass is if a lot of good people sit the whole thing out. Don't let that happen.