Affordable housing, parks bond and taxes on this month’s agenda

Former Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin will argue the case against Proposition B, a ballot measure that asks voters to approve $195 million dollars in general obligation bonds to improve parks, at next week’s meeting of the SoMa Leadership Council. Prop B was put on the ballot by an 11-0 vote of the Board of Supervisors but is opposed by Peskin, two other former Board Presidents (Matt Gonzalez and Quentin Kopp) and a host of community organizations. Taxpayers passed an earlier bond measure worth $185 million in 2008. Opponents say that giving them another $195 million would just encourage more bad management and irresponsible spending. This measure requires a two-thirds vote to pass. 

Fernando Marti from the Council of Community Housing Organizations (affectionately known as “choo-choo”) will present the case for Prop C, the Housing Trust Fund. It would provide a 30-year revenue stream that would eventually fund several thousand new permanently affordable housing units for San Franciscans earning less than 60% of the area median income. The Mayor, nine out of eleven Supervisors and much of the progressive community are backing this measure. Starchild and the Libertarians appear to be the sole opposition. Prop C only requires a simple majority.

Finally, Prop E would replace the payroll tax with a gross receipts tax. The tech community has lined up big-time to support the measure (see “Tech industry posts ‘soft-sell’ pitch for Gross Receipts Tax ballot measure” at http://www.somaleadership.org). Ben Kaufman and Avi Jhingan from the Yes on E campaign, will be at the meeting to answer your questions.

Advocates for differing positions on all these initiatives are welcome to present their perspective too. Contact me before the meeting to arrange for a place on the agenda.

Jim Meko, chair
SoMa Leadership Council

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Filed under community services, meetings, politics

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