Ed Lee’s “Transportation 2030” Ballot Measure Is Meaningless, Hypocritical, and Divisive at the Same Time

UPDATE: On Friday, February 26, the Mayor removed the ill-conceived Transportation 2030 from the June ballot! Thank you, Mayor Lee!


ORIGINAL POST: Mayor Lee: it’s not too late. Please take this measure off the ballot, and let’s all work together on a real transportation funding ballot measure for November.

Muni Potrero Yard

On the same day that Mayor Ed Lee vetoed the Bike Yield ordinance, he announced a ballot measure for the June 2016 election about transportation funding called “Transportation 2030: Smart Investments for a Better Future" (PDF).  It’s less than three pages double-spaced, but it manages to be simultaneously meaningless, hypocritical, and divisive. Here’s the tl;dr version:

  1. It’s meaningless. It’s a non-binding declaration of policy. 
  2. It’s hypocritical. It purports to implement the “recommendations of the “Transportation 2030” Task Force, but the Mayor already fell two years and $140 million behind on implementing those recommendations when he blocked attempts to put the Vehicle License Fee restoration on the ballot in 2014!
  3. And it’s divisive. It says no new transportation revenues should be used for Muni’s operating expenses for the next fifteen years! Why? Because the Mayor wants more leverage to push back in labor negotiations with MTA workers. This artificial separation of the MTA’s capital and operating budgets also threatens to pit Muni advocates (that require both capital and operational money) against bike and pedestrian advocates (mostly capital expenses).  

Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

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Hey Tech Buses: Just Pay Your Fair Share, Take Two

What the SF League of Pissed Off Voters’ Wants from Tech Commuter Buses

Tech buses in the bike lane

(Photo by Sean Rea.)

Ten months ago, the League weighed in on tech buses with our post “Hey Tech Buses: Just Pay Your Fair Share, Please.” The SFMTA and City ignored what we felt like were reasonable requests. Since then, the pilot program has gone on to litigation. The judgment is slated for mid-December. [Note: The League is not part of the lawsuit.]

On Tuesday, November 17, the SFMTA Board will vote on the proposed permanent program, and we want to weigh in with our position and call attention to a few points we feel are really important and have been omitted by the press reporting on the final pilot findings.

The TL;DR version is this:

  • The pilot has not achieved its goal of eliminating safety and traffic issues.
  • The City is not receiving the data it needs to manage this program.
  • The City is not collecting fees that correlate to the impacts of the commuter buses.
  • The City is expanding the program before the pilot has concluded.
  • The City is not being completely transparent on the study conclusions.
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Julie Christensen Votes Against Raises for Non-Profit Workers

On March 3, 2015, Julie Christensen was the swing vote against giving low-paid workers at non-profits providing City services a small cost-of-living raise. These non-profits provide vital services like mental health care, staffing homeless shelters, and violence prevention. Their workers are struggling with the skyrocketing cost of living in San Francisco. Meanwhile because of the economic boom, the City budget has never been larger. This is a real world example of why the League of Pissed Off Voters supports Aaron Peskin for District 3 Supervisor!

Read more about this vote in this Examiner article.

The Lobbyists Are Voting for Julie Christensen

Julie Christensen

One of the key ways we try figure to out what’s going on with San Francisco is by following the money. And in the race for District 3 of the Board of Supervisors, the lobbyist money is going in one direction: for Julie Christensen. The Ethics Commission Campaign Finance Dashboard shows that lobbyists have contributed $32,350 for Christensen compared to only $2,000 for Peskin.

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Don't Believe Airbnb's Fear Mongering

Confused by those sketchy ads about how Prop F will have "neighbors spying on neighbors?" Read this take from a lawyer explaining why you shouldn't believe Airbnb's B.S. Please vote #‎YesonF


Dear Airbnb, Can You Pay Us Back?

We're so inspired by Airbnb's letters to San Francisco, we're sending them our own love letter. Vote yes on Prop F! #‎airbnbfail

Dear Airbnb, Can You Pay Us Back?

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Open Letter to BART Board of Directors

The League of Pissed-Off Voters urges BART Directors, BART General Manager, and the Alameda County District Attorney to be on the right side of history — join community organizations, transit advocates, social justice leaders, and thousands of multiracial allies fighting for Black lives.

On November 28, 2014, fourteen protesters locked themselves to BART trains at the West Oakland station. Instead of citing and releasing protesters, or charging them with the same minor infraction applied to the thousands of multiracial allies that have blocked buses, trains, and traffic, a harsher penalty has been discriminatively applied.

Please help us by calling and emailing the BART Board of Directors, and tell them to drop the charges against the BlackFriday14:
(510) 464–6095

Transit advocates, including a member of the League’s Steering Committee, joined BART Directors Rebecca Saltzman and Nick Josefowitz as they rode BART’s new late night bus to shine a light on this issue and request support for a potential resolution calling for the demand for restitution and criminal charges be dropped against the group of protesters known as the BlackFriday14.

The League believes that the BlackFriday14 have paid significant restitution for their protest. They were held in the Santa Rita Jail and Glenn Dyer Detention facility, and they have expended significant time and resources in their legal proceedings. We call on the BART Board of Directors to pass the following resolution to urge District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley to drop the charges against the BlackFriday14.

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How did Ed Lee and Bill De Belasio react to the Eric Garner decision?

This picture speaks volumes about the different priorities of these two Mayors.

Bill de Blasio canceled his appearance at the Rockefeller Christmas tree lighting and gave a powerful, frank, 30-minute speech about the grand jury decision to not charge the officer who killed Eric Garner.

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The League Files Ethics Complaint Against David Chiu

Press Release:

Today, the San Francisco League of Pissed Off Voters filed a complaint with the Ethics Commission asking them to investigate the potentially illegal collusive actions of David Chiu, Nicole Derse, 50+1 Strategies, and Airbnb.

The complaint alleges that Nicole Derse and 50+1 Strategies failed to register as lobbyists for Airbnb, and that they violated the prohibition on lobbying by campaign consultants.

The complaint also alleges that David Chiu continues to employ Derse and 50+1 Strategies as his campaign consultant despite knowing that they should have registered as lobbyists for Airbnb.

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Mission Playground Shows it’s Time for a Change at Rec and Park

The videotaped confrontation at Mission Playground between a bunch of young tech workers and Latino youth has lit up the City. It seems like the vast majority of us — from progressive activists to moderate urbanists to nerdy redditors to cranky Internet commenters — all agree: this is a vivid embodiment of how new wealth is literally displacing long-time residents.

And while we think the tech workers embarrassed themselves in the way they handled the situation, we think they were unnecessarily set-up to make fools of themselves by one of City Hall’s worst policies: Phil Ginsburg, the General Manager of the Rec and Park Department, wants the parks to pay for themselves. Here’s the TL;DR version of our plan to fix the mess at Rec and Park:

  1. Rec and Park needs to restore free play every evening at Mission Playground.
  2. Mayor Ed Lee needs to fire Rec and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg.
  3. The City needs to review and undo the past five years of privatization.
  4. The City need to create new parks in low-income neighborhoods instead of allowing wealthy donors to pick new park locations.
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