San Francisco Ballot Measures


Legislative and Ballot Options: Details at the Department of Elections

Guide to Qualifying Initiative Charter Amendment, Oridnances and Declarations of Policy

City Charter Amendment:  To get a Charter Amendment on the ballot, you need 6 Supervisors and/or the Mayor or a percentage voters signatures (based on the last election) turnout). Big money is also a factor.

Ordinance on the Ballot :  Supervisors can put an Ordinance on the ballot or pass it without going to the voters. “The City Charter gives any four supervisors or the mayor alone, the authority to submit an ordinance to the voters. This measure requires a simple majority — 50 percent, plus one additional vote — to pass.” This is doable, but you must be very specific in your requests and it must not conflict with the City Charter.

Supervisors passing Ordinance without a ballot: For the Board to pass an Ordinance without going to the voters, they need 6 votes and the Mayor, or 8 votes to override the Mayor.

Citizens placing Referendum on the ballot: A referendum is a request to repeal a decision made by the government after a request for appeal is denied. Signatures must be gathered within 30 days of filing the referendum.

Check the Department of Elections site for details on upcoming election status.

6 thoughts on “San Francisco Ballot Measures

  1. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency could soon approve plans to eliminate two vital Mission district bus lines: the 27-Bryant and the 33-Stanyan.

    Signs posted at bus stops Feb. 21 and headlined “Changes in Store: Improved Reliability, Service to Passengers” tell riders who read the fine print that we’ll be shunted to the overcrowded, often dangerous 9-San Bruno and 22-Fillmore lines, and the poky 12-Folsom.

    Seniors, moms with kids and hipsters ride the 27 to shop; restaurant workers and retail workers ride it to Powell and Market streets. The 27 is the fastest way downtown from the east Mission, the only bus that serves the Hall of Justice, the only one that runs on Cesar Chavez Street and the only bus for northeast Bernal Heights. The 33 links the eastern Mission with the Castro and the Haight, and carries kids to Mission High School.

    The signs announce three public meetings. Sixty residents, unanimous in protest, packed the first on three days’ notice, and left with the distinct impression that the process is pro forma and the Transit Effectiveness Plan is a done deal. The SFMTA meets to vote on the TEP on March 28. Riders should be alarmed. Check your bus stops for taped-up signs, and call your supervisors.


  2. In Potrero they want to alter the 22 Fillmore, forcing people to transfer to the 33 to continue up the hill, even though the 22 is one popular lines and reliable lines in the city.  People are also concerned about changing the 19 and the 33 that connects Potrero to the Mission. Do the folks who take the 22 from the Marina and points in between even know about these plans?


  3. I went to the MTA meeting the other night about the 27. They want to move the 27 to Folsom, eliminate the 12 and have people use the dangerous and overcrowded 9. I only found out about the meeting from a sign at the Mariposa and Bryant stop. Can you get the word out? There’s a big meeting about it at the end of the month, but i coulndn’t find it on their site.



  4. The Transit Effectiveness Project:
    milestone or millstone?
    The Transit Effectiveness Project is being promoted as a breakthrough in public transportation. The Municipal Transit Agency states that this project is a major project since 25 or more years ago.
    It proposes to speed up bus transportation and add buses to the main arteries of public transportation.
    The Project itself is off the rails with the planners missing the bus. The reasons are noted below.
    • While it is claimed that there will more than a 10 percent increase in services, it will be at the expense of the neighborhoods. It is proposed to discontinue the 3 Jackson which will force people to walk long hills and blocks to their homes. The 6 Parnassus will no longer run on Masonic Avenue, creating the same problem as the 3 Jackson.
    • Human realities are being ignored. The 33 Stanyan line will no longer run to San Francisco General Hospital, forcing individuals on that line to transfer to the usually crowded 9 bus. What if you are seriously ill? The present direct route of the 33 could be a life saver! It is proposed to discontinue the 27 and 47 routes on Bryant Street. This deprives people of direct access to the Hall of Justice, the courts and creates a longer walk to rehab programs and the Public Defender’s Office. They will have to walk from Harrison, Folsom or Townsend Streets to these destinations, creating a hardship for those who are physically impaired, sick and elderly. Have the planners ever walked these long distances themselves?
    • The seriously ill, handicapped and elderly are being ignored. They will be expected to walk up to a quarter mile to a bus stop. What if one has emphysema, crippling arthritis or a terminal illness? What if someone collapses or dies from a fatal hip fracture as the result of walking these long distances? No physician or medical professional has evaluated these hardships, despite this issue being consistently presented to the Municipal Transit Agency, the TEP and the County Transportation Authority.
    • There will not be a net total addition of buses to the MUNI fleet. San Francisco has grown to a population of 825,000 with the expectation of more residents. Surely, more buses are necessary to meet the growing numbers. But this plan reallocates buses to the most heavily used runs and leaves the neighborhoods in the lurch. The neighborhoods will have reduced or no service on bus runs. This is a zero sum solution without additions to the MUNI fleet to meet the needs of the city. Instead, Peter is being robbed to pay Paul, even though MTA denies this.

    • The concerns of passengers have been ignored. The riders of the discontinued 26 Valencia bus line, which ran directly to St. Luke’s Hospital, had their petitions and pleas for the preservation of this line ignored, as did riders of the 2 Clement who wanted the route to be continued beyond Park Presidio Avenue to 32nd Avenue and Geary St. While MTA claims to have extensive community outreach with open minds, it appears to be the MTA Express: In one ear and out the other. With few exceptions, most of the initial proposals of the Transit Effectiveness Project have gone through over the protest of passengers.
    • There is no guarantee that this Project will work. Despite the initial implementations of the Transit Effectiveness Project, bus service remains unreliable, even on the heavily travelled 1 California line. In fact, service appears the worst ever in years. Even the Executive Director of MTA has acknowledged the poor quality of service. Buses will not arrive on time with the same long waiting. The internal operations and structure of MUNI have not been addressed. How do they address breakdowns, accidents and injuries which have cost the city millions in lawsuits? How do the daily operations work or not work? This should have been the primary focus before the Transit Effectiveness Project was proposed. It must also be noted that there are seven Deputy Directors with six digit salaries in this failed system and agency which is constantly seeking money and will probably do so 10 years from now!
    • MTA wishes to rush their proposals through. The deadline for approval is March 28th by the MTA Board. We are being subjected to a blitzkrieg of meetings and a pressing deadline. MTA has even hired Barbary Coast Consultants, who also represent the transport buses for techies, to promote the plan, due to wariness and unpopularity with the public.

    For the reasons noted above, the Transit Effectiveness Project should either be rejected or sent back to the drawing board.
    MTA is a public service agency that is mandated to serve us and not us to serve them and endure hardships that they are proposing.
    Public transit should be for everyone!

    – HW


  5. Pingback: Facing Resistance to Longer Walks, SFMTA Revises Some Muni Route Changes | Meter Madness

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