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The 3 ballot measures that San Francisco’s mayor is pushing for in March 2024

Mayor London Breed talks with supporters during the launching of campaigns for Propositions C, E and F in Japantown on Saturday, January 6, 2024.
Mayor London Breed talks with supporters in Japantown during the launching of campaigns for Propositions C, E and F. | Source: Joel Umanzor/The Standard

Mayor London Breed gathered alongside a number of city leaders in San Francisco’s Japantown Saturday morning to launch the campaigns for three ballot measures that city voters will decide on in the upcoming March election.

In front of hundreds of supporters, Breed outlined Propositions C, E and F, a slate of measures that hope to revitalize Downtown San Francisco, provide additional resources for law enforcement and require individuals suspected of substance abuse to undergo screening and enroll in some form of treatment to receive public benefits.

“These are the kinds of things we need to do to focus on public safety, to focus on the challenges around drug dealing and to build more housing,” she said.

Breed was joined at the podium by Supervisors Matt Dorsey and Rafael Mandelman as well as state Sen. Scott Wiener, City Assessor-Recorder Joaquin Torres, San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee (DCCC) candidate Cedric Akbar and prosecutor Nancy Tung.

State Sen. Scott Weiner addresses the crowd during the launching of campaigns for Propositions C, E and F on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2024.
State Sen. Scott Wiener addresses the crowd during the launching of campaigns for Propositions C, E and F on Saturday. | Source: Joel Umanzor/The Standard

Proposition C, which would waive the tax for transferring properties from office to residential uses, was first mentioned by Breed in October 2023 as a means of enticing developers to repurpose the millions of square feet of currently vacant office space in Downtown San Francisco.

Currently, properties in San Francisco valued at over $10 million incur a transfer tax rate ranging from 5.5% to 6%, a higher rate than other large California cities.

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“We need to acknowledge the economic realities of these office buildings Downtown,” Wiener said. “We need to make sure that people are able to come in and do what they need to do with those buildings and convert them into housing so that we don’t have our taxes get in the way of those changes we need.”

Proposition E, which Breed sponsored in response to the Police Commission’s perceived mismanagement of the San Francisco Police Department, would permit law enforcement to deploy security cameras and license plate readers, employ drones for monitoring specific crimes and expand officers’ ability to chase suspects.

Additionally, the measure would require the Police Commission to gather community feedback whenever it proposes policies and consider how time-consuming its rules are for officers.

Nancy Tung, who is part of a group of moderate Democrats currently serving on the party’s central committee, said the measure would allow additional tools for an understaffed police department to investigate crimes.

“We have to do more with less, and the way we do that is to take off restrictions for the police department,” Tung said. “It allows them to use technology to do their jobs.”

Mayor London Breed stands beside city leaders and supporters during the launching of campaigns for Propositions C, E and F on Saturday, January 6, 2024.
Mayor London Breed stands beside city leaders and supporters during the launching of campaigns for Propositions C, E and F on Saturday. | Source: Joel Umanzor/The Standard

Breed pushed back on the idea that Prop. E would roll back criminal justice reforms to the police department.

“It is important that we are getting the tools, but that doesn’t mean we let up on reforms,” Breed said. “That doesn’t mean that we don’t focus on making sure there is clear reporting and transparency. It doesn’t mean we walk away from our values.”

The last measure, Prop. F, will affect individuals enrolled in the city's General Assistance program. In order to be eligible for assistance, up to $687 per month to destitute adults, individuals suspected of substance use would first have to go through a drug screening.

A number of San Francisco supervisors, such as Supervisors Hillary Ronen and Connie Chan, denounced Prop. F in September, when the measure was initially floated.

READ MORE: Here’s What San Francisco Voters Will Consider in the March 2024 Election

Akbar, a recovery advocate and SF DCCC candidate, said he supported the proposition because it would address the medical aspect of the city’s drug crisis.

Prop. F., Akbar said, “is not necessarily taking away anyone’s GA or funding. It is giving them opportunity [for] therapy, methadone, suboxone, outpatient treatment—whatever the need is.”

The three ballot measures are among seven that will be decided on during the March 5 presidential primary election. Breed is up for reelection in November.

Joel Umanzor can be reached at jumanzor@sfstandard.com