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San Francisco Proposition B: Earthquake Safety And Emergency Response Bond

David Seibold
Flickr Creative Commons, used under CC BY-NC 2.0, cropped
Earthquake Warning. Geyserville, California. 2015.

If you live in San Francisco, you’ve likely thought about the ‘Big One.’ So Proposition B probably won’t come as a big surprise. The measure is called the Earthquake Safety and Emergency Response Bond. It would allow the city to issue around $600 million to pay for earthquake-related infrastructure improvements 

Prop B wants to strengthen San Francisco’s ability to respond, and recover from a catastrophic earthquake. The projects it covers are part of the city’s emergency response system. Think upgrades to the city’s emergency firefighting water system, fire stations, and disaster response facilities. 

The bond would be funded through property taxes, and the city controller’s office says they’d have to slightly raise property taxes over the next few decades. We're talking under $100 a year for most homeowners. 

The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to place this measure on the ballot. Proponents, like the police and firefighters union and the Warriors have raised around $800-thousand dollars to support it. They say that because another big earthquake is likely to happen, this is a smart use of the city’s borrowing capacity. Preparing now, they say, will save lives and money in the long run. There are no official arguments against Prop B. 

So, if you want the city to issue over 600 million dollars in bonds to pay for seismic upgrades and improvements to emergency response facilities, vote yes on Prop B. If you don’t, vote no. 

And remember, because this proposition is a bond issue, it’ll require a two-thirds supermajority to pass.