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San Francisco Measure A: Health And Homelessness, Parks, And Streets Bond

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Flickr User Vitor Pamplona
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This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.

San Francisco Measure A is a proposal that takes on three major issues: To address homelessness, enhance parks, open spaces and recreation facilities, and improve street conditions.

San Francisco says these are essential during the COVID-19 public health crisis. To pay for this, the city proposes to take out a bond of $487.5 million.

Here's how this all breaks down: $207 million for expanding housing and shelter for the homeless, along with facilities to treat substance abuse and mental health. Another $239 million for enhancing neighborhood parks, community gardens, playgrounds, and more. The rest would fund greater accessibility of open public spaces, including plazas and streets.

Due to the pandemic, city services are already stretched thin due to social distancing efforts. And it’s taking a real toll. Many of the homeless people who require support are alone. With fewer mental health and substance abuse counselors around, there’s been an uptick in drug overdoses, resulting in more deaths. This proposal seeks to address these issues, while also creating jobs.

To pay back this bond, the city will up property taxes starting next year. According to financial documents, owners of a $600,000 home would see an annual property tax increase of $83.13. According to this proposal, landlords could push half of this extra cost onto tenants. The city expects to pay back the bond’s principal and accrued interest of $960 million within the next 30 years.

Measure A has received unanimous support from the San Francisco board of supervisors. Opponents include the Libertarian Party and private individuals. They argue this is a band-aid solution for a complicated and long-term problem, and worry that funds could go into bureaucratic costs.

If you support this bond to improve city parks, public spaces, and services for the homeless, vote yes on Measure A. If you oppose this, vote no.