© 2021 KALW
KALW Public Media / 91.7 FM Bay Area
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

San Francisco Prop. B — Candidates for elected office must give up commission seats

Wikimedia Commons
San Francisco City Hall


San Francisco's Proposition B makes appointed commissioners give up their seats when they run for elected office.

The mayor and the Board of Supervisors appoint people to be commissioners, and there are dozens of commissions that oversee everything from the airport to juvenile probation to building inspections.

Some are especially powerful. The seven appointees on the Planning Commission advise the Mayor and the rest of the municipal government on city planning issues.

This proposition would require them to resign from their commission seats as soon as they filed as a candidate for a state or local office. That’s things like running to be on the Board of Supervisors, to be on the BART Board of Directors, or to be a State legislator.


It was put on the ballot by A 7 to 4 vote from the Board of Supervisors. Supervisor Aaron Peskin introduced it, and says he wants to eliminate potential conflicts of interest. Commissioners have control over large sections of San Francisco and they could potentially use their power to help get elected.

Peskin says that for decades many of these commissioners have already resigned if they want to run for office for just this reason.

But that’s not true for all candidates; for example, Supervisor London Breed kept her appointment to the Fire Commission when she first ran.


Breed also opposed putting this measure on the ballot. Opponents worry that this proposition would limit the pool of qualified people running for office.


No money has been raised to either support or oppose this measure.


So if you want San Francisco commissioners to have to leave their positions when they run for office, vote yes. If you don’t, then you’re going to want to vote no.