Mayor Ed Lee was a big winner, yesterday, in San Francisco’s elections, for more reasons than just being voted into another term in office.
Mayor Lee’s prized ballot measure, Prop A, succeeded in winning a necessary two-thirds majority of the vote; that means the city will issue 310 million dollars in affordable housing bonds.
The mayor also backed Vicki Hennessy to win for sheriff, and she did, taking 61 percent of the vote and defeating the incumbent, Ross Mirkarimi.
Also, Alex Randolph, Mayor Lee’s favored candidate for the Community College Board, won.
Other winners included City Attorney Dennis Herrera, District Attorney George Gascon, and Treasurer José Cisneros, though those victories were no surprise: they all ran unopposed.
One thing that did not go Mayor Lee’s way was the race to be supervisor of District 3. Lee supported the incumbent, Julie Christensen, who lost out to Aaron Peskin by just over a thousand votes. Peskin, who used to be president of the board of supervisors, is considered the more progressive candidate, and that gives progressives an apparent majority on the board.
San Francisco voters, however, did not tend to vote for their more progressive options on the ballot. They rejected Prop I, the measure to suspend market rate development in the Mission District. And voters defeated Prop F, which had gained national attention in recent days. The initiative would have limited the ability of San Franciscans to host guests in their homes through websites like Airbnb, and it strengthened the city’s ability to enforce those limitations. AirBnB spent more than 8 million dollars to help defeat the measure.
In other measures on the ballot, there was good news for city employees who are expecting: voters passed Prop B to give paid parental leave to both parents if each works for the city.
Prop C, the measure to regulate expenditure lobbyists, was supported by almost three-quarters of the voters.
About three-quarters also supported Prop D, allowing the construction of buildings up to 240 feet tall in areas of Mission Rock, south of AT&T Park. The project’s sponsor is the San Francisco Giants, who pledge to make at least 40 percent of housing in the area affordable for low and middle income households.
The city voted against Prop E, the measure to stream all public meetings online. And with almost 80 percent of voters saying “yes” to Prop H, the city will now have the same definitions of clean, green, and renewable energy that the state uses.
San Francisco legacy businesses got help from voters who passed Prop J, agreeing to establish a preservation fund to give grants to historic businesses in the city.
And the final letter of the election night alphabet, Prop K, passed easily, allowing the city to build very affordable housing on surplus public land.
While there were many results that will shape the future of the city, the number of people who took part in the election was relatively low. Less than 30 percent of registered voters in San Francisco partook in last night’s election, down from 42 percent in 2011 – the last time Mayor Lee was first voted into office.
If you'd like to see the latest results as tabulated by the San Francisco Department of Elections, click here.