Election Briefs | KALW

Election Briefs

Find your polling place using this Voter's Edge widget, and learn about your ballot below.

Flickr User Albert / Creative Commons

Measure RR would add a 0.125% sales tax on Caltrain fares for the next 30 years. In regular times, Caltrain estimates this would bring in $100 million dollars annually for the financially struggling transit service.

Jericho / Wikimedia Commons, used under CC BY 3.0 / cropped

This proposition is more popularly known as the “overpaid executive tax.”

Here’s how it would work: Starting in 2022, if a San Francisco-based company’s highest-paid employee makes between 100 to 200 times the median salary of the company's local workforce, then the city would levy a point one percent fee of the company’s total revenues.

Dllu / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4. / cropped


Today we’re talking about San Francisco’s Measure K.

This proposition would authorize San Francisco to develop and own up to 10,000 units of affordable rental housing. Its supporters call it a “green light for social housing.” That means housing for a mix of income groups, owned or financed by the government.  But Measure K is just an authorization: a separate citywide measure would need to pass in order to provide the funding. That’s Proposition I.

Jeff Troth / Flickr Creative Commons


Measure J is a $288 parcel tax designed to raise funds for teacher salaries and school improvements. It would apply to all taxable real estate in the city though there is an exemption for seniors over 65. The Controller’s Office says the measure could generate almost $50 million a year. 



Measure G proposes to amend San Francisco’s voter age requirement for local elections, allowing 16 and 17-year olds to vote on municipal measures. It would not affect voting eligibility for state or national ballot measures. 

KP Tripathi / Creative Commons

Local government leaders are aiming to soften COVID-19’s blow to the economy by overhauling the city’s tax structure.



If passed, Measure E would allow San Francisco to make changes to the number of full-time police officers on its force.


EDITOR'S NOTE: Since the story was originally published, San Francisco's Office of the Controller increased the estimated annual cost of creating the Inspector General's Office from $1.4-$1.8 million up to $2-$2.5 million.

Earlier this year, George Floyd’s killing while in police custody prompted greater focus on police oversight and accountability nationwide. Here in San Francisco, Measure D aims to investigate misconduct within the Sheriff’s Department. 

Dennis Jarvis / Creative Commons

San Francisco Measure C would allow any San Francisco resident of legal voting age — at least 18 years old — to become a member of a board, commission, and advisory body. 



Currently, San Francisco does not have a department solely dedicated to keeping its streets and public areas clean. Those responsibilities are currently part of the Public Works department. Measure B proposes splitting off some of public works’ responsibilities into a new department of sanitation and streets.


Flickr User Vitor Pamplona

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.

Flickr User Doran / Flickr

Currently, California uses a cash bail system, for those awaiting trial in jail. But, many advocacy groups have long criticized cash bail, arguing it targets low income people who aren’t able to pay these bonds. In 2016, California Senator Robert Hertzberg introduced Senate Bill 10, or SB 10 — a bill that would end cash bail in California and replace it with a “risk assessment” system based on the likelihood that the person awaiting trial will fail to appear in court.

by Cerillion Skyline accessed flickr user Dominic Smith / Resized

Proposition 24 is about consumer data privacy laws in California. And it’s a complicated one.

Two years ago, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the California Consumer Privacy Act, or the CCPA. It was the first state law in the country to protect consumers’ personal information. 

Government of PEI / Flickr Creative Commons

California’s Proposition 23 is the latest round in an ongoing fight between labor unions and two major dialysis corporations. You may recall 2018’s Proposition 8, which would have required those companies to offer refunds for overcharging many of their patients. It failed after opponents spent more than $111 million to fight it. 

Pixabay user oknesanofa / Creative Commons

Proposition 22 is the “app-based drivers as contractors” initiative.

Remember AB5? The so-called “gig worker bill” that was signed into law last year in California? That law aimed to remove ambiguities around whether gig workers could be classified as independent contractors or employees. And, while it applied to all types of freelancers, the bill was largely seen as going after Uber and Lyft to get them to provide healthcare and other benefits to their drivers. 

Proposition 21 is also known as The Rental Affordability Act, or RAA, and seeks to expand rent control across the state.

California Proposition 20: Revising Prison Reforms

Jul 29, 2020
Flickr user brustin / Creative Commons, used under CC BY-NC 2.0

In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the extreme overcrowding in California state prisons was unconstitutional. In response, three criminal justice reforms were enacted. 

Sanfranman59 / Creative Commons


Basically, Prop 19 would allow homeowners to move into a nicer place without their tax bill ballooning.

Proposition 18 proposes to allow 17-year-olds to vote in a primary election if the voter will turn 18 by the time of the general election.

Proposition 17 would let people who are on parole for felony convictions vote — that’s more than 50,000 people.

California Proposition 16: Affirmative Action Amendment

Jul 22, 2020
Amtec Photos / Creative Commons / amtec.us.com

In a nutshell, Proposition 16 is about repealing Proposition 209, which passed back in 1996.

JGKlein / Creative Commons

California’s Proposition 15 is an amendment to the state constitution that would update how the state assesses property taxes. 

Bryan Jones / Flickr Creative Commons, used under CC BY-NC 2.0

In 2004, Californians approved a $3 bllion bond to fund stem cell research. That money has been pretty much used up and the original backers want to replenish it. Prop 14 is a five-point $5 billion bond to pay for future stem cell research, training, and trials.

wiki / City of Oakland

Measure Q is called the Oakland Parks and Recreation Preservation, Litter Reduction, and Homelessness Support Act. 

If that sounds like everything but the kitchen sink, you can think of it as a parcel tax to fund outdoor areas.

About sixty percent of the revenue would go toward maintaining and improving Oakland’s parks, from cleaning the bathrooms to fixing trails.

Al Case / Flickr creative commons, used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Measure K aims to protect open space, parks, and water in Napa County. To do this, the measure would impose a quarter-cent sales tax, expected to bring in $9 million annually for the next 15 years. It would be spent on things like maintaining hiking trails in both county and city parks, restoring watersheds, and managing vegetation to prevent wildfire risk.

Tony Webster / Creative Commons, used under CC-BY-2.0


The media landscape has changed in this new digital age and Oakland City Council members say there’s a part of the city’s charter that needs to get with the times. This is where Oakland’s Measure R comes in. 

Currently the city’s charter states that the City Council designates the city’s official newspaper for publishing matters of legal and public notice such as election proceedings, awarding of leases and contracts, etc. But for a publication to be an official newspaper it has to be printed and published in Oakland with a minimum 25,000 daily circulation. Newspapers are struggling and the city’s longtime newspaper, the Oakland Tribune, shut down in 2016. 

Paul Sullivan / Flikr Creative Commons


Measure D is a $90 million bond measure to repair and replace old fire stations in unincorporated parts of Alameda County. 

Mariquitas CK / Wikimedia Commons, used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Are Alameda County voters willing to increase the sales tax to help fund young children’s healthcare and education? That’s what drafters of Measure C want to know. If passed, Measure C — or the Care for Kids initiative — would raise the county’s sales tax by one-half of one percent. This would last for 20 years and generate about $150 million annually. 

Erick Muniz / Flikr Creative Commons

Foster City residents behind the campaign to recall Councilmember Herb Perez say he’s “a bully.” Perez, who is an Olympic gold medalist in taekwondo, was first elected to City Council in 2011. 

Jeff Chiu / AP Photo

Proposition E is trying to play hardball with San Francisco’s housing crisis. The measure states that if San Francisco can’t build more housing, it can’t have new office space either.