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    A look at urban issues in the Bay Area and beyond

2016 Silver SPUR Awards: How Ira Hirschfield Transforms Philanthropy to Benefit All

November 23, 2016
Ira S. Hirschfield is the longtime head of the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, supporting causes that embody fairness, equality and opportunity for all. He is one of four individuals recognized at the 2016 Silver SPUR Awards, held on November 17, for his achievements which have made San Francisco and the Bay Area a better place to live and work.

2016 Silver SPUR Awards: How Kimberly Bryant Creates Next-Gen Tech Leaders

November 23, 2016
2016 Silver SPUR honoree Kimberly Bryant founded Black Girls Code in 2011, with the mission to bridge the digital divide and change how we educate girls of color about science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Under Bryant's leadership, the organization has expanded to include 11 chapters in the U.S. and 1 in Johannesburg, South Africa; serving more than 6,000 girls.

Bay Area Election Results: A Lot to Celebrate

November 22, 2016 By Susannah Parsons
This election, Bay Area voters chose to make critical investments in transportation, infrastructure and affordable housing. And in San Francisco they rejected a series of harmful measures that would have undone years of good government reforms.

What the Presidential Election Means for the Bay Area

November 21, 2016 By Gabriel Metcalf, SPUR President
The presidential vote was about many things, but it was in part a protest against what the Bay Area stands for. Our embrace of diversity. Our high taxes and social programs. Our willingness to challenge traditional norms of gender. Our love of cities. What do those values mean — and what should we be doing to support them going forward?

A New Vision for Oakland’s Streets: the OakDOT Strategic Plan

October 27, 2016 By Arielle Fleisher, Transportation Policy Associate
The strategic plan just released by Oakland’s new Department of Transportation reflects the city’s activist spirit and opens a new chapter focused on easier and safer access to walking, biking and transit — for everyone. Here are five priorities in the plan that we think will make the biggest difference for Oakland’s transportation future, along with suggestions for how make sure this vision is realized.

What Would Happen to the Bay Area If BART Stopped Running?

October 26, 2016 Ratna Amin, Transportation Policy Director
BART was created in the early 1970s and over the last 40 years it has become central to the mobility, economic health and sustainability of the Bay Area. Measure RR funds the projects most needed to improve system performance and allow BART to plan for future capacity needs, including track replacement, tunnel repair, and electrical system upgrades, to allow more frequent and reliable service.

SPUR Ballot Recommendations, Now in Haiku!

October 10, 2016 By the SPUR Staff*
This November, Bay Area voters will wade through dozens of ballot measures. As usual, SPUR has conducted in-depth analysis and made recommendations on all local measures in San Francisco — and this year we’re endorsing several in San Jose and Oakland, as well. To simplify the results, we’ve distilled our recommendations into verse. For your enjoyment, we present Voter Haiku.

Modernize San Jose's Outdated Business Tax: Vote Yes on Measure G

October 5, 2016 By Laura Tolkoff, San Jose Policy Director
For years, San Jose had to cut services and staff, defer maintenance on infrastructure and postpone policies that would support its transition to a more urban city. Now is the time for the city to shift toward reinvestment. Measure G would update and restructure the business tax and could double business tax revenue from $12.7 million to $25.4 million in its first year.

Two Things All Successful Cities Do

September 29, 2016 By Laura Tolkoff, San Jose Policy Director
Economically successful cities do two things right: They build and attract talent, and they create urban places. The Bay Area has one of the most dynamic economies in the world — but we can’t rest on our laurels. As Joe Cortright noted during a recent talk at SPUR San Jose, we need to build more and better cities to continue attracting and retaining top talent.

Support Affordable Housing in Santa Clara County: Vote Yes on Measure A

September 28, 2016 By Teresa Alvarado, San Jose Director
Santa Clara County is now one of the most expensive places to live in the country. The median home price is approaching $1 million, and ever-increasing rents have resulted in displacement pressures and a growing homeless population. In November, voters in Santa Clara County have an opportunity to help those who are most in need of housing and improve quality of life for all.

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