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    A look at urban issues in the Bay Area and beyond

2016 Good Government Awards: How Greg Kato Raised $500 Million in Business Tax Revenues

March 29, 2016
The 2016 Good Government Awards, held on March 21, recognized outstanding performances by managers working for the City and County of San Francisco. The ceremony honored Greg Kato for rolling out the gross receipts tax, a restructuring of the business tax that increased the number of taxpayers from 7,000 to over 15,000 and raised revenues to $500 million per year.

2016 Good Government Awards: How Robert Smuts Transformed SF's Emergency Communications

March 29, 2016
The 2016 Good Government Awards, held on March 21, recognized outstanding performances by managers working for the City and County of San Francisco. The ceremony honored Roberts Smuts for turning around the Department of Emergency Management and dramatically increasing the chances that a 9-1-1 call will be answered within 10 seconds or less.

2016 Good Government Awards: How Diana Hammons Made Muni Free for Youth and Seniors

March 29, 2016
The 2016 Good Government Awards, held on March 21, recognized outstanding performances by managers working for the City and County of San Francisco. The ceremony honored Diana Hammons f o r implementing the Free Muni for Youth program​, which later expanded to include seniors and people with disabilities and now serves approximately 100,000 low-income San Francisco residents​.

2016 Good Government Awards: How Jane Gong Helps Small Businesses Succeed

March 29, 2016
The 2016 Good Government Awards, held on March 21, recognized outstanding performances by managers working for the City and County of San Francisco. The ceremony honored Jane Gong for launching the San Francisco Business Portal, an online tool that streamlines the permitting process to open and grow a business in San Francisco.

Are We Headed for an Economic Correction? Bay Area Experts Weigh In

March 9, 2016 Jennifer Warburg
What will happen with the economy in the year ahead? Are we in for a correction or recession? Every year, SPUR’s Municipal Fiscal Advisory Committee gathers expert economists to try to answer these kinds of questions. The expertise of independent economists and experts from key sectors — including real estate, hospitality and retail — helps the city staff develop revenue projections for San Francisco’s budget.

Oakland’s Plan for Facing the Housing Crisis Head On

March 7, 2016 By Sarah Karlinsky, Senior Policy Advisor
Oakland is experiencing a housing crisis that threatens to irrevocably change the city. Part of the problem is the imbalance between job growth and housing supply. Last year, Mayor Schaaf assembled a Housing Implementation Cabinet of housing experts, advocates and practitioners to look at the issue. Last week, the cabinet released its action plan to preserve 17,000 existing homes and create 17,000 new ones.

Save the Bay Again: Vote Yes on Measure AA

March 2, 2016 By Laura Tam, Sustainable Development Policy Director
Measure AA, on the June ballot in all nine Bay Area counties, is a $12 parcel tax dedicated to protecting and restoring San Francisco Bay. This is a historic opportunity for the Bay Area to vote as a region and raise local revenue to protect our signature natural resource. It’s our generation’s chance to save the Bay — while there’s still time.

Holding the Line on Sprawl in Santa Clara County

March 1, 2016 By Eli Zigas, Food and Agriculture Policy Director
Pressure for development at the urban edge of the Bay Area is growing. At the end of 2015, the cities of Morgan Hill and Gilroy in southern Santa Clara County both proposed expanding their city boundaries into farmland. Upcoming decisions on these proposals, which county analysts have called reminiscent of a bygone era, will set an important precedent for the county’s next phase of growth.

How to Pay for Transportation When the System Is Broken

February 29, 2016 By Laura Tolkoff, San Jose Policy Director
Santa Clara County’s proposed transportation sales tax has been politically contentious. But the reality is, transportation investments have not kept up with job and population growth. Meanwhile, federal and state funding for transportation has declined. We will need better transportation infrastructure in order to enjoy continued prosperity and a high quality of life — and we’re going to have to make these investments locally.

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