Good Government

Our goal: Support local government.

SPUR's good government agenda:

• Put safety first.
• Invest in infrastructure.
• Support a strong civil service system.
• Get better at contracting.
• Experiment with labor-management partnerships and demonstration projects.
• Deliver services at the neighborhood scale.
• Make public data easier to access.

Read more from SPUR’s Agenda for Change
  • The SPUR Voter Guide

    The SPUR Voter Guide is the best resource for San Franciscans who want to understand the issues they will face in the voting booth. We focus on outcomes, not ideology, providing objective analysis on which measures will deliver real solutions.

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  • Good Government Awards

    The Good Government Awards honor outstanding managers working for the City and County of San Francisco, recognizing them for their leadership, vision and ability to make a difference in city government and in the community.

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  • SPUR Report

    A Big Fix for Capital Planning

    San Francisco’s aging public facilities harm the economy, limit they city’s ability to function and endanger public safety. SPUR proposes policy reforms for a more effective capital planning and maintenance process.

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  • SPUR Report

    Reforming Civil Service

    San Francisco’s employees and managers work within a system that often fails to take full advantage of their abilities or reward their contributions. The city can strengthen delivery of public services by restructuring practices for hiring, promotion, motivation and training.

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  • SPUR Report

    Fixing San Francisco’s Contracting Process

    San Francisco's ontracting process is often time-consuming, inefficient and unpredictable. How can the city minimize waste and inefficiency while maintaining strong safeguards against favoritism and corruption?

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  • SPUR Report

    Setting Aside Differences

    Ballot measures that dedicate city revenues to specific purposes have become increasingly common in San Francisco. But these “set asides” can damage the democratic system and lock in choices long after they continue to make sense. Here's how to improve these measures by evaluating them before they become law.

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  • The Urbanist

    Taxing Waste, Not Work

    Environmental tax reform decreases taxes on labor or income while increasing taxes on waste and pollution. For San Francisco, a shift away from the payroll tax toward taxes on energy, solid waste or transportation could increase economic activity while reducing environmental harm.

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  • Find more of SPUR's good government research

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Updates and Events

Bay Area Election Results: A Lot to Celebrate

News November 22, 2016
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.

SPUR Ballot Recommendations, Now in Haiku!

News October 10, 2016
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

News October 5, 2016
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.

November 2016 Voter Guide

Voter Guide October 3, 2016
SPUR provides in-depth analysis of the 24 local propositions and one regional measure on San Francisco's November 2016 ballot. We focus on outcomes, not ideology, offering objective analysis and advising voters on which measures will deliver real solutions.

Support South Bay Traffic Relief and Road Repair: Vote Yes on Measure B

News September 8, 2016
Measure B, on the ballot in Santa Clara County this November, would raise the sales tax by half a cent and generate $6 billion to $6.3 billion over 30 years to fund critical transportation projects in the South Bay. SPUR recommends a “yes” vote on Measure B.

Building an Inclusive Community in Times of Fear and Distrust

News July 20, 2016
Our nation is suffering from a gaping wound reminiscent of the 1960s. During that era, my parents were active in el movimiento , working alongside Cesar Chavez to advocate for better living conditions, opportunities, safety and acceptance. My parents dreamed of a different future than we are experiencing now. We must return to being an inclusive community that provides a path to opportunity and mobility.

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