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

SPUR Supports AB 164

Policy Letter May 22, 2017
SPUR supports AB 164, which would increase the benefit of the state's Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) system and improve the food assistance safety net.

Urban Field Notes: Berlin, Freedom 2.0

Urbanist Article May 2, 2017
Our correspondent witnesses a wonderfully urbane model of freedom in Berlin. Here, some observations about Berlin’s transportation, transit and pedestrian system — the arterials and capillaries of urban design and planning - as it relates to the city’s personality and livability.

Happy Fifth Anniversary, SPUR San Jose!

Urbanist Article May 2, 2017
Five years ago, SPUR’s vision for addressing the challenges facing the Bay Area took a major step forward with the opening of SPUR in San Jose. We would like to thank our board of directors, funders, business and individual members, and community partners, and we look forward to being a part of the transformational changes San Jose will experience over the next five years.

2017 Good Government Awards: How Robert Beck Launched the Transformation of Treasure Island

News April 4, 2017
The 2017 Good Government Awards, Held on March 22, recognized outstanding performances by Managers Working for the City and County of San Francisco. The ceremony honored Bob Beck, for his role in the transfer of nearly 300 acres of Treasure Island/Yerba Buena Island, and his leadership in the 25-year process of transforming the former naval base into a sustainable, mixed-use, high-density, transit-oriented space.

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