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

    Back in the Black

    San Jose has the highest median household income of any major city in the country, but years of budget cuts and staffing reductions have left the city in a precarious position. SPUR and Working Partnerships USA explore how San Jose can bolster its resources and deliver high-quality public services.

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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 contracting 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

Setting Aside Differences

SPUR Report January 16, 2008
Set-asides allow citizens to set budget priorities, but they also limit flexibility. In this report, SPUR outlines current set-asides, analyzes their impact on public budgeting, and offers recommendations for reform.

February 2008 Voter Guide

Voter Guide January 1, 2008
Includes SPUR's analysis of six city measures on the Feb. 5, 2008 ballot.

November 2007 Voter Guide

Voter Guide October 1, 2007
Includes SPUR's analysis of 11 city measures on the November 6, 2007 ballot.

Planning the City's Future

SPUR Report July 1, 2007
Changing government is never easy. But when it comes to the two departments responsible for planning our city, can we afford not to?

SPUR Endorses the Public/Private Delivery of Wi-Fi in San Francisco

SPUR Report January 22, 2007
In 2004, Mayor Gavin Newsom created TechConnect, an initiative to explore how to deliver free wireless Internet throughout San Francisco. After a lengthy public process, the city selected a team of EarthLink and Google. Given the potential benefits of the proposed system, SPUR requests the Board of Supervisors and Public Utilities Commission to adopt the proposed agreement with EarthLink and Google.

November 2006 Voter Guide

Voter Guide October 9, 2006
Includes SPUR's analysis of 6 states and 11 city measures on the November 7, 2006 ballot.

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