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

2017 Silver SPUR Awards: How Abdi Soltani Fights for Civil Rights

News December 5, 2017
Abdi Soltani is a nationally recognized civil rights leader whose work with the ACLU of Northern California has helped transform California into one of the nation's most progressive states. With his leadership, the ACLU has cultivated partnerships with communities most directly impacted by injustice, and developed a presence in the Central Valley and in Sacramento.

2017 Silver SPUR Awards: How Dr. Nadine Burke Harris Is Transforming Response to Early Childhood Adversity

News December 5, 2017
Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris is a leader in the movement to transform how we respond to early childhood adversity and stress. She serves as an expert advisor on the Too Small to Fail initiative and on the American Academy of Pediatrics National Advisory Board for Screening. Her book The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity will be released in January of 2018.

2017 Silver SPUR Awards: How Steve Nakajo Champions San Francisco’s Japanese Community

News December 5, 2017
Steve Nakajo is a civic leader and longtime champion of San Francisco’s Japanese American community. In 1971, he co-founded (with Sandy Mori) Kimochi, Inc., a successful community-based nonprofit, to bring social services to non-English-speaking seniors of Japantown. A longtime instructor in the Asian American Studies and MSW programs at San Francisco State University, Nakajo served on the the City’s Fire Commission and the Arts Commission.

Cities of Villages: What San Jose Can Learn from San Diego

News August 10, 2017
Both San Diego and San Jose are growing rapidly. Both cities have adopted general plans that direct new growth into “urban villages.” At a recent SPUR forum, two urban planners from San Diego discussed key challenges and lessons learned with San Jose’s planning staff and the community.

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