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

March 2004 Voter Guide

Voter Guide February 6, 2004
Includes SPUR's analysis of 11 city measures on the Mar 4, 2004 ballot.

Business Taxes in San Francisco

SPUR Report February 1, 2004
Though businesses weigh benefits beyond tax rates when choosing a location, there is a point where types and rates of taxes do matter. This report compares the varying business taxes and their extents.

The City's Budget 2003 - 2005

Urbanist Article February 1, 2004
This article describes how the budget gap was closed in 2003 and makes predictions for the city budget in 2004-2005.

November 2003 Voter Guide

Voter Guide October 1, 2003
Includes SPUR's analysis of 14 city measures on the November 4, 2003 ballot.

Supervisors as Planners

Urbanist Article July 1, 2003
Jim Chappell outlines the changes in the roles of the Board of Supervisors in the planning process, which empowers both the Board and the neighbors of proposed projects in appealing building changes and restricting permits.

Democracy and Planning

Urbanist Article July 1, 2003
Everyone thinks the planning process should be democratic. To act in the name of greater democracy trumps almost all other claims in the public discourse. But it’s not at all obvious what this idea really means.

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