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

2016 Good Government Awards: How Greg Kato Raised $500 Million in Business Tax Revenues

News March 29, 2016
The 2016 Good Government Awards, held on March 21, recognized outstanding performances by managers working for the City and County of San Francisco. The ceremony honored Greg Kato for rolling out the gross receipts tax, a restructuring of the business tax that increased the number of taxpayers from 7,000 to over 15,000 and raised revenues to $500 million per year.

2016 Good Government Awards: How Robert Smuts Transformed SF's Emergency Communications

News March 29, 2016
The 2016 Good Government Awards, held on March 21, recognized outstanding performances by managers working for the City and County of San Francisco. The ceremony honored Roberts Smuts for turning around the Department of Emergency Management and dramatically increasing the chances that a 9-1-1 call will be answered within 10 seconds or less.

2016 Good Government Awards: How Diana Hammons Made Muni Free for Youth and Seniors

News March 29, 2016
The 2016 Good Government Awards, held on March 21, recognized outstanding performances by managers working for the City and County of San Francisco. The ceremony honored Diana Hammons f o r implementing the Free Muni for Youth program​, which later expanded to include seniors and people with disabilities and now serves approximately 100,000 low-income San Francisco residents​.

2016 Good Government Awards: How Jane Gong Helps Small Businesses Succeed

News March 29, 2016
The 2016 Good Government Awards, held on March 21, recognized outstanding performances by managers working for the City and County of San Francisco. The ceremony honored Jane Gong for launching the San Francisco Business Portal, an online tool that streamlines the permitting process to open and grow a business in San Francisco.

Are We Headed for an Economic Correction? Bay Area Experts Weigh In

News March 9, 2016
What will happen with the economy in the year ahead? Are we in for a correction or recession? Every year, SPUR’s Municipal Fiscal Advisory Committee gathers expert economists to try to answer these kinds of questions. The expertise of independent economists and experts from key sectors — including real estate, hospitality and retail — helps the city staff develop revenue projections for San Francisco’s budget.

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