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

What Can San Francisco Do to Address Homelessness?

News July 6, 2016
On June 29, more than 80 Bay Area media organizations contributed to an unprecedented wave of coverage on homelessness. SPUR, together with HandUp, hosted an evening forum, “Housing, Homelessness and the Way Forward for San Francisco,” to report on the challenges the city faces, uncover solutions and inspire action.

Back in the Black

SPUR Report May 12, 2016
San Jose needs more money. Although the “capital of Silicon Valley” has the highest median household income of any major city in the country, years of budget cuts and staffing reductions have left the city in a precarious position. This report, a collaboration between SPUR and Working Partnerships USA, explores how San Jose can bolster its resources and deliver high-quality public services.

June 2016 Voter Guide

Voter Guide May 1, 2016
SPUR provides in-depth analysis of the five local propositions and one regional measure on San Francisco's June 2016 ballot. We focus on outcomes, not ideology, offering objective analysis and advising voters on which measures will deliver real solutions.

Why a Sales Tax Is San Jose’s Best Chance to Restore Services

News April 6, 2016
The San Jose City Council has placed a quarter-cent sales tax on the June ballot. The increase would yield a projected $40 million in annual revenue to support police, fire and emergency response, parks and other basic services. Measure B is one of best ways the city can restore needed services that were cut during the recession. SPUR urges voters to support it.

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.

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