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

Urbanism Wins in the Bay Area

News November 10, 2014
Regardless of what happened at the national level, our local elections were full of good news for urbanism. Ballot measures that passed in San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland marked major victories for transit, open space and higher minimum wages across the region.

SPUR Hosts San Jose Mayoral Candidates Debate

News October 16, 2014
San Jose is about to choose a new mayor — a decision that will affect the city for decades to come. To help voters get to know the candidates and their positions on our issues, SPUR held a debate between the two contenders vying for the seat, Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese and San Jose City Councilmember Sam Liccardo .

Quick Guide to SPUR's SF Ballot Recommendations

News October 1, 2014
It's election season and time for SPUR's in-depth analysis of local San Francisco ballot measures. Don't want to wade through our 30-page voter guide? Check out this quick summary of all our recommendations. For those who do want to nerd out, don't worry — we've included links to our complete analysis.

November 2014 Voter Guide

Voter Guide October 1, 2014
SPUR provides in-depth analysis of the 12 local propositions on San Francisco's November 2014 ballot. For each measure we ask: Is it necessary and appropriate to be on the ballot? Is it practical, and if enacted will it achieve the result it proposes? And most important: Is it a worthy goal, one that will make San Francisco a better place to work and live?

June 2014 Voter Guide

Voter Guide May 1, 2014
SPUR provides in-depth analysis of the two City of San Francisco measures on the June 2014 ballot: Prop. A, a $400 million bond to rehabilitate or replace seismically vulnerable fire and public safety facilties; and Prop. B, an ordinance that would require voter approval for increases to existing height limits on Port of San Francisco property.

2014 Good Government Awards: How the LEAP Team Keeps Kids Out of Trouble

News March 19, 2014
SPUR’s 34th annual Good Government Awards recognized the City of San Francisco’s Legal Educational Advocacy Program Team for improving educational outcomes for youth in the juvenile justice system and curbing the cycle of young people who go back into the system.

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