Good Government

Our goal: Build the capacity of the public sector

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 helps voters 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

How Should We Rebuild Government After COVID-19?

News July 14, 2020
Should some smaller Bay Area cities merge as a way to weather the economic fallout wrought by COVID-19? The pandemic will have a significant impact on local governments — but it might also present a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rebuild a governance system that better serves the Bay Area.

The First Success in Getting Back to Business Safely

News May 21, 2020
Construction bans made the early days of shelter in place a confusing and frustrating time for those in development and construction. SPUR jumped into action, getting our members the information they needed and successfully advocating for a safe return to work.

2020 SPUR Impact Awards: Rebecca Garcia Helps Provide Housing and Shelter for All

News March 20, 2020
The 2020 SPUR Impact Awards recognize outstanding job performance by public sector leaders in Santa Clara County. This year’s ceremony recognized Rebecca Garcia for her leadership on issues of affordable housing and homelessness for the City of Morgan Hill. Ms. Garcia built cross-sector partnerships to develop unique solutions to the full spectrum of housing needs.

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