San Francisco City Hall lit up red, white and blue during election season

Good Government

Our goal: Support a high-functioning public sector that serves the collective good.

SPUR’s Five-Year Priorities:

• Provide voters in San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland with in-depth analysis and recommendations for all ballot measures at the state, regional and city level.

• In each of our policy areas and cities, develop the government capacity necessary to address the region’s most pressing challenges.


Read our policy agenda

SPUR Voter Guide

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.

SPUR Event

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.

SPUR Report

Back in the Black

San José 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.

SPUR Event

SPUR Impact Awards

The Impact Awards Luncheon, honors the outstanding contributions by employees of city and county governments, public agencies and nonprofit organizations in Santa Clara County. The awards celebrate significant accomplishments in the areas of housing, transportation, placemaking and urban design, community advocacy, and sustainability and resilience.

Updates and Events

Op-Ed: How San José’s Elected Leaders Can Plan for Success

News /
The success of San José and the well-being of its residents depend on a fully-staffed and functioning planning department that guides how and where San José's community grows and evolves and expedites projects that conform to the City Council-adopted vision. This is how good government works and must be a top priority for our elected leaders.

2022 Election Delivers Mixed Results for SPUR Priorities

News /
SPUR developed several ballot measures during the latest election cycle, and its research heavily influenced a handful of others. Bay Area voters considered measures on streamlining housing approvals, continuing pandemic-era slow streets programs, enacting good government reforms and funding programs to address air quality and climate change. While we didn’t win ’em all, we’re pleased to see a number of SPUR’s ideas gaining traction around the region.

Oakland’s Measure X Puts Forth SPUR Ideas for Government Reform

News /
On November 8, Oakland residents will vote on a proposal for city government charter reforms. Measure X will create term limits for City Council members, clarify campaigning protocols for current elected officials and strengthen the role of the city auditor to increase accountability across the city. The measure was authored by Councilmember Dan Kalb, who has said that Measure X is a direct outcome of SPUR’s report Making Government Work, which proposed 10 ways to improve Oakland city governance. While Measure X does not include all of SPUR’s recommendations, it moves the needle on improving governance in the City of Oakland.

Candidates Share Their Views at SPUR’s San José Mayoral Forum

News /
The next mayor of San José will take the lead in guiding policy decisions that will shape the region for decades to come. SPUR and six partner organizations held a forum on April 28 to help voters get to know the frontrunner candidates and their positions on some of the city’s most pressing issues. We’ve compiled the candidate’s answers to questions spanning equitable planning, regional transit, parks and open space funding, affordable housing and senior housing.

Making Government Work

SPUR Report
Many of the challenges Oakland faces are worsened by its unusual government structure, which makes it harder for the mayor, city council and other officials to do their jobs well. SPUR’s latest report diagnoses the problem and offers 10 recommendations for how the city can adapt its governance structure to better serve Oaklanders.