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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 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?

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • Find more of SPUR's good government research

    Read More

Updates and Events

2020 SF Good Government Awards: Emylene Aspilla Improves Working Conditions for More Than 46,000 SFO Employees

News March 5, 2020
The 2020 Good Government Awards, held on March 4, recognized outstanding job performance by those serving the city and county of San Francisco. The ceremony honored Emylene Aspilla for her work improving work conditions for more than 46,000 SFO employees by working with organizations like BART, engaging the community and developing the innovative Workforce Employee Board.

2020 SF Good Government Awards: Goal to Roll Team Tackles a Backlog to Let City Revenue Flow

News March 5, 2020
The 2020 San Francisco Good Government Awards, held on March 4, recognized outstanding job performance by those serving the City and County of San Francisco. This year’s ceremony recognized the Goal to Roll team, a multi-year, cross-division initiative that, as of June 2019, eliminated the City’s property tax assessment backlog for the first time in over twenty-five years.

2020 SF Good Government Awards: CalFresh Expansion Team Makes Food Stamps More Accessible

News March 5, 2020
The 2020 San Francisco Good Government Awards, held on March 4, recognized outstanding job performance by those serving the City and County of San Francisco. This year's ceremony recognized the CalFresh Expansion team, a cross-departmental effort to ensure increased access to nutrition benefits for more than 40,000 seniors and persons with disabilities.

SPUR Supports San Jose City Council decision to allocate Measure T funds to preserve Coyote Valley

Policy Letter December 12, 2019
On November 6, 2019 the San Jose City Council held a special session to approve the sale of private land in Coyote Valley using Measure T funds. The approval to sell this land allows for North Coyote Valley to be permanently designated for open space and agricultural use. SPUR supports this decision as Coyote Valley serves as a critical natural resource in the South Bay.

Follow Our Work

Get the latest updates on SPUR projects and events.

Sign up for our newsletters