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

SPUR Impact Awards 2019: Silicon Valley Clean Energy Team Redefines the South Bay's Energy Supply

News March 25, 2019
The 2019 SPUR Impact, held on March 22, recognized outstanding job performance of those serving San Jose and the surrounding communities. The ceremony honored the Silicon Valley Clean Energy Core Staff Implementation Team for educating the community and other cities on Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE), a community choice energy program that redefines where and how electricity is supplied in the South Bay.

SPUR Impact Awards 2019: Better BikewaySJ Transforms City Streets into a Network of Bike Lanes

News March 25, 2019
The 2019 SPUR Impact Awards, held on March 22, recognized outstanding job performance of those serving San Jose and the neighboring communities. The ceremony honored Better BikewaySJ for allowing hundreds of thousands of people to safely bike (or scoot) for their daily transportation needs, and transforming the role of San Jose streets into public spaces.

SPUR Impact Awards 2019: Consuelo Hernandez Manages Finances to Increase Affordable Housing

News March 25, 2019
The 2019 SPUR Impact Awards, held on March 22, recognized outstanding job performance of those serving San Jose and the surrounding communities. The ceremony honored Consuelo Hernandez for building and leading a team that manages funds from the 2016 Measure A Affordable Housing Bond and the state’s No Place Like Home Program to increase supportive and affordable housing units in Santa Clara County.

Good Government Awards 2019: SF Prepared Team Keeps Disaster Support Services Running

News March 11, 2019
The 2019 Good Government Awards, held on March 6, recognized outstanding job performance of those serving the City and County of San Francisco. The event honored the SF Prepared team for executing complex but essential finance and administrative projects and a “Disaster Academy” curriculum to prepare city finance and admin staff to respond in an emergency.

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