By Calvin Welch, HANC Board
Please join HANC at our general meeting Thursday, September 11, at 7 pm in the Community Room at the Park Branch Library, 1833 Page Street
In April, 2013 the Pew Research Center released a national poll of how Americans viewed federal and local government. While only 28% held a favorable view of the federal government, 63% of Americans polled viewed their local government favorably.
The poll listed no reason for this preference but it would seem that one reason is that local government, especially here in California where policy questions often appear as ballot questions, does not “duck” issues of interest. At the local level problems are addressed, not often by courageous local leaders crafting courageous local solutions, although that does happen, but more commonly by local officials or the people themselves placing measures on the ballot. Growth control, affordable housing funding, monies for innovative local programs, the protections of parks and open space all were major local issues and all were addressed by local ballot measures.
What is on the local ballot is often times what is most on the mind of voters. This year is no exception. Five key issue areas are on the November ballot- income inequality, housing speculation and resultant evictions, meeting the challenges of raising and educating our children in a fast-changing urban environment, how we use our scarce park and open space resources, and what the role of private automobiles should be in an compact urban center like San Francisco should be.
HANC has invited speakers from the Yes on C, the Children’s/Education Enrichment Fund campaign; Yes on E, the Sugar Sweetened Beverage Tax campaign; Yes on G, the Anti-Speculation Transfer Tax campaign, Yes on H, the Grass Fields campaign; and Yes on J, the Minimum Wage increase campaign.
In addition, the HANC Board has invited the Yes on L private automobile policy statement campaign to present a case not often heard in San Francisco as an informational item.
HANC’s Board has endorsed a Yes position on G and H and submitted ballot arguments for the Voters Handbook urging their passage. They are reprinted below. HANC will also urge support for Props C, E, and J at the meeting.
Also to be discussed at this month's HANC meeting will be our effort to join with other neighborhood and community groups here in District 5 to try to reach agreement on a “community slate” to be disseminated to our neighbors and friends district-wide.