PROP B – WHAT HAPPENED?

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HANC opposed the Parks Bond, Proposition B, in the November election. We believe Rec and Park should be spending money on gardeners, recreation directors, and regular maintenance of its existing facilities before building more. This is especially true when Rec and Park is raising fees and leasing out public park property at an unprecedented rate.

Why did the Bond pass? The No on B campaign was outspent by more than 100 to 1. The approximately $9,000 raised by the No on B campaign could not match the onslaught of TV, radio, and newspaper ads, robo-calls, and multiple mailers bought with almost $1,000,000 from “park enthusiasts” such as Ronald Conway, Thomas Coates, the three Fisher brothers, the LLC that runs the Outside Lands Festival, Wells Fargo, AT&T, the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, and the San Francisco Association of Realtors.

Would there have been more No votes if Rec and Park hadn’t promised the poorest neighborhoods, ignored for so long, that there would be something for them in this bond?   What if McLaren Park had received funding in any of the previous bonds? Did the recent purchase of the Bay Guardian by the Examiner influence its endorsement of Prop B? “The Guardian has never, in 46 years, opposed a general obligation bond for anything except jails or prisons. . . .We’re not happy to be endorsing Prop B . . .We’re going yes on B with all due reservations.” 

Still, 93,735 San Franciscans voted against Prop B—almost as many as all of the voters who cast ballots in the three contested Supervisorial races in Districts 1, 5, and 7. The reasons for opposing the Parks Bond have not disappeared—we want continued public access to our parks and recreation centers through sound maintenance and operations, and we don’t want control and access to parkland going to the highest bidder. Please join us and put your comments on the record at the Janaury meeting of the Rec and Park Commission on Thursday, January 17, beginning at 10:00 a.m in Room 416 of City Hall.

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