Why There are 24(!) Ballot Measures This Year. And Why Voting on ALL of Them is Important!

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By Calvin Welch, HANC Board

There are 24 local ballot measures on this November’s ballot. With the single regional and 17 state measures, that’s a total of 42 ballot measures, which sets an all-time record.

But the record is “caused” by the 18 state and regional measures, not the 24 local measures.

The record for local ballot measures was November, 1993, when 28 measures were on the local ballot. That was the second year of Frank Jordan’s term as Mayor. Like Ed Lee, Jordan was massively disengaged in the actual politics of the City and did only what his staff told him to do. Since his staff--again like Ed Lee--had a very narrow, pro-business perspective much of the “people’s work” was left to the voters themselves in local ballot measures.


Of the 24 measures on this ballot 18 are there to overcome Mayor Lee’s indifference to key public issues (Props. E, G, I, Q, N, W and X) or failure to co-ordinate government in a way that advances the common interest as opposed to narrow special interests that support his administration (Props. D, F, H, L, M, N, O, P, S, T and U).

While the Chronicle and its columnists scapegoat the Board of Supervisors for the large number of measures on the ballot the real cause--as in 1993-- is that we have “no one home” in room 200.

In short, it is Mayor Lee’s policies and his failure to make policy that is responsible for the size of the local ballot.


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