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Illustrations by Alyssa Nassner

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2018 San Francisco voter guide

A cheat sheet for residents casting votes in the November 6 general election

The midterm election is today. Some big ticket names appear on the ballot, like Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who’s running for reelection, and Lt. Gov Gavin Newsom, the former San Francisco mayor who seeks to take the throne in Sacramento as the next governor of California.

Are you ready?

In addition to important seats, there are equally critical state initiatives like Proposition 10, which could roll back restrictions on rent control in California. There are also key propositions in San Francisco, one of which would place a tax on tech companies to help fund homeless services, an issue that prompted tech titans to feud with each other over social media.

There are also a slew of denizens vying to be your next San Francisco neighborhood supervisor, including the expansive and socio-economically diverse District Six, which makes up Mid-Market, SoMa, South Beach, Mission Bay, and Treasure Island and parts of the Tenderloin and the East Cut. Whew.

We’ve selected the propositions and elections that will have an impact on housing and infrastructure in San Francisco.

To find your polling station, here’s where you need to go and what to bring on Tuesday.

If you are unsure what to expect once you make your way inside the ballot box, it’s not too late to study before voting; polls close at 8 p.m. Tuesday, November 6.


Proposition 1

Originally known as Senate Bill 3, Proposition 1 will authorize the state to take out $4 billion in bonds and put the money toward existing affordable housing programs. Of that sum, $1 billion will be earmarked specifically for programs that provide housing subsidies to veterans.

Learn all about Proposition 1—who’s behind it and who’s against it.

Proposition 5

Proposition 5 is a small but significant tweak to Proposition 13, a 1978 ballot measure that cut property taxes statewide. If passed, it would allow homeowners who are 55 years of age or older or are severely disabled to continue paying property taxes based on the assessed value of their current homes when they sell and then purchase a new residence. The same goes for residents in areas affected by natural disasters.

Explore more about Proposition 5 and how it came to fruition.

Proposition 6

Proposition 6 repeals a tax on gasoline and motorized vehicles signed into law last year. That tax is often called Senate Bill 1 (or SB1, for short). It’s expected to produce $54 billion over the next 10 years for transportation infrastructure across the state, including public transit projects, road resurfacing, and repairs of bridges and freeways.

Dive into Proposition 6 to learn what impact it will have on San Francisco.

Proposition 10

If passed it will undo the state’s 1995 Costa Hawkins Act and allow cities to expand rent control in the state for the first time, if they so choose. It’s also one of the most contentious propositions on the ballot this election, with housing advocates championing it and Wall Street firms pouring millions into defeating it.

Learn all about the plan to repeal the Costa Hawkins Act and how it’s divided many San Franciscans.

San Francisco

Proposition A

Proposition A will authorize the state to take out $425 million in bonds and put the money toward fixing up the Embarcadero Seawall, which is presently in disrepair. A seemingly boring issue, this repair is, in fact, much needed as San Francisco awaits the next big earthquake to strike.

Learn all about how this proposition is trying to fix city infrastructure before the next major earthquake.

Proposition C

Proposition C will will increase gross receipts taxes by slightly more than 0.5 percent on companies with more than $50 million in annual revenue and use the money to fund homeless services in the city, potentially raising hundreds of millions of dollars for city initiatives. The proposition has divided tech bigwigs (Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey sparred over it on social media), publications, and civic leaders.

From politicos to publications, read all about why people are passionate—and passionately angry—about this one.

San Francisco Board of Supervisors candidates

San Francisco is broken up into 11 districts. Each district gets its own elected official to act on its behalf at City Hall. Of those eleven seats, five of them are up for vote. Two incumbents are termed out of office and two will run for reelection. Who do you want echoing your voice at City Hall?

Find out who’s running in which district and what they have to say about housing.


The following is a list of local publications’ and advocacy groups’ endorsements for the November 6 election.


Political and advocacy groups: