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Office space, retail vacancies, and seismic upgrades: the 2020 Curbed SF voter guide

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A cheat sheet for residents casting votes in the March 3 primary election

Illustrations by Alyssa Nassner

The first of two big election days is almost here with the California Primary election looming on Tuesday, March 3, and early voting already ongoing for weeks.

Although most eyes are fixed on the ongoing Democratic presidential primary battle, locally there is, as usual, plenty of crucial housing, transit, and infrastructure issues on the ballot.

San Francisco

Proposition B

Proposition B will take out over $628 million in bonds for seismic upgrades to emergency facilities in San Francisco in preparation for a major earthquake, including most critically retrofitting the city’s emergency water supply for firefighting efforts in the aftermath.

Learn all about how this proposition is trying to prepare the city for the big one .

Proposition D

Proposition D will level fines (up to $1,000 per linear foot) on retail outlets that sit empty for too long, in hopes of spurring landlords to be more aggressive courting potential tenants and fill up those unsightly vacant storefronts in key commercial corridors.

Learn all about how this proposition is trying to fix blighted retail vacancies in your neighborhood .

Proposition E

Proposition E will force the city to limit how much new office space it can permit each year for as long as the city continues to fail meeting its affordable housing goals—a pointed prospect, since SF essentially never actually achieves those housing benchmarks.

Learn all about how this proposition is trying to resolve the jobs/homes imbalance .


Proposition 13

Not to be confused with that other Proposition 13, this bond would borrow $15 billion to fix up California public schools and colleges, modernizing campuses, seismically reinforcing buildings, and removing health risks like lead paint and asbestos.

Learn all about Proposition 13—who’s behind it and who’s against it.