2013 Advocacy Agenda

Path to Economic Success in 2013

San Francisco is kicking off the year on strong economic footing with employment outpacing much of the nation and the lowest projected municipal budget shortfall in five years. America’s Cup, the opening of the Exploratorium on the waterfront, and other significant events and developments will further boost the local economy as the year progresses.

Continued economic growth requires that the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce keep its focus on policies and programs that promote a robust business climate. Working collaboratively with our members from every industry, our partners in labor through the Alliance for Jobs and Sustainable Growth, and with our elected and appointed leaders in San Francisco, Sacramento and Washington, we are energized and ready to help keep our city on a path toward economic success in 2013.

Improve the Business Climate
The Chamber is working to create a favorable business and regulatory environment in which all businesses can grow and prosper. Priorities include:

  • Business Tax Reform – Assist in the implementation of Prop E, the Chamber-supported gross-receipts tax passed by voters in 2012 which replaces San Francisco’s payroll tax with a more equitable alternative that will not hinder job creation.
  • Tourism & Hospitality – Develop solutions to improve the visitor experience, including addressing bad street behavior and trash management, while supporting large-scale projects that will host world-class events including Warriors Arena, America’s Cup and the expansion of Moscone Center.
  • Transportation – Work with city government and advocacy groups to improve the ability of residents and visitors to move efficiently around the City by car, transit, bike and taxis.
  • Regulatory Reinterpretation - Work with state and local legislators on alternative business models that, in light of new technology, require regulatory reinterpretation.
  • Small Business – Continue to promote San Francisco’s small businesses through formulating favorable public policies and providing ample networking opportunities.

Spur Economic Development
San Francisco cannot afford to rest on it laurels as cities across the globe compete for jobs. The City must continue efforts to attract and retain businesses, particularly those in industry-sectors poised for sustained growth. Priorities include:

  • Infrastructure Investment - Continue to support vital infrastructure projects which will catalyze growth and create jobs including California Pacific Medical Center, Central Subway Extension, High-Speed Rail/CalTrain connection to the new Transbay Transit Center, SFO Terminal 1 redesign, Treasure Island and others.
  • Downtown Community Benefits District (CBD) – Convene property owners to develop a new CBD to improve traffic flow, cleanliness and commerce in the city’s downtown core.
  • Long-Range Planning - Encourage the city to complete the update of its three year Economic Development plan and move forward with Pier 50 development plans.
  • Commission on Community Investment and Infrastructure - Work with the Redevelopment Agency’s successor agency (“CCII”) and developers to complete funding of pending redevelopment of Mission Bay, Hunters Point Shipyard and Transbay.
  • CEQA Reform – Join city and statewide efforts to reform the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to ensure that vital projects do not fall victim to NIMBYist (Not In My Backyard) strategies.
  • Attract and Retain Business - Collaborate with the San Francisco Center for Economic Development (SFCED) to support local economic development efforts and help attract and retain business in San Francisco.
  • Sporting Events - Continue to champion high-visibility sporting franchises and events, like America’s Cup, Warriors Arena and the Super Bowl bid that boost the local economy and provide business opportunities for San Francisco companies.
  • Participate in transportation planning and the budgetary process to improve public transit, cab service, parking and the pedestrian experience without imposing downtown congestion pricing fees.

Ensure Good Government
Government must act effectively and efficiently to preserve vital city resources. The Chamber supports policies that bring more transparency, efficiency and accountability to all levels of government. Priorities include:

  • Municipal Elections – Support initiatives to reform San Francisco’s campaign finance and Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) systems to ensure more cost-efficient and democratic elections.
  • Legislation Review – Encourage an initiative ordinance requiring the City Attorney to publicly sign off on all proposed ordinances as to “form and legality” prior to enactment.
  • Contracting City Services – Support a Charter Amendment that would allow any contracting out of work or services to small businesses or non-profits to be approved unless rejected by eight votes of the Board of Supervisors.

Secure the Future
Sustained prosperity depends on the investments we make in our future. The Chamber supports strengthened and continued investment in the city’s infrastructure, environment and workforce. Priorities include:

  • Resilient City – Join SPUR and other organizations in plans to strengthen San Francisco’s structural and economic resilience following an earthquake or other disaster.
  • Long Range Investment – Defend major local, regional and state infrastructure projects from NIMBY and partisan attack, such as High-Speed Rail and water system upgrades.
  • Clean Economy – Continue to support AB 32 (the Global Warming Solutions Act), Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy and other initiatives that grow the state’s clean economy and protect the environment.
  • Workforce Development – Support policies and initiatives that improve student outcomes and funding for the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) and encourage partnerships that connect the private sector with the city’s public education system.
  • Economic Development – Support the creation of an economic development fund to form joint ventures between the public and private sectors to attract and retain business and promote neighborhood commercial activity.