We are glad to see that the Mayor intends (see the Mayor’s post-election rebalancing letter here) to fully fund Prop E’s commitment to street tree maintenance. Alice is also committed to fighting for tuition-free community college for all, at both the local and state level.
December 8, 2016
Dear Mayor Lee and Board of Supervisors,
As co-chairs of the Alice B Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, we would like to express our support for the funding priorities made clear by the passage of the November 2016 Propositions E, requiring the City to set aside $19 million per year to provide responsible and consistent management of our street trees, and W, increasing real estate transfer tax rates over $5 million to make City College of San Francisco free for the first time in over 30 years.
In July, the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution making clear their intention to use the real estate transfer tax revenue generated by Prop W for these two purposes. In response, voters supported Propositions E and W by 79 percent and 62 percent, respectively. The overwhelming support for these issues was a direct message that your constituents found them to be of significance and that they wanted you, as their their elected leaders, to address them.
Proposition E was approved by more than three out of four San Francisco voters. It was also supported by the San Francisco Democratic, Republican, and Green parties, the Mayor, and unanimously supported by the Board of Supervisors. It shifts the responsibility for tree maintenance and tree-related sidewalk damage from property owners to the City, ensuring consistent and long-term care that does not come as a result of a tax increase or at the expense of the property owner.
Providing free City College as intended with Proposition W would help make college more affordable to all San Franciscans, particularly our most vulnerable residents. The estimated $45 million a year in new annual revenue would help everyone – from undocumented immigrants in the absence of access to traditional financial aid to the diminishing middle class – have access to the higher education we all deserve. Furthermore, it would improve City College’s enrollment numbers, currently at an all-time low, and provide increased eligibility for additional state funding.
Our City budget has grown by $3 billion over the past six years. Yet San Francisco has one of the worst urban forestry policies in the nation, and increasing housing and education costs are jeopardizing the future of our most vulnerable residents. While the City faces many pressing financial needs, the City should strive to honor the wishes of the voters and uphold these budget priorities as intended. Thank you for your consideration.
Brian Leubitz & Louise Fischer
Co-Chairs, Alice B Toklas Democratic Club