Friday, October 30, 2009

BOMA San Francisco’s PAC Positions On The November 3rd Ballot Measures

BOMA San Francisco's Political Action Committee has taken the following position on the five ballot measures before the San Francisco electorate on November 3rd:

Proposition A (Budget Process) – SUPPORT

Proposition A will help the San Francisco government better manage its finances by requiring the creation of a two-year budget, a five-year financial plan and the alignment of future City employee union contracts.  Proposition A is a good first step to reforming local government by mandating that prudent financial policies and practices are put into place that are more in-line with practices long ago adopted by the private sector.  BOMA SF-PAC supports Proposition A and urges all San Francisco voters to do so as well.  You can read our blog post on this proposition, here.  Click here to review charter amendment.

Proposition B (Board of Supervisor Aides) – NO POSITION


Proposition B will lift the current limit of two aides per supervisor, and allow each member of the Board to hire as many aides they see fit within budgetary constraints.  Click here to review the charter amendment.

Proposition C (Candlestick Park Renaming) – SUPPORT

Proposition C will allow the City and County of San Francisco to sell the naming rights to Candlestick Park  with 50% of the revenue dedicated to the San Francisco Recreation & Park Department.  Click here to review the ordinance.

Proposition D (Mid-Market Special Sign District) – SUPPORT

Proposition D, entitled the "Mid-Market Arts Revitalization and Tourism Special Sign District", will apply to only two blocks, between 5th and 7th Streets on Market Street. It will create an exception to Proposition G, the 2002 citywide measure that banned all new signs in San Francisco.  Specifically the ordinance will:

  • Create a special sign district that will manage the number and size of the signs that will be allowed along Market St. between 5th and 7th Streets, and is limited to only 52 buildings;
  • Take a portion (20% for buildings devoting ground floor space to local arts activities or displays and 40% for those buildings who don't) to fund local artists and arts education for kids in the Tenderloin;
  • Use part of the money from advertising revenues to assist in cleaning sidewalks and upgrading the two block area to make it safer;
  • Use part of the funds to refurbish and maintain historic buildings and theaters and their marquees to restore the area as the city's Theater District. It would also fund establishing a theater ticket booth at Halladie Plaza.
Click here to review the ordinance.

Proposition E (Advertisements on City Property) – OPPOSE


Proposition E would prohibit any new general advertising on street furniture, and City owned property.  Click here to review the ordinance.

Illuminate Your Building (RED)™ To Help The Fight Against Aids





 

On December 1st, 2009, please consider lighting your building red in recognition of World AIDS Day to help raise awareness in the fight against AIDS. This effort is part of a larger campaign created in 2006—(RED)™ —to engage business and consumer power to help eliminate AIDS in Africa. (RED) works with the world’s best brands to make unique (PRODUCT)RED™ branded products and direct up to 50% of their gross profits to the Global Fund to invest in the fight against AIDS in Africa.

Please click here for more information about RED.  If you’d like to participate, please contact Stephanie Brag at Stephanie.brag@joinred.com.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Warfield Theatre Owner David Addington Addresses BOMA on Proposition D


 Ken Cleaveland, BOMA San Francisco's Director of Government and Public Affairs and David Addington, sponsor of Proposition D.


David Addington addressed BOMA San Francisco's Political Action Committee Board on October 27th detailing his hopes behind Proposition D, a measure he personally drafted and funded to obtain the required number of signatures to place on the November 3, 2009 city ballot. The ordinance is entitled the "Mid-Market Arts Revitalization and Tourism Special Sign District" and will apply to only two blocks, between 5th and 7th Streets on Market Street. It will create an exception to Prop. G, the 2002 citywide measure that banned all new signs in San Francisco.

Mr. Addington is passionate about re-vitalizing the Mid-Market area of town. A Georgia native, he came to San Francisco seven years ago to attend law school, met his wife, and dropped out of law school to begin his involvement in the city's commercial real estate community. He had opportunities to buy properties in the downtrodden mid-Market area, starting with the Warfield Theatre in 2005, and shortly thereafter picked up several other buildings including 988 Market Street and 1028 Market Street. He is the managing partner of Fair Market Partners, LLC. He saw an immediate need to clean up this area, not only for the property owners, but for the local residents, and the thousands of people who visit the Warfield and Golden Gate theatres each year for performances but hasten out of the neighborhood immediately after the shows because the area is dark, dangerous, and devoid of respectable activities, such as any good restaurants.

Addington wrote a complicated measure, but one that will do several things:
  • It will create a special sign district that will manage the number and size of the signs that will be allowed along Market St. between 5th and 7th Streets, and is limited to only 52 buildings.
  • It will take a portion (20% for buildings devoting ground floor space to local arts activities or displays and 40% for those buildings who don't) to fund local artists and arts education for kids in the Tenderloin.
  • It will use part of the money from advertising revenues to assist in cleaning sidewalks and upgrading the two block area to make it safer.
  • It will use part of the funds to refurbish and maintain historic buildings and theatres and their marquees to restore the area as the city's Theater District. It would also fund establishing a theatre ticket booth at Halladie Plaza. 
Proposition D, stated Addington, is supported by a wide array of folks, something that is unusual in San Francisco, especially when it involves land use and planning matters. This support includes the local Democratic Party, the SF Chamber of Commerce, BOMA, the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), the Market Street Association, the Police Officers Association, and a majority of the SF Board of Supervisors.

For more information, go to www.midmarketarts.com.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The News Links - October 27, 2009




Curbed SF:  Is San Francisco hoarding jobs for its own architects?





GreenBiz: Introducing ... the Green Confidence index.





San Francisco Chronicle: Underemployed compound state's jobless troubles.



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  • LEED certification points available for TMASF members.  Click here for the details.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Tom Campbell Talks to Environmental Defense Fund and San Francisco Business Leaders



 Image retrieved here.


Your BOMA Advocacy Team, along with other business organizations, met recently with California Republican gubernatorial candidate, Tom Campbell.  The following are the highlights from the meeting:
  • Mr. Campbell supports a carbon tax on business but only if they are coupled with a reduction in ordinary business taxes so there is a “net zero” tax impact. He believes a carbon tax would give businesses in California greater flexibility, and is “committed to making it work.” He also thinks a national carbon tax would be preferable to a national cap and trade program.

      • He was supportive of higher gas taxes if they would keep teachers from being laid off, or keep the Pell grants (student loans) from being eliminated. He did believe professors, researchers, and scientists in California’s state universities should be able to retain the patent rights over any discoveries they might make as an incentive to keep the best such professionals in our colleges and universities. (Currently, the schools own any patents that are the result of discoveries of its teaching, or research personnel.)
      • On taxes, Campbell favors a business net receipts tax (BNRT), one of several key recommendations recently released by the Commission for a 21st Century Economy’s, as it simplifies the state’s tax structure, reduces the number of income tax categories from 6 to 2, and reduces the over-dependence on high income individuals, whose income taxes now pay an inordinate amount of the total state tax revenues and are highly volatile. He also believes in lowering the cap gains tax in CA, at least to the current (15%) Federal cap gains tax levels. He did not, however, think the state Legislature will do anything with these tax reform recommendations.
      • In the area of politics, he believes we need to get back to the “radical center”, and to do that with a reform of term limits, an open primary system, and the new way in which re-districting will take place beginning with the 2010 census. He said we need to avoid the extremes, and promote more dialogue among legislators.
      • Campbell opposed SB 375, the legislation that ties carbon emission reductions to new development, because it created a right of action with no standing, and would allow the Air Resources Board to set density standards for local communities. He believes in local sovereignty.
      • Campbell favors the English system of lawsuits: if you lose, you pay all the legal costs for both parties.
      • He also supports convening a state constitutional convention as he believes substantial changes that are needed in our constitution can’t be made by propositions as they would be considered a “revision” (not addition) to the constitution, and thus only can be enacted via a constitutional convention.
      • Campbell also believes that protecting the environment does not have to mean giving up economic development and thinks there is and should be a strong link between the two.
      • Campbell will not keep the cigar tent at the state capitol if he is elected Governor.

      Tom Campbell has a website and can be emailed using Tom@campbell.org.  

      The News Links - October 23-26, 2009

      The New Yorker: Why banks stay big.



      SF Streetsblog: CA poised to reform auto-centric level of service environmental rules.



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      Marin/San Mateo/Sonoma
      • Redwood City council irked by Menlo Park's early meddling in Cargill project.
      • San Rafael council candidates mix it up in final forum before Nov. 3 election.
      • Five Redwood City Council candidates compete for three seats.

      California

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      Thursday, October 22, 2009

      The News Links - October 22, 2009


      TIME: The End of California? Dream On!



      The Atlantic: Tax Collapse.



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      • Survey Says: Americans not worried about global warming.

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      Wednesday, October 21, 2009

      The News Links - October 21, 2009

      City Insider: Time to compost -- or else.



      Calculated Risk: Moody’s - CRE prices off 41 percent from peak, off 3% in August.



      SF Weekly: She just became the city's first transgender department head, but Theresa Sparks is already setting her sights on becoming the city's first transgender supervisor.



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      • County of Marin and local cities will use state's IOU to sell bonds.
      • Campaign mailer takes center stage in San Rafael.
      • Assemblymember Jared Huffman's recent newsletter can be found here.
      • Assemblymember Jerry Hill will be holding a town hall meeting on October 28th. More information can be found here.

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      Tuesday, October 20, 2009

      Voluntary Certified Access Specialist Program (CASp)



      In 2003, California Senate Bill 262 was signed into law and placed the following requirements on the Division of the State Architect (DSA):
      the State Architect shall establish and publicize a program for voluntary certification by the state of any person who meets the specified criteria as a certified access specialist [click here for the Certified Access Specialist Program (CASp) Candidate Handbook and here for the CASp regulations].
      Furthermore, the State Architect is to make available to the public a list of certified access specialists who meet the specified criteria.

      Purpose

      The purpose of the program is to further professionalize the field of disability access rights so that those who engage the services of design professionals, building officials, contractors, and architects may do so with the confidence that they understand accessibility issues.

      What is a Certified Access Specialist?

      Certified Access Specialists are individuals who have met minimum criteria as determined by the State Architect, which may include testing on knowledge sufficient to review, inspect, or advocate universal design requirements and standards governing access to buildings for persons with disabilities.

      Changes to the CASp in 2008

      California legislation passed in 2008, Senate Bill 1608, amended Senate Bill 262 to require that every Voluntary Certified Access Specialist (CASp) who conducts an inspection of a place of public accommodation shall, upon completing the inspection of the site, provide the building owner or tenant who requested the inspection with a notice, which the State Architect shall make available as a form on the State Architect's Internet Web site.

      In accordance with Civil Code section 55.53(c), DSA has posted the following notice:

      Notice to Private Property Owner/Tenant can be found here. (PDF 13 KB)

      With the passage of Senate Bill 1608, the DSA has been receiving numerous inquiries regarding this bill and how it relates to the CASp program. Senate Bill 1608 does not change the requirements or operation of the CASp program. The bill does provide certain legal rights to individuals whose facilities have been inspected by a Certified Access Specialist. SB 1608 also requires local agency to employ or retain Certified Access Specialists by specified dates. You can review the text of SB 1608 here.

      Inspection Certificates Available

      Senate Bill 1608 also authorized the DSA to make available for purchase by any local building department or CASp sequentially numbered Disability Access Inspection Certificates.

      These certificates are now available for purchase through DSA. All requests for orders should be directed to CASprogram@dgs.ca.gov. Currently, the DSA can only accept checks or money orders as payment. Payment should be made out to "CASp program" and mailed to DSA, 1102 Q Street, Ste 5100, Sacramento, CA 95811 and attn: CASp. An online payment option will be available shortly.

      The certificates are sold in bundles of 50 each at a cost of $500.00. This amount already includes tax, shipping, and handling. Orders for less than 50 are available upon request.

      List of Certified Access Specialists Now Available Online!

      The voluntary Certified Access Specialist Program has published its first list of Certified Access Specialists as of October 29, 2008!

      Contact Information

      Any inquiries about the Certified Access Specialist (CASp) Program to CASprogram@dgs.ca.gov

      Registration Opens for Joint Muni and Bart 18-Month Seniors Disabled Pilot Program




      The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which operates the Municipal Railway (Muni), and the Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) have announced the opening of registration for an 18-month joint pilot project to allow senior and disabled customers unlimited access to BART in San Francisco and all Muni transit services with the purchase of a single pass.
      Interested seniors and persons with disabilities may enter a drawing to participate. The first phase of the pilot will begin February 2010; the registration deadline for those who wish to participate is November 30.

      In order to participate in the pilot program, seniors and persons with disabilities must register for a random lottery by going to the SFMTA Web site at sfmta.com or by calling 311. The current Muni Adult Fast Pass® allows unlimited BART access within the City of San Francisco and all regular transit services offered by Muni. The Senior/Disabled Pass Pilot will assess the functionality, popularity and potential costs of implementing a similar program for senior and disabled Muni customers. The SFMTA and BART are working together to develop a pass for this purpose. If deemed successful, the pass could be added to TransLink®, the regional transit smart card (www.translink.org).

      To enter the first round of the lottery, a senior or disabled customer must register no later than November 30. Every six months during the pilot, 2,000 participants will be randomly selected to receive the Senior/Disabled Pilot Pass.

      Senior and persons with disabilities will be required to demonstrate eligibility or verify their age. Pilot participants will be required to carry the pass as well as a valid form of identification when using the pass.

      Thursday, October 15, 2009

      The News Links - October 15, 2009

      Streetsblog San Francisco: SFMTA must act quickly to convince merchants of parking plan’s benefits.



      San Francisco Chronicle: Newsom ads hit YouTube.



      Calculated Risk: Retail capitalization rates increase sharply in Q3.



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      Monday, October 12, 2009

      The News Links - October 12, 2009

      Matier & Ross: 'Wellness' issues & Migden running for District 10?



      NYT: A bounce? Indeed. A boom? Not yet.



      The New Yorker: Nobel Surprise



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      Friday, October 9, 2009

      The Great California Shake Out & Big Rumble - October 15, 2009




      On October 15, 2009 at 10:15 a.m., join other businesses and individuals in a statewide earthquake preparedness drill. Please click here for more information, and to register (no charge).

      The 10:15 a.m. drop, cover, hold drill on 10/15/09 is part of a week-long series of events, called The Big Rumble, designed to increase understanding of what to do when an earthquake occurs. Everyone is encouraged to:
      • Conduct a drop, cover and hold drill
      • Take an inventory of disaster supplies (see www.72hours.org for tips)
      • Update emergency and continuity of operations plans
      • Conduct an evacuation drill
      • Update family and business emergency notification rosters
      • Identify a relocation site for both work and home
      • Take pictures of your assets & make copies of important documents
      • Conduct a stay-in-place drill
      Participation in the Great California Shakeout & Big Rumble and implementing the above suggestions is an excellent way to follow up on BOMA San Francisco’s Emergency Preparedness workshop held on October 1st. The workshop discussed the essentials of emergency preparedness and the best practices and lessons learned from the Ferry Building evacuation drill conducted on August 19th. Both the Ferry Building drill and the workshop were produced by members of BOMA San Francisco’s Emergency Preparedness Committee—click here for more information (and emergency preparedness resources).

      If you’d like to get involved with this fast-growing and dynamic committee, please email John Bozeman, BOMA San Francisco's Legislative Assistant, at johnb@boma.com. The committee meets on the second Tuesday of every month from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the top (48th floor) of The Pyramid Center. Our next meeting will be on October 13th.

      Thank you for sharing this information with tenants and customers.

      The News Links - October 9, 2009




      WSJ: Office rents dive as vacancies rise.



      SF Examiner: Graffiti vandals, meet your new foe.



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      Thursday, October 8, 2009

      Governor Schwarzenegger's Finance Director Speaks at the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce About California Tax Reform


      Your BOMA San Francisco Advocacy Team attended a meeting held by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce yesterday to listen to Mike Genest, Governor Schwarzenegger's Finance Director, talk about the recent recommendations from the Commission on the 21st Century Economy on proposals to reform California's tax system.

      The Commission's recommendations are as follows:
      • Establish a business net receipts tax (BNRT) – Establish a new tax, not to exceed 4 percent, applied to the net receipts of businesses. Small businesses with less than $500,000 in gross annual receipts would be exempt from this tax. This tax would have a much broader base than the sales tax (since it would apply not only to goods but also to services and to sales into the state from businesses located outside the state) and, unlike the sales tax, be deductible against federal taxes.
      • Reduce Personal Income Tax (PIT) for every taxpayer – Reduce the number of tax brackets from six to two. The new tax rate would be 2.75 percent for taxable income up to $56,000 for joint filers ($28,000 for single) and 6.5 percent for taxable income above that amount. These changes would retain the PIT’s progressive nature but reduce income tax rates for all taxpayers. The proposal would reduce the amount of income tax paid by 29 percent.
      • Eliminate the corporation tax and minimum tax – Eliminate the corporate tax, which is currently at 8.84 percent. The $800 minimum franchise tax should also be eliminated.
      • Eliminate the state general purpose sales tax – Eliminate the current 5 percent state sales tax, with the exception of the sales tax on gas and diesel fuels which would continue to be dedicated to transportation. Elimination of the sales tax would phase in over five years.
      • Create an independent tax dispute forum – This forum would provide taxpayers with a forum for resolving disputes with the state.
      • Strengthen the state’s Rainy Day Reserve Fund – Increase the target for the reserve from 5 percent of revenues to 12.5 percent and restrict the government's ability to use reserve assets so that the reserve is available to help fund services during recessionary periods.
      These recommendations are of a statutory nature (with the exception of the strengthening of the Rainy Day Reserve Fund, which will require a change to the State Constitution or state ballot initiative), which means they may be made effective upon passage by a majority of the State Legislature and signature by the Governor.

      You can read the full report here.

      Wednesday, October 7, 2009

      Bay Area Council President and CEO Jim Wunderman Speaks to BOMA San Francisco GAPAC Members

      From left to right: Mary Lasher, Campaign Manager, Repair California; Susan Court, 2009 BOMA San Francisco GAPAC Chair, and Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council.





      Bay Area Council President and CEO Jim Wunderman spoke to BOMA San Francisco Government and Public Affairs Committee (GAPAC) members today about the Bay Area Council's (BAC) push for a Constitutional Convention in California via the Repair California campaign.

      The Council feels that the current system of governance in California has failed us. Once the envy of the world, we now have the worst schools in the nation; a crumbling infrastructure; a water crisis, and a legislature that is unable to pass a balanced budget on time.

      In short, California has lost it's luster on both the national and world stage as a place to do business. Now is the time for reform. Now is the time to Repair California.

      Repair California proposes two ballot measures: One to empower the people to call for a Constitutional Convention and the other to call for the Convention and set the process in place for convening it. The BAC is proposing a 'limited' Constitutional Convention, one that will only focus on issues such as:
      • Governance, including the structure of the legislative and executive branches of government, with the latter to include State agencies and commissions.
      • Elections, including the initiative and referenda processes, campaign finance, and term limits for state legislators.
      • The Budget, including the budget process and related requirements, such as the 2/3ds legislative vote required to pass a budget, the term and balancing of a budget, and mandated spending.
      • Revenue distribution, including the revenue relationship between local and state government.
      The BAC is in the process of finalizing these initiatives and will turn them into the Attorney General for Title and Summary in mid-to-late October. The next step will involve gathering signatures for both measures. Those will be turned in on approximately April 16, 2010. The two measures will then go to the people in the general election in November of 2010. The measures require passage by a simple majority of the voters. The Convention would be held in 2011, and their suggested reforms will be placed on the next statewide ballot.

      BOMA San Francisco would like to thank Mr. Wunderman for addressing the BOMA's Government and Public Affairs Committee. If you would like to become more involved in this historic effort please go to the Reform California website, or contact Mary Lasher at mlasher@repairclaifornia.org or call her at (415) 336-0822.

      Monday, October 5, 2009

      The News Links - October 5, 2009

      Sacramento Bee: Clinton's endorsement of Newsom a slap at Brown?



      SF Examiner: Feds, city haggle over cost of Treasure Island.



      Calculated Risk: Employment-population ratio, 10% unemployment, part time workers.



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      Apture