I've been forgetting to post something about it, but the Ballot Simplification Committee has been meeting this week, and will continue to meet next week. There are also deadlines tomorrow and Monday. Scroll down for details...
A bit more background. These meetings are worth attending. The committee decides on the language describing each measure on the ballot, and how a measure is worded can make a big difference in how people vote. There also tend to be few people present so they are fairly liberal on allowing public comment, letting you speak repeatedly on measures.
I went for a couple hours today and gave input on the language of the $310 million housing bond measure. There were no other members of the public present before the 5-member committee. Only a couple people from the mayor's office, who were of course there to advocate for the ballot language of his measure to be as favorable for passage as possible!
For instance, the mayoral aide who spoke in front of the committee tried to get them to remove the language about how any property tax increase could be passed through to tenants, claiming that (a) the measure is "exceedingly unlikely" to result in a tax increase because the property tax base is expected to grow, covering the cost of the bonds, and (b) there are tax waivers available for low income tenants, etc. Fortunately the committee members were unpersuaded by his arguments. They didn't make most of the changes I suggested either, but on one or two points I may have contributed to getting them to make some minor favorable changes in wording.
Anyway, as I said they are meeting several days next week, but first the deadlines for submitting any requests to reconsider the language they've adopted so far on measures where the deadline hasn't already passed.
Any proposed changes should be sent to the BSC's secretary, Barbara Carr <firstname.lastname@example.org>, by the following deadlines:
TOMORROW (Saturday 8/1), 1030am Deadline to email any requests for reconsideration of the draft language they've adopted for the Lobbyist Expenditures measure, before the language becomes finalized (basically, any changes you want to suggest they make)
TOMORROW (Saturday 8/1), 2pm Deadline to email Barbara Carr with any requests for reconsideration of the draft language they've adopted for the Surplus Lands measure (which is evidently back on the ballot).
MONDAY (8/3), 1pm Deadline to email Barbara Carr with any y requests for reconsideration of the draft language they adopted today for the Housing Bond measure.
Here is the page with links to the current language for the various measures, as well as a link to the schedule for when/where they are meeting next week (they meet in various rooms in City Hall), and other interesting info (who has submitted what proposed changes) -- http://www.sfgov2.org/index.aspx?page=4877
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))