San Francisco Board of Supervisors Allowed to Amend or Repeal Voter Initiatives, Proposition E (November 2011)
If Proposition E is approved, after the voters adopt an ordinance:
- For the first three years after a measure is approved, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors will not be able to amend it.
- For the next four years, the Board will be able to amend or repeal a measure with a 2/3 vote (8 Supervisors out of 11).
- After seven years, the measure will be amendable or repealable by a simple majority vote of the Board of Supervisors.
Proposition E does not apply to any past voter-approved measures. It will only apply, if it is approved, to ballot propositions approved in the future.
Proposition E was sponsored by San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener.
Wiener says that he sponsored Measure I because of the "two...most common questions" he gets as an elected official. Those two questions are:
- "Why do you make us vote on so many things?"
- "Why doesn't the Board of Supervisors do its job and pass legislation without asking us to pass it for you?"
Wiener says that San Francisco's ballot measure system has "many problems" and that Proposition E only solves one of them. Yet, he says, "reform starts with one small step." He also says that Proposition E will "create greater flexibility for our democratically elected government and enhance our ability to govern, while respecting the right of the voters to participate in the legislative process."
SPUR (the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association) supports Proposition E: ""Prop. E will encourage our legislators to legislate and allow San Francisco to make adjustments over time."
- Eileen Hansen, a former city ethics commissioner, is opposed to Proposition F. She says it should be difficult for city politicians to change voter-approved laws: ""Once the voters have spoken, politicians shouldn't be able to change the ballot measures without going back to the voters. To allow (ballot measures) to be undone slaps democracy in the face."
- The San Francisco Democratic Party is opposed, saying that Proposition E "allows politicians to repeal and gut laws passed by the voters. Politicians should not have the right to change what the voters have decided."
- Supervisor John Avalos: "I’m not sure what problem Supervisor Wiener is trying to solve with such a cumbersome piece of legislation. Democracy can be sloppy. I like my lunch to come naked. Like a reality sandwich."
- Calvin Welch, a housing activist in San Francisco, said that Proposition E is "simply be a repeal of one of the cornerstones of progressive politics in California."
The question on the ballot:
|PROPOSITION E: "Shall the City amend its Charter to allow the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor to amend or repeal initiative ordinances and declarations of policy that the Board of Supervisors or the Mayor place on the ballot and that the voters approve after January 1, 2012?"|
Path to the ballot
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 7-4 on Tuesday, July 19, to refer Proposition E to the November 8, 2011 ballot. The four supervisors who voted against referring Proposition E to the ballot were Eric Mar, Ross Mirkarimi, John Avalos and David Campos.
- San Francisco Chronicle, "Props. E, F let officials change laws voters pass", September 25, 2011
- Huffington Post, "A Start to Reforming Our Dysfunctional Ballot Measure System", August 5, 2011
- San Francisco Chronicle, "Supervisor seeks power to tweak ballot measures", May 27, 2011
- San Francisco Chronicle, "Chronicle recommends: Yes on S.F. Prop. E", October 3, 2011
- San Francisco Examiner, "Proposal would let supes repeal San Francisco ballot measures", April 5, 2011
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- San Francisco Appeal, "Measure Headed To Ballot Would Allow Supes To Amend Voter-Approved Ordinances", July 20, 2011