San Francisco Hetch Hetchy Reservoir Initiative, Proposition F (November 2012)
What the measure will do if it is approved is a subject that supporters and opponents do not agree on. Supporters say it will "restore" the Hetch Hetchy Valley. Opponents say it will "drain Hetch Hetchy."
The city's Ballot Simplification Committee held a hearing in early August to deliberate about how to describe the measure in its official ballot text. The language they chose uses the phrase "drain Hetch Hetchy" four times. Supporters of the measure plan to file a lawsuit to stop the city from using that language in the official ballot text. They say, "We believe these changes create a political bias against the measure, do not accurately reflect the language of the initiative, and mislead voters."
However, some aspects of what the measure would do are not in dispute. These include:
- It would require the city to spend up to $8 million on a study about whether to shut down the reservoir.
A group called "Restore Hetch Hetchy" supports the measure. Mike Marshall is the director of Restore Hetch Hetchy. He also leads the campaign to pass the measure. Marshall says, "The Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park is an American gem. It is one of the most extraordinary ecosystems in the world. Yosemite is one of the crown jewels of our park system, and it deserves to be whole."
- According to the San Francisco Examiner, "there is a united front of elected city officials opposing the measure."
- A group called "Save Hetch Hetchy" opposes the measure.
Path to the ballot
The measure earned its spot on the ballot through the collection of signatures on initiative petitions. 9,702 valid signatures were required for qualification purposes, and approximately 16,000 signatures were submitted.