BUDGET LINE ITEM FOR POLICE SECURITY
Prop. E would make one simple tweak to the reporting requirements for San Francisco's annual city budget: a line-item on how much is spent on security for city officials and visiting dignitaries. As things stand, the amount the police department spends to protect people like, oh, say Mayor Gavin Newsom while he is crisscrossing the state campaigning for (lieutenant) governor is kept secret. That's information the public has a right to know. Vote yes.
RENTERS' FINANCIAL HARDSHIP APPLICATIONS
Prop. F would allow a tenant facing a rent increase to file a petition with the Rent Board claiming financial hardship. If the tenant was unemployed, or had his or her wages cut by 20 percent or more, or didn't get a cost of living increase in government benefits and was paying at least 33 percent of his or her income as rent, the rent hike would be delayed for 60 days pending a hearing. If the renter can establish hardship, the landlord would have to hold off on the increase until the tenant's employment or benefit situation improved. Few San Francisco landlords would be hurt by the delay in what are typically modest rent hikes — but a lot of tenants could avoid eviction. Vote yes.
TRANSBAY TRANSIT CENTER
Prop. G, a policy statement, became a moot point earlier this year, but it's still good for San Franciscans to affirm the city's support for bringing high-speed rail service downtown. The California High-Speed Rail Project is moving to create bullet train service from SF to downtown Los Angeles using bond money approved by voters in 2008. Even though that bond measure named the Transbay Terminal as the northern terminus of the first phase, some officials raised doubts about whether the downtown location was the best choice. That rail service was integral to plans for the transit center, which is currently being rebuilt, so the Board of Supervisors placed this measure on the ballot to support that choice. Earlier this month, the California High-Speed Rail Authority considered other alternatives and voted to stay with the Transbay Terminal. That's the right way to go; vote yes.