Voters across the state and region made their voices heard on Tuesday on a slate of measures that impact San Francisco Bay. From parks and water to transportation and land use, voters approved measures that will protect and enhance the Bay and rejected measures that posed a serious threat to the health of the Bay and Bay Area communities. Save The Bay Action Fund endorsed these measures for the benefits they will provide for San Francisco Bay and Bay Area residents. Here is a brief summary of the results:
In a big win for the Bay, voters overwhelmingly approved Prop. 68, the statewide parks and water bond, which includes $20 million for Bay wetlands restoration, adding to Measure AA funds. This will accelerate important work to increase wildlife habitat, improve water quality, protect communities against flooding, and enhance public access to the Bay shoreline. In all, the bond includes more than $4 billion to ensure clean drinking water, provide more equitable access to our state’s parks, and protect California’s open spaces against wildfires, drought, and floods.
Voters soundly rejected this effort to hamstring the state’s ability to spend its cap-and-trade revenue. The Legislature currently spends these funds each year on programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help communities most affected by pollution adapt to climate change. Prop. 70 would have locked up this revenue after 2024 unless the Legislature voted by two-thirds to release it – an unnecessary and burdensome hurdle to funding critical climate programs.
Voters easily passed this measure to incentivize rainwater capture and reuse. Encouraging rainwater storage and reuse is smart policy that benefits the Bay and all of California.
In this important region-wide race, voters approved RM3 to relieve Bay Area traffic, helping to reduce roadway and air pollution that threatens the health of the Bay and the air we breathe. Through a $3 regional bridge toll increase that will be phased in over six years, RM3 will fund critical public transit and highway improvements like replacing aging BART cars, improving Caltrain and Muni service, and easing freeway bottlenecks in the East Bay. These projects will help keep vehicles off the road, ensuring cleaner air and water for us all.
In a tremendous victory, San José voters rejected Measure B, which would have threatened the city’s open space, wildlife habitat, and creeks that feed the Bay. This was a deceptive attempt by developers to circumvent environmental and public review, skirt affordable housing requirements, and avoid paying millions in traffic and community impact fees. Voters also approved Measure C, which would have prevented the worst aspects of Measure B and now gives the San José City Council more power to reject future development proposals that promote sprawl and do not meet certain requirements on affordable housing, environmental review, and traffic impact fees. Save The Bay joined a grassroots effort that defeated Measure B, despite being massively outspent by developers.