Thursday, April 22, 2021
Uncategorized Two sides of Democratic Party on Prop. B

Two sides of Democratic Party on Prop. B


Dem. State Chair John Burton is supporting Prop. B
Dem. State Chair John Burton is supporting Prop. B

By Tim Redmond

MAY 9, 2014 — Two different sides of the California Democratic Party: The San Francisco County Central Committee, which is run by the director of governmental affairs for the Board of Realtors, came out in opposition to Prop. B, the waterfront height initiative. But the head of the state Democratic Party, John Burton, just announced his support for the measure.

In a letter he sent out to voters, Burton noted:

 Forty-six years ago, I authored the “Burton Act” which gave San Francisco the responsibility to hold our waterfront in trust for the people of California. One of the intentions of the Burton Act was to ensure that San Francisco’s waterfront remained primarily for maritime and recreational use – not for a lot of high rise developments.  Today, I’m enthusiastically supporting Proposition B on the June ballot because it safeguards our waterfront even further by giving San Francisco voters the voice we deserve on waterfront development. Voting Yes on Prop B does one simple thing: it requires developers who want to raise waterfront height limits to get voter approval before they build.

That comes at the same time that the No on B campaign, funded almost entirely by the Building Owners and Managers Association ($10,000), the Chamber of Commerce ($10,000) and the Laborer’s Union ($10,000) is sending out email to a list created to oppose public power.

The Board of Realtors is the biggest donor to the SF Democratic Party slate card, which will say No on B.

For a major campaign that seeks to knock down a measure that started with probably 75 percent support in the polls, $30K is not a lot of money. So either some big donors are going to ante up really soon (absentee ballots are already arriving) or the opposition is going to be a little weak.

(Among the interesting tidbits here: An email that got sent out opposing Prop. B apparently went to a list that the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers collected in opposition to the last clean-power campaign.)

By the way, the Giants have already gotten the message: The team is meeting with former Mayor Art Agnos to talk about a more appropriate plan for the property across from AT&T Park. Which means this monstrosity will be likely altered – quite a bit.

Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.


  1. The NIMBYs oppose construction of anything anywhere and then wring their hands at the housing shortage. Hypocrites.

  2. Too bad that the appointees running the Port of San Francisco properties don’t recognize any “maritime use ” that isn’t tourism-based (cruise ships and wharf restaurants) or the odd luxury yacht.

  3. Wonder who stole that IBEW sign in list? There are those, and one in particular comes to n=mind, who steal those sign in sheets for their own nefarious purposes.

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