Monday, May 17, 2021
Arts + Culture Culture Big money didn't win in San Francisco

Big money didn’t win in San Francisco

The city's voters roundly rejected Uber and Lyft's Prop 22—though it won statewide—and elected a progressive majority Board of Supervisors, despite the Mayor's best efforts.


Most of the votes have been counted, and it appears that the Election Day votes are not much different from those cast early by mail, which means Election Day absentees will be the same too.

The big news in San Francisco last night is that the Big Money didn’t win.

Which means the pattern we have seen, held. Propositions F, I and L—the three major tax measures on the ballot—all passed. Prop. I—the plan to require major real estate owners to pay their fair share of taxes to the city, and which the Big Money attacked furiously—won handily.

Connie Chan narrowly won in D1. Dean Preston has clearly won in D5. Myrna Melgar won in D7. Ahsha Safai was be re-elected in D11.

That means the progressives will maintain their majority on the board, although possibly not the same eight-vote majority they (sometimes) had.

A measure that the mayor opposed to split up the Department of Public Works has passed easily.

The mayor announced on Election Day that her top priorities were electing Marjan Philhour in D1 (not happening right now), electing Vallie Brown in D5 (not going to happen), electing Joel Engardio or Melgar in D7 (Melgar won, the mayor’s second choice) and re-electing Safai (that’s happened.)

So she’s at 50 percent, more or less. Melgar in D7 will become an important swing vote on the board, particularly when it comes to electing a new board president in January.

A nice little note: While Uber and Lyft have won their measure to overturn state labor law, 60 percent of San Franciscans vote No on 22. Something for our local officials to consider when they think about regulating tech companies in the future.

For more of our election night coverage, check our election night feed, with updates from dozens of journalists on local, state, and national elections.

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. Pelosi has already announced her retirement in two years. My take on the national election for what it is worth is that most people don’t really trust either party completely . The odds were strongly in Biden’s favor and people don’t want full Democratic control of both Senate, Congress and Presidency so some split their vote. But what do I know, not much.

    2024 is the real ground shaking election, that is when Texas may turn blue – it almost happened. And try to think positively – Americans are electing a black lady from the. most liberal city in the most liberal state in the country to be VP. If that is not progress what is?

  2. Connie Chan narrowly won in D1.

    Well that’s patently untrue (So much for wishful thinking in lieu of responsible reporting.)

    Marjan Philhour is pulling ahead per last night’s RCV tabulations.

    Looks like Philhour could pull off a “Biden”!

  3. “Connie Chan narrowly won in D1. ”

    Not according to the Department of Elections. Their most recent ‘Preliminary Report 4 shows MARJAN PHILHOUR in the led by 45 votes.

  4. Not only did Prop 21 lose, but it exposed that SF voters are not firm supporters of rent control as it passed in the City with a razor thin margin, potentially inviting attempts to repeal rent control in the City.

    Not only did you get your way where the neoliberal sociopath beat the boor, but Pelsoi led her party to lose seats in the House during a presidential election where Democrats were allegedly mobilizing their base.

    For all of the “juice” that SF enjoys, the Speaker, both Senators and the Governor of CA, after the patronage network has been irrigated with cash, they call it a day and accept whatever Tripe Pelosi throws over the transom.

    In any real democracy, Pelosi would resign in disgust or be forced out of she clung to power, after leading her party to more losses than wins.

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