DCCC Joins Quickly Growing Opposition to Cars-First Prop L

Prop L was slammed by the SF Democratic County Central Committee last night, via an almost-unanimous vote against endorsing the measure to “restore transportation balance” for motorists. The DCCC’s endorsements hold a lot of sway, and its resounding “no” vote on the measure was a key litmus test to see whether the Republican-backed measure would garner any sympathy from SF’s political establishment.

The SF Transit Riders Union’s Peter Straus testifies against Prop L at the DCCC. Photo: Thea Selby/SFTRU

All but one of the DCCC’s 32 members, which include six supervisors and a full roster of veteran SF office holders, voted against or abstained from endorsing the proposition. The only “yes” vote came from Carole Migden, formerly a senator, assemblywoman, and city supervisor. Current office holders who voted against it include Supervisors Malia Cohen, David Campos, Eric Mar, Scott Wiener, John Avalos, and David Chiu, as well as Senator Mark Leno. Supervisor London Breed also opposes it.

Cohen and Campos, who have criticized parking meter expansions and developments without parking, hadn’t made their positions on Prop L known until now. The only supervisors who have yet to weigh in are Katy Tang, Norman Yee, and Mark Farrell.

Mayor Ed Lee hasn’t spoken up on Prop L either, although it’s funded by one of his major campaign backers, tech billionaire Sean Parker.

The DCCC joins a quickly growing roster (listed below) of endorsements from influential people and organizations in SF. The DCCC also endorsed Prop A, the $500 million transportation bond measure, and Prop B, Supervisor Wiener’s measure to tie funding for Muni and safer streets to population growth.

No one from the public spoke in favor of Prop L at the DCCC meeting, but a dozen or so slammed it.

“If you have to drive, if you want to drive, if you find yourself behind the wheel, your best friend is the person who took Muni — not your parking place,” said one man. “San Francisco’s going to probably grow by about 200,000 people in the next 25 years. We don’t want half of those people, or any percent of those people, in cars.”

Here’s the full list of endorsements so far from the “No on L” campaign website:

Elected Leaders

Mark Leno, State Senator
David Chiu, President San Francisco Board of Supervisors
Eric Mar, San Francisco Board of Supervisors
Jane Kim, San Francisco Board of Supervisors
Scott Wiener San Francisco Board of Supervisors
John Avalos, San Francisco Board of Supervisors
David Campos, San Francisco Board of Supervisors
Alix Rosenthal, Vice-Chair, Democratic County Central Committee
Rafael Mandelman, Democratic County Central Committee
Hene Kelly, Democratic County Central Committee
Kelly Welsh Dwyer, Democratic County Central Committee
Matt Haney, Board of Education
Tom Radulovich, BART Board of Directors


CC Puede
San Francisco League of Conservation Voters
The San Francisco Building & Construction Trades Council
Potrero Hill Democratic Club
New Avenues Democratic Club
Walk SF
Livable City
SF Bicycle Coalition
SF Transit Riders

Individuals (* affiliations listed for identification purposes only):

Christina Olague, President, Latino Democratic Club*
Nicholas Josefowitz, former SF Commission on the Environment*
Bruce Agid, South Beach/Rincon/Mission Bay Neighborhood Association Board Member and Transportation Rep.*
Patrick Valentino, Vice President, South Beach | Mission Bay Business Association
Winston Parsons, Chairperson, GoGeary
Mónica Negra Mojina Guerra, Youth Program Coordinator
Paul Hogarth, Tenderloin Resident
Peter Gallotta, Geary Citizens’ Advisory Council*
Fran Taylor, CC Puede co-chair
Aliza Paz, Resident

  • 200,000 more people in SF…is that an accurate figure? If so, I think it’s safe to say we’re drastically underinvesting in transit, pedestrian travel, and bicycle facilities, and that “restoring balance” the way the Prop L supporters want would actually end up capsizing the ship.

  • Gezellig

    “If you have to drive, if you want to drive, if you find yourself behind the wheel, your best friend is the person who took Muni — not your parking place”

    Yes. This.


    Look how little auto traffic there is on Duboce in the background. Imagine if even a minority of those on transit, bike or foot in this scene instead were each in their own cars. It’d be gridlock.

    You’re welcome, drivers.

  • ladyfleur

    This is why people biking in the Netherlands all have bells. If they see someone walking up ahead that looks like they might not be paying attention, a ding-ding from a bike bell lets them know a bike is coming through. Works great and not loudly rude like a car horn.

  • Gezellig

    Yup! I used my bike bell fairly often in the NL. It really works well most of the time–if someone’s really out of it there’s always a “HEY” but that’s rarely needed.

    There are a few stretches near Centraal Station in Amsterdam with luggage-toting tourists streaming from the station to the nearby hotels not realizing they’re blocking a cycletrack, but again a bell and the ubiquity of bike traffic flow (much like in the Duboce vid) mostly fixes this:


    Occasionally it can get as bad as this–and what can ya do–but thankfully that’s not how it looks in most of the country most of the time:


  • 94103er

    It’s an extrapolation probably projecting (somewhat simplistically) from the estimate that the city will reach the 1 million mark by 2032. But not to say that’s unrealistic.

    And, yes, the ‘restoring balance’ turn of phrase is pretty mind-blowingly ironic given the city’s shameful underfunding of transit.

  • 94103er

    I’d take being stuck in a traffic jam with my kids in the bakfeits bucket over being stuck in my car w kids strapped into their car seats ANYDAY.


  • Gezellig

    Exactly! What’s so funny to me is the sensationalist tone that even the next-door Belgians (whose infrastructure is not nearly as bike-friendly and whose bike modeshare is much lower) have about all the supposed bike traffic jams in the Netherlands, like this Belgian “news” report very calmly and objectively entitled TOO MANY BIKES IN THE NETHERLANDS:

    Hahaha. Fox-News style stuff. Bike backups are really not *that* common, and when they happen they’re not THAT bad. Besides, every country has car traffic jams and as you point out a bike traffic jam is much less annoying than a car one–after all, the people in the backup pictured there are even smiling! 🙂

  • murphstahoe

    They’re just upset that Tom Boonen is fading away and the next generation of Dutch pros look more promising. And don’t get me started on the Czechs and the Slovaks.

  • Conor Johnston

    Aaron, since it didn’t come up through the Board, she’s not on DCCC, etc., there hasn’t yet been much of a public opportunity for Supervisor Breed to discuss Prop L. But as I hope anyone who knows her record can surmise, she obviously and unequivocally opposes it.

    I’m texting Peter Lauterborn to ask him to officially add her (and me) as No on L endorsers.

    Conor Johnston, Leg Aide to Sup. Breed


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