I'm moving forward with a package of reforms to San Francisco's ballot measure system to make it more transparent and fair, based in part on the bipartisan reform recently adopted by the State Legislature for statewide measures.
The proposal will not reduce the ability of proponents to place measures on the ballot, whether through City Hall or via signature gathering. What it will do is allow proponents of ballot measures more flexibility to amend/fix the measures based on public feedback (after a public hearing and before signatures are gathered). The current system makes it hard or impossible for authors to fix flaws in their measures once they've submitted them. The goal is to allow authors the ability to make their measures as strong and well-drafted as possible before they go to the voters.
The proposal will also reduce the very significant fluctuations in the number of signatures required to place a measure on the ballot. Currently, the formula for determining number of signatures is based on the number of votes cast in the last mayoral election. That number can fluctuate wildly and is arbitrary. The formula should be based, instead, on the number of registered voters in the city. The goal isn't to increase the number of signatures required but rather to make the number more stable and thus fair.
Finally, the measure will require improved disclosure of donors to ballot measures.
I looks forward to a dialogue about these ideas.
Read more here at SFGate.