A Transit Riders' Association for San Francisco
P.O. Box 190966
San Francisco, CA 94119-0966


Hotline: (415) 273-1558
Email:
board at rescuemuni.org
Web:
http://www.rescuemuni.org
FOR RELEASE 2:00 P.M.
JUNE 14, 1999


Contacts:
Andrew Sullivan
Chairman, Steering Committee / Chief Spokesperson
(415) 673-0626
andrew@sulli.org

Daniel Murphy
Vice-Chair, Steering Committee
(415) 665-4074
daniel@well.com

Rescue Muni/SPUR/EOC Leaders Win City Hall Backing for Strong Muni Reform Measure

Rescue Muni, SPUR, and the Environmental Organizing Committee announced today that City Hall leaders, after months of negotiation, are backing the principles for strong Muni reform articulated in the Muni Reform Charter Amendment.

“This is a great day for Muni,” said Rescue Muni chair Andrew Sullivan. “Today we have tough, enforceable service standards. We have merit pay. We limit unexcused absences in the charter. We protect Muni’s budget and we strengthen the city’s Transit First policy. All of the principles we’ve articulated for the last year are part of the final text. We’re very happy.”

“Over and over again, we were told this was impossible. You can’t put service standards in the charter. You can’t have real accountability at Muni,” said Rescue Muni vice chair Daniel Murphy. “But today that’s exactly what we have. At long last, City Hall understands that fixing Muni requires strong medicine. I never thought City Hall would endorse radical reform, but our signature drive convinced them that the public wanted something real.”

“We wanted real reform. City Hall wanted a single ballot measure. It looks like we’ve accomplished both goals,” said Sullivan. “We’re optimistic that we’ll have six votes when the Board of Supervisors votes on this measure.” If the board approves the measure, it will appear on the November 1999 ballot.

The Muni Reform campaign thanked Supervisor Gavin Newsom for being the first elected official to back their measure, and for his help in winning support for the measure at City Hall. “Supervisor Newsom stood by Muni’s beleaguered passengers right from the start,” said Murphy. He understood how angry people were about lousy Muni service, and he supported real reform before anyone else.”

“San Franciscans don’t want Muni to be a more efficient failure; they want it fixed. Now. They’re tired of band-aid solutions that don’t deliver,” said Newsom. “It took a long time to persuade everyone, but this is the real thing.”

The campaign also thanked Supervisors Tom Ammiano and Michael Yaki for contributing to today’s consensus plan. “President Ammiano got the ball rolling by bringing the parties together in his office, working through the issues that divided us,” said Sullivan. “Supervisor Yaki did a terrific job of helping close the deal, and in strengthening the substance of the legislation. Thanks to him, we have an even stronger plan today than the one we’ve been circulating on the street.”

The campaign also thanked Chief Deputy City Attorney Jonathan Holtzman and Controller Ed Harrington for helping craft a strong, meaningful Muni reform measure. They also praised Mayor Willie Brown and mayoral aide Steve Kawa for help in moderating the negotiations that led to the consensus measure. Special thanks were extended to attorney and SPUR member Michael Wilmar, who led the drafting of the Rescue Muni/SPUR/EOC measure circulated for signatures.

Rescue Muni is a transit riders association for San Francisco founded in 1996 by Muni riders who believed that Muni service needed improvement. Earlier this year, they collaborated with SPUR (San Francisco Planning and Urban Research) on the drafting of a charter amendment to reform Muni. Together with EOC (Environmental Organizing Committee), they formed San Franciscans for Muni Reform, a campaign committee working to qualify and pass the Muni Reform Charter Amendment.


Frequently Asked Questions About the Consensus Agreement

Q: Why did the Rescue Muni/SPUR/EOC leadership agree to the consensus measure rather than go forward with their petition drive?

A: The campaign felt that the measure generated in the City Hall negotiations was stronger and more specific than the text circulated by petition. For example, service standards are backed up by a stronger merit pay provision in the consensus measure.

Q: What happens to the petition drive now?

A: As of 2:00 p.m. on Monday, June 14th, the campaign is asking its volunteers to cease collection of signatures. Volunteers should turn in to the campaign any signatures they’ve collected so far, but should not collect additional signatures. The campaign fully expects the Board of Supervisors will approve the consensus agreement, but will be prepared to restart signature gathering if it does not.

Q: What is in the final draft? What does it do?

A: See the attached analysis by Beryl Magilavy for detailed information on the substance of the measure. All the central principles of the Rescue Muni/SPUR/EOC charter amendment are intact:


Q: Who represented the campaign in the negotiations?

A: Andrew Sullivan (Rescue Muni), Daniel Murphy (Rescue Muni), Jim Chappell (SPUR), Gabriel Metcalf (SPUR), and Beryl Magilavy (EOC). Rescue Muni co-founder Ken Niemi joined earlier negotiations held by Board of Supervisors President Tom Ammiano.

Q: When was this agreement reached?

A: Tentative agreement was reached Friday night, but agreement on final text did not materialize until today.


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Posted 6/14/99.