scott fitsimones

A Simple Proposal to Fix San Francisco


Expand the board of supervisors from 11 to 13 and elect 2 supervisors using at-large elections.

If you aren’t sure why, read on.

The San Francisco of today is a city of paradoxes. In the best case, it can be a lab for progressive policies, like ranked choice voting and decriminalization of drugs that led to cultural booms like the Haight Ashbury era.

But under its progressive veneer, the Board of Supervisors, the governing body of San Francisco, is beholden to a small, vocal set of constituents, at the expense of what's best for the city at large. It’s why even the most progressive, self-proclaimed socialist Supervisor Dean Preston called to block a project that would have housed hundreds of homeless families, and why the Board in general blocks new housing.

SF Supervisors currently represent a small set of constituents, usually a few neighborhoods.

The proposal

I propose adding 2 at-large Supervisor seats that represent the entire City, in addition to the 11 that represent local districts.


  • Policies like more housing, especially affordable housing and rehabilitation centers are often politically costly. Most folks genuinely want to make housing more abundant and affordable in California - it's why on a citywide and state level, politicians are often very pro-housing. But on a hyper-local level, most people fear a new homeless shelter in their neighborhood and vote NIMBY on the local level.
  • Prior to 1977, SF supervisors were chosen at-large and during this period, the city built the majority of its dense housing, including its downtown core and subway system. In 1978, the first year that supervisors were elected on a districtlevel, the supervisors voted to “downzone”  San Francisco - making it illegal to build apartments and denser housing (that is often more affordable than single family homes) in most of the city, creating much of the housing crisis of today.