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Theatre Bay Area Rallies for SF Arts and Family Ordinance Act

Posted By TBA Staff, Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, July 20, 2016

By Tyler Jeffreys

On July 11, Theatre Bay Area staffers showed their support for the San Francisco Arts and Family Ordinance Act at a rally atop the steps of City Hall, along with representatives of dozens of other local organizations and citizens. The ballot measure, which seeks to relink San Francisco’s Hotel Tax to the arts and affordable housing, required only 9,500 signatures in order to win a place on the 2016 election ballot; the people of San Francisco submitted an incredible 16,000 signatures to City Hall, securing the measure a spot on the ballot for a direct vote this November. 


TBA staffers join the crowds at the rally for the San Francisco Arts and Family Ordinance Act, SF City Hall, Monday, July 11. Photo: Tyler Jeffreys

For those who haven’t heard of it, San Francisco’s Hotel Tax was created in 1961 to support the city’s arts industries, convention centers and low-income housing. Ten years ago, arts programs received 7.7% of the Hotel Tax’s revenues, but in 2013, the city repealed this specific allocation. Since then, Hotel Tax revenue has increased 135%—while local artists, arts organization and families struggle to make rent. The San Francisco Arts and Family Ordinance Act would restore funding for the arts and solutions to family homelessness from Hotel Tax revenue, increasing to 6.6% beginning in 2017 and 7.5% in 2020. At a time when local artists are refraining from taking auditions or jobs in San Francisco because of the high expense of being in the city, an increase in Hotel Tax revenues distributed to arts programs would go a long way toward keeping San Francisco’s culture and character alive and thriving.


 Executive director Brad Erickson on
the steps of City Hall for the San
Francisco Arts and Family Ordinance
Act on July 11. Photo: Tyler Jeffreys

 Jonathan Moscone, chief of civic engagement at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, speaking at the rally on Monday, July 11. Photo: Tyler Jeffreys

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obtaining the necessary signatures was only the first step to getting the Act passed; the bill will need a two-thirds majority vote this November. TBA is a part of the coalition to support the campaign, which has approximately three months left to gather close to $1 million. TBA executive director Brad Erickson says, “We need everyone to do what they can, if that means individual artists giving five bucks or theatre companies giving 50.” You can donate to the San Francisco Arts and Family Ordinance Act campaign here


Most of all, TBA urges all members to go out and vote “yes” on the San Francisco Arts and Family Ordinance Act on November 8. The full text of the San Francisco Arts and Family Ordinance Act initiative can be found here.

 

Tyler Jeffries is a communications intern at Theatre Bay Area.

 

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