Alternatives to Green Benefit Districts
Additional enhancement projects and services can be paid on a “per project” basis by people who are for such enhancements. The two tile steps going up to Grandview Park are examples. Such funding would allow people to pay more, less or not at all based on their ability to pay and how much they want to have the project or service happen. This funding would also allow non-property owners (tenants) to participate or businesses to sponsors them. Currently proposed Green Benefit Districts are funded only by property owners through a forced assessment regardless of a property owner’s ability to pay or how worthwhile they deem the additional, enhanced projects and services to be. These projects are additional but not necessary.
Projects and services could be funded similar to “Go Fund Me” or “Kickstarter”. People could pledge a range they are willing to pay for a proposed project or service. If enough money is raised the project and service would be a go. By having a range of willingness to pay, the more people willing to support a project or service, then the cost can go down for all, even if their contribution amounts may differ. Similarly a small group or one person, willing to pay the total, can see a project or service through. Depending on the project and service, there may need to be city or neighborhood approval. Funds could go directly to the project builder or service provider or through a non-profit.
Advocacy for city issues or services can be done via mass lobbying. Nothing gets politicians to respond better than their constituents coming to them in mass about something either through letters, e-mails, phone calls, or in person. Organized voters have great power. Both pay per project and voter lobbying of elected officials are a form of direct democracy.
Example of How a "Paid per Project" Could Work
This example is taken from the proposed ISGBD Vision Plan. It needs more detail.
Improve the existing community gathering space at the Farmers’ Market parking lot on 9th Ave. This project would involve cleaning, minor infrastructure upgrades to support events, and aesthetic enhancements.
The Bartlett Street/Mercado Plaza project is located between 21st & 22nd St in San Francisco’s Mission District. This comprehensive streetscape redesign created a new, flexible public space: the block functions as a slow speed street with parking most days, but can also facilitate a variety of community events and programs, including a weekly farmers’ market.
To learn more, visit: https://www.sfpublicworks.org/bartlett