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San Francisco Voters Split on Arts-Friendly Propositions

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A line of voters in San Francisco's Mission District Tuesday. (Photo: Sheraz Sadiq/KQED)

San Francisco voters are split on the two arts-focused measures on the 2016 ballot.

Voters passed Proposition X with nearly 60 percent of the vote. The proposition requires developers, when demolishing a building for housing in the South of Market and Mission neighborhoods, to preserve space used as artist studios and by light industry.

“It’s a good moment for people who want this kind of neighborhood feeling and this culture here,” says Proposition X supporter Kevin McCracken, the co-founder of Social Imprints, a South of Market business that makes everything from branded water bottles to tote bags.

Meanwhile, at the time of writing on the afternoon of Wednesday Nov. 9, Proposition S was falling four points short of the two-thirds margin needed for passage. The measure, if it passes, would guarantee a share of the city’s hotel tax to arts groups and organizations working with homeless families. Co-sponsor Jon Moscone, chief of civic engagement at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, says the alliance of arts and homeless groups will endure regardless of the final outcome of the vote.

“We are a coalition whether we win this ballot or not,” Moscone says. “We have a strength of numbers, and we have a strength of voice, and we have more than 60 percent of San Francisco voters agreeing with us. And that’s a real number for supervisors and the mayor’s office to pay attention to. I think they’ll answer our phone calls and they’ll answer our door knocks, in a way that they may not have before.”

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Moscone adds that with 100,000 votes still to be counted, Proposition S supporters aren’t conceding yet. The San Francisco Department of Elections is expected to update its count later Tuesday.

KQED will post an update to this article as the story unfolds.

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