On Monday afternoon, housing activists delivered two boxes of signatures on a petition to San Francisco's Department of Elections, supporting a ballot measure that would place restrictions on the city's burgeoning short-term rental market.
The petition, which got almost 16,000 signatures, was sponsored by ShareBetter SF, a coalition concerned with the "wholesale conversion of housing units into illegal hotel accommodations," according to its website. It was delivered by Dale Carlson, co-founder of ShareBetter, and long-time housing activist Calvin Welch.
In October, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors attempted to regulate the rapidly growing short-term rental market, popularized by sites like AirBnb. It passed an ordinance allowing home sharers to offer their rentals for 90 days a year without being present, or 265 days a year if they are, and established a registration system for hosts.
But activists like Carlson don’t believe the board has adequately addressed the problem.
"Our forefathers gave us the right to go to the ballot when our elected officials were [held] captive by a special interest," he said. "That’s the case we have here, and that’s why we’re going to the ballot."