ReimagineSF

San Francisco-area students: how would you change the law. Win $1,000. Make an impact.

Reimagine SF from Supervisor Mark Farrell on Vimeo.

How would you improve the laws of San Francisco? This is your chance to redesign the rules of the city, and earn a shot at a $1,000 scholarship. Here's how it works:

  1. Imagine A Better San Francisco: Think about what you like best - and like least - about living in San Francisco. Odds are, there's a law to match. How would you fix what you don't like, or build on what you do? Sky's the limit.
  2. Find the Laws You Care About: Now that you have a vision for improving city life, visit SanFranciscoCode.org. Browse and search through the laws to find what you care about most.
  3. Read, React, ReimagineSF: Read the laws. Decide how you'd improve them. Post your changes to each law right at the bottom of the page using Disqus. Your ideas will go straight to the Board of Supervisors for action. The top suggestions will be collected right here.
  4. Tell Your Friends to Upvote: Share a link to your ideas with your friends, family, and the world. Ask them to upvote your idea, or leave a comment in support. That makes your idea float to the top, which is where you want to be to win a $1,000 scholarship.

San Francisco Supervisor Mark Farrell will select the 5 best ideas, turn each into actual legislation, then put them to the Board of Supervisors for a vote. Oh, and those 5 student-legislators will each earn $1,000 for school. Make an impact. Win a scholarship. ReimagineSF.

Top Comments

  1. Avatar for P00dy
    GARAGES. (§ 603)

    Actually I think just about everything DONE in San Fransisco is about being liberal. Have you ever been there? Lived there? I have. San Fransisco is a Liberally based City and that is undisputed by everyone. This law isn't designed for anyone's freedom. It is about restraint and compliance.

    • 13 0
  2. Avatar for Matt Barile
    GARAGES. (§ 603)

    Yes they are, my complex allows it. I'm in houston.

    • 6 0
  3. Avatar for Rebecca Osterhage
    GARAGES. (§ 603)

    THIS IS DIFFERENT......of course they should not use the space as a shop to do noisy construction. Simple storage that still allows the car to park and is NOT a nuisance to neighbors should not be infringed!

    • 2 0
  4. Avatar for Resdya Darkwatch
    GARAGES. (§ 603)

    Gas cans dont belong in the garage? Should they be kept in the living room? What about tools for maintaining these automobiles? I personally would hate to have a private garage for my car and not have my tools in it. if they are talking about a parking garage type place then why would you store random crap in the open. This sounds to me too much like butting in to private matters, and sounds like a violation of the constitutional rights. In fact the federal code defines extortion as use of threats or force or violence to take or control private property or matters.....

    • 2 0
  5. Avatar for NotURaverageJoe
    GARAGES. (§ 603)

    Since the law was written vaguely. What about homes converted into apartments and the landlord allows as part of the rent to have tenants store their stuff in the garage? Will this law apply to them?

    • 1 0
  6. Avatar for Cooper Veit
    USE OF LASER POINTERS BY MINORS PROHIBITED (§ 4803.)—San Francisco Decoded

    I think only properly marked lasers with energy outputs of less than five Mw should be allowed and improper use of the devices should be punishable by pecuniary fine. This would greatly lessen the danger without preventing children from properly using the pointer.

    • 1 0
  7. Avatar for Cooper Veit
    CERTAIN ATHLETIC ACTIVITIES PROHIBITED (§ 11.02.)—San Francisco Decoded

    No kite-flying, football, or baseball in Yerba Buena? I can see why fast space-taking activities like rollerblading and bike riding are prohibited, but recreation is much of the reason we have Yerba Buena. Team sports and stationary single-person activities should be allowed, increasing fitness and happiness of residents at minimal expense of others.

    • 1 0
  8. Avatar for Cooper Veit
    CATS MUST BE ON LEASH OR IN TRANSPORT BOX (§ 5.03.)—San Francisco Decoded

    Domestic cats in a park have to be on leash or in a box? I think cat owners deserve to let their cats off leash in their public parks. This takes keeping your pet on a short leash to a new level. I know that cats require less freedom and running space than dogs, but to prohibit their free movement in a public park seems unnecessary. This law should be revised to allow cats to run free for a limited amount of time. I doubt many cat owners follow this law in its current wording.

    • 1 0
  9. Avatar for Cooper Veit
    DISTRIBUTION OF HANDBILLS ON PRIVATE PREMISES (§ 184.70.)—San Francisco Decoded

    I think there should be stronger enforcement of this useful law. I have walked streets in the city where wind-blown handbills ruin the otherwise clean street. Similarly, if more people knew about the bindingness of a "No Handbills" sign there would be less paper waste. In my opinion the department should advertise ways to "unsubscribe" to handbills and harshly punish repeat improper-handbill-placement offenders. As I write this I am making my family a "No Handbills" sign!

    • 1 0
  10. Avatar for Cooper Veit
    PLACEMENT AND MAINTENANCE OF LITTER RECEPTACLES (§ 173.)—San Francisco Decoded

    In my opinion more than businesses should be required to have enough waste receptacles (as Liana Derus pointed out, a three-bin system is optimal). Any public area with more than 1,000 visitors a day, for example the litter-strewn Ocean Beach, should have to offer adequate trash receptacles. I understand collecting trash is costly, but it would require far less man-hours than volunteers currently expend on clean-up operations.

    • 1 0
  11. Avatar for Cooper Veit
    REGULATIONS (§ 3704.)—San Francisco Decoded

    The Trans Fat Free Restaurant Program seems obsolete now that trans fats are illegal on the national scale. Trans fats are dead in the city, so requiring businesses to pay 250 dollars to display a seal in the window seems unnecessary. It is like offering to let restaurants have a seal in their window testifying that they do not serve arsenic... redundant.

    • 1 0
  12. Avatar for Cooper Veit
    HANDLING OF CLOTHES (§ 359.)—San Francisco Decoded

    I am willing to bet that a significant percentage of city hotels offer laundry services as well as serving food. I was unaware that these two functions could not coexist in a building. I think this law would benefit if the wording was changed so rooms, apartments, dwellings, basements, and cellars were covered but not buildings in general. m

    • 1 0
  13. Avatar for Cooper Veit
    UNLAWFUL ACTS (§ 352.)—San Francisco Decoded

    In the city you need a permit for a jukebox? Electric music devices are not a nuisance in San Francisco. It seems a waste of taxpayer cash to have to certify and approve all electric music devices.

    • 1 0
  14. Avatar for Cooper Veit
    USE OF LASER POINTERS BY MINORS PROHIBITED (§ 4803.)—San Francisco Decoded

    A minor cannot own a laser pointer or operate the device unless directly supervised? I see kids in my class with laser pens and I used to own a Nerf gun with a light laser on the end. This law should have sharper definitions of a harmful laser, not simply banning all laser pointers.

    • 1 0
  15. Avatar for Natalia
    DEATH BENEFIT (§ A8.584-5)—San Francisco Decoded

    Would the spouse still qualify for retiree's benefits if they were domestic partners in 1987, prior to the enactment of a domestic partnership registry?

    • 0 0
  16. Avatar for Bob
    BITING DOGS (§ 41.5.1.)—San Francisco Decoded

    I've just found this site by accident. I've randomly clicked 'down into' this particular law and started reading a bit. Didn't read the whole thing but dropped down to your comment.

    Agreed. And if the re-training doesn't work then the dog should be turned on the owner right before putting them down. After all, it IS the fault of the owner that the dog is being put down in the first place. You could actually say that the dog, 'was driven to bite', by it's owner.

    The ONLY reason animals become 'mean and ugly' is because of the way they were raised. I personally think it has nothing to do with genetics.

    Didn't someone say "nothing is sweeter than revenge before death"?

    I HATE animal abuse.

    • 0 0
  17. Avatar for Mark (MarkusGarvey) Estrada
    GARAGES. (§ 603)

    hahaha...It only applies to Apartment and hotel garages!...manufactured outrage...

    • 0 0
  18. Avatar for Cameron Johnson
    GARAGES. (§ 603)

    You are mostly correct, except in the line where it says "Private and Public".

    It seems to be written to protect the owner of said garage from having the renter pile up anything in their garage. It's loosely worded, and my guess is that is intentional.

    • 0 0
  19. Avatar for Ryan
    GARAGES. (§ 603)

    This has nothing to do with your private garage attached or next to your house. It has to do with parking garages at apartments and hotels. I.E. Communal Garages. Do you know the difference between a parking garage and your personal garage? Apparently not.

    Do you want to see this?

    http://www.bellaorganizing.com...

    Random piled all over inside one of these?

    http://sftodo.com/blog/wp-cont...

    • 0 0
  20. Avatar for Julius Henry
    GARAGES. (§ 603)

    "Automobiles" only, huh? Why not motorcycles/scooters?
    Why wouldn't careless dangerous people that your hoping to stop with this assine law just store there dangerous oil and gas cans IN their car IN the garage......actually creating a greater hazard? SMH

    • 0 0
  21. Avatar for Concerned Citizen
    COMMERCIAL VEHICLE PARKING IN CERTAIN DISTRICTS (§ 7.2.84.)—San Francisco Decoded

    Commercial trucks are parking in our neighborhood in violation of at least 2, sometimes 3 different laws. One must call the police department non-emergency line to report the breaking of one law, one number at DPT to report the breaking of the second law, and another number at DPT to report the breaking of the third law (if reported through 311 or the internet, too much time elapses and the vehicles are moved before any enforcement can occur). We should be able to call one single DPT number for enforcement of all such parking violations.

    The owners of the vehicles that are creating the problem are repeat
    offenders that scoff at the laws because they know that 9 times out of 10 they will be able to move the vehicles before enforcement arrives, and the worst penalty seems to be an inexpensive citation. There should be increasing penalties for repeated offenses, penalties that would increase the financial burden to a point that would discourage the illegal activity.

    First, the vehicles are in violation of Sec. 7.2.81 Parking of
    Vehicles for Commercial Advertising Purposes. DPT says the police must respond to complaints about this sort of offense. This is a very low priority for the police and should be enforceable by DPT.

    Second, the vehicles are in violation of Sec. 7.2.29 Parking
    Prohibited for more than 72 Hours. DPT responds to complaints about this sort of offense by tagging the vehicle and giving it 72 hours to move. This is in addition to the 72 hours that probably already elapsed before the complaint, which offers no incentives for the
    violators to move the vehicle sooner. Any commercial vehicle parked in a residential area should be chalked by any DPT personnel who sees it, and if it is still there after one hour and not observed in activity (per the limitation in Sec. 7.2.84 - see below), the vehicle should receive a citation for that violation plus be tagged with the 72 hour notice.

    Once other truck owners see the advertising trucks parked in
    the neighborhood, they feel free to park here as well. Sometimes these are larger trucks that park in violation of Sec. 7.2.84 Commercial Vehicles Parking in Certain Districts. This law applies to vehicles over 10,000 lbs, and one must call a different number at DPT to complain about violations. The weight limit in this section should be reduced to cover any commercial vehicle larger than a typical pickup truck.

    In summary, these three sections of code should be better
    coordinated to address the problems that are happening in our neighborhoods, and enforcement should be available by calling one single number.

    The penalties for repeat offenders should be graduated from a
    punitive ticket amount for the first offense, doubled for each succeeding offense up to five, removal of the vehicle license for the sixth offense, and seizure of the vehicle for the seventh. If the vehicle owners will scoff
    at these civic laws, perhaps they scoff at others as well. Perhaps the
    companies that own the vehicles should have their business licenses
    suspended for repeated violations and be examined for other illegal practices.

    Our neighbors note that when the trucks remain, grafitti vandalism and car break-ins increase.

    Thank you for your help in getting the existing laws coordinated so that they can be enforced for the benefit of our quality of life and reduction of other crimes in our neighorhood!

    • 0 0
  22. Avatar for Concerned Citizen
    PARKING PROHIBITED FOR MORE THAN 72 HOURS (§ 7.2.29.)—San Francisco Decoded

    Commercial
    trucks are parking in our neighborhood in violation of at least 2, sometimes
    3 different laws. One must call the police department non-emergency line
    to report the breaking of one law, one number at DPT to report the
    breaking of the second law, and another number at DPT to report the
    breaking of the third law (if reported through 311 or the internet, too
    much time elapses and the vehicles are moved before any enforcement can
    occur). We should be able to call one single DPT number for enforcement
    of all such

    parking violations.

    The owners of the vehicles that are creating the problem are repeat
    offenders that scoff at the laws because they know that 9 times out of 10
    they will be able to move the vehicles before enforcement arrives, and the
    worst penalty seems to be an inexpensive citation. There should be increasing
    penalties for repeated offenses, penalties that would increase the
    financial burden to a point that would discourage the illegal activity.

    First, the vehicles are in violation of Sec. 7.2.81 Parking of
    Vehicles for Commercial Advertising Purposes. DPT says the police must respond
    to complaints about
    this sort of offense. This is a very low priority for the police and
    should be enforceable by DPT.

    Second, the vehicles are in violation of Sec. 7.2.29 Parking
    Prohibited for more than 72 Hours. DPT responds to complaints about this
    sort of offense by tagging the vehicle and giving it 72 hours to move. This is in addition to the 72 hours that
    probably already elapsed before the complaint, which offers no incentives for the
    violators to move the vehicle sooner. Any commercial vehicle parked in a
    residential area should be chalked by any DPT personnel who sees it, and if
    it is still there after one hour (per the limitation in Sec. 7.2.84 - see
    below), the vehicle should receive a citation for that violation plus be
    tagged with the 72 hour notice.

    Once other truck owners see the advertising trucks parked in
    the neighborhood, they feel free to park here as well. Sometimes these are larger trucks that park in
    violation of Sec. 7.2.84 Commercial Vehicles Parking in Certain
    Districts. This law applies to vehicles over 10,000 lbs, and one must
    call a different number at DPT to complain about violations. The
    weight limit in this section should be reduced to cover any commercial vehicle
    larger than a typical pickup truck.

    In summary, these three sections of code should be better
    coordinated to address the problems that are happening in our neighborhoods,
    and enforcement should be available by calling one single number.

    The penalties for repeat offenders should be graduated from a
    punitive ticket amount for the first offense, doubled for each succeeding offense
    up to five, removal of the vehicle license for the sixth offense, and
    seizure of the vehicle for the seventh. If the vehicle owners will scoff
    at these civic laws, perhaps they scoff at others as well. Perhaps the
    companies that own the vehicles should have their business licenses
    suspended for repeated violations and be examined for other illegal practices.

    Our neighbors note that when the trucks remain,
    grafitti vandalism and car break-ins increase.

    Thank you for your help in getting the existing
    laws coordinated so that they can be enforced for the benefit of our quality
    of life and reduction of other crimes in our neighorhood!

    • 0 0
  23. Avatar for Concerned Citizen
    PARKING OF VEHICLES FOR COMMERCIAL ADVERTISING PURPOSES (§ 7.2.81.)—San Francisco Decoded

    Commercial
    trucks are parking in our neighborhood in violation of at least 2, sometimes
    3 different laws. One must call the police department non-emergency line to
    report the breaking of one law, one number at DPT to report the breaking of
    the second law, and another number at DPT to report the breaking of the third
    law (if reported through 311 or the internet, too much time elapses and the
    vehicles are moved before any enforcement can occur). We
    should be able to call one single DPT number for enforcement of all such parking
    violations.

    The
    owners of the vehicles that are creating the problem are repeat offenders that
    scoff at the laws because they know that 9 times out of 10 they will be able to
    move the vehicles before enforcement arrives, and the worst penalty seems to be
    an inexpensive citation. There
    should be increasing penalties for repeated offenses, penalties that would
    increase the financial burden to a point that would discourage the
    illegal activity.

    First,
    the vehicles are in violation of Sec.
    7.2.81 Parking of Vehicles for Commercial Advertising Purposes. DPT
    says the police must respond to complaints about this sort of offense. This is
    a very low priority for the police and should be enforceable by DPT.

    Second,
    the vehicles are in violation of Sec.
    7.2.29 Parking Prohibited for more than 72 Hours. DPT responds to
    complaints about this sort of offense by tagging the vehicle and giving it 72
    hours to move. This is in addition to the 72 hours that probably
    already elapsed before the complaint, which offers no incentives for the
    violators to move the vehicle sooner. Any commercial vehicle parked in a
    residential area should be chalked by any DPT personnel who sees it, and if it
    is still there after one hour (per the limitation in Sec. 7.2.84 - see below),
    the vehicle should receive a citation for that violation plus be tagged with the
    72 hour notice.

    Once
    other truck owners see the advertising trucks parked in the neighborhood, they
    feel free to park here as well. Sometimes these are larger trucks that park in violation of Sec.
    7.2.84 Commercial Vehicles Parking in Certain Districts. This law
    applies to vehicles over 10,000 lbs, and one must call a different number at DPT
    to complain about violations. The
    weight limit in this section should be reduced to cover any commercial vehicle
    larger than a typical pickup truck.

    In
    summary, these three sections of code should be better coordinated to address
    the problems that are happening in our neighborhoods, and enforcement should be
    available by calling one single number.

    The
    penalties for repeat offenders should be graduated from a punitive ticket amount
    for the first offense, doubled for each succeeding offense up to five, removal
    of the vehicle license for the sixth offense, and seizure of the vehicle for the
    seventh. If the vehicle owners will scoff at these civic laws, perhaps they
    scoff at others as well. Perhaps the companies that own the vehicles should
    have their business licenses suspended for repeated violations and be examined
    for other illegal practices.

    Our neighbors
    note that when the trucks remain, grafitti vandalism and car break-ins
    increase.

    Thank
    you for your help in getting the existing laws coordinated so that they can
    be enforced for the benefit of our quality of life and reduction of other crimes
    in our neighorhood!

    • 0 0
  24. Avatar for opengovfoundation
    MINIMUM WAGE (§ 12R.4.)—San Francisco Decoded

    Thanks for the suggestion, Cooper!

    • 0 0
  25. Avatar for Cooper Veit
    MINIMUM WAGE (§ 12R.4.)—San Francisco Decoded

    I know this idea is a little radical and a long shot, but I think San francisco should set an example for the world and raise its minimum wage to ten dollars and let inflation automatically raise it from there far into the future. A living wage would make our city more livable at minimal expense of small businesses. Corporations like Subway (whose CEO supports a raise in the minimum wage) should not be allowed to pay their employees so little that taxpayers have to pony up the rest of the money needed to let working people survive through welfare and emergency room costs. The City is currently two cities, one of the well-off and one of the poor. Service industry workers need a slightly larger slice of our GDP.

    • 0 0
  26. Need Help? Questions? Suggestions?

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    About ReimagineSF

    San Francisco-area students have a stake in our city but too often don't have a voice. Together, we can fix that. Just like SF resident Gary Rabkin fixed a dumb bike law.. Giving young San Francisco residents the chance to have a say in city government is what ReimagineSF is all about. The ReimagineSF Civic Engagement Scholarship is brought to you by Supervisor Mark Farrell and The OpenGov Foundation. Please read the contest rules, terms and conditions.

    About SanFranciscoCode.org

    SanFranciscoCode.org, part of the America Decoded network, is the first Internet-Age edition of the city's municipal code, running 100% open-source software and fueled by 100% open law data. Learn more.