SAN FRANCISCO – Mayor Willie Brown appeared in danger of losing his majority on the city’s Board of Supervisors Tuesday as voters vented their anger over the wrenching changes the Internet economy has brought to their city.
Proposition L, an office development ban aimed at curtailing Brown’s pro-growth policies, led narrowly with 92 percent of the precincts reporting: 51 percent of voters were in favor and 49 percent opposed.
Proposition K, a competing, less-stringent development moratorium proposed by Brown, was rejected by 61 percent of voters.
“Willie Brown’s candidates are going down. Prop K is going down horribly. Prop L looks like it’s going to win. People have had it and people really are taking back their city,” said Debra Walker, co-sponsor of Proposition L.
Brown, who had a 9-2 majority until now, lost ground to a slate of reform-minded challengers organized by Tom Ammiano, the board president whose failed campaign to unseat Brown last year galvanized a grassroots movement.
Ammiano handily won back his seat and five of his allies were leading. Gavin Newsom, a Brown supporter who was unopposed, was elected outright. Four other candidates Brown endorsed for the 11-member board were leading.
As many as nine of the races likely won’t be decided until runoffs on Dec. 12.
Proposition L, a growth-control measure put on the ballot after a signature drive, and Proposition K, a less-stringent alternative proposed by Brown, sought to rein in the city’s spiraling cost of living by limiting new developments blamed for gentrification. Brown’s allies spent almost no money promoting K, focusing on defeating L.
The other 16 propositions included one urging the Navy to speed its cleanup of the Hunters Point Shipyard and another that would promote an educational museum as an alternative to a Las Vegas-style development at Pier 45. Both measures were overwhelmingly approved.