March 2024 Election Results: How Common Sense Won

Published March 25, 2024

March 2024 Election Results: How Common Sense Won

How Common Sense Won in March 2024

With 100% of the votes counted, we can officially declare the March 5th election a HUGE success. The leadership committee of the SF Democratic Party ("SF DCCC") is now controlled by a pragmatic, common sense majority, and voters supported ballot measures for building affordable housing, returning algebra to SF middle schools, and a set of improvements to policing and drug treatment policy.

The results make it clear that SF voters are frustrated and ready for change. They build on choices that voters have made over the last few years, including the School Board recall, the District Attorney recall, and the election of Supervisors Joel Engardio and Matt Dorsey.

At GrowSF, we're so proud of our program's contribution alongside our coalition partners' work. We put quality information first and distributed it via multiple channels (mail, video, and online), raised awareness of this below-the-radar election, and increased the size of the electorate.

Website voter guide191k impressions across 95k uniques
Direct mailMultiple pieces to 350k households
Video ads1.5m impressions across 545k uniques
Meta ads4.2m impressions to 800k uniques
Re-registered Democrats>1,300

There is still more to do. The ineffective status quo still controls the Board of Supervisors and won't give up without a fight. As we plan for November 5, we'll build on what we learned and double down on giving voters the best, most deeply researched information this fall.

Results at a Glance

Office/MeasureGrowSF PositionGrowSF Result
SF DCCCDems for Change18/24 ✅
Measure A - Affordable Housing BondYes70% ✅
Measure B - Cop TaxNo72% ✅
Measure C - Office/Resi ConversionYes53% ✅
Measure D - EthicsYes89% ✅
Measure E - Police Policies/ProceduresYes54% ✅
Measure F - Substance Dependence ScreeningYes58% ✅
Measure G - AlgebraYes82% ✅
State Senator, District 11Scott Wiener74% ✅
State Assembly Member, District 17Matt Haney82% ✅
State Assembly Member, District 19Catherine Stefani59% ✅
Judge of the Superior Court, Seat 1Chip Zecher38% ❌
Judge of the Superior Court, Seat 13Jean Roland45% ❌
Proposition 1 - Mental HealthYes73% ✅

Proposition 1 was a CA statewide measure; San Francisco returns included here.

How We Did It

We led with the facts rather than bombarding voters with partisan attacks.

Our strategy started with getting the best information to voters via our bilingual English and Chinese voter guide, in which we broke down each ballot proposition and published questionnaires on every candidate's policy positions. The majority of the guide comprised information, not opinion—our goal was to get high-quality information to voters so they could make their own decisions about the election.

We mailed our Chinese and English voter guides out to 350,000 households in a plain white envelope, staying away from the recycling-bound glossy flyers used by other campaigns.

Our web and print voter guides

We also saw a huge inflow of traffic to our online guide. We were proud to be one of the top results for terms like "sf voter guide" on Google. This contributed to driving nearly 100,000 unique visitors to the guide (or equivalent to nearly half the electorate!).

To increase awareness of this under-the-radar election, we ran image and video ads on outlets like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Hulu, and cable television to reach voters of all ages—almost eight million impressions altogether!).

Here are some of the videos we ran this election:

Carrie Barnes
How GrowSF Works
Michael Lai

Finally, we increased the pool of voters by re-registering over 1,300 No-Party-Preference voters as Democrats so they were eligible to vote in the DCCC election.

We won because we care about building a positive future for San Francisco—one where families and businesses can put down roots and grow.

And we did all this for just $850,000, a pretty small amount for a San Francisco election. GrowSF operates leanly because we do everything in-house, and because it's less expensive to deliver high-quality information than scare tactics and hyperbole.

Lessons Learned

We saw relatively low voter turnout in many areas of the city like the Outer Sunset, the Excelsior, and the Bayview. Every neighborhood deserves an equal say in the direction of the city, and we will work to increase voter turnout where it lags.

On the public communications front, following the election, many press outlets interpreted the clear signal from voters as a choice made along "moderate versus progressive" lines. In post-election coverage, they repeatedly asked questions like, is San Francisco still liberal? We think this is the wrong framing. The divide is between a city government that works and a city government that doesn't, and voters are choosing competence and accountability.

What's Next

There's still more work to do, but we're charging toward November with the wind at our backs. San Franciscans want a safe, clean, affordable, and vibrant city, and we'll keep delivering the information that helps them vote for a city that works.

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