San Francisco is a progressive bastion, but it only narrowly supported 2020’s statewide referendum on rent control in California.
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For a second time, San Francisco narrowly rejected a youth voting referendum that would have allowed 16-year-olds to vote in local elections.
Local elections are typically dull, uninteresting affairs. For offices with minimal power, between candidates with little in the way of campaign infrastructure, very few voters usually pay attention to municipal races and often the elections end in uninteresting, low turnout landslides. Outside of New York and occasionally Chicago, elections for mayor are hardly noticed by the national media, and until recently, elections for district attorney were even less talked about. But in 2003, San Francisco was different. When the results were in, the city’s voters changed the course of modern American politics without even realizing it.