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My Policy Work
This week, I introduced legislation to regulate and create a permitting system for commercial dogwalkers who use city property, including parks. The legislation would require commercial dogwalkers to obtain a permit, receive training, follow safe practices for dog care, and limit the number of dogs they walk at one time to 7. Dogwalkers provide an invaluable service to San Francisco, helping many of the estimated 1/3 of households with dogs care for their dogs and exercise them. We need to promote this service while ensuring that it’s being provided in a professional and safe manner. In crafting the legislation, I worked closely with the SPCA, Animal Care & Control, the Recreation and Park Department, several dogwalker professional associations, several dog owner groups, and the Neighborhood Parks Council. I’m looking forward to continued dialogue on this legislation as it moves through the process. For coverage of the legislation, click here.
Parking Lot Safety at Night and Near Nightclubs
There’s been a lot of news coverage of the periodic violence that occurs in and around nightclubs. The City has worked hard to promote responsible management by nightclub owners, most of whom run safe operations with a small minority acting irresponsibly. What hasn’t been reported as much is that some of the violence attributed to nightclubs actually occurs in parking lots near those clubs. These lots are frequently open late at night but unattended and poorly lit. They can provide an environment for criminal activity, including violence. To address this issue, I’m sponsoring legislation, along with Supervisor David Chiu and City Attorney Dennis Herrera, to improve nighttime safety in parking lots. These lots, in obtaining permits, will have to submit a safety plan that addresses issues like lighting and visibility. Moreover, lots that are within 1,000 feet of a nightclub will have to be staffed until 3 a.m. More information here.
Scott at the parking lot safety press conference
with Supervisor David Chiu and City Attorney Dennis Herrera
Adjusting to the Influx of State Prisoners to SF County Jail
I’m sponsoring legislation with District Attorney George Gascón and Supervisor Malia Cohen to improve San Francisco’s sentencing policies. Under the state’s “realignment” plan, various crimes that used to result in state prison time will now result in county jail sentences. The purpose of the realignment plan is for the state to save money, to comply with a federal court mandate to reduce the state prison population, and to move away from our failed state prison model – a model that leads to a very high recidivism rate. The state is providing counties with funds in the current fiscal year to absorb the new county jail prisoners, but that funding is unlikely to be permanent. As a result, we need to be smart about whom we send to jail, in order to avoid an exploding jails budget that undermines other public services. Our proposed legislation will create a temporary sentencing commission, composed of various criminal justice agencies, nonprofits, and the Superior Court, to formulate sentencing guidelines. The goal is to ensure that those who need to be in jail are in jail, while keeping the budget under control. The commission will do its work, report out, and then disband. Coverage here.
Scott at the Sentencing Commission press conference with District Attorney George Gascón and Supervisor Malia Cohen
Historic Preservation: Updating the Planning Code
Since taking office, I’ve taken a significant interest in how San Francisco approaches historic preservation, including ensuring that it is balanced among the various important policy goals that we as a city have. A few months ago, I wrote an op ed for the San Francisco Chronicle on the subject. The Planning Code sections governing historic districts and landmarks are now up for review for the first time in many years. I’m playing an active role, working with the Historic Preservation Commission and the Planning Department, as part of this process. I’ve suggested several ideas for improving our historic preservation process, including creating an economic hardship opt-out for people of modest income living in historic districts (given the added expense of make home improvements to strict historic standards), limiting historic review to portions of buildings that face public view, and requiring strong outreach and resident buy-in before creating historic districts. I look forward to the continuing dialogue about this important issue.
Pedestrian Safety Update
On Monday October 17, I participated in a community meeting at Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association – along with Ed Reiskin (director of the Municipal Transportation Agency or “MTA”), others from MTA, the police department, and the District Attorney’s Office – to discuss pedestrian safety in the neighborhood. In the past few months, two pedestrians have been killed in the neighborhood. We had a productive discussion about traffic calming and pedestrian safety improvements, including on 14th Street between Castro and Church and at the Noe/16th/Market six-way intersection. I will be working closely with MTA and the neighborhood to move forward on some of the suggested changes.
My Recommendations on Ballot Measures
As discussed in last month’s newsletter, I am sponsoring three ballot measures: B (streetsbond, www.fixourstreets-yesonb.com), E (ballot measure reform,www.yesonballotreform.com), and F (ethics reform). Prop E – which would reduce the rigidity of our ballot measure system – has been getting strong supporting, including recent endorsements by the San Francisco Chronicle, the Bay Area Reporter, Sing Tao Daily, the Potrero View, the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, the Affordable Housing Alliance, Noe Valley Democratic Club, Plan C San Francisco, and Small Property Owners of San Francisco.
Here are other ballot measure recommendations:
A (school facilities bond): Yes
B (streets/infrastructure bond): Yes
C (pension reform): Yes
D (Adachi pension reform): No
E (ballot measure reform): Yes
F (ethics reform): Yes
G (replacement sales tax): Yes
H (schools policy statement): No
Chris Cunnie for Sheriff
I am strongly supporting Chris Cunnie for Sheriff. Chris, who grew up in District 8, has 30 years of experience in law enforcement. He served as Undersheriff (#2 in the Sheriff’s Department), Director of Emergency Management, Chief of Investigations in the District Attorney’s Office, and police officer. He also ran Walden House, a treatment center, and understands the critical importance of rehabilitation and treatment in effective public safety. Our jails are going to face a significant challenge as state realignment sends more prisoners to country jails instead of state prison. Chris is the leader we need to respond to this challenge. More information at Click here for more information
For a number of years, Corbett Heights Neighbors, under the leadership of Gary Weiss, has worked hard to beautify and improve the small and large open spaces in the Corbett Heights neighborhood (bounded by Market, Clayton, and 17th Streets). CHN is now focusing on the Corbett Slope, an under-utilized slope with a lot of potential to add high-quality green space to the neighborhood. I’m sponsoring legislation to ensure that the slope will remain green space. Congratulations to Gary and CHN for all their work!
Community members volunteering at Corbett Slope
SF Office of AIDS Renovation Project
San Francisco’s Department of Public Health is world-renowned in its approach to HIV/AIDS, including prevention, treatment, and research. We are lucky to have some of the most talented physicians and other experts in the field, and governments around the world learn from us. DPH just commenced a very important renovation and expansion of its space at 25 Van Ness, so that it can conduct state-of-the-art HIV/AIDS research, engage in broader collaborations, and increase the office’s capacity to conduct research studies. On October 6, I was proud to help break ground on the project with Mayor Lee and Director of Public Health Barbara Garcia.
Scott and Mayor Lee at the Office of AIDS renovation groundbreaking
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)
I am pleased to announce that San Francisco has been selected for the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). You’re invited to participate in this major national effort, which gathers information to assess the health and nutritional status of children and adults living in the United States. The survey will be conducted between October 22, 2011 and December 20, 2011. Survey staff will collect data through household interviews and standardized health measurements at a mobile examination center. All information is kept strictly confidential and a report of medical and dental findings will be given to each participant. If you have any questions or would like to participate, please contact the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey office at 1-800-452-6115.
Filing an online police report
Did you know that for some crimes, you can file a police report online? Particularly for property crimes where you need a police report to make an insurance claim — and for some other crimes as well — you can file a report and receive a formal report from the Department all online. This can save a lot of time and hassle either calling the police or going to the police station. More information here.
Upcoming Events to Remember
Dolores Park Community Workshop
Thursday, October 20th
Thursday, October 27th
Mission High School Cafeteria, 3750 18th St.
Dolores Park will undergo a much-needed major renovation next year, funded by the 2008 neighborhood parks bond. October 20th and 27th will be the final community meetings to seek input into the project. Please join us at Mission High School, in the cafeteria, on 18th Street between Church and Dolores to participate. Please contact my office for addition information.
San Francisco Financial Planning Day
Saturday, October 22nd
UC Hastings College of Law, Snodgrass Hall, 198 McCallister St.
The City and County of San Francisco, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of San Francisco and the Financial Planning Association of San Francisco invite you to attend our 2nd Annual San Francisco Financial Planning Day. You and your clients will be able to meet one-on-one with dozens of professional financial planners and certified credit counselors to discuss your personal finance questions, concerns and interests. Whether you need guidance with basic financial planning, credit, debt management or more specialized advice on retirement planning, investment strategies, estate planning, tax issues, insurance, or employee benefits, we have over 80 highly competent and ethical financial planners and certified credit counselors who will be able to assist you.
Scott, Chilean Consul General Rolando Ortega, and Supervisor Malia Cohen, celebrating Chilean American Heritage Day. Scott lived in Santiago, Chile during Chile’s transition to democracy in the early 1990s
Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club Fall Awards
Thursday, October 27th
Infusion Lounge, 124 Ellis St.
You’re invited to the Alice B. Toklas 2011 Fall Awards Ceremony, honoring those who have worked to build and protect the LGBT community. In addition to the various community leaders and organizations to be honored, Alice has selected me for their “Legislator of the Year” award. Please join me as Alice celebrates it’s 40th year of serving our community. $65 for members and $85 for non-members.
The Green Room, San Francisco War Memorial & Performing Arts Ctr.
301 Van Ness Ave.
Coming up at the end of this month, the GLBT Historical Society’s annual Unmasked gala is a social high-point of the year for members and friends of the Bay Area GLBT community. The evening will feature entertainment, passed food and a hosted bar. Asilent auction will offer queer historic photos and memorabilia, travel, wines, fine dining packages and other lots donated by generous supporters of the GLBT Historical Society.
Join San Francisco Recreation and Parks and the San Francisco Parks Trust for a spooky good time at Scaregrove, Friday, October 28, 2011, featuring a haunted house, carnival rides, games, giant inflatables, hay rides, live entertainment and food for sale. Cost is $8 per person for an all-access pass. Fun for the entire family.
St. Finn Barr School, 419 Hearst Ave. (at Edna St.)
You, like many other people, want to start biking in San Francisco, but need a little help. This four-hour, in-classroom introductory course is perfect for you. The class will cover the basics on how to choose the right bike and properly fit a helmet as well as tips for the safest ways to ride on city streets. You’ll also learn techniques to avoid or handle street hazards and emergency maneuvers along with the best way to lock up your bike and how to use a bike in combination with public transit, and biking rights and responsibilities. This free class, hosted by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, is open to anyone over 14 years of age; preregistration is required.
Scott with the amazing Spiderman at the Fairmount block party
Halloween Fun with Basho & Friends
Saturday, October 29th
Upper Noe Recreation Center, 299 Day St.
Bring your costume to the Upper Noe Recreation Center’s halloween dance event! Saturday’s show will feature a mixture of Spanish and English songs, supported by a Halloween theme throughout. Hosted by Basho Mosko, Mosko started BASHO & Friends in 2009, creating music videos and compact discs in English, Spanish, French and Mandarin that teach everything from the alphabet to self-esteem.
Midtown Terrace Clubhouse, Clarendon St. & Olympia Wy.
The Recreation and Parks Dept will be hosting series of community meetings to discuss future trail restoration improvements to the Twin Peaks Trail. Your input is important and will help RPD to improve the Twin Peaks trail in a way that is most beneficial to the community. The trail improvements are funded by the 2008 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond.
SFUSD Enrollment Fair
Saturday, November 5th
Concourse Exhibition Center, 635 8th St.
SFUSD has already begun preparation for the 2012-13 school year and invites you to its Annual SFUSD Enrollment Fair. Every SF public school will be represented at this event and it is an excellent opportunity to meet and speak with principals, teachers and parents about school programs and offerings.
Experience Corps, an award-winning intergenerational tutoring and mentoring program, is currently seeking volunteers ages 55 and older to support students in literacy in grades K-3 at 13 San Francisco public schools. The program has a track record of not only boosting students’ academic performance, but also of improving the health and well-being of older adults in the process. Volunteers are asked to commit for one full school year for a minimum of four hours per week. No tutoring experience is needed, and training is provided. If you are interested in this fun and rewarding volunteer opportunity, RSVP by Monday, November 7th to: (415) 759-4332 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scott presents a Certificate of Honor to Clubcard owners Mike Wilson and Mike Buchanan for their service to the Castro community
Neighborhood Empowerment Network Awards
Wednesday, November 16th
San Francisco City Hall, North Light Court
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Pl.
The 2011 NEN Awards are upon us! The NEN Awards, produced in partnership by the Neighborhood Empowerment Network and the CCSF Community Challenge Grant Program, is dedicated to elevating and celebrating the tremendous work that residents and organizations do every day to make our City a great place to live.
This year’s Open Palm Award will be given in memory of Eric Quezada, Dolores Street’s Executive Director from 2005-2011 who died on August 24 after a courageous battle with cancer. The award will be accepted by his wife, Lorena Melgarejo. The celebration will include a full no-host bar, catering, music by Francisco Herrera and Los Nadies, a silent auction featuring Eric’s collection of political t-shirts going back over 20 years, and more! For more information please contact Mason Jeffrys, Director of Administration and Development, at email@example.com or 415-282-6209 x22.
“18 Reasons” & “Garden for the Environment” Urban Gardening School
Garden for the Environment, 7th Ave. and Lawton St.
In this 12-part class you will develop these skills and start building a reservoir of information. The classes and garden days are scheduled to mirror the actual planting season: you will learn about garden planning and soil vitality at the beginning, then how to pick varieties and plant them, and last how to harvest and set your garden up for the next round of production.