Speaking at the September General Members meeting of the Upper Noe Neighbors.
Homelessness update: Our office is working every day to address the crisis on our streets. Here’s what we’ve been up to lately.
Treatment on Demand: Late last month, I held a hearing on the City’s progress implementing Treatment on Demand — a drug treatment model built on the idea that anyone who wants to access treatment should be able to do so immediately. During that hearing, I raised the issue of incarcerated people facing long wait times to access appropriate drug treatment. This leads to addicted and vulnerable people cycling through our jails, and back on to the streets, without a real path to the care and services they need. This month, we will be releasing the Meth Task Force’s Final Report, which includes several recommendations for initiatives aimed at addressing these issues.
Protecting Residential Care Facilities: There is a mental health crisis in San Francisco, and we need to do everything we can to make sure sick and mentally ill people have a place to get care. Residential care facilities, or board and care homes have, for decades, provided stable housing to vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities. According to a report issued earlier this year by the city’s Long-Term Care Coordinating Council Assisted Living Working Group, San Francisco has lost 21 residential care facilities since 2012, a 26% decline resulting in a loss of 112 critically needed beds, and the Department of Public Health has learned of the planned closure of three additional facilities. In response, Board President Norman Yee and I introduced legislation to make it harder to convert these facilities to other uses, and fast-tracked the measure to get it approved by the full Board of Supervisors as quickly as possible. On September 9, I joined Mayor London Breed and Supervisors Vallie Brown and Sandra Lee Fewer in issuing a plan to stabilize our existing facilities by increasing city subsidies to support their operation and getting more of them into city or nonprofit ownership.
Improving Neighborhood Conditions: At our request, District 8 has been prioritized for additional city resources to address homelessness and, beginning in August, neighborhood ‘hot spots’ now receive increased visits from the SFPD, DPW and Department of Public Health and Homeless Outreach Team workers. The city is also coordinating plans to get the neediest and most challenging people living on the streets in District 8 into care and housing. We are meeting weekly with the Mayor’s Homelessness Policy Advisor to monitor the progress of these efforts.
Taking on Climate Change: Emissions from buildings are one of the most significant contributors to our carbon footprint, so on September 24 I introduced an ordinance that will incentivize all-electric buildings and disincentivize the use of natural gas in new construction. The legislation will update the building code to favor the design and construction of all-electric, zero emission buildings by mandating higher and more expensive efficiency requirements for new buildings that use natural gas and electricity, known as mixed-fuel. This legislation is only a first step, and I have committed to bringing forward legislation within the next six months, following a robust stakeholder engagement process, to ban natural gas in all new residential and commercial buildings in San Francisco.
MUNI Reliability Working Group: Bringing together national transit leaders and local experts, the MUNI Reliability Working Group, which I called for along with Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Aaron Peskin, held the second of four meetings on September 27. The meeting focused on the subway and train control systems as well as bus service improvements. The goal of the working group is to identify priority actions to improve transit performance and give direction for the new San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) Director over the next 18-24 months.
Welcoming new small businesses: Over the past few weeks, Upper Market has seen a number of small businesses open their doors.
Please give these merchants a warm welcome to the neighborhood!
District 8 Small Business Public Safety Training: There was a packed house at the small business public safety training we convened on September 26. Thank you to the SFPD’s District 8 Public Safety Liaison Jessica Closson for organizing this helpful workshop and to San Francisco SAFE, the Department of Public Health’s Comprehensive Crisis Services and the District Attorney’s office for participating.
Celebrating 40 years at the 30th Street Senior Center: 30th Street Senior Center began in 1979 when a small group of Nicaraguan seniors asked for a room in the 30th Street building to start a senior club. Today the 30th Street Senior Center is San Francisco’s largest multipurpose senior center with seven programs serving more than 6,000 seniors per year. On September 27 we celebrated the 40th anniversary of this incredible San Francisco institution.
Transit Week: To kick off Transit Week (September 9 – 13), I rode the 49 Bus from 24th and Mission to City Hall with leaders from the San Francisco Transit Riders, the Transit Workers Union and the SFMTA. We have a lot of work ahead to realize our goal of having a world-class 21st Century public transportation system in San Francisco, but we must get there. Thank you San Francisco Transit Riders for your advocacy!
Meth Town Hall: A huge thank you to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, the SF LGBT Center, Harm Reduction Coalition, Health Right 360, and Castro Country Club for co-sponsoring our Town Hall on meth use in the LGBTQ community on September 9. A special thanks to SFAF Director of Harm Reduction Policy Laura Thomas for organizing, my fellow Meth Task Force member Mike Shriver for moderating the panel, and all of the panelists and audience members who shared their stories and suggestions.
Many of the same challenges we discussed on the panel came to light during our work at the Meth Task Force: 90-day treatment programs are not enough to help people heal and recover, and we cannot make meaningful change in the lives of people battling addiction without the housing and step-down placements to support their recovery. Clearly we can do better. I look forward to the Meth Task Force’s final report coming out thismonth, and to working with each of my colleagues and the Mayor to implement the Task Force’s recommendations.
Noe Valley Girls Film Festival: I had the honor of presenting awards at the Noe Valley Girls Film Festival. The NVGFF seeks to encourage and motivate young innovative female filmmakers and is the only international film festival for girls 15 and under that is organized, produced and run entirely by San Francisco girls 16 and under. (Photo credit Ted Weinstein)
Neighborhood Emergency Response Team: NERT is a free training program for individuals, neighborhood groups and community-based organizations in San Francisco. Through this program, individuals will learn the basics of personal preparedness and prevention. The training also includes hands-on disaster skills that will help individuals respond to a personal emergency as well as act as members of a neighborhood response team.
Coming up in early 2020, Noe Valley will be getting the full six session NERT Class (dates TBD). Here are other upcoming opportunities to get involved with NERT:
30th Anniversary of the Loma Prieta Earthquake Event
Thursday, October 17
2:00 – 6:00pm
Marina Green Park (Marina Blvd and Scott Street) Click here for more information
What’s New at Noe Valley Town Square: Here’s what’s coming up this month in the Town Square!
Jessica here, your D8 Public Safety Community Liaison with the San Francisco Police Department.
This month, I’m using this space to highlight the amazing volunteer work done by Castro Community on Patrol, and ask for residents of the Castro and Duboce Triangle to consider joining them – it’s a very small time commitment, but has high impact!
CCOP has been helping keep the neighborhood safe since 2006. The main way they do this is by the patrols, with groups of 3 or more, watching for trouble, and calling emergency responders if necessary. They hold trainings 6 times a year and will be holding one more training workshop this year in November. You are invited to attend the workshop to learn about their approach to public safety and then decide whether or not you want to be a volunteer. They only ask for one 3-hour patrol a month.
Interested people can go to their webpage and click the “Sign Up Now” button, or can go directly to the Eventbrite page.
Thank you Castro Community on Patrol, for your commitment to safety in the Castro and Duboce Triangle!
IN THE NEWS
PLANS TO PHASE OUT NATURAL GAS IN NEW SF BUILDINGS GAIN TRACTION
“We’re not going to meaningfully reduce emissions if we continue to construct buildings that use natural gas,” Mandelman said. “The world is in a climate crisis, and San Francisco needs to lead the way.” ( San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 24)
SF RESTAURANT LEADERS SOUND ALARM ON INDUSTRY CRISIS AT CITY HALL
”It is, I know, particularly galling to be nickel and dimed and delayed and fined by a government that seems unable to deliver the very basic public services residents and small businesses might expect as the precondition of their ability to operate successfully,” Mandelman said. “I share that frustration.” (Eater SF, Sept. 17)
REPORT SHOWS STATES, FEDS FALLING SHORT ON LGBT DATA COLLECTION EFFORTS
“If we don’t specifically make sure that we’re providing services to queer people, then queer people will not be served,” said Mandelman, who plans to hold another hearing later this year or in early 2020 so city agencies can provide an update on how their SOGI data collection is going.” (Bay Area Reporter, September 20)
LAST MINUTE AB5 AMENDMENT EMPOWERS CITY ATTORNEY TO SUE UBER FOR LABOR VIOLATIONS
Supervisor Rafael Mandelman held a hearing at City Hall in June on AB5, and called on city departments to explore more ways to protect gig-economy workers.
“Are we enforcing every single legal remedy we have right now?” Mandelman asked publicly in June. “We should be using every tool in the toolbox,” he added, and “there’s tremendous political will on this board to make this happen.” (San Francisco Examiner, September 10)
HEALTH OFFICIALS TELL SKEPTICAL BOARD CITY IS MEETING DEMAND FOR DRUG AND ALCOHOL TREATMENT
The ambitious plan to dramatically expand residential and nonresidential treatment and detox centers in San Francisco to offer services at “every door” in The City’s system of care, referred to as “Treatment on Demand,” was conceived in 1997 and made law in 2008 with the passage of Proposition T. Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, who along with Supervisor Catherine Stefani called for a hearing on Treatment on Demand on Friday, said that “a walk on the streets of San Francisco suggests that Prop. T hasn’t been working that well.” (San Francisco Examiner, Sept. 27)
SAN FRANCISCO KNOWS HOW TO STOP GLOBAL WARMING – WILL IT?
“It’s undeniable that the world is changing around us in alarming ways,” he says. “You’d have to be living under a rock, or the president of the United States, not to recognize that.” (SF Weekly, September 11)
NEW SF HIV CASES FALL BELOW 200
“Dropping under 200 new infections reminds me of 20 years ago when the Bay Area Reporter had its ‘No obits’ issue. Now we’re trying to get to the next step of no [HIV/AIDS] deaths and no new infections,” said gay District 8 supervisor Rafael Mandelman. “We will not get to zero until we really get a handle on getting care to people who are out on the streets and who are living with so many challenges.” (Bay Area Reporter, September 10)
ADVOCATES RENEW COMMITMENT TO BETTER TRANSIT
Hyden recalled last year’s event, where several politicos who were headed to City Hall ended up being stranded by a dysfunctional J-Church line (they eventually walked to BART instead). “Last year I rode in and experienced ‘J-gate’,” joked Supervisor Rafael Mandelman. “We hope to get the J into sufficient shape that you can always trust it.” (Streetsblog, September 9)
District 8 Community
Office HoursComing soon to a cafe near you!
Sunday, October 6th Thorough Bread and Pastry
248 Church Street
11:00am-1:00pmSunday, October 20th Martha & Bros. Coffee Company
1551 Church Street
Dolores Heights Improvement Club Fall Gathering
Saturday, October 5th
Sanchez Street between 21st & Hills Streets.
11:00am – 1:00pm
Enjoy the History Exhibit with photos and stories of Dolores Heights including the 1906 Earthquake, the “Mayor’s house,” Sanchez Hilltop and much more. Learn about the work of our Green Garden Stairway Clean-up, Planning & Land Use, and Neighborhood Safety groups. SFMTA representatives are hosting a table to discuss the findings from their study to speed up the J Church line. Join or renew your DHIC membership and be entered in our drawing for great prizes at 12:30 pm!
The 46th Annual Castro Street Fair will take place on Sunday, October 6, 2019, 11am to 6pm in and around Castro and 18th Streets. Visit the Frequently Asked Questions page for more information. Check out the pie toss at 3pm!
Buena Vista Park Needs Assessment Community Meeting
Monday, October 7th
Randall Museum Theater Room
199 Museum Way
The first community meeting for the Buena Vista Park Needs Assessment and Cost Analysis project will be held on October 7, 2019 at 7pm in the Randall Museum Theater Room, located at 199 Museum Way. Please join to discuss the scope and schedule of the project, meet the team, and review the preliminary site analysis.
Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association General Meeting
Monday, October 14th
The Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association (DTNA) represents residents, businesses and property owners in San Francisco’s Duboce Triangle neighborhood, bordered by Market St., Castro St., Divisidero St., Waller St., Webster St. and Duboce Avenue.
District 8 Family Summit with the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families
Thursday, October 17
Sanchez Elementary School
325 Sanchez St
6:00 – 8:00pm
We invite community members to share your personal stories, perspectives and experiences to help play a critical role in our five year planning process. This dialogue will help guide how the City will support children, youth & their families. Food, childcare, interpretation & family fun will be provided!
Senator Scott Wiener’s Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest
Saturday, October 19th
Noe Valley Courts
1:00 – 4:00pm
Pumpkin carving contest with State Senator Scott Wiener and drag queen judges. Youth activities and pumpkin carving, plus legislative updates from the 2020 session, all served with a little apple cider. Local drag queens will judge amongst the more than 200 pumpkins carved.
Upper Noe Howl-O-Ween Pet Parade and Costume Contest
Sunday, October 27th
2:00 – 6:00pm
VIP Scrub Club and Noe Valley Pet Co. are hosting the annual Upper Noe Howl-O-Ween Pet Parade and Costume Contest. Last year there were 50 adorable dogs in our contest accompanied by nearly 100 of their human companions. This is a great event to connect with the dog loving community of Upper Noe and it’s a lot of fun!