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Open House and Art Show In My Office
Thursday, July 21st
San Francisco City Hall, Room 274
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
Since I was sworn in, I’ve featured local San Francisco art in my City Hall office. Join me for an open house featuring portraits of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. The Sisters, for decades, have contributed thousands and thousands of hours of community service to our community and raised a significant amount of money, for all sorts of charities ranging from HIV/AIDS services to youth services. Enjoy the refreshments, the company, and the delightful Sisters! Chat with your District 8 neighbors, and have a wonderful evening at City Hall.
Pride Parade Recap
The 41st annual pride parade was an amazing success, and thank you to the nearly 100 people who marched in my contingent. It was a great sight to see the people of San Francisco united and celebrating our city. With hundreds of pride contingents and thousands in attendance, our city has one of the largest LGBT events in the nation. Thanks to all of those who showed up and supported San Francisco’s pride, we hope to see you all again next year.
Scott’s contingent marches with the ferry building in the background
Vandalism at Harvey Milk Recreation Center
Recently, there have been several disturbing incidents of vandalism at the Harvey Milk Rec Center, located at 50 Scott (in Duboce Park). We’ve seen graffiti and numerous broken windows and doors. We need your help to keep our recreation center a safe and enjoyable place to be. Please report any suspicious activity to SFPD at (415) 553-8090 or Park Patrol at (415) 242-6392.
30 Years of HIV/AIDS
This year is the 30th anniversary of the AIDS epidemic. In San Francisco, one of the primary focuses of the anniversary is to encourage people to get tested and know their HIV status. A significant portion of those who have been infected don’t know that they’re positive and thus aren’t getting needed treatment and are at greater risk of spreading the disease. On June 24, Senator Mark Leno and I went to Magnet, a community health center in the Castro, and received rapid HIV tests, in order to promote the need for testing. More information on Senator Leno and my views on the subject here. Thank you to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation for its great work in this area.
Scott and Senator Leno discuss the importance of National HIV Testing Day
Bay Area counties and environmental groups are collaborating to keep our kids safe from lead poisoning. Click here to find out about safe children’s products. Click here to find out about new rules for lead-safe home repair and painting, as well as new rules
Carbon monoxide is a major threat to our health and lives. It’s a tasteless, odorless, and colorless gas that can’t be detected without a carbon monoxide detector. As of July 1st, California joins 25 other states in requiring carbon monoxide detectors in every single family household. By July 1st, 2013, they will be required in all remaining households, including multi-family dwellings.
Homeowners around San Francisco are saving an average of 35% of their annual energy usage by taking advantage of the Department of the Environment’s Home Improvement & Performance program. You can receive up to $7,000 for home energy improvements that will make your home healthier, quieter, and more comfortable.
Click here and contact a participating contractor who will help you every step of the way; they’ll even submit your paperwork for the rebate!
For more information, please call 415-355-3769.
My Policy Work
June was a roller coaster month for me, as a member of the Budget Committee. It culminated with the Committee passing out a balanced budget at 2:30 a.m. on July 1. It was a tough budget year, but thanks to a strong process by both the Mayor and the Board, it was a lot less painful than it could have been. Once the budget came to the Board from the Mayor, I worked hard to add back funding that had been cut for HIV services, street tree maintenance, small business support programs, home healthcare workers for elderly and disabled poor people, and other critical city services. We were able to restore much of this funding, including half of the proposed street tree cut. We were also able to add in the City’s first police academy class in several years, which will help us prevent an anticipated 25% decline over the next 5 years in the number of officers in the department, due to retirements. Finally, I was able to secure funding for pedestrian safety and playground improvements in district 8, as well as continued funding for the LGBT History Museum on 18th Street.
Funding for Our Streets, Sidewalks, and Trees
We’ve not done an adequate job maintaining these important capital assets. As a result, I’m supporting the streets bond that we recently placed on the November ballot. We have hundreds of millions of dollars in deferred maintenance of our roads. We will never be able to pay for this backlog out of our General Fund. As our roads continue to deteriorate, they become exponentially more expensive to repair. It’s ten times more expensive to rebuild a failing road than it is to repave a road before it fails. The bond will clear a portion of the backlog and will also allow us to make capital pedestrian improvements, perform capital safety work on our public staircases and bridges, and make needed disability access capital improvements to our public spaces.
We’ve also done a poor job maintaining our urban forest. DPW has inadequate resources to maintain the City’s street trees, resulting in more and more of that maintenance being pushed onto property owners. Rec. & Park has even fewer resources to maintain its portion of our urban forest, resulting in safety hazards (e.g., the woman who was killed by a falling branch at Stern Grove and the two large trees that recently fell in Duboce Park). I’m working with DPW and Rec. & Park to identify a sustainable funding stream so that both departments have the resources they need to take care of our trees and so that we do not have to impose maintenance obligations on property owners.
Implementing our Better Streets Plan
Last year, the Board of Supervisors adopted the Better Streets Plan, in order to manage our streets and sidewalks more effectively. On Monday July 11, I convened a hearing at the Land Use and Economic Development Committee, where the relevant Departments (Public Works and Planning) discussed how to go about implementing the Plan in a coordinated and meaningful way. Our streets and sidewalks are critical parts of our quality of life in San Francisco, and we need to ensure that we are making them as livable as possible for our residents and visitors.
I’ve been very involved in discussions around historic preservation in San Francisco. Preservation is a key policy goal for our City, as are other policy goals like housing, seismic safety, ADA accessibility, transportation, and having usable parks and libraries. The discussion about how to balance these various goals without allowing one to dominate the others has been informative and, in my view, will lead to some strong policy results. Several weeks ago, my op ed on the subject appeared in the Sunday Chronicle, as did several additional perspectives, including those of Robin Levitt, John King, Sam Ball, andBruce Bonacker.
Entertainment in San Francisco: Bowling Alleys and Live Music
Ensuring that our City continues to have a vibrant and responsible nightlife and entertainment scene is an issue about which I care deeply. Shortly after I took office, I called for a hearing on the entertainment industry’s economic impact on our City. That study will be completed later this year. Recently, I’ve worked on two specific improvements in this area. First, I’m co-sponsoring legislation with Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi to create a new and less bureaucratic entertainment permit for “limited live music” – i.e., live music that can’t be heard outside of the venue and that ends by 10 p.m. Think guitar player in a restaurant or cafe. Currently, to get permission to have this kind of music, a restaurant or café owner has to go through the same extensive permitting process as a large club seeking to play loud, amplified music for large crowds. The legislation creates a new kind of permit, one that costs less and is easier to obtain, for “limited live music.” This will be a great improvement for our neighborhood commercial areas.
Second, I’m co-sponsoring legislation with Supervisor Jane Kim, to allow a bowling alley to open and serve food and drink in the Mission. Currently, the Mission Alcoholic Beverage Special Use Subdistrict, which covers a swath of the Mission extending into District 8, prohibits new businesses from obtaining liquor licenses. The Subdistrict was implemented years ago to address alcohol blight in the Mission. Unfortunately, it is so broad and rigid that it undermines positive uses, making it impossible, for example, for a grocery store to sell organic wine and beer. Supervisor Kim and I, upon learning of this bowling alley’s inability to get a liquor license, worked with the owner and the Planning Department and introduced this legislation. I’m considering broader legislation to modify or repeal the Mission Alcoholic Beverage Special Use Subdistrict.
Scott with the children of McKinley Elementary School’s SF Ballets’ Dance in Schools and community program
Charter Amendment to Start Reforming Our Ballot Measure System
On Tuesday, the Board will vote on whether to place my ballot measure reform charter amendment on the November ballot. Our ballot measure system is broken. There are many reasons for this, but one is that once legislation is passed by the voters, it becomes permanently unchangeable except by yet another ballot measure, no matter how much time has gone by and no matter how minor the change. As a modest first step in reforming this system – a unique system since no state other than California prohibits legislative changes to ballot measures – I’m sponsoring a charter amendment that would allow the Board, after a number of years have passed, to amend or repeal ballot measures that were placed on the ballot by the Board or Mayor. The measure has no impact on measures placed on the ballot by voter signature drive – those will remain amendable only by the voters unless the measures themselves provide otherwise. Since California and San Francisco are addicted to ballot measures, I can’t say for sure that this measure will pass, but I want the voters to have the opportunity to weigh in one way or the other.
Follow Up J-Church Hearing
Monday, July 25th
San Francisco City Hall, Committee Room 263
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
Several months ago, I conducted a hearing on the J-Church, to discuss the inadequacies of the line and what can be done to make it run better. I’ve now called for a follow-up hearing so that Muni management can report what it’s done (or not done) to improve the line. I’ve also asked Muni to report on the Dolores Park Muni right-of-way, which is often filthy and poorly maintained. Muni needs to do a better job working with Rec & Park to keep that portion of the park clean and safe. Please attend to speak out about your opinions on this issue. You can find more information about it here once the agenda is posted.
My Opposition to Several Recently Introduced Ballot Measures
On the last day to do so, several of my colleagues placed three ballot measures on the November ballot. Four Supervisors can place an ordinance on the ballot by simply signing it. (As noted above, those ordinances are then permanently unchangeable except by having yet another ballot measure.) I’m opposed to each of the measures:
(1) A partial repeal of Care Not Cash. In my view, Care Not Cash has been a very effective way of getting homeless people into housing, and we shouldn’t be undermining it.
(2) A nearly categorical ban on Rec & Park earning income from its property, for example, by leasing under-utilized clubhouses. Rec & Park has sustained catastrophic general fund budget cuts in recent years. This year, unlike the bankrupt state park system, the department was able to avoid layoffs and actually increased its recreational offerings. It did so only because it was able to earn revenue. This ballot measure would make it very hard for Rec & Park to continue earning revenue and will lead to further park cut-backs.
(3) A measure designed to undermine the Park Merced project, which the Board recently approved. Park Merced is a model project that will dramatically improve the housing stock, will bring significant transportation benefits, and will protect the Park Merced tenants by giving them brand new apartments at the same rent, subject to rent protections. This measure is ill-advised.
As was widely reported, the Muni drivers union (TWU) rejected a negotiated collective bargaining agreement that significantly reforms the work rules that cost Muni an enormous amount of money and that undermine the functioning of the system. We all owe a big thank you to Supervisor Sean Elsbernd for sponsoring Prop G, which the voters passed in November and which allowed this bargaining to occur. After the drivers rejected the contract, an arbitrator imposed the contract verbatim. Now that the contract is in place, Muni management must implement the work rule changes effectively. I therefore introduced a resolution asking Muni’s governing board to require management to provide regular reports on implementation of the changes. The Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the resolution on Tuesday.
One of the City’s best small business programs is our Revolving Loan Fund, administered by the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. This fund provides loans to small businesses to help them get started or expand. To date, district 8 has 6 small businesses that have received loans, including Mission Cheese, Cake Coquette, and Petit Collage, Inc. The loan fund is self-replenishing and allows new loans to be made as old loans are paid. I called for a hearing on the program to showcase its impressive results and to continue to build support for its work. Programs like this one are exactly what we should be doing at City Hall.
Newly-Appointed Police Commissioner
In June, the Board appointed my good friend and long-time collaborator Julius Turman to the Police Commission. Julius has a long track record of work in the community, and he will do a stellar job on the Commission. Congratulations, Julius!
City Attorney Dennis Herrera, Police Chief Suhr, Scott, Supervisor Cohen, Supervisor Campos and many more attend Julius Turman’s
Glen Canyon Park
Each month I will be highlighting a public space in the district. Last month was Corona Heights Park. This month is Glen Canyon Park. Glen Canyon is a park to discover. The 70-acre park is comprised of 60 acres of natural areas, and 10 acres of active recreation. The natural areas boast outstanding views, a plethora of native wildflowers, rocky outcrops, Islais creek (one of the city’s four remaining free-flowing creeks) and a trail system that takes you far away from urban life. Off of Elk street, tennis courts, baseball diamonds, children’s playground, and recreation programs are offered. This time of year, the great horned owls are breeding, and SilverTree is bustling with campers. Come and enjoy this spectacular park and District 8 treasure!
Join Muttville for their third annual Moolah for Mutts fundraiser. Help Muttville in rescuing the lives and finding homes for thousands of senior dogs that would be otherwise euthanized.Enjoy various food, beverages, auctions, raffles, and the company of your fellow dog lovers.
Become part of the 25th annual AIDS Walk by either taking part in the walk or becoming a volunteer. Help fundraise millions of dollars for various clinics, AIDS/HIV education programs, and community centers to fight against AIDS/HIV. To get involved, call (415) 615-9255.
The Friends of Noe Valley will be hosting a public community meeting for neighborhood residents. During this meeting we will discuss issues revolving around AT&T U-Verse Boxes, Muni as well as what we’ve done so far to better public safety, traffic, parking, transportation, Rec and Park, and Noe Valley beautification. This will be a golden opportunity to target any lingering issues or concerns, so please join us as we discuss the neighborhood of Noe Valley.
Attend the Corbett Heights Neighbors quarterly meeting on Thursday, July 28th.
Joining me in attendance will be Supervisor David Chiu. Voice your worries and concerns of the neighborhood to your fellow neighbors, and strive to make Corbett Heights an enjoyable community. Click here for more information
Dolores Park Renovation Community Workshop
Thursday, August 4th & Thursday, August 25th
Mission High School
3750 18th Street
Dolores Park will undergo a much-needed major renovation next year, funded by the 2008 neighborhood parks bond. August 4th & Augst 25th will be park of a series of 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.
Temescal String Quartet, Live at the Sunnyside Conservatory
Sunday, August 14th
236 Monterey Blvd
Sunday, August 14th @ 2 pm in the beautiful and historic Sunnyside Conservatory: Temescal String Quartet. Doors open at 1:00pm, performance starts at 2:00pm. All concert proceeds go toward bringing free community events throughout the year at the Sunnyside Conservatory. Sponsored by The Friends of Sunnyside Conservatory in conjuction with The San Francisco Recreation & Park Department. There will be an intermission. Refreshments included. 1/2 mile from Glen Park BART. Buses 23, 36.
Suggested Donation $20, at the door or you can purchase tickets here.
SFFD Neighborhood Emergency Response Team Training
Thursdays starting in August
6:00PM-9:00PM Class session 1: August 18 Class session 2: August 25 Class session 3: September 1 Class session 4: September 8 Class session 5: September 15 Class session 6: September 22
Glen Park Recreation Center
70 Elk Street near Bosworth and Diamond Heights Blvd
There will be multiple hands-on preparedness and emergency response training classes held by the San Francisco Fire Department. These classes welcome any individuals orneighborhood groups that would like to develop the basic life saving skills and training that would be useful in any type of emergency or disaster.
Youth Meal Night is a safe space to meet with your trans/queer/ally friends, have a free dinner, watch a movie and get connected to our community of resources. also provide board games, community news/announcements, community closet (free clothes), resources and support, and rapid HIV testing provided by the UCSF AIDS Health Project, Larkin Street Youth Services, and the San Francisco LGBT Community Center. Come for the food and movie, and get connected! Representatives from 5+ youth organizations are available every week.
You are invited to Transmagic, a social space for trans/genderqueer youth and allies to build community at LYRIC. Transmagic meets weekly in LYRIC’s Youth Space, where we can meet new people, have fun, share, talk, learn, and create while focusing on the trans/gender queer experience – this space will be whatever we want it to be!
Transmagic is FREE and open to all transgender & gender fluid folks and allies* 24 & under.
*Allies are anybody committed to supporting their local trans/gender queer community.
Open daily (except Wed) 11:00AM-5:00PM and Thursday 1:00PM-8:00PM
Contemporary Jewish Museum
736 Mission Street
The Contemporary Jewish Museum presents-Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories, the first major museum exhibition to fully investigate this fascinating visual legacy and life of Gertrude Stein, one of the most influential Americans of the 20th century. Admission is $10.00 for adults, $8.00 for students 18 and over and senior citizens with valid ID, and $5.00 on Thursdays after 5pm. Admission for 18 and under is free.
The 2011 Yerba Buena Gardens Festival presents over 90 free outdoor events from May to October including music, theater, circus, dance, poetry, family festivals and children’s programs with artists from Africa, Bali, Italy, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, the Philippines, Sweden, China and the Bay Area.