by Assemblyman Phil Ting
It has been a pleasure representing you in Sacramento and advocating for our shared values. The work we do in the legislature impacts our everyday lives, so I’m happy to report we’ve had another successful year with Gov. Jerry Brown signing several of my bills to make things better in San Francisco and across California.
As chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, I helped secure record levels of funding to address our statewide homelessness crisis: a total of $500 million for a new Homelessness Emergency Aid Program. San Francisco will receive more than $27 million for emergency housing vouchers, rapid rehousing programs and shelter construction. This program is just one of many ways we are moving people off the streets and into housing.
Earlier this year, I was excited to attend the opening of a new navigation center at Division Circle. This site, by the 101 Freeway, was made possible by my legislation, Assembly Bill (AB) 857, which allowed the City to lease CalTrans land below market rate, as well as $10 million in state funds I helped secure last year to open two navigation centers.
These navigation centers offer drug addiction and mental health treatment services that are critical to breaking the cycle of chronic homelessness; once a person is stabilized, staff assist with placement into jobs and housing.
My other legislative highlights this year include:
- Reducing needles on our streets: Senate Bill 212, which I co-authored and championed in the Assembly, will require entities that sell sharps (such as hypodermic needles) to develop plans to take them back. This legislation will reduce the spread of needle-borne diseases and allow those who rely on sharps for medical needs to dispose of them safely.
- Ensuring families are safe in their communities, AB-1065 will focus law enforcement resources on eradicating sophisticated organized theft rings responsible for retail, home and auto breakins. Although there is still more to do, I am pleased to see auto burglaries are down 14 percent so far this year in San Francisco, with even more significant drops on the west side. (The Park Police Station reported a 34 percent decrease and Taraval Station reported a 21 percent decrease.)
- Keeping people in their homes: AB-2219 requires landlords to accept third-party rent payments. These can come from a myriad of sources, such as family members, faith based organizations or nonprofits that serve veterans, those living with HIV/AIDS or victims of domestic violence. Many across our state who are at risk of eviction and subsequent homelessness will be able to stay housed.
Despite these successes, we still have unfinished business. I will be re-introducing proposals to increase the adoption of clean cars, to expand our Gun Violence Restraining Order law so it can be used by school personnel and employers and to streamline the development of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) to create affordable housing.
I welcome your ideas for legislation that you feel would make a difference for our community.
Please reach out to my district office at (415) 557-2312.
Phil Ting represents the 19th Assembly District.