Happy Year of the Boar!
I kicked off February by attending a celebration of Black History Month at City Hall and joined more than 100 families for a Lunar New Year’s Eve dinner in support of the “SRO Living Room” program at the Chinatown YMCA. I celebrated Lunar New Year with so many great organizations, from the Richmond Senior Center to the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, to the Chinese Progressive Association. It was great to cap off all the festivities with the annual Chinese New Year’s parade along with my District 1 team and Sutro first grader, Henry!
We had a great turnout of young people doing their One Richmond thing by picking up trash at the monthly Park Presidio Greenbelt Clean-up. I met with the Peabody and Alamo Elementary School’s PTAs to talk about One Richmond and give an update on the neighborhood. As a past PTA president for 12 terms, I love parents doing their One Richmond thing at their schools. I’m also delighted to announce Schubert’s Bakery as our newest legacy business!
Project Homeless Connect held its first community meeting and day of service in the Richmond this February. Thank you to Pastor Caiti at the Park Presidio United Methodist Church for allowing Project Homeless Connect to park its Care Van and serve our unhoused neighbors there.
I was relieved that there were no injuries from the terrifying gas line explosion at Geary Boulevard and Parker Avenue. My office has been working with city departments and emergency responders to ensure the residents and businesses displaced by the fire have access to the resources they need to get back on their feet. Supervisor Catherine Stefani and I have also called for a hearing on the cause of the explosion, PG&E’s response and measures it is taking to prevent this in the future.
Inside City Hall
As the chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, I’m proud to have negotiated a meaningful spending package for the $185 million in windfall funding from the state that reflected priorities from the Board of Supervisors and the mayor. The compromise allocates funding to affordable housing, behavioral health and homeless services, and increased salaries for both public school and early education teachers. The plan was unanimously co-sponsored by the entire Board of Supervisors and is a testament to what it looks like to build unity for the common good!
On Feb. 7, I sponsored a hearing on the 2020 Census and the City’s plan for implementation. Given our City’s population growth since 2010, changes in the outreach methodology and the racist, sexist and anti-immigrant rhetoric from the White House, it is imperative that our San Francisco 2020 census count is accurate and gives voice to each of our residents.
I chair the SF Local Agency Formation Commission, which among other things provides oversight for the CleanPowerSF program operated by the SF Public Utilities Commission. As PG&E’s bankruptcy unfolds, I strongly support the exploration of acquiring PG&E’s assets to distribute power to SF residents and businesses, and I’m pushing for a plan for “local build out” and the development of our own clean and renewable energy production on city-owned property.
On Feb. 5, the Board of Supervisors unanimously supported my resolution urging California legislators to create a pathway for public banking charters. A public bank owned by San Francisco would allow the City to have more local control, transparency, self-determination and allow us to move in a direction to achieve sustainable community investments, such as affordable housing, small business development, renewable energy and other issues.
The SF Planning Commission voted unanimously to support my legislation to create the Community Opportunity to Purchase Act (COPA), which will give qualified affordable housing nonprofits the first-right-to-purchase multi-family residential buildings for sale and preserve them as permanently affordable housing. The SF Examiner reported, “affordable housing advocates hailed the plan as an innovative and viable way to prevent displacement and preserve existing affordable housing in a city in the midst of a massive housing crisis.”
My legislation to create a more accurate and effective registry of vacant storefronts will be coming to the full Board of Supervisors for a vote on March 5. This ordinance will require building owners to register their vacant or abandoned storefronts and pay a registration fee within 30 days of it being empty, regardless of whether there’s a “for lease” sign in the window. This ordinance is sorely needed and has been unanimously co-sponsored by the entire Board of Supervisors.
My office will be hosting a City Budget 101 in early April to help residents understand the city budget process. Save the date!
Please join me at the Richmond Neighborhood Center’s Immigrant Cultural Festival this Sunday, March 3, 11a.m.- 2:30 p.m., at the Neighborhood Center (741 30th Ave.) as we celebrate the diversity of the Richmond District and showcase native Ohlone communities as well as the Chinese, Irish and Russian immigrants who settled in the district.
Tribute to Jeff Adachi
I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our public defender, Jeff Adachi. I want to express my deep condolences to his wife Mutsuko and his daughter Lauren. During my time as supervisor, I had the opportunity to work closely with Jeff to create a unit in his office to provide legal representation to incarcerated undocumented individuals awaiting deportation hearings.
Long before I was elected, I knew Jeff Adachi as a man with a big presence but also a gentle, kind and steadfast determination to deliver justice to those most marginalized in our society. He led a progressive vision for the public defender’s office to be the voice for those whose voices are not heard by our justice system.
Perhaps it is his own humanity that I will miss the most. His smile, his warmth, his belief in people, and yes, his big, sometimes showy personality too. Thank you Jeff for all you have done to make us better and may you rest in peace.
San Francisco Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer represents District 1.
Categories: City Hall