Getting Feedback at Town Hall Meetings
By Gordon Mar
Happy Year of the Boar!
Now that we’re a little more settled in at City Hall, I’m excited to get back out and spend more time in the neighborhood. We planted trees on Sunset Boulevard with Climate Action Now and SF Environment, joined District 4 (D4) Youth Commissioner Josephine Cureton for a D4 youth forum and spoke at neighborhood meetings across the Sunset and Parkside.
I also joined Mayor London Breed in presenting certificates of honor to Abraham Lincoln High School’s varsity football team, the Mustangs, who won the state championship after an incredible 13-0 season; spoke in favor of Other Avenues’ legacy business application; and offered an official commendation to Parkside Library branch manager Ann Dorman, who recently retired after 18 years of dedicated service to our community. And, we’re now hosting neighborhood office hours every Friday afternoon – if you’d like to meet with me, email email@example.com to request a 30-minute appointment.
After parents, students, teachers and community members spoke out at our first Town Hall on the importance of ensuring educators are paid fairly, I introduced a plan to fully fund educator raises for the next two years, while increasing our investment in affordable housing and homeless services. I’m pleased that this plan was unanimously passed by the Board of Supervisors within the overall Education Revenue Augmentation Fund spending allocation, providing security and stability for San Francisco Unified School District teachers, staff and early child care and education teachers.
We recently held our second neighborhood Town Hall, focused on our plan to bring City College to the Sunset. With City College now tuition-free for all San Franciscans, bringing our City’s only life-long learning institution to our neighborhood would create new and expanded learning opportunities for all of the diverse communities that call the Sunset/Parkside home. It was inspiring to hear your ideas on how we can make the most of City College Sunset – from dual enrollment for high school students to adults looking to earn a degree or to learn new skills and activities – and we’re working hard to put your ideas into action.
With their success so far, we plan to hold regular Town Hall Meetings going forward. I want to make government as accessible as possible. Bringing these issues right to our neighborhood to engage directly with you has been both inspiring and effective.
I also recently filed the Sunlight On Dark Money ballot measure with the Department of Elections to address dark money in our politics, close a corporate contribution loophole and limit “pay-to-play” practices. Faith in government requires faith in our electoral process, and dark money, pay-to-play, and corporate influences are all marks against the trust the public places in us. As voters, we deserve to know who is paying to influence our votes. We deserve to decide on these issues ourselves. With this initiative submitted for the November ballot, we will.
After doing outreach on community safety with SF Police Department’s new Taraval Station capt., Nicholas Rainsford on Irving Street, we’ve called for a hearing on home burglaries, including package theft. We’re looking forward to working with Rainsford to address this and many other issues and are happy to welcome him to his new role serving our community!
Our office has heard from constituents every single day who have had their commutes and lives interrupted and delayed by switchbacks on the L-Taraval and N-Judah streetcar lines. They deserve answers, which is why we’ve called for a hearing on this issue. This hearing alone won’t end switchbacks, but it’s an opportunity for all of us to learn more about why SF Municipal Transportation Agency allows this frustrating practice, to hold them accountable and work towards ending switchbacks.
Many Sunset residents have reached out in response to the report about egregious pricing and billing policies at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. I’ve co-sponsored a hearing on these concerns and as chair of the Government Audit and Oversight Committee, I’m committed to addressing them. In response to public pressure, the Department of Public Health has halted collection activities for these patients for 90 days. While this isn’t a solution, it gives us time to find one.
Protecting Early Childhood Education
In addition to working to secure funds for raising wages for early care and education providers, I’ve partnered with board President Norman Yee to increase protections for childcare facilities. Our neighborhood is home to thousands of children and families with too few affordable childcare options. While we work to expand access to these crucial services, we must also ensure we’re protecting those that already exist and are under threat of displacement. We’re working with Yee to introduce legislation on this and will have updates soon.
If you have questions about any of our work or any ideas, comments or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to our office at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re here to listen, serve and represent you.
Gordon Mar represents District 4 on the SF Board of Supervisors and can be reached at (415) 554-7460 or email@example.com.
Categories: City Hall