Investing in the Sunset
It’s August, which means the SF Board of Supervisors has ended its Spring legislative season, culminating in the passage of the single most important ordinance we vote on: the City’s $12 billion budget.
The budget is a statement of our values and our district and citywide budget reflects the input I’ve received from community members in my first six months in office. As supervisor of District 4, my job is to hear your concerns, understand them and to work for the greater good of our community. I know that leading starts with listening, which is why we’ve held many town halls, community meetings and workshops to gather your feedback, which informs all the work we do.
That is also why this year I am piloting a district office – the only supervisor to fund such an initiative – to bring our city government closer to our neighborhood and so that I and my staff can engage more closely with constituents and be better listeners and problem solvers on the ground.
Here in the Sunset, we are making a million dollar investment in the people and priorities that matter most. Our seniors will see the renovation of a brand new senior center in the Outer Sunset and more programs that keep our elders connected, informed and engaged. We are supporting our most vulnerable youth, including special needs students during out of school hours and transitional-aged youth who experience barriers to self-sufficiency. As the number of people sleeping on the street and in vehicles rises, we are creating a new District 4 mobile homeless service program to connect unsheltered residents to resources that meaningfully move them toward exiting poverty and accessing services and housing. We’ve also invested in many more community events for the neighborhood: festivals, family events and a new farmers’ and artisan market, to bring us all together.
Responding to increased fears of property crime and following a hearing we held on home robberies and package theft where I heard moving testimony from residents, we’ve funded a new program to provide rebates for home security cameras and to create a secure package delivery pilot program that also supports neighborhood businesses.
We’ve also invested in making the Sunset greener and safer. I secured much-needed funding for converting our greenways with drought-resistant plants and water-saving drip irrigation systems , planting more trees and improving Sunset Boulevard by increasing the frequency of maintenance and installing quick couplers on water hoses to increase greening capacity in the most neglected corners of the boulevard.
We are making lasting, long-term investments in our neighborhood, including a staff person to plan and build capacity for increasing affordable housing in District 4. We are investing in community organizations to lead a neighborhood needs assessment process, touching on affordable housing, neighborhood services and public transportation. And we’ve commissioned and funded two studies from the County Transportation Authority: one on transportation in the Sunset and another on a citywide study of school transportation for our youth, Together, the studies will lead to new initiatives and ideas for improving transit for our neighborhood and families.
I am also proud of the work we’ve done for Free City College, securing $15 million to fully fund Free City College this fiscal year and bringing more City College classes to the Sunset. Working with educators, labor and student advocates of the Free City Coalition, we successfully reached an agreement with SF Mayor London Breed to fully fund Free City for the next 10 years. This will ensure equitable access to higher education, making it the most inclusive free college tuition program in the country.
Under this plan, the City will also reimburse City College for the $5.4 million funding gap from enrollment exceeding expectations when Free City first launched. We speak often of investing in education, in our youth and in lifelong learning. With this plan, we are putting our money where our mouth is and realizing the will of the voters, who first passed funding for Free City in 2016.
Finally, in July we announced the formation of the Shared Prosperity Coalition, a collaboration between my office and community and labor leaders to review and recommend reforms to our tax code to make it fairer, more effective and to better address the root cause of so many of our City’s challenges: economic inequality. This includes the ordinance I introduced earlier this year to restore the 1.5 percent tax rate on stock compensation issued by wealthy public companies, which has now been reintroduced for the November 2020 ballot. We will be developing a broader, more comprehensive plan to increase economic fairness in the year to come.
In the meantime, we are excited to turn our neighborhood investments into action and engage with all of you as we implement our new pilots, projects and programs.
Gordon Mar represents District 4 on the SF Board of Supervisors. He can be reached at (415) 554-7460 or email@example.com.
Categories: City Hall