City Hall

City Hall – Gordon Mar

City Hall in the Sunset

By Gordon Mar

We have some big news to share; we are bringing City College classes to the Sunset!

We campaigned on this idea last year, held a town hall to get your ideas on classes and are so proud to announce the launch of City College Sunset for the Spring 2020 semester.

As the state cuts funding to community-serving classes, we stepped up to invest directly in bringing these educational opportunities to our neighborhood, with six new classes serving westside residents, seniors and high school students.

Delivering this in our first year in office wouldn’t have been possible without the partnership of City College staff and teachers, and Sunset community leaders and neighbors who made it clear this is a priority for our neighborhood. I’m also grateful to Wah Mei Preschool and Abraham Lincoln High School who are generously providing classroom space.

The first semester of class offerings includes courses in child development, English as a second language, mind-body health for older adults, and elementary American Sign Language and college success classes for dual-enrolled high school students. Classes are tuition-free for San Francisco residents and begin in January. For more information and to enroll, visit CityCollegeSunset.com, or contact Legislative Aide Alan Wong at alan.wong1@sfgov.org.

It’s clear we need to increase, not decrease, our funding for community-serving higher education. As the state cuts funds, we invested directly to bring these classes to our neighborhood and negotiated with the mayor to secure Free City for the next decade – and we will continue the work to invest in education, for all our benefit.

Sunlight on Dark Money

We will soon have the strongest dark money disclosure law in the nation, with Proposition F, the Sunlight on Dark Money ballot measure, passing this November with the support of 77 percent of voters. The people of San Francisco know what we know; we deserve transparency in our democracy.

I was proud to work with longtime advocates in creating this measure, and to place it on the ballot to address political corruption, pay-to-play politics and dark money donations. This is the first measure I put before voters since taking office. I am grateful for all the support and grateful that together we’re moving our democracy forward.

Emergency Firefighting

The Board of Supervisors unanimously passed my legislation to create a plan to expand our emergency firefighting infrastructure to all neighborhoods within 15 years. Our planet is on fire, our earthquake risk is ever-present and every community and neighborhood in San Francisco deserves to be protected when the big one comes. We have a long way to go and this is a big step forward.

Our current Emergency Firefighting Water System (EFWS) doesn’t cover most of the west side of the City, leaving us vulnerable when – not if – a big earthquake or fire happens. With this legislation, we will create a comprehensive action plan to expand EFWS to all unprotected neighborhoods within 15 years, increase the fire department’s emergency equipment in the interim, and strengthen public oversight and accountability by requiring an annual report on the status of EFWS’s preparedness for a major earthquake or fire.

Tree Canopy

At 13.7 percent, San Francisco’s urban tree canopy is the smallest of any major city in the United States. We’ve set ambitious goals to expand this canopy, yet last year removed twice as many trees as we planted, reducing our canopy by nearly 2,500 trees. With the recent addition of the Street Tree SF program, there have been dramatic changes in how we manage our street trees. And with nine years remaining to make dramatic reductions to greenhouse gas emissions to avert the most catastrophic impacts of our climate crisis, we have no time to spare. 

This is why last month we held an informative and incisive hearing on the planting and management of trees in San Francisco. When we talk about trees, we are not talking about decorations, or accessories, or amenities that are nice to have. We are talking about civic infrastructure; green infrastructure. The single greatest and most cost-effective way we have to capture and sequester carbon is a tree.

Earlier this year, we declared a state of emergency on our climate crisis, and our inability to expand our urban canopy is a glaring blindspot in our comprehensive strategy to reduce greenhouse gases and combat climate change. 

We need to invest more in planting trees. We need to accurately account for their value, for their impacts on air quality, public health, greenhouse gas reduction and public welfare. When trees are removed, we need to understand and account for the real cost of that loss. And we need to act with the urgency that this demands. 

Our hearing made clear there is much more work to do. I am committed to working with our neighbors and City leaders to get it done. 

Gordon Mar represents District 4 on the SF Board of Supervisors. He can be reached at (415) 554-7460 or marstaff@sfgov.org.

Categories: City Hall

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