Kicking Off a New Lunar Year
By Sandra Lee Fewer
Happy lunar new year everyone!
The annual lunar new year celebration at City Hall started off with a lion dance and continued with speeches and performances by Marina Middle School and West Portal Elementary School students. It was a festive and fun event and a wonderful way to welcome the new year. I also had great time again at the annual Lunar New Year Parade. This was my 12th year in the parade. I want to thank everyone who came out to celebrate, especially Leila and Anne who joined me in the parade. Happy year of the rat!
Last month, I hosted a community meeting on Outside Lands where neighbors came out to provide feedback on the concert activities for event organizers and city departments. Thank you to everyone who came out, including Another Planet Entertainment, Rec. and Park, SFMTA and SFPD, who provided a debrief and reported out on observations, successes and areas of improvement from the 2019 event.
I was also able to attend a delicious cioppino dinner at Recology. This annual event brings together community folks, business leaders and public servants to enjoy a wonderful seafood dinner. So thankful to be invited by David Heller, the head of our Geary Boulevard Merchants Association.
Happy 150th anniversary to Golden Gate Park! Save the date for the park-wide anniversary celebration on April 4. I recently had a wonderful stroll through the Botanical Garden, which is free to SF residents. February marked the start of the magnolia walking tours; the magnolias, camellias and rhododendrons were in beautiful bloom. On the way back home, I passed by Stow Lake and saw Nancy DeStefanis from the Heron Watch Program, who shared with me her drawings of the heron nests. Be sure to take advantage of the free nature walking tours at Stow Lake, which start on April 11.
I am so thankful that the de Young Museum, under the leadership of Director Tom Campbell, has made the museum free to residents of the nine Bay Area counties. My husband and I just spent a Saturday morning visiting the museum and paid a discounted price of $10 to view the fabulous exhibit “Soul of a Nation – Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983.” This is the first exhibit from Director Campbell, and it was a powerful and educational experience. Go see it before it ends March 15!
California Street Safety Project Meeting
To provide neighbors with an update on the additional data collection and address questions about the details of the California Street Traffic Project scope, we are holding a second meeting on Thursday, March 12, 6-8 p.m. at St. James Preschool (4620 California St.). The SFMTA project is anticipated to be implemented in late spring 2020, including “daylighting” (the removal of parking spcaes 10 to 20 feet in advance of an intersection crossing to improve visibility) and a “road diet” (lane reduction or rechanneling) on California Street between Park Presidio and Arguello. Also, traffic signals on California Street between Arguello and Presidio boulevards will be retimed to give pedestrians additional time to cross while giving California Street traffic longer green-light time to ensure that transit and traffic flows efficiently.
More information and detailed visuals of street design can be found at http://www.sfmta.com/projects/california-street-safety-project.
Inside City Hall
I had so much fun hosting an art reception in my office featuring the artwork of the Golden Gate Park Senior Center Chinese brush painting class. Thank you to all the students for lending us their beautiful artwork and to instructor Gloria Gee; I look forward to seeing these amazing art pieces every day in my office for weeks to come.
I was proud to join supervisors Shamann Walton and Aaron Peskin, along with Assemblymember David Chiu, at a press conference condemning the predatory financial practices of Wells Fargo Bank, for repeatedly targeting vulnerable elders in our community for foreclosure. Thank you to Open Door Legal and the SF Department of Disability and Aging for having the backs of our community members. And thanks to Supervisor Walton for upping the visibility of this important issue.
It was my honor to present a commendation during Black History Month to Chloe Jackman, a District 1 resident and Clement Street small business owner, who fought to stay in her home and to save the homes of all the tenants in her building. Chloe reached out to my office last year to ask for help because her building was on sale for the second time in two years and the tenants were facing the possibility of eviction. She worked with my office, the Housing Rights Committee, Impact SF Housing and affordable housing nonprofits to get 369 Third Ave. purchased by a nonprofit and preserved as permanently affordable housing under the Small Sites Program. I am so grateful to have a community leader like Chloe Jackman in my neighborhood who will stand up for those who aren’t sure how to advocate for themselves, and stand up against those who try to take advantage of people.
Yes on B and D for the March 3 Election
During my personal time, I spent my Sundays in February talking to voters at the Clement Street Farmers Market about the importance of Propositions B and D on the March ballot.
Prop. B will provide more than $150 million for an emergency firefighting water system on the west side of the City, which I have fought for during my entire time on the Board of Supervisors. Without this emergency firefighting water system in place, our neighborhood could burn when the next big earthquake hits.
Prop. D is a tax on vacant storefronts that are held empty for long periods of time. This tax is meant to be a behavior changer rather than a revenue producer, as it can be easily avoided if the landlord takes concrete steps to improve the space and rent it out to a business. The threat of this tax will give existing small businesses leverage in renegotiating their leases and will incentivize landlords to bring down their rents to a level that small businesses can actually afford, rather than continuing to hold their storefronts vacant and use them as a tax write-off. I hope you will join me in voting “yes” on B and D on March 3.
Happy spring everyone! Remember to do your One Richmond thing and don’t forget to set your clocks forward on March 8.
San Francisco Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer represents District 1.
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Categories: City Hall