City Hall

Sunset Solidarity: Help Each Other

Supervisor Gordon Mar

With all that’s going on across the country and around the world, it is easy to lose sight of the work happening locally to bring people together and address this crisis. 

The way neighbors are stepping up to help each other is astounding, and the Sunset is serving as a model for our entire City. 

A grassroots, all-volunteer group of neighbors called The Sunset Neighborhood Help Group has self-organized to help people get what they need. Through customer donations, Andytown has given tens of thousands of dollars in food and coffee to frontline healthcare workers in the emergency room at San Francisco General Hospital. Abraham Lincoln High School is hosting regular free meal pickup opportunities for school families and a pop up food pantry for the broader community. Other Avenues is reserving its first hour of business for seniors and other vulnerable populations. NEMS Noriega Clinic became one of the first community healthcare facilities to offer drive up COVID-19 testing for existing and new patients.

We are inspired by these acts of #SunsetSolidarity, aid, compassion, and care for one another, and we’re working hard to do our part, fight for our neighbors, fill in the gaps, pass first-in-the-nation policies, and provide help, services and resources during this unprecedented crisis. 

Supporting Small Businesses and Seniors

When you make your essential trips or purchases, please show support and solidarity for our neighborhood stores, services and restaurants during shelter-in-place. To make it easier, my office is compiling a list of all businesses in the Sunset that are still open for essential needs, selling gift cards or offering online shopping. And, my office is working with neighborhood business leaders to create programs and policies that address their most urgent needs including expanding direct economic relief and advocating that insurance companies settle business claims for health emergency impacts.

We are also hosting phone banks to reach out to seniors and other vulnerable populations in the Sunset. Sheltering in place is critical to reduce the coronavirus from spreading in our community and every hour counts, so we want to check on the wellness of our neighbors during this critical time. 

You can view the list of essential Sunset businesses and sign up to volunteer for our phone banks at http://www.gordonmar.com.

Helping Workers 

I introduced an emergency ordinance to create a new category of paid leave in San Francisco: Public Health Emergency Leave. 

Congress took action to expand paid leave for workers, but they left out over 50% of our workforce by exempting big corporations. This carve-out for corporate America in a time of crisis is inexcusable. Where our federal government is falling short, I am taking immediate, emergency action to close the gap and ensure that we’re working for working people here in San Francisco.

With this emergency measure, employees of big private companies will be able to immediately access additional weeks of paid leave, closing the major loophole in the federal legislation, and making sure that in health emergencies, workers are able to take off the time they need for themselves and their families. 

We also passed legislation I authored calling for further state and federal action to expand benefits for workers and support for small businesses. I introduced another resolution calling on city and state officials to take immediate action to address the misclassification of San Francisco employees and ensure gig workers who are delivering food and groceries, or driving people for their essential trips, are able to access their rights and benefits. 

 Paid sick leave, unemployment insurance and family medical leave aren’t just nice to have; they are the difference between workers being able to feed their families or not.  And during this pandemic, they are essential for public health.

Advocating for Homeowners and Renters and Addressing Racism

I’ve joined my colleagues in calling for a moratorium on rent and mortgage payments to help both homeowners and tenants weather this crisis. We need big, bold action to rescue the people most vulnerable and most impacted from the economic fallout of what is happening. 

And as racist acts against Chinese and Asian Americans skyrocket, fueled by the words of  President Donald Trump, it is incumbent on all of us to make it clear that we will not accept intolerance. I proudly co-sponsored Board of Supervisors President Norman Yee’s resolution condemning the president’s words and the racism behind them.

COVID-19 has no race, no nationality and no ethnicity. We are all in this together, and we must stand up for one another, for our communities and our values. 

Stay home, save lives and stay informed. You can find more city resources and up-to-date information on COVID-19 at sfgov.org. Text COVID19SF to 888-777 for text message alerts, or call 311 for more information. 

And remember, we are here for you. As this crisis evolves, we’re sending email newsletters every few days with up-to-date resources and information. Email us at marstaff@sfgov.org to subscribe, to sign up for our new virtual office hours, or for any questions. And please feel free to call us at (415) 554-7460. In a time when public service has never been more important, we are here to serve you. 

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

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