By Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer
Thank you for your patience and resilience during this unprecedented emergency. I know it has not been easy to shelter-in-place for over a month, but the evidence is beginning to show that our commitment to sheltering-in-place and practicing physical distancing is working.
Thanks to decisive, early action taken by public health officials across the Bay Area, we have not yet seen an outbreak of the same severity as those faced by other large cities across the world. However, it is important to remember we are still not in the clear, and adhering to all public health orders remains imperative.
I encourage you to visit sf.gov/coronavirus and onerichmondsf.com for up-to-date information and ways to get involved, from doing phone check-ins or grocery shopping for isolated seniors to volunteering for the food bank. Also, please email me at Sandra.Fewer@sfgov.org to be added to my email newsletter list which will keep you updated and informed about news, citywide and in our district.
Inside the EOC
Since early April, my staff and I have been stationed at the City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in the Moscone Center. The EOC houses the management teams from all our city departments who are on the front lines of responding to this crisis, and my office has been taking the lead on getting accurate, up-to-date information to all the district offices throughout the City. Since my office started at the EOC, the City’s priorities have been moving vulnerable populations into alternative housing sites, scaling up those alternative housing sites through a bidding process with hotels, creating and scaling up a food security program accessible through 311, and containing the spread of the virus.
I would like to offer my sincere gratitude to the thousands of disaster service workers who are staffing the EOC and hotels, delivering groceries, and performing a myriad of other tasks to mobilize every resource at our disposal to contain the spread of this virus and minimize loss of life. While those of us working from home and at the EOC are able to maintain relative comfort and safety, many essential employees do not have that privilege. As we continue to grapple with this unprecedented, once-in-a-century disaster, I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on the Board and at the various departments staffing the EOC to ensure all urgent needs are met for the duration of the crisis.
Face Coverings Required
Everyone in San Francisco is now required to wear face coverings (masks, scarves, anything that covers your mouth and nose) when they are outside of their homes for essential needs, including waiting in line outside or while inside of a grocery store, or on public transportation. Additionally, transportation workers and other employees who interact with the public must also cover their faces while doing essential work.
Pit-Stops Coming to D1
Thank you to everyone who reached out to my office to advocate for sanitary services for our unhoused neighbors. I have continued to push the Department of Public Works DPW) to expand these services to District 1. My office has now received confirmation that portable restrooms (pit stops) are being set up at 18th Avenue and Geary Boulevard, at 48th and Fulton Street near the Safeway, and at 24th and Balboa Street near the PG&E Station. These pit stops are staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week and provide toilets and handwashing stations. In addition, the DPW will be cleaning up the sites on a regular basis. It is the City’s policy during this emergency that tents will not be removed and no one will be admitted to shelters in fear of spreading the virus. The city is exploring safe encampment sites and also the use of hotel rooms for unhoused people. However, as the City works to move people off the streets and into alternative housing sites as quickly as possible, these pit stops will help improve sanitary conditions and preserve basic human dignity for our unhoused neighbors, while also improving the condition of our sidewalks.
Food Access Initiative
For the public and people who may be newly food insecure, the Emergency Operation Center’s Feeding Unit has launched a public webpage on SF.gov and 311 resources to help people navigate their food options, including community providers or public benefits. The San Francisco Food Resources Map Viewer allows people to search for food resources near their location, including food provided by the San Francisco Unified School District, the Department of Disability and Aging Services, local grocery stores and food banks. The website will be updated regularly with available resources. More information, including the Food Resources Map, is available here: http://www.sf.gov/get-food-resources.
In our neighborhood, neighbors may access groceries from the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank at Roosevelt Middle School (155 Palm Ave.) every Tuesday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Just show up; no identification is necessary. We are also actively looking for an additional site for food distribution in our neighborhood.
Our office, in collaboration with the District 2 office, is requesting SFMTA evaluate designating Lake Street from Arguello Boulevard to 28th Avenue as a Slow Street. Residents will still have access to their homes and garages, and parking on Lake Street will still be permitted. This proposal is only during the COVID-19 emergency and local access will still be allowed. For more information about the Slow Streets program, go to MTA.com/slowstreets.
SFMTA Service Updates
Starting on Saturday, April 25, the 5, 12, 28, and 54 Muni buses will be back in service with modified routes. Weekend 38-R service will return. The 9, 714, L-Bus, and N-Bus will have headway frequency modifications.
The Essential Trip Card (ETC) program will provide two to three round trips per month at 20% of the cost of a regular taxi fare for essential trips like grocery shopping or medical appointments during the shelter-in-place. Older adults (65+) and people with disabilities can apply for the ETC program by calling 311 and mentioning the program. Staff will be available weekdays, 9 a.m.-4:45 p.m. to sign up participants and answer questions. You can learn more at SFMTA.com/ETC.
Emergency Rent Legislation Passed
In April, Supervisor Aaron Peskin and I unanimously passed emergency legislation at the Board of Supervisors to stop all rent increases during the COVID-19 emergency. Tens of thousands of San Franciscans have lost their jobs because of COVID-19 and the last thing they should be facing during this emergency is a rent hike. This ordinance is complementary to our local eviction moratorium and our ongoing efforts to push our state and federal governments to provide financial relief so that those who have lost their incomes are not saddled with insurmountable debt once this public health emergency ends.
Repaving in D1
Some of you may have already noticed that repaving of Park Presidio Boulevard has started. Caltrans is using the opportunity to pave the road since traffic has been severely reduced due to the shelter-in-place order. You may have also noticed that Crossover Drive at 25th Avenue is being repaved. While these projects will cause delays and temporary inconveniences, the results will serve us and our vehicles well. I received many emails about the poor condition of these roads, so these repairs are much needed and wanted. Thanks for your patience!
I’m so grateful for all the people who are making it possible for us to shelter in place: grocery workers, folks who deliver our goods, take out restaurant workers, bus drivers, taxi drivers, front line health care workers, first responders, educators, and many more. Thank you neighbors for doing your part to help fight COVID-19 by staying home, washing your hands, and covering your face during essential outings.
Finally, we wish Ramadan Mubarak to those who celebrate.
You can still do a #OneRichmond thing every day during this crisis, and quite frankly, we need it now more than ever. Call a friend, send a wellness text, donate to a good cause. Stay well. Go well.
San Francisco Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer represents District 1. She can be reached at (415) 554-7410 or Sandra.Fewer@sfgov.org.