Supervisor Gordon Mar
As we continue to shelter in place amidst an unprecedented public health and economic crisis, I have never been more proud to be a Sunset resident, and I have never been more proud to call you all my neighbors.
Together, we’ve launched #SunsetStrong, a community-driven initiative spearheaded by District 4 small business owners, artists and residents looking for ways to support their neighbors. The new website, http://www.sunsetstrong.com, makes it easy to find food and drink establishments, groceries, retail, and services, with plans to include churches and nonprofits. By shopping local for our essential needs, we can help support our neighborhood businesses – and each other.
Public Health Emergency Leave
My Public Health Emergency Leave legislation is in effect. Hundreds of thousands of San Franciscans are now eligible for two additional weeks of paid leave to take care of themselves or a family member, on top of existing benefits. If you work for a private employer with 500 or more employees, you’re eligible, even if you’re furloughed, and even if you were just hired. You can use the leave if you’re sick, if you need to take care of a family member, are 60 or older, are immune compromised, or if you can’t work because of shelter in place.
Doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers at large employers are also now covered if they contract COVID-19, or are exposed to it and don’t meet CDC guidelines to return to work. For more information, visit olse.sfgov.org.
We’ve taken additional steps to protect essential workers, passing two new important laws. I co-sponsored legislation by Matt Haney to require personal protective equipment for frontline workers, and I authored legislation 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.
And we’re not stopping there. I’m introducing another emergency law to support workers. As unemployment claims skyrocket, the Back to Work Ordinance will give laid-off workers the right to be offered their jobs back if and when their former employer re-opens and re-hires. When it is safe to do so, businesses will be able to re-open faster by bringing back former staff, and laid off employees will be the first ones hired.
As transit service and traffic have both plummeted, and more of us are walking or biking for our essential trips, for exercise, or for mental health, we’ve taken immediate action to support safer streets, more mobility options and better social distancing.
Bikeshare is now available in the Sunset! We worked with Bay Wheels and the SFMTA to expand access to this important mobility option for westside residents. In the current health crisis, and with reduced transit service, bikeshare and e-bikes are good options for essential trips and for essential workers getting to and from work.
Rather than continuing sand removal to keep the road clear for cars, we’ve opened up the Great Highway to walking and biking during shelter in place. And, following advocacy from my office, SFMTA has launched a citywide Slow Streets program, removing thru-traffic on certain residential streets to slow car speeds, reduce traffic, and support walking and biking.
Our sidewalks aren’t wide enough to always accommodate safe social distancing. We all need to be able to get out and walk and bike safely for our mental and physical health, and this important program preserves local access to driveways and parking for residents, and makes our streets safer—for all of us.
Together we’ve made over 3,000 calls to Sunset seniors so far, and left 680 personalized voicemails with important COVID-19 information! It’s been a great way to plug into the community. If you would like to volunteer to help make these calls, contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Call times are flexible.
Finally, we’re sending newsletters at least twice a week and holding virtual town halls at least once a week to listen to your needs and priorities and share timely information and resources. Past events have focused on public health information, small business support, housing stability, youth and families, and more. To make sure you don’t miss these events and updates, subscribe to our newsletter by emailing us at email@example.com, and connect with me on Facebook or Twitter at @D4gordonmar.
We’ll have more updates on our office’s work soon. As always, please contact us if we can help in any way. We are working day and night to serve, support and protect our neighbors – and we’re deeply grateful to every neighbor stepping up to help.
Gordon Mar respresents District 4 on the SF Board of Supervisors. He can be reached at (415) 554-7460 or firstname.lastname@example.org.