|This continues to be an uncertain and unprecedented time for our City, our country, and our democracy.
We don’t yet know who will be elected President, or the outcomes of important races up and down the ballot across San Francisco and across the state and nation, decisions that will impact us all for years and decades to come.
We’re seeing record turnout, with more people than ever stepping up to cast our ballots as an expression of ourselves, our values, our hopes, dreams, needs, and fears. People everywhere are voting by mail or voting early, adapting to the realities of a pandemic that has disrupted voting habits along with the rest of our lives. Young people are organizing for the issues that will define their generation, from the climate crisis to the enduring crisis of racial injustice, and here in San Francisco, for the chance to vote themselves.
The level of civic engagement is historic and has the power to transform our world for the better long after this election is over if we all stay engaged and involved.
The level of vitriol, hate, and bigotry brought to light is also historic, and also has the power to transform our world for the worse if we allow it to fester and grow. Here in the Sunset, we’ve seen racism renewed. Antisemitic graffiti has appeared in our neighborhood, and incidents of anti-Asian racism continue to rise. Our neighborhood is not immune to the division gripping the country. We are not absolved from our responsibility to stand against hate wherever it exists, work against injustice where it endures, and to come together in compassion and the common cause of helping one another.
I continue to be inspired by the thousands in our neighborhood doing just that. Working people are volunteering to distribute food and supplies to their vulnerable neighbors. Parents are juggling working from home with schooling from home — a challenge I know myself. Small businesses are adapting to serve our community in new ways. Nonprofits are rising to meet new needs and challenges. City departments are doing more with less, and faster than ever. Artists are creating new public works, like the installation calling for hope on the Great Highway at Rivera, and the mural calling for climate justice and community resilience at the Far Out West community garden. And all of us collectively are making the small sacrifices every day needed to slow the spread of covid-19.
And it counts. As new cases spike across the country, San Francisco stands as an outlier, and a powerful example of collective resolve. We still have to take care, which is why our re-opening has been paused. It’s a set back, but not yet a step backwards, even as most cities and states are entering new shutdowns and increasing public health restrictions.
It hasn’t been easy, and it will only get easier if we keep our resolve and our commitment to follow public health guidance and take care of ourselves and others.