Policy


Jobs, Economy, & Fiscal Leadership

poetica.jpgWhen I was first elected in 2010, we were enduring the aftermath of the Great Recession and unemployment citywide was staggeringly high – above 10%. When I ran in 2010, I pledged to use my private sector background and experience to help turn our local economy around and put people back to work. During my time in office, I’ve helped pass and advance legislation and policies to do just that. Now, we have a local economy that is diverse and thriving and one that is the number one county in the country for job creation. Some of my accomplishments include:

  • Budget Committee Chair – During my tenure as Chair of our Budget & Finance Committee, I helped unanimously usher through San Francisco’s $8 Billion budget while expanding neighborhood city services and putting away record amounts in our City’s budget reserves to protect against the next economic downturn.
  • Solved San Francisco’s $4.4 Billion Unfunded Retiree Healthcare Liability – I authored a unanimously supported Charter Amendment to change the way our City pays for our retiree health care costs, received the support of close to 70% of San Francisco’s voters, and arguably made San Francisco one of the most financially responsibly cities in the nation by fully-funding this huge liability.
  • Small Business Payroll Tax Exemption – I authored and passed legislation to exempt small businesses citywide from paying a 1.5% tax on payroll, which has helped small businesses hire more employees and helped merchant corridors thrive.
  • Film Rebate Program – I authored and passed legislation to bolster our City’s film rebate program to encourage more film production of all types here in San Francisco, which has made film production go up, money spent locally from the film productions in San Francisco rise, and created more jobs for those in the industry.
  • Kiva and San Francisco Private-Public Partnership – I authored and passed legislation to create a public-private partnership with our City and the San Francisco based non-profit, Kiva.org, to help provide small business entrepreneurs citywide with greater access to capital at 0% interest.
Ensuring Thriving District 2 Neighborhoods

restaurant.jpgIt is my absolute honor to represent the neighborhoods of District 2 at the Board of Supervisors, which I grew up in and now choose to raise my family in. The constituents of District 2 and the best interests of San Francisco are always at the forefront of my mind while making decisions that have real impacts on our everyday lives. I am proud of the work the community and I have been able to accomplish while in office: 

  • Thriving Neighborhoods – During the City’s budget process, I have secured funds for community building, street and utility maintenance, neighborhood infrastructure improvements and upgrades, and public safety improvements in every corner of our district.
  • Thriving Merchant Corridors – Throughout the City’s budget process, I have secured funds to make infrastructure improvements, improve pedestrian safety, and beautify our major merchant corridors on Union, Chestnut, Fillmore, Lombard and Sacramento Streets to attract more customers to frequent our great local small businesses.
  • Negotiating and Finalizing CPMC Hospital Deals – Along with three of my colleagues on the Board, I led negotiations with CPMC to finalize the development of their new hospitals and ensured transit protections and improvements for the surrounding neighborhood while also working to mitigate any adverse effects of the new development.
Affordability, Housing, and the Cost of Living

Affordability, Housing, and the Cost of LivingThe cost of living, housing, and our City’s affordability is a top priority to ensure we maintain the diversity and neighborhood character which makes San Francisco unique. Years of slow housing development has led to a significant supply/demand imbalance, and moving forward we need to promote additional housing supply that meets the needs of all income levels.

  • Housing Task Force – I served on Mayor Lee’s housing task force, which was tasked with the goal of coming up with and implementing policy and programmatic solutions to meet the City’s goal of building and rehabilitating 30,000 units – with half of those in reach of low to moderate income households.
  • Legalizing In-Law Housing Units – I supported legislation that created a pathway to legalize thousands of illegal in-law units citywide. In-law units are in every neighborhood across San Francisco and have served as an affordable housing option for many communities. With this legislation, we’ll ensure that thousands of individuals have the opportunity to remain in their home and communities for years to come.
Working to End Homelessness

Working to End HomelessnessHomelessness has been a problem in San Francisco for generations. For the past 10-years our City’s homeless population numbers have remained the same, and it has affected all of our City’s neighborhoods, residents, and visitors in so many ways. It affects San Franciscans in many ways – as a civic pride issue, as a public safety issue, but ultimately this is a human issue, as these are sons, daughters, mothers and fathers on our streets, and I believe we need to do everything possible to house these individuals, and within City Hall focus greater attention on the issue. I have made this issue a top priority at the Board, advancing solutions to get more people off our streets.

  • Hearings For Solutions – Dating back to 2013, I sponsored nine separate hearings on the topic of homelessness. Our first hearing focused on our City’s 2004 10-year plan to abolish chronic homelessness, which just expired this summer, and the other eight hearings examined how we can better house our homeless population, and deliver services for the unique sub-populations of our homeless.
  • Homeless Outreach Team & Housing – With only 2-4 individuals doing outreach at any given time to the over 3,500 unsheltered homeless on our City streets, I authored and passed legislation that doubled the homeless outreach team and added 100 additional flexible housing opportunities for the most chronically homeless.
  • Founding Member, San Francisco’s Interagency Homeless Council – With the conclusion of our City’s 10-year plan, Mayor Lee asked me to be a founding member of San Francisco’s Interagency Council on Homelessness – this Council will coordinate our City’s overall homeless policies moving forward and is comprised of multiple city and community organizations.
Fighting for Families

playground_7.jpgUnfortunately, we know from recent Census data that San Francisco has the lowest percentage of children of any major city in our country. As a father of three young children, I have made it a top priority of my office to advance policies and projects that help to make San Francisco a more desirable place for families to live and raise their family in. Creating a city that is welcoming and encouraging to families will reap positive benefits for San Francisco for years to come. Some of my accomplishments in this area include:

  • Marina Family Fest – I worked with the community and private industry to help secure sponsorship for the first and ongoing Marina Family Fest – an event where thousands of families show-up to enjoy family related activities and festivities. We’re looking at bringing the family fest citywide this year.
  • Shared Schoolyards Project – Since my first year in office, I worked to privately raise funds to help open public schoolyards on the weekends citywide to create more open space and foster a greater sense of community – check out the project here: www.sfsharedschoolyard.org
  • SFKids.org - I created a public/private partnership to redesign and revamp www.sfkids.org in order to provide a centralized online resource for families, to provide a go-to source for family resources and services in our City. I vividly remember spending countless hours growing up at Moscone Playground in the Marina and constantly using the Marina Library. San Francisco has a wealth of resources available for families, and I want to make sure every family is aware of them.
Public Safety

Public SafetyPublic safety is a top concern of residents citywide, and I have made it a priority to be a fierce advocate for public safety enhancing policies, as well as securing the necessary funds to ensure that we have adequate first responders on staff. Some of my accomplishments include:

  • Securing New Fire & Police Academy Classes – During last year’s budget season, I spearheaded efforts to secure new academy classes for our Fire and Police Departments, which hadn’t had any new recruits in almost five years.
  • First Responder Home Loan Assistance Program – With record numbers of first responders living outside of our City’s limits, I worked with housing advocates and our first responders – stemming from the passage of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund - to create a down-payment home loan assistance program for our City’s first responders, so that they could buy homes in the city they serve and strengthen neighborhood public safety.
  • Public Safety Town-Hall Meetings – I have hosted town hall meetings with Police Chief Greg Suhr, all of our District Police Captains, and the broader community to discuss public safety broadly and techniques to keep our residents feeling safe and secure.
Parks, Plazas & Open Spaces

Mark Farrell New ParkSan Francisco’s world-class parks, plazas, and open-spaces are one of our City’s best treasures and add so much to our quality of life and our local economy. Preserving and adding new open space has been a constant focus of my office. Some of my accomplishments include:

  • San Francisco Parks Bond – I was a fierce advocate and major supporter of our City’s Parks Bond that passed in 2012 funding upgrades and renovations at Moscone Park and Mountain Lake Park – making them even better places to enjoy and visit.
  • Shared Schoolyards Project – The Shared Schoolyards Project has helped to open 32 public schoolyards in every Supervisorial District across San Francisco – creating more open space and building a greater sense of community by giving families a safe place to visit and play.
  • Francisco Reservoir – I am working with the city and neighbors of the Francisco Reservoir to turn a dilapidated, unused Reservoir, into a new community park in one of the densest neighborhoods in our City – you can see more about the project here: www.franciscoreservoir.org.
  • Recreation and Parks Budget Advocacy – I helped to fund the opening of the Julius Kahn Recreation Center, and made sure other recreation centers in our district received the necessary funds to remain open and offer programs and services for the whole community to enjoy.
Ensuring a Healthy San Francisco

Ensuring a Healthy San FranciscoEveryone deserves access to quality, affordable health care services and options. By promoting and advancing healthier policies we can have a stronger San Francisco in both the short term and the long term. I have been a leader at the Board of Supervisors, and as a Health Services Commissioner, in promoting policies and projects that seek to improve the health of all San Franciscans.

  • Healthcare Transparency – I authored and passed a unanimously supported resolution urging our City and Health Services System to adopt measures to ensure our City’s healthcare providers are providing transparent cost information while negotiating with our City for our healthcare rates for our employees, so that we can lower costs and understand better the costs of healthcare.
  • Healthcare Equity – I have been a leader at the Board of Supervisors in discussing the need to have equity in our health care costs because we know that some healthcare providers charge drastically different prices for the same procedures.
  • CPMC Rebuild – I led negotiations with California Pacific Medical Center, resulting in an agreement to build two brand-new world-class hospitals to meet the growing healthcare demands of our residents.
  • Health Care Security Ordinance - I brokered a compromise with my Board colleagues to pass the ground-breaking health care security ordinance, which expanded health care coverage to thousands of workers in need, while also mitigating the impact it would have on businesses in San Francisco who were tasked with providing health care benefits for their employees.
  • Lowering our Health Care Rates - As a Board member of our City’s Health Service System Commission, I played an integral role in negotiating better deals with our City’s health care providers, which has led to an unprecedented lowering of our City’s healthcare rates. Last year alone we saved over $20 million, and had a year-over-year decrease in our health insurance rates of 2.8%.
Open Government & Gov 2.0

Open Government & Gov 2.0We live in the technology capital of the world, and our City government should reflect and embrace the technological advances happening in our back yard to enhance the quality of our life with useful platforms, services and applications, ensure government accountability and transparency, and improve our local economy. Some of my accomplishments include:

  • Open Data Law – I authored and passed our City’s groundbreaking open data ordinance that continued San Francisco’s role as a national leader on the open data movement. Open data has shown to increase government efficiency, create jobs, and boost our local economy.
  • San Francisco’s Open Laws – I worked directly with constituents, using the platform www.sanfranciscocode.org to engage with our city residents in a way that works for them and passed legislation directly from their input and suggestions.
  • ReImagineSF – I partnered with undergraduate and graduate institutions across San Francisco to launch ReImagineSF, which was a scholarship opportunity to submit new ideas for new policies, build upon existing law, or update outdated laws.
  • Open Legislation - I authored legislation to make San Francisco the first open legislation city in the country. The legislative information will be posted in open data formats, so that our residents and entrepreneurs can have modern access to our city’s laws and policies. This legislation will allow for new useful services, applications, and platforms to be created to make our residents’ experience with government more user and digital friendly.
Addressing our Mental Health Crisis

Farrell and MilfayOur country is experiencing a mental health crisis, with over 40 million American’s suffering from mental health illnesses, and we are not immune from the problem here in San Francisco. We are reminded all too often with gun violence incidents such as the 2012 tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary that we need to do everything possible to prevent future incidents. I have led efforts in City Hall to expand and enhance our City’s behavioral and mental health services system, so that we can better serve those who are experiencing mental illness and put them on a path towards successful recovery.

  • CARES Task Force – Mayor Lee appointed me as the only member of the Board of Supervisors to serve on his Contact, Assess, Recover, & Ensure Success (CARES) Task Force that works to enhance current services and find new solutions to better serve those with mental illness. The Task Force came up with 31 actionable items that are all currently being implemented.
  • Laura’s Law – I authored and advanced legislation that fully implemented Laura’s Law here in San Francisco. Laura’s Law is a state law that allows for court-ordered, community-based mental health treatment options for those clearly suffering from severe mental illness. The passage of Laura’s Law in San Francisco has had a cascading affect across the state with numerous other counties recently having passed similar legislation.
Enhancing and Preserving our Environment

Enhancing and Preserving our EnvironmentSan Francisco has been at the forefront of supporting and advancing policies aimed at enhancing and preserving our environment for generations to come. In one of the most environmentally conscious cities in the world, I have advanced government programs that incentivize renewable and energy efficient options while also creating new green jobs in the emerging clean energy economy. Some of my accomplishments include:

  • Green Finance SF – I lead the efforts to re-launch GreenFinance SF – a finance tool to provide property owners favorable rates and terms that incentivizes them to make renewable energy and energy efficient upgrades to their homes by using local contractors on local projects.
Improving our Public Transportation System

San Francisco Muni Train and BusIt is crucially important that as our population continues to grow that we have first-rate public transit options that can meet the transportation needs of our City residents. Having fewer automobiles on our roads is not only good for the environment, it is also important for reducing traffic and improving our quality of life. At the Board I have supported and help to advance policies and projects that have and will improve public transit all across San Francisco:

  • Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit – I have supported and lead efforts to finalize the Bus Rapid Transit project on Van Ness Avenue which will improve transportation along the traffic corridor, improve pedestrian safety, and also reduce traffic congestion.
  • Saving the 3-Jackson – I have worked with the community and the SFMTA to save the elimination of the crucial 3-Jackson line, which serves many residents in our community, including seniors and the disabled.
  • Financial Leadership – As a member of our Transportation Authority’s Finance Committee, I have ensured that our transportation system’s finances have been spent efficiently and wisely.
Improving Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety

Improving Bicycle and Pedestrian SafetyIt’s crucial to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety in San Francisco as more and more individuals are choosing to bike and walk. Improving bicycle and pedestrian safety has multiple benefits for our residents, visitors and business community.

  • Vision Zero Funding – During our City’s budget process, I secured close to $200,00 in additional funding to fund pedestrian safety initiatives and street improvements across District 2 to advance the policy of Vision Zero.
  • SF StreetSmarts - I secured funding for the SFStreetSmarts program in District 2, which alerts drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians on how to share our city streets in the safest way possible – while also teaching best practices and how to be mindful of all those using our streets. You can learn more about the program here: http://www.sfbos.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=49797.
  • Bicycling and Walking Trail Improvements - My office led the efforts to improve access and safety for pedestrians and bicyclist on the Marina Bay Trail, which is used by thousands every year, and led the efforts to finalize the Presidio Trail improvements inside the Arguello gate.
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