September 2015 Newsletter
It is great to be back in touch after our legislative recess in the month of August. I hope you and your loved ones all had a spectacular summer, and are getting ready for fall and kids being back in school. I had a great time being with family and friends over our break, and am back refreshed and recharged to finish off the year strong here at the Board of Supervisors.
Before the legislative recess, we were working tirelessly inside and outside of City Hall to finalize our City’s two-year budget. As Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee for the last three years, I am proud to have led another consensus City budget process, and in particular our historic $25 million investment for affordable housing needs citywide. After tough negotiations, this budget reflects the values of all San Franciscans, and places top priority on affordability, public safety, and reducing homelessness and poverty. We’ve also doubled our reserves over the past three years and eliminated our budget deficit for the first time in 15 years.
Out in the neighborhoods, I have been meeting with residents across San Francisco to hear their feedback and input into what they would like to see addressed in their neighborhood parks in order to help craft a community-driven ballot measure to fix our Recreation and Parks Department structural budget shortfall. Unfortunately, funding for our parks has not kept pace with the critical needs and improvements residents deserve and expect to see, and I will formally introduce a measure to fix the structural funding crisis for the June 2016 election.
I hope you enjoy the rest of our newsletter, and I look forward to being back in touch next month.
Legislation and Policy Update
Approving our City Budget:
As Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee for the third consecutive year, I am proud to have led another consensus City budget process, and in particular our historic $25 million investment for affordable housing needs citywide that I was able to help secure. After tough negotiations, this budget reflects the values of all San Franciscans, and places top priority on affordability, public safety, reducing homelessness and poverty, and expanding and enhancing crucial City services. In particular for District 2, I was able to secure funds to address commercial corridor cleaning, parks improvements, pedestrian safety improvements, youth and senior services, and move night that we will be hosting in the Presidio. I want to thank the community leaders, advocate organizations, my colleagues on the Board, and Mayor Lee for brokering a consensus City budget that we all can be proud of.
Neighborhood Notification Act:
At the July 16th meeting of the Board of Supervisors, I introduced the Neighborhood Notification Act to create the City’s first digital centralized notification system that will proactively alert residents through email and other electronic means about significant projects and permitting decisions that may impact them in their neighborhood. In the technology capitol of the world, San Francisco residents should have advance access to significant decisions or projects that may impact their neighborhood. The neighborhood notification system that I am creating will be a one-stop shop online for any City resident who wants to be more informed about their neighborhood – from the development project next-door, to whether their regular Muni stop is being moved to a different location. The legislation is expected to be heard in Committee in mid-Fall.
Public Safety Reforms:
At the July 21st meeting of the Board of Supervisors, I introduced a package of public safety reforms in response to the incomprehensible tragedy that happened with the murder of Kathryn Steinle at Pier 14. What we have needed is a thoughtful look at what happened, and a common-sense approach to ensuring this situation will not happen again in San Francisco. I introduced a resolution confirming this Board’s support for our existing Sanctuary City law which has been a pillar of our public safety policy in San Francisco for decades, as well as the Due Process legislation authored by Supervisor Avalos in 2013, and calling on the Sheriff to rescind his Memorandum dated March 13, 2015 which amounted to a gag order in his Department. Secondly, I requested that our City Attorney begin drafting legislation that will create a requirement that before the Sheriff brings a prisoner from another jurisdiction to San Francisco on an outstanding warrant - that the Sheriff receive confirmation from the District Attorney that the District Attorney will prosecute against the outstanding warrant at issue. For my full statement that I read at the Board of Supervisors regarding the reforms, you can visit the link here: http://www.sfbos.org/index.aspx?page=18098.
Fixing our Structural Funding Shortfall for our Parks and Open Spaces:
Parks and open spaces provide numerous economic, health, and quality of life benefits for our City and its residents. Unfortunately, funding for our parks has not kept pace with the critical needs and improvements residents deserve and expect to see. Whether it is fixing the broken swing, clearing the overgrown trail, picking up trash, or adding more park staff and patrol - as a City, we have to address these basic needs to continue to improve our quality of life. Over the past two months, I have gone to neighborhood meetings across San Francisco to hear directly from residents about the needs they would like to see addressed in their neighborhood parks. In neighborhood meeting after neighborhood meeting, I am hearing overwhelmingly from residents that they want the nuts and bolts issues addressed in their neighborhood parks and open spaces. n order to address the structural funding shortfall for the Recreation and Parks Department, I am working on a community-driven ballot initiative for the June 2016 election to create a sustainable revenue source for our parks and open spaces. I want to ensure that as our City continues to grow that future generations of San Franciscans do not have to worry about whether we will add more open space, or whether we’ll be able to replace the rusty monkey bars at their neighborhood park. I plan to formally introduce the measure in the coming weeks.
Lombard Street Ambassador Program:
Over the August 28th weekend, our office launched the first-ever “Lombard Street Ambassador Program” to address growing neighborhood concerns regarding public and pedestrian safety, quality of life issues, as well as the extreme traffic congestion that occurs on and around one of San Francisco’s and the world’s most famous landmarks – the “Lombard Crooked Street.” The purpose of the program is to allow the ambassadors to provide guidance, oversight, and information to residents and visitors alike, and to also act as a deterrent to criminal, or unwelcome behavior at the famous tourist attraction. The ambassador program will address the real quality of life issues felt by the residents in the neighborhood and make Lombard Street a more desirable attraction and experience for visitors and residents.
I was proud to honor the Alzheimer's Association for Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month at the Board of Supervisors. The Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research. The outstanding non-profit organization has encouraged residents of San Francisco to learn more about Alzheimer's and become part of the effort to combat the disease. Working at the global, national and local levels, the Alzheimer's Association is enhancing care and support for those affected by Alzheimer's and other dementias. I appreciate all they have accomplished and I look forward to further advancements in research and care in the future.
In The Community
June 1, 2015 – SF Apartment Association Board Meeting
I was happy to speak at the board meeting for the San Francisco Apartment Association (SFAA) about issues that are important to their members and the rel-launch of Green Finance SF. The SFAA is a nonprofit organization that educates, advocates and supports the Rental Housing Community so that its members operate ethically and profitably.
June 9 – Public Safety Community Meeting
I was happy to host a public safety community meeting with the San Francisco Police Department and District Attorney’s office to discuss recent assaults and crime in District 2. We discussed public safety best practices and the efforts the City is making to enhance public safety.
June 10 – SF Moderates Annual Fundraiser
It was a pleasure to attend the San Francisco Moderates Annual Fundraiser. I am proud to support their work in promoting important quality of life issues, such as affordable housing.
June 14 – Sunset on the Great Highway
I had a great time participating in the Sunset on the Great Highway. The organization has hundreds of volunteers to promote recreation, community activities, healthy living and fun for the Sunday Streets events.
June 16 – San Francisco Youth Democrats Presents: Housing Policy Forum
I was happy to participate on the San Francisco Youth Democrats’ (SFYD) Housing Panel. We discussed our city’s housing shortage and crisis and the immediate solutions we’re working on here at City Hall.
June 19 – City Hall Centennial Celebration
I was thrilled to celebrate the centennial of San Francisco’s City Hall with my family. The Civic Center Plaza was filled with live performances, beautiful displays and people from all over the city to celebrate the “People’s” Palace.
June 25 – The Annual San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee Breakfast
I had the pleasure of attending breakfast for the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee (SFDCCC), which featured former mayor and current Lt. Governor Gavin Newsome. I look forward to future events the SFDCC will host.
July 6th- Pacific Heights Resident Association Meeting
I had the pleasure of attending to the Pacific Heights Resident Association meeting regarding future housing development for the UCSF Laurel Heights campus. There will be many more opportunities for the community to weigh in on the development and I will be sure to send out future meeting dates.
July 7th- San Francisco Parks and Recreation Alliance Policy Council
I had the opportunity to attend the San Francisco Parks Alliance Policy Council. I've been working hard with RPD as chair of the Budget committee to make sure our parks are adequately funded.
There are still tremendous needs out there. It's time to right-size the RPD budget. I’m grateful for the help of the Parks Alliance staff, Board and Policy Council on determining a mechanism that gets the Department more resources but doesn't hurt other City departments. I’m looking forward to working together to get legislation introduced and on the ballot.
July 8th- Treatment Advocacy Dinner
I had the pleasure of speaking at the Treatment Advocacy Dinner that they hosted for the National Alliance on Mental Illness conference. I spoke about Laura’s Law; the efforts I took in San Francisco to get the law passed, and the positive effects we hope to see when the law is fully implemented.
July 13- Opening Ceremony of Presidio Parkway
I had the opportunity to ride one of the first vehicles – a Muni bus - to drive on the new Presidio Parkway and it was truly an incredible experience to see the views that the project affords of the Golden Gate, Presidio National Park, Marina, and beyond San Francisco. This project is a great addition for the neighborhood and city, and I thank the entire project team for their hard work improvements.
July 15- Lombard Street Meeting
My staff met with the community to talk about infrastructure and pedestrian safety improvements that are coming soon to Lombard Street to ensure a better neighborhood for everyone.
July 23rd- Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association
I had the opportunity to speak with Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association about upcoming legislation to create a sustainable revenue source for the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department.
July 25th- North Beach Clean-up
My team and I had the opportunity to join the Alliance for Jobs and Sustainable Growth for a community clean-up event.
July 25th- Shared Schoolyard Project Kick-Off at Cleveland Elementary School
It was my pleasure to join the Shared Schoolyard Project team for the Cleveland Elementary kcik-off event. I started the Shared Schoolyard Project because one of my fondest memories growing up in San Francisco was playing at my local schoolyard with my father and my friends – it was part of growing up in our city. I had the pleasure of starting the Shared Schoolyard Project as a way to ensure that children within San Francisco have a safe and familiar place to play on the weekends. Every participating school receives a grant and the students have a place to play on the weekends. It’s another win-win situation for San Francisco Families.
July 26- The San Francisco Ballet’s Performance at the Stern Grove Music Festival.
I had the opportunity to see the San Francisco Ballet’s Performance at the Stern Grove Music Festival this weekend with my family. Led by Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson, the Ballet performs a selection of works from their current repertory. It was quite a show!
Throughout the Month of July – Neighborhood Meetings Across the City to Improve our Parks.
I met with neighborhood associations in every Supervisorial District to hear directly from residents about the needs they would like to see addressed in their neighborhood parks. I wanted their input to help guide a community-driven ballot measure to create a sustainable revenue sourceto address the nuts and bolts issues in our parks and open spaces across San Francisco. I met with the Golden Gate Heights Neighborhood Association, the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association, District Eight Neighborhood Association, The Portrero Boosters, The Outer Sunset Parkside Residents Association, The Excelsior District Improvement Association, The North Beach Neighbors Association, The Planning Association for the Richmond, The Alamo Square Neighborhood Association, and The Marina Community Association.