Working For Progress Every Day
Becoming District 8 Supervisor was the culmination of my decades spent fighting for vulnerable communities as a community organizer and activist. For the past eighteen months that I have been in office, I brought the same passion and enthusiasm that made me an effective citizen activist to be an effective advocate for change from inside City Hall.
Having worked hard to take care of District 8 and make this City even better, I’d like to highlight some of the key work I’ve done as Supervisor:
Priority #1: Addressing The Crises of Affordable Housing and Homelessness
It’s clear to anyone who lives in San Francisco that our affordable housing and homelessness problems have reached a crisis point. Those who talk about their plans to address these issues often fail to identify sources of additional revenue to tackle them or to look at the full range of affordable housing a vibrant city needs. Without specific plans to raise revenue, I just can’t see a way for those plans to succeed.
That’s why I took action to help create “Housing For All,” a groundbreaking plan that would dedicate unprecedented resources to combating these two crises. Housing for All (Proposition D on the June ballot) will bring in $1 billion over 10 years by a “skyscraper tax” that raises revenue from taxing commercial rent income. This tax exempts small business, retail, entertainment and non-profits and merely claws back some of the Trump tax breaks to address our most urgent needs. This measure will house 23,000 homeless individuals over the next 10 years by:
- Creating a comprehensive housing ladder that includes navigation centers, supportive and transitional housing, rental subsidies, a rapid rehousing fund so that those new to the streets don’t stay there, and additional mental health and substance beds to provide, needed health supports for the most disadvantaged on our streets, with 20% building a housing ladder specifically for young people who constitute a fifth of our homeless population ($450M).
- Creating housing for teachers, nurses, firefighters and middle income individuals and families, who are being priced out of San Francisco ($350M).
- Housing for seniors, who have built this City and can barely afford to stay here ($100M).
- Purchasing and running single residency occupancy (SRO) hotels, which are a vital source of housing for low income individuals ($90M).
I urge everyone to vote for Prop D in June so we can make meaningful strides towards ending homelessness and making our city more affordable for our firefighters, teachers and other middle-income families.
In addition to Housing For All, I just passed my “Breaking the Cycle” ordinance. This legislation prioritizes supportive housing beds for those who leave the streets after receiving treatments for mental health or substance use. Before, unless they have been homeless 10 years or more, they were released back to the streets. For instance, there are currently 500 methadone users living on the streets of San Francisco. These individuals are actively working to responsibly overcome their addiction yet they have no other option than the streets. I met an individual who succeeded in a residential treatment twice, but relapsed because after being released to the streets. He is again finishing treatment, clean, and this measure will prioritize him for housing so he can finally succeed for good. This constant recycling between treatment and the streets is traumatic for them and wasteful for our budget.
Some additional highlights of my work to help solve our housing and homelessness crisis:
- I co-sponsored recently passed legislation creating a unit in the City Attorney’s office to conserve seriously mentally ill individuals on our streets so that they don’t languish on our streets unable to take care of themselves, slowly dying.
- I secured money (almost $2M) to support basic food and shelter for homeless young people, helping over 300 kids in the last year.
- I supported the City’s Inclusionary Housing legislation, which requires private developers to set aside 18% of new units for low and middle income San Franciscans.
- I also supported HOMESF, our density bonus, which gives developers two extra floors if they set aside a portion of those units for low and middle income San Franciscans.
Priority #2: Protecting and Expanding Public Safety
- When Twin Peaks and other areas of District 8 saw spikes in car break-ins and other crimes, I brought together the police department, neighbors and others to increase foot patrols in problem areas. Since the foot patrols began in Twin Peaks, the average number of car break-ins dropped from almost 10 per day to one per month.
- I’ve fought to expand the community policing approach across District 8: initiating foot patrols in the Castro, around Dolores Park and Noe Valley, additional park rangers, security cameras and improved lighting in Dolores Park. I also introduced successful legislation to ban bicycle chop shops on the streets, removing one of the means thefts were allowed to go on undisturbed.
- Working with Mayor Farrell, this year’s budget will include funding for an additional 250 police officers. Early on, I recognized that we needed foot patrols across the District and that beefed up specialized crime units were needed for property crimes and that the force had not grown in line with the City’s growth.
- I was also able to implement needed crosswalks, speed bumps and stop signs in Diamond Heights, Glen Park and other neighborhoods across the District.
- I passed first in the nation legislation reducing antibiotic use in meat
Priority #3: Strengthening Neighborhoods and Supporting Local Business
- I allocated $250,000 for Participatory Budgeting in District 8 allowing neighbors to propose ideas for community improvement, which are then voted on by the community of District 8, with top vote-getting ideas receiving funding. In the first year of the Participatory Budgeting project, over 5,000 votes were cast and some of the winning projects are the D8 Youth Leadership Academy, the Culinary Arts program at Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, completion of Adah’s Stairway and the Glen Park Boundary Survey .
- I passed legislation to keep monster homes out of Corona Heights.
- I secured funding to create programming and provide lighting at Noe Valley Town Square so that it now provides numerous family-friendly activities such as movie night and ice cream socials, which also draws foot traffic allowing local businesses to thrive.
Priority #4: Standing Up to the Trump Administration
- I have stood with leaders in the state and the City to preserve our principles and resources for San Francisco and California to be sanctuaries for our undocumented brothers and sisters.
- I co-sponsored a measure to set up and fund a special unit at the Public Defender’s Office to defend immigrants at risk for deportation.
- As a member of the Board’s Federal Select Budget Committee, I have worked to protect our healthcare system from Trump by making sure we have the resources to backfill any Trump cuts and any changes to Obamacare.
- I helped organize the City Hall rally against hate last summer when white supremacists and neo-nazis came to San Francisco. Our love defeated their hate.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to have played a role in each of these accomplishments but as many victories we’ve had — there’s still more work to be done and I want to represent District 8 on the Board of Supervisors for the next four years and beyond.
I’m honored to be able to represent District 8 and follow in the footsteps of our State Senator Scott Wiener. I am proud to have his endorsement and to also be the only candidate in San Francisco to have been endorsed by Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom.
I ask for your support and vote on June 5th.