As more businesses reopen, more San Franciscans receive the vaccine, and the federal government finally provides much-needed economic relief, it is beginning to feel like we are turning a corner with respect to Covid-19. But as we have begun to recover from the pandemic, we have also seen an extremely disturbing rise in anti-Asian racism, as well as recent violent incidents that have reminded us of longstanding problems our country has failed to address. These are still extraordinarily challenging times, and we must continue to look out for one another. I remain committed to doing everything in my power to address our greatest challenges, including small business relief, homelessness and addiction, and public safety. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to me at [email protected] <mailto:[email protected]> or 415-554-7752.
COVID-19 RESOURCES AND HEALTH ORDER UPDATES
All Californians 50 and over are now eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine, and those 16 and over will be eligible beginning April 15. Visitthe City’s vaccine website <[link removed]> for the latest information on where and how to get the vaccine, and to sign up to be notified when you can get vaccinated. If you have a disability, are 65 or over, or are otherwise unable to easily access the internet to schedule an appointment, please call 628-652-2700 for assistance from the City’s Vaccine Call Center. All Covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective, so please don’t delay when it’s your turn!
San Francisco has officially moved into the State’s Orange Tier, allowing for even more businesses and activities to reopen! As we celebrate this milestone, we must remember to continue wearing our masks, maintaining physical distancing, and staying home when we feel sick. Click here <[link removed]> for more information on the latest phase of reopening.
Support for Businesses and Workers
Visitthe Office of Economic and Workforce Development’s website <[link removed]> for resources for business owners, employees, nonprofits, and others impacted by the pandemic. This website includes local, state, and federal resources and is updated regularly as new resources become available. Please contact my office if you have any difficulty navigating this website or accessing the resources that are available to you.
San Franciscans have several options to get tested for Covid-19. If you have health insurance, schedule a test with your doctor. If you are not insured, no-cost testing is available for any San Franciscan who has at least one symptom or has been in contact with a Covid-19-positive individual.Click here <[link removed]> for more information or to book your test.
Reimbursements for Funeral Expenses
Although San Francisco has had one of the lowest Covid-19 death rates of any major city in the United States, we have still lost more than 450 of our beloved community members to the pandemic. With the passage of the American Rescue Plan, the federal government has announced that it will begin to provide financial assistance for Covid-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020. FEMA will begin to accept applications for this program in April, and more details, including a toll-free phone number that can be used to apply for assistance, will soon be available here <[link removed]>.
Standing Against AAPI Hate
I am proud to stand in solidarity with our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community against anti-Asian racism. We need to recognize that the recent anti-Asian hate crimes are not the result of “bad days” or “temper tantrums.” By continuing to listen to the AAPI community, confronting racism when we see it, and working together—in every community and at every level of government—we can put an end to these vile attacks. Click here <[link removed]> to read a recent column on stopping hate I coauthored with two community leaders.
Safety on Muni
In response to the recent rise in racist, anti-Asian attacks, SFMTA has coordinated with the SFPD for an increased police presence on the 30, 45, and 38 bus lines, as well as an additional uniformed presence on the 1, 8, 9, 12, and L lines. SFMTA is also working with the Street Violence Intervention Program to expand partnerships with AAPI community organizations across San Francisco, to ensure that our transit system is truly safe and accessible for all.
Would you like to receive the latest news and tips from the San Francisco Police Department stations that serve our community? Sign up for Richmond Station <[link removed]>, Northern Station <[link removed]>, Central Station <[link removed]>, and/or Park Station <[link removed]> newsletters! Visit these links and scroll down to enter your email address.
POLICY AND LEGISLATION
Small Business Fee Waivers
It is entirely unfair to ask small businesses to pay the City $1,000 or more in fees when they have been forced to close for the better part of the past year. These shops are the backbone of our local economy, and we need to support them in any way we can. After my legislation waiving unfair fees passed unanimously, I was grateful that Mayor Breed and my colleagues on the Board of Supervisors reached an agreement <[link removed]> to fund my program and other initiatives to support small businesses. For more on my ideas to keep our merchant corridors running, check out my Marina Times column here <[link removed]>!
Strengthening Red Flag Laws
My ordinance to strengthen San Francisco’s red flag laws passed unanimously out of the Board of Supervisors’ Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee. These laws allow family members, peers, or law enforcement agencies to remove firearms from individuals who intend to harm themselves or others through gun violence restraining orders (GVROs). As we see shootings spike and attacks against our most vulnerable skyrocket, this tool could not be more necessary. If you would like to learn more about GVROs in San Francisco, including how to file one for someone who may be a danger to themself or others, click here <[link removed]>.
Supporting Essential Workers
Hundreds of San Francisco janitors have rallied to demand fair wages, stronger workplace safety measures—including sexual harassment safeguards—and improved ventilation for the buildings in which they work. Since the beginning of the pandemic, at least 26 custodial workers have died of Covid-19 in San Francisco. This is unacceptable. Janitors are vital to our economy, especially as we begin to reopen, and I stand with SEIU Local 87 in demanding that these essential workers be paid a fair wage and work in a safe environment.
Renewing and Expanding the Family Violence Council
The Board of Supervisors unanimously passed my ordinance to renew and expand the San Francisco Family Violence Council, which coordinates services and advises policymakers. As family violence—including intimate partner abuse, child abuse, and elder abuse—has sharply increased over the past year, survivors need to know that the City sees and supports them. I am grateful that the work of the Family Violence Council will now continue for at least another three years.
IN THE COMMUNITY
I hope all those celebrating Passover and Easter are having a happy and healthy holiday season! May we all take this time to reflect on the past year and the road ahead, and renew our commitment to peace.
Aquatic Park Cleanup and Restoration Project
Aquatic Park is a true gem of San Francisco, and I had a great time cleaning up the park earlier this spring! If you would like to get involved with the community-led effort to save Aquatic Park, to ensure that future generations of San Franciscans and visitors can enjoy this special place, click here <[link removed]>.
Lombard Street Closure
Caltrans, the State transportation agency, is planning lane closures on Lombard, between Lyon and Van Ness, for a series of street improvements to occur between late March and late April, including replacing parking slabs, repaving the roadway, upgrading curb ramps, electrical and utility work, and restriping. Visit Caltrans’ website <[link removed]> for a detailed list of planned closures and neighborhood impacts.
Honoring Those Lost to Overdose
To honor the 699 lives San Francisco lost to overdose last year, I joined the Adult Probation Department and community members for the Remembrance of Lights ceremony. We are on track to suffer record overdose deaths again unless we take action to reverse this trend. That’s why I am committed to making sure it’s harder to get drugs and easier to get treatment.
Welcoming New Businesses to District 2
I’d like to extend a warm welcome to two businesses brand new to our community: Sushi Hakko on Union Street, and Hinoya Curry SF at Fillmore and Chestnut Streets! I’m thrilled that these small businesses have chosen to add to the vibrancy of our commercial corridors as we continue to reopen. The pandemic has had a devastating impact on so many of our small businesses, and these two openings are exciting signs that we may finally be turning a corner toward economic recovery. Please join me in welcoming them to District 2!
Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth
Do you have a spare bedroom or private space in your home? LGBTQ+ youth make up about half of San Francisco's homeless youth population, and the San Francisco LGBT Center is looking for volunteers who can provide short-term homes through its Host Homes program <[link removed]>. The program matches volunteer hosts with young adults, ages 18 to 24, who need stable housing for a period of several months to one year, as they pursue their employment or educational goals with support from the SF LGBT Center's case management team. If you would like to learn more, click here <[link removed]> to register for an information session, or contact the SF LGBT Center at 415-852-2059 or [email protected]
Healthier Living Workshop for Seniors
If you are an adult with a chronic condition, you’re eligible to join the San Francisco Senior Center for a free, six-week workshop on managing your health. This workshop was developed by the Stanford School of Medicine, and will meet by Zoom each week, 10:00 am to noon, from April 28 to June 9. Call the San Francisco Senior Center at 415-775-1866 or email Gloria Garcia at [email protected] <mailto:[email protected]> to learn more or register.
Office of Supervisor Catherine Stefani
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 273, San Francisco, CA 94102