FEBRUARY 2017 NEWSLETTER
Supervisor Malia Cohen
Keeping San Francisco’s District 10 affordable, working, healthy, and safe!
IN THE COMMUNITY:
Bayview Poles Painted in Pan-African Flag Colors:
I’m thrilled to share that I spearheaded an initiative to paint the poles along the 3rd Street corridor, from Evans to Jamestown, in the colors of the Pan-African Flag. The intention of painting this flag onto the poles is to create a unifying, cultural marker for the Bayview. This is being done in the same vein as the Italian flags painted on poles in North Beach, the designation of Calle 24 in the Mission and the bilingual street signs and gates upon entering Chinatown. This is also to honor and pay respect to the decades of contributions that African Americans have made to the Southeast neighborhood and to the City. It’s also beautification for the streetscape. I hope that residents, businesses, and visitors in the Bayview enjoy the new addition!
Rebuilding Public Housing in Sunnydale and Potrero:
The Board of Supervisors this week finally approved the legislative package and development agreements for the rebuild of the public housing sites of Potrero and Sunnydale. The revitalization of public housing has been a key priority of mine since taking office and I am so proud and humbled to have led this legislative milestone.
As the Supervisor who represents four of the City’s five largest public housing sites in the HOPE SF Program, I have seen the impacts this substandard housing has on the residents who live there and their neighborhoods. But more importantly, I have seen the transformation that investment in public housing can make in the lives of the residents and an entire community.
The rebuild of these two sites will deliver up to 3,470 housing units, with one-to-one replacement of existing units, 400 new low-income units and 1,400 new market rates units.
One of the unique things about HOPE SF is that the program recognizes the residents of these sites and their success is just as important as the need to physically rebuild the housing stock. We all know that individuals and communities need more than just physically better structures to succeed. They need support, services, confidence and investment in the communities and the people themselves.
That is why HOPE SF includes a strong services element, where we invest in ensuring residents have good credit, residents who want to purchase housing and move from public housing have the access and resources they need to succeed.
Thank you to the resident advocates, Mercy Housing, BRIDGE Housing, Related California, San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, and the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) for your countless years of advocacy and work to making these projects a reality.
Public Safety Update
The Bayview Homicide Rate went down in 2016. There were 7 homicides in 2016, compared to 14 homicides in 2014 and 18 homicides in 2015. These numbers represent the strength and commitment of City Leadership, Law Enforcement, and the Community working together around public safety.
Get Unpaid Traffic Tickets Forgiven!
Through the California Amnesty Program you may be eligible to have the amount of the ticket reduced up to 80 percent and get your driver’s license reinstated if you have unpaid traffic tickets that you received before 2013. If you have more recent tickets you may still be able to get the hold on your driver’s license lifted. All eligible community members need to get their applications sent into the credit agencies that are processing these applications, as soon as possible. The program ends on March 31, 2017!
Since each county has a different process, accessing the Amnesty Program can be very complicated–but we can help. Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal is currently helping community members apply and navigate the California Amnesty Program. We have successfully helped multiple community members get their traffic tickets reduced and their driver’s license reinstated.
Tammy Jackson, a long-time Bayview resident, came into our office this year with a big problem: her driver’s license had been suspended and she owed $2,901 for her traffic tickets. BHP Community Legal took the case, and three months later everything changed. We reduced her traffic tickets to $448, eliminated her debt from traffic violations, and helped her secure a valid driver’s license. Tammy remembers the experience with relief. “I am really happy that I no longer have to worry about these traffic tickets and I was able to get my driver’s license reinstated. I am grateful that I am able to drive again.”
If you live in the 94124, 94134, or 94107 zip codes and would like to schedule an appointment to get help with amnesty applications, please complete the pre-intake form on our website at bhpcl.org or simply stop by our office at 4622 3rd Street (Monday-Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm). If you would like to learn more about the Amnesty Program and the eligibility criteria check out: http://www.courts.ca.gov/trafficamnesty.htm or http://www.projectlegallink.org/resources/ticket-amnesty-program-information-2/
BHPCL also helps with other civil legal needs like employment, housing, family law, immigration, estate planning, elder law and consumer issues. Call us at (415) 735-4124 if you have any questions. We look forward to helping you!
Hunters Point Naval Shipyard Community Meeting
Join us for a community meeting on February 8 at 5:30pm at 451 Galvez Avenue to get an update about the radiological cleanup at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. Navy and regulatory agencies available to answer questions and present information on radiation and answer your questions about radiological cleanup activities at HPNS. They will present information on why radiological data sampling is currently under investigation at HPNS and explain how the Navy ensures public safety during the radiological cleanup process
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) Internship and Employment Program Applications NOW OPEN!
The SFPUC is pleased to foster the next generation of environmental stewards through professional development opportunities. Join one of San Francisco’s largest employers and learn more about our City’s infrastructure and the environment. All internships are paid.
For more information, visit sfwater.org/internships
Center Hardware Opens in Dogpatch
I was thrilled to attend the re-opening of Center Hardware store in the Dogpatch! This store is a true legacy business. After 135 years of serving our City, it was on the verge of closing in 2015. I worked with our City partners and was able to help retain this Production, Distribution and Repair (PDR) business in the city of San Francisco. Thank you for your service!
Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center
Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center strives to empower and increase the entrepreneurial capacities of socially and economically diverse women and men, and thereby strengthen our communities through the creation of sustainable new businesses, new jobs, and the promotion of financial self – sufficiency.
The Bayview Women Program provides training, mentorship and peer support to aspiring women entrepreneurs at Alice Griffith, Hunter’s View and throughout the Bayview Community. The program includes: business planning, financial management, access to capital, skill building and networking. For more information please contact Kismeth Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (415) 647-3728.
RenTank Contest: Bayview Women participants who completed the 14-week business training program will compete for start-up grants to launch their new business ventures. The contest ” RenTank”, mirroring the show Shark Tank, will test the training and skill development of participants in the program. The event will be held on March 29, 2017. For more information contact Kismeth Harris at email@example.com or call (415) 647-3728.
Celebrating Lunar New Year
This month I celebrated Lunar New Year and rang in the Year of the Rooster with the Chinese Consulate. And just last weekend, I joined Mayor Lee and my colleagues on the Board of Supervisors for a kick-off at Portsmouth Square. Please be sure to join us for a celebration with the APA Heritage Foundation at City Hall on February 7 at 5:30pm in the Rotunda
CITY HALL UPDATES
Black History Month
Please join Members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the Mayor and other guests for our annual San Francisco Black History Month Cultural Experience, hosted by Supervisor Malia Cohen and President London Breed. The event will include music, art, dance and cuisine from the finest African American restaurants in San Francisco. We look forward to you joining us!
The 9th Annual NEN Awards took place on January 27 and were a huge success! The NEN Awards are San Francisco’s way of honoring and celebrating the work of residents and organizations who make our city an amazing place to live. We celebrate District 10 winners Anietie Ekanem (Exemplary NERT Leadership), Friends of Franklin Square Park (Outstanding Park Volunteer Group), Quesada Neighborfest 2016 (Extraordinary Neighborhood Block Party) and the induction of Espanola Jackson into the NEN Hall of Fame. Congratulations!
Supervisor Cohen appointed Chair of the Budget & Finance Committee
I have been named the Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee as well as the Budget Select Committee. Chairing the Budget and Finance Committee is no small feat and a role that comes with great responsibility which I don’t take lightly. This role is even more important under the new federal administration, which has threatened so many of our City’s progressive values like providing affordable healthcare, access to homeless services and serving as a sanctuary city for our diverse immigrant population. Under my leadership, the Budget Committee will work hard to protect these values. Specifically, the Budget Select Committee will investigate potential federal funding and policy changes and, working with City departments and other leaders, help plan San Francisco’s defense of our values, diverse communities, and funding priorities. Our City has been the champion of progressive values and pushing the boundary on policies that reflect those values – and that’s now more important than ever.
It has been an honor serving as the Chair of the Land Use Committee and working with my colleagues on that body to shape some of the biggest and most critical housing projects and policies over the years.
Protecting Women’s Health
On January 24 I joined the other women members of the Board of Supervisors on City Hall Steps to pledge my promise to work to protect access to care for women, girls, and transwomen across San Francisco.
President Trump has promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare). Destroying our health system would have the most harm on low-income women, immigrant women, and women of color.
Our livelihood is worth more than partisan politics and I will be fighting with the other board members to protect our rights!
I proudly introduced legislation alongside Mayor Ed Lee that rejects any attempt from the Federal government to force the City and County of San Francisco to participate in the creation of a registry or database for people based on their religious beliefs, national origin or ethnicity.
Civic leaders should be ambassadors of good will, kindness, and human decency. It is neither our role nor our responsibility to fulfill misguided actions on behalf of the federal government that would perpetuate hate among civilians.
We will fight for the safety and liberty of our residents. We will not classify individuals based on religion. We will not segregate people because of imprudent fears. We will choose love, civility, and logic.
SFPD’s New Police Chief
On January 23, we officially welcomed Chief Bill Scott and his family to SF. I’m hopeful for the leadership & fresh perspective he brings with him as we work to implement the hundreds of recommendations given to the City of San Francisco from the Department of Justice under President Obama.
Use of Force
On December 27, 2016 San Francisco Superior Court Judge Ulmer denied the SF police union’s (SFPOA) attempt to block the Use of Force Policy Implementation for police officers.
We are committed to supporting progressive, forward-thinking policies that provide necessary reform for SFPD, including giving the 20 year old Use of Force policy an update that brings it in line with 21st century policing strategies and our 21st century values as a city. Judge Ulmer’s dismissal of the POA’s unnecessary lawsuit sends a clear signal that it is time for us to move on from this dispute over shooting at moving vehicles and using carotid restraint. The City will continue to work towards the highest caliber of reform that is in the best interest of both citizen and police safety. It is time for the POA to join that reform movement.
SFPD began implementing the new policy in January 2017.
Stepping Up Initiative
Last month I introduced legislation for San Francisco to join the Stepping Up Initiative, an initiative to reduce the number of people with mental illness in our county jail. In San Francisco, approximately 10% of the Department of Public Health’s 25,000 behavioral health system clients had a health contact in the jail this past fiscal year. 20% of those clients report having some history of criminal justice contact. Between 7-14% of our jail population, which was 13,544 in 2015, has serious mental illness.
It should be our goal to give people the humane and appropriate treatment for their conditions. Jails are not suitable places to treat people with mental illness. They do not improve the health of individuals with mental illness and they are cost deficient expenses on taxpayers that do not necessarily improve public safety.
We cannot simply lock people up and will away their conditions. We need compassionate, appropriate care to accurately address and mitigate the very serious illnesses that they are experiencing that lead to crime, rather than exacerbate their trauma.
Over 300 counties have already passed resolutions similar to this one. I am happy to say that my colleagues joined me in unanimously supporting this resolution!