November & December 2011 Newsletter
Office Phone: 415-554-6968
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My Policy Work
Streets/Infrastructure Bond Passes!
In the November election, the voters passed Proposition B, the streets and infrastructure bond, with 68% of the vote (2/3 was required). I was proud to champion Prop B as a critical part of our ten-year capital plan. Prop B will allow us to perform much-needed capital work on our roads, including resurfacing and reconstruction, and our bridges and overpasses. It will also allow us to perform a significant amount of pedestrian safety work, signal work to improve Muni's performance, and accessibility work. I look forward to working with various City departments and the community to ensure that this bond is implemented in the most effective way possible.
Ballot Measure Reform - Start of an Important Conversation
By contrast, Proposition E, my proposal to begin reforming our ballot measure system, did not pass. While I believe Prop E was a sensible and modest reform proposal, the voters disagreed, and I respect that decision. I was proud to have the support of numerous organizations and newspapers, including SPUR, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Bay Area Reporter, and the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club. Prop E, I hope, will be the beginning of a long-term conversation about how we can best govern our city with a good mix of direct and representative democracy.
Transportation Update: High Speed Rail, CalTrain Electrification, and Transbay Terminal
High speed rail is key to the future of California's transportation system and economy. Once the system is built, it will connect the state's population centers with fast, efficient, and cost-effective trains. I'm a strong supporter of high speed rail, and as a San Francisco representative on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, I'm working hard to make sure that the San Jose to San Francisco segment of the system happens. We need to ensure that the system runs north from San Jose, whether on its own track or on an electrified shared track with CalTrain. And, we need to have an extension of the system from the end of the CalTrain system to downtown San Francisco at the future Transbay Terminal. We have an opportunity to make a dramatic improvement to California's transportation system and economy, and we need to take full advantage of that opportunity. For some perspectives on the issue, click here and here.
Scott with Principal Dr. Raymond Isola and parent liaison Denise Rueda at Sanchez Elementary School Nutrition Night
Public Nudity Legislation
On November 15, Mayor Lee signed into law my legislation banning public nudity in restaurants and requiring naked people to place a barrier down when sitting on public seating. While this legislation garnered an enormous amount of press attention, it's really a minor and common-sense piece of legislation, which is why it passed unanimously and with no debate at the Board of Supervisors. Thank you to everyone who supported the legislation.
Last month, I introduced legislation to regulate and create a permitting system for commercial dogwalkers who use City parks, Port property, and PUC property. The legislation would limit the number of dogs a dogwalker can walk at once, set basic training and safety standards, and require commercial dogwalkers to obtain a permit. The legislation has received strong support from dogwalker groups, dog owner groups, the SPCA, and others. Since introduction, I've received a significant amount of helpful feedback about how to improve the legislation, and I intend to amend the legislation to adopt some of that feedback. Earlier this week, the Small Business Commission voted unanimously to support the legislation, and I anticipate it will come to the Board of Supervisors in December or January.
Food Trucks Legislation
In recent years, food trucks have provided new, exciting, and affordable food options for our city. For years, permitting of food trucks was done on an ad hoc basis by the police department. Last year, my predecessor, Supervisor Bevan Dufty, passed legislation transferring responsibility for food trucks to the Department of Public Works and setting more consistent rules. DPW then adopted standards for permitting. The goal is to provide great food while being fair to brick and mortar businesses (e.g., not placing a Chinese food truck in front of a Chinese restaurant), not negatively impacting neighborhoods, providing good notice to the surrounding neighborhood, and not allowing over-concentration of trucks in particular areas. To address concerns by brick and mortar businesses, I've convened a working group - consisting of brick and mortar restaurants, commercial building owners, food truck operators, and the relevant city departments - to examine the current legislation and regulations and to determine if they can be improved.
Harvey Milk/Jane Warner Plaza Legislation
On November 15, I introduced legislation to set rules for these two important public plazas in the heart of the Castro. Harvey Milk Plaza, which is above Castro Station, was created in the early 1980s, and Jane Warner Plaza, established in 2009, was the first plaza created as part of the "Pavement to Parks" program, which seeks to create new pedestrian space. Our City's parks are governed by the Parks Code, but these plazas are not covered by those rules. This legislation will set basic standards for the plazas so that everyone can enjoy them. For example, the legislation will extend the ban on smoking that's already in existence in parks and other public spaces, will ban camping (as already banned in parks), and will prevent large shopping carts from coming into the plaza. I worked closely with the Castro Community Benefit District and other neighborhood stakeholders to come up with this legislation.
Scott with Supervisor Carmen Chu and Rec & Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg at the re-opening ceremony for McCoppin Park
On November 14, I met at Upper Noe Rec Center with park advocates from around the district, as well as representatives from Rec & Park, the San Francisco Parks Alliance, and the Trust for Public Lands. We discussed the state of parks around the district, best practices, and effective ways for people to get funding and guidance for improving their neighborhood parks and open space. It was a productive meeting, and I will continue to work with members of the community and other stakeholders to have the best parks possible.
Good things are happening with District 8 parks, for example:
-The Dolores Park community design process recently ended, and we are now moving forward to environmental review and detailed design work. The goal is for the project to begin construction next summer or fall. The project will result in significant park improvements, including new restrooms, more accessible paths, better irrigation, and improved sports facilities. The Dolores Park playground project is already in construction and will be completed early next year.
-The Glen Canyon improvement planning process is also underway. On November 12, I attended a community meeting where residents provided feedback about the new playground next to the Glen Canyon recreation center. We also have funding for other improvements to the area, including better restrooms, other upgrades to the rec center, and changes to the tennis courts.
-The new youth play area in Duboce Park is likely to begin construction in early 2012. The play area - designed for older children who have aged out of playgrounds for younger kids - was formulated through a community process and is fully funded. I look forward to the addition of this new option for families.
Scott at Balboa Park for a renovation groundbreaking ceremony
Easier Parking Coming to the Castro!
In early December, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) will introduce the "PaybyPhone" parking meter payment service, starting initially in the Castro. Drivers will have the option of using their phones to pay for parking, receive text message reminders before their parking meters expire, add time remotely (subject to time limit restrictions), and receive receipts by email. The service charges a 45-cent convenience fee per transaction, and MTA hopes to reduce that charge as the program expands. The initial service will cover all the meters on or near Castro Street between Market and 19th Street, 18th Street between Diamond and Hartford, the parking lot behind Castro Theatre, and the lot on Collingwood and 18th Street.
MTA will also be expanding its credit card meters to more neighborhoods. Currently, Noe Valley has those meters, and they have been a very positive addition. I look forward to the entire City having these useful meters.
Utility Undergrounding Information
I'm frequently asked about utility undergrounding. The money that funded undergrounding ran out a few years ago, and that funding won't be available again until later this decade. However, property owners can form a utility undergrounding assessment district to pay for undergrounding.
Redistricting Taskforce Outreach
As you may know, the Redistricting Task Force is charged with redrawing district electoral lines based upon the changes and shifts in population capture in the 2010 census. The Task Force is beginning its community outreach with a series of meetings, including a meeting on November 19. The purpose of these meetings is to educate residents on what redistricting is, it's relevance to them, and ways to get involved in the process to make their voices heard. The next series of community meetings will be for the purpose of getting community input regarding specific ideas for the redrawing of district lines. In addition to community meetings, the Task Force will give residents the opportunity to submit ideas (using Google maps) and will welcome ongoing written input throughout the process leading up to final submission of maps on April 15, 2012.
On Saturday November 19 at 10am there will be a Redistricting Taskforce Community Outreach Meeting for Districts 3, 6 and 8 at the Tenderloin Community School.
SFMTA Introduces 15 MPH School Zones
The SFMTA is in the process of installing 15MPH School Zone signs at schools citywide to improve safety. Where there are signs, the 15MPH speed limit will be in effect when children are present. The 15MPH School Zone project includes over 200 San Francisco public and private schools (K-12) and approximately 1,000 signs. Signs have already started going up, and the SFMTA plans to have the project completed by the beginning of the next school year. The SFPD will provide enforcement, issuing warnings followed by citations.
Click here for more information
Restaurant Appreciation Month Awardee
As part of Restaurant Appreciation Month, I recently honored Cafe XO at the Board of Supervisors. Since opening in 2004, Café XO and owner Adam Bousiakas have offered excellent food, coffee and homemade pastries & desserts to the Upper Noe Valley neighborhood at 30th and Church. In recognition of its friendly service and relaxing atmosphere, I chose to honor Café XO as the District 8 awardee. Please stop by and enjoy this wonderful neighborhood institution.
Scott honoring Café XO owner Adam Bousiakas
Upcoming Events to Remember
Noe Valley History Presentation by Historian Bill Yenne
Tuesday, November 29th
St. Philip's Church, 725 Diamond Street
Noe Valley is considered one of San Francisco's favorite residential neighborhoods, with a long history dating back more than 100 years. It has the feel of a "small town within the City" and has a considerable amount of original architecture. Bill Yenne and his wife, Carol, have lived in Noe Valley for three decades and raised their children there. Bill is an acclaimed photographer who has given presentations to our group in the past and has written more than six dozen books on historical topics. He will talk about Noe Valley, and some of his books will be available for sale.
Toys for Tots
Sunday, December 4th
St. Regis Hotel, Ballroom, 125 3rd Street (at Mission Street)
The San Francisco LGBT community will be helping to brighten the holidays for underpriveleged children. Please join in for this year's TOYS FOR TOTS | SF
Admission to the event is one or more unwrapped new toys to be donated to organizations that provide services to local children who otherwise wouldn't receive a gift this holiday season. Festive holiday attire, and as space is limited, please RSVP to ToysForTots.SF@gmail.com
Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association Meeting
Monday, December 12th
CPMC/Davies Hospital, Auditorium (Level B), Castro St. & Duboce Ave.
The Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association (DTNA) represents residents, businesses and property owners in San Francisco's Duboce Triangle neighborhood, bordered by Market St., Castro St., Divisidero St., Waller St., Webster St. and Duboce Avenue. Their goal is to protect, maintain and improve our neighborhood quality of life, and ensure that the Duboce Triangle continues to be San Francisco's very best neighborhood in which to live, work and play.
The Holiday Store Holiday Premier
Thursday, November 17th
Under One Roof, 518A Castro Street
Under One Roof announces it will be celebrating 20 wonderful years as a full-time store at its festive annual Holiday Premiere event at its Castro St location.
Shoppers at the Premiere will receive free raffle tickets for a variety of wonderful prizes from local donors; the more you spend, the more chances to win! The event will feature entertainment, delicious nibbles, complimentary wine and champagne, fabulous gifts and more, all hosted by Pollo Del Mar.
Redistricting Taskforce Community Outreach
Saturday, November 19th
Tenderloin Community School, 627 Turk Street
Click here for more information
Scott at the first annual Beaver Street (zero block) block party
Volunteer for 18 Reasons this Thanksgiving!
Sunday, November 20th
Thursday, November 24th
Volunteer with 18 Reasons to help cook and serve Thanksgiving Dinners at Boys Hope Girls Hope (11/20) and the Medical Respite and Sobering Center (11/24). If you are interested, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Click here for more information
Harvey Milk Memorial March
Sunday, November 27th
Harvey Milk Plaza, Castro & Market Sts.
Join the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club for a night of remembrance of the lives and untimely deaths of Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone on the anniversary of their assassinations. Followed by a candlelight march through the Castro.
Castro Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony
Monday, November 28th
In front of Bank of America at 18th & Castro
The fabulous Donna Sachet will emcee, along with Santa and his Elf, City dignitaries, music, and other holiday treats. In addition to the traditional Holiday Tree, they'll also have red ribbons adorning the palm trees along Market Street to welcome all visitors.
Paint The Castro Red
Thursday, December 1st
Castro District Businesses, Restaurants and Bars
Paint the Castro Red is a Castro/Upper Market-wide public awareness and fundraising event that will be held throughout World AIDS Day. Participating Castro District businesses, restaurants, and bars will donate 10-15% of the day's sales to show their support for AIDS and the nonprofits that serve their customers and community. Castro Street will be adorned with red lights, red ribbons, red balloons and will feature confidential and free HIV testing, a flash mob, candlelight vigil, and video stories about the impact of HIV and the opportunity for further community action.