Logo no stars
August 2013 Newsletter


With the Board of Supervisor's summer recess underway and fall just around the corner, the past month has been filled with exciting announcements and new resolutions.  In an effort to better the quality of life for all San Franciscans, I finally announced two new programs which my staff and I have been working on all year. 


After two full years of negotiations, I proudly unveiled a new partnership between Google, sf.citi, and the our City government to provide free WiFi in 31 parks, plazas, and open spaces city wide.  These free WiFi locations hit every corner of our City, and will provide enhanced coverage for many underserved neighborhoods and residents.


In addition, last week I was proud to announce, along with our Mayor and representatives from our Fire, Police and Sheriff's departments, the launch of our city's down payment home loan assistance program for first responders- initiated through the overwhelming support for the Housing Trust Fund Initiative on last November's ballot.  With the vast majority of our first responders living outside our city limits, this program will encourage them to own a home in the city they serve and continue to make our neighborhoods safer on an everyday basis, and our City better prepared when the next earthquake hits.


I'm also proud to report our charter amendment to solve our city's $4.4 billion unfunded retiree healthcare liability was unanimously supported by the Board of Supervisors, and will appear on this November's ballot as Proposition A.  More to come as the campaign gets into gear.
Finally, this past month came to a close with the Board of Supervisor's vote and Mayor Lee's signing of our city's balanced $7.9 billion dollar budget.  As Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, I'm proud that we were able to come to a consensus and pass the 2014-2015 budget unanimously at the Board.  As many groundbreaking and positive projects have been implemented, I look forward to continue working on new and continuing issues to benefit District 2 and all San Franciscans throughout the remainder of the year.


Best Wishes for the rest of summer- I look forward to staying in touch after the recess!





Office of Supervisor Mark Farrell
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 244, San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: (415) 554-7752 Fax: (415) 554-7843
Legislative Aides: Catherine.Stefani@sfgov.org, Margaux.Kelly@sfgov.org, & Jess.Montejano@sfgov.org 

Passing a Unanimous Balanced Two-Year Budget   

After months of hard work leading the charge at the Board of Supervisors, as the Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, I'm proud to say we built on Mayor Lee's proposed budget and passed a balanced fiscally and socially responsible budget at the July 23, 2013 meeting of the Board of Supervisors that truly reflects all of San Francisco's priorities and values. The revised budget added additional investments for workforce training, social services, parks and open spaces, children and family services, and infrastructure - as well as many priorities and projects that impact and help District 2. I'm also extremely proud that we were able to find additional savings to increase services while still adding a record amount of funds into our city's budget reserves to protect against the next economic downturn. I want to thank Mayor Lee for his initial leadership, and all of my colleagues at the Board of Supervisors for unanimously supporting a budget that is fiscally and socially responsible. 


Free Wi-Fi for 31 of San Francisco's Parks, Plazas, and Open Spaces  

At Balboa Park this month I announced plans that will lead to the installation of free Wi-Fi available to the general public at 31 parks, plazas and open spaces across San Francisco. The partnership with the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, San Francisco Department of Technology, sf.citi and Google to fund the initiative will help bridge the digital divide in many communities, empower local residents and community groups who will have access at local parks, and help Recreation and Park Department staff sign up kids for camps and recreation programs with accessibility to the internet. Our goal has a citywide view to offer free Wi-Fi access for the entire city. The installation of free Wi-Fi will begin in December 2013, and all 31 sites are expected to be fully completed in the Spring of 2014. 


 Solving San Francisco's $4.4 Billion Unfunded Healthcare Liability 

 At the July 16, 2013 meeting of the Board of Supervisors, the Board voted unanimously to send my charter amendment to solve our city's $4.4 billion unfunded healthcare liability to the ballot to be decided by the voters of San Francisco this November. My charter amendment will effectively switch the way we pay for our retiree healthcare costs to a fully-funded system within the next 30-years that will cover our retiree healthcare costs into perpetuity into the future. My charter amendment will also secure the Retiree Health Care Trust Fund, which has major implications for improving San Francisco's bond ratings - which has major positive cost saving implications for San Francisco taxpayers. All of this has been accomplished with no additional wage concessions from employees, no reduction in benefits - it simply just requires fiscal discipline here at City Hall. We'll now be partnering with many others in mounting a successful citywide campaign to get the message out to the voters that this is a common sense, compassionate and responsible measure that they should get behind. I want to especially thank Mayor Lee and all of my colleagues at the Board of Supervisors for endorsing this measure to secure our City's commitments to our retirees and workers.


Film Rebate Legislation 

In October of 2011, our office introduced and passed legislation to bolster the Film Rebate legislation by including documentary films, docudrama films and "reality" programs to the rebate program. This new piece of legislation was an update to the original legislation in 2011 that will allow the Executive Director of the Film Commission to lease space for production companies after determining no suitable City Property is available. The rent payments would be added as a qualified production cost and become part of the film company's total rebate - the maximum rebate is still $600,000 for a single production. Filming and production work for movies, television and commercials contributes to San Francisco in many ways. It provides jobs to local crew and background extras, creates a significant amount of local spending not only on local salaries but on hotels, restaurants, car rentals, catering, hardware, lumber, office supplies, wardrobe purchases, gasoline, location fees, equipment rentals and of course, city services. I was proud that the Board of Supervisors unanimously supported my legislation on July 23, 2013 and proud to report that Mayor Lee signed it into law the very next day.


Home Loan Assistance for our City's First Responders 

Last year, thanks to the leadership of Mayor Ed Lee, his Office of Housing, and my colleagues at the Board of Supervisors, the voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition C - the Housing Trust Fund Initiative - to create and improve affordable housing citywide, and provide loans to assist with the down payment towards the purchase of a home here in San Francisco. During the time that the initiative was being crafted, I personally introduced an amendment, included in the Housing Trust Fund as a budget set-aside, to help our first responders remain in San Francisco by providing them an opportunity to qualify for a down payment assistance home loan that would go towards the final purchase of a qualified home here in San Francisco. After the voters blessed Prop C, I led the charge over the past months in consultation with the Mayor's Office of Housing, our first responders union leadership and membership, and HomeOwnershipSF - a citywide coalition of experienced, nonprofit homeownership providers - to craft an initial program that matched the intent of the voters while taking into account the unique needs of our first responders and the low to moderate income homeownership advocacy groups. As a native San Franciscan that was here in the Marina during the 89' earthquake, I saw first-hand how integral our city's first responders were in assisting the community through the ongoing chaos and saw them do what first responders do best - respond to and help others during times of chaos and crisis. This program is intended to truly help more of our city's first responders live throughout our city's neighborhoods - thus, making them safer. This a new policy priority, based on vocation, which we are creating here in our city to strengthen our communities and make our neighborhoods safer - which is something I believe we can all agree on and strive for. I was proud to join Mayor Lee, Police Chief Greg Suhr, Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White, Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, and the various members and leaders of the different first responders departments to announce this program on the steps of City Hall on July 30 - more coverage here: http://bit.ly/18QmB9u.

Open Data Legislation 

At the July 30 meeting of the Board of Supervisors, I introduced an update to the recently passed Open Data Ordinance that modifies and standardizes our City's open data standards, adds more strict deadlines for the release of appropriate data from the City, creates a strategy for residents of San Francisco to access their own data, and ensures the tightest privacy deadlines are in place to protect our residents and City. I introduced this ordinance because we know that by making appropriate data and information resources accessible, discoverable, and usable by the public and entrepreneur community - we can help fuel entrepreneurship, innovation, and discovery - all of which can and will improve our City's residents' lives and contribute significantly to further job creation. I look forward to working with the various stakeholders to ensure we have strong support behind this ordinance when it will be heard in Committee - sometime in September.

Formula Retail Legislation - Upper Fillmore Neighborhood Commercial District

On Tuesday, July 9th, I introduced legislation to amend the definition of formula retail for the Upper Fillmore Street NCD.  Formula retail in defined in the Planning Code as a type of retail sales activity or retail sales establishment which, along with eleven or more other retail sales establishments located in the United States, maintains two or more of the following features: a standardized array of merchandise, a standardized facade, a standardized décor and color scheme, a uniform apparel, standardized signage, a trademark or a servicemark.   Examples include big name stores and restaurants such as the Gap, Banana Republic, Starbucks, Applebee's, etc.  After hearing from both our merchants and neighbors in the Upper Fillmore about concerns that large retailers were pushing out our smaller and unique "mom and pop" type of stores, I introduced legislation to expand the definition of formula retail to include any retail activity or retail establishment that has eleven or more other retail establishments located anywhere in the world instead of just the US. The definition would be amended to also to include a type of retail activity or retail establishment where fifty percent (50%) or more of the stock, shares, or any similar ownership interest of such establishment is owned by a formula retail use, or a subsidiary, affiliate, or parent of a formula retails use, even in if the establishment itself may have fewer than eleven retail sales establishment located anywhere in the world.  Examples include stores like Athleta that are a subsidiary of the Gap or Black Fleece - a subsidiary of Brooks Brothers.  What is important to note is this legislation is not a ban of these stores - it simply requires them to obtain a conditional use permit from the Planning Commission which is a requirement now for current establishments that fall within the Planning Code definition. 


I also note that my legislation has company as many Supervisors are hearing the same concerns from their merchants and constituents and have thus introduced similar legislation.  The Planning Department has taken note and actually held a hearing at the Planning Commission on July 27, 2013.  In response, the Commission passed a resolution authorizing a study of the issue and seeking public comments on the scope of that study.  For more information on the potential study visit http://commissions.sfplanning.org/cpcpackets/2013.0936U.pdf.   The public has until August 12, 2013 to comment on the scope of the study.  To provide comment, email AnMarie.Rodgers@sfgov.org

Honoring the Korean War Memorial Foundation

I was proud to commend the Korean War Memorial Foundation for protecting and creating a space that commemorates the Korean War. The foundation was founded in June of 2010 with the purpose of building a permanent memorial to commemorate the Korean War.  The Foundation is led by United States Military veterans and Republic of Korea military veterans, both are working together to create a space to respect and honor the Korean War. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors congratulates the Korean War Memorial foundation for their work.


July 4, 2013-America's Cup Official Opening Party

I was honored to be a part of the celebrations for the America's Cup Opening Ceremony.  The Opening Ceremony took place at the America's Cup Park, at Piers 27/29, and began with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the entrance to the park, San Francisco's newest waterfront space open to the public.  The day's program included cultural performances from the countries of the competing teams and ended in a fire work show.  It was a memorable event for the community and I look forward to future America's Cup events throughout the summer.


July 5, 2013-Chamber Policy Committee Endorses 4.4 Billion Retiree Healthcare Unfunded Liability

I was glad to present my charter amendment to the Chamber Policy Committee and was pleased that they chose to endorse my measure to solve our city's $4.4 billion unfunded retiree healthcare liability.  Later in the month, our city's Rules Committee voted unanimously to send the charter amendment to the full Board of Supervisors.  Please find more information about this amendment in the Legislation and Policy Update in this month's newsletter.


July 8th, 2013-TIC Workshop with Plan C and Department of Public Works

I was happy to team up with San Francisco's Department of Public Works and Plan C to give an informational workshop for TIC owners interested in understanding the recently passed TIC legislation and the newly created expedited conversion process.

Marina Yacht Harbor Reopenning

July 11th, 2013-Marina Yacht Harbor West Opening

The Marina Yacht Harbor West reopened this month as a result of the work of many, and I was honored to celebrate its debut.  The harbor was established in the early 1900's and is the oldest recreational marina operating in San Francisco. Serving boaters and non-boaters alike, the new harbor has more docks, upgraded electrical, water, and telephone service, and renovation of the Harbor Office building.  I thank the public and private organizations who helped fund the renovation, and I look forward to contributions the harbor will give to our community for years to come.


Aquatic Park Senior Center

July 12, 2013- San Francisco Senior Center at Aquatic Park Presentation 

On a recent Friday afternoon, I was honored to be invited to speak to residents of the San Francisco Senior Center at Aquatic Park. I spoke in the facility's beautiful Bay View Room and gave updates on CPMC, District 2 news, and other relevant issues our office has been working on.


July 24, 2013-Board of Supervisors Budget Signing

After the completion of our budget season, I was thrilled to have Mayor Lee sign our budget into law for the next two years.  As Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, I was honored to shepherd through a unanimous budget.  I'd like to thank my colleagues in city hall and the citizens of San Francisco for playing an important role in helping create a responsible fiscal budget for our city!



July 24, 2013-WiFi Announcement and Press Conference

I was thrilled to announce that San Francisco has teamed up with sf.citi and Google Inc. to bring WiFi to 31 parks, plazas, and open spaces throughout the city at a press conference with Mayor Lee, the Departments of Parks and Recreation and Technology, and sf.citi.  My team and I recognized an opportunity to work both inside and outside of local city government to finally bring a version of free Wi-Fi to city residents and visitors with a non-traditional solution.  Google Inc. has been an international leader promoting broad Internet access, and together with sf.citi, stepped forward to provide the generous financial resources to make this project possible.  I am grateful for this partnership and I am glad that this policy will benefit every corner of the city!



July 27, 2013-Korean War Memorial Site Dedication Ceremony

On behalf of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, I was honored to commend the Korean War Memorial Foundation for protecting and creating a space that honors the service of veterans of the Korean War. The foundation was established in June of 2010 and is led by United States Military veterans and Republic of Korea military veterans, working together to create a space to respect and honor the Korean War. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors congratulates the Korean War Memorial Foundation for its work.

July 27, 2013-Swimathon for Blind Awareness

I was proud to attend and kick-off the Swimathon for Blind Awareness at Aquatic Park. During the event, contestants had to race for five minutes with blacked out goggles to experience what it is like to swim sightless.  The contest featured Olympians, professional bicyclists, and Iron Man triathletes.  The event serves as a great reminder to accommodate to those who have visual impairments and to honor their contributions to our community.



July 27, 2013-Emerge America Celebration

As this month came to a close, I attended an event for Emerge America.  The organization aims to get more democratically elected women in office at the local, state, and national government levels.  Throughout my time in City Hall and in the private sector, I have worked with strong and intelligent women and I am proud to support an organization that is focused on the advancement of female elected officials.




July 30th, 2013-First Responders Press Conference

I am thrilled to announce that Mayor Ed Lee and I have teamed up to create a new program to ensure first responders have the ability to live within our city. As a native San Franciscan that was here in the Marina during the 89' earthquake, I saw first-hand how integral our city's first responders were in assisting the community through the ongoing chaos. I am proud to stand behind this program which is intended to truly help more of our city's first responders live throughout our city's neighborhoods - thus, making them safer. To learn more information and view the press conference online please visit:



District 2.

Off the grid: Presidio Picnic & Food Truck Party

Every Sunday, 11am-4pm, 103 Montgomery Street, Main Post, Presidio

Off the Grid hosts a full season of Picnics at the Presidio every Sunday from April 21 to October 27, 2013 at the lawn on the Main Post featuringlive music, free games and stands from San Francisco restaurants, foodtrucks, local farms and retailers. Debuting in 2013 is a produce market with some of the Bay Area's farms and specialty purveyors, so you can knock out your weekly grocery shopping with their selection of the local, seasonal produce. Blanket-side cocktail service is back, so don't forget your blanket and some cash. 


Off the Grid: Fort Mason Center

Every Friday, 5:00-10:00 p.m. Fort Mason Center

Fort Mason Center creates a unique San Francisco night market experience that highlights the vibrancy and culture of Asian and Latin street food markets, and provides opportunities for food entrepreneurs to showcase their products. The 2013 Friday night markets offer four bars featuring classic cocktails, craft beer, and local wines; a reserved lounge for pop-up prix fixe dining; and live music all night.


Fort Mason Center Farmers' Market

Every Sunday, 9:30am - 1:30pm, Fort Mason Center

The Fort Mason Center Farmers' Market occurs every Sunday 9:30am - 1:30pm, year-round rain or shine with beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge and access to delicious California fruits and vegetables. 


Blue Bear School Of Music Summer Camps

June 17th through Aug 15th
These week-long rock band camps offer young musicians going into Grades 5-12 (in Fall 2013) an opportunity to play the music they like with their peers. A minimum of one year of lessons is required. Repertoire is selected by the group, which rehearses every day. A typical day includes group lessons in the morning, a lunchtime jam with staff, and band rehearsals in the afternoon. The week culminates with a show on late Friday afternoon. Two songwriting camps are also in the mix for those who want to create and play their own original music. For more information visit: https://www.bluebearmusic.org/


NERT Classes in Cow Hollow

Monday Evenings from 6:30-9:30 on July 8, 15, 22, 29 and Aug 5, 12

Free Disaster Preparedness Training Courses at St Mary the Virgin Church (2325 Union @ Steiner).  So we are prepared to do what we can for each other. Help strengthen the neighborhood by making SF a resilient City! To register visit http://bit.ly/176dfEs, or call 415-970-2024.  For more information visit: www.sfgov.org/sfnert 


SFMTA Traffic Calming Request

Application must be submitted by August 1, 2013

The SFMTA Traffic Calming Program is now accepting applications. The Traffic Calming Program is designed for San Francisco Residents to alert the SFMTA on street issues in their community, so they can help make streets safer for all residents. Applications must be submitted by August 1, 2013 and locations near schools and other community oriented facilities will receive increased consideration.  For more information and applications visit: http://www.sfmta.com/cms/ocalm/indxlicalm.htm


Rest of the city


Coyote Pupping Season:

July through Early Fall

CoyoteCoexistence.Com is trying to educate people as much as possible about Coyotes in San Francisco (mainly the Presidio and Golden Gate Park). They want to help alleviate fears before they become big, and inform dog owners about what behaviors they should expect. For more information please visit CoyoteCoexistence.Com. If you have see an issue regarding coyotes please contact 311.


Candlestick Park Stadium Tours

Monday thru Friday, 11am and 2:30pm and Saturday 11am

Home to the five time Super Bowl champions, the San Francisco 49ers, and the original home of the San Francisco Giants, Candlestick Park brims with memories and legacies! Take a tour and get the scoop behind the scenes like never before in the second-oldest and only concrete stadium in the NFL! On this sixty minute guided tour you'll experience the 49ers Locker Room and walk through the tunnel onto the field! You can run the gridiron, get inside the old Giants dugout, see the views from the football press box way up high, peek inside a luxury suite, and more! You even have a chance to re-enact "The Catch" by Joe Montana and Dwight Clark that led the 49ers to their first Super Bowl right where it happened! The tour is great for all from the most fervent 49ers & Giants fans to those just along for the walk. We showcase Candlestick's fun, historical and structural facts, and even have trivia questions for adults and tour-related games for the kids. For more information visit: http://sfrecpark.org/parks-open-spaces/candlestick-stadium-tours/


76th Annual Stern Grove Festival

Every Sunday through August 18

Stern Grove Festival Association is a non-profit cultural organization committed to providing the people of the Bay Area with admission-free access to diverse performing arts.  Every year since 1938, the organization presents Stern Grove Festival, an admission-free performing arts series, in Sigmund Stern Grove, a beautiful outdoor amphitheater located at 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard in San Francisco. In 2013, Stern Grove Festival will present its 76th Season, from June 16 through August 18. http://www.sterngrove.org/home/about/


Yerba Buena Gardens Festival

May 4th-October 16th

Yerba Buena Gardens, one of San Francisco's premiere urban parks, will present its 13th annual festival from May through October with music, theater, dance, poetry, international cultural celebrations, and children's programs. It's an exciting array of live performances and it's absolutely free of charge. All programs take place outdoors in Yerba Buena Gardens, Mission Street between Third and Fourth Streets.



Louis Vuitton Cup

July 4th- August 30th

The Louis Vuitton Cup, the America's Cup Challenger Series, is used as the selection series to determine who will race the Defender in the America's Cup Finals. Scheduled for July 4 - September 1, 2013 on the San Francisco Bay, the Louis Vuitton Cup will see challengers from around the globe battle each other in a knockout series for the opportunity to compete for the America's Cup.




July 1, 2013

The San Francisco Chronicle, "Trash cans, neighborhood festivals, transgender surgeon among supervisors' budget add-backs"



July 4, 2013

The Sean Francisco Chronicle. "Supes to decide if healthcare funding should go to voters"



July 11, 2013

The San Francisco Examiner, "City mulling health insurance options as Kaiser rates increase"



July 12, 2013

The San Francisco Bay Gaurdian, "A community-based coalition, a trio of supervisors and a very special mediator helped seal CPMC deal"



July 13, 2013

The San Francisco Appeal, "New Hospitals For SF: Mayor Signs CPMC Deal"



July 13, 2013

The San Francisco Chronicle, "Voters to weigh in on retiree health care fund"



July 16, 2013

The San Francisco Appeal, "Supes Give Initial OK To SF's $7.9 Billion Budget"



July 17, 2013

The San Francisco Examiner, "San Francisco budget gains unanimous approval"



July 23, 2013

The San Francisco Chronicle, "S.F. OKs health care rates for city staf, retirees"



July 23, 2013

The San Francisco Chronicle, "Google will pay for free wireless in S.F. parks"



July 24, 2013

ABC KGO-TV News, "Google to unveil WiFi plan for dozens of SF parks"



July 24, 2013

The San Francisco Examiner, "Balanced budget set to strengthen city's future"



July 24, 2013

The San Francisco Examiner, "Free Wi-Fi at city parks part of fully wired goal"



July 24, 2013

CBS SF Bay Area News, " San Francisco To Get Free Wi-Fi In City Parks, Open Spaces"



July 24, 2013

The Huffington Post, "Google wants to bring free Wi-Fi to SF parks"



July 24, 2013

The Washington Post, "Google, San Francisco supervisor announce partnership for free Wi-Fi at 31 city parks"



July 24, 2013

U.S. News and World Report, "Google wants to bring free Wi-Fi to SF parks"



July 24, 2013

The San Francisco Chronicle, "Google wants to bring free Wi-Fi to SF parks"



July 24, 2013

ABC 7 News, "SF parks to offer free Wi-Fi, thanks to Google"



July 24, 2013

ABC News, "Google Wants to Bring Free Wi-Fi to SF Parks"



July 24, 2013

NBC Bay Area, "Google Sponsors Free Wi-Fi in San Francisco Parks"



July 24, 2013

The San Francisco Examiner, "Mayor signs new $7.9B budget"



July 25, 2013

The San Francisco Chronicle, "Aerial advertising ban for America's Cup narrowly passes"



July 27, 2013

Recordnet, "S.J. veteran to attend Korean War commemoration"



July 30, 2013

ABC 7 News, "New home loan program for first responders in SF"



July 30, 2013

California Newswire, "SF Mayor Lee and Supervisor Farrell Launch Home Loan Assistance Program for First Responders"



July 30, 2013

The San Francisco Appeal, "SF Announces Down Payment Assistance Program For First Responders"



July 31, 2013

Real Estate Rama, "Mayor Lee & Supervisor Farrell Launch City's Down Payment Home Loan Assistance Program For First Responders"



July 31, 2013

The San Francsco Chronicle, "S.F. to offer housing assistance to 1st responders"


Marina Times Articles

August 2013

The Marina Times, "Tips for managing your technology"



August 2013

The Marina Times, "Spending $7.9 billion: How San Francisco's new budget will affect you and your community"


Office of Supervisor Mark Farrell
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 244, San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: (415) 554-7752 Fax: (415) 554-7843
Legislative Aides: Catherine.Stefani@sfgov.org, Margaux.Kelly@sfgov.org, & Jess.Montejano@sfgov.org 
Quick Links:
Join Our Mailing List