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The GrowSF Report: City forfeits $15 million
PLUS: Help save Outdoor Dining again
What You Need To Know
Here’s what happened around the city for the week of October 24, 2022:
- City forfeits $15 million
- 150 more community ambassadors headed downtown
- Neighbors create green space
- Supervisor Stefani demands nonprofits be held accountable for city grant money
City forfeits $15 million of your tax dollars
The SF Chronicle reported the city forfeited $15 million in federal grant money for the Better Market Street project due to project delays. Californians pay more in federal taxes than we get back in federal funding—only 43 cents for every $1 we pay, compared to Arkansas that receives $3.39 back for every $1 they pay. So when we get a sliver of our money back to improve city infrastructure we must put it to use. Instead, the city’s broken planning process led to years of delays and ultimately forfeiture of $15 million of your tax dollars. City officials must focus on fixing the bureaucracy now.
150 more community ambassadors headed downtown
The holiday season is upon us! Normally, that means more people heading downtown to get their shopping done (and to enjoy the holiday cheer), but concerns around safety remain. In the hopes of quelling these fears, Mayor Breed announced a new initiative to place up to 150 unarmed community ambassadors in key areas, including BART and Muni stations, city-operated parking garages, and neighborhoods like the Mission, Mid-Market, the Tenderloin, and Downtown. SFPD remains about 500 officers short, but the hope is that these community ambassadors can bridge the gap, and allow everyone to enjoy the holiday season with a little less anxiety.
Neighbors creating green space
Sometimes, if you want something done, you have to do it yourself. That’s what a group of residents in the Mission, calling themselves Mission Greenway, decided when they broke into an unowned lot, cleaned it and added mulch and plants. Mission Greenway hoped to turn this lot, currently used for parking, into a green space in a neighborhood that sorely needs it.
More importantly, they hoped to start a conversation within the neighborhood about what the space could be. Not everyone was thrilled with their actions, but the response has been overwhelmingly positive. People need open spaces, filled with plants and life, to thrive. Here’s hoping that the actions of Mission Greenway bear fruit (maybe both figuratively and literally!).
Supervisor Stefani demands nonprofits be held accountable
The City of San Francisco contracts with hundreds of nonprofit organizations, spending about $800 million a year for the services they provide. Unfortunately, City Hall doesn’t have a great sense of the value derived from this spending, with the Controller’s Office calling for a performance audit of Community Benefit Organizations (CBOs).
The city must do a better job of auditing all of the non-profits that City Hall contracts with, to drive accountability and ensure taxpayer funds are used wisely. Thank you Supervisor Stefani for demanding accountability. Our endorsed candidate for District 4, Joel Engardio, feels the same, and has made fiscal responsibility a part of his platform. With Joel in office, we can expect better use of our funds!
Your Action Plan
Now that you know what’s happening, help us shape what happens next:
Help save Outdoor Dining again
Outdoor Dining in San Francisco was made permanent thanks to your demands! But there are more hurdles to overcome as more red tape is put up by both the city and the state. The regulations may be well-intentioned, but they place unreasonable burdens upon the businesses operating the parklets that could make it prohibitive to continue operating them.
Here's the latest. The state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is holding a public hearing on their proposed regulations including ideas like requiring staff to carry your drink from the counter to the parklet instead of allowing you to carry it.
So, if you love outdoor dining, please use the link below to send an email before 5 p.m. on November 1, 2022 to the state Alcohol Beverage Control officials. If you’re interested in listening to the hearing, you can register here.
You can read the full ABC regulation proposal here.
Election Day is just over a week away. The Supervisor races in District 4 (Sunset) and District 6 (SOMA) are critically important. Even if you don’t live in these districts, every Supervisor votes on and guides citywide policy. You still have time to share the GrowSF Voter Guide with friends and families and talk to them about these races. If you’d like to hand out paper voter guides, just contact us, we’ll get some to you.
Here are our most important endorsements for this November:
District 6 Supervisor (SOMA, Mission Bay): Matt Dorsey
District Attorney: Brooke Jenkins
School Board: Ann Hsu, Lainie Motamedi, Lisa Weissman-Ward
Enjoy the Great Hauntway and vote NO on Prop I
Volunteer or take your family to the Great Hauntway this weekend. And if you love beach events like this, please vote NO on Prop I.
WHEN: Sunday, October 30 1 pm - 4 pm
WHERE: Great Highway Park, Judah to Taraval
Celebrate San Francisco
There’s a lot to love about our city. Here’s what makes it great:
Bayview celebrates new community center
The Bayview celebrated the opening of a beautiful new community center.
The 45,000-square-foot LEED Gold Certified facility at 1550 Evans Avenue includes a childcare center, café, free wi-fi, public workspaces, and $1 million in culturally celebratory art commissioned from local artists.
San Francisco named top destination in 2023
San Francisco has been named one of the top destinations for travel in 2023 by National Geographic! We know it’s a great place, we’re glad to see National Geographic thinks so too!
Día de los Muertos and Halloween
There are so many events this weekend to celebrate Halloween and Día de los Muertos from Halloween Fun on the JFK Promenade to the Exploratorium’s Family Día de los Muertos Celebration—Datebook has all the details!
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