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GrowSF Report: Mayor Breed’s State of the City address
PLUS: Take the GrowSF Pulse survey
Special feature: Take the GrowSF Pulse survey
Tell us what’s important to you! We want to keep our pulse on public opinion in San Francisco, so we need to know what you think are the most important issues in the City. Take our February 2023 survey to guide GrowSF’s next year of advocacy.
What You Need To Know
Here’s what happened around the city for the week of February 6, 2023:
- Mayor Breed’s State of the City address
- Run for something: The school board recall team is training candidates
- Immigration rising again
- Mayor Breed’s plan to build 82,000 new homes
- School District still a budget concern
Mayor Breed’s State of the City address
Mayor Breed is feeling optimistic about the future of San Francisco. From her Downtown Recovery Plan, to her Housing for All initiative, the Mayor has her sights on cleaning up the city, attracting businesses and tourists, and growing San Francisco.
The announcement that got the loudest applause, though, was her promise to hire and train more police and to provide a $25 million budget supplemental to help SFPD maintain and improve performance.
Run for something: The school board recall team is training candidates
For many parents in San Francisco, Autumn Looijen and Siva Raj are heroes. The two political neophytes engaged in a seemingly quixotic attempt to recall three school board members…and succeeded! This was the first time in a century that an elected local official was successfully recalled.
Now Looijen and Raj are hoping to replicate their success, by teaching other motivated SF locals through a new political training academy called City Guardians. The free program will offer a crash course on the key components needed to mount a political campaign, and is not limited to any specific political stripe; instead Looijen and Raj want to train political hopefuls who are “pragmatic rather than ideological and open to working with people who disagree with them.” The only hard rule is that participants live in SF.
If you ever thought about running for office, apply for the program - you may be instrumental in helping to fix our amazing city!
Immigration rising again
San Francisco is a city of immigrants. It’s always been a desired destination for dreamers all over the world. But during the pandemic, SF experienced net negative immigration for the first time in a long time, losing 600 foreign immigrants. But this reversed - in a big way - between July 2021 and June 2022, when 21,000 foreign immigrants decided to make SF home.
It should be obvious to all San Franciscans this is good news; we continue to attract smart, talented people from around the world.
Let’s celebrate that SF is, once again, a desirable place to live. And we must continue the hard work of making it easier to move here by building more homes for more immigrants.
Mayor Breed’s plan to build 82,000 new homes
Last week, San Francisco’s Housing Element was approved, setting in motion a flurry of activity, all aimed towards increasing the amount of housing in SF. Among that activity was an executive order from Mayor London Breed, translating the requirement to build 82,000 housing units over the next 8 years into specific executive and legislative actions that will help get us there.
Mayor Breed has recognized the many issues and obstructions that prevent SF from building more housing, and seeks to address them with her executive order. The goal is audacious: SF will need to build 10,000 units a year, which is triple what the city typically produces. But this is a necessary step, and something our city must do.
We look forward to working with Mayor Breed to help in getting the 82,000 homes - and more! - built in SF as soon as possible!
School District still a budget concern
It’s been nearly a year since San Francisco voters overwhelmingly recalled the incompetent School Board Commissioners Gabriela López, Allison Collins, and Faauuga Moliga. But the work to fix our schools is far from done.
The State fiscal expert just called our public schools budget a “lack of going concern,” once again. In normal-people terms, that means we’re running a deficit. The state fears that SFUSD may run such a huge deficit that it won’t be able to pay its bills in the near future.
Last year, recalled Board President Gabriela López voted for Commissioner Matt Alexander’s budget, even after the state said that his plan was so bad that it would lead to state takeover. Matt and his team of budget-unconscious commissioners are back in charge since Ann Hsu lost her election to Alida Fisher, putting our schools at risk yet again.
Will Superintendent Matt Wayne be able to present a decent budget and hit his goals of improving 3rd grade literacy, 8th grade math, and college/career readiness? We’re not sure.
GrowSF is glad that Commissioners Lisa Weissman-Ward, Lainie Motamedi, and Jenny Lam are doing the hard work necessary to keep our schools running. As for the other Commissioners… well, let’s just say we’re excited about the SF Guardians’s new candidate training program.
Your Action Plan
Now that you know what’s happening, help us shape what happens next:
GrowSF Happy Hour on February 15
Grab a drink with us!
WHEN: Wednesday, February 15th; 6:30 to 8:30pm
WHERE: Orbit Room, 1900 Market Street
The future of SF’s Central Freeway
Some City leaders are creating a plan to tear down the Central Freeway and replace it with a beautiful promenade and thousands of new homes. We have previously torn down the Embarcadero freeway and the portion of the Central Freeway that went into Hayes Valley (both damaged beyond repair in the 1989 earthquake).
Learn more about this budding initiative, and tell us how you feel about it in the GrowSF Pulse survey.
WHEN: Thursday, March 2nd, 6-7:30pm
WHERE: Manny’s, 3092 16th St
Celebrate San Francisco
There’s a lot to love about our city. Here’s what makes it great:
Why Are There Garages on Homes Built Before Cars Existed?
It’s no secret that the housing stock in San Francisco is quite old, which much of it predating cars. So why do many of the oldest of these homes have garages, if they were built before there was a need for one? This fascinating article explains why - read on!
Peak Magnolia Bloom is here now!
Be sure to make it to the SF Botanical Garden as soon as possible to catch the Magnolias in peak bloom!
Love the GrowSF Report? Share it
Help GrowSF grow! Share our newsletter with your friends. The bigger we are, the better San Francisco will be.
Yes, there is good stuff on Twitter. Here’s some of it:
We really need to improve public transit access to the West side. It’s time for BART to the BEACH!