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The Grow SF Report, Vol. 28
The latest updates on SF government progress, policies, and priorities
What You Need To Know
Here’s what happened around the city this week:
The new initiative, dubbed the Organized Retail Theft Investigation and Deterrence Strategy, creates new sergeant and lieutenant positions dedicated to retail theft, and expands the department’s Organized Retail Crime Unit from two to five investigators.
The program also expands the presence of unarmed community ambassadors from eight to 25, who are assigned to deter retail theft and report crimes committed in their assigned areas.
Joining a growing chorus of employers, San Francisco International Airport instituted vaccine mandates for all on-site staff. The Unite Here Local 2 union, which represents many of the food & beverage staff at SFO, supports the mandate.
Your Action Plan
Now that you know what’s happening, help us shape what happens next:
El Farolito, the beloved family owned Mexican restaurant, announced plans this summer to open in North Beach on Grant Avenue. But thanks to an anonymous complaint to the San Francisco Planning Department and an outdated Formula Retail ban, the restaurant’s opening is in jeopardy. (Read the full story in Mission Local.)
El Farolito has 12 locations in the greater Bay Area, meaning they are treated as a “chain.” Something is broken if we treat a family owned Mexican restaurant the same way as a Starbucks or a McDonalds.
El Farolito NEEDS YOUR HELP! Sign the petition to reform our backwards laws and let El Farolito open!
Decide the fate of Car-free JFK
This winter, the Board of Supervisors will decide whether JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park will remain car-free. Car-free JFK has been a bright spot during the last 17 months, and it's shown us what the streets of our city's largest open space can be when they're made safe for people, not cars.
JFK Drive used to be one of the most dangerous streets in the city, but now it’s full of runners and cyclists, families with children, and seniors on their evening walks. As Heather Knight writes, “the city shut the road to cars […] and the street immediately changed from a clogged, loud highway to a safe, people-centered paradise.”
If you want to help keep JFK Car-free, fill out this survey from SFMTA (and optionally read the background on the proposals). If the car-free proposals on the survey don’t score well, NIMBY supervisors will have easy cover to kill car-free JFK.
The survey is very complicated. Here's a breakdown:
The first page offers some proposals for improving access for people with disabilities, including adding loading zones to nearby Fulton St and improved shuttle access, as well as finally adding Baywheels bikes and docks to the park. We think these are all good ideas.
The second page asks you to evaluate changes in traffic flow. Only options #13 (Existing Car-free Route Option) and #17 (Car-free West End Option) keep the current route through Golden Gate Park completely car-free. The other options add car access back onto all or most of JFK Drive. This would recreate some of the same conditions that made JFK Drive one of the city's most dangerous streets pre-pandemic and would significantly delay Muni's 44 and 5/5R lines. We encourage you to rank the completely car-free options highest.
Fun in SF
Check out some of our favorite fun activities happening in SF right now:
Chinatown Fridays is a weekly casual dining event that features a different Chinatown eating establishment every week. When you sign up you’ll receive details for that week’s restaurant meet up spot.
Bring Transit Month to a close by spending an afternoon with fellow transit riders and activists!
They'll be meeting the Measure RR Party Train at 4th/King at 1:52pm and then walking over to Spark Social to socialize.
Beloved SF bookstore Green Apple Books is coming to Harvey Milk Terminal 1 at SFO. But, in typical SF fashion, it won’t open for almost three years.
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Yes, there is good stuff on Twitter. Here’s some of it:
With a few options for Car Free JFK on the table (see above), we hope the Board of Supervisors runs a fair process to get input from residents and other stakeholders. But Supervisor Chan has already made it clear she only supports her favorite (infeasible) option, and she doesn’t care what you or city experts think. 🤦🏻♀️
Heading to Golden Gate Park this weekend? Remember: there’s a good chance you can take Muni there with no transfer!
Update: SF COVID-19 Vaccinations
With the delta variant spreading, it’s important that everyone who is eligible get vaccinated.
Delta variant update
If you received a Johnson & Johnson vaccine and are worried about the Delta variant, San Francisco’s Department of Public Health Adult Immunization & Travel Clinic (AITC) and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital (ZSFG) are offering supplemental mRNA shots.
New: All workers at San Francisco International Airport are now required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. More here.