The GrowSF Report: Huge changes coming to School Board elections
PLUS: Progressive thief Julie Pitta undermines democracy
What You Need To Know
Here’s what happened around the city for the week of Monday, February 5, 2024:
- Huge changes coming to School Board elections
- Daniel Lurie has raised over $4 million for Mayor
- Progressive thief Julie Pitta undermines democracy
- Hand Sanitizer igniting homeless encampments
- State law brings more housing to the Mission
Recent & upcoming openings:
- Bright soul-satisfying Chinese soups in time for the Lunar New Year
- Original Joe’s opens Mexican American restaurant in West Portal
Huge changes coming to School Board elections
San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) is suddenly under legal threat to overhaul how it runs elections. Rather than elect all seven school board members in a single citywide race, a small law firm is demanding that SFUSD move to district elections in time for the November election, shaking up the race and giving candidates almost no time to properly understand if they’re eligible to run at all.
Why is this happening? Simple - the California Voting Rights Act, or CVRA, incentivizes law firms to meddle with California city and school district elections by awarding $40,000 just for sending a threatening letter. The small law firm threatening SFUSD has already collected over $15 million from this behavior, according to Jill Tucker at the Chronicle.
Facing what could be a multimillion dollar lawsuit to defend our elections, the School Board looks like it plans to immediately cave to the threats and hastily implement dramatic changes. We worry what this may mean for our kids and will give you more information about how to get involved as we learn more.
If you have questions, we recommend reading the Chronicle’s FAQ.
Daniel Lurie has raised over $4 million for Mayor
Mayoral candidates are rapidly filling up their war chests. Boasting impressive numbers, Daniel Lurie has outraised Mayor London Breed—a whopping $4.46 million according to Josh Koehn of the Standard, though that amount is split between is Mayoral campaign and his Yes-on-E campaign for this March.
“Presumably, Breed has some capital that goes beyond dollars just by virtue of her incumbency and the network she's established. Whether that's enough to keep a challenger like Lurie from winning, that’s the question,” said Larry Gerston, professor emeritus for San Jose State University’s political science department and a political analyst for NBC Bay Area, to Josh Koehn.
Mayor Breed has raised a combined total of nearly $700,000. Supervisor Asha Safai trails far behind with just $333,000 raised. This race is just getting started, so stay tuned for more eye-popping numbers.
Progressive thief Julie Pitta undermines democracy
Progressive operative Julie Pitta was caught on camera stealing campaign materials for Marjan Philhour, who is running for Supervisor in the Richmond. Stealing and destroying political posters without permission is election interference and a misdemeanor crime. Now, the police are investigating. Pitta has been a vocal critic of Philhour and has volunteered for incumbent progressive Supervisor Connie Chan.
When faced with this evidence, Pitta took to social media to plead her case, claiming that she had permission from the coffee shop’s employees to remove the sign. Unfortunately for her, the owner of Royal Ground coffee shop stated unequivocally that Pitta was lying.
Julie Pitta showed us all what Connie Chan and her allies value: partisan interference in free & fair elections.
Hand Sanitizer igniting homeless encampments
Fires during the pandemic doubled from 400 to 800 during the pandemic. What’s causing this explosion? SF officials claim that hand sanitizer could be the culprit. They say it’s commonly used as an accelerant by homeless people trying to start small fires to keep warm.
“Homeless people have had far greater access to hand sanitizer, which helps prevent the spread of bacteria and disease—but also acts as a powerful fire accelerant,” according to Josh Koehn at the Standard.
No one in America should be forced to start a fire to stay warm. San Francisco must do better. We must ignore the anti-shelter activists and build enough shelters to bring everyone inside. It’s not just the right thing to do, it’s the safe one.
State law brings more housing to the Mission
After waiting five years to get approval to build 60 homes, homebuilder Manouch Moshayedi is now using State law to bypass San Francisco’s anti-housing government to triple the number of homes. A state law called “Assembly Bill 1287” allows homebuilders to build more market-rate homes if they build more subsidized homes for poorer families.
In addition, the project might be exempt from lengthy processes and hearings thanks to the Housing Constraints legislation led by Mayor London Breed’s office which amended the San Francisco Planning Code at the end of last year.
This sounds like common sense to us. More homes, more neighbors, let’s GrowSF!
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Recent & upcoming openings
A great city is constantly changing and growing, let’s celebrate what’s new!
Bright soul-satisfying Chinese soups in time for the Lunar New Year
WHERE: 606 Broadway
The long dormant restaurant on the corner of Broadway and Columbus Avenue is now alive again. According to the Chronicle, the son-in-law of the former owners, Eugene Lau, stepped in to save the business from closing, remodeled and renamed it 606 after its address on 606 Broadway Street. It opened on January 31 and boasts shrimp-stuffed tofu and rich Hong Kong-style tea (as well as some yummy looking soups to get us through the rainy weather!).
Original Joe’s opens Mexican American Restaurant in West Portal
WHERE: 255 West Portal Avenue
This week Original Joe’s opened a new Mexican restaurant in West Portal. According to the Chronicle, Elena’s offers four kinds of enchiladas — one with Dungeness crab! — along with fajitas and make-your-own fish tacos. If you still have room, you can top that off with Mexican spiced coffee and cinnamon whipped cream. One of the best things? They’re open for lunch and dinner seven days a week!
Your Action Plan
Now that you know what’s happening, help us shape what happens next:
Reminder! Election Day is around the corner
Have you voted?
Election Day is on March 5th. You should have received your mail-in ballot by now!
The GrowSF voter guide is your key to voting for positive change in SF — we make it simple to elect results-focused leaders and vote for meaningful policy change. This March will be one of the most important SF elections in years. So please dive in!
Rally for Proposition G - Bring Back Algebra
Join Supervisor Joel Engardio and volunteers for a rally for algebra tomorrow, Sunday February 11, at 10am at the Outer Sunset farmers market at Ortega and 37th Ave.
All of these elected officials will be there:
Mayor London Breed
Supervisor Joel Engardio
Senator Scott Wiener
Supervisor Ahsha Safai
Supervisor Myrna Melgar
Supervisor Catherine Stefani
Supervisor Rafael Mandelman
Supervisor Matt Dorsey
Stay tuned for Super Bowl Parade
After the San Francisco 49ers beat the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday in Las Vegas, San Francisco will host a parade on Thursday, February 15. The parade will take over Market Street, so be sure to avoid driving through the area!
Editor’s note: Personally, I’m rooting for Taylor Swift.
The Spirit of San Francisco
There’s a lot to love about our city and the Bay Area. Here’s what makes it great. Brought to you by The Bold Italic.
What we’re doing this week
Carnivale at Grace Cathedral
Enjoy live entertainment and hospitality with sweets and savories, including an open bar, at The Late Night Revelry, Carnivale's glowing after party. You must be 21 or older to attend The Late Night Revelry. Tickets are $100 for one or $165 for two.
WHERE: Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St, San Francisco, CA 94108
WHEN: Feb. 13, 6 p.m. for the dinner and 8:45 p.m. is when the after party starts.
SF Beer Week 2024
SF Beer Week returns! Beer 'weeks' are ten days -- spanning two weekends -- when members of a craft beer community come together and share craft-centric experiences. They host events, offer special releases and menu pairings, collaborate with neighbors and fellow brewers, curate and serve up seasonal offerings, run fun promotions, promote local artists, bands, designers, food vendors and more, hold contests, competitions, even family-friendly activities and fitness events, like morning yoga, runs and bike loops that explore local beer scenes.
This one runs Feb. 9 - 18 at various locations in San Francisco.
What we’re writing about
Why I love the Richmond District
Part of San Francisco’s magic is that it’s actually many small towns that run into each other. You walk in a straight line and find these wonderful discrete continents, some tucked into hills and others spanning the valleys below; a phenomenon that the fog makes even more stark. Few neighborhoods illustrate this more than the Richmond.
Where to watch the Taylor Swift football game in San Francisco
If you’re not the type to reserve a booth at a favorite pub the moment you found out the 49ers were playing the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday, I have news: we’re legally obligated to tell you that Taylor Swift is dating KC tight end Travis Kelce. More importantly: where can you go for Sunday’s game that doesn’t require reservations and does have televisions? Here’s five.
Nightlife party ‘Hell’a Tight’ enters new era at SF Oasis
The party formula was simple: bubblegum pop, drag, and dancing, which on its own sounds a little too uncomplicated. But add in drag queen Lindsay Slowhands and you’ve got amazing drag and a curated list of 90s and 2000s favorites that’s always on point. Here’s what’s happening in her latest venture.
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