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The GrowSF Report: Let's Talk Trash
And what makes the Great Highway truly great?
What You Need To Know
Here’s what happened around the city for the week of January 9, 2022:
- What Makes the Great Highway Truly Great?
- Let’s Talk Trash — And Hold Recology Accountable for Corruption
- And Now Some Feel Good News About Trash
- London Breed Won’t Be Lectured By Progressives
What Makes the Great Highway Truly Great?
The New York Times named just 52 places in the world that are changing the world for the better. And San Francisco’s Great Highway is number 18. “A throughway becomes a must-go destination, pointing the way for post-pandemic urbanism,” the Times explains.
We couldn’t agree more. Turning the Great Highway into a permanent oceanside park is one of GrowSF’s priorities. The idea has opponents, but too many people have fallen in love with what an oceanside park can become in their lives that it’s going to be impossible to put this magical park back in the bottle.
The New York Times story captures the feeling perfectly in text and images. Look and you might see yourself there, enjoying the best San Francisco has to offer.
Let’s Talk Trash — And Hold Recology Accountable for Corruption
Recology has a decades-long monopoly on trash pick-up and recycling in San Francisco. It’s even enshrined in our city constitution that no other refuse company can compete here. Good government watchdogs tried to end the monopoly with a ballot measure in 2012, but Recology was able to cajole near unanimous support from elected officials and Democratic clubs citywide. Voters followed the slate cards and the initiative failed.
Then the corruption flowed, as recently outlined by the Examiner: “The company admitted to stealing $95 million from The City’s residents by overcharging them through improper rate hikes. In addition, federal authorities charged two former Recology executives with funneling over $1 million into nonprofit accounts controlled by disgraced former Department of Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru. Three Recology subsidiaries admitted to conspiring to bribe Nuru and agreed to pay a $36 million fine.”
Now, Recology is trying to thwart reform by gathering signatures to put its own initiative on the ballot to water down a measure sponsored by supervisors and the mayor.
And Now Some Feel Good News About Trash
Just when despair over City Hall corruption starts to take hold, someone like Vincent Yuen comes along to restore faith that the people can fix what officials have fleeced.
The father of two daughters, ages 5 and 7, created a community group called Refuse Refuse (reject trash) that has attracted legions of volunteers to clean San Francisco’s dirty streets.
Mayor Breed Won’t Be Lectured By Progressives
Kara Swisher of the New York Times podcast “Sway” interviewed San Francisco’s Mayor Breed. The intro says it all: “London Breed has heard the wrath of progressives (and conservatives) for doing too much (and too little) to ‘clean up’ neighborhoods in San Francisco struggling with substance use. She’s not backing down.”
Be a Smart Voter! Use the GrowSF Voter Guide
There’s an important special election on February 15 to recall the school board. If you live on the eastside of San Francisco, you’ll also get to pick a new Assemblymember to represent you at the state capitol.
Mail-in ballots are arriving in the next few days! Get informed by reading and sharing the GrowSF voter guide.
Your Action Plan
Now that you know what’s happening, help us shape what happens next:
Volunteer For School Board Recall — Visibility and Awareness
It’s time to get out the vote for the school board recall. Ballots arrive by mail next week and the special election day is February 15.
Volunteers are needed for tabling at grocery stores and farmer’s markets in all parts of San Francisco. Sign up for a location and time on this list.
If you have any questions, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Know Your San Francisco Politics
Ever wonder why San Francisco is the way it is?
Find out with Joel Engardio’s SF Politics 101 webinar. It provides an entertaining look at the history that shaped San Francisco, while explaining how City Hall and local politics work.
Tuesday January 18
7pm to 8pm
Click here to register
Celebrate San Francisco
There’s a lot to love about our city. Here’s what makes it great:
San Franciscans have always had sustainability and conservation top of mind. It’s hard not to appreciate the natural world, given all of the beauty and bounty that can be found within driving distance of the city, much less all of Northern California.
The latest annual Clean Energy Scorecard shows that SF lives true to these principles, naming SF the number one rated city when it comes to energy-efficiency. The scorecard called out our transportation policies and local government operations in particular. Even though fighting climate change can seem like a daunting prospect, it is important to acknowledge these wins, and feel proud!
Coming Soon: Free Attractions in Golden Gate Park
There is never a boring day in the city. SF offers a wide variety of truly fun and enjoyable experiences and attractions. Under legislation proposed by Mayor Breed, two of those attractions, the Conservatory of Flowers and Japanese Tea Garden (both in Golden Gate Park), could potentially become entirely free!
New Park on Presidio Parkway
In a city with the best park system in the country, SF is adding one more! A new site, called Battery Bluff, is opening in spring of 2022. Located on top of the Presidio Parkway tunnels along Lincoln Boulevard, the newly restored 16 acres will have picnic tables, gardens and benches from which to admire sweeping views of the Golden Gate, Angel Island and Alcatraz.
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Yes, there is good stuff on Twitter. Here’s some of it:
This was quite a week for gorgeous sunsets across the city!
We love to see families taking advantage of the JFK Promenade (“Car-free JFK”)!