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The GrowSF Report: Mayor Breed's budget
PLUS: New poll shows widespread unhappiness
What You Need To Know
Here’s what happened around the city for the week of May 29, 2023:
- Mayor Breed’s budget released
- Supervisor Ahsha Safaí wants to ban new pot shops
- 77% say SF is on the wrong track
- SF Muni may cut 20 bus lines if state funding dries up
Mayor Breed’s budget released
We’re thrilled to see that Mayor London Breed's new budget is aligned with many of GrowSF's priorities, especially entrepreneurship, small businesses, and public safety. The mayor's proposed budget pushes city spending up by $612 million to $14.6 billion for the next fiscal year, but it also includes cuts to some departments and rebalances spending where it’s needed most.
Despite a previously projected deficit of about $350 million per year (about 2.3% of the total), the proposal manages to find some money under couch cushions to end up at a balanced budget. To ensure this balance long term, Mayor Breed’s budget cuts 11% from her own office, 23% from the port, among other departments, while increasing funding for police by 9%, MTA by 6%, and the DA’s office by 7%.
Supervisor Ahsha Safaí wants to ban new pot shops
In classic San Francisco fashion, incumbent business owners are trying to ban competition and the Board of Supervisors is more than happy to help, reports Han Li at the SF Standard.
The heavily regulated dispensary owners are complaining that there’s too much competition and they aren’t making enough money. So after a decades-long fight to legalize medical and then recreational marijuana, San Francisco may reverse course and say that dispensary profits are more important than robust competition.
This foolish ban on fair competition by Supervisor Ahsha Safaí is bad for San Francisco, bad for consumers, and great news for illegal dealers.
77% say SF is on the wrong track
The latest SF City Beat Poll is out and it shows that 77% of San Franciscans think the city is on the wrong track, and only 30% of respondents report feeling safe visiting downtown SF at night.
Voters aren’t just unhappy, though — they have real plans to fix things! When asked what the City should do to fix things, there’s clear agreement:
77% want more housing downtown
79% want more events downtown
75% want more bars and restaurants downtown
78% want more entertainment downtown
89% want financial help for businesses to stay downtown
GrowSF’s position has been consistent since our beginning: we must get the basics right and help businesses succeed and grow, build more housing, and get the basics right. We’re in total agreement with the vast majority of San Franciscans.
You’re not alone. It’s okay to be unhappy and frustrated with the state of the city.
Remember: we CAN fix it! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
SF Muni may cut 20 bus lines if state funding dries up
SFMTA Director Jeffrey Tumlin has warned of a potential 'transit death spiral' for San Francisco's Municipal Transportation Agency, reports Ricardo Cano in the SF Chronicle. Muni is facing a projected $130 million budget shortfall by 2025, when its federal aid is anticipated to run out.
The huge drop in funding would mean cutbacks in Muni service, including shutting down 20 bus lines—a grim prospect for San Francisco's commuters. Tumlin made it clear that if the state budget doesn't include rescue funds for transit, plans for cuts will get underway.
Mayor Breed has written a formal request to California’s State Assembly budget chair Phil Ting, asking that he prioritize transit funding in every city in California.
Transit supporters are also calling for Governor Newsom to include a $1 billion per year transit subsidy through 2028, but the outlook is bleak with just weeks left to the June 15 budget deadline. Transit agencies are exploring other means of revenue, like SFMTA's proposal to extend metered parking hours. However, Tumlin asserts that this additional revenue won't be enough to offset the service cuts, indicating that even with community outreach and data analysis guiding service cutbacks, San Francisco's transit system is at a critical juncture.
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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
Outer Sunset farmer’s market
WHEN: Every Sunday, 9am to 2pm
WHERE: 37th Ave between Ortega and Quintara
With some warmer weather ahead, we’re headed outside to support our local businesses. This farmer’s market — on 37th Ave. between Ortega and Quintara — happens every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Union Street Festival
WHEN: June 3 - 4
WHERE: On Union Street from Fillmore to Octavia
Now entering its 45th year, this festival touts itself as one of the oldest street fairs in San Francisco. It features a non-stop live music and DJs on stage and street throughout the event, and high-end handmade arts and crafts. Learn more and attend.
What we’re writing about
Why prom still matters to me as an aging gay Millennial
Prom is a traditional rite of passage for many teens — not so for The Bold Italic’s editor Saul Sugarman, who remained in the closet as a gay kid in Northern California. “It’s hard to imagine today why I lied, except that I felt ashamed,” he writes. He tells us why he’s happy to be able to do prom again.
At Pacific Pinball Museum in Alameda, nostalgia is king
Our world is replete with distractions. Everything is competing for your attention. It can be exhausting just trying to negotiate your way through it. But we’ve got an idea: Put your phone away. Take off your earbuds. Unplug. Tune it all out. Play some pinball. We visited the Pacific Pinball Museum in Alameda.
Six Bay Area restaurant newcomers, from Greek to Banh Mi
These newcomers or new menus cover the gamut, from elevated Greek food to Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches.
What we’re celebrating
Swensen’s ice cream shop moves toward legacy status
Swensen’s is an ice cream chain with some 350 locations in nine countries. Its founding family still maintains control over the San Francisco location on 1999 Hyde St. The shop moved closer toward becoming a landmark this week.
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