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The GrowSF Report: New year, new Supervisors
PLUS: Vote in ADEMs & Chinese New Year
Vote in ADEM elections
If you’re a Democrat and you followed our instructions to request your ballot in our end-of-2022 newsletter, it’s time to vote!
Check out the GrowSF endorsements for ADEM 2023 elections.
What You Need To Know
Here’s what happened around the city for the week of January 9, 2023:
- New Supervisors sworn in
- 144 pounds of fentanyl seized in 2022
- Parklets under threat yet again
- Schools in chaos
- California exits “extreme drought”
- JP Morgan Healthcare Conference is back!
Supervisors sworn in
Congratulations to the newest member of the Board of Supervisors, Joel Engardio!
Engardio officially took his seat as District 4 Supervisor this week, promising to investigate waste and corruption, make it easier to open and run a small business, bring a Taiwanese-style night market to Irving Street, and to make it easier to build more housing.
We look forward to working with the growing cast of pro-growth Supervisors: Joel Engardio, Matt Dorsey, Catherine Stefani, and Rafael Mandelman. Stick with us through November 2024 to help us win a majority of the seats!
144 pounds of fentanyl seized in 2022
It’s a truly shocking statistic: SFPD seized more than 144 pounds of fentanyl in 2022, enough to kill every adult in California - 31 million people!
The fentanyl crisis has gripped all of America, and San Francisco is no exception. Helping people escape addiction remains a central part of addressing the drug epidemic, but pursuing street-level dealers is a necessary step as well — something that cannot happen unless we properly staff our police force. We need all hands on deck in order to fight a problem of this magnitude!
Parklets under threat yet again
San Francisco government and businesses continue to navigate the realities of a “post-Covid” world, a dance which can be slow and frustrating. Parklets became key to restaurants’ survival during the pandemic. As concern around covid has diminished (and with it, the urgency around having outdoor dining options), the frustrations with owning and maintaining parklets - including vandalism, theft and even arson - have come to dominate owners’ thoughts. And despite reduced fees, City Hall’s lack of support and clear guidance has made owning a parklet even more difficult…enough to make some owners decide to give up their spaces entirely.
We think parklets are wonderful; a great way to bring life back to our streets, reclaim them from cars, and give people more options to congregate in ways that meet their level of concern and comfort. Supporting our small businesses and giving them ways to keep their parklets open, hassle-free, should be amongst the city’s action items for the year.
Schools in chaos
The drama at SFUSD continues, with another school - Marina Middle School - descending into “barely controlled chaos.” Current and former teachers and staff members have described significant disciplinary problems, with students being assaulted by their classmates, engaging in illegal activity, and even one instance of an air gun being brought to school.
The issues may be an unintended consequence of an anti-suspension program instituted by the state of California. The program was meant to prevent at-risk, often minority, youth from falling into a path of criminality and prison. Suspensions were to be replaced by support and restorative justice. Unfortunately, these policies have limited the ability of teachers and administrators to discipline students even when a suspension is merited.
You should ask “I thought recalling the Board of Education was supposed to fix this?” You’re right — it should have. But “common sense” candidates only won two out of three seats (one of our endorsed candidates, Ann Hsu, was defeated by anti-merit progressive Alida Fisher) and team crazy is back in control. Their first action was to remove Jenny Lam as president and install far-left Kevine Boggess.
The SF electorate may need to intercede again, and demand that the Board of Education get focused on fixing our schools.
California exits “extreme drought”
The new year brought in an “atmospheric river” weather event, which has resulted in destruction and even tragedy throughout California. We will eventually have to reckon with what went wrong, and how to better protect people for when this happens in the future. But the (small) silver lining is that much of the state has moved out of the extreme/exceptional drought category, and the Bay Area is now in moderate drought category, the second lowest category.
JP Morgan Healthcare Conference is back!
While everyone thinks of the Bay Area as the tech capital of the world, our biotech industry is also mighty, with brilliant people working on cures for myriad diseases. The prominence of this industry comes to the forefront (almost) every January, when the JP Morgan Healthcare conference occurs. Thousands of industry leaders and executives descend on the city to learn the latest about the industry…and maybe hammer out some deals while they’re all at the same place.
Covid put a damper on the event, but this year it’s back with 8,000 attendees. This is less than the 10,000 that usually attend, but a significant improvement from previous years, and a hopeful sign that this big event — often eagerly awaited by the businesses in the city — will return for years to come.
Your Action Plan
Now that you know what’s happening, help us shape what happens next:
Beyond Labels: A New Year's Political Discussion With Matt Haney
Can Progressives and Moderates Work Together to Solve SF's Toughest Problems?
WHEN: Sat, January 21, 2023, 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM PST
WHERE: Manny’s, 3092 16th Street
Join The Frisc for a live conversation with Assemblymember Matt Haney. Haney rose through SF's progressive ranks via the Board of Education and the Board of Supervisors, then handily won a seat in the state Assembly on a pro-housing platform. We’ll talk about City Hall, housing, schools, maybe even public toilets, and how SF needs ideas, not ideologies, to solve its problems.
Celebrate San Francisco
There’s a lot to love about our city. Here’s what makes it great:
T-third Muni line opens
The newest Muni route — under construction since 2005 — has just opened connecting Chinatown to the Bayview. It also gives BART riders an easy route to the Chase Center
Celebrate Chinese New Year
This weekend: Flower Market Fair
WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 14 & Sunday, Jan. 15 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
WHERE: All around Chinatown
Next weekend: Chinese New Year
WHEN: Sunday, Jan. 22
WHERE: Everywhere, but check out Portsmouth Square in Chinatown!
And check out the SF Chronicle’s roundup of Chinese New Year events!
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