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The GrowSF Report: Redistricting off the rails
Plus, state legislature still not taking #MeToo seriously
ZWhat You Need To Know
Here’s what happened around the city for the week of April 10, 2022:
- Redistricting off the rails
- The map that almost passed was fair
- State legislature still not taking #MeToo seriously
- Lowell High School principal resigns
- 1,000 trees at the entrance to the Bay Bridge
Redistricting off the rails
Every ten years we have to redraw supervisor district lines to reflect population changes. There was so much controversy and chaos that the redistricting task force broke down and missed the legal deadline. Things got really ugly and toxic. Meetings went all night long. Half the commissioners walked off the job at one point.
Get ready for lawsuits.
We’re in unprecedented territory and a judge might end up drawing the new lines.
It must be said that we’re in this redistricting mess because most of the housing the past decade was only built on the East side. SOMA, with its construction boom, had 30 percent population growth. Other districts had none.
But all the districts must have roughly the same population for the new district lines. This means radical changes to the district map are required. Had we built more housing throughout San Francisco, and not just in one area, our population would be more evenly distributed — and we wouldn’t have all this pain to make the district lines work.
The map that almost passed was fair
When the redistricting task force managed to create a final draft map, it was ultimately killed by a deluge of critics. But that draft was a fair map, based on an independent analysis by the San Francisco Chronicle:
“Critics accused the task force of considering boundaries that dilute the political power of some of the city’s progressive groups… Our analysis finds that districts would shift slightly more or less progressive under the proposed plan, but no one district switches from being considered progressive to moderate, or vice versa.”
State legislature still not taking #MeToo seriously
Ruth Ferguson courageously blew the whistle on the state legislature’s Workplace Conduct Unit, which was not taking harassment claims seriously despite being created in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
Will this shed more light on separate #MeToo claims against Assemblymember Phil Ting? So far, Ting has escaped any fallout for well-documented reports that he impersonated another assemblymember in order to buy a sexual relationship.
Lowell High School principal resigns
Recalling the school board was only the first step to fixing San Francisco’s deeply troubled public school system.
Much improvement is needed ASAP to stop the mass exodus of families leaving for private school or better schools in other cities. Enrollment has plummeted to the lowest point in decades. Fewer students mean less state and federal funding, which is a death spiral considering the school district already faces a $125 million deficit.
Meanwhile, the principal of embattled Lowell High School resigned after being on the job less than a year.
“The decision to leave SFUSD is solely based on my desire to apply my passion for education in a district that values its students and staff through well organized systems, fiscal responsibility and sound instructional practices as the path towards equity,” Joe Ryan Dominguez said in the letter to the school community.
1,000 trees at the entrance to the Bay Bridge
The desolate and trash-strewn area between Bay Bridge entrance ramps will soon become a green oasis with 1,000 trees. The city’s Department of Public Works plans to use the area as a nursery for street trees throughout San Francisco. We say “Yes, please” to more urban forests!
Your Action Plan
Now that you know what’s happening, help us shape what happens next:
SF Politics 201: Why is Politics in SF so fucking crazy?
Hosted by Together SF and GrowSF:
If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to win an election in San Francisco, and how much effort and infighting goes in to every resolution, join us for SF Politics 201: Why is Politics in SF so F***ing Crazy?. We’ll build on the content from our SF Politics 101 series and prepare you for the rest of the elections coming up this year.
Tuesday, May 3rd
5:30 - 7:30pm
2505 Mariposa St
Election night happy hour
Join GrowSF at our election night happy hour at Orbit Room!
7-10pm on Tuesday, April 19th.
Celebrate San Francisco
There’s a lot to love about our city. Here’s what makes it great:
The future collides with the present
San Francisco is the testing ground for the future.
That was on full display last week when a Cruise autonomous car was pulled over for driving at night without its lights on. Critics cited the interaction as tech companies run amok, but in reality the car did exactly what it was supposed to: pull over into a safe place for the police stop. The future is now.
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Yes, there is good stuff on Twitter. Here’s some of it:
Supervisor Rafael Mandelman is demanding that we take our retail theft crisis seriously:
And he’s teaming up with Supervisor Stefani to call for hiring more police officers: