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The GrowSF Report: Supervisor Dorsey’s new approach to SF’s drug overdose crisis
PLUS: Does John Elberling want to see the city burn?
What You Need To Know
Here’s what happened around the city for the week of September 5, 2022:
- Supervisor Dorsey’s new approach to SF’s drug overdose crisis
- Does John Elberling want to see the city burn?
- Do San Francisco City Hall politics need to be so toxic?
- New Covid-19 boosters available
Supervisor Dorsey’s new approach to SF’s drug overdose crisis
A casual stroll through almost any part of downtown provides firsthand exposure to the city’s drug crisis, but the statistics are still shocking: since the start of 2020, nearly 1,700 people have died from drug overdoses, almost double the death toll from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Our city’s inability to address drug use and overdoses in any meaningful way has resulted in untold harm and destitution. The city has launched many programs over the years to address these issues, but all have suffered from political failure — elected officials not willing to make tough decisions and hold departments accountable.
In the hopes of bucking this trend, Supervisor Matt Dorsey announced the “San Francisco Recovers” plan, which will direct 21 SF city departments and 6 commissions to report within 90 days what they need to better coordinate and fix problems, and to reference this against what has worked elsewhere. Then, the Board of Supervisors will create legislation and goals based on the “evidence-based” solutions in the report.
The San Francisco drug crisis must be addressed, and we hope this is a step in the right direction.
Does John Elberling want to see the city burn?
Good policy should come from the desire to do good things. But unfortunately in San Francisco, some people would rather see the city burn than to let it grow and thrive.
John Elberling, the head of TODCO, an organization that operates taxpayer-subsidized affordable housing, said his goal with Proposition K was to “tax Jeff Bezos’ ass.” Unfortunately, this less-than-noble intention, paired with a gross misunderstanding of Amazon’s business, resulted in a law that could seriously hurt small businesses.
When asked if Elberling would help tell people to vote “No” on his poorly written law, he said: “Running a ‘no’ campaign? I mean, seriously, that I would be uncomfortable with”. Elberling would literally rather let his incompetence cause harm to our small business community than fix his mistake.
Elberling’s top line goal here wasn’t to build affordable housing or help those in need, it was about hurting tech and hurting the businesses that make San Francisco a beautiful, diverse, and vibrant city. Elberling’s measure was removed from this year’s ballot, but you can bet that anti-growth, anti-tech advocates will try this again in the future.
Do San Francisco City Hall politics need to be so toxic?
San Francisco City Hall politics is vicious and often personal, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Just look at the California Capitol in Sacramento to see what is possible if people of different political ideologies worked together.
Heather Knight at the SF Chronicle detailed how different City Hall is from Sacramento:
[T]he biggest difference between here and Sacramento, as new Assembly Member Matt Haney tells it, is the political mood. It’s not nasty. It’s not toxic. People acknowledge each other’s differences in a state Legislature with real, live Republicans. They work to find common ground rather than tear each other apart. And they actually get a fair amount done.
- SF Chronicle
State Senator Scott Wiener, Assemblymember, and Phil Ting, and former Assemblymember David Chiu all agreed.
If we are to get more done, we must demand better from our elected officials, in both word and deed.
New Covid-19 boosters available
A new Covid-19 booster is available! It will boost your immunity against the latest “omicron” variant. You can get your Moderna booster if you’re over 18, and your Pfizer booster if you’re over 12.
Boosters should be widely available. Drop in at your local pharmacy to get one!
Your Action Plan
Now that you know what’s happening, help us shape what happens next:
Matt Dorsey, Brooke Jenkins, and YES on D campaign office opening
This Saturday, come to 1161 Mission Street for the Yes On D Campaign Office Opening! The office will be filled with campaign signs, canvassing materials, and phone banking opportunities. Prop D is the only measure on the November ballot that will result in new housing.
Even better: that office is shared by the campaigns for District 6 Supervisor Matt Dorsey and District Attorney Brooke Jenkins. Some of our favorite people, all in one place. Come meet us there, and help us win these important races!
Saturday, September 10th, 10:00am
1161 Mission Street
Noe Valley Democratic Club debate on housing
This is going to be a spicy one! Noe Dems President Carrie Barnes will moderate a debate between incumbent District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman and challenger Kate Stoia. Immediately following, the Chronicle's J.K. Dineen will host a conversation between the proponents of the dueling housing measures on the upcoming ballot.
Sunday, September 18th, 3:00pm-5:00pm
Noe Valley Town Square, 3861 24th St
Lainie Motamedi and Lisa Weissman-Ward campaign kickoff
Join School Board Commissioners Lainie Motamedi and Lisa Weissman-Ward for their campaign kickoff next week!
Saturday, September 17th, 10:00am
Celebrate San Francisco
There’s a lot to love about our city. Here’s what makes it great:
Beat the heat with ice cream
While San Francisco does not often have the type of weather that screams for cold treats (this week being the exception…), we San Franciscans still love our ice cream! The city is full of local and independent ice cream shops, staffed by creative people churning out a multitude of fancy, fun (or just well done classic) flavors. Check out this guide to ice cream in San Francisco, and get some ice cream to help beat the heat!
Flower Piano at the Botanical Gardens
One of San Francisco’s most unique events, the Flower Piano series, returns to the SF Botanical Garden from September 16th to the 20th. For those new to the city (or just this event): 12 pianos are spread throughout the Botanical Garden, and a variety of performances and events are scheduled at each of the 12 pianos, covering a wide range of musical styles and genres. Attendees can buy tickets for each of the days, but note that admission is free for San Francisco residents!
Buttigieg, Pelosi visit San Francisco's Central Subway
The much delayed Central Subway, which should finally open this fall, got a visit by Pete Buttigieg and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. "When most people can get around with public transit, that makes everyone better off," Buttigieg said. "It means faster commutes, cleaner air. Even for the people who don't use transit, there's less congestion, which means that it truly is a win, win, win."
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Yes, there is good stuff on Twitter. Here’s some of it:
Deeming a building to be “historic” is one way NIMBYs block much needed housing in our city. Thank you to Supervisor Melgar for calling this out. That movie theater should come down.