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The GrowSF Report: The Great Highway Can Stay a Park (for now)
And Vikrum Aiyer on why he supports Mayor Breed's Tenderloin emergency plan
What You Need To Know
Here’s what happened around the city for the week of February 7, 2022:
- The Great Highway can stay a park (for now)
- Ikea (finally) coming to mid-Market
- We can have public safety and Criminal Justice Reform
- Mayor’s take on Chesa Boudin: “We’re on different pages”
- SF has only treated two people suffering from mental health crises
The Great Highway can stay a park (for now)
Thanks to a superior court judge, the Great Highway can stay an oceanside park (for now). The ruling denies a request to immediately close the park and allow cars again full-time.
The legal road to the Great Highway becoming an oceanside park remains long and winding as pro-park and pro-car forces continue to lobby politicians in both directions. If you want a permanent oceanside park, we’ll need to elect new supervisors.
The New York Times recently named just 52 places in the world that are changing the world for the better. And the car-free version of the Great Highway is number 18.
Ikea (finally) coming to mid-Market
Ikea is moving in to take over the newly built (but vacant) mall between 5th and 6th Streets. It will bring life to the mid-Market area where thousands of new housing units have been under construction in the past couple years.
We can have public safety and Criminal Justice Reform
Vikrum Aiyer, a San Francisco resident and deputy director of political advocacy for the national ACLU, says we should reject the “false choice” between safety and liberty: we can have both. He supports Mayor Breed’s “Tenderloin emergency plan”:
“Our discourse on public safety is constrained by what seems to be a false choice between criminal justice reform/civil rights — or the safety of kids/Asian Aunties in our streets,” Vikrum said. “I think we can have both. And I detail three steps San Francisco should take to rethink public safety, restore trust, and reclaim the basic needs for the City.”
Mayor’s take on Chesa Boudin: “We’re on different pages”
District Attorney Chesa Boudin was not present when Mayor London Breed stood next to Police Chief Bill Scott to announce a state of emergency in the Tenderloin neighborhood because of rampant drug dealing and deadly overdoses. Boudin attended a separate press conference in opposition to the mayor calling for increased police patrols.
Now, Breed speaks out about Boudin in an exclusive interview with NBC Bay Area:
NBC: "Do you have faith that the district attorney is doing everything he can to keep the city safe?"
Mayor London Breed: "I am not necessarily on the same page with a number of things that he's doing. We need to start concentrating more on supporting the victims of this city than we are supporting in some cases, sadly, the criminals."
SF has only treated two people suffering from mental health crises
Housing is essential for addressing homelessness. So is treatment for people suffering from severe mental illness.
In 2019, nearly 4,000 homeless people were struggling with mental illness and drug addiction. The same year, San Francisco adopted a state conservatorship law to compel mental health and drug treatment for people in need.
Yet San Francisco has only helped TWO people since 2019.
The San Francisco Chronicle explains why we’ve failed so miserably. Hint: city supervisors made state conservatorship legislation harder to implement locally. We need new supervisors if we’re going to adequately address the humanitarian crisis on our streets.
Your Action Plan
Now that you know what’s happening, help us shape what happens next:
This is your last chance to vote
The revolution is here — don’t sit it out. You have a few more days to vote in the February 15, 2022 San Francisco election. Don’t leave your ballot on your counter. Vote with the GrowSF Voter Guide!
This election will be a turning point. It’s the election that everyone will point to and say “that’s when San Francisco got its shit together.”
Read our full voter guide here.
We’re hosting an election night party
Join us Election Night to watch the returns on our endorsed races: school board recall and Bilal Mahmood for state assembly.
Tuesday February 15
2323 Mission @19th
7pm to 11pm
Note: Polls close at 8pm. Count updates announced at 8:45pm, 9:45pm, and 10:45pm.
Before you attend our party, please help us win
This is going to be a very low turnout election (less than 30 percent is expected) so every vote makes a difference. Please volunteer in the final push before voting ends on February 15:
Attend a rally
Saturday February 12, 10:30am to noon
Carl Larsen Park, 19th Avenue and Vicente
Text from your home
Text likely voters from the comfort of your home and remind them about the election. Scripts provided. Register for the Zoom event at these links: February 12, February 13, February 14.
Celebrate San Francisco
There’s a lot to love about our city. Here’s what makes it great:
SF Beer Week!
This is one of our favorite annual events. Check out the events calendar to see where you can go to drink rare beers, meet beer makers, and make new friends over a pint.
Enjoy the weekend in Golden Gate Park
It’s going to be a warm February weekend, a great excuse to head to Golden Gate Park and check out all the museums, playgrounds, meadows, and, of course, the bison!
Love the GrowSF Report? Share it
Help GrowSF grow! Share our newsletter with your friends. The bigger we are, the better San Francisco will be.
Yes, there is good stuff on Twitter. Here’s some of it:
A call for in person public comment so that SFMTA can remove one parking spot, to make the area safer. Unbelievable.
Incredible research from Marcel Moran, documenting crosswalks at every intersection in the city.
A beautiful sunrise.