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The GrowSF Report: Was Lowell admissions debate much ado about nothing?
Plus, what happens when SFPD is short 500 officers
What You Need To Know
Here’s what happened around the city for the week of Month #, 2022:
- Hope for the hopeless and toxic way San Francisco elects city supervisors
- Was Lowell admissions debate much ado about nothing?
- What happens when SFPD is short 500 officers
- When the civil grand jury speaks, will people listen?
- What’s for dinner? An 1861 menu for 2022
Hope for the hopeless and toxic way San Francisco elects city supervisors
The toxic and off-the-rails effort to redraw the city’s supervisor district lines to match population shifts the past decade has exposed an utterly broken concept of district elections. There were all-night meetings and out-of-control public comment with the screaming of words like “genocide.” After missing a legally mandated deadline — and facing a lawsuit that could have a judge draw the maps — the redistricting task force approved a final draft map in a contentious 5-4 vote. If there are no more shenanigans, the map will become official next week.
But is there another way? Felix Sargent, the chair of the Center for Election Science, wrote a compelling Op-Ed about proportional representation voting. It would do away with the need for divisive district lines and ensure that all of the city’s diverse demographics have a say at City Hall. Learn more about this intriguing solution to our current electoral mess.
Was Lowell admissions debate much ado about nothing?
Angry parents recalled the school board in part because of the decision to strip Lowell High School — one of the nation’s academic best — of its merit-based admissions policy. “Lack of diversity” was the reason for turning Lowell into a lottery school. Yet data show that other schools have more diversity problems than Lowell. And the one high school still allowed to audition prospective students — the School of the Arts — is nearly twice as white as Lowell.
The Chronicle analyzed student demographics and came to this conclusion: “Critics of Lowell’s academic-based admissions contend that it leads to a less diverse school. But demographic data from 2021-2022 shows other SFUSD high schools are far less diverse than Lowell. Five of the district’s 14 high schools are considered racially isolated, with more than 60% of students of a single race or ethnicity. Lowell is not among the five — its largest race group, Asians, make up less than half of the student body.”
What happens when SFPD is short 500 officers
San Francisco’s police department has a staffing crisis with 500 fewer officers than a city our size needs. Meanwhile, City Hall is sending untrained and unarmed staffers from the nonprofit Urban Alchemy to patrol our most dangerous streets. One worker was shot when he approached a drug dealer at a homeless encampment. Other Urban Alchemy workers have become outnumbered in dangerous situations while trying to patrol San Francisco’s open air drug markets on downtown sidewalks. The SF Standard published a sobering investigation.
When the civil grand jury speaks, will people listen?
Want to get to the bottom of City Hall corruption or bureaucratic inertia? Join the civil grand jury. Every county in California has one by state law. Each year, a group of volunteers are selected to investigate local government operations.
The deadline to apply for the upcoming jury is May 13. Apply here.
What’s for dinner? An 1861 menu for 2022
The pandemic almost killed San Francisco’s oldest restaurant. But the 161-year-old The Old Clam House (which managed to survive the Great Earthquake of 1906 and the last pandemic in 1918) is getting a new lease on life in 2022. Closed the past two years, the iconic restaurant has new owners who will keep the classic menu and add some Italian flair. Thankfully we can continue to break bread with our city’s ancestors from the Gold Rush era onward.
Your Action Plan
Now that you know what’s happening, help us shape what happens next:
It’s time to make car free JFK permanent
After two years of enjoying car free JFK, our Supervisors are finally voting to make it permanent. Will our kids have a beautiful, safe place to walk, run, and bike? Or will we have a dangerous highway and parking lot in Golden Gate Park?
We need to let our supervisors know that SF residents overwhelmingly want JFK to remain a safe promenade for everyone to enjoy. Please visit our site to send an email to our officials showing your support.
SF Politics 201: Why is Politics in SF so f*¢%ing 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
Family Action Day with SF Yimby
The parents of San Francisco YIMBY and Families for San Francisco enthusiastically invite San Francisco parents and children of all ages to join us at our first-ever Family Action Day on Sunday, May 22nd, 10am-12pm at Duboce Park Playground. RSVP here.
Celebrate San Francisco
There’s a lot to love about our city. Here’s what makes it great:
Guo Pei exhibit at the Legion of Honor
Guo Pei: Couture Fantasy celebrates the extraordinary designs of Guo Pei—hailed as China's first couturier—and includes more than 80 works from the past two decades highlighting her most important collections shown on Beijing and Paris runways. Get tickets here.
SF’s Newest Park “Battery Bluff” Opens April 23
Our latest park opens this weekend! Similar to (but not to be confused with) the Tunnel Tops Park, Battery Bluff will have gardens and picnic tables and will feature sweeping views of the bay and Golden Gate Bridge. All of this in time for our beautiful spring weather. Make sure to go enjoy! More info here.
Free admission to the Japanese Tea Garden and the Conservatory of Flowers
Starting today, admission to the Japanese Tea Garden and the Conservatory of Flowers is free for SF residents! And remember: SF residents can also visit the amazing Botanical Gardens for free! We can’t think of anything better than a long day exploring Golden Gate Park.
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Yes, there is good stuff on Twitter. Here’s some of it:
San Francisco should be a city that welcomes more residents, and to do that we must build more housing. Congratulations to our new Assembly Member, Matt Haney, who crushed his NIMBY opponent this week.