We have reproduced the text of this newsletter from Supervisor Peskin’s Office, in its entirety.
As our community continues to face unprecedented challenges due to Covid-19, my priority is to ensure our communities have access to housing security and shelter, small business support, culturally competent testing, and recovery resources. I am deeply committed to working directly with my constituents to address the economic impact the emergency shut-down has had on small businesses and community members.
Ramping Up Testing and Contact Tracing Is Essential to Reopening
As KQED and the New York Times reported, local jurisdictions have been left to fend for themselves as the United States has become the largest hotbed of COVID-19 in the world. I am extremely grateful that we acted early and decisively to address the impending crisis. When community organizers first approached me at the end of January with concerns about the spread of COVID-19 in our SRO residential hotels, my office quickly sprang into action, organizing a partnership with Chinese Hospital in early February.
Since then, I have authored COVID-19 prevention and mitigation protocols for our SRO hotels , and have expanded free testing in Chinatown SRO’s. As we watch our numbers continue to grow with the economy’s re-opening, we must have clear processes in place to test, contact trace and quarantine.
Some of you have emailed me to voice concerns over long wait times for test results, including through Verily and Optum, both of which are testing resources provided by the State. State testing resources have recently been strained by the recent surge in cases. Thankfully our Department of Public Health’s labs have been consistent with results reporting, but we are pushing to ensure state resources also keep up. SFDPH encourages those with health insurance (97% of SF residents are insured) to contact their health care provider first for a test.
Those without health insurance can go to CityTestSF and other DPH testing sites that offer free testing, such as Maxine Hall Health Center, San Francisco General Hospital, Castro-Mission Health Center and Southeast Health Center. A site at the Potrero Hill Health Center also opened this week.
The City is adding testing availability at CityTestSF sites and developing additional mobile and pop-up sites in partnership with community-based organizations to serve their neighborhood residents. For my Nob Hill/TenderNob residents, a new free testing site has opened in partnership with GLIDE in their parking lot near the entrance of 330 Ellis Street. Tested positive? Starting July 1, 2020 the Right to Recover Program guarantees two weeks of minimum wage replacement to any worker who lives in San Francisco who tests positive for COVID-19 at a City testing site and anticipates experiencing financial hardship.
There is no application process and the City will not ask or record any citizenship or immigration questions. In addition to replacement wages, those who qualify may be eligible for free hotel rooms where they can quarantine, as well as food delivery and other essentials. For questions, email [email protected]
Pier 45 Fire- Help Support our Fisherman’s Wharf Crabbers!
The crabbing and fishing community uplift the uniqueness of San Francisco’s culture and livelihood. On March 23, a four-alarm fire erupted at Pier 45, engulfing a warehouse the size of a football field and wiping out the life’s work of roughly 30 families who have fished in the Bay for generations. With the crab season approaching, we must come together as a community to support San Francisco’s hard-working crabbing and fishing community. Click here to make a donation.
Supporting District 3!
Our office has been supporting our unhoused community served by North Beach Citizens and Compass Family Services through PPE mask, hand sanitizer and food deliveries, including from our neighbors at the JW Marriot in Union Square. UNITE HERE Local 2 member, Elaine, has been sewing hand-made masks for our essential workers, SRO and unsheltered residents – thank you!
If you’d like to help support our community efforts with donated supplies to feed our most in-need, contact our office!
Feed + Fuel Chinatown
Congratulations to Chinatown CDC and Self Help for the Elderly for the completion of their “Feed+Fuel Chinatown” program, which provided 122,000+ meals over an 85 day period to SRO and public housing residents in Chinatown, Tenderloin, and the Richmond. Our office joined 300+ volunteers to take care of our most vulnerable through the worst of the epidemic, including our restaurant workers.
There is still time to be counted! The data collected in this year’s census will ensure resources are allocated to San Francisco and its diverse communities for the next 10 years, especially as the City finds way to recover from this pandemic.
SF Marin Food Bank’s Updates & Pandemic EBT Applications
The Pandemic EBT application deadline is now July 15, not June 30th. Households can submit questions through a secure online inquiry form at https://inquiry.pebt.dss.ca.
Lower Polk Updates
After many months of organizing and putting policy pressure on City Departments, we have finally begun to see progress with sheltering our unhoused population in the Lower Polk alleyways, and increasing street cleaning and hygiene stations. I want to acknowledge the work of Jeff Kositsky and his team at the Departmet of Homelessness, who were able to transition homeless residents into city-contracted hotel units for the duration of the Shelter in Place Order in almost every single case.
I am also in discussion with the City Controller and the Department of Homelessness on a long-term strategy to address those displaced from shelter during COVID-19 and ensuring we incorporate step-up housing and increased mental and behavioral health services into our City’s recovery plan. This November, you will have an opportunity to vote on a ballot measure which will help unlock almost $300 million of voter-approved business tax dollars that have been sitting unspent while conservative groups litigate. It is imperative that we pass this measure and begin the investments that voters have been asking for.
The Navigation Center for Transitionally-Aged Youth (TAY) continues to move forward on its construction schedule, despite the shut-down. I am working with the Mayor’s Office and the Department of Homelessness to ensure that any contracts are appropriately vetted and that we get the right provider into the space in order to meet the needs of those on the TAY waitlist eagerly looking forward to placement by the end of this year.
Finally, our office is working with the Lower Polk Neighbors and the Lower Polk Community Benefit District and merchants to identify an emergency response for use of the public alleyways for our families, seniors and recovering small businesses, who all need access to more socially distanced space during COVID-19. If you want to get involved, email Lee Hepner and Sarah Souza in our office.
Keeping SF Moving: Transportation
I have been co-chairing the City’s Transportation Recovery Workgroup, along with SFMTA Director Jeffrey Tumlin. Last month, the SFMTA Board approved a revised budget that decreased Muni expenditures by $30 million for Fiscal Year 2021 and $54 million for FY 2022, largely by keeping vacant staff positions unfilled. We’ve still got a long way to go to get Muni back to full service, but for now we are focused on providing safe and affordable transit for essential workers and hospital and healthcare visits and ramping up as funding increases.
Future budget planning includes CARES Act federal relief, a transportation bond and General Fund support. I continue to be supportive of a congestion pricing plan for downtown that would help fund vital transportation infrastructure and decrease congestion. Hundreds of billions of dollars in critical funding from the 2020 Invest and Heroes Acts are being held up by the U.S. Senate but we are continuing our state and federal advocacy. District 3 residents who asked for increased service on the Folsom/Pacific 12 line will be happy to know that we added two extra buses to help with overcrowding. We are bringing back the entirety of the 45 Union terminating at the Caltrain station, and extending the 30 Stockton line all the way to Sports Basement in the Presidio, in an effort to connect Chinatown and Third Street communities to more open space options during COVID-19.
We have been tracking ridership on the Stockton 30 and 8 Bayshore lines on a weekly basis, and they continue to be the highest in the city. It’s imperative we continue to prioritize investments in our transit dependent communities, and we are switching to 60-foot coaches for all Chinatown lines to promote more social distancing. We are also moving forward with transit-only lanes across the city to speed up essential service, and in advance of plans to bring metro subway trains above ground for modified service, starting in August. Our goal is to reclaim at least 70 percent of our former service levels, as early as next year. Thankfully, we invested in a new bus fleet before the pandemic, so our focus will be maximizing that fleet in the months ahead. Last month, my office donated over 3,000 masks for drivers and riders in an effort to incentivize best practices for safe Muni service.
District 3 Team
We recently bid farewell to longtime Golden Gateway resident and the fourth member of our District 3 office, Geri Koeppel. We wish her the best as she takes the plunge and moves back to Phoenix with her husband. Thank you, Geri, for all your hard work!
Thankfully, District 3 has many talented women who have roots in the community and experience with policy and public service. We are delighted to welcome Sarah Souza to our team.
Sarah is beyond excited to join the District 3 team. She resides in Lower Polk with her family, and has served on the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee and the Eastern Neighborhoods Citizens Advisory Committee.
She is the President of the San Francisco Latino Democratic Club, Board Member of La Raza Community Resource Center, and Co-Chair of San Francisco Commissions For All, which is an effort to build equitable political representation in our beautiful city.
She is an active member of the National League of United Latin American Citizens and has participated in the Emerge Leadership Program for Latinx leaders.
Sarah brings to the job a passion for community and a deep desire to help people and improve neighborhoods. She’s eager to hear from you! You can contact her at 415.554.7452 or email her at [email protected].
General Resource Links
Access the District 3 Master Resources List here.
Browse Small Business and Employee Resources here.
Find Eviction Protections for Residential Tenants here.
Access Past District 3 Newsletters here.
Reply directly to this email or find contact info for my whole staff here.