Skip to main content

tv   League of Women Voters Candidate Statements Forums  SFGTV  October 19, 2020 3:00am-6:46am PDT

3:00 am
how much how close are we to negative working capital and those are my questions. if you could put to staff, i would appreciate it. thank you very much. awe thank you. are there any additional callers on the line? >> a you have one question remaining. >> caller, please go ahead. >> madam chair, it is the same caller again who is not able to unmute. at this point we're not successful in hearing from them directly, so i would urge them to send an email to mta >> correct.
3:01 am
okay. source with that, if there are no other caller on the line, are there any other so to go to that one more time. >> a great presentation. the graphics were great. and is easy reading and thanks to the presentation and i am pearing what i see when i drive and when i work. and what i see is double parking is an all-time high. part of the problem is that some
3:02 am
of the restaurants need to have the delivery space to pick up to park and increase the restaurants. you also need to work with some of the restaurants to clear space or enforce the space. and also some of the taxi stands that are occupied by private vehicles and people who block the taxi zones and the transit areas and the high business areas. thank you very much. are there any additional callers on the line? >> with that, public comment is
3:03 am
closed. >> did get the note and obviously more about the status of the budget. and we didn't talk about the other revenue sources and so if you have an asked on the ask amount that we want. >> we want as much as we can get. that is really over the time periods covers.
3:04 am
so manage and i don't want to speculate and there are too many different scenarios that we could see. with that are there any other final comments among board members? so i think that close this is item. >> madam chair, that concludes the business before you today. >> all right. and at the really early hour of 7:28 p.m. do we have time left to name a transit station after somebody? i mean, i was -- what i was planning and the worst meeting went until 2:00 a.m. and we had to take a break at midnight to move the cars out of the garage. and we won't have that kind of break ever. thank you, all. well done, everybody.
3:05 am
thank you. >> hi, everybody. welcome. good evening and welcome to the forum for the 2020 district one san francisco board of supervisors election. i'm the president of the league of women voters of san francisco. and i'm also a resident of district 1. i'm very excited to be here with
3:06 am
my neighbor to hear from more candidates as a voter. the league of women voters of san francisco is a nonpartisan, non-profit that encourages informed and active participation in government. the league never supports or opposes candidates, however, we do take stands on issues. this year's election presents new and unprecedented challenges for voters and we're committed to providing the resources that voters need to exercise the most fundamental rights of our democracy and be assured that the votes will be counted. please remember that you must be registered to vote by october 19. all registered voters will be mailed a ballot in early october. options for in-person voting will be available both early and on november 3rd. please visit our website at where you'll find
3:07 am
all of the voter resources we offer. the league of women voters is a non-profit organization. if you'd like to support our work and free events like this one, become a member or donate at our website. i'm now pleased to introduce lia edwards, our moderator for tonight. lia currently serves a treasurer of the league of women voters of the united states. she previously served as president of the league of women voters of san francisco and has served on the board for almost six years. she believes that participation in government is critical to the success of the nation and is excited in creating a more perfect democracy. professionally, lia works in the investment management industry in san francisco. welcome, lia. >> thank you, alison. welcome to the candidates for san francisco district one board of supervisors. the candidates will have a
3:08 am
chance to present their views on issues affecting san francisco. first, i'd like to remind you of our ground rules. responses to questions should be on the issues and policy-related. candidates are expected to be respectful of other candidates and asked not to make personal attacks on other individuals. here are the procedures. the candidates will have the opportunity to make one-minute opening and closing statements. opening statements will be in alphabet cal order by first name. closing will be in reverse alphabetical order. each candidate has one minute to answer the questions. any rebuttal can be included in the closing statement which is one minute. the first question will be directed to three candidates. the second question to the remaining three candidates. this process will be repeated with rotation of the response order. each candidate will have the opportunity to answer the same
3:09 am
number of questions. there will be a lightning round where all candidates will be asked the same question with the responses being yes, no, or no response. the final question will be directed to all candidates. a countdown timer will be displayed with visual indication of the remaining time of the response. every aspect of the forum will be equally fair to all candidates. thank you to the attendees tonight. you're in listen-only mode. the chat features are not active. please do not use the raised hand option. this will be made available on the website, our youtube chan and sfgovtv cable channels. you have many important decisions to make on december 3rd. tonight's forum will give you an opportunity to learn before you vote. let's begin. we will start off with one-minute opening statements in alphabetical order. welcome, candidates, and thank
3:10 am
you for participating in the forum. please introduce yourself, tell us which neighborhood you live in, why you're running and what would be the top three priorities for your first year. we'll start with andrew. >> i'd like to thank the league of women voters of san francisco for holding this forum. and inviting all of us to speak to you this evening. i think it's a most critical time for our city and obviously the country with the covid-19 pandemic. i'm running for district 1. i've lived in the city for 15 years in the richmond district. i met my now fiance here in richmond district. so this neighborhood means a lot to me. over the last 15 years i've seen the city of san francisco, but particularly our drk district here, deal with the issues when it comes to trash in the streets. we've seen increase in unhoused individuals and that is of
3:11 am
particular concern to me as a member of the community and obviously for my fellow neighbors, particularly with the covid-19 it's a public health and public safety issue that we need to address. i'm running to make sure we can restore some type of order in terms of cleaning up our streets, making sure we adequately fund our police, because we do have an increase of property crime in our neighborhoods. and ultimately, you know, helping our elderly, our low-income families and working families to be able to have a prosperous living environment. so that's why i'm running for district one. again, i appreciate you hosting this and i look forward to hearing questions from your committee. >> thank you, andrew. next, connie. connie, i think you're on mute. >> hi, good evening.
3:12 am
i'm connie chan. i'm running for district 1 supervisor. i'm a first generation immigrant. i came here when i was 13 years old. now i'm 42. you're welcome to do the math. and my mom still live in the same rent controlled apartment i grew up in chinatown. today with my partner who is firefighter in the city, we're raising our second grader. a 7-year-old at lafayette. the last 15 years i've spent my career in public service in city government, aide to board of supervisors, district attorney's office when district attorney was kamala harris and city college of san francisco and rec department. i want to use my experience to fight the gap in the city so everyone can sit here in a house safe and healthy.
3:13 am
>> thank you. >> next, david. >> i'm david lee. i live in the richmond district. i'm a san francisco native. i lived most my life in the richmond. went to high school in the neighborhood. and i guess in the mid 90 fz i was on the board of league of women voters and did these debates. so this is a great job you're doing, lia, and the team here, and alison, in getting everybody engaged. i am an educator. i teach at san francisco state. i also work in the community colleges supporting english second language program. and i've worked to register voters through a civil rights organization for many years. i'm running to, one, bring bart to the richmond district. two, to support small business. and three, to help address the homeless crisis in our district.
3:14 am
>> thank you very much, david. >> hi, good evening. i was born here in the richmond. i grew up on the peninsula. 14 years ago my husband and i moved back to the richmond. made a conscious decision to buy our home in the outer richmond where we have three kids and live with my mother-in-law. i run a small business here in the neighborhood, but i have 30 years experience in government at the federal, state and local level. i've also run a strategic communications firm here in san francisco. you know, this pandemic wasn't anything any of us expected. i think running a campaign in a pandemic is not anything any of us planned for. i think the backdrop of the pandemic has highlighted where we could do better as a city. i'm very concerned about homelessness. about housing. about supporting our local economy, meaning small business and the very delicate ecosystem between our small and larger
3:15 am
businesses and keeping our streets safe and clean. thank you. >> great, thank you. next sherman. >> good evening. i live in the richmond district in san francisco. and i also work at a store in the richmond district. and i'm running because the basic things that we all see every day just are not getting taken care of in our neighborhood. that means making sure that the streets are clean. making sure that the trash cans are emptied. make sure that our medians are maintained. all these basic functions that government is supposed to take care of are put on the back burner in favor of other issues that elected officials believe are more important. i think there is nothing more important than making sure that the basic functions of government are taken care of. i'm running for supervisors because i want to make sure the streets are clean.
3:16 am
make sure that traffic lights are installed on the missing blocks in the neighborhood. and that we have accessibility from the supervisor to its residents. thank you. >> great, thank you, sherman. next, we have veronica. >> good evening. i'm a longtime resident of the richmond district. i went to the public school. and i'm a graduate of -- you know, i'm a single working mom to a 10-year-old and a 21-year-old who attended city college of san francisco who benefitted from free city where he played baseball and football. i live in the home with my parents and understand the issues that seniors are having. i own a family restaurant in san francisco, but i have two decades of state and local government experience. i want to san francisco that works for all, not just the selected and privileged few.
3:17 am
our priorities, economic recovery, public safety and housing. those are the three issues we hear about and we need to start taking it. >> the first question is, what approaches do you support that encourage the building of new housing in district one? how would you balance housing density with keeping the character of the neighborhood? and the first person is veronica? >> thank you for the question. as far as you know, i'm a huge supporter of senator wiener's bill to build housing in unused land, but also huge support of the bill that brings in funding for affordable housing. i think we need to hold our elected officials at the state level and the city level to bring in funds to be able to build housing here in san
3:18 am
francisco. we need the state and federal level to come in. statement at the same time, we need to look at what affordable housing means to the average san franciscan. our teachers and first responders do not qualify. we need to -- what below market rate housing is. i'm a supporter of all income levels of housing in san francisco. we need income level of housing in san francisco in order to build 100% affordable housing. so that's where i stand right now with housing. >> next we have david. same question. what approaches do you support that encourage the building of new housing in district one and how would you balance housing density in keeping with the character of the neighborhood? >> i strongly believe in investing in public transit. i think bringing bart to the
3:19 am
richmond will help us create transit hubs that can increase 100% affordable housing provided that local community and local control is maintained. i think that is very important that the community and the neighborhood are at the table and consent to density. however, i do believe that transit is really critical and we have to do transit along with building affordable housing. that's why i support bringing bart to the richmond. we passed a $3.5 billion bart bond in 2016. there is $10 million for a study to bring bart to the richmond. it's time to start talking about it. as supervisors, that will be one of my top priorities. >> thank you, david. next up, marchand. same question. >> so i don't think creating homes for families and working
3:20 am
people and maintaining the amazing character of our neighborhood are mutually exclusive things. i think that we can plan together, which is part of having a supervisor that is engaged and in the neighborhood, and having these conversations even in years that aren't election years. i do believe that we absolutely need 100% subsidized affordable housing. where that subsidy will come from, i think, i'm a realist about that, we don't have the money from the federal or state government. given the kicking the can down the road mentality on housing, not just in the richmond, but all over san francisco, we need to ensure that the housing is being built in an environmentally mindful way in transit corridors, in the merchant corridors, while creating housing for working families that don't qualify for 100% affordable housing. i think that's a conversation and action plan that a supervisor is very well suited to lead. >> thank you. next we'll have the second
3:21 am
question. that goes to the remaining three candidates. what will you do to provide more affordable housing in district one? do you support programs that encourage the building of more accessory dwelling units, known as granny flats and inlaw units? andrew? >> that's a really good question. so building out more in-laws, again that is something that you're going to have discuss with the property owner and i do support that, but again, you have to have buy-in from the property owners in order to do that. and whether that is something they want to have built into their properties. again, that's something that needs to be discussed also at the local level with the other board of supervisors and you have to come to some kind of consensus in how we want to approach that. but we definitely need obviously more affordable housing in district one and the richmond
3:22 am
district. one of the things as an aside, there are availability in terms of affordable housing in our district, but some of those available property spaces are being used as airbnbs, so that's one of the things we probably need to look at and change. thank you. >> thank you, andrew. next we'll have sherman. same question. >> so i think for housing, i think one of the things we can do is make it easier for the people who want to build in the city to build, is very expensive, and it adds to the cost of building in the city, reducing some of the red tape would, you know, will encourage builders to build in the city. i do think adus are helpful. anything that adds to the housing stock is helpful. the other two aspects that i think that need to be addressed
3:23 am
is short-term like airbnb. those should not be allowed. also, our colleges and universities, i think if they are going to bring in people from outside the area, we should require them to build appropriate units to house the people that they're bringing into the community. thank you. >> thank you, sherman. finally, connie. >> thank you. i definitely support the development of affordable housing. when i talk about affordable housing and 100% affordable, it is between 0% all the way up to 120%, and that is below poverty rate up to $160,000 annual income for a household of four. and i think that is a solid middle income housing. that can actually house our workforce. and it's also the reason why i supported prop a in 2019, which
3:24 am
is $600 million affordable housing bond and prop e, affordable housing for educators and workforce. that allows us to rezone and up-zone for any public land and private land. i find they build 100% affordable. the gap is how the incentive for property owners to build them, so we need to continue to push forward. >> thank you, connie. >> we'll move on to the third question. how will you address the issues a in the richmond of homelessness and crime both short-term and long-term? will you prioritize homeless services? and if so, which services? if not, why not? this will be answered first by david. >> i do not support building a navigation center in the richmond district, however, i do support extending a homeless
3:25 am
services, particularly a mental health crisis counselors, reallocating funding from the police department to provide and hire more crisis counselors to address the mental health crisis that we find on our streets today. i believe that we should provide more services rather than police as a response to addressing homelessness. i also believe that we should be moving the homeless population into hotel rooms. they should be sheltered. this is a public health crisis. we have hotel rooms that are already paid for. and we should be moving the homeless population from the richmond into hotel rooms where they can be sheltered and services provided. thank you. >> thank you, david. next question is answered by connie. >> i think that we at this point that homelessness is obviously a
3:26 am
symptom of a problem and that problem is lack of equity for generations of working people. the lack of equity to health care, education and food security and housing security. let's address those issues first because the best way to stop homelessness is to prevent it. however, for the existing homeless problem, we should make sure our city has coordinated services to provide individualized approach. let's not just do the count of who the homeless population, but also to know who they are so we understand their needs and help them to get their feet back -- back on their feet. i think that also, that you know, with -- recently there is a report about the gap, about providing permanent supportive housing for homeless and we need to do a better job with that. >> great, thank you. next veronica.
3:27 am
>> i absolutely agree that we need homeless services here in the richmond district, but i am in support of a mobile navigation center here in the richmond district. we have navigation centers here in the city. they're expensive to build and maintain. so the reality is we need the services, but how do we get them to the homeless population? the reality is this is an urgent manner now. it is a public health issue. we need to treat them with compassion. one person at a time. my focus has been on the foster youth. we start with our foster youth who are at higher percentage rates of being unhoused when they turn 21. to give them an opportunity to finish college degree. with regard to the homelessness services now, hotel, we have to look at mental health services
3:28 am
and housing these individuals. thank you. >> thank you. next we move to the next question for the remaining three candidates. what would you do to address substance abuse and mental health issues with residents? >> so many of our people who are on the street do have mental and substance abuse issues, for that reason i supported that the first thing we have to do before we do anything else, we have to get people off the street. we have to have a safe place for them to go so that we can tell them you can't be out on the street anymore. my suggestion is to use the city garages that we already have that are owned by the city, so they don't cost us more, and put up temporary housing -- temporary type of housing in there that everybody has their own unit. and while they're there, we can treat everybody who needs help.
3:29 am
find out what their situation is, what do they need and have all of the resources in one place. i believe that is the best use of the resources. but we cannot get a handle on how to help people when we don't have them in place where we can interact with them and help them. thank you. >> thank you, sherman. next. >> so, when we talk about an issue like homelessness, i think we need to recognize the different needs of the unhoused populations because there isn't one single solution. i think we've heard a lot of that in different candidates's responses. yes, the housing shortage must be addressed. we need to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place. enforcing the laws on the books about sleeping on the streets, but also being able to offer our unhoused residents a place to
3:30 am
stay. we need to increase government accountability and transparency so we're enforcing metrics to eliminate duplicate programs. with regard to mental illness and drug use, i got to tell you, we cannot talk about homelessness without talking about the opioid crisis and the fentanyl that has been on the streets for the past two years. you have to look at what is happening in the tenderloin and what is starting to happen in the richmond. we have to prosecute the drug dealers so they can stop killing people and it's affecting our homeless population. >> finally, andrew. >> yeah, that's a great question. so it is a two-part problem. we have the issue of homelessness that continues to rise in the richmond district and it's been a problem in the city of san francisco for several years now. we spent upwards of $300 million on this crisis and we still don't get anywhere.
3:31 am
our approach needs to change. specifically, when you look at homeless, the answer is not building navigation centers in richmond district, because, one, they cost up to $70,000 per person to house a person in navigation center and hundreds of thousands of dollars to build. one of the things we have to do is we do have to -- we do have to get tough and realistic and we need to first and foremost get the unhoused individuals and again we can't treat them as a monolith, because we have homeless veterans, we have young people within the lgbtq community that are, unfortunately, unhoused. and so we have to treat everything on a case-by-case basis. >> thank you, andrew. sorry, time is up. >> okay, sorry. >> thank you for your response. we'll move on to the next question. which is according to san francisco police statistics, crimes against persons have
3:32 am
decreased, burglaries have increased. what actions do you propose the city, the police and administration do to handle the property crime? we'll start with connie. >> from my experience working at both -- starting as a community organizer for the san francisco and the district attorney's office, i think property crime is in terms of the crime pyramid, it really does impact a lot of people. and from my experience, is that there are ways in technology and that is not invasive. and without involving law enforcement directly, that our residents can use to either prevent it -- to prevent the property crime or deter it from happening again. i think that another part of it we can make it more efficient is
3:33 am
about crime reporting. that is a lot more convenient for the victims of property crime so that also that data can be provided to our law enforcement in realtime when they can track it and hopefully come up with a strategy to either prevent it or be able to reduce in certain area. [please stand by] [please stand by]
3:34 am
>> i believe nonny vase i have surveillance and technology say great ally in our efforts to curb the increase in property crime. we're seeing that automobiles are having monitoring, in their parked vehicles. i think that we need police resources are scarce. i served on the richmond community police advisory board for a number of years. we only have so many police and a very large geographical area for them to patrol so, it's going to be incumbent on all of us to work together to bring
3:35 am
down property crime. the reporting is another very important piece. we should report property crimes' year and consistent so that information data can be used and shared. i think also that we could be doing a lot more as a neighborhood. >> thank you, david. next question for the remaining three candidates. many residents are concerned about the impact of crime and homelessness on the quality of life in this city. what will you do to ensure that all residents feel safe in their neighborhoods while also addressing racial justice and law enforcement concerns? we'll start with you. >> i always say that public safety and police accountability are both core responsibilities of local government. not only can't you play one off the other but you shouldn't. you can do both. that's why i support investing in our black community and ensuring the way we look at law enforcement and we look atri store tive justice, there's
3:36 am
equity. three hours ago someone was stabbed five blocks away from my house. this morning, a neighbor, who has a public bench and a ferry garden on the corner, it was completely vandalized and that's heartbreaking for our neighborhood. i think that police need to solve crimes and we shouldn't layoff police officers. at the same time, we can invest and.
3:37 am
>> they seemed to have moved from gary. we can't just move our population from corner to corner and district to district. it affects quality of life. the realities our kids shouldn't have to walk to ocean beach and see someone urinating on the corner. it's unacceptable. statement, we have to see that we have to treat this this issue with compassion and we have to invest in mental health services. i do agree. we need more data so we get appropriate funding. we have to reinvest in our communities and shift away from leaving policing. but there's a role for police to play in our community. property crime is people are saying home and for there's a role for everyone to play in our community. >> thank you veronica. >> we'll have sherman. >> the short answer to your question is we have to enforce the laws. the reason we have laws on the
3:38 am
books in san francisco, is to keep everybody who lives here safe. i want those laws enforced. not necessarily to punish people but we need to enforce the laws so we get people maybe we can do diverse. does it mean putting people in jail? it might be some other form of compensation. that being said, police department has problems. i understand that. but the solution is not to reduce their budget or to defund them deters crime in the first place and that's what we want. we want the crime to be deterred before it happens. thank you. >> thank you. now we're going to move on to a quick lightening round.
3:39 am
so, please answer these questions with only yes, no or no response. the questions will go to all candidates. so for the first question, the lightening round, do you support the san francisco school board decision to remove the murals of george washington high school from public view? connie? >> yes. >> sherman. >> no. >> andrew. >> i'm going to say no. >> marshan. >> no. >> david? >> yes. >> veronica. >> as alumni, i won't answer. >> next question. still the lightening round. so yes, no, or no response answers. it's a current legislatio legisd
3:40 am
short term rentals acceptable or should more restrictions be in place? >> sherman. >> no, more restrictions. >> andrew? >> no and there needs to be more restrictions. >> marjan? >> i think -- there could be more restrictions. it's strict. i guess that is whatever that answer is. >> david. >> there could be more restrictions. >> investor on veronica. >> no. >> connie. >> more restrictions. >> do you support the expansion of bart or muni to the outer richmond? andrew? >> no, because the last thing was a disaster on van ness. >> just yes or no. >> sorry.
3:41 am
>> sure, if there's money. >> yes, no, no response. david. >> yes. >> veronica. >> yes. >> connie. >> yes. >> and sherman. >> no. we don't have the money. >> next question. for the lightening round. do you support prop b split off all public work sidewalk maintenance and sanitation duties into a new agency while the current department handles engineering, design, project management and other work tied to san francisco public infrastructure. marshan? >> could you repeat that? >> absolutely. >> so this is still lightening round no response. do you support prop b which would split off other street cleaning and sanitation duties into a new agency while the current department continues to handle engineering, design, project management and other works tied to san francisco's
3:42 am
public infrastructure. >> yes. >> >> andrew? >> yes. >> ok. next question in the lightening round. will you commit to providing your district one constituents with rapid, easy and responsive methods of communicating with you? >> david. >> yes. >> ver tonic a. >> yes. >> connie. >> yes. >> sherman. >> absolutely. >> andrew. >> 100% yes. >> marshan. >> yes. sixth question and final question in the light eping rounlighteninground. are you willing to increase taxes on tech companies in order to support infrastructure, environmental and or job training projects? >> veronica. >> yes. >> connie. >> sure. but it's really about the
3:43 am
billion dollars or million dollars and what tax category they are. >> yes, no, no response please. >> sherman. >> no. >> andrew. >> no. >> marshan. >> no. >> david. >> no. >> great. thank you, everyone. we'll do three candidates at a time. what will you do to support district 1 businesses, especially minority-owned businesses, as they struggle with the challenges of covid-19 both now and in the future? veronica? >> this issue is very personal to me as a small business owner. if we want to get through this economic pandemic that we're going through, we have to invest
3:44 am
in small business and making sure they survive this pandemic or it will change the dynamics of our community. the reality is small businesses are the number one employers for women and undocumented, for students, and if we lose that we're going to have a lot of more unemployment individuals here in san francisco so it's crucial to our economic recovery that we invest in supporting small businesses, making sure we provide grants, if not low interest loans so that they can survive this pandemic. we're seeing this issue, if you can't tell right now, ter ants are looking like they're going to get evict and it will change the culture of san francisco. we want to maintain our small business and diversity and we have to reinvest in our small businesses, especially those businesses of color. >> thank you, veronica. next we'll have david. >> we need to make it easier for small businesses to get permits,
3:45 am
streamline the process. we need to make language accessibility a priority to make sure that all businesses have opportunities including those owned by immigrants or immigrant owners of small businesses that are not aware of the opportunities there are to apply for grants and loans and assistance. we also need to help small businesses support them by providing more grants and loans so that they can recover from the crisis. i also believe that the small businesses need help with understanding the government regulations and the health codes. it changes every few weeks with the covid-19 announcements and as to what is open and what can't open. and that requires out reach from the city, which isn't happening in multi langs. i would make that a priority. >> thank you, david. next we'll have marshand.
3:46 am
>> it's too hard to started and operate a business in san francisco. we're losing 10% of our businesses a month and thousands bay area wide. i think that we need to support measures like proposition h, which is on the ballot this november, that will streamline the permitting process so you don't have minority-owned businesses paying rent on a space for four years to open an indoor dining establishment, which is happening here in richmond. i think we need to make it more flexible for businesses to kind of reinvent the services they offer so that as they weather this pandemic and move into a new reality where they can't have more people in the business, we can't penalize them for that. i think for the next several years, we're going to have to alleviate the fees that we're charging our businesses so it's not so confusing and not such a gun burden and we need to work with black-led organizations to recruit business owners of color to come to our neighborhood.
3:47 am
>> thank you. next question. which are the three candidates. how will you address the looming economic situation that may result when the current eviction moratorium expires. we'll start with andrew. >> so, regarding the eviction moratorium, i believe at the federal level that that is already passed. and people are going to be starting to get eviction notices from their landlords in the beginning of november. the city needs to step in and provide protections for renters and folks and folks that are leasing homes for their families. again, that's something that is going to take a collective effort from the board of supervisors getting together and figuring out a economic plan where we can protect these
3:48 am
people and at the same time we have to consider the fact they have mortgages to pay and it has to be a equitable relationship. >> it's a very unfortunate situation we're all in right now. unfortunately, i don't know what the supervisor or city government can do to stop that situation and if the business snow squalls not doing they can't afford the rent and unfortunately, the landlord has a mortgage can pay. what can they do? it's a very catch-22. the on thing i can think of would be that if the city chips in and they say, ok, we will allow the occupant to pay half the rent and the property owner will get a tax credit for the
3:49 am
other portion of the rent on their property taxes, it's the only thing i can see city government can do to help private businesses in the situation. >> the question doesn't specify and you can answer either way. >> definitely. for the crime existing at eviction moratorium that was authored by dean preston and approved by the board of supervisors, came in just in time for the san francisco so i definitely support and we can push forward for that and i also think that it's good that we continue funds and free legal
3:50 am
representation and free legal council for tenants so that in the case in the coming months that they would have to deal with hand lords and they have legal assistance and we export the expansion of commercial eviction moratorium which expired on september 14th. we need to push forward with that and i think that we need to consider how toen deal with that similarly what we do with residential eviction moratorium. >> we'll move on to the next question, which is the richmond district helping a population of rats following the closure of geary boulevard restaurants and staff productions at golden gate park. how would you deal with this environmental issue and increased trash at ocean beach? starting with david. >> supervisor, we have to hold dpw accountable. and i would make sure our health department is held accountable to alleviate pests and garbage
3:51 am
pick up, especially. it is a travesty that our department head dpw has been implicated in a scandal. i think that the board has not been doing it's job by holding the department accountable and that's why scandals have been allow to persist. i think it's really time for supervisors to come in and ask questions about the department and what is being done for the richmond district. the richmond district has been ignored next we'll have connie. >> i have learned this during my time as the staff and san francisco recreation and park
3:52 am
department and that is about integrated pest management and that is really finding ways to do rodent control without poison and there are messages that we can implement and we need to continue town vest and that is an environmental friendly way to do pest control and pest management and that we need to continue extending that program not just for city departments and also for our everyday residents and for our small businesses we just have that and it's one of my personal favorite activities to do with my son is beach clean up. those are the everyday residents can participate and that's what we can do. then again, it is really about how do we, as legislature, to find policies solutions to do so. >> thank you, connie. and finally for those question, we'll have veronica.
3:53 am
>> again, these are one of the things small businesses and family-owned businesses did until thin thecity. they actually paid for the rooting control and it helped our city stay rodent free. we have to support these small businesses and get through this pandemic. the reality is the richmond district, they took a lot of our trash cans with the campaign of what you bring in you take back home. we need more gosh age cans so people have a place to throw their garbage and we need to hold dpw accountable and make sure they pick up the city-owned trash. we need better relationship with recology so they educate the public of how to use the free services of picking up this we
3:54 am
need the city cleaned and we need to hold d.p.w. accountable for that. >> full ton street turns into a rice track, what will you do to protect pedestrians and make cycling safer in our district? starting with sherman? >> we need timed traffic lights on those streets. that's how we take care of that problem. if we do that, it makes it safer for pedestrians and we can add a bike lane on full ton. the first thing that needs to be
3:55 am
done is we have to have traffic lights at all of the intersections on fullton in the district and gary and california also. thank you. >> thank you, sherman. >> so, i live eight houses down from fullton so i know what you are talking about and that is our -- how we get to golden gate park. who goes to the park, right? kids, seniors, families, people walking their dogs and it's intimidating to cross full ton and when you try to teach kids traffic safety you can't really do that on fulton. not even people running the stop signs. we need to time traffic lights and especially the entrance on 43rd and fulton to the park.
3:56 am
you can't tell if it's sidewalks, street or dirt. that's a death trap. we saw a toddler get hit there many years ago. we're seeing it now during the pandemic when the streets are more clear. a lot of speeding, dangerous speeding and i think that time traffic lights are the way to go. >> finally for this question, we have andrew. >> >> so, obviously all the major corridors in the richmond district, we need to have more traffic lights. we probably, if we're able to do that then we can reduce the amount of pedestrians and bikists in danger of being hit by cars. just on sixth and balboa, i remember talking to a small business owner there and the traffic stop sign is not even visible and it's covered by trees. we have to increase the visibility of our stop signs and we have to have time traffic lights in the area on all the
3:57 am
major corridors. that's the answer that we're having in our district. >> thank you, andrew. moving on to the next question, considering there may be a large budget shortfall, what will you do to make the san francisco budget process more transparent? starting with connie. >> just last year, that supervisor sandra lee fewer and norman yee had a legislation mandating there are public and community events and gatherings and meetings before the budget goes to -- before the mayor's announce or mayor, any mayor announced their budget. i think that that is the critical piece of it that we actually need to continue to make sure that we have where they think and how we should spend our budget and i think
3:58 am
that it is about having the eight i had of city department and how they're spending their money before they decide on the budget. while we do at board of supervisors do the hearings except they're always jammed in one month of june and it's very challenging so we need to do it year around. >> next we'll have, andrew. >> >> can you repeat the question. my feed got kind of chopped up there. i didn't catch the question. >> >> considering mr. may be a large budget shortfall, what will you do to make the budget process more transparent? >> >> the first thing thing is just, yeah, the idea of transparency is that if i'm on the bos for district 1, i want to have an understanding from each of the different departments what we're spending and why wore spending it and
3:59 am
bring that informatio informatio the community so they can understand where their money is going. we can come to an agreement in terms of how we should move forward and on that particular budget because we are facing a $2.1 billion deficit going into 2021. next we'll have david. >> look, i talked to hundreds of voters in the last week who have all told me that they don't trust what city hall is saying about our budget and the budget deficit has ballooned. at the same time, the board of supervisor has increased salaries for city workers. at the same time, the board of supervisors have increased their own salaries by 12%. yet, they want to increase taxes on our voters.
4:00 am
there's taxes that they're asking voters to pass in order to close the budget deficit and they have not shown -- city hall has not shown it can be fiscally responsible itself and the leaders at the board of supervisors have not done so so we do need more transparency and i oppose the tax increases i support accountability and i support transparency and i think a supervisor i would call for hearings. >> thank you david. moving on to the next question. san francisco has a significant deficit in the upcoming budget, which due to covid-19, will likely persist in the future. what specific policies will you champion to address the likely and current and future issues related to budget decisions. starting with marchand. >> so, that question also folds into the last question you asked. i think that we do need more transparency and community
4:01 am
engagement in how we determine the budget. it's very important to acknowledge there are many folks in our neighborhood who don't have time to go to city hall and to be part of these budget decisions. it's not because they don't want to and they don't love the richmond but they're working and trying raise families or running a business and we really need to look at how we communicate, right, and how we become more relevant as government leaders to our constituency and as i always say, if we're not relevant to the constituents we serve then that's not a failure on their part and that's a failure on our part and 100% applies to the budget and how we're reaching neighbors and we need to meet them where they are and be transparent and open about the process and genuine about getting their input and it doesn't mean community meetings during working hours. >> next, veronica, same question. >> we need a genuine
4:02 am
conversation with our constituency. the fact is, a lot of -- for those who take the time go to city hall and test the fire regarding the budget or any issue, they do so knowing this decision has been made. that should not happen in a democracy and it's happening now. we needed this office here in richmond and of course we need transparency and accountability and we have to hold every elect official and department head and department accountable for what is happening at city hall and each department. we have to re-evaluate government spending and budget cuts and it has to be done without hurting those who are already hurting. our low wage easterners eastern. to start with, we needed to really make tough decisions an
4:03 am
and -- >> thank you, very much. next we have sherman. >> so, having transparency in budgets or anything in city hall without a way to disseminate that information in our local area doesn't do any good. we need a district office for the supervisors so that residents can come and we can have on going discussions about what cost there are in the city and what our expenses are in the city. more importantly, what past legislation. i know this is not an easy t.s.x. for a lot of peopltopicbe have passed in the past, legislatively, either through the board of supervisors or us as voters add a lot of cost to government. as supervisors it's my responsibility to look at those
4:04 am
issues and bring it back to the neighborhood and say, this is costing us ex amount of money, is this what we want to do with the limited resources we have and as supervisors that's the way we would have approached this. >> thank you, sherman. we will go into our final question. this is going to be answered by all candidates. so, the final question is, if elected, you will serve for four years. in 2024, what do you want to be able to say was your single most significant accomplishment? starting with connie. >> that we have kept our tenants and homeowners on fixed income house. that our small businesses are able to stay home and some new ones were able to open too. in that the fact that our 38 geary, hopeful like at some
4:05 am
point, brt but probably in 2024 at least run better and more reliable and safer and that golden gate park is able to make it safer for everyone, including the possibility of keeping jfk car free and bringing accessible to everybody all across the city. i think those will be great and they will be really some of my priorities in the coming years when elected as supervisor. >> thank you, very much. next we'll have sherman. >> in four years i want to see that the neighborhood is cleaner and safer. i want all the traffic lights and all those corridors in and i want to see the streets clean. when we walk out the door, we don't see trash on the street. a lot of the questions that we have discussed today get back
4:06 am
down to the basic thing, you know, are the streets clean. are the responsibilities that the city hall is supposed to do, are they being done? i would tell you they are not being done. if you go out your dor tomorrow, and you see gash an on the streets and government has failed you and i want to change that in the next four years, thank you. >> next we'll have andrew. >> in the next four years if i'm fortunate to be elected as the board of supervisors for district 1, my biggest priority will be making sure that everybody in our community here in the richmond district is safe in terms of hopefully we have a vaccine by then where we can vaccinate all of the people in the neighborhoods starting with our elderly and those with immuno compromised systems. secondly, it's to make sure that
4:07 am
all of our unhoused individuals have a place to stay and we're addressing the mental health crisis and the opioid crisis that is a continuing, growing concern in the richmond district. lastly is obvious low to make sure we have affordable housing for all of our residents here in the richmond district. next we'll have marchand. >> so over all, if i'm elected, i would like to see and i would like our neighbors to see and feel an improvement in their lives in the marries most important to them. it does mean safe, clean streets and with regard to our unhoused residents that we've moved many into treatment and it does mean we've created an environment where opportunities an option for folks to be walking into wall groans and clearing the shelves, which is not safe for
4:08 am
anybody. i would like to see more neighborhood engagement and regular input. this is how i can tell because people are talking about these issues. well i don't think there's a campaign season? i think we should talk about these issues all the time with neighbors and coming together like we just did in my neighborhood summit last weekend to tackle these problems tonight. we won't change them overnight but in four years i'd like to see a marked improvement in those issues. >> thank you. next we'll have david. >> >> first off, the tax increases on a november ballot that hurt our middle-class and small business this is richmond, second, gary brt built and we should be well into our way and we're completed as supervisor of shepherd that project and makes sure it happens and hague the groundwork which 10 million-dollar has been
4:09 am
allocated for planning and we be fully engage and supportive of that process and build a fort able transit where part is successful such as coliseum connect which has built 114 units of affordable housing. that's what i would focus on as supervisor. >> and for this question we'll have veronica. >> thank you. i'm fortunate enough to be elected, first that no one here in the richmond feels like they were excluded from government process. their supervisor was held accountable to them and only to them in that special center or corporate america. to make sure that we held every city department accountable to do their jobs which means making sure our streets are clean and making sure our unhoused
4:10 am
population has become an issue during these four years and only during the campaign season and making sure streets are safer and slower for our children. making sure, first of all, making sure our kids' mental health that they're going through right now through this pandemic, is in the long-term respect as they go back to school. i think what we want to see is more ethnic businesses here in richmond, safer streets, cleaner streets and you know kids happy and playing in the cities again. in four years, that's what you can see if i'm elected. >> thank you very much. now we are going to move into candidate closing statements. we are going to do reversal tibet careverse alphabetical ordinary. order. >> thank you to the women voters for in inviting all of us this evening and inviting us to your living rooms today. my name, again is veronica and
4:11 am
i'm a candidate for district 1. this race is personal. i live in a multi generational home with my senior parents and i understand the issues our seniors are having with cuts in their healthcare and issues of public safety and i also have a son who has a preexisting condition and has not left home since the pandemic, maybe left four times and understand the struggles of working families and working and paying the rent and educating their kids. i will bring a new voice to city hall for small business owners as someone who is dealing with the crisis of small business and how we make the tough decisions if i'm going to close or stay home but i also have 20 years of experience in local and state government. i'm a can dat and won't be held accountable to any special center but the voters of san francisco and the residents of the richmond district so please visit my website. >> thank you. next we'll have sherman.
4:12 am
>> thank you for sharing your evening with us and trying to learn about where we stand on these issues. you know, the most important thing any elected official can do is give you faith that government is working in your interest. so, i'm going to focus on those things we see everyday when we go out our door. are the streets clean? is it safe to cross the street? do we have those traffic lights in all those intersections. are the garbage cans empty? is this trash piling up on the corner. these things should not occur. they're a failure of government when they occur. if i'm elected as supervisor, i will focus on those things. there's a lot of big things, a lot of big issues that come up every four years that supervisors have to deal with. we need to deal with these first. we need to give our neighbors' faith that government is looking out for their supervisors an ini hope to do that as your next
4:13 am
supervisor. >> next marchand. >> thank you for having me tonight. every four years we have these conversations and you know we're running political campaigns and things turn political. i think when it comes to this seat, we forget that san francisco is a city and county. we're running for supervisor and we're city council members and they need to focus on the needs of our neighborhoods and delivering those service that are services that are relevant and we talked a lot tonight around homelessness and san francisco and ensuring that neighbors feel safe and are safe if their neighborhoods and that's really going to require a supervisor who is going to roll up their sleeves and work 24/7 to deliver for all neighbors and not just those who supported him or there in this campaign. i'm committed and we will work hard everyday not just in this
4:14 am
campaign and beyond to come together as neighbors and ensure that we get through this pandemic as healthy as possible and really rebuild and business and ensure that we're keeping families and working people in san francisco. >> next we'll have david. >> we have a rare opportunity in district one in the richmond district to elect a new supervisor. there isn't an incumbent running this year. and we're seeing the divisions within our city has led to gridlock either the mayor's camp and the progressive camp and they seemed to be fighting and with richmond losing and he has a chance to elect and who has a people and powered campaign and it has kept pace with the front runners through the donations of small donors, small san francisco donors and through the public finance program i am an
4:15 am
independent voice for the richmond. >> next we'll have connie. >> thank you. thank you so much for having us tonight. from my years of experience in city hall, i have learned a lot. i have learned from shutting down the marine power plant and okin organizing theorganizing as and grants and fund in our park system and advocating for free city college and i hope to bring my experience and skills to the table to really help us to close the income gap that we are experiencing and it is threatening our tenants and homeowners to be evicted and our small businesses being displaced
4:16 am
and it's they're my priority. i will want to work to make sure that they will be housed and stay in their homes and our small business stays open and workers can return work in a safer work environment and we have a more bike able and walkable richmond and people can still drive safely. >> thank you, connie. and finally we have andrew. >> yeah, i want to start by thanking the league of women voters of san francisco for hosting this forum and allowing to us give our ideas on important topics effecting our district. if i'm elected for bos, for district 1, i'm going to be focusing on a couple of things. first and foremost, is making sure that we make it out of this pandemic in a stronger position to be successful. that means making sure that all of our residents have access to a potential vaccine.
4:17 am
when that happens, so that people can return to some sense of normalcy. our elderly community, our working moms and dads, our low income families and secondly, i want to make sure obviously that we keep our streets clean and we continue to strive to help our unhoused populations find housing, find mental health, lastly it would be to make sure that we're protecting our small business owners and helping to keep them in business as they continue to recover from the loss during this covid-19 pandemic in the closures. >> thank you, andrew. so thank you. on behalf of myself and the league of women voters in san francisco, our thanks to the candidates for participating this evening and we'd like to also thank all of the attend's for taking the time to inform yourself about your choices on november 3rd. please, remember to register to vote if you have not already
4:18 am
registered and to urge others to register. registered. if you changed your name or moved you need to reregister to vote. if you will be voting by mail, please be sure your vote will count by ensuring your ballot is mailed or dropped off at a voting place early. thank you all for being here this evening.
4:19 am
4:20 am
skbl. >> hello. i'm shawnna loghorn with the league of women voters. along with the league and sfgovtv, i'm here to discuss proposition b, a proposition that will be on the ballot and before the voters on november 3. the city has three departments tasked with cleaning tasks. the city administrator oversees the department of public works and appoints the director with the mayor's director. proposition b is a charter amendment that would create a department of sanitation and streets which would take over some of the duties of the department of public works.
4:21 am
this new department of sanitation and streets would be responsible for sweeping streets and cleaning sidewalks, providing and maintaining sidewalk trash cans, removing graffiti and illegally dumped waste and maintaining city buildings, public rest rooms, and street trees. the department of public works would continue to provide all other services required by law. proposition b would create a five-member sanitation and streets commission to oversee the department of sanitation and streets as well as a five-member public works commission to oversee the department of public works. the mayor would select the directors of both departments. if you vote yes, you want to create a department of sanitation and streets with oversight from a sanitation and streets commission, and you want to establish a public works commission to oversee the department of public works.
4:22 am
if you vote no, you do not want to make these changes. . >> i'm here with honey mahogany, a legislative aide with supervisor haney's office. we're also joined by lari m -- larry marso, an opponent of the measure. we're going to start with some opening statements, and we'll begin with honey. >> thank you so much for having us today. i think that as a native san franciscan, someone who grew up here, and a small business owner, it's become very clear to me that san francisco has really failed at keep our city clean the clean. there is trash all over the streets, some streets are
4:23 am
covered with feces, and sometimes you can't find a bathroom when you need one. we've been working on how the city can better address this issu issue. what we found is the system that we have in place is broken. no matter how hard the workers at d.p.w. work, they're unable to get the streets clean because the system is ineffective. d.p.w. is too big, there isn't enough focus on the streets, and especially during the time of covid-19, sanitation's now more important than ever, so we are putting forward a new department of sanitation to effectively keep our streets clean, wash our sidewalks in our most busy corridors and also to establish commissions overboth d.p.w. and the department to ensure that both
4:24 am
departments are accountable to the public. the commission will also set baseline standards for cleaning, something that really doesn't exist now under the current system. >> thank you, honey. now, larry? >> hi. please vote no on proposition b, which takes a $400 million san francisco agency and needlessly cuts it in half and politicizes what remains. it's the case chaos and paralysis that will worsen the squalor on our streets. san francisco has the political will to clean the streets. the board of supervisors does not. proposition b creates two new bureaucracies and injects
4:25 am
politics into the department of public works. this is a failed model of oversight. we have over 100 boards and commissions in san francisco already. proposition b sets no clean streets standards. there's nothing in here that says we are going to deal with the needles, the syringes, the feces on the streets. it's not there. matt haney writes in his argument that they're in proposition b. there's nothing in proposition b that sets baseline standards. we need -- we need -- we need to address the fraud and waste in the department of public works. >> thank you, larry. that's 1.5 minutes, so we're going to go into questions now, and the first question will go to you, larry, and then honey,
4:26 am
you'll have a chance to answer it. the question is the amendment would create a new department of sanitation and streets to perform duties that's currently performed by the department of public works. if that's the proposition, what's the argument for creating a new department? >> the city controller says it's going to cost upwards of $6 million a year. that's over 50 million in ten years. that's a lot of money. but if you look at the paid arguments for proposition b, you see a long list of public sector labor unions. the seiu and the san francisco labor locals representing the trades that engage in cleaning our streets and maintaining some of our parks.
4:27 am
they're talking about we need more resources, we need more resources. they believe that this new structure, which is going to put the board of supervisors in the position of straiting political appointee -- placing political appointees into governing these agencies, they believe it will mean significantly higher spending. and nowhere do the proponents of proposition b stay straight to the san francisco people that this is a major spending increase. will it address any of the core issues of cleaning san francisco streets? not if it atdss drug addiction, homeless, and mental illness on our streets, the root of so much of our problem. >> thank you. the same question to you, honey. why create a new department?
4:28 am
>> well, i would like to first address some factual inaccuracies in some of those statements. one, the measure does require the department to set public standards for cleaning. we want to hold community outreach to set those standards. there is a metric to address that. also, i do want to correct that the controller report says -- the updated controller report says this will be closer to $2.6 milli 2.6 million in costs to create this new department. the reason we have to create this new department is the current department is broken. there is not enough oversight over cleaning and sanitation in the current system. it is less than a quarter of what d.p.w. does. d.p.w. is a department with 1600 employees, and like you said, a $400 million budget.
4:29 am
less than a quarter is dedicated to cleaning. we feel like a metro city in san francisco where tourism is its number one industry, we need to have a focus on cleaning with metrics that are created in a very transparent manner, a method for us to have feedback, and for the public to have feedback, and again, really providing some very close oversight and accountability for a department that, up until now, really hasn't had any. >> thank you, honey. our second question, and it'll start with you, honey, is again, about the cost. the office of the controller states that this amendment, in the report that i read, ranged from 2$2.5 to $6 million annually. honey corrected that it will be just over $2 million. do we think this is the right way to spend the extra money on
4:30 am
sanitation or is there another way that is perhaps more beneficial? >> you know, $2.6 million is a very small -- it's less than a percent -- or a fraction of a percent of the city's current budget. it's a small amount of revenue that the city would generate through improvement to its business districts. it has been very public how we've been criticized by -- all over the world, really, for our filthy streets. the travel industry has been impacted, our hotel industry has been impacted, so those are our biggest industries for our city. so for the city to spend $2 million on an issue that we haven't been able to fix in
4:31 am
decades is nothing. i will note that the legislation actually also reduces duplication in terms of staffing by putting some of the staffing as shared with d.p.w. for the back end, which larry referred to earlier, and it also required city administrator to also provide that support. so the additional hiring is really minimal. there is some costs for the commissions, but again, the controller actually -- the f.b.i. and the scandal recommended that supervision be placed over d.p.w., so it is good governance. it'll put a commission over d.p.w., and it'll also put a commission over the department of sanitation and streets to oversee them. >> okay. larry, same question to you. >> since 2014, the portion of department of public works spending on cleaning our streets has doubled. if you look around you, do you
4:32 am
see that our streets are cleaner? spending money is not the solution to cleaning our streets when we have significant significant endemic root causes of drug abuse and mental illness on our streets. the department of public works, if it's split in half, it's going to generate more costs than simply what the controller has documented. there are duplications of band-end services -- back-end services. okay. but why are the biggest unions in san francisco pouring money into this measure? they're doing so because they're looking for higher pay and more hiring. >> sorry. i have to cut you off there as
4:33 am
time is up for questions, but we're going to move into closing statements, and we will start with honey. >> thank you so much. it's funny because i think larry and i agree that we've been pumping money into d.p.w., and things haven't gotten any better. in fact, things have gotten worse, and that is why we're establishing the department of sanitation and streets because the current system is broken. we're going to be providing accountability, setting baseline standards. i have to say the reason why so many labor unions are behind this is we figured out a solution that would work for everybody. it's not about raising salaries for anything like that. these are hard working san franciscans, people who really care about their city and want to be proud of their city and the work they do, and they know best how to address this
4:34 am
problem because they're dealing with it every day. so we're proud to have worked with them, to provide this measure of accountability to provide safer, cleaner streets, trash cans that will work, access to more rest rooms. more green infrastructure which has been sorely lacking. and, again, public accountability and a real focus on street cleaning. so i'm very proud of the measure, and i implore san franciscans, if you want to see our travel industry be reinvigorated, our children and familied supported by the picking up of needles and keeping our streets clean, then please vote yes on proposition b. >> thank you, honey. closing statements from larry, please. >> proposition b will politicize the department of public works. that's why i and a number of
4:35 am
centrist politicians and organizations are opposed to proposition b, on the board of supervisors, supervisor sandra fewer voted no, raff vel mandelman voted now, more man yee, voted no, catherine steph he knee voted no. the ed lee democratic club says no. the sfgop says no. you have people across the political spectrum who recognize that this is going to increase costs significantly while at the same time inducing chaos in public services, paralysis in the cleaning of our streets. uncertainty at a time that san francisco needs to be smart and focused in how it spends its money, how it raises its money,
4:36 am
and to address the real causes of what we see going on in our streets. matt haney does not represent a common sense approach on homelessness, drug abuse, or mental illness. i have tried to bring these solutions myself to a citizen ballot measure on the regulation of navigation centers. the entire ballot you're seeing was put together by the board of supervisors. no one could even collect signatures under shelter in place to propose alternative measures, as i tried to do. >> thank you, larry. thank you very much both for your comments and for your time. we hope that this discussion has been informative. for more information, please visit the san francisco elections website at
4:37 am this year, every person in california will be mailed a ballot starting on october 5. you may drop off your vote by mail ballot in person starting on october 5 in the city hall voting center located outside of bill graham city auditorium 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. you may drop off your ballot at your voting center for the two weekends before voting day, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. thank you. authoring the
4:38 am
same -- >> good evening. welcome to the candidate forum for the 2020 district 7 san francisco board of supervisors election. i'm alison go, the president of the league of women voters of san francisco. tonight, before we begin, i'd like to take a moment to remember the late justice ruth bader ginsburg. she was a powerful advocate for women's rights and civil rights, arguing for equality regardless of age, race, sexual orientation or gender, and she was a fierce defender of voter
4:39 am
rights, offering the dissenting opinion in shelby v. voter. justice ginsburg's wisdom, ded indication, and determination to equal rights embodied the league of women voters empowered us to create a more perfect democracy. we would not be where we are today without ruth bader ginsburg. the league of women voters is a bipartisan political nonprofit that encourages voter participation. this year's election presents new and unprecedented challenges for voters, and we are committed to providing resources that voters need in order to access this fundamental right of democracy
4:40 am
of voting. please visit our website at where you will find all of the voting resources that we offer. the league of women voters is a nonprofit organization, and if you'd like to support our events such as this one, please visit our website at i'd like to thank our relations department to promote voter education through their support of league initiatives, including tonight's candidate forum. i am now pleased to introduce dee moore, our moderator for tonight. she's retired from the start-up
4:41 am
industry, where she held numerous positions in sales and marketing for 15 years. she left the industry to raise her children, and she has worked in the community for several volunteer organizations, including sf casa over nine years, supporting foster care for children. >> good evening and welcome to the san francisco league of women voters board of supervisors candidate forum. first, i'd like to remind you of the ground rules. responses to questions should be on issues and policy related. candidated are expected to be respectful of other candidates anded to not make personal attack on other individuals. that's the ground rules. here are the procedures for the
4:42 am
forum. the candidates will have the opportunity to make one-minute opening and closing statements. opening statements will be in alphabetical order by first name. closing statements will be in reversal if a bet cal order by first name. each candidate will be an opportunity to make rebuttal and may be addressed in the candidate's closing remarks lasting one minute. a count downtimer will be displayed with visual indication of the remaining time for a response, so please watch it carefully, and if you go over, i'll politely remind you. every aspect of the forum will be equally fair to all candidated. thank you to our attendees tonight. you are in listen-only mode.
4:43 am
the q&a and chat features are not activated. we collected your questions earlier, so they will be available tonight. this will be available on youtube, our website, and sfgovtv cable channel. you have many decisions to make on november 3. tonight's opportunity will give you an opportunity to learn before you vote, so now, let's begin. we'll start off with one-minute opening statements in alphabetical order. thank you, candidates, for participating in this forum. please introduce yourself, tell us which neighborhood you live in, and why you are running for district 7 supervisor. we'll start alphabetically with ben. >> hello. good evening, and thank you very much to the league for hosting us tonight.
4:44 am
hello. my name is ben matranga, and i'm running for district 7 supervisor. i want to fight for working families and ensure that our city emerges from this health crisis stronger than before. as a new father and first-time homeowner, i know the stakes are high in this election. i know the city is calling out for genuine leadership, for common sense, and frankly, for people that will deliver on their promises. let me tell you a little bit about my background. i was born and raised in district 7. i live in west portal seven blocks from where i grew up. i met my wife in high school at st. ignatius, and we're raising our young daughter in that district. professionally, i've spent 15 years building large-scale --
4:45 am
>> thank you, ben. >> thank you. >> and now, we'll move to emily. you're muted, emily. >> all right. good evening, everyone. i'm emily murase, and i want to be your supervisor. 2020 marks the millennial of women's right to vote, and yet, after the departure of supervisor yee from the board of supervisors, we will have two women on the board of supervisors. i'm the only candidate who's been elected to office, serving two terms on the school board, including as president. my spouse and i have lived in
4:46 am
the lake shore neighborhood of district 7 for over 15 years, where we raised our two now adult daughters. my priorities are bolstering public health, enabling voters, and accelerating public health. >> we'll go to joel. >> hi, everyone. i'm joel engardio. i live in the district 7 neighborhood. families care about the basics: housing, schools, quality of life. the budget has doubled the last decade, and nothing is twice as good, and now, we're facing massive deficits. we need to audit every program and only pay for what works. i grew up in the gm town of sag
4:47 am
saginaw, michigan. i've lived in san francisco for 22 years, lived in district 7 for a decade. as a journalist, i held city hall accountable and gave people a voice. i'll do the same as your supervisor. it's time to get it right. clean streets, smaller deficits, and better services, and i'd be glad to be your candidate. >> thanks, joel. ken? >> my name is ken [inaudible] we lived off of every muni met metro line, and for the last 14 years, i've lived just a couple of blocks up in district 7 on ocean avenue. i've been successful here.
4:48 am
both my wife and i were able to build careers. one is at u.c. davis and another one's at roll, and buena vista horace mann. i feel with my experience, i understand district 7 well. families are important. doct from cradle to grave, everyone should be able to live in district 7. >> thanks, kenneth. next will be myrna. >> hi, everyone. my name is myrna melgar. two years ago, i live in district 7 with my husband and family. i've worked in the community for 15 years in housing and economic development and worker's rights.
4:49 am
i'm running because our city is experiencing changes. changes to our global environment, inequality -- and income inequality. i'm running because i want to use my skills and experience to plan for those changes. the policy changes that we make today will have a profound effect how we get out of this pandemic, and whether we continue to be that city of opportunity and that shining example that we have always been to the world. i would appreciate your support, and i am the candidate with the most experience. thank you. >> thank you, myrna. next will be stephen. you're muted. >> steven martin pinto. i live in district 7.
4:50 am
i just want to ask one question. are you better off than you were five years ago? ladies and gentlemen, i'm running on a campaign of straight talk. when i began my campaign, it was just me, myself, and i, and one promise. tell it like it is and don't hold back. i've been one of the most successful non-democratic candidates in the last decade. the reason why is because i tell it like it is, i speak the truth, and i have a lot of credibility. i'm a firefighter, a fifth generation san franciscan, a veteran of iraq and afghanistan and the war, and i've seen a lot of the effects of homelessness. vote for me in november. >> thank you, steven. last one will be polasca.
4:51 am
>> hi. my name is polasca. i loved growing up in a union household. my mother worked the post office, the graveyard shift, her entire career, so they really instilled a deep value for public service and hard work. i came here to san francisco, u.s.f. school of law, where i met my wife. we currently live in parkmerced, and my kids go to school -- or they did before covid -- right across. i'm proud to have the endorsement of the nurses and people in the sierra club. i ask that you allow me to be your champion at city hall and standup for working class families. >> thank you, velasca, and
4:52 am
thank you all, candidates. we'll now move onto the questions for tonight's forum. question one. what type of forum will you support to increase housing availability in district 7. do you agree with the approaches that promote more housing density? just yes, which approaches. if no, what other approaches do you favor? and we will begin with joel, and joel, you have one win. >> hi. so there's three areas of district 7 where more housing is coming. par merced, balboa reservoir, and stonestown mall, and those are all appropriate areas for housing. i do not support anything that would restrict single-family zoning. we have 40 communities, and they're all gems.
4:53 am
west portal has a five story art deco that's been there 90 years. we can match the height of that without harming any single neighborhoods. we have a plan for seniors to age in place so they don't have to leave the home they love. we have a plan to keep single-families in san francisco, and the housing along train corridors can support those needs. >> thank you, joel. >> thanks. >> next, we'll have kenneth. >> hi. joel said a lot, and i agree with what he said. the transit corridors and the housing around should grow. i don't agree with scott
4:54 am
wiener's bill. i think we need to be smart about it. i think we just gave away the deal of the century. less than $600,000 an acre for balboa terrace, so i'm ready to put a stop for future development. i want to see hwhat's going to come out of that and how that's going to affect district 7. that's a district 7 deal. i want to be smart when we have housing, but i want to remind people this is district 7. we are built on single-family homes in small neighborhoods, and i do not want to lose that character, so it has to be an equal balance. thank you. >> thank you, kenneth. next is stephen. >> okay. so kind of what a lot of people have been saying. i'm -- i'm for increasing density along transit corridors. i feel like there's plenty of space to add a story to
4:55 am
one-story buildings along west portal. it wouldn't change -- minimal impacts to the neighborhood. it wouldn't change much to the neighborhood if we do it right, but there's also one thing that i think we also need to reduce the [inaudible] we've found out that telecommuting is possible. recent survey said that two thirds of all tech workers would leave san francisco if they could. there's a latent demand to get out of san francisco. if they had a chance to get out of san francisco and still work here, they would do so. that would make it easier for those who want to live here to be able to afford houses. >> thank you, stephen. now we'll move to question number two. how would you address providing more affordable housing in district 7? do you support programs that encourage the building of more
4:56 am
accessory dwelling units, commonly known as granny flats or in-law units? and we'll start with myrna. >> thank you for the question. yes, i absolutely support building more accessory dwelling units. i will point out that just because we think it's a good idea and put together the legislation rights the state has doesn't mean it will actually happen. we have to do more that. we have to support homeowners to adapt their housing spaces and age in space. to do that, the city can help by making the process easier, friendlier, more expeditious, and more affordable. it's not just about development, it's also about money because access to wealth
4:57 am
is not equal in our society. if you're on a fixed income or you're a women, you tend to have -- woman, you tend to have less abhe is sccess to the mari support all of those things. thank you. >> thank you, myrna. next will be emily. >> can you please repeat the question? >> yes. how would you address providing more affordable housing in district 7? do you support programs that encourage the building of more accessory dwelling units, commonly known as granny flats or in-law units? >> yes. i do want to start out by saying d-7 is primarily single-family homes, and that keeps families here, not retreating to the suburbs, so it's a very important part of our contribution to the city. we have over 40 neighborhoods that are very distinct from each other. lakewood is different from
4:58 am
forest knolls which is different from westwood park. and within that, there is a state law that allows for two accessory dwelling units within a single property. i do think there is an opportunity to be creative. not only a.d.u.s, but cohousing units and other ways to live together. primarily, i'm looking at the new development for housing density. balboa reservoir appropriates 1500 units, of which 50% will be affordable. parkmerced and stonestown also promote ideas for more housing density. >> thank you, emily. next will be polanco. >> i'm in favor of supporting housing.
4:59 am
my concern is in terms of providing the housing units we need. i think there are sites here in district 7 where we can begin from day one after the election to really dedicate affordable housing to the working class families like educators. back in 2018, the leadership of uesf, our educators and teachers actually identified a space that is owned by the school district at somerton and lawton. this is the per expect area where we don't have to treat these like they're mutually exclusive, meeting the character of district 7 while still providing housing that will make a real impact and still provide the time -- >> thank you, polanca. we'll move onto question three. will the planned guidance of
5:00 am
the guidance center, also called the juvenile justice center, provide an increased housing in district 7. if so, what type of housing would you favor? and we'll start with ben. >> so the closing of y.g.yc., think it's the perfect example of the sugar high we see at city hall. i've walked the facility several times. over half of the board of supervisors voted to close it, but they've never been there. folks voted to close the facility but didn't know all the great programming, all the rehabilitation that was happening there. if you talk to the folks in capital planning, they say you can't use that site, so i think it's fiscally responsible to do that. it would cost too much. the taxpayers are still paying
5:01 am
off the rebuilding of the participation of y.g.c. from a decade ago. we need to figure out how to keep young kids in san francisco that need that rehabilitation. >> thank you, ben. next will be joel? >> yeah, i don't think we should have closed it in the first place. juvenile haul, you know, you know, is a place that has good programs that's, like, helping kids get back on their feet and be more productive members of society, and we shouldn't give up on that. i don't want to put housing there. i don't think we should have closed it in the first place because obviously, you risk shipping kids out of county. that's not going to be helpful for them, and there's good programs there already. i think we need to be mindful of the use of the land all-around that area, laguna
5:02 am
honda. we want to make sure that we're not using up land that the hospital might need. >> thank you, joel. next will be kenneth. >> hi, thank you very much. i think ben hit it on the nose. that is a sugar high. the idea that juvenile crime is down forever and we are in some magic wonderland. the reality is that we're heading into a recession that's already showing its teeth. california is now flattening at 11% unemployment. we know that during times of recession and high unemployment that crime does go up, particularly with youth. we likely have pressed it with the lows in violent crime that existed. so the magic that we're going to be able to deal with our juvenile problems without
5:03 am
juvenile hall is a sugar high. when we have a problem that manifests, we should look at fixing and solving that problem, not necessarily shutting it down. thank you very much. >> thank you, kenneth. we'll move onto question number 4. what are the primary issues regarding homelessness in district 7. what programs or services would you bring to the community to address these issues, and we'll start with stephen. >> in my experience as a first responder, every day i go to work, i'm right there in the trenches, dealing with homelessness. i worked at some of san francisco's busiest fire stations, where i ran up to 20 or 30 calls a day, most of which were homeless calls, and in my experience, the homeless crisis in san francisco is very much closely tied to a drug and
5:04 am
mental health crisis. we had nearly 300 fentanyl deaths in 2018, nearly 400 last year, and the number is on pace to be even higher this year. so one of the biggest things we can do to solve the homeless problem not only in district 7 but citywide is really crack down on these drug dealers who are imprisoning people in a cycle of poverty, misery, and drug addiction. that's one of the biggest things we can do to start. the other thing is lobby for those increased conservatorship laws, and i'm willing to go to sacramento to do that. >> thank you, stephen. next will be myrna. >> thank you, dee. your question was about district 7, and i just want to point out that district 7 is very different than district 6 or district 5 in terms of our homeless epidemic. the majority of folks who are
5:05 am
experiencing drug problems are not drug addicts, they're working people, living in homeless encampments and vans. the other day, my friend who owns a coffee shop called me and said there was a young woman on the street with no place to go. he's, like, myrna, what do i do? we don't have the wraparound services that exist in other districts, and we need them. we need to have shower sites where people can dispose of our waste so that it doesn't go into our sewer drains and people can be treated with dignity. that's what we need. thank you. >> thank you, myrna. next will be emily. >> yes, i believe strongly that it's a human rights violation to let people sleep on the streets. we're one of the wealthiest
5:06 am
cities in the world. we cannot tolerate this situation anymore. unfortunately, homelessness is not just a d-7 issue. it's a citywide issue. i've been on the record opposing a navigation center in d-7 because it's too costly. the embarcadero navigation center is $12.5 community funds for 200 beds. families and women are not well served by tents or cots. i advocate for the flexible subsidy pool that aims to provide 200 apartments with a door and a key and an address. and i want to make sure that women don't get lost in this. domestic violence is the number one cause of homelessness on the streets. we need to fund domestic violence services. >> thank you, emily. we'll move onto question five. what programs do you support
5:07 am
that address homeless and mental health problems in san francisco? we'll start with polasco. >> mental health access, if it's fully funded, i think we can make a visible impact on our streets. this goes hand in hand with the reform that we want at the criminal justice level. if police officers can be focused on just reporting to crime, we can actually have social workers and folks that are really trained and know the nuances of deescalation and mental health intervention, and that really stems from mental health sf, and i think it is a much needed program citywide. i think here in district 7, i think we can all echo the same underlying issues that, you know, the unhoused issue is very different from the other
5:08 am
districts, but that is one program and policy that i'm fully in support of. >> thank you, velasquez. next will be ben. >> thank you. i had a young kid that worked for me four years ago that died of a drug overdose. was born and raised in san francisco and died of a drug overdose on our streets in san francisco just two months ago. we have an epidemic on our streets. we need to make sure we have treatment on demand and the services that actually deliver for folks like that. this is an issue that hits folks of all backgrounds, of all neighborhoods, of all parts of the city, and i think the city has been slow to respond. you see it in the numbers, you see it in the raise in fentanyl
5:09 am
deaths. mental health sf is a good program, but in a way, it's a repaneli repackaging of the services that already existed. it really is just the first step forward, but we need new services, and that's what i'll do as supervisor. >> thank you, ben. the next is joel. >> we will be solve our homeless crisis until we deal with our mental health crisis. in san francisco, there's something called the mental health court. this is if someone attacks someone while having a mental health attack on the street, they don't get jail time. and this is a good thing because we don't want jail to be the de facto services. i think we should be supporting
5:10 am
conservatorship laws. this doesn't mean going back to the awful days of nurse ratchet and the mental asylum. i know that's a reference to netflix and a show in the 70s, but it's a new idea that will give people the treatment they need. >> thank you, joel. we'll move to question 6. the increase in crime, including burglaries and break-ins have become a concern to the residents of district 7. what actions would you propose to the police and the city administration to handle the increase in property crimes? we'll start with kenneth. >> hi. thank you very much. our current district 7 supervisor and president of the board held a meeting for our neighborhood. he lives here in westwood park,
5:11 am
and i was surprised at the feedback. it was specific to crime, exactly what you're asking about, and it was predominantly property crime, and the conversation moved onto home invasion. what i could tell in that meeting was people were scared. they were scared about the change that's occurring now. you ask what we should be doing. first of all, we need to be much tougher on car break-ins and home invasions. i agree that we need to help these people, but as soon as we have those property damage that actually scare people from wanting to go out to their car as night, from locking their door at night, triple locking, triple checking, we need to make sure we have a beat cop on the street -- and my time is up. >> thank you, kenneth.
5:12 am
and next is stephen. >> one of the things i think we can do right now as a community to help make our neighborhoods more safe is form neighborhood watch programs, and they've actually shown great success. there is a particular block in diamond heights where the neighborhood watch program is wired very tight, and it's actually an anomaly of no crime in the middle of a neighborhood which has signature criificanto that's one thing we can do. the other thing we can do is join programs like sf safe, which teaches residents how to be safer and look out for each other. i'm always a big proponent of hiring more cops. i'm one of the few candidates that have gone on record saying defunding the police is the wrong way to go. we need more training, more
5:13 am
police, and the crime that's happening -- time's up. >> thank you, stephen. next, we'll hear from myrna. >> thank you. there have been other communities who have come up with really innovative community-based approaches to keep better eyes on the streets. folk who are embedded in the community know their neighbors, who know the patterns, know the businesses. one that i'm fond of in chinatown is the peace collaborative. it's young folks and retired folks who have been trained to do that. when things are kind of off, they have a person to call, and then, there's a person that's already been building trust in that community. i am a big proponent of programs like that. they are actually quite cost effective and less violent than, you know, having folks
5:14 am
with arms on the street, but it also builds trust and a knowledge of the community and they're remarkably effective. >> thank you, myrna. now we'll move to question number 7. how would you approach potential proposals to reallocate funds from policing -- excuse me -- to mental health and social services while still prioritizing public safety? and we'll start with emily. >> so i've been on record opposed to defending police, disbanding police. we have had an uptick in property crime, home invasion. there was a suspected arson of one of our local businesses, dragon printing. there was a robbery at miracle cleaning on ocean. we can't expect an immediate response if we're going to cut
5:15 am
the police budget. now within the police budget, i do believe -- i'm very data driven and evidence based, and u.c. berkeley did a study of foot patrols in sfpd. in 2017, when chief scott reassigned more officers to foot patrols, there was a 20% decline in assaults. that's evidence-based interventions. we need more foot patrols, community policing, crime spotting, and antibias training in the police department. >> thank you, emily. and next is polasca. >> yeah, i agree with emily. i think when we're being smarter about our police budget, we don't need police officers responding to
5:16 am
noncriminal mental health crises. there is a world where we can be smarter about our police budget while reallocating that saved money to folks and social workers at the department of public health that can actually do that outreach for those folks going through a mental health crisis. it's unfortunate that we've gotten into slogans into defunding the police, abolishing the police, but i think if we're truly committed to police accountability, we'll see our police budget getting smaller, and we can use that money for much needed services here in san francisco. >> thank you, velasca. next is ben. >> we can certainly all agree, if you would have watched this same debate when i was growing up 20-plus years ago, it was the same concepts that came out. we want more beat officers.
5:17 am
over the years, the same promises get made, and nothing changes. right now, four out of ten positions at one precinct is vacant. there's some very basic times around response times and now that correlates to staffing in the police department. i think chief scott when talking about the budget this year was accurate. we want a police department that's more diverse, speaks multiple languages. we have young kids coming through the department that's coming through with advanced degrees in criminalology, and we only do that by funding by the police department. >> thank you, ben. now we move to the next
5:18 am
question. what specific changes would you support in defunding the police, and what changes would you like to see? we'll start with ben. >> i agree with joe biden and governor newsom. calls for mentally ill people can better be handled by social workers. i'm vice presidents of a victim's rights group called stop police sf. i see that home burglaries are up 60% this year. homicides and firearm shootings are both up 30%, so we still need police to do the detective work. we need police to protect the public, and we can't forget about the victims of crime. i do not believe in defunding or disbanding the police department. the new york times recently featured our police department as a model of reform, so we
5:19 am
should continue that process, and takes more funding, not less, but we should recruit more officers from diverse communities and those who only serve at the highest standards. >> thank you, joel. next will be kenneth. >> so lots of smart people, and i think if you vote for any of us, you're going to get a good supervisor. so velasco said it well. defunding the police is a bad term. it's a horrible term. it sounds like you want to get rid of them, but in reality, it's a reallocation. i'm with our current chief. he has some really good ideas about how to use funding for mental health and domestic violence in particular, and i think those are two areas absolutely that we could have specialists that don't need to be police. that being said, i am a metric-driven individual. i come from the business side, and i believe firmly if we are
5:20 am
going to allocate funds into just about anything, you track what occurs, and then, you make decisions about how successful it is, and if it doesn't meet the metrics you put in place and the goals you put in place, you take that money back, and you put it to better use. thank you. >> thank you, kenneth. and next will be stephen. >> i want to be very, very cautious about replacing police officers by mental health workers to deal with people with mental health crisis because human nature is very, very unpredictable. when you're high on drugs, even more so, and i have personal experience with this. i've been on multiple calls where people have overdosed, and they're sedated or passed out. you give them narcan, and even the smallest personal temporarily displaced can have
5:21 am
super human strength. it happened to me, but this is the thing. people can act very violently very quickly, and a mental health worker alone by himself is not trained to deal with that. so while i'm not opposed to having mental health workers and homeless team outreach people to accompany police, i don't believe at any time they should be a total replacement for the police. >> thank you, stephen. now we'll move onto question number 9. how will you ensure that residents of district 7 have access to services and resources that will help them meet their basic needs as they struggle with the challenges of covid-19, and we'll start with myrna. >> thanks for the question. i think that district 7 has, for many, many years, been
5:22 am
short changed in the services that we receive. there's a perception that we're all right. we're wealthy, and there's nothing that we need when, in fact, we have a very large population of folks that are elderly, immigrants, people who don't speak english. we're a quite diverse district that has a lot of needs. i think in terms of my priorities that you asked about are food security. when the pandemic started, we started working at the food bank thattum emily has started and my daughter, as well. we thought we were going to see 200, and we saw 700. foot security, transportation, housing, all of those services are needed in district 7, and i will prioritize them. thank you. >> thank you, myrna. next is emily. >> yeah. so among the 40 different neighborhoods in district 7,
5:23 am
there are varying degrees of organization. so, for example, i know ben has worked very hard to help the west portal neighborhood be organized. lake shore was not very well organized, so actually, joel, who's a neighbor, and i helped standup resilient lake shore, and we put out hundreds of door hangers with resources for covid for our neighbors. i'd like to make sure there's seed funding for every neighborhood to band together, whether it's crime or covid, and really create community within the neighborhood. we have the strongest along access ordinance in the country, and we are obligated to provide services to english language learners at the same level as native speakers, so i will make sure that services -- for example, briefings by the police -- are in multiple languages. >> thank you, emily.
5:24 am
and next is velasco. >> i'm extremely proud of my criminal justice experience, being a public defender going on my 16th year now. every day, walking into court, that is a phenomenal responsibility to provide a voice to those who are forgotten and marginalized. i think as an extension of my advocacy as a public defender, we need a leader at city hall who is going to speak up and advocate and really ensure that district 7 has all the resources that our community needs. myrna and emily touched upon some of our most vulnerable, particularly the elderly. and with the population and communities being comprised of 17% chinese, particularly a lot of elderly folks who don't have a lot of family support, we need a mixture and every resource available to make sure that they're not isolated, and
5:25 am
to make sure their health and well-being is taken care of during this pandemic. >> thank you, velasca. now we'll move onto question number 10. what is your plan to bring back business and encourage new businesses in the west portal and 9th and irving shop districts? we'll start with ben. >> thank you. and i would expand that question to include both ocean avenue, lakeside, taraval, and 19th. our neighborhood commercial corridors are amazing. they are the envy of so many areas of san francisco, and they're a gathering place for so many in our community. and frankly, they're not getting enough attention, and, you know, what we -- early on in covid, i helped set up the largest covid-19 response effort in district 7, and one of the things that we did right at the beginning was we brought in the merchants. we knew how difficult it was
5:26 am
going to be. that type of small business advocacy doesn't take place right now. the city loves to tout being in partnership with small business. i'm a small business owner. i don't think that anybody in the city feels genuinely that the city is in partnership with them. there's a lot of fees that you just don't know about. there's an opportunity to have clarity, and i will certainly champion small business. >> thank you, ben. next, we'll hear from joel. >> even when the economy was booming, our small businesses were in trouble. we have to remember that last year, 500 restaurants closed in san francisco, and why did that happen? it's because city hall was killing small businesses with all of its permits and fees and regulations. so we need to acknowledge that small businesses were dieing before the pandemic because we cannot go back to the way things were. the chronicle reported that san francisco is one of the most difficult cities to open a food truck.
5:27 am
we should be the easiest city to open a food truck, especially during a pandemic. some regulation is necessary to keep people safe, but beyond that, we should let an entrepreneur with a good idea try anything they want. give them a long runway to see if it works, and we need to foster that creativity because we don't know what the great new idea is that's going to save our economy, but we want to make sure that we create the economy where that can happen, and we're not stifling it. >> thank you, joel. next, we'll hear from kenneth. >> hi, thank you. so excellent points already from joel and ben. very consistent. i will tell you this, that the san francisco does not city a small business as a help to the city, they see it as a tax base. the burden to open up a business is ridiculous in this city. it is easier, less regulation to put a satellite in space than it is to open up a basis in san francisco.
5:28 am
that's a bit of a joke. if prop 13, this new amendment, passes on commercial development with commercial debt lessening that burden, some of that is going to be passed onto small businesses. the reality of the day is we've got a lot to change. we've got a lot of regulation to get rid of. the last thing is this city may have changed. look at what's happening downtown. and if the office workers don't even come back to 80 to 90%, the small businesses there are going to get hurt, and it's going to permeate itself through the city. >> thank you, kenneth. and next, we'll move onto question number 11. there is concern that the california environmental act, ceqa, regulations are being used to create significant delays in the revenue of city projects. how will you approach this issue? and we'll start with stephen.
5:29 am
>> okay. so i think that the ceqa may have become a little bit convoluted. it was meant to be protecting the environment and ensuring the well-being of people, but i think it's kind of become a little bit weaponized at times. people use it to stop other businesses and really burden new start-ups from ever happening. so one thing i'd like to see is if there's a way to simplify the processes, if the community has the ability to speak on behalf of their community if there's a new business coming in. i feel like we can do a lot to simplify the process, reduce the time that a business spends
5:30 am
in approval, and really, i think that would go a long way to improving the economy, at least more small business start-ups. >> thank you, stephen. next will be myrna. >> ceqa is a good tool, it's an important tool. not only does it help us protect the environment, it also helps protect our historic resources. it can be cumbersome and lengthens the time that a project takes to completion, but i am a firm believer in democracy, and this is the way our communities have had a say in whether we preserve something or we clean something up before something gets built. it is very important, and i think we need to not shortcut it or cut people out of the process or only let the loudest voices or the people who have the most resources weigh-in. i think we need to keep using it as a way it was intended, as a democratic tool for people to
5:31 am
weigh-in on development. thank you. >> thank you, myrna. next is emily. >> yes. so my approach is generally to listen and lead for our neighborhoods. community stakeholder input is essential in things like the ceqa. we're seeing sort of the negative impacts of environmental unsustainable behaviors with the fires and with the pollution, so ceqa is very important. neighbors must have a say in things that go up in the neighborhood. on the other hand, it shouldn't be the case that a single person can halt a project. so there was a big article in the chronicle. a project should be halted by at least 50 people. i agree with that, and it shouldn't be at least one
5:32 am
person. >> thank you, emily. okay. we'll move onto question number 12. san francisco has a significant deficit in the upcoming budget, which, due to covid-19, will likely persist in the future. what specific policies will you champion to address the likely current and future issues related to budget decisions? and we'll start with vela asca >> but in 2008, i remember being calling into my office's conference room, and i remember my boss asking if anyone wanted to take an unpaid voluntary leave. and i remember being shocked, angry, and pretty scared for about a year as a relatively new lawyer practicing. and i'm not comparing what we went through over a decade ago
5:33 am
to this unprecedented pandemic, but it did serve us in terms of the rainy day funds that we prepared for this particular scenario. i'm looking out the window, and it is absolutely pouring. if this is not a scenario to rely to those rainy day funds, i don't know what is. but we don't have to rely only on those rainy day funds. there are measures on the ballot in november that will enable us during this pandemic to survive. >> thank you, velasco. now we'll hear from ben. >> we're in an economic crisis, certainly in the state of california, and certainly in san francisco. the challenge is the district 7 supervisor has historically been a leader on the budget and really been a long-term thinker.
5:34 am
i think fundamentally in this race, voters are going to make trade offs. because in a city that has a $13.6 billion budget, there are $8.6 billion of asks. i come from a 15-year experience asking for money and getting results for causes. whether that's large scale housing, whether that's building in ports, whether that's access to the internet. i think those skills are absolutely needed. there's a misconception somehow that we're one audit short from better outcomes of homelessness. it is a workman's journey -- >> thank you, ben. next is joel. >> we have to acknowledge that the budget was too big the past decade. it doubled, and nothing got
5:35 am
better. city hall just spends whatever it wants, and it uses residents like it's a nonstop a.t.m. that needs to stop. the hard truth? we need to cut salaries and cut jobs, just like mayor newsom did during the great recession. back then, we had 26,000 employees, which was too many. today, we have 40,000, which is not sustainable. there's never going to be enough revenue for what we need. we talk about rainy day funds. it was irresponsible yesterday or today to use our rainy day funds to give city employees raises. we should be saving so we don't have to lay people off. >> thank you, joel. we'll move onto question number 13. many residents take advantage of open space and nature for recreation and health benefits.
5:36 am
how would you ensure that these resources are maintained not only for district 7 but for all of san franciscans, and we'll start with kenneth. >> at this, thank yhi, thank y. i really wish i could have answered that last question because i've got a lot to say here. certainly, the open space in this city is fantastic. actually, in district 7, it's reasonably limited, so i am a huge fan of the parks. i think the parks are one of the most wonderful things that we have here in the city. golden gate park running from the middle of the city to the ocean, mclaren park being the biggest park in the city over here not too far from the district. what i think we need to do is maintain them. there's been calls to open up some of the nonused areas for development, and i am completely against that.
5:37 am
what i want to say is the twablt to actually access them and for people to feel safe. i think it's one of the biggest issues for mclaren. you can look at it statistically as the biggest park in the city. there are safety concerns in the city that we really don't need to anymore. we need to use those parks and fund them. thank you. >> thank you, kenneth. next, we'll hear from stephen. >> i'm a huge proponent of open space. as a kid, i grew up within walking distance of mount davidson. glen canyon park, one of the few creeks left running through the city. whatever we can do to preserve those treasures, i'm all about it. one of the things that i want to say is some of our open spaces are looking a little bit rough. mount davidson in particular, it's overgrown with eucalyptus, thornberrys, ivy.
5:38 am
i think from a safety toppstan approximate point, you need to open it up and let people access it to enjoy. there's been talk of using our park open space for development. i'm totally against it. there's so little of it left. >> thank you, steven. thank you, myrna. >> i'm a little surprised, steven, that you don't have a lot of open space in district 7. we have a lot of really great space. for the past four years, i've been on the planning commission. i was the president for the last year, and in conjunction with the recreation and parks department, we approved a plan for the maintenance of the wilderness areas, some areas that are open space in the
5:39 am
city. as steven pointed out, we are experiencing some nonnative species that have taken over our parks. like everything else in san francisco, it is contentious, whether we get rid of the eukal eucalyptus, whether we keep it, but it's one of the things that makes san francisco a great place to live. >> thank you, myrna. what would you do to cut down on the amount of emissions caused by fossil fuels? we'll hear from emily. >> thank you. we need to promote public transit. we need to get mouny back where
5:40 am
it once was precovid. since the pandemic, i've become an expert avid cyclist. we need to encourage walking, but i also want to acknowledge that there are some folks in the community would have to rely on -- who have to rely on cars. perhaps there's people with disabilities, seniors, young children. so i don't envision a 100% car free environment, but i would like to see more options. for example, for rental bikes, if there are families that can't afford to rent those bikes, we should subsidize those, really, and encourage bike traffic. we also need to address our eating habits. i'm a big proponent of meatless mondays perhaps in the schools and the city, and to buy local. >> thank you, emily. next. we'll hear from velasca. >> i like the idea of meatless
5:41 am
mondays. i think i'm going to adopt that. we need to get to a point in our city where taking public transportation is the preference in terms of efficiency and the first choice. i mean, i drive my minivan and my two kids around out of necessity, and i don't like this dichotomy where people are blamed for depending on their cars here in district 7. i think we have a long way to go in terms of improving our public infrastructure and transit system. i think there's a world where we can get there. it's going to take a lot of work, but i think in terms of starting with meatless mondays and then taking this as a top priority in terms of improving our infrastructure will be a
5:42 am
long way, but we can get there. >> thank you, velasca. now we'll hear from ben. >> i'm a father, and i have a young daughter that's 15 months old. when i think about our city, i think about our planet, it rightfully causes alarms for people across the planet. if you look at the fires raging across california, people are concerned about that. san francisco has consistently taken a leadership approach on this. i think one of the key elements is actually pushing towards a transit first city, and how that becomes possible is when muni is clean, safe, and reliable. it's very simple. you know, for 15 years, when everyone looked at the ridership surveys, it says clean, safe, and reliable. right now, even before the pandemic hit, people did not feel that way on muni. we have an opportunity right now to be able to change a lot of the things that were thank
5:43 am
about the transportation system and move toward that. it starts with replacing some of the basics, and that's what i'll champion. >> thank you, ben. final question for all candidates. what would be your top three priorities for your term as supervisor, and what is the boldest idea that you think that you will bring to the table? and so this is for all candidates, and we'll start with kenneth. >> great. i really like this question. thank you very much. so -- so -- so accountability. we can talk -- how much time do i have? it's just one minute. so i've got a lot to say. so accountability on the budget. the budget was a joke that we just passed. it's based on data that income is not going to come in if we don't pass all these measures come november. i think we need to hold these supervisors accountable, but of
5:44 am
course they won't be held accountable. the one plan that i would like to see done is every public official in san francisco take mass transit, public transit, for 80% of their work and be fined if they do not. if these public officials do not back public transit, they don't have a willingness to ride that public transit, then they should vote that way when they're in office. i'm all for every elected official taking public transportation for 80% of their work and fined if not. thank you. >> thank you, kenneth. now we'll hear from myrna. >> thank you, dee. actually, the boldest idea that i have is we are going to have a woman as supervisor for district 7. that's pretty he had bold. it would be the first time that that's happened. i also have lots of ideas about housing production. i think that we are remarkably uncreative with how we do this.
5:45 am
the biggest area where i think that we could make progress is in workforce housing. we have a lot of major employers in san francisco that don't have this as part of their business plan. i think folks could, you know, put some of their money into a fund that would be more flexib flexible and more patient than what we could get from wells fargo bank. i think it's an idea that needs infrastructure and capacity, and i intend to push it forward. thank you. >> thank you, myrna. next, we'll hear from velasca. >> it's supremeextremely scary think what our environment's going to look like in the next ten years, and we need to focus on environmental justice if we're going to take care of our city and our environment. i believe that working class families really make this city go, so ensuring that working
5:46 am
class families can afford to live here and earn a living wage is going to be a top priority. but being a public defender, i am proud of my work in terms of criminal justice reform. i think on day one, one of my boldest plans would actually be to write policy that would essentially outline police officers not responding to noncriminal offenses, and i think that would be a first step in terms of really improving our police department but ensuring the safety of our community. >> thank you, velasca. next, we'll hear from emily. >> yes. so modelled after president obama's american recovery and reinvestment act. i would call for a san francisco recovery and reinvestment ordinance. the bold part of this is i would ask my colleagues, the
5:47 am
mayor to set aside political differences and work towards a single goal of getting san francisco back on track, to get businesses reopened, get people back to work. i would call for expanding child care resources, investing in neighborhoods, more foot patrols. but another big idea would be universal free wifi, to have it be government owned but bid out to operations. i wouldn't want the government to run the wifi system, but this universal free wifi could be an engine for new businesses, new connections, new economic activity. >> thank you, emily. and next, we'll hear from ben. >> you know, the boldest thing that i would do is actually deliver. i think all of the things that we care about in san francisco, the fundamental challenge is
5:48 am
the announcement, and then, the day after, nothing seems to go forward at the same pace. and i think what we see in a lot of these debates in city hall is what i like to call policy popcorn, and idea, idea, idea. all the big challenges that we have in san francisco, whether it's homelessness, whether it's tackling corruption in contracting, whether it's pushing back against affordable, it takes experience, and it takes showing up every day. one of the things that i tell everyone is i work for you. i think a lot of times, we have supervisors that are chasing the next announcement, not chasing the end result that's g going to make your life better, so i'm running, and i'm fighting to deliver on that. >> thank you, ben. next, we'll hear from stephen. >> okay. so i've got a couple of, i think, pretty good ideas. well, first of all, i think the three biggest issues that we're facing right now is san
5:49 am
francisco is corruption, homelessness, and crime. so for the corruption part of it, one thing that i want to do which i think is pretty bold is call for term limits. two terms, and you're done forever. we have john avalos and aaron peskin that have served before, and now they're running again. i feel like they've had their time in the sun, sand now it's time to step down and let somebody else run for a little bit. as far as crime goes, i'm going to call out our d.a. i think he's failing as our d.a. it's time we get somebody in there that knows what they're doing and is not afraid to do it. i think we need to have stronger conservators. i'm willing to go to sacramento and lobby and enforce to get it. >> thank you, stephen. and finally, we'll hear from joel. >> we're facing a lot of challenges exacerbated by the
5:50 am
pandemic, but this is an opportunity, and i think we need to get city hall to focus, focus, focus on the basics. less crime, better services. until we get those right, everything else is distraction. i want fiber for all. i'm not talking about the fiber you eat, i'm talking about internet for all. work has changed forever because of the pandemic. we need fiber infrastructure, and it's something basic. i think fiber is the 21st century version of filling potholes. i think the city should lease it out to private enterprise and make money on it, and then make sure that everyone has access to subsidies because this is what's going to save our economy and allow us to be plugged in and open for business. so that's the bold idea.
5:51 am
>> thank you, joel. that concludes our questions for this evening. and now we kpcome to the candidates' closing statements. we'll do the statements in reverse alphabetical order, and we'll start with velasquez. >> i think when it comes down to district 7, it comes down to who do you trust to represent the voices here in district 7, and also, who is going to be strong enough and unafraid to push against the status quo? i am proud to be the only candidate that is supportive of having a navigation center in district 7. i was equally as proud to be a candidate to support supervisor mar's public advocate. i think this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what we're going to see as the corruption unfolds, and more
5:52 am
individuals are indicted. and i also am extremely proud that when i started my campaign, i was the only candidate that objected to the mayor's nominee of the police commission, a prosecutor who wasn't dedicated to criminal justice reform. i am the leader because i am unafraid to take bold action and represent the folks out here in district 7. >> thank you, velasca. >> thank you. >> now we'll hear from steven. >> as long as we're talking status quo, i don't think there's anybody less status quo or business as usual than i am. i'm not afraid to speak truth to power. when i began my campaign, i made one promise to myself. that is always tell the truth and don't hold back, and the response has been tremendous. i started my campaign with myself and my accountant, and
5:53 am
people have come out from all over the city to say, thank you, stephen, for speaking the truth. someone that's not afraid to speak their mind and identify the problems in our city and talk about them honestly and frankly, and that's me. i'm offering a different approach. i'm offering common sense politics. i'm no b.s. i don't have time for political correctness. i've only got time to make good decisions and speak truth to power. thank you for voting for me. >> thank you, stephen. and next we'll hear from myrna. >> four years ago, we had a national election where a guy that convinced millions of american that policy experience and lemgs lay tiff experience were unnecessary in gorcvernin and that has not worked out so well for us. i will tell you that i have
5:54 am
decades of experience in public policy, and i have more than just opinions about the things that really are affecting san franciscans. i can show you programs that i've developed and legislation that i have written, organizations that i have worked on that have produced results for thousands of families, housing projects that have been built and financed, and i think that's what we need. we need someone who has experience, who has relationships, who will be able to do the things that we need for district 7, to drieliver services for our community. i hope you pick me as your number one choice. >> thank you, myrna. next, we'll hear from kenneth. >> hi, thank you very much for having me today. you've heard a lot from all of us, and think any of us would
5:55 am
be fine. i've also heard a lot of platitudes. and it didn't take long to bring up trump. the idea of having business in government is incredibly important. take a look at what people are expecting. rather than solving a business crisis, you want to chase reality. you want someone with a good solid business background that can solve problems. what you have is people who have been receiving government checks for a very long time who want to keep doing so. i hope i get your vote for district 7 supervisor. thank you. >> thank you, kenneth. and next, we'll hear from joel. >> hi. i'm joel engardio.
5:56 am
i've lived in san francisco for 22 years. i was a journalist, and my role was to hold the city accountable, and i'll do the same as supervisor. i think city hall should be treating residents like customers because without them, we don't have a city. kids should be able to attend their neighborhood schools, and entrepreneurs should be able to open a business without facing road blocks. city hall should be focused on the basics and getting the basics right. i have 24 years left on minority gage, so -- mortgage, so i wonder what san francisco is going to look like by the time it's paid off. we need a combination of innovation and common sense. i'm joel engardio, and i would love to have your number one vote. thank you. >> thank you, joel, and next, we'll hear from emily.
5:57 am
>> thank you so much for the opportunity to share my ideas and platform. i served 28 years under five mayors. i was held accountable for every public dollar i spent. i already have relationships with police chief scott, health director colfax. i've been twice elected to will school board. i served as president when the school district put together its long range strategic plan, and i'm so pleased to say that plan is paying off. san francisco had a graduation rate of 89%, exceeding the state rate of 86%, and black graduates exceeded 90% for the first time. i'm supported by assembby nume
5:58 am
officials, and i respectfully ask for your vote. >> thank you, and last, we'll hear from ben. >> my name is ben matranga, and i respectfully ask for your vote. i'm endorsed by public safety leaders like sheriff vickie hennessy, former district 7 supervisor susie loftus. these are going to be a series of difficult decisions over the next four years, and some people aren't going to be happy. you can't fund everything, and what i come to the table with is a life that's been grounded in district 7. i come to the availabtable wite
5:59 am
of delivering products for people that i think creates the best scenario where we can actually move our city forward and recover from covid. thank you. >> thank you, ben. okay. on behalf of myself and the league of women voters of san francisco, our thanks to the candidates for participating. and thanks to each of our attendees for taking the time to inform yourself about your choices on november 3. it's coming right up. please remember to register to vote if you haven't already registered, and please urge others to registered. i just heard today, one in four is still not registered, so we have work to do. if you've changed your name or you've moved, you will need to reregister, so please check that. and if you will be voting by mail this year, please ensure your ballot is dropped off at a polling place or voting center early.
6:00 am
early is the keyword there. if you have any questions about voting, go to our website, thank you so much, all of you, for attending and participating. good evening, and vote. >> it is captioned and sign language interpreted. mayor's disability council -- >> i did not hear. >> generally held on the third friday of every month. please call the mayor's office for disability for further
6:01 am
information or to request accommodates at 415-554-6789, for voice mail or e-mail at the next meeting will be held on friday, november 20th from 1:00 to 4:00. [inaudible] >> also for our council members, we hope that members of the public will take advantage of this calling opportunity to participate remotely. [inaudibl [inaudible] >> if e-mail, it's at
6:02 am you can also watch the cable cast on your television by going to channel 26. when you're ready for your public testimony, please turn your television down so you can follow the prompts on your telephone. you can listen to the meeting and be in sync with the live meeting when you make your comments. to provide your comments, the telephone number is 415-655-0001. when you hear the prompts, please enter the meeting id number. that number is 146-995-8608, press pound twice and you will have joined the proceedings. i am hoping that somebody who is helping us with our tech will running some sort of a banner on
6:03 am
those instructions because i don't know if everybody was prepared to write them down. we're working hard to not leave anyone out of these proceedings. if you are experiencing problems, we do have a person to assist you. their number is 415-554-6789. you can also e-mail there will be plenty of opportunities to provide public comment during the meeting. public comment is limited to three minutes and we will let the participants know when the three minutes have expired. i will be identifying those opportunities for public comment when i go through the agenda, which i am just about to do right now. so, we will have -- let's see.
6:04 am
we will have a presentation from 1:40 to 1:55 from the mayor's office on disability. nicole bohn will be reporting to us on what she's been up to and then we will have a presentation on public transit changes related to covid by muni services, sandra, the mta by aaron and jonathan as well. one presentation will be on essential trip cars and para transit resources. public comment is welcome after that m.t.a. and muni
6:05 am
presentation. then we will follow with the closure of the golden gate park, the j.f.k. and golden gate drive and park and that will be presented by sarah jones and public comment will be welcome as well there and following public comment related to the presentations, there will be even more public comments scheduled from 3:35 to 3:45. so those of you who are interested in participating, please make note of that and i will also announce public comment availability when the presentations have completed. all right, back to the agenda. are you going to do roll call? >> i'll do roll call. >> okay, thank you. >> thank you helen. so when i call your name, if you
6:06 am
are here, please say present. >> helen pelzman, you're here. >> present. >> alex madrid -- okay, alex is present. denise senhaux. i believe denise is going to be on the phone. you may need to unmute yourself from the phone. it may take us all a while to get use to this. >> do we know her phone number at all? >> yeah -- >> i got it. >> sam, i don't think --
6:07 am
[inaudible] >> i can just share it with you. >> i need the number so i can tell who needs to be unmuted. >> i don't know. okay. >> okay, we'll do that. >> i just got a text from denise and she said she's on the call. >> okay, thank you. >> you need to be unmuted? >> no. i'll text her back. >> i'm need her six numbers of her phone numbers to know who to unmute. >> okay, i'm sending you the contacts right now. >> in my e-mail? >> okay, while we're doing that,
6:08 am
tiffany yu. >> present. >> orkid sassouni. >> present. >> helen smolinski. i know helen has been having difficulty getting in so james, when you get a chance, i know you're busy with stuff. can you try to connect with helen by e-mail and find out how to help her? >> helen smolinski? >> yes. >> i'll send her another invite right now. >> she says it's not recognizing her e-mail. the next person is also probably on the phone is kate williams.
6:09 am
>> kate will be participating at 1:30. >> okay, so she's not here now. okay. then we are done with roll call. [inaudible] >> i need to get denise's number to james. just a second. i'm the only one with everyone's contact information. >> i'm sorry everyone. i guess i should just apologize to whomever is participating from the public because this is our first virtual meeting and we're kind of learning as we go. okay. reading an approval of the
6:10 am
agenda. i pretty much read the agenda. i think usually something that's done by the clerk. >> okay. >> why don't you go ahead? >> i'll do it formally and it doesn't hurt to do it more than once. so, just at the beginning, a reminder to all of our guests today to speak slowly to assist our captioner and interpreters. so following the reading and approval of the agenda, there will be open public comment for items that are on today's agenda and within the jurisdiction of m.d.c. we welcome the public's participation during public comment period.
6:11 am
there will be an opportunity for public comment at the beginning and end of the meeting that helen has already gone over, as well as after every major presentation on today's agenda. each comment is limited to three minutes and the council will respond to your comment following the meeting if you provide us with your contact information. you can do that by e-mailing i'll repeat that. put comment feedback in the subject line.
6:12 am
helen has already gone over how to provide comments. i'll do it just one more time. to provide your comments, dial the telephone number 415-655-0001. when you hear the prompt, enter the meeting id: 146-484-5905. then press pound twice and you'll have joined the proceedings as a listener. you'll be prompted when it's your turn to make comments. following public comment there will be a co-chair's report and then a report from the mayor's
6:13 am
office on disability, and then we'll get into the substance of the meeting with a presentation on public transit changes related to covid and the impact on people with disabilities. then there will be a 15 minute break. then there will be another session on the closure of j.f.k. drive in golden gate park, followed by public comment. then there will be another time for general public comment for items not on today's agenda. then a respondent that has come into mdc will take council
6:14 am
member comments and announcements and then we will be adjourned. >> okay. so we are -- we need to ask for an approval of the agenda. who would like to read approval of the agenda? >> second. >> all agreed? probably use our voices, i don't know how i even count people. okay, moving on. i also want to take this time to acknowledge our privacy -- [inaudible] >> he unfortunately had to
6:15 am
resign his position for personal reasons and i have been joined by alex madrid who has rece recently -- just to take steven's place. alex, you can wave your hand or something so people -- there you go. we look forward to working with alex and the council. >> excuse me helen? sorry to interrupt but i believe we're scheduled to take general public comment before the co-chair report. >> oopsie, you're absolutely right. that was my mistake. i apologize. is there someone who would be interested in making a public
6:16 am
statement? >> anyone interested should hit star 3 on their phone. we have one person with their hand raised. i can unmute them. hello caller. >> hi, my name is will. i'm calling on behalf of a non-profit organization that's dedicated for advocating for more accessibility and preventing lawsuits. i really first would like to say i appreciate all the efforts you are making to create this virtual meeting. i realize that it's difficult to get the kinks out and it's really worth the effort and it's
6:17 am
wonderful to have this meeting opportunity available despite the crisis. i today just wanted to throw out a few ideas for potential future discussi discussions of council, with respect to your interest and priorities of course. >> okay, sure. you have three minutes. >> okay, so i will be brief. >> all right. >> so first then, there were news reports yesterday that general motors who has been testing driverless electric vehicles on the streets of san francisco with a safety driver at the wheel and apparently yesterday general motors announced they had been given permission some time this year and san francisco has removed the safety driver. i know that i'm certainly -- we
6:18 am
heard concerns from people who are blind and those with low vision about the onset of driverless vehicles in the city and of course silent electric vehicles are perhaps of even more concern for people with vision difficulties. so, i'm sure there will be much discussion in the city about this announcement, so i wanted to express some concern about how this may play out for citizens with blindness or low vision. second, the city shared spaces program -- you are probably familiar with with the parks and sidewalk dining. those are two programs that have been in place for years and have very strict permit requirements and accessibility requirements. the shared spaces program now
6:19 am
for the crisis has some very good guidelines for accessibility. the issue of enforcement seems to be night and day. there is a lot less compliance, frankly. so we've been looking into ways to encourage better compliance so everyone can take advantage of these shared spaces and i did find that there is a 3-1-1 page which people can submit complaints when they find an accessible outdoor area in the city. apparently that's then being referred to the entertainment commission for investigation and if they are not able to attain accessible compliance, then they can refer the case to the public works or to the mayor's office of disability. so i hope the mayor's office of disability will be in touch with
6:20 am
the entertainment commission team on these cases and you know, we plan to start submitting some of these requests ourselves on the stuff that we're observings and hearing from members about. lastly, measure h is on the ballot. it's designed to sort of streamline permitting for outdoor dining and spaces like that. it seems like an a goal. if it does pass, i hope there is follow up to make sure the enforcement of accessibility doesn't suffer from the streamlining of the process. thank you very much for the opportunity to speak to you and i look forward to listening to the rest of the meeting. thank you. >> yeah, i appreciate your comments. those are all really, really important issues. if you leave your contact information, we will -- i would
6:21 am
really like us to follow up with you before our next scheduled meeting. so, look for us to be reaching out. thank you very much. okay, any other public comments? >> we have more, i'll unmute the next one. >> if -- i would like to make a public comment, can you hear me? >> yep. >> i'm a resident of san francisco and i have a movement disorder, a disability. i have a placard. i really rely on j.f.k. drive, any of the parking spaces on j.f.k. drive to have access to golden gate park. it would be disastrous for me, i wouldn't be able to go to the park unless i could have access to a nearby parking space. so i really object to j.f.k. being closed.
6:22 am
i think that golden gate park should be welcomed to all of our residents, not just the able-bodied on bikes or walking. that's what i have to say. thank you. >> thank you. i really appreciate your comments. i will point out that our agenda -- oops, apologies. that we have a presentation specifically regarding that issue and if there are other participants who are calling for transit-related issues and the closure of j.f.k. and golden gate park, i would ask that you wait until we had those presentations, if that's okay. so, is there anybody else who would like to make a public comment? >> we have two more queued up.
6:23 am
i'll unmute them one at a time. hello caller. you have been unmuted. >> yes, hi. my name is zack. i'm a disability advocate in san francisco. i publish on youtube videos a.d.a. violations that you can find. i don't know where to start with how much this department has failed the disability community, and i mean failed with a capital "f". you canceled all of these meetings or you followed the mayor's direction to cancel all of these meetings without a peep of putting them back in place. on may 12th, you had a public meeting online where members of the public were visually able to attend on video and now you are making us provide a 10-digit password and you didn't announce
6:24 am
how we could get in line for public comment. that virtual town hall was deleted, although i asked for the public record of that meeting. during that meeting, we were told that city bank donated money for p.p.e., those records are requested immediately. they have not been provided to me even though those are public records in the public interest. those funds were not released until july 13th, they were announced by your department with a website that i could not find out how to get the p.p.e. from that website. it was a bunch of advertising on how to donate to the public authority. complete manipulation of our community. additionally, i made requests for grievances. i've been filing with your department back in january of 2020. i believe it was january 31st. those public records have still not been provided to me eight months later.
6:25 am
the deputy director debra cap lan has done an atrocious job in protecting our rights during covid while many of us are sick and dying. this department is not doing their job. they're not following the protocols on their own website for the grievance process and how you're supposed to provide signed resolutions when you advocate on our behalf for an a.d.a. grievance, signed resolutions. there's suppose to be a reconsideration. your job is not just to forward a complaint to a department. your job is to investigate that complaint and to make sure that we have access that is being denied to us. this department is not protecting the disabled. they're not even coming close. i am extremely concerned of this state of affairs. i will be continuing to publish on my website, on youtube, and the newspaper, because i'm also a journalist, everything i can possibly to expose the corruption and the failure of this department to protect our
6:26 am
disabled community during our direst time of need. again my name is zachary, please follow the stuff that i post so that the public can get involved. i received an e-mail from someone trying to attend this meeting and can't get through because of all the accessibility barri barriers. thank you. >> thanks zachary. we are trying our best with accessibility. i know, it's been a struggle. we're doing the best that we can. so, if any of you have been unable, please -- i guess, is there any other option. i'm asking our tech support, are there any other options for them to access the meeting? >> just through your phone or the attendee link. [please stand by.]
6:27 am
>> do we have anymore public comments? >> my name is james. i'm with tenderloin people's congress. i'm not sure if this is time i'm
6:28 am
supposed to have a comment. what i want to talk about is the meeting service to the tenderloin. i know we supposed to be getting the 27 back. most of us who are seniors have arthritis we can barely walk down the hall. we have to walk to get to 27. when are we going to get 31 back? all of my things that i have to do, such as prescription, etcetera, are to the east. 27 is going to the west or to the south. now i'm supposed to say something or do i wait until item 3? i don't have a service that gives me sfgov tv. i don't have anything to go across. i was not able to get in your
6:29 am
meeting. >> i'm terribly sorry. we will be having presentations. this meeting is pretty much dedicated to transit challenges being faced by the disabled community. i would encourage people if they want to comment on that to do so following presentations. you want to comment now, go ahead. that's the way we had hoped this meeting would go. i don't know if we still have callers? >> yes, we have two more. >> hello, this is bob, can you hear me now? >> yes. >> finally. i've been waiting in my speaker and has been open and somebody
6:30 am
else always speaks ahead of me. you folks at m.d.c. need to practice this. those on the line waiting don't know who's next. my phone was told i'm open to speak and somebody else speaks. that's a problem on your end. i was the second person to receive an award at the beacon of light from an earlier version the disability council when gavin newsom was the mayor i received reward from caltrans from the metropolitan transportation commission and even received word from caltran. i got an accomplished record. the mayor's disability councilmember need to get involved outside waiting for
6:31 am
m.d.c. meeting. m.t.a. seems to be using accountant approach. they look at numbers. how many people does this serve. it ignores the right and priority of people of disabilities. one example i'll state, the current head of m.t.a. when a private citizen suggested let's cut off the j-line at market and church. as a private citizen, prior to covid, now that seems to be like a miraculous response to save time for people wanting to go downtown. what's ignored this means people with disability get off at church and market, go uphill, cross market then go uphill market to the elevator.nam elevn
6:32 am
church street station. that's a lot of extra time. m.t.a. and the staff are looking at this from a numbers viewpoint. not from a right viewpoint, not from the needs those who most need m.t.a. i'm suggesting m.d.c. members really look at what is your responsibility. years ago the san francisco civil grand jury did a report how that version of the mayor disability council never forward any policy or recommendation, mayor brown or newsom. you need not to be passive. you need to come up and say what's going on and take it directly to the mayor. please. i will comment later on other specific issues. i'm saying, people with
6:33 am
disabilities, whether on pair trparatransit, you need to be actively involve the and not pass everily sitting there. you got to walk out your caller system. nobody knows who's priority. we get told lines are open and go ahead. suddenly somebody else speaks. that's not professional. thank you. >> thank you, bob. our next caller? >> hi. i'm a former m.d.c. councilmember, probably close to almost six years ago. i'm also serving at motown moto
6:34 am
and east bay paratransit. i'm saying hi and it's been a long time that i seen the councilmembers and just kind of looking forward to the presentations regarding san francisco transportation during this pandemic. thank you. >> thank you. welcome back, i guess. do i have any mr. speakers or . thank you to all the public comments. you will have time to address the transit issues a little bit later on this afternoon. right now we're going into co-chair report. i'm going to be speaking on behalf of the work that myself
6:35 am
and steven hermann did over the past six months. one of the highlights we designated july as disability pride month. we didn't, actually, we co-wrote a proclamation and the mayor designated july as disability pride month. tiffany yu who's a councilmember, did lot of work on this. even know it didn't end. the event we hoped because of covid, it's still in that significant. it's been an established period of time to address or hopefully in the future will be addressing issues that of critical concern to the disability community. with in proclamation, we also put in a request which we are hoping will be confirmed to have
6:36 am
a roundtable meeting with members from senior staff in city hall. your comments today about the needs of disabled and the fact that we need to be more engaged and we need to get greater awareness, particularly in city hall, we are trying to get that done. the effort has been made on the m.d.c. side and we are hoping that we will hear back from their office soon. in addition, we have presentations at the beginning of the year, in february from mohdc with regards to subsidized housing for disabled residents in san francisco. that presentation was done by
6:37 am
maria benjamin, the council had quite a number of comments and frankly issues relate to that presentation. we submitted a number of questions to mohdc and have followed up. we have not received any comment back from them but we are continuing to fry to get their attention and get back to us. we also have presentation regarding employment opportunities for people with disabilities and our members of our council and subcommittees on employment are still continuing to pursue that. myself and stephen as members of vice cochairs of m.d.c., also participated in many, weekly and
6:38 am
biweekly, d.a.a. emergency operations, activities and calls and try to make sure that the voice of the disabled -- members of the disabled community are registering regarding efforts following in the middle of covid. that is pretty much it. right now, we are going on to a report from nicole bohn on the mayor's office on disability. take it away, nicole?
6:39 am
anybody see nicole? there you are. >> nicole was having trouble hearing. do you need to speak from the phone? do we need to recognize your phone nicole and unmute the phone call? >> i'm seeing chat messages from nicole. she's on the phone.
6:40 am
[indiscernible] we'll get this solved in just a minute. james, were you able to get her on the phone?
6:41 am
>> she said i will come back. that's the message from nicole. which we will do. this will be very timely. our next information item or next presentation will be from the muni core services by sandra padilla m.t.a. and on essential part and paratransit by erin mcauliff and jonathan cheng from the m.t.a. we will now hear from them. hopefully they will be able to get on the platform.
6:42 am
>> good afternoon, this is erin. >> are you just on the phone or do have a video access? >> i have video access. >> i wanted to remind the councilmembers that for each presentation, you are limited to two questions. thanks.
6:43 am
i see sandra. i can't hear sandra. this is tiffany, nicole was wondering if she can have her phone number unmuted so they can provide the report? >> what are the first three number of her phone number? first six numbers.
6:44 am
>> 415-7224 >> i thought we were moving on and hearing presentation from m.t.a. and muni and we were going to get nicole afterwards. [indiscernible] >> i'm going to move that we go ahead to our presentations and we'll wait for nicole to present the m.o.d. report following the muni and m.t.a. presentation. so erin and sandra, are you able to access our platform?
6:45 am
i can see erin, hi. >> hi. >> this is jonathan, can you hear me? >> we can hear you. i can't see you. your video is on. hold on, i guess we're waiting for sandra to start. >> i was thinking maybe i can do my presentation and when sandra able to connect -- >> you and erin -- [indiscernible]


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on