Mission District cultural district could expand beyond 24th Street

By Laura Waxmann : sfexaminer – excerpt

Currently the cultural district, which was established in 2014 to counteract the displacement and gentrification of a once predominantly Latino community, stretches loosely from Potrero Avenue to Bartlett Street and from to Cesar Chavez Avenue to 22nd Street.

The exact boundaries of a potentially expanded district have yet to be drawn. A community meeting is scheduled for Thursday to gather feedback from the public and gauge the need for the expansion...(more)

Sorry I missed this story earlier. This is an important effort on the part of all of our Mission residents and businesses as we work to protect our lifestyles. The Mission is at risk of becoming the next Wienerville if we don’t stand up to the money machine that is grinding our way. More about Wiernville: https://sfceqa.wordpress.com/2019/03/09/welcome-to-wienerville/

An ethics pledge for the district attorney race

By Larry Bush : 48hills – excerpt

Two candidates agree not to take money from DA Office employees, bail bonds companies or corporate PACs. It’s a start.

Two candidates for district attorney, Chesa Boudin and Leif Dautch, have created an ethics pledge for the campaign, and it takes us further toward making the city’s chief law enforcement office less susceptible to the influence of pay-to-play politics that can affect everything from who gets hired, who raises money for DA candidates, and special interest corporate money… (more)

Why SF Restaurants Are Suffocating

By Azhar Hashem : thebolditalic – excerpt

What I witnessed during my two years in the industry

One Saturday in December of last year, six months before we closed our beloved restaurant, Tawla, we said goodbye to our lead line cook — one of the last three people left from our original 25-person team when we opened in the Mission two years prior….

I quickly learned that no matter the amount of knowledge or preparation, you can’t fight the desperate realities of San Francisco’s restaurant market today.

This has become almost a cliche story in San Francisco’s food industry. When I set out to open a restaurant in the city in 2016, I intended to successfully employ what I had learned from an MBA and more than a decade of launching and managing successful businesses for Google and other tech companies. But I quickly learned that no matter the amount of knowledge or preparation, you can’t fight the desperate realities of San Francisco’s restaurant market today…(more)

As many of us have discovered who were former fans, the quality of food and service has gone down hill. This is a well-documented explanation of what is wrong with the restaurant industry in San Francisco. Some choice points made by the author that we have been observing for some time:

  • Astronomical turnover pushes labor costs even higher and Turnovers are expensive. Workers have little incentive to work and quality of work is down due to the stress on the workers being priced out of the city…
  • What was once a celebrated culinary city boasting creativity and innovation is no longer so creative or innovative. The constant turnover makes it too hard to train new staff so everyone has the same menu…
  • When it comes down to it, diners today don’t care. Really. The discerning diners have left the city alone with the good cooks. The have been replaced by new fast-paced customer with no..
  • Today’s San Francisco pretends to be a liberal city, but when it comes to having a real impact on people who work in small businesses, the majority are not willing to put their money where their mouth is. Today’s SF is in love with the idea of “local,” “small business” and “economic diversity.” But few are doing the work to support those ideas…

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, employing more than half of our workforce, then what impact do these challenges have on the labor economy and this city that we love, economically and culturally, as we move into the future?

I was asked recently, “If you could do it all over again, would you?” Given the circumstances, where the core principles behind what I had hoped to accomplish are in question, I don’t know if this would have been an endeavor I could comfortably and confidently pursue again — at least in San Francisco…. (more)

I recently heard from a friend who is a fan of New York and other sophisticated “world-class” cities that San Francisco claims to emulate. She is disappointed with the loss of the culture and the diversity she expected more of, not less, as San Francisco rushes into a new era of international fame and fortune. Some of us see the writing on the wall before others, but we are all condemned to deal with the future that is barrelling down on us.

Please share this article at the source with your discerning friends and any politicians you know who may care enough to turn this food desert around. Otherwise, book some time in many of the new restaurants springing up in the suburbs that the cooks are moving into. Better do it fast, as the Governor plans to sue the communities fighting gentrifying density. You may soon be forced to leave the state for a tasty meal if Senator Wiener’s SB 50 becomes law.

I am going to say that the lack of imagination and experimentation is also a product of a society that values money and wealth over quality and competence. There is no room to grow or improve in a cultural and spiritual vacuum.

 

 

 

SF Supervisor Ronen tries to reassure Mission tenants facing eviction over zoning

: sfchronicle – excerpt

San Francisco Supervisor Hillary Ronen sought to reassure 50 apprehensive entrepreneurs Friday that she was doing her best to ensure they wouldn’t be forced out of the offices they’re renting inside ActivSpace, a multiuse building on 18th Street in the Mission District.

Potentially hundreds of ActivSpace tenants practicing a broad range of trades — everything from marriage counselors to hair stylists to tattoo artists — could be at risk of eviction because their businesses are out of step with the building’s zoning.

ActivSpace is zoned for production, distribution and repair work, considered “light industrial” activities and known as PDR. The tenants are concerned that they’re technically operating illegal businesses and would be forced to vacate…(more)

This explains why hundreds of artists have left the Mission.

Supes close to deal on budget ‘windfall’

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Mar offers plan to fund teacher raises, and it appears the progressive supes are going along, setting up a confrontation with the mayor.

With a hearing on Mayor London Breed’s proposal to spend most of the city’s education-money windfall on homeless services set for tomorrow, there is growing consensus among progressives on the board that some of that money should go to the school district.

Sources tell me that meetings with educators over the past two days have been productive and that Breed’s proposal will either be amended in committee or replaced with a new plan…

“Voters made it clear that they want to give teachers a raise, fund supportive housing, and early education, and we can and should respect the will of the voters. With this amendment, we can fund the goals of June’s propositions C and G, as well as November’s proposition C, all of which I strongly supported” Mar said in a press release…

The money comes from an excess in property-tax collections beyond what the state mandates much go to public education. It has been described as a one-time windfall, but this insightful piece by Joe Eskenazi at Mission Local suggests that the city may be taking in an additional $200 million or more every year for several years to come… (more)

 

Walton wants tech, healthcare to hire more SF residents

By : sfexaminer – excerpt

One of San Francisco’s newest supervisors said Tuesday he plans to introduce legislation to expand local hiring requirements to businesses in technology, healthcare and other sectors.

The City has required since March 2011 that builders of public construction projects hire a certain percentage of their workers from San Francisco. The program, commonly referred to simply as local hire, is largely celebrated for connecting those most in need to well-paying jobs.

Now Supervisor Shamann Walton has asked the City Attorney to draft legislation that would extend that requirement to other job sectors, like technology and healthcare.

Walton told the San Francisco Examiner in a text message that he is still working out the details. There are legal challenges to telling private businesses who they must hire, but Walton said the requirements could come through contracts that tech companies and hospitals need to have with city government. He will also explore whether just having a city business license would be sufficient for the city to require local hire… (more)

Why hire people from outside the area that need new housing when you can hire residents who are already housed? I like this thinking.

School officials, incoming supes want SF to spend windfall on teacher raises

By Jill Tucker, Trisha Thadani, Dominic Fracassa : sfchronicle – excerpt

All of a sudden, San Francisco has an extra $181 million to spend. It comes from excess education funds, and some officials hope that’s exactly how it will be spent: on education. Specifically, teacher pay raises.

So far, proposals at City Hall exclude using the money for schools, with Mayor London Breed pushing to fund homelessness initiatives. The Board of Supervisors’ three new, incoming members, however, say extra funding for schools will be a priority for them.

The windfall comes as the school district is facing a legal challenge to a new parcel tax that would raise $50 million annually, most of it for a teacher pay raise. School officials say that means they don’t have the expected funding to cover the 7 percent teacher pay hike. So, the windfall suddenly becomes a potential solution… (more)