Sights and Sounds in the Neighborhood

DHIC members John O’Duinn and Jennifer Bury created this great piece of vertical “sidewalk art” to celebrate our combined efforts to Flatten the Curve and beat the Corona Virus.
Hans Kolbe and socially distanced musician friends playing cellos, violin, and accordion al fresco.
Posted in Newsletter | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Safe Sleeping Sites Instead of Street Sleeping

We did it!! On Tuesday, April 28, the Board of Supervisors and the Board of Education both unanimously voted to support “Safe Sleeping Sites” as an alternative to tent camping on the streets. These approvals cleared the way for detailed planning and implementation of an off-street “Safe Sleeping Site” at Everett Middle School’s parking lot. And allow for other off-street sites at unused parking lots or similar facilities – three to four other sites are rumored to be announced soon.

Thanks to everyone who helped to get a UNANIMOUS vote by each of these boards.

Next steps – several agencies need to get the specifics worked out and set up the operation at Everett Middle School (EMS). A top priority: talking with neighbors who live adjacent to EMS and getting broader input from the broader neighborhood.

To hear more, attend Supervisor Rafael Mandelman’s weekly “Zoomside Chat” this Friday, May 15, at 2 pm. The topic is Safe Sleeping Sites with a guest and lots of Q&A. Use this link to join the Zoom (and all subsequent weekly chats.)

Posted in Newsletter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ALERT: State Senate Trying to Rush Through Housing Bills

In a desperate attempt to pass upzoning and to legislate state mandates that override local planning and land use decisions, Senator Wiener and other state legislators have introduced 17 housing bills. Owing to the COVID-19 stay-in-place, this session of the 2019-20 state legislature is only two months long. Wiener and his special interests plan to push these and other radical bills through the legislature with limited public hearings. This truncated process allows for the few to prevail over the majority of our legislators.

Next week (May 18) the Senate will be hearing three bills which have a significant negative impact on San Francisco. Please email the State Senate to voice your opinion on (see link below for sample emails and addresses):

Senate Bill 902 (sponsor: Wiener): Sold as “a lighter touch on SB 50” (defeated in January), it eliminates single family zoning and mandates four-plexes for San Francisco. Then it allows local governments to zone for up to ten units of housing on a lot based on adjacency to “jobs-rich,” “transit-rich” or an “urban infill area.” All of San Francisco could be subject to ten-unit upzoning. KQED’s headline for their March 2020 report revealed SB 902’s real agenda: “Sen. Wiener Wants to Abolish Single-Family-Only Neighborhoods in California.”

Senate Bill 1085 (sponsor: Skinner): This bill destroys the State Density Bonus (SDB) law’s (enacted in 2018) elements that incentivize affordable housing construction.  Under the current law, projects of five or more units can receive additional height and other concessions or allowances in return for including much-needed affordable housing in the proposed project. SB 1085 allows additional density for any project of TWO or more units – without requiring affordable housing units. It also waters down the SDB by allowing projects to include only moderate income housing – instead of all levels of affordable housing. The State Density Bonus has successfully enabled more affordable housing in projects in San Francisco. Why gut this program when it’s working?

Senate Bill 1410 (sponsor: Gonzalez): This bill amends the Housing Accountability Act (HAA enacted in 1982) which was just amended last year to “streamline” the housing process.  This bill adds an appeals board to the Housing & Community Development Department. We already have an appeals process which is working. What problem are we trying to solve? Why is the HAA yet again being revised to add yet another layer of review to the decision making/appeals process? SB 1410 clearly aims to take over the local and judicial decision-making process and move it to Sacramento where political and special interest groups have clout.

Please take action now. Email key state legislators now to register your opposition to these three housing bills (the worst bills of the 17).

Click here for the Senate bills’ template emails + instructions for submitting letters.

Email today; your opposition must be received one week before hearings to be in the “official” tally and in their packets. (Senate begins hearings the week of May 18.)

In addition to a plethora individual bills in the Senate and in the Assembly, State Senate President Toni Atkins (D- San Diego) is publicly committed to passing a “housing production” bill this session. She’s convened a committee of State Senators to produce an “omnibus” housing bill in the next few weeks. Combining elements of many bills, this mega-bill will have more sweeping and long-term impacts on the City and the State. We will keep you posted on this omnibus legislation along with key bills as the legislative process continues.

Why are our legislators introducing these radical bills at a time when our State needs to respond to the more devastating challenges of COVID-19? In California, the virus is not yet under control and to date has resulted in over 64,000 infections and 2700+ deaths.  And over three million workers are unemployed, and many more need assistance. Our elected leaders and experts predict that COVID-19 will have an enormous impact on the State’s economy, budgets, transit, and all of our lives. Please tell our legislators: these bills must not be rushed through now.

For your reference, the bills are in this folder. Thank you!

Posted in Newsletter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Information on Housing Bills to be Voted on on May 18, 2020

Senate Bill 902 (sponsor: Scott Wiener): Sold as “a lighter touch on SB 50” (defeated in January), it eliminates single family zoning and mandates four-plexes for San Francisco. Then it allows local governments to zone for up to ten units of housing on a lot based on adjacency to “jobs-rich,” “transit-rich” or an “urban infill area.” All of San Francisco could be subject to ten-unit upzoning. KQED’s headline for their March 2020 report revealed SB 902’s real agenda: “Sen. Wiener Wants to Abolish Single-Family-Only Neighborhoods in California.”

Senate Bill 1085 (sponsor: Nancy Skinner): This bill destroys the State Density Bonus (SDB) law’s (enacted in 2018) elements that incentivize affordable housing construction. Under the current law, projects of five or more units can receive additional height and other concessions or allowances in return for including much-needed affordable housing in the proposed project. SB 1085 allows additional density for any project of TWO or more units – without requiring affordable housing units. It also waters down the SDB by allowing projects to include only moderate income housing – instead of all levels of affordable housing. The State Density Bonus has successfully enabled more affordable housing in projects in San Francisco. Why gut this program when it’s working?

Senate Bill 1410 (sponsor: Lena A. Gonzalez): This bill amends the Housing Accountability Act (HAA enacted in 1982) which was just amended last year to “streamline” the housing process. This bill adds an appeals board to the Housing & Community Development Department. We already have an appeals process which is working. What problem are we trying to solve? Why is the HAA yet again being revised to add yet another layer of review to the decision making/appeals process? SB 1410 clearly aims to take over the local and judicial decision-making process and move it to Sacramento where political and special interest groups have clout.

Please take action now. Email key state legislators now to register your opposition to these three housing bills (the worst bills of the 17).

Click here for the Senate bills’ template emails + instructions for submitting letters.

Posted in Newsletter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sample E-mail – Board of Education

To Members of the San Francisco Board of Education:

I urge you to vote yes on the “Safe Sleeping Sites” Resolution No. 204-28A1 (In Support of Utilizing School District Property in Conjunction with Citywide Plan to Establish Safe Sleeping Sites for Unsheltered People) introduced by Board members Mark Lopez and Gabriela Lopez and on the Tuesday, April 28 agenda. 

To protect against the spread of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control advise that tents need to be socially distanced and that people have nearby access to handwashing and other sanitation services.  

Safe Sleeping Sites will help get people who are sleeping unsafely into safer arrangements quickly.  We have empty school board property in neighborhoods where tent encampments are already occurring.  We need to use these empty spaces to help keep people safe.

Please support Safe Sleeping Sites.  Thank you!

[Your Name +  Address]

The Board of Education members’ emails:  

marksanchez@sfusd.edu,

GabrielaLopez@sfusd.edu,

AlisonMCollins@sfusd.edu,

JennyLam@sfusd.edu,

StevonCook@sfusd.edu,

FaauugaMoliga@sfusd.edu,

RachelNorton@sfusd.edu,

Posted in Newsletter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ACTION REQUIRED! E-mail the Board of Education re: “Safe Sleeping Sites” NOW!

A big thank you to everyone who’s e-mailed the Board of Supervisors (BOS) and the Board of Education members to ask for a “yes” to the “Safe Sleeping Site” proposal.  

We’ve overachieved with the BOS!!  Just heard from Supervisor Mandelman’s office:  The momentum is growing.  Supervisors are getting on board.  Stop e-mailing them.  

Now the Board of Ed approval is key! The Board of Education vote at their Tuesday meeting will determine whether the Everett Middle School (EMS) parking lot can be used as a “safe sleeping site.”   If they do not approve the resolution (Agenda item L-3), then the Safe Sleeping Site will be on hold.    

Take Critical Action April 27 & 28

E-mail the Board of Education members urging them to approve the use of Everett as a safe sleeping site.  Click HERE for sample e-mail and addresses.

Give public comment at the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, April 28. (Per Board staff, the “Safe Sleeping Sites” resolution will be heard at 6 pm or later.) The Resolution is Agenda Item L-3.  The meeting is remote. The Board uses Zoom conferencing.  You can join via video conferencing or via phone. Click HERE for detailed instructions.

Media coverage:  The local Fox affiliate is producing a report on Safe Sleeping Sites; videoing at Everett Middle School today.  Watch tonight (April 27) on KTVU-2 or other local Fox stations. 

Finally, forward this message to your friends and network groups.  Numbers count. Thank you!

Posted in Newsletter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let’s Support “Safe Sleeping Sites”

Since January DHIC has been working with other D8 community groups to end street camping in our neighborhoods. This is an urgent request to support an alternative to street sleeping: Safe Sleeping Sites.

Supervisors Mandelman (D8) and Preston (D5) are co-sponsoring a resolution urging the City to establish “Safe Sleeping Sites.” The Board of Supervisors will vote on this next Tuesday, April 28 Supervisor Mandelman is very close to obtaining the parking lot at Everett Middle School for the first “Safe Sleeping Site.” We need your help to get this alternative to sleeping on the streets implemented. Our Supervisors and Mayor need to hear from neighbors that we want this faster & more scalable alternative to sleeping on our streets – during the pandemic and beyond.

Please email them now. If you support the alternative of having tents in “safe sleeping sites” vs the sidewalks, please email the Board of Supervisors (BOS) and Mayor now. The supervisors and mayor need to hear from us before the Tuesday 2pm BOS meeting.

Forward this email to your friends and network groups. Numbers count!

Posted in Newsletter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Please Give Public Comment at April 28 BOS Meeting

Please give public comment during the Board of Supervisors’ meeting (2pm Tuesday, April 28).

The meeting is remote. Comments on this resolution will be heard at the start of the meeting. Here are instructions on how to watch, listen and comment:

Posted in Newsletter | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Media Coverage of Safe Sleeping Sites

San Francisco Chronicle: Will San Francisco Embrace “Safe” Tent Encampment Sites?

Mission Local: School Board President Urges SFUSD to Host Tent Camp

San Francisco Public Press: Supervisor Pushes for Socially Distanced Homeless Tent Camps

Posted in Newsletter | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Better Place for Tents

Around the City during this health emergency, clusters of homeless people are sleeping outside in tents. This is not safe, healthy, or compassionate.

The Centers for Disease Control advise that tents need to be properly socially distanced and that people need to have nearby access to hand washing and other sanitation services to protect against the spread of COVID-19. This isn’t happening in encampments in our neighborhoods and that makes everyone less safe. Individual hotel rooms for homeless individuals should be the goal. However, we need to use every tool we have until that can happen. Safe Sleeping Sites will help get people who are sleeping unsafely into safer arrangements quickly. Right now there are empty parking lots around the City in neighborhoods where tent encampments are already occurring. We should be using these empty spaces to help keep people safe.

In D8, Supv. Mandelman is working to get City and Board of Education support to open up Everett Middle School’s (EMS) parking lot/playground (approx 50K sq feet) as a “safe sleeping site.” If ok’d, the site would be prioritized for about 30-40 people camping on sidewalks in the Castro/Dolores Park areas. It comes with sanitation, 24/7 staffing, meals, etc. It will quickly provide those sleeping on the streets with safe distancing and sanitation, and free up sidewalks for walking. EMS will not be permanent (closing once school is back in session.) However, as a pilot it would demonstrate whether a “regulated” off-street sleeping site could be successful long term in another location (for example, the properties that our Governor has offered.)

In D5, Supv. Preston is considering Kezar and other locations for a similar “safe sleeping site.”

Posted in Newsletter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment