Want More and Healthier Trees in San Francisco? Let’s Invest in Our Urban Forest

By Scott Wiener

Trees matter. Whether in urban settings, rural areas, or remote wilderness in the Sierras or Brazil, trees are essential to our environment, economy, and quality of life. Trees are our world’s lungs, absorbing carbon dioxide, emitting oxygen, and reducing drought and climate change. They reduce erosion and provide habitat for all manner of birds, insects, and other animals. They provide shade and cooling in a warming world. Without them, eco-systems suffer, leading to negative health and economic impacts.

While urban forests are not in the same ecological league as the vast and threatened boreal forests to the north and rain forests to the south, they matter. Having adequate and healthy trees in a community makes positive contributions in all sorts of ways. Indeed, recent studies have shown that communities with more trees and other greenery are healthier, calmer, and more productive.

You can read my full post here.


Saving San Francisco Bay Today

First published by Supervisor Wiener on Huffington Post on 11/12/15

San Francisco Bay is a global treasure. Beyond its famous bridges and waterfront, the Bay is a rich ecosystem in the midst of the fourth largest metropolitan region in the nation. It is the largest estuary on the West Coast of North or South America, the largest salmon producing system south of the Columbia River and the largest stopping point for migratory shorebirds south of Alaska.

The Bay is the defining feature of the region. It is the reason San Francisco and Fisherman's Wharf were founded. It creates our weather and some of our greatest recreational opportunities. It supports our tourism industry, regional economy, and quality of life. It is why so many residents, employers, and visitors recognize that this is a special place where a healthy environment and economy go hand in hand.

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Mandating Condoms In Porn Is Bad for Public Health

By Scott Wiener

A few days ago, a statewide ballot measure requiring that adult film actors wear condoms qualified for the 2016 ballot. While perhaps superficially appealing, this measure is terrible for public health, and we need to defeat it. It’s a gimmick measure that has no support in the HIV advocacy community other than from its sponsoring organization, the Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which also opposed and advocated against pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), perhaps the most powerful HIV preventative in existence.

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Golden Gate National Recreation Area dog plan goes too far

First published by Supervisor Wiener in the San Francisco Chronicle on 11/2/15

Dog lovers have long enjoyed walking their dogs off leash on lands managed by the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, including Crissy Field and Ocean Beach, as well as properties in two other counties. While the federal recreation area does a lot of incredible work stewarding these important lands, its proposed dog plan goes too far.

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area is not a national park and is specifically defined by Congress as an urban recreation area — an area to provide recreation, including dog-walking. A tiny percentage of its lands currently allows dogs.

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San Francisco Should Always Have a Subway Under Construction

By Scott Wiener

A couple of years ago, I was with my friend Adam Cohn when he made this simple yet important declaration — “San Francisco should always have a subway under construction.” My first reaction was to think of every possible objection to the concept — too expensive, too disruptive, too controversial, too many difficulties siting subway stations and determining alignments. But, I quickly realized that the statement was both insightful and correct.

San Francisco is experiencing unprecedented growth. The city has 200,000 more people than in the early 1980s and 100,000 more than in the early 2000s. We are growing by about 10,000 people a year and are projected to add another 150,000 residents by 2040. We see the results of this growth on our streets every day, with more and more auto congestion and a harder time for our extensive bus network navigating the streets and meeting schedules. Indeed, Muni buses travel at the slowest average speed of any urban bus system in the country, at just over eight miles per hour on average.

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Helping the Homeless Doesn’t Mean Anything Goes on San Francisco’s Streets

By Scott Wiener

Homelessness and street behavior are eternal issues in San Francisco, on par with Muni’s ups and downs and the perpetual and real anxiety around housing costs. I use the terms “homeless” and “street behavior” separately because, while there’s overlap, they aren’t the same thing. We see plenty of awful street behavior by people who aren’t homeless, and there are many homeless people we never, ever see on our streets, who don’t cause problems for anyone, and who would never engage in the anti-social street behavior so common in our city. It’s important not to broad-brush or stereotype homeless people and to instead focus on providing people with the support they need to succeed while at the same time having zero tolerance for awful behavior by some people — whether or not they are homeless — on our streets.

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Update: I was recently on KQED's Forum where the discussion continued. You can listen to the conversation here.


Let’s Focus Traffic Enforcement on Dangerous Behaviors, Not Minor Bike Violations

By Scott Wiener

Recently, the San Francisco Police Department began focused bike enforcement along the “Wiggle,” a popular and important bike route connecting the Panhandle to Market Street. Cyclists have been cited for a variety of infractions and particularly for failing to obey stop signs. This focused enforcement has caused significant controversy, including a protest during which a large number of cyclists came to complete stops at all intersections, leading to significant traffic snarls.

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What I Learned During the 22-Day Muni Challenge

By Scott Wiener

During the month of June, the SF Transit Riders challenged San Francisco's elected leaders to ride Muni every day as part of the 22-Day Muni Challenge. As a daily Muni rider for 18 years, I've long experienced the ups and downs of our city's transportation system. I recently wrote a piece on Medium about what I learned during this challenge.


With rejection of Mission moratorium, let’s move forward with solutions

Op-Ed Printed in the San Francisco Examiner June 3, 2015

By Scott Wiener

On Tuesday night, the Board of Supervisors rejected a moratorium on new housing in the Mission. This contentious issue arose from the very real housing crisis facing San Francisco. Too many people are losing their housing. Too many people are being forced from The City. And, we are at risk of losing our history of welcoming new residents of all backgrounds to make lives in our city. This crisis requires bold and aggressive actions in our approach to housing in San Francisco.

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More Affordable Housing — Not a Housing Moratorium — Is What We Need in San Francisco

Published on Medium.com on May 19th, 2015

By Scott Wiener

Recently, five of my colleagues on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors proposed a moratorium on privately produced housing in the Mission District, as a response to the undeniable housing crisis confronting our entire city and impacting the Mission with particular intensity. Under the moratorium, no housing development of 5 units or more would be permitted. The only exception would be developments with 100% below market rate subsidized units. Even projects in which half the units are affordable to low or moderate income residents would be banned.

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