You've probably noticed over the past week that Muni's light rail system has been functioning even worse than normal. The fundamental problem with the light rail system is that we don't have enough vehicles. Muni didn't order enough in the 1990s, and because the light rail vehicles (LRVs) have serious defects and are now old, they break down too much, with few if any replacement vehicles available. This week saw a higher than normal failure rate, including mechanical failures and accidents, in addition to the Giants playing at home all week.
During our ongoing drought, we need to ensure we are effectively managing our limited water supply. We also need to look at possible legislative solutions that we can undertake as a city to improve how we conserve and use water, such as requiring separate water meters in new buildings, instead of the current situation where multiple units rely on a single water meter and thus have no idea of individual water usage. To address these two issues -- water usage practices and legislative solutions -- I've called for a hearing at the Board of Supervisors, which will take place in September.
The Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday to place my Population-Based Transit Funding Charter Amendment on the ballot for this November. This Charter amendment will tie MTA funding levels so that it increases with as our population grows. To learn more about measure, click on the links below.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors officially voted to place a two penny per ounce tax to fund health, nutrition and physical activity programs on the ballot for November's election. You can learn more about the proposal by clicking the links below.
The Soda Tax moved one step closer to being placed on the ballot when the Budget and Finance Committee of the Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to recommend this to the Full Board for a vote next Tuesday. This important public health measure will place a two penny per ounce tax on all sodas and sugary beverags to fund health, nutrition and active recreation programs in our schools, parks and communities. I look forward to getting this measure onto the ballot.
The Rules Committee voted to move my charter amendment to increase Muni funding to the full Board of Supervisors. The measure will be voted on Tuesday, when the Board can decide to put this important funding mechanism on the ballot for the November election. For years we have chronically underfunded Muni. This amendment will begin to address this by tying Muni funding to population growth, so that as our city grows, we can keep pace with the level of service we need.
Current law bans gay and bisexual men from donating blood, which is a discriminatory policy that assumes all gay men have HIV. We need to change this law. I applaud and support the National Gay Blood Drive, which is starting a campaign to pressure the FDA to repeal this ban. I've introduced a resolution calling on the federal government to end this band which the Board of Supervisors will vote on soon.
Often our Municipal Code contains outdated and restrictive provisions that might have made sense in one era, but are no longer useful and can hinder how our city works. I've addressed this previously in legislation, and today I joined Supervisor London Breed to introduce legislation to fix some outdated provisions in the police code regarding arcade games. By fixing this code, we can improve flexibility for our small businesses to provide entertainment to customers and improve their economic health.
As a member of the Budget and Finance Committee, I'm proud that we the committee finalized the two year budget last night. Included in this budget were several of my key priorities, including funding for additional park patrol officers, a transit station cleaning crew, and tree care workers. I also worked to ensure enhanced funding for Animal Care & Control and other top priorities. I want to thank Budget Chair Supervisor Mark Farrell who once again did a great job shepherding the budget through this process.
Today, Supervisor London Breed and I introduced legislation at the Board of Supervisors to strengthen public power in San Francisco by granting the SF Public Utilities Commission the right of first refusal to sell power, at retail, to new public and private projects in San Francisco. This will expand the PUC's customer base, which will provide more money for the almost $900 million in capital need, including streetlight infrastructure need.