Securing Streetlight Funding

streetlightbayview-300x199.jpgThis month, I reached an agreement (link is external) with the Mayor's Office and the Public Utilities Commission to secure significantly more funding for the large and neglected capital needs of our deteriorating streetlight system. For too many years, City Hall has allowed our streetlights to deteriorate and accumulate huge deferred maintenance.  As a result, streetlights frequently fail, which undermines public safety and neighborhood quality of light. The PUC has been spending a paltry $250,000 a year to maintain nearly 25,000 streetlights, which is unacceptable. The agreement includes a commitment from the Mayor's Office and the PUC to fund $9 million over the next two years to address streetlight capital needs - a nearly 20-fold increase - and to formulate a global assessment of the capital needs of the system. This result is both a down payment on our streetlights' capital needs and a path forward in assessing and addressing the system's overall needs.

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Nightlife Transportation Hearing

I recently called for a hearing to take a close look at late night transportation in San Francisco (link is external). Nightlife is a significant part of our cultural lifeblood, as well as a $4.2 billion part of our economy, including 50,000 jobs. Despite the significance of nightlife in our city, our transportation systems haven't always been up to the task in terms of late night transit options. Both BART and the Muni underground stop running shortly after midnight - even on Friday and Saturday nights - and Muni's evening subway service is skeletal at best, consistent with the agency's prevailing view that reliable subway service isn't critical outside of business hours. (Early morning Muni isn't much better, with the subway not even starting to run until 8 am on Sundays.) Muni also doesn't publicize or centrally locate information about which bus lines do run overnight. Taxi service in San Francisco is generally poor - though improving thanks to aggressive efforts by MTA - and even worse when the bars close. Ride sharing services have improved the situation, but there are questions about safety. We need to be sure that people leaving bars or getting off work late at night have reliable, safe, and accessible transit options, so they don't drive drunk or end up waiting in the dark for a bus that comes once an hour.

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Proposed Restrictions on Dog Access in Federal Recreation Areas

628x471-dog-access-hearing.jpgRecently, I joined a panel organized by Congresswoman Jackie Speier (link is external) to discuss the proposal by the National Park Service to severely restrict dog access at federal park properties, including Fort Funston, Crissy Field, and Ocean Beach. Last year, I authored a resolution at the Board of Supervisors, which passed unanimously, putting San Francisco on record opposing the plan. I'm happy that Congresswoman Speier has taken a strong position against the plan as well. You can read an editorial on this issue by advocate Sally Stephens published in the Chronicle a few weeks ago and listen to a radio spot I recorded on KFOG.

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Code Enforcement Hearing

code_enforcement.jpgOur overly complicated and insufficiently coordinated code enforcement system needs improvement. The lack of effective code enforcement has resulted in blighted buildings and other violations that take years to resolve, if they ever are. To better understand how the system is and isn't working, I joined with Supervisor Malia Cohen to hold an oversight hearing to review city processes (link is external) for inspecting and enforcing code violations in San Francisco buildings. In the coming months, I will be working with these departments and leaders at City Hall to find ways to address these issues and bring solutions to blight in our neighborhoods.

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SUPERVISORS WIENER AND COHEN CALL FOR HEARING TO REVIEW ENFORCEMENT OR LACK THEREOF AGAINST CODE VIOLATIONS IN SAN FRANCISCO BUIILDINGS

City departments will detail procedures for addressing code violations, including why certain extreme violations can linger for years and whether legislation is warranted to improve departmental coordination and effectiveness

San Francisco, CA - At today's Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisors Scott Wiener and Malia Cohen will call for an oversight hearing to review city processes for inspecting and enforcing code violations in San Francisco buildings. At the hearing, the Department of Building Inspection, Planning Department, Department of Public Health, and Fire Department will be asked to detail departmental procedures for responding to code violations and deciding whether and how to enforce.  The departments will also be asked to explain why certain serious code violations are allowed to linger for long periods of time.

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SUPERVISOR WIENER TO CALL FOR OVERSIGHT HEARING ON CRITICAL YET DISRUPTIVE ROAD WORK HAPPENING THROUGHOUT SAN FRANCISCO

Key infrastructure work - including sewer, water, and natural gas upgrades, as well as road resurfacing projects - is tearing up streets and disrupting neighborhoods.

San Francisco, CA - At tomorrow's Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Scott Wiener will call for an oversight hearing on the extensive infrastructure work occurring on San Francisco's streets.

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National Park Service Needs to Listen to Bay Area Residents

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December 1st, 2013
Bay Woof

On September 6, the National Park Service released its Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area's Draft Dog Management Plan.

The Plan, which follows a 2011 draft that was subject to significant public criticism - including a resolution I authored at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors opposing it - calls for dramatically limiting dog access on federal lands in San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin Counties. In San Francisco, the Plan would restrict dog access at Fort Funston, Crissy Field, and Ocean Beach, among other properties.

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Castro in-law units: One way to address our housing crisis

November 7th, 2013
The Bay Area Reporter

It's no secret that we are experiencing a housing affordability crisis in San Francisco and particularly in the Castro. With one-bedroom apartments going for $3,000 on average and even cramped roommate situations escalating in price, we are at serious risk of pricing non-wealthy people out of our neighborhood and even our city. Too many longtime, older residents are being pushed out by eviction or other means, and new residents - an influx of new, younger residents being one of the hallmarks of our neighborhood - struggle mightily to find anything they can afford. If we continue to lose older, often LGBT, residents - the folks who built the modern Castro - and continue to turn away young people looking to make their lives here, what kind of neighborhood will we be?

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Supervisor Wiener to Introduce Tax on Sugary Beverages to Combat High Levels of Diabetes and Obesity

Two cents per ounce tax - with funding dedicated to City and public school nutrition, health, and physical activity programs - will address diabetes and obesity epidemics by decreasing consumption and funding programs that improve health

SAN FRANCISCO--At tomorrow's Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Scott Wiener will introduce legislation creating a tax of two cents per ounce on the distribution of soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages in San Francisco. The proceeds of the tax will be legally dedicated to fund active recreation and nutrition programs in schools, parks, and elsewhere, for example, physical education, school lunch, after-school programs, expansion of recreation center hours and physical activity offerings, and programs by community based organizations offering physical activity, health, and nutrition programs.

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SUPERVISOR WIENER TO INTRODUCE IN-LAW UNIT LEGISLATION TO CREATE MORE AFFORDABLE HOUSING OPTIONS IN THE CASTRO

Legislation will allow for previously prohibited new in-law units within residential properties in the Castro neighborhood, in order to increase affordable and accessible rental options for individuals, like LGBT seniors, who are continuing to be priced out of the neighborhood.

San Francisco, CA - At next week's Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Scott Wiener will introduce legislation allowing for construction of new in-law units (sometimes known as secondary, granny, or accessory units) within residential buildings in the Castro neighborhood. In-law units are often built in garage, basement, or storage spaces. These new units will offer an affordable and accessible housing option for individuals in the Castro, including LGBT seniors, who are being priced out of the neighborhood. The units will be rent-controlled if constructed within buildings that are currently rent-controlled.

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