BOARD OF SUPERVISORS PASSES SUPERVISOR WIENER’S LEGISLATION TO EXTEND RENT CONTROL PROTECTIONS TO PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS

Legislation to close a loophole in the San Francisco Rent Ordinance that exempts recipients of the federal housing program for people living with HIV/AIDS (known as HOPWA) from rent control protections

San Francisco – (June 14, 2016) Today the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed legislation by Supervisor Scott Wiener to extend rent control to people living with HIV/AIDS who are a part of a federal housing subsidy program known as HOPWA (Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS). Under the San Francisco Rent Ordinance, HOPWA recipients do not receive the same rent protections under rent control as other recipients of federal voucher programs. The legislation was co-sponsored by Supervisor David Campos and Board President London Breed.

HOPWA recipients have no protections against rent increases, which means that even if they live in a rent-controlled building, their rent can be increased to market rate at any time. Supervisor Wiener’s legislation will end this exemption so that HOPWA recipients, many of whom are seniors and long-term HIV survivors, have the same rent control protections as other recipients of federal vouchers.

“People living with HIV/AIDS, who are often long-term survivors and seniors, need housing security as much as anyone,” said Supervisor Wiener. “As a City we need to do everything we can to protect these members of our community and keep them stable in their homes. This is a straightforward change that will impact the lives of some of our most vulnerable residents.”

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SUPERVISOR WIENER TO CONVENE PRIDE PLANNING MEETING WITH LGBT VENUE OWNERS AND POLICE DEPARTMENT IN WAKE OF ORLANDO MASS SHOOTING

Meeting will bring together representatives from the LGBT nightlife community and San Francisco Police Department to plan for a safe Pride celebration

San Francisco –  Supervisor Wiener has announced that he will be bringing together members of the LGBT nightlife community and the San Francisco Police Department to address public safety concerns raised by the mass shooting at a gay club in Orlando on Sunday. At a meeting to take place later this week, owners of bars and clubs in the Castro and South of Market neighborhoods will meet with Supervisor Wiener and the San Francisco Police Department to discuss preparations for the upcoming San Francisco Pride celebrations at the end of June.

“No act of violence -- even one as evil as what Orlando experienced on Sunday -- will stop us from coming together to celebrate the LGBT community at Pride this year. More than ever, we need to show the strength and love of our community to the world,” said Supervisor Wiener. “But I have heard concerns from our nightlife community, who care deeply about providing welcoming places for people to celebrate and who want to make sure we are prepared to keep everyone safe. This is an important conversation to have now so that everyone attending Pride can focus on the joyful reasons we are all together, and not be fearful of those threatened by our way of life.”

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SUPERVISOR WIENER’S STATEMENT ON MASS SHOOTING IN ORLANDO

San Francisco – Today Supervisor Wiener released the following statement on the mass shooting targeting the LGBT community in Orlando:

“Today we mourn for the dozens of people murdered in cold blood due to extreme, violent hatred against the LGBT community. We remember and honor those who perished and those who survived. We send prayers to their family. Let's also recommit to battling and defeating the homophobia and transphobia in this country and around the world that directly leads to this kind of violence. Too many political and religious leaders continue to attack the LGBT community and define us as less than fully part of society. That has to stop. We mourn today. And then we fight. We will win, and love will conquer hate.”


What Happens When We Don’t Invest in Transit and How We Can Do Better

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(Photo by ABC News)

By Scott Wiener

Today, the Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) Board of Directors is taking a huge step forward by placing a $3.5 billion regional bond on the November ballot. This bond will help BART close its gaping capital investment deficit, expand its capacity, improve its reliability, and bring its system into a state of good repair.

The focus on shoring up BART and expanding its capacity is long overdue, given that this critical system is literally coming apart at the seams due to extreme regional negligence in supporting it. Indeed, BART is a poster child for what happens when we don’t invest in transit. If we don’t get it together as a region in terms of transit, we are in for a world of hurt. We need to pass this bond, pass other transit funding measures, demand more from the state and federal governments, and make sure we never, ever again allow our transit systems to go into decline.

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Supervisor Wiener’s Statement on Dolores Park Picnic Reservations

Yesterday, after I learned that the Recreation and Park Department had instituted a “pilot program” to allow for reservations of park space in Dolores Park for picnics, birthday parties, etc., I spoke with Rec & Park to find out what was actually going on. It’s important for elected officials to obtain the facts before making public pronouncements, rather than grandstanding based on no information.

To be clear: reserving picnic tables and lawn areas is common practice throughout San Francisco’s park system and has been for decades. Indeed, in Dolores Park itself, it has long been the case that a few areas of the park — both picnic tables and lawn areas — can be reserved for picnics and parties. So, this is not new in Dolores Park or any other park in the city. Rec & Park is simply reinstating the previous state of affairs.

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Contractor Bid Reform

The Board of Supervisors recently passed legislation that I authored that allows for additional criteria beyond bid price to be taken into account when awarding public contracts. It is essential that we get the best value for our taxpayers, and not just award public projects to whoever offers the lowest bid. City departments will now be allowed to include factors such as the safety record, past performance, labor compliance, management competence, financial condition, and relevant experience. You can read coverage of the legislation on SFBay here.


Counting Our LGBT Population

I recently proposed that San Francisco should begin to collect data to determine the size of the LGBT population living in the city. My proposal was singled out by Time in an article that looked at the benefits of conducting this research on a nationwide level. You can read the full article here.


S.F. Supervisor Looks to Shield HIV Survivors from Rent Spikes

I recently introduced legislation to extend rent control protections to people who receive the HOPWA (Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS) rental assistance voucher. It is unacceptable that the current system allows for people living with HIV on fixed incomes to be excluded from rent control. It is my hope to quickly pass this legislation and provide residents who receive HOPWA the same protections as any other person in a rent controlled unit.

You can read the SFGate’s coverage of the story here.


BOARD OF SUPERVISORS PASSES SUPERVISOR WIENER’S BEST VALUE CONTRACT REFORM LEGISLATION

Legislation allows City departments to evaluate and factor in past performance of contractors when awarding public contracts in addition to the bid price. Previously, only the bid price is considered, with lowest bidder being awarded the contract.

San Francisco – (May 17, 2016) Today the Board of Supervisors approved Supervisor Scott Wiener’s legislation reforming San Francisco’s public contracting process, by allowing City Departments to evaluate contractors’ past performance when awarding public project contracts. Under the current bid award system, only the bid price is considered, with the lowest bidder automatically receiving the contract award. No other factor, including past performance, safety record, or relevant experience is included when awarding bids. Supervisor Wiener’s legislation changes that process so that City departments, in addition to considering bid price, can also consider the contractor’s track record. The legislation was co-sponsored by Board President London Breed, Supervisor Katy Tang, and Supervisor Norman Yee.

The legislation will ensure that taxpayers receive the best value from public contracts. While bid price clearly plays a significant role in determining best value, a low bid followed by poor performance – whether poor workmanship, delayed work, under-staffed work, or excessive change orders – can result in higher costs to the public. By considering contractors’ track record, in addition to bid price, city departments can maximize overall value for taxpayers.

“Today we took a great step toward getting the best value for taxpayers when we contract for public projects,” said Supervisor Wiener. “If a contractor has a history of cost overruns or safety issues, we need to be able to factor that into the process for awarding a contract. As San Francisco embarks on tens of billions of dollars in public infrastructure investments in the coming decades, the public deserves to have the confidence that the City will work with contractors to deliver projects safely, accurately, and within budget.”

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SUPERVISOR WIENER TO INTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO EXTEND RENT CONTROL PROTECTIONS TO PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS WHO RECEIVE RENT SUBSIDIES

Legislation will close a loophole in the San Francisco Rent Ordinance that exempts recipients of the federal housing program for people living with HIV/AIDS (known as HOPWA) from rent control

San Francisco – (May 17, 2016) Today Supervisor Scott Wiener will introduce legislation to extend rent control to people living with HIV/AIDS who are a part of a federal housing subsidy program known as HOPWA (Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS). Under the San Francisco Rent Ordinance, HOPWA recipients do not receive the same rent protections under rent control as someone living in the same building who does not receive a HOPWA subsidy. Specifically, HOPWA recipients have no protections against rent increases, which means that even if they live in a rent-controlled building, their rent can be increased to market rate at any time. Supervisor Wiener’s legislation will end this exemption so that HOPWA recipients, many of whom are seniors and long-term HIV survivors, have the same rent control protections as anyone else.

“People living with HIV/AIDS endure challenges every day, and worrying about whether their rent is going to dramatically increase should not be one of those challenges,” said Supervisor Wiener. “It makes no sense that just because you receive a subsidy to help you pay rent that you don’t have the full protections of rent control. HOPWA recipients are some of our most vulnerable friends and neighbors, and we need to do whatever we can do keep them secure in their homes and in our neighborhoods.”

HOPWA is a federal program that provides housing assistance and supportive services for low-income people living with HIV/AIDS. Those eligible for the rental assistance portion of HOPWA can receive a subsidy to pay a portion of their monthly rent. There are 240 recipients in San Francisco’s HOPWA program.

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