Creating a Comprehensive Late Night Transportation Plan

muni10_henry_web.jpgWe need better and safer late night transportation in San Francisco. Right now people getting off work late or leaving bars have very limited options for getting home. I've introduced a resolution at the Board to create a Late Night Transportation Working Group, which will be tasked with creating a late night transportation plan.

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My April Newsletter

2013_official_wiener_photo_0.jpgMy latest newsletter is now available. If you wish to be added to my mailing list, email your contact information to:

Links: April Newsletter


Hearing on Russian Divestment

russia-gay-pride.jpgYesterday, I held a hearing to encourage the San Francisco Retirement System to explore divesting from any Russian holdings, in light of the extreme anti-LGBT laws that have put in place there. The amount of money SFERS has invested in Russia is small (about .16%), so hopefully there is a way to divest while still maintaining fidiciuary responsibility to current and future retirees. San Francisco should not be associated with a government that is using laws to criminalize LGBT people.

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Board of Supervisors Passes Castro In-Law Legislation

castro.jpgAddressing our housing affordability crisis requires a wide range of solutions, including efforts to expand new housing opportunities. Yesterday, the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed my legislation to create new in-law units in the Castro. The legislation will allow property owners in the Castro neighborhood to add one or two in-law units (depending on the size of the building) in order to increase the neighborhood's housing supply. Units added to buildings subject to rent control, will also be rent controlled, which means we are creating new rent-controlled units for the first time in over 30 years.

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Change is coming to MUNI

safe_image.jpegChange is coming to Muni: Yesterday the MTA Board of Directors approved a significant portion of the Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP). The TEP - the first overhaul of Muni's routes in decades - is intended to increase service, reliability, and connectivity. While there have been concerns about specific aspects - and I give Muni credit for making changes in response to community concerns - overall, this is a positive step forward for the system.

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LGBT Aging Task Force has released its report and recommendations

lgbt-aging.jpegThe LGBT Aging Task Force has released its report and recommendations, showing a significant need for housing and other support for our growing LGBT senior population. I, along with my colleague Supervisor David Campos authored the legislation creating the task force, and we are now working on legislation to quickly implement several of its recommendations. Lots of work to do, and this is a great start. 

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We're sliding back toward the bad old days, pre-Social Security

ss-old-age.jpegWe're sliding back toward the bad old days, pre-Social Security, with more and more seniors living in poverty. The problem is exacerbated in San Francisco, with the cost of housing and our large number of seniors who are single and without kids, all indicators of a higher probability of poverty. We need to continue to expand our senior housing, meal, and home health programs, as well as programs to keep seniors connected and not isolated. This challenge will only become bigger over time as our population ages.

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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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