Supervisor Katy Tang and I recently sent Superintendent Richard Carranza a letter concerning a change in policy regarding 8th Grade Math Curriculum. You can read the text of the letter below or by clicking on the PDF versions at the bottom of this page in English, Chinese, and Spanish.
The LGBT Center has announced that it will take over the organizing role for Pink Saturday, the street party that occurs on Castro Street on the Saturday of Pride Weekend. I'm thrilled that Pink Saturday will go on. I want to thank the LGBT Center for taking on this role, and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence who have run Pink Saturday for the last twenty years. This is such an important event for our community. You can read more details here.
The commuter shuttles in San Francisco get people to work and keep cars off the road and harmful emissions out of the air, which are all good things. But we can't forget that there are people driving these shuttles, which can be a grueling job. I've introduced a resolution at the Board of Supervisors to call for the MTA to ensure that "Labor Harmony" exists between shuttle companies and drivers as a condition of the issuance of a permit to be part of our commuter shuttle program. Requiring harmonious labor relations is good for the drivers, but also for the city, as any labor disputes will cause disruptions to our already crowded streets and transit routes.Read more
Dolores Park is an amazing community resource, but it's been getting trashed and vandalized. We've seen horrendous vandalism acts like the trashing of the construction site and breaking of so much glass in the play area that Rec and Park has had to replace all the sand in the play area. This requires an increased focus on enforcement in our parks, especially at night, including through bolstering our park patrol ranks. But we have also seen people showing up on the weekeneds and leaving the park littered and trashed. This is not okay. Everyone should be able to go and enjoy Dolores Park and have a good time, but everyone also needs to pick up after themselves and treat the park and surrounding houses with respect.Read more
According to a report published in the Bay Area Reporter, Kaiser Permanente recently began requiring people living with HIV/AIDS to pay a percentage of the cost their drugs, instead of a copay amount. Last year, the copay amounts for generic drugs was $35, and the copay for brand name drugs was $50. While these copays remain for most drugs, Kaiser created a tier of drugs called “specialty drugs” where patients also pay 20% of the cost of those drugs. This is part of a growing trend for insurance companies to move certain drugs, including HIV drugs, to a specialty tier. The result is that patients may have to pay hundreds of dollars a month for their HIV medication. I will be holding an oversight hearing on this issue to address this decision and how it impacts our residents living with HIV, as well as to explore solutions that will reverse this trend of increasing medical costs.
You can read coverage of the issue in the Bay Area Reporter here.
The Board of Supervisors unanimously passed my legislation to adopt the Urban Forest Master Plan. The Plan, which establishes polices and strategies to manage and grow the city’s street tree population, makes a key finding that the city’s current program of transferring street tree maintenance responsibility to property owners is a short-sighted solution and ultimately to the long-term detriment of street trees and the city as a whole. This legislation is a key step in fixing our broken street tree system and ensuring the long term sustainability of our urban forest.Read more
The current spread of measles has made clear the dangers of allowing children to go unvaccinated. There is no scientific basis for not vaccinating our children, and the risk we take on by allowing this to happen is a public health problem. I'm supportive of Senator Richard Pan's proposed legislation to remove the Personal Belief Exemption from the vaccination requirement, and I will be authoring a resolution at the Board of Supervisors in support of this legislation. We should be moving forward, not backwards, in our efforts to protect our children from the spread of disease.Read more
Recently, I sat down for an interview with the San Francisco Business Times to talk about housing, transportation and other issues affecting San Francisco. You can read the Q&A at the San Francisco Business Time website.
Ballot measures play a critical role in our lawmaking process. Voters set policy on many issues of significance to our city's future, from housing to transportation to civil rights. Whether ballot measures are initiated by residents collecting signatures or by elected officials, our process should produce well-written measures that are vetted by the public through a transparent process.
I recently announced that I am working with our city attorney to draft a ballot measure reform proposal for submission to the voters that will increase transparency and public participation, stabilize wild fluctuations in the number of signatures required and provide backers with tools to improve their measures based on public feedback.Read more