Supervisor Rafael Mandelman - Newsletter

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D8 Newsletter - December 2019

Ringing in the holiday season at the annual Castro Tree Lighting event!


Conservatorship Hearing: Last month, I held a hearing on the City’s use of Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) Conservatorships. At the hearing, and in a report prepared by the Budget and Legislative Analyst that I requested, we learned that the 50% reduction in referrals to the LPS program between 2012 and 2019 was due, in part, to the lack of available placements for people who are conserved under LPS. In particular, we learned that the City does not have enough locked subacute treatment (LSAT) beds to meet the needs of people who require that level of care. As we prepare for the new fiscal year, increasing the availability of treatment beds at all levels of care, but especially for the sickest and most in need, will be among my top priorities. With a November 2020 bond and business tax reform on the horizon, we must access every funding source we can to dramatically expand our behavioral health services.

Castro Fix-It Walk Through: The Mayor's The Fix-It Team seeks to improve the quality of life in San Francisco’s neighborhoods by collaborating with residents to identify and address critical cleanliness and safety issues that affect their lives. On December 3, I joined the Fix-It Team on the Castro Revisit Neighborhood Walk, where we followed up on a number of issues identified by neighbors in our previous walk through, including broken street lights, unused news racks, and frequently overfilled trash receptacles. If you have any questions or suggestions for improvements, contact the Fix-It team at, or as always you can reach our office directly at

Fire Safety Hearing: Last month, I co-sponsored a hearing with Supervisor Norman Yee to learn about the City’s plans to prevent wildfires on undeveloped land and in open spaces. During that hearing, I asked the Fire Department to work with the Recreation and Parks Department to ensure that the maintenance of trees in Glen Canyon and Billy Goat Hill meet state standards. By identifying potential areas for improvement, we can ensure we’re taking the steps necessary to prevent wildfires. 

Adding Bike Racks: To increase secure parking for bikes and e-scooters, I announced a plan on November 18 with the SFMTA, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and WalkSF to double the current pace of installation and add 100 new bike racks per month. As more people bike and use alternate modes of transit, we need to make sure we’re adding capacity to safely secure bikes and scooters. The commitment is a good start, and I look forward to working with the SFMTA and bicycle and pedestrian advocates to add racks everywhere they are needed in San Francisco.

J Church Improvement Project: J-Church trains carry 17,000 riders every weekday, but we know that for too many, service reliability is a major concern. Since taking office, I have been working with the SFMTA to explore options for near-term improvements, and on November 18th, the SFMTA introduced proposed solutions at an Open House meeting. You can review the proposals here . We are continuing to take feedback from riders on these near-term fixes, and are exploring options for more long-term fixes. If you have any feedback, contact the SFMTA at and copy my office at

Mental Health Reform: I'm excited to support Mental Health SF. As we implement this new program, we must ensure that it effectively and successfully delivers the services and care that the sickest and most vulnerable on our streets need. That's what our communities expect, and it's what every San Franciscan deserves.


Responding to Castro Fire : On November 16th, a four-alarm fire on the 400 block of Castro Street upended the lives of tenants and those who own and work in the ground floor small businesses. The City, and my office, are here to help those affected by the fire and to help them return to their homes and businesses as quickly as possible. The Office of Economic and Workforce Development has provided $35,000 from the city’s Disaster Relief Fund to affected small businesses and the Human Services Agency is working with displaced tenants to help them find temporary housing. The community has come together as well and a number of benefits and online fundraisers have raised thousands of dollars for those impacted by the fire. 
New Turf Field at Alvarado Elementary:  I was never good at soccer as a kid, but on November 19th I had my greatest success on a soccer field when we cut the ribbon on Alvarado Elementary School's brand new turf field! This field was the result of incredible parent organizing and fundraising, and my office was proud to support the project with funding in this year’s budget. It's an exciting moment for our Alvarado students, and for the entire Noe Valley community who will have access to the field as part of the San Francisco Shared Schoolyard Project.
Community Support for Charlie's Corner:  Charlie's Corner, an independent neighborhood bookstore that specializes in children’s literature and exceptional story-time performances, announced in October that it could no longer keep its doors open. But the Noe Valley community responded in an incredible way, organizing a GoFundMe campaign and helping to create a membership program to sustain the business going forward. November 8th was supposed to be the final day for Charlie’s Corner, but after the outpouring of support, it instead became a day to celebrate how much this space means to the community. Congratulations Charlotte Nagy and the amazing Charlie’s team! If you can, please consider supporting Charlie’s Corner through its GoFundMe page.
World Day of Remembrance:  On November 17th, I stood with pedestrian safety advocates, family, friends, and survivors, to honor all whose lives have been touched by traffic violence on World Remembrance Day. I want to thank the people who joined to share their stories – these personal testimonials are among the most effective tools we have to make change. And thank you to Walk SF’s Executive Director Jodie Medeiros and all of the advocates at Walk SF and Families for Safe Streets for their work to organize the event!


San Francisco Fire Department Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT) is a free training program for individuals, neighborhood groups and community-based organizations in San Francisco.  Through this program, individuals will learn the basics of personal preparedness and prevention.  The training also includes hands-on disaster skills that will help individuals respond to a personal emergency as well as act as members of a neighborhood response team.


The Peer-Run Warm Line (1-855-845-7415) is a non-emergency resource for anyone in the Bay Area seeking emotional support. The Mental Health Association of San Francisco provides assistance via phone and web chat on a nondiscriminatory basis to anyone in need. Some concerns callers share are challenges with interpersonal relationships, anxiety, panic, depression, finance, and alcohol and drug use.


Greetings neighbors!  

Happy Holidays! Wishing everyone a peaceful, joyous and SAFE season. 

Please join SFPD and Walgreens for the fifth year of collaboration on our Toy Drive. This is a great opportunity to bring holiday cheer to children in need.

Happily, all of the Walgreens in D8 are participating. Please bring new, unwrapped toys now through December 20 to the Walgreens near you, and look for the SFPD Toy Drive bin. The police department will collect them and give them to a child this holiday. Last year, approximately 2,500 toys were donated at San Francisco Walgreens stores.

Thank you for your generosity!



We have a wonderful group of volunteers and interns in our office, and we're looking to grow our team! 

If you're interested in lending a hand in our office, please contact us at 415-554-6968, or send an email to


"This fire in the Castro upended the lives of the people who live in the buildings and the people who own and work at these important small businesses. The Castro is already experiencing significant challenges with vacant storefronts and quality of life issues," Mandelman said. "Thank you to the brave firefighters from the San Francisco Fire Department for their quick response." (Bay Area Reporter, Nov. 18)
SFMTA typically installs an average of 500-600 bike racks annually. But at the urging of Mandelman, and with funding secured from new city programs, SFMTA will increase that rate to 100 bike racks installed per month, or 1,200 annually. ( San Francisco Examiner, Nov. 17)
San Francisco Supervisor Rafael Mandelman adds, "Doing things like these, daylighting intersections, saves lives, keeps people from being injured and that's critically important. And then to be able to use spaces like this for more bike parking is a double benefit." (ABC7 - KGO, Nov. 18)
"I think the departments are continuing to make progress and improve on the information they are providing and the ways in which they are using that information," Mandelman said at the hearing. But "there is a lot of room for improvement." (Bay Area Reporter, Nov. 7)
Gay District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman acknowledged that the same issues making the city more difficult for residents, including crime, homelessness, and substance abuse, "hit small businesses acutely." ( Bay Area Reporter, Nov. 6)
“What’s so frustrating is we know how to solve this one,” said San Francisco Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, who also spoke at the event. But to gain the political will for real change sometimes “stories are the most effective tool we have.” (StreetsblogSF, Nov. 18)
"When we started down this process, I was hoping to see some game-changing solutions that would make the J work," said Mandelman. "These may be good improvements — I think many or all of them are — but we are still looking for the game-changer." (Bay Area Reporter, Nov. 20)


District 8 Community
Office Hours

Coming soon to a cafe near you!
Saturday, January 11th
Castro Country Club
4058 18th Street

Saturday, January 25th
3966 24th Street
Diamond Heights Holiday Party
Saturday, December 14th

St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church
101 Gold Mine Drive

3:00 - 5:00pm

Come by to enjoy tasty food, holiday  craft making for all ages, entertainment and caroling lead by Scrumbly Koldewyn, and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Community sponsors  include the Diamond Heights Community Association, Resilient Diamond Heights  and St. Aidan’s Church. The party provides an opportunity to talk with sponsor organizations about our projects in the neighborhood.

Click here for more information
Castro Menorah Lighting
Wednesday, December 18th

Jane Warner Plaza

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Chanukah Wonderland at Noe Valley Town Square
Sunday, December 22nd

Noe Valley Town Square
4:00 - 6:00pm

Click here for more information
Annual Boxing Day Celebration at Noe Valley Town Square
Thursday, December 26th

Noe Valley Town Square
10:00am - 2:00pm

Build your own cardboard box creation. Prizes for best design and for those who bring a big appliance/furniture box.

Click here for more information
Neighborhood Action Group General Meeting
Wednesday, January 8th

Eureka Valley/Harvey Milk Memorial Branch Library
6:00 - 7:30pm

The Neighborhood Action Group (NAG) brings neighbors together to ensure our local area (roughly bounded by Castro, Market, Church, and 19th Streets) is safe, healthy and livable for all residents. 

Click here for more information
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