It’s been a while since I’ve last provided an update - we’ve been busy!
It’s been a perilous month for tenants across the State of California, albeit an empowering one, too, particularly right here in San Francisco. As State legislators let pandemic rent relief deadlines expire, we’ve been working at the local level to extend those protections. Please spread the word that folks can continue to apply for rent relief through the San Francisco Emergency Rental Assistance Program. I also passed landmark Tenants Right to Organize legislation, allowing tenants to form “A Union at Home” to bargain for better living conditions. On just its first day in effect, tenants in 20 apartment buildings across the City formed bargaining units.
The public health and safety of San Francisco residents is at the top of my mind as my office pursues legislation to require sprinklers in high-rise residential buildings, following a near-disastrous fire at the Golden Gateway in late 2020 and my earlier 2017 legislation requiring sprinklers in SRO buildings.
Speaking of Single Room Occupancy buildings, which are largely concentrated in Chinatown, the Tenderloin and the Mission, my legislation establishing permanent SRO cleaning standards for our City’s most vulnerable residents was recently unanimously adopted by the Board of Supervisors- a long time coming.
On the small business front, we were proud to welcome 5 Legacy Businesses to San Francisco’s Legacy Business Registry this month, making them eligible for grants and protections against displacement. Congrats to beloved institutions Sai’s Vietnamese Restaurant (which was the beneficiary of recent intervention by my office ), Far East Cafe, Buena Vista Cafe, Helmand Place, and Stanley’s Steamers! We’ve also been busy waiving fines and fees for Shared Spaces, and welcoming the popular El Farolito and Vacation SF vintage shop to Upper Grant Ave in North Beach.
After more than 30 years, the Kearny Pedestrian Bridge (the “Bridge to Nowhere”) is coming down, honoring the long-standing wishes of Chinatown community stakeholders, and opening the doors to an exciting new renovation of Portsmouth Square . This is a monumental step in the right direction as we continue our work to enhance public access to open space in San Francisco’s densest residential neighborhood.
We’ve got an incredible amount of work ahead, but lest it sound like all work and no play, read below for some community-led events, including the long-awaited return of Noodlefest, a neon arts festival in Chinatown, and more.
See you in the neighborhood,