2019 was a big year. Over the last 12 months, we have fought hard to pass landmark legislation like Mental Health SF, worked on tackling affordable housing and homelessness, and championed important issues like youth rights, immigration, and more.
Here’s a quick look at the last year to remind us all of how much we've accomplished together. I couldn't have done any of this without your support. Thank you so much for making all of these hard-won victories possible. If you thought 2019 was busy, wait till you see what we have in store for us in 2020!
To learn more about my efforts, please feel free to get in touch with my office anytime. You can also follow the real-time work of my office via Twitter and Facebook.
In June 2019, we made history in San Francisco. Supervisors Shamann Walton, Matt Haney, and I authored legislation to close the City’s Juvenile Hall by 2021, and this legislation passed overwhelmingly at the Board of Supervisors. Over the next two years, we will be working through the details to design alternatives to incarceration as well as a non-institutional center for the small number of children who must be detained under state law. Instead of continuing to fund an ineffective and immoral jail for children, San Francisco is now leading the nation in truly transformative juvenile justice reform! I am so proud of our city.
When I learned that nearly 100 small businesses -- mostly single-person providers of massage therapy and other personal services -- were facing eviction and closure, I wrote legislation to exempt the impacted businesses from penalties or eviction. We averted what could have been the catastrophic displacement of these and ensured that these businesses could continue to operate.
Photo via Mission Local
Bringing Affordable Housing to District 9
Added Navigation Centers and Beds
My office worked closely with Public Works, the Department of Homelessness, the Department of Public Health, and the Mayor’s Office to expand the Division Circle Navigation Center by 60 additional beds for a total of 186 beds.
While my office has actively championed opening Navigation Centers in District 9, I believe that we can only solve homelessness in San Francisco if EVERY district takes its role in responding to homelessness as seriously as we do. That’s why I also partnered with Supervisor Matt Haney on legislation requiring that each district opens a Navigation Center of its own.
Photo by Lola M. Chavez
Implemented a Model
Stay Over Program for Homeless Families
We successfully piloted the first-of-a-kind Stay Over Program for homeless families at Buena Vista Horace Mann Community School, and in early 2019, the SFUSD School Board voted unanimously to expand the program.
This unique collaborative model between the school staff, the Department of Homelessness, and the program provider, Dolores Street Community Services, has successfully led to a large percentage of families being diverted from homelessness to stable housing situations.
As our homelessness crisis rages on, with children sleeping in unsafe conditions everyday, we cannot simply rely on old models. We gave this innovative approach a chance, and the outcome has been truly transformative.
Supervisor Hillary Ronen, Principal Claudia DeLarios Morán of Buena Vista Horace Mann K-8 School and Ronen’s chief of staff, Carolyn Goossen. Photo by Kevin N. Hume for The SF Chronicle
Protected Tenants from Wrongful Eviction
In January 2019, I passed legislation to close a loophole that landlords have used to force out long-term tenants from single-family homes. Despite these tenants being covered by eviction protections, they are exempt from rent control, and we have seen landlords use outrageous rent increases as a bad faith tactic to circumvent our laws. My legislation makes clear that this practice is unlawful and a form of tenant harassment.
Fought for Harvey Milk’s Legacy at SFO
We finally won the battle with the SFO Airport Commission over the Milk Terminal naming. The Harvey Milk Terminal is a must-see homage to San Francisco’s LGBTQ heritage and history.
Championed Youth Rights
After a horrendous incident at Balboa High School where an innocent student was detained by police and questioned without being allowed to speak to his parents or an attorney, I passed the Jeff Adachi Youth Rights Ordinance. This new law mandates that all youth under 18 years of age have legal representation before the police can interrogate them and requires that police allow an adult to be present during the questioning. The Jeff Adachi Youth Rights Ordinances effectively creates the strongest law in the country protecting children and youth in police custody.
For many people who are dealing with a combination of psychiatric and addiction issues, the key to stability and success is to be away from the chaotic neighborhoods and hectic surroundings that can trigger continued crises. This cooperative housing model can open the door to stability and serenity in their lives.
Photo by Lea Suzuki The SF Chronicle
Established the First Ever
American Indian Cultural District
In 2019 I introduced legislation to establish the first-ever American Indian Cultural District in the country . Cultural districts are one of the most important tools we as a city have to proactively strengthen the cultural identities of neighborhoods and communities that face the pressures of gentrification and displacement. There are few communities in the country that have experienced displacement as violently and as profoundly as the American Indian community, and I am proud to support this community in securing the resources necessary to help protect their cherished cultural assets by establishing this new cultural district.
No matter what anti-immigrant rhetoric or policies comes from the White House, I will continue to stand with and for our immigrant communities. This year I authored three resolutions in support of immigrant rights:
A resolution urging the Governor to acknowledge the validity of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s recent extension of Temporary Protected Status work authorizations, and
A resolution underscoring San Francisco’s support for immigrant women and asylum-seekers fleeing gender-based persecution and condemning the federal government’s efforts to undermine asylum protections for survivors of domestic violence.