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May 2019 

Dear Neighbors,

Whew! So pleased that the rain has ended and the sun is finally out! I am excited to share with you my May newsletter.

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.


Photo Courtesy Kevin N. Hume, SF Examiner

This month, Supervisor Matt Haney, Assemblymember Phil Ting and I announced a ballot initiative that will overhaul San Francisco’s broken mental healthcare system called “Mental Health SF.” 
The Department of Public Health funds hundreds of mental health and substance use programs and currently has no system for tracking and coordinating the availability of beds and services. This lack of centralized coordination has resulted in long wait times, and sometimes inappropriate placements, causing people with severe mental illness to forgo treatment or to be held in overflowing locked wards.

The Department of Public Health has also reported that 44% of people with serious mental health or substance use issues who undergo treatment at a live-in facility are released to the streets after 90 days or less with no plan for continued treatment or a direct connection to continued care. Many of these patients end up back in Psychiatric Emergency Services in just a short amount of time.

It is time to create bold and visionary changes to our broken system. We can't continue to allow so many people to suffer in dazed and desperate misery on our streets, and we know that many of our neighbors are also quietly suffering alone at home. We can do better. Allowing the status quo to continue is immoral and dangerous.

We are San Francisco - we are still the progressive, can do city, and we're going to prove it when the voters pass this initiative in record numbers!

I want to thank President Norman Yee and Supervisors Shamann Walton, Gordon Mar, and Vallie Brown who have already endorsed this measure. Thank you for believing that we can do better by our residents!

Mental Health SF will be on the ballot in November.

Holding Kaiser Permanente and Other Private Health Care Companies Accountable for Mental Health Access
Photo Courtesy Paul Kuroda, San Francisco Chronicle

While I have been very vocal about pushing the City to develop a more comprehensive system in order to provide timely and easily accessible care to mentally ill people who are living on the streets,  I am also acutely away that it’s not only the poor and indigent who are denied access to mental health care. 
San Franciscans with steady jobs and comprehensive health insurance have also been unable to get mental health counseling and access the timely, appropriate care that their insurer is legally required to provide.
It’s this second, frequently ignored mental health access issue that I discuss in this op-ed attached. We desperately need both our public and private systems to step up and provide people with the timely health services they need. In particular, Kaiser Permanente needs to put an end to long wait times for critical mental health services.

Introducing a Cooperative Living Model
for People with Mental Illness
Photo Courtesy Herb Neufield
This month, I introduced legislation to establish a cooperative living program for people with mental illness to help us address the crisis of people living on the streets of our city. Every San Franciscan I know is deeply troubled by the desperation and misery that we see every day. As we examine our city’s response, one of the most glaring gaps is the significant lack of housing options for people exiting residential treatment programs. It has been reported by DPH that 44 percent of homeless clients brought in for acute care leave these short-term treatment programs without a place to go, stepping onto a hamster wheel that cycles them from street to hospital to shelter and back to the streets. It’s absurd, it’s cruel, it’s wasteful, and we must do better.

For many years, several of our most respected mental health providers have been operating communal living in non-institutional, low-profile, neighborhood-based, assisted household settings. 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. Cooperative living can open the door to stability and serenity in their lives.

My legislation will require the City to expand this program and create economical and stable places for some of our most fragile residents to call home. We know this model works, and I look forward to passing this legislation and taking this critically important step to solving the chaos on our streets.

Out of Committee and Headed to a Vote: Closing Juvenile Hall
Photo Courtesy Kevin N. Hume, San Francisco Examiner

The legislation I authored together with Supervisors Shamann Walton and Matt Haney to close San Francisco's juvenile hall by December 2021 was just voted out of committee with a positive recommendation!

This legislation is a long time coming. For years, community-based organizations, young people, and families have been asking the City to stop the inhumane and ineffective practice of jailing children in cells with concrete slabs for beds. They have asked that our city leaders imagine something better for our city’s most vulnerable children, a model that could actually help them and their families find stability and a path to a positive future. That day has finally come.

I am very proud that we have been able to collectively put forward a proposal that is both bold and thoughtfully crafted in order to change the way our city treats children who have been charged with an offense.

This is a historic moment. We are finally moving away from an institutional detention center model, and opening the door for new, innovative solutions that can actually help young people and their families heal and thrive.

Recognizing LGBT Advocate and Documentarian Gwen Park
Photo via Facebook

This May, I got to recognize Gwen Park, a wonderful community advocate, documentarian, and Mission district resident as our District 9 Honoree for Asian Pacific Heritage Month.

Gwen has been organizing, promoting, and documenting campaigns and causes related to empowering the Queer and Transgender community members for years, with a focus on uplifting the voices of transgender women of color and transgender elders.

Thank you for all the work you do behind the scenes and behind the camera, Gwen!

Honoring Charlie’s Cafe and Deli
Photo via Facebook

What a treat to honor Charlie Harb and his amazing wife Krissy for the incredible community they create at Charlie’s Café and Deli in Bernal Heights.

Small businesses are difficult to run; yet so important to a neighborhood’s identity and success, not to mention the role they play in a healthy economy.

It is an understatement to say that Charlie’s Cafe and Deli exemplifies the best of what a small business can be in a big city. We love you, Charlie!

Galeria de la Raza at the D9 Office in City Hall
Photo via Facebook
My office is honored to host a truly breathtaking show of paintings and posters from Galeria de la Raza. As Galeria de La Raza is in transition after being evicted from their home on 24th Street, they have given us the gift of using our office as a gallery in exile.

Come see the works of the best Latinx artists in the country anytime - room 279 in City Hall.
Announcement About Joining Our D9 Team
Photo by Sergio Ruiz, Flickr

We are looking for a new member of our District 9 team!

It's not easy work, but it sure is rewarding. From fixing a constituent issue to authoring first-of-its-kind legislation to making our City more kind or effective to holding public officials accountable to serving our residents with respect and care; the work we do every day makes a real difference.

So consider applying to join our team or forward this to someone who you think would be great. Carolyn, Carolina, Amy and I are very busy working to responsibly close down Juvenile Hall, enact Mental Health SF, address the homeless crisis that continues to rage especially in the Mission, fight for more affordable housing, etc. So please do follow the application instructions in the link and don't contact us directly. We will review every application closely.

Thank you for your consideration and for helping us find someone wonderful!

Community Announcements
Searching for a  District 9 Youth Commissioner
Logo Courtesy

The Youth Commission is searching for a District 6 and 9 representative for our 2019 - 2020 cohort.  Please help us spread the word!
The Youth Commission is a body of 17 youth from San Francisco between the ages of 12 and 23. Created by the voters under a 1995 amendment to the City Charter, the commission is responsible for advising the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor on policies and laws related to young people. The Youth Commission is also charged with providing comments and recommendations on all proposed laws that would primarily affect youth before the Board takes final action.
All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply. Eligibility: between 12 and 23 years old, a San Francisco resident, and someone who has an understanding of the needs of young people in San Francisco, or experience with children and youth programs or youth organizations, or involvement with school or community activities.

Click here for application details.

Learn about the City’s Proposed Spending Plan for Baby Prop C
Courtesy San Francisco Office of Early Care & Education
In June 2018, voters passed the Early Care and Education for All Initiative (Baby Prop C) which could provide $121 million annually in new funding. Over the last 7 months, OECE collected input from parents, families, early educators, ECE stakeholders, and San Francisco community members to inform a First 5 Year Spending plan for this funding. Join us for a Community Town Hall on Saturday, June 8, 2019, 1pm-3pm to hear a summary of community input collected throughout this process as well as our draft Spending Plan proposal! The event is FREE to the public and will include Chinese and Spanish interpretation, snacks, and refreshments.
Where: City College of San Francisco Multi-Use Building, Room 140,
             50 Frida Kahlo Way, San Francisco, CA 94112
When: Saturday June 8, 2019 1pm-3pm
What:  Early Care and Education Town Hall Meeting

Register now!
Muni Art 2020 Call For Artists Open for Submissions
Logo Courtesy

San Francisco Beautiful proudly announces that the call for artists to apply for Muni Art 2020 is now open! 

This will be the fifth year that the contest will feature the work of local artists and poets on Muni buses throughout San Francisco. The five winning artists will have their newly created work presented along with five poems selected by the Poetry Society of America displayed on 100 Muni buses that will be transformed into rolling art galleries beginning in January 2020.
The theme this year, “Hidden Gems in San Francisco” is a collaboration with The Poetry Society of America (sponsors of Poetry in Motion ®) who will pre-select five poems that each Muni artist will creatively interpret. The five winners will be chosen by an appointed jury and announced August 30, 2019.
In addition to the five poetry panels, each artist has three panels to freely use that reflect the 2020 theme for a total of eight original works. The finished work will line both interior display sides of the buses. Readings by the poets at local libraries are scheduled for Spring 2020.

In addition to each artist having 20 Muni buses to use as a canvas, each artist will be awarded $1,000 at a press conference held on the steps of City Hall in January. 

The artists have until Friday, June 29th at 6 pm to submit their proposals. Link for application here.
For details on sponsorship opportunities, please contact Darcy Brown at 

Chase Center Career Readiness Training and Job Fairs
Courtesy Chase Center
The Warriors and Chase Center will be facilitating a Chase Center Career Readiness and Customer Service Training at the Bayview YMCA on Saturday, June 15 in partnership with YCD, Chase and LeadersUp.

This event is geared towards preparing individuals for the Chase Center public job fairs on June 22 and June 24 and will include aspects such as resume building, mock interviews and other elements to ensure candidates are competitive and are adequately prepared for the hiring process.

Please find attached the flyer and registration link to the event here -
More information about the public job fairs (June 22 and June 24) will be shared soon and can be found on
Youth Speaks Presents: Queeriosity 2019
Logo Courtesy Youth Speaks

Youth Speaks invites you to Queeriosity on June 8th at the Brava Theater.
Queeriosity is one of the longest-running programs at Youth Speaks. This LGBTQIA+ event explores personal and historical narratives that (re)frame perceptions of language, sexuality & gender. The showcase features an intergenerational lineup of artists who were chosen based on their participation in weekly workshops - exploring writing prompts, performance techniques, and creating the dopest space imaginable

Queeriosity is intended to be a space where your authentic self is not only welcomed- it’s celebrated. We hope you can join us.
The event is free and open to the public; RSVP here

2019 SFNOMA Project Pipeline Architecture + Community Planning Camp for Middle School students
Logo Courtesy

Registration is now open for the 2019 SFNOMA Project Pipeline Camp!

Project Pipeline camp is a  week-long architecture and community planning summer camp, June 24th - June 28th hosted on California College of The Arts Campus in San Francisco. Now entering its ninth year in the San Francisco Bay Area, the camp introduces middle school students ages 11-14 to the environmental design profession and strengthens STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Architecture, and Math) skills with fun and creative design thinking curriculum, while also building confidence in public speaking and interest in civic engagement.

New this year, they will have a shuttle bus leaving from the West Oakland BART station to bring students to and from the camp.

Full and partial scholarships are available to those families who have financial challenges and have a promising student. The scholarship application is the last page of the registration application. Scholarship applications need to be submitted by June 5th, and regular applications need to be submitted by June 14th.

To see a video of a previous camp and to register for the camp please go to 

City-Funded Summer Programs for San Francisco Kids
Logo Courtesy
Hard to believe, but school will be out and summer programming will be underway in a little over a month! In order to help you be fully prepared for summer 2019, here is a collection of resources for San Francisco summer programs. We hope you find them useful!
·     DCYF's Resources for Summer Program Providers page. Resources for Summer Program Providers page includes two major sections: Curriculum Resources and a San Francisco Field Trip List.

·     DCYF Funded Summer Programs for Grades K-8. DCYF funds over 60 summer programs in San Francisco. Visit this list to find out who we fund and the neighborhoods they serve.

Library Summer Programs and Summer Stride 2019
Logo Courtesy San Francisco Public Library

This summer, the Library offers more than 1,000 inventive programs supporting science, technology, education, math and reading for all ages at each branch and every week this summer, June 1 – August 18.

Learn the secret science of ice cream, how to tend backyard chickens, meet environmental writer Jason M. Wirth and attend the book launch of We Are Everywhere by authors Leighton Brown and Matthew Riemer, the creators of Instagram’s @lgbt_history.
Exciting city-wide partnerships power this year’s Summer Stride programming. In one of its most widely-subscribed programs, the Library works with the National Park Service to arrange free shuttle rides to outdoor adventures at destinations like Muir Woods, Land’s End and Marin Headlands.StoryWalks® have been installed in the Presidio featuring children’s books to increase the enjoyment of our beautiful parks.
Additionally, Oakland’s Scraper Bike Team will be joining award-winning artist Zachariah OHora on June 8 for a live StoryWalk® along the Presidio. Attendees will be treated to an interactive program about bikes, parks, art and community impact.

Summer Stride successfully motivates children, teens, and adults to record time spent at library programs and reading throughout the summer by offering finishers a prize tote bag designed by OHora. Graphics for this year’s vibrant, inclusive campaign was inspired by the book OHora illustrated, Bikes for Sale, written by Carter Higgins and published by Chronicle Books. OHora’s original Summer Stride artwork will be on display outside the Main Library’s Fisher Children’s Center throughout the summer.
The Library also offers popular summer weekly raffles. Prizes include free passes to local museums, SF Giants tickets, concert tickets and more. Patrons can enter the weekly raffles at any branch library and the Main Library.

Find storytimes for babies, engineering and maker programs for teens, magic shows, crafts, musical performances and summer films for families at 28 welcoming neighborhood libraries. 

San Francisco libraries are open seven days a week.

Got an upcoming event or opportunity to include in this newsletter? Email
Our mailing address is:
Hillary Ronen, District 9 Supervisor
City Hall 
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 244
San Francisco, CA 94102-4689