The Grow SF Report, Vol. 11

What You Need To Know

The latest updates on SF government progress, policies, and priorities:

SF's Shoplifting Surge

Shoplifting is becoming an epidemic in SF. At a board of supervisors hearing last week, representatives from Walgreens said that thefts at its SF stores were four times the national average, requiring the chain to close 17 locations in the city. And it’s not just Walgreens. Retailers across the city have seen a rise in crime following 2014’s Prop 47, which reclassified nonviolent thefts as misdemeanors. The NY Times has the full story.

Bay Area Officials Blast SF NIMBYism

In a recent meeting of ABAG (the Association of Bay Area Governments), various Bay Area officials attacked the NIMBYist claims of SF reps calling on local leaders to decrease the amount of housing they’re supposed to build. Check out this Twitter thread for recordings of some of the most telling parts of the discussion.

Housing Creation With Heart

Pierce Smith and Ed Taylor discovered a way to quietly meet their housing needs while avoiding the city’s fierce political battles over where and what to build. They joined a nonprofit program called Home Match that pairs seniors who have an extra bedroom with people looking for an affordable place to live. What’s the catch? Pierce is 81 and Ed is 27. Imagine the hijinks when a military veteran from the Silent Generation shares his home with a rock-climbing Millennial.

Does CA Have Enough Water to Support Population Growth?

You may have seen on the news that the Bay Area is currently experiencing exceptionally extreme drought conditions. NIMBYs are quick to point to our water shortage as a reason to stop growth. Grow SF’s Steven Buss digs into this question and concludes that we can indeed grow, but only if we do so in a smart, sustainable way. Check out his full essay for more detail.

Update: SF COVID-19 Vaccinations

San Francisco continues to quickly distribute the vaccine. Here’s the latest:

Your Action Plan

Now that you know what’s happening, help us shape what happens next:

Help Us Save Outdoor Dining

On Monday the Supervisor's Land Use Committee discussed legislation to make Shared Spaces permanent. After 5 hours of discussion and mostly supportive public comment, committee Supervisors Aaron Peskin, Dean Preston and Myrna Melgar delayed action for two weeks until June 7.

During public comment, dozens of residents shared how their streets became communities and places of joy. Small business owners showed up and attested that Shared Spaces was a lifeline for them, allowing them to keep their doors open and keep people employed.

“We need to get out of our own way,” said Supervisor Ahsha Safai.

Mayor Breed made it clear that she is not happy with the Supervisors delaying her legislation. She announced if the Supervisors don’t pass her legislation, she’ll put it on the ballot.

Here are 3 things you can do:

  1. Sign our petition

  2. Visit our website for instructions on how to email your Supervisor

  3. Give public comment at the Land Use Committee meeting on June 7. Sign up here to be notified when it’s time to call in.

Fun in SF

Check out some of our favorite fun activities happening in SF right now:

Coyotes in the Botanical Gardens

A litter of seven coyote pups has been caught on camera in the San Francisco Botanical Garden at Golden Gate Park, causing park officials to close a few trailheads and fence off additional areas on Monday morning. The SF Chronicle has the full story.

Stern Grove Festival is On This Summer

SF’s beloved Stern Grove Festival announced that it will indeed go forward this summer, becoming one of the first major events to restart in post-pandemic San Francisco. Performances will be every Sunday from June 20 through August 29, starting at 2 PM. The much-anticipated lineup will be announced in the coming weeks. Full story at SF Weekly.

Topical Tweets

Yes, there is good stuff on Twitter. Here’s some of it:

Electric cars and hybrids are cool. But you know what will actually combat climate change? Driving less. We need to stop celebrating electric trucks and start celebrating dense, walkable cities.