The Grow SF Report, Vol. 16

What You Need To Know

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

Did you vote for this judge?

After being arrested for burglary, Superior Court Judge Richard Darwin let Daniel Cauich back on the street with an ankle monitor despite Cauich's extensive criminal history. Two weeks later Cauich allegedly stabbed 94-year-old Ahn Taylor multiple times and has been booked on attempted murder.

Did you know judges are elected? SF ballots are long and it’s hard to know who to vote for. Don’t let this happen again. Get your friends to subscribe to the Grow SF Report so we can elect judges that take crime seriously.

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Public Safety 101

TogetherSF is hosting an event to help San Franciscans better understand the roles of our district attorney, public defender, and city attorney. Register here.

Car break-ins: what’s the real story?

The SF Chronicle initially reported that car break-ins were up 753% — an alarming figure, to be sure! But it wasn’t the whole story. After receiving feedback that this was measured from the middle of Covid-19 lockdown, and only looking at districts with high tourism, they updated the headline to remove this misleading statistic. As they point out now in the article, auto burglaries “are up only 75% compared to 2019.”

75% is still a substantial increase, but nowhere near the apocalyptic 753% figure. If we’re going to fix San Francisco, we need to be critical and look at data honestly.

We’re disappointed to see zero leadership from our officials to address, or even acknowledge, this situation. It makes the city unsafe for residents and will drive down tourism.

Opinion about why nothing gets done

San Francisco not only has famously-too-many commissions, but they also are terribly inefficient.

I joined the SOTF to be help empower citizens to better understand their local government and call out officials for non-compliant behavior. My time on the task force, however, has made clear that the Sunshine Ordinance is failing.

We aren’t exposing corruption. Instead, we’re a cog in the over-bureaucratization of democracy.

So writes Kevin Frazier, a member of the San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance Task Force. We need to move away from death-by-a-thousand-committees and back to a representative democracy.

SF’s fentanyl overdose crisis

Fentanyl overdoses are a bigger crisis than Covid-19 in San Francisco. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, in 2020 72% of overdose deaths “involved fentanyl […] This is up from just 16% of overdose deaths in 2017.”

We need to help people suffering from addiction get off fentanyl and arrest the dealers bringing death to our city.

Scoot ordered to Halt Operations in SF

Amidst all-time high heat on the West Coast, the SF MTA ordered Scoot to halt operations because they used subcontractors the city didn’t explicitly approve. Solving climate change requires adopting zero-emissions vehicles like Scoot’s electric shared scooters, not shutting them down.

Perhaps the real problem in San Francisco is the permitting process and not scooters?

Update: SF COVID-19 Vaccinations

San Francisco has become the first major city in the United States to reach “herd immunity”. Great job everyone!


Your Action Plan

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

Help Us Save Outdoor Dining

The discussion around outdoor dining has been delayed by a few weeks, but we need to keep letting our Supervisors know that this needs to be permanent! Here are two things you can do right now to help us outdoor dining permanent:

  1. Sign our petition

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

We’ll keep you informed on updates and other ways to help get this across the finish line!

Subscribe to Grow SF Town Halls

Grow SF regularly hosts conversations with folks around San Francisco and in local government to learn about what they do, how our local government operates, and what we can do to get involved.

We host conversations live on Twitter Spaces. To hear about upcoming events follow @growsf on Twitter.

Can’t make it live? We post recordings of every session to the Grow SF Town Hall Podcast. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google Podcasts!


Fun in SF

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

Hillsborough Concedes to Florence Fang’s Flintstone House

A victory for private property rights. At long last, the owner of the “Flintstone House” will be allowed to Yabba Dabba Do what she wants with her own home. The iconic house, which can be seen from highway 280, came under city scrutiny in 2018 when the Hillsborough Administrative Hearing Panel ordered Fang to obtain permits for her decorations.

She sued, employing the services of former Supervisor and Mayoral candidate Angela Alioto. This week, she won and the city will pay her $125,000 for the hassle. Though, apparently, she agreed to get those permits anyway…

Stern Grove Festival in Full Swing!

The Stern Grove Festival kicked off last month. The event itself is free, but advanced tickets are required. Can’t make it in person? Register here to view the live streams on Sundays.


Topical Tweets

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

The Board of Supervisors budget committee, led by Supervisor Haney, reached an agreement with the Mayor on the upcoming city budget.

We’re excited to see major progress on the Van Ness project that has been delayed for years! Director of Transportation Jeffrey Tumlin visits the crew working hard to get this important corridor opened.