The Grow SF Report, Vol. 5

What You Need To Know

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

School Saga Update

School Re-openings: Sponsored by the words “Should” and “Must”
Governor Newsom said public schools across California “should” open full-time to all students in the fall. But he didn’t say “must.” That’s a key difference because it lets San Francisco off the hook for fully opening middle and high schools, which were not included in the limited number of elementary schools that partially reopened this week. Read more.

Dean Preston wants free Muni. Is that possible?

Dean Preston and Matt Haney have introduced legislation to make Muni free on a trial basis for the next three months, using $9.3m from the city’s general fund to cover the lost fare revenue. It’s possible to do this at the moment as fare revenues are about a tenth of what they were before the pandemic, but is this a good long term program?

Probably not. It will be much harder to find the money to fund this program indefinitely, as Preston intends to push for. In Streetsblog, Jon Bate argues that spending money on making transit free is less effective at increasing ridership than improving service, or spending money on programs focused towards helping low-income riders who need it the most.

CA Wildfire Risk is High This Year

Some scary news: the FMC (fuel-moisture content) level in California is not looking good. We might be facing a rough fire season in a few months.

Global warming is hitting us hard, but we also haven’t done enough proactively to prevent wildfires. ProPublica: “Academics believe that between 4.4 million and 11.8 million acres burned each year in prehistoric California. Between 1999 and 2017, that number dropped to an annual 13,000 acres.” 🤯

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:

Three Ways to Help with the School Board Recall

The movement to recall the SF School Board is now in full swing. To trigger a special election, the committee is aiming to collect 70,000 valid signatures on paper petitions. That’s right: You need to physically sign with pen and paper. (No e-signatures allowed.)

1. Drive-Thru Petition Signing

Date: Sundays, April 18 and April 25
Time: 11am to 1pm
Place: Lowell High School, 1101 Eucalyptus Drive

No printer? No problem! Recall SF School Board is hosting a “Drive-Thru” Petition signing event outside Lowell High School on Sundays (the 18th and 25th).

Use this traffic flow map to make your entry and exit seamless for everyone:

2. Volunteer to help Drive-Thru Petition Signing

Over 500 people showed up at the last drive-thru signing, and we’re expecting that number to grow fast. We need as many volunteers as possible to make this effort a success.

Fill out this volunteer form, if you can help on April 18th or 25th! As a bonus, you’ll get one of these cool yellow t-shirts:

3. Print, Sign, and Mail the Petition

Can’t make it to the drive-thru? Click here to download, print, sign, and mail your own petition today. Or drop it off at the Sunday drive-thru. Remember: Anything you sign online doesn't count. The actual recall petition must be signed with a pen on paper.

SF Politics 101 Webinars

Date: Tuesday, April 20 (other dates available here)
Time: 7pm to 8pm
Place: Click here to register or find another date that works for you

Ever wonder why SF politics is the way it is? SF Politics 101 explains how local politics work and presents an entertaining look at the history that shaped our city. Learn about San Francisco’s journey from the Gold Rush to tech backlash — and every twist in between.

The webinar is brought to life with photos and narrative storytelling. SF Politics 101 is designed for both newcomers and longtime residents who want to better understand the city they love.

San Francisco’s Small Business 30 Day Challenge

Mayor Breed just announced a challenge to help boost small businesses in SF. Starting May 1, city residents are encouraged to patronize only small businesses and restaurants and to avoid big chains and corporations.

The challenge is geared toward making city residents think twice when spending their money, and to spotlight our beloved, character-filled local shops and restaurants. These businesses have suffered greatly during the COVID-19 pandemic and need all the customers they can get if they’re going to survive.

SF Budget 101

The Alice B. Toklas LGBTQ Democratic Club recently hosted an excellent panel on demystifying the SF Budget process so we can all be more informed about how our city’s funds are allocated.

Campaign for Solidarity Launch

Date: Saturday, April 17
Time: 12pm to 2pm
Place: Civic Center Plaza, San Francisco

Join the San Francisco Human Rights Commission and Stand Together SF Initiative to launch the Campaign for Solidarity, a citywide event bringing together our AAPI, Black, Latinx, American Indian, and multiracial communities to stand up against racist hate and violence. This unity event will feature healing spaces, family-friendly activities, and a volunteer opportunity to assemble and deliver 1,000 Solidarity Kits to inspire, inform and nourish our neighbors.


Fun in SF

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

SF Restaurant Week

San Francisco has some of the best food in the world, and restaurant week is a great opportunity to eat well without breaking the budget. Check out this site for participating restaurants and make a reservation now.

SF International Film Festival

The longest-running film festival in the Americas is back! SFFILM champions the world’s finest films and filmmakers through programs anchored in and inspired by the spirit and values of the San Francisco Bay Area. The 2021 festival runs from April 9 to 18.

Bayside Saturdays

Every Saturday in April, choose your own adventure along the India Basin & Hunter’s Point waterfront during Bayside Saturdays and enjoy FREE drop-in fitness classes, giveaways, live music, small business specials — all while taking in nature and new art all along the waterfront!


Topical Tweets

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

Seems obvious to us too: