The GrowSF Report: Action from Governor Newsom on fentanyl crisis
PLUS: SF ends boycott of 30 states
What You Need To Know
Here’s what happened around the city for the week of April 24, 2023:
- Action from Governor Newsom on fentanyl crisis: help from CHP and National Guard
- SF ends boycott of 30 states
- SF Art Institute declares bankruptcy
- Stern Grove Festival lineup announced, register for free
Action from Governor Newsom on fentanyl crisis: help from CHP and National Guard
For over a year, Mayor Breed has been asking Governor Newsom and the Biden administration for help combating our fentanyl crisis. Finally, Governor Newsom has responded with a commitment to help. Newsom will deploy California Highway Patrol officers to the city to assist our severely understaffed police department, and will assign specialists from the National Guard to help analyze drug operations, with a focus on identifying and disrupting fentanyl trafficking rings.
You may have read in some unreliable news outlets about Newsom “deploying the national guard,” intimating that you’d soon see assault-rifle-wielding soldiers. But the reality is that officers on the ground will be familiar — SFPD and the Highway Patrol — while detectives will get extra help in the back office from highly trained specialists from the national guard. They’ll be wearing business suits, not fatigues.
These moves from the Governor are welcome in a city that has already experienced more than 200 fentanyl overdose deaths from January to March. Fentanyl dealers prey on innocent people, selling a cheap but deadly drug. Fentanyl can only be safely used by trained medical professionals in a hospital setting; allowing the unchecked & illegal distribution and abuse of this potent drug is not just irresponsible, it is deadly.
Supervisor Matt Dorsey took to twitter to praise the news:
We’re optimistic that this added manpower will allow San Francisco to finally get our fentanyl crisis under control. The proof of its effectiveness will be shown by far fewer or, hopefully, even zero overdose deaths.
A prime responsibility of a legitimate government is in ensuring the health and safety of its people. It’s clear that San Francisco has been failing this test. Our best wishes (and hopes) are with Mayor Breed and Governor Newsom in getting our city back on track.
SF ends boycott of 30 states
The sign of a good leader is changing course when data and evidence shows what you’re doing isn’t working. This is exactly what Supervisor Mandelman recognized and pushed forward, with his repeal of the “12X” law passing 7 to 4. The usual suspects who voted against it were Supervisors Shamann Walton, Connie Chan, Dean Preston, and Myrna Melgar
In 2016, the Board of Supervisors passed a law directing city agencies to boycott companies from states that had passed laws limiting LGBTQ rights, voting rights, and abortion access. The goal was to pressure these states into changing their laws, but a set of reports found that none of the jurisdictions were swayed by the SF boycott. In addition, city government could enjoy savings of up to 20%, reduced bureaucracy, and simpler procurement processes by repealing the law.
Repealing this well-intentioned but counter-productive law is a great step towards fixing our bureaucratic morass which has raised costs while lowering quality. Thank you, Supervisor Mandelman!
SF Art Institute declares bankruptcy
The San Francisco Art Institute has been a San Francisco institution for 152 years, bringing in and educating students from around the world. Unfortunately it filed for bankruptcy on April 19th, and will be closing its doors permanently.
The SF Art Institute’s Board of Directors tried everything they could to save the school, including a tie-up with the University of San Francisco, but no solution emerged. The school’s most valuable asset is a mural painted by Diego Rivera in 1931, the sale of which could have potentially fetched in excess of $50M.
Unfortunately, District 3 Supervisor Aaron Peskin had the mural declared a city landmark, preventing it from being sold by the school. This misguided and heavy-handed attempt to protect local art has now cost us our preeminent art school
Hopefully we will one day have a new art institute in San Francisco, but it is certainly sad to lose one that has been with us for so long.
Stern Grove Festival lineup announced, register for free
A wonderful San Francisco tradition, the Stern Grove music festival, is back! As in previous years, artists will be playing every Sunday at 2 PM, from June 18th to August 20th. Tickets are free, but require registration in advance. Make sure to check out the lineup and see some amazing artists!
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What we’re doing this week
TRAXXX: Black Queer Nightlife in Hi-Fidelity
WHEN: May 4th at 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
WHERE: SF MoMA at 151 3rd St.
Within Sadie Barnette’s The New Eagle Creek Saloon, join us for a hybrid performance, lecture, and dance party led by artist-scholar and DJ madison moore centered on the meaning and value of Black queer nightlife spaces.
Billy Porter - Black Mona Lisa Tour
WHEN: May 5th at 8 p.m.
WHERE: Golden Gate Theater at 1 Taylor St.
Grammy, Emmy, and 2x Tony winner Billy Porter brings passion and joy to San Francisco with his first-ever career-spanning pop music concert tour. Expect a full band, backed by a video installation, fronted by Billy Porter telling his life story through song.
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