The GrowSF Report: Time to Save Shared Spaces Again

Watch video of school board recall debate

Published December 11, 2021

The GrowSF Report: Time to Save Shared Spaces Again

What You Need To Know

Here's what happened around the city for the week of December 5, 2021:

  • Time To Save Shared Spaces --- Again\
  • This Is Pulitzer Level Journalism. We Just Wish the Story Weren't So.\
  • Where Does Our Water Come From?\
  • Retail Theft Bust Is Largest in State History\
  • San Francisco Has A City Administrator?\
  • School Board Recall Debate

Time To Save Shared Spaces --- Again

GrowSF is proud of our role in saving shared spaces this past summer. We've always loved the food, drink, and social vibe of San Francisco --- and love it even more with outdoor seating that's fun, funky, and creative.

We love people. And shared spaces draws more people into San Francisco's awesome and eclectic neighborhoods. It's great for local businesses and entrepreneurs, too. We love our entrepreneurs. They make a city soar.

Alas, like freedom and democracy, shared spaces are fragile and need protecting.

In the effort to make them permanent (a good thing), City Hall sought to ensure the structures were fire-proof and accessible for disabled residents to enjoy (a good thing). But in doing so, City Hall created 60 pages of regulations that threaten the whole point of shared spaces (a bad thing).

There needs to be a balance. A shared space structure shouldn't be inaccessible, a death trap, or an eyesore. Yet we can't overregulate them until businesses just give up because they're no longer feasible.

We're grateful Mayor London Breed extended the deadline for compliance until March 2023. Let's use this extra time to make shared spaces better without killing them in the process.

We need to urge our supervisors to support the mayor's common sense plans to make shared spaces permanent.

Take action here.

This Is Pulitzer Level Journalism. We Just Wish the Story Weren't So.

Heather Knight Fentanyl Addiction

We're big fans of Heather Knight, the San Francisco Chronicle columnist who is becoming our city's 21st Century Herb Caen. Heather hits another journalistic home run with this gripping tale of a mother trying to save her daughter from fentanyl addiction on the cruel streets of San Francisco.

At GrowSF, we're doing all we can to fix the cruel streets. And not every street is cruel. We always celebrate what's good about San Francisco. A city this good and beautiful is worth saving. So are the people lost to addiction and predatory drug dealers.

Please read Heather's article to better understand what's happening in places like the Tenderloin and why we must do better to not give up any neighborhood to cruel forces.

Also, if you want to know more about Heather Knight and her work, GrowSF's Joel Engardio interviewed her on our Town Hall podcast. Listen here.

Where Does Our Water Come From?

Where does our water come from

San Francisco has some of the best tap water in the world, but where does it come from? The San Francisco Chronicle has published photos of the Hetch Hetchy Valley and the O'Shaughnessy Dam, which are responsible for capturing the water we drink.

Remember: we are in a drought and officials are asking everyone to reduce their water usage by five percent.

See the historic photos here.

Retail Theft Bust Is Largest in State History

Retail Theft

In one of the largest theft-ring busts in California history, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that state law enforcement officials recovered $8 million worth of stolen merchandise from retailers like CVS, Walgreens and Target across the Bay Area. The stolen loot was found in the theft-ring's warehouse, residences and storage facility.

The California Retailers Association told ABC7 they blame the rise in retail thefts on a belief among criminals that "they can commit these crimes and there will not be any consequences for their behavior."

San Francisco Has A City Administrator?

Carmen Chu City Administrator

San Francisco has a mayor, of course. And a board of supervisors (which is our city council). But why do we have a city administrator? Her name is Carmen Chu. What does she administer and where does she get her power?

The San Francisco Examiner does a deep dive on this little-known but powerful office.

School Board Recall Debate

Recall Debate for SF School Board

School board recall leader Autumn Looijen and GrowSF's Joel Engardio debated Commissioner Faauuga Moliga this week. Watch the full video here.

The debate was sponsored by several westside neighborhood associations, the Coalition of San Francisco Neighborhoods, and Families for San Francisco.

Moliga is one of three school board members facing a recall vote on February 15. Commissioners Alison Collins and Gabriella Lopez did not answer invitations to appear at the debate.

See GrowSF's recall voter guide here and read the point-by-point case for recall here.

Your Action Plan

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

Get Ready For Election Season

Believe it or not, San Francisco is going to have four elections in 2022!

Our next election will be on February 15, 2022. Ballots will be mailed out to all registered voters 30 days before the election

Key Races

  • Recall of three school board commissioners. GrowSF endorses YES to the recall of all three commissioners.

  • CA Assembly District 17 Special Election. GrowSF endorses Bilal Mahmood for this position.

Are you new to the city or have you recently moved? Make sure you register to vote here.

Know Your San Francisco Politics

Know SF Politics

Ever wonder why San Francisco is the way it is? Find out with Joel Engardio's SF Politics 101 webinar. It provides an entertaining look at the history that shaped San Francisco, while explaining how City Hall and local politics work.

Tuesday December 14\ 7pm to 8pm\ Click here to register

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. It's designed for all residents new and old who want to better understand the city they love.

Fun in SF

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

Kid Safe JFK Holiday Party

JFK Drive Holiday Party

Our friends at Kid Safe SF are organizing a family-friendly holiday party on JFK next Sunday from 10 AM to 1 PM. Food trucks, live music, story time and arts & crafts for kids, and much more:

This is a free (and festive) event welcome to all people, and we'd love for you to share the event with your friends, neighbors, and networks!

Please RSVP to help us prepare for an accurate number of attendees (and a chance to win one of many prizes!):

Check Out the Best Christmas Lights in SF

The 415 Guy has the map you need.

Love the Grow SF Report? Share it

Help Grow SF grow! Share our newsletter with your friends. The bigger we are, the better San Francisco will be.


Update: SF COVID-19 Vaccinations

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is spreading in the United States --- with the first case detected here in San Francisco. Get your vaccine booster today!

Vaccines are now available to anyone 5 years and up! Click here to search for vaccination sites and to book an appointment.

All adults may receive a booster shot:

  • Six months after your second shot of Pfizer or Moderna

  • Two months after your Johnson & Johnson shot

Note: Recipients of one vaccine may choose a different vaccine for their booster. For example, if you got the Johnson & Johnson shot, you may choose J&J, Moderna, or Pfizer for your booster.

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