The GrowSF Report: Tower of Housing to Rival Salesforce Tower
Be a Smart Voter! Use the GrowSF Voter Guide
Published December 18, 2021
What You Need To Know
Here's what happened around the city for the week of December 11, 2021:
- A Tower of Housing to Rival Salesforce Tower? Yes, Please!
- From Parking to Housing --- On the Westside!
- Misbehaving School Board? Mayor Seeks to Punish Through Purse Strings
- How Many Police Officers Does San Francisco Need?
- The Sound of Silence (Finally)
- Be a Smart Voter! Use the GrowSF Voter Guide
A Tower of Housing to Rival Salesforce Tower? Yes, Please!
Plans were revealed to build a 1,066-foot tower of all housing next to the Salesforce Tower downtown. It would just be four feet shy of San Francisco's tallest building.
Why stop short? We say outdo Salesforce and make it taller than anything West of the Mississippi. Just be sure to anchor it in bedrock so we don't repeat the Millennium Tower cost-cutting debacle that said concrete pilings into the sand was enough to keep a skyscraper from tilting.
We should be making new housing as tall as possible. Why are the new towers around Van Ness and Market only reach 30 stories when they could easily be 50? And it's near criminal to see only 15 stories of new housing go up in Mission Bay when those towers should be 30 stories.
What we build today will be around for the next century. When given the chance to build something new, we must think big.
From Parking to Housing --- On the Westside!
The parking lot at Stonestown Mall on San Francisco's westside is going to become nearly 3,000 homes in a dozen new buildings ranging from three to 18 stories.
The mall is adjacent to some of the lowest density neighborhoods in San Francisco, consisting of all single-family homes.
All those parking spaces covered by the new housing won't totally disappear. A multistory parking structure will be built to accommodate all the previous spaces.
Preliminary drawings for the Stonestown redevelopment were submitted to planning officials at City Hall this week with hopes for construction to begin in 2024. See more here.
Misbehaving School Board? Mayor Seeks to Punish Through Purse Strings
It's well documented how incompetent school board has been lately. If you need a re-cap, here are all the ways. And voters will get a chance to recall three school board commissioners on February 15.
But Mayor London Breed wants to be able to use city purse strings to punish and correct future school boards that misbehave. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Breed seeks to change city law so the mayor can withhold "millions in city funding each year if school board members continue to micromanage, treat others poorly or persist in chasing short-term political wins."
How Many Police Officers Does San Francisco Need?
Mayor London Breed announced a "state of emergency" in the Tenderloin this week so she can cut through bureaucratic red tape and bypass some laws to address the crime, drug trade, and record overdose deaths that plague the neighborhood. The mayor also said she wants to supplement the police budget so officers can work overtime to "deal head on with the open air drug dealing that is destroying our city."
But we need to hire more officers.
GrowSF's Joel Engardio explains in a San Francisco Examiner op-ed that we have too few police officers for a city our size. We are short at least 400, according to a study commissioned by City Hall that said current police staffing is "severely inadequate."
A per capita comparison of police officer numbers in U.S. cities shows Chicago has 44 police officers for every 10,000 residents. New York City has 42. But San Francisco only has 26.
When Mayor Breed and Police Chief Bill Scott requested 200 new officers during budget negotiations in June, members of the Board of Supervisors balked and the compromise was to hire only 135 over the next two years.
Meanwhile, hundreds of police officers are nearing retirement as crimes like home burglaries, retail theft, and car break-ins are rising.
The Sound of Silence (Finally)
An eerie humming noise started coming from the Golden Gate Bridge on windy days in April 2020 (listen to it here).
The cause was an upgrade in the slats on the pedestrian handrails. Thinner slats were installed to make the bridge safer in high winds. But the wind that sailed through those new slats created a loud, high-pitched hum that could be heard miles away.
After much testing, a solution was found: attaching little U-shaped clips with a rubber sleeve on each of the 12,000 vertical slats. The clips will cost about a half million dollars.
Be a Smart Voter! Use the GrowSF Voter Guide
There's an important special election February 15 to recall the school board and pick a new state assemblymember to represent the eastside of San Francisco.
Mail-in ballots will arrive in mid-January. Get informed and read the GrowSF voter guide.
Your Action Plan
Now that you know what's happening, help us shape what happens next:
Make Sure You're Composting!
Composting is important. SF always knew it, and now California does too! The largest change to waste management since the introduction of recycling is coming into effect - read about it here. And remember: make sure to compost! It's one of the fastest ways out there to reduce your carbon footprint and improve your environmental impact.
Fun in SF
Check out some of our favorite fun activities happening in SF right now:
Kid Safe JFK 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: JFKHolidayParty.com
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!):
San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus
The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus will be performing their holiday show at venues all over the city, including the Castro Theater and Davies Symphony Hall. Get your tickets today.
Polk Street Holiday Festival
Saturday, December 18th enjoy a free family festival at Helen Willis Park (11a-3p) w/ Santa coming at 11:30a, free bouncy house & party in the park. At night, enjoy carolers from 5:30-7:30p up and down Polk St. btwn California and Broadway. More info here.
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Yes, there is good stuff on Twitter. Here's some of it:
City Hall employees got pretty creative in this bake off. Click through to see the full thread of hilarious cakes.
Update: SF COVID-19 Vaccinations
The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is spreading in the United States. 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.
Vaccination Rate: >90% of SF residents over 5 have received at least 1 dose. 84% have been fully vaccinated.
Eligibility: All SF residents 5 and older are eligible to be vaccinated!