November 2009

In this edition:

CleanPowerSF Takes a Big Step Forward
San Francisco has taken a major step towards bringing cleaner, more renewable energy to San Francisco. For several years the City has been studying how to generate electricity that is 51% renewable by 2017 and that is competitively priced with PG&E. The Board of Supervisors this month unanimously passed legislation authored by Supervisor Mirkarimi to allow the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to find an energy service provider to meets the city energy needs through renewable, competitively-priced sources.

This important step means that on November 5th the City released it Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Community Choice Aggregation Program, known as Clean Power SF. The RFP was the result of several meeting, chaired by Supervisor Mirkarimi, and much public discussion on the best way to ensure the goals of CleanPowerSF are realized at the end of this process. By the end of the year bids will be received and the reviewing process will beginning of those bids to find the one that best meets the city cleaner energy needs.

More information:
- Guardian article
- Examiner article

Full Service Supermarket Is Coming to Haight and Stanyan
The on-again off-again plans to bring a Whole Foods to the former Cala Foods location at Haight and Stanyan are on again. Whole Foods has indeed signed a lease to open a store at the former Cala site at Haight and Stanyan. While there are several hoops Whole Foods still needs to go through to get their entitlements from Planning Department, Supervisor Mirkarimi is wholly supportive of the project. After some productive conversations with both the Planning Department and Whole Foods' store development division, construction/ rehabilitation could be completed as early as fall of 2010.

Whole Foods is also committed to a robust community outreach effort to hear neighbor's concerns as well as keep the community informed as to the progress of the project including as well as their plans to rehabilitate the existing structure in order to minimize its carbon footprint and incorporate as much green technology feasible.

More information:
- Business Times article
- Examiner article

November 17: Second Community Meeting on the Fillmore Muni Substation
The Office of Economic & Workforce Development and Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi invite you to the second community workshop on plans for the revitalization of the Fillmore Muni Substation on the corner of Fillmore and Turk. We'd like to thank everyone who attended the first meeting on October 15th. Join us for a hands-on workshop to discuss:
- Possible substation uses
- Partner selection criteria
- Potential adaptations of the building and site for the future

When: Tuesday, November 17, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Where: West Bay Conference Center, 1290 Fillmore St. between Turk & Eddy
Refreshments & light fare will be provided. Interpretive services & assistive listening devices will be available with 72 hours notice. This meeting is wheelchair accessible. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, please contact Jon Yolles at (415) 554-6129 or

December 3: Divisadero Art Walk
December 4: Lower Haight Art Walk

This holiday season, please support your local neighborhood businesses. The first week in December, we'll have two great opportunities to support local merchants, meet our neighbors, and celebrate two of our District 5 neighborhoods:

Thursday, December 3rd: Divisadero Art Walk
Time: 6 p.m. to late
Location: Divisadero from Haight to Geary
More details will be posted closer to the date at

Friday, December 4th: Lower Haight Art Walk
Time: 7 to 10 p.m.
Location: Haight from Pierce to Webster
Live music on the street, merchants will have holiday specials and gift bags. More details will be posted closer to the date at (Photo by flickr user MattyMatt)

December 11: Save the Date for our Holiday Art Party
Please join us on Friday, December 11th for our quarterly art party. Supervisor Mirkarimi will be inviting the California Coastal Commission to join our party, and the San Francisco League of Young Voters (AKA the League of Pissed Off Voters) will help curate the art show. Stay tuned for our December newsletter for more details.

Bring-Your-Own-Bag Rebate Legislation Introduced
On Tuesday, October 20th Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi introduced legislation that would give incentives to shoppers to bring their own bags while shopping. Under the proposed ordinance, the largest supermarkets and drug stores in the City would be required to reward shoppers who bring their own bag with a 10 cent rebate. To be clear, this ordinance does NOT ban paper bags, instead it gives shoppers an incentive to bring their own reusable bags. This ordinance will affect the same large Supermarkets and drug stores (over $2 million in gross annual sales receipts) that are affected by the current plastic bag ban. Paper bags typically cost between 5 and 7 cents each. Therefore the grocery industry should be able to either break even or save a few cents after the rebate when a customer's reusable bag replaces a double-bagged carry-out bag. While research indicates that a fee on check-out bags is the best way to achieve this goal, state laws currently prohibit cities from assessing bag fees. Supervisor Mirkarimi hopes that this incentive will spur more San Franciscans to bring their own reusable bags to help save trees, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce the City's waste stream.

- Examiner article
- Chronicle article

Sharp Park Update
On Friday, November 6th, the Recreation and Parks Department released a report commissioned by Supervisor Mirkarimi outlining alternatives for restoring the endangered species habitat at Sharp Park, which contains a golf course that is located in Pacifica but owned by San Francisco. The report estimates the costs of these plans to range from $6 million to $22 million, with the final total costs likely to be even higher. Supervisor Mirkarimi is greatly concerned by the prospect of San Francisco investing such substantial resources into a park outside our city limits while here in San Francisco we laying off rec center staff, raising fees, and neglecting the maintenance of our parks, playgrounds, and rec centers. He plans to work with the Rec and Park department, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the City of Pacifica, the County of San Mateo, and any other potential partners to develop a plan that restores the threatened habitat and maximizes recreational uses of Sharp Park without requiring San Francisco to foot the entire bill for this substantial project.

Sharp Park includes habitat for two endangered species, the San Francisco Garter Snake and the Red-Legged Frog. The City is mandated by the Endangered Species Act to restore this habitat.The report outlines three restoration plans that either maintain the 18-hole golf course, convert it to a 9-hole course, or close the golf course and convert it to an open space park. Supervisor Mirkarimi looks forward to seeing the results of the scientific review of the report that Rec and Park will conduct to make sure that the proposed restoration will satisfy the regulatory requirements of the California Department of Fish & Game and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

- Bay Guardian article
- Terrain Magazine article
- PDFs of the Rec and Park report

December 3: Committee Hearing on Dignitary Security Legislation
Supervisor Mirkarimi's legislation to require elected officials to reimburse the City for the cost of security that is provided for them while they are campaigning outside of San Francisco will be heard by the Rules Committee on Thursday, December 3rd at 10 a.m. The ordinance is narrowly tailored so that reimbursement is required only for campaign-related activities--City business and personal activities are excluded.

Supervisor Mirkarimi does not question the need for high-profile elected officials to receive personal security. But as a member of the Budget and Finance committee in this era of chronic budget deficits, he feels a responsibility to ensure that City funds are being used responsibly and efficiently. For many months, Supervisor Mirkarimi has attempted to get information on the cost to the City of providing security for our elected officials. But throughout this year's budget process, the Police Department refused to disclose any details, even in private to the members of the Budget committee. The City's campaign finance laws clearly state that City resources should not be used for campaign-related activities. This ordinance simply extends this principle to cover security for campaign activities as well.

- Examiner article on the cost of security for the Mayor
- Chronicle article on the ordinance
- Chronicle article on the cost of security for the Mayor
- NBC-11 story on the ordinance

Ban on Cat Declawing Passes
On Tuesday, November 3rd the Board of Supervisors voted 9-2 to adopt supervisor Mirkarimi's ordinance to ban the declawing of cats. A number of other California cities have followed San Franciso's lead in working to ban declawing before state law preempts us--including Berkeley, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Beverley Hills. This summer the Governor signed SB 762, which will take away municipality's ability to regulate declawing after it goes into effect January 1, 2010. Cat declawing is a form of animal cruelty that consists of amputating the first knuckle of each digit of the cat's paws. Declawing has been linked to animal behavioral problems that can lead to increased biting and litter box avoidance. The ban includes provisions to allow for declawing when it is necessary for the medical condition of the cat. While Supervisor Mirkarimi acknowledges that this issue is not a top priority for most residents, he feels that this is a simple piece of legislation that reinforces San Franciso's status as a compassionate city without distracting from our office's work on more pressing issues.

- KCBS story
- NBC-11 story
- Chronicle article
- Chronicle Op-Ed

Legislation Introduced to Improve Commercial Street Frontages
Supervisor Mirkarimi introduces measure to improve street frontages in neighborhood commercial districts across the city. The Market & Octavia Plan created a new zoning district, NC-T, which strengthened the planning code's requirements for creating active, attractive, and pedestrian-oriented ground-floor street frontages for new and renovated buildings. The Eastern Neighborhoods Plan extended these controls to the newly-created Eastern Neighborhoods Mixed-use districts, Downtown Residential Districts, and commercial districts re-zoned NC-T.

The proposed ordinance changes existing code language very little, apart from applying the newer street frontage rules in all NC districts, streamlines the code considerably by harmonizing the different requirements for NCT and Eastern Neighborhoods Mixed Use districts with NC, RC, DTR, and C-3 districts. The specific changes include:
- Above-grade parking setback: There are currently no parking setback requirements in NC districts;
- Active uses required: chiefly retail, restaurant, and similar public-serving uses;
- Ground-floor floor-to-ceiling height of at least 14' for non-residential uses is required where overall building heights exceed 28', and of 10' elsewhere;
- Transparency and fenestration: all ground-floor building frontages, except for residential frontages;
- Gates, railings, and grillwork: requires that any decorative railings or grillwork placed in front of or behind windows be at least 75% open to perpendicular view.

The proposed changes DO NOT:
- change the amount of allowable housing density;
- allow housing where it is currently disallowed;
- change the uses allowed in any zoning district in the city;
- increase allowable heights, building setbacks, or number of floors.

Save the Bay from Your Holiday Cooking

Supervisor Mirkarimi's office is partnering with San Francisco Baykeeper this winter to help spread the word about how to keep pollution out of the Bay. The preparation and cleanup of holiday meals is a primary cause of sewage spills in winter months. Rich foods like turkey and gravy contain large amounts of fats, oil and grease which are often washed down sink drains and into the sewer system, causing sewage backups. This can cause sewage to flow into storm drains and local creeks that feed into San Francisco Bay.

You can protect the Bay and promote local sustainability by collecting your used cooking oil and keeping fats, oils and grease out of the sewer system. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission's SFGreasecycle Program converts waste oil into biofuel to power City vehicles like MUNI buses.

Find out more: District 5's SFGreasecycle Collection Site: Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council Recycling Center: 755 Frederick St. (at Arguello); (Mon.-Sat. 9 to 4; Sun. 12 to 4). Phone: 415-753-2971. For a full list of residential collection sites, and more information, visit For more information about how to protect the Bay from sewage spills and other pollution, visit

Community Partners United Events

Community Partners United 8th Annual Giving Voice to the Season celebrations throughout the neighborhood. For eight years CPU, of which HVNA is a founding member, has been hosting community gatherings around the neighborhood to bolster connections, strengthen ties, and really, just to have a reason to hang out together. Please join them at one of these events:

- Giving Voice to the Season Thanksgiving Lunch: Noon-3pm Saturday November 21st at John Muir Elementary located at 380 Webster (at Oak)

- Giving Voice to the Season Community Sing Along: 6 to 9 pm Friday December 4th at Patricia's Green located at Hayes & Octavia

- Hayes Valley Merchants Block Party: 6 to 9 pm Friday on December 4th, 300, 400, 500 blocks of Hayes Street and side streets of Laguna, Octavia and Gough

- Wreath and Card Making Event: December 5th located at Hayes Valley South Community Room 403 Rose (at Buchanan)
- Food Give Away to over 250 families: December 17th and 18th

- Community Luncheon: December 19th and location to be determined.

For additional information contact Richard at 252-9644 or Or see our new online calendar of events for more events around the District and City.

Looking for a Job?

Community Land Trust
The San Francisco Community Land Trust is a member-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to create permanently affordable, resident controlled housing for low- and moderate-income people in San Francisco through community ownership of the land. SFCLT seeks a Community Organizer to work with the Board of Directors and residents of Midtown Park Apartments to explore potential conversion of this 140-apartment rental property in the Western Addition to a resident-owned cooperative.

The SFCLT also seeks to fill a temporary Organizational Associate position, 20 hours per week, dates of service approximately November 15, 2009 through April 15, 2010. The Organizational Associate is hired by and reports to the Organizational Director. For information on these positions, see

Work for the YMCA
The San Francisco YMCA has a number of job openings, including several positions with the Rec Connect program at the Buchanan YMCA. For information go to

Arts Commission
The San Francisco Arts Commission is hiring a Program Associate for the Cultural Equity Grants Program. This positions assists in the design, coordination and implementation of a spectrum of arts-related programs in a government arts agency, including grants management, technical assistance, convenings, research, etc. For details see the job announcement (PDF).

Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco
The Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco is hiring for several positions throughout the City. For information, go to

City Jobs
The City is always hiring for a wide variety of positions. For information on City employment openings click here. This page contains lists of job openings, information on Civil Service examinations, and a variety of other useful information on finding work.

Do You Know of Other Job Openings?
Please let us know and we'll include them in next month's newsletter. Email us at or call the office at 554-7630.

Upcoming Events

Click here to see our new online calendar of events!

On the calendar, one-time events are displayed in green while recurring events are displayed in orange. Click on the title of an event to display the location and more details about it, as shown in the image below:

If you have any feedback about the new format, or if you have an event that you would like us to include, please email Jeremy

Board of Supervisors Information

Looking for the Board of Supervisors meeting information, minutes, or agendas? Click the picture below or click here:

Comments, Suggestions, or Questions?
Do you have any comments, suggestions, complaints, or questions about our newsletter or anything else? Email us at or call the office 554-7630.

Office Volunteers Needed:
With our Summer internships winding down, we will welcome volunteers who might be able to help us handle phones, mail and other administrative tasks. We ask for a weekly commitment of at least 8 hours. If interested, please e-mail Rick at or call 554-6783.

Did you miss a previous newsletter?
Links to the monthly newsletters are now archived on Supervisor Mirkarimi's page. •  Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi's Office