May 2010

In this edition:

  • City Hall Update:
  • District 5 Update:
  • Transportation Authority Chair Report: Fighting for Muni & MTA Reform
    As Chair of the San Francisco Transportation Authority (the TA), Supervisor Mirkarimi has been working with his colleagues to use the influence of the TA to help Muni. When the Municipal Transportation Agency (the MTA), which runs Muni, requested $7 million to fund maintenance of Muni vehicles, Supervisor Mirkarimi worked to make the money contingent on the MTA finding a way to reduce the proposed service cuts to Muni from 10% to 5%. Unfortunately in the short-term, the 10% across-the-board service cuts to Muni will go into effect on Saturday, May 8th. Supervisor Mirkarimi will continue to work to restore Muni service without resorting to fare increases when the Board of Supervisors considers the MTA budget next week.

    WHAT: Board of Supervisors Budget & Finance Hearing on the MTA budget
    WHEN: Wednesday, May 12 at 1:30 p.m.
    WHERE: City Hall, Board of Supervisors Chambers

    Supervisor Mirkarimi Proposes Independent Crime Lab
    Supervisor Mirkarimi introduced an ordinance that would make the San Francisco crime lab independent from the San Francisco Police Department. The recent revelations about serious, systemic problems within the crime lab demand immediate action to ensure public safety and restore public confidence in our judicial system. But setting aside these serious issues, crime lab independence is becoming an accepted best practice across the country. Last year the National Academy of Sciences issued a report called "Strengthening Forensic Science in the U.S." recommending that crime labs be independent. There is an inherent conflict of interest with police performing forensic testing: The police's mission is to catch and build cases against criminals. The crime lab's mission is to accurately and impartially evaluate evidence.

    Under the ordinance, the crime lab would be under the jurisidiction of the City Administrator, which also oversees the office of the City's Medical Examiner. The ordinance also directs the Controller to evaluate possible long-term solutions, such as partnering with neighboring jurisdictions to create a regional crime lab or combining the offices of the Medical Examiner and the Crime Lab.

    Supervisor Mirkarimi Moves to Create Responsible Disposal Program for Medications
    properly dispose medicationWhat happens to expired prescription and over the counter drugs? Usually consumers will toss them in the trash to go to a landfill or worse, flush them down the toilet. Unfortunately, wastewater treatment plants and septic systems are generally not designed to treat pharmaceutical waste. A 2002 study by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) found that 80% of streams in the U.S. have measurable concentrations of prescription drugs including steroids and hormones. So please don't flush your waste drugs!

    Supervisor Mirkarimi has introduced an Ordinance designating your local pharmacy as a collection point for consumer's unused medications for return to the manufacturer. This is not necessarily a new idea or an added onus on drug makers. In fact, many companies that sell pharmaceuticals in the U.S. also sell into other countries such as Australia, Canada, Portugal, and Spain, which have implemented pharmaceutical take-back programs; some have even been in place for over a decade.

    For more information on Product Stewardship and pharmaceuticals in the environment, go to:

    Closing the Plastic Bag Loophole
    Supervisor Mirkarimi has introduced a Resolution authorizing the Department of the Environment (DOE) to issue regulations cosing the "Plastic Bag on Steroids" loophole in the plastic bag ban ordinance. After many e-mails and letters from constituents complaining about the recent proliferation of extra heavy duty plastic bags being given away at several grocery stores, Supervisor Mirkarimi moved to "motivate" the DOE to use its regulatory authority under the ordinance to reign in the use of these plastic bags. The Board passed the resolution unanimously. Of course, the best solution is to bring your own, reusable bag. Supervisor Mirkarimi will be exploring ways to continue to support the "neither paper nor plastic" movement.

    Street Frontages Legislation Passes
    The Board of Supervisors unanimously supported Supervisor Mirkarimi's ordinance to expand the improved regulations for street frontages in neighborhood commercial districts across the city. These regulations ensure that store fronts have high ceilings and lots of windows, and limit the width of driveways that break up commercial corridors. The regulations were pioneered in the Market-Octavia and Eastern Neighborhoods projects, and will now be applied uniformly citywide. For more information, see our April newsletter.

    May 10: Hearing on Proposed Sit-Lie Law
    This coming Monday, the Board Board of Supervisors'; Public Safety Committee hearing on the proposed "NO Sit/Lie" law, which would make it illegal to sit or lie on the sidewalk anywhere in San Francisco. Because the justification for this law is to address lax prosecutions or repetitious offenses, many questions are raised as to why current anti-loitering, nuisance laws aren't being enforced, and how prosecutions will be any different. Supervisor Mirkarimi continues to believe that community-based policing, including foot beat patrols, must be a part of any effective solution to unacceptable behavior on our streets. As always our office shall continue to advocate for stepped-up attention from city departments where there are chronic problems of graffiti/blight and low-level crimes.

    WHEN: Monday, May 10 at 10 a.m.
    WHERE: Board of Supervisors Chambers

    District 5 Update: May 13: Bike to Work Day

    Join us next Thursday for Bike to Work Day. The District 5 "Commuter Convoy" will meet at Sacred Grounds cafe at 2095 Hayes St at Clayton. The plan is to depart for downtown at 7:45 a.m. The Commuter Convoy will also be in effect on Tuesday May 11 and Wednesday May 12 if you want to get an early start. Please join us! If you have questions, contact Jeremy in our office at or 554-6758.

    At 27 Energizer Stations, volunteers will provides free snacks, fair trade certified coffee, and convenient reusable tote bags for future commutes. For a complete map of stations, see In District 5, the stations will be at:
    7:30 - 9:30 am: southeast corner of 7th & Irving St:
    5 - 7 pm: on the Panhandle west of Masonic

    Fix Finally Coming for the Fell Street BIke Lane
    After years of advocacy by Supervisor Mirkarimi, cyclists, and neighborhood residents, the MTA's Engineering division has approved parking changes on Fell Street to address the serious public safety hazard created by the Arco gas station and Quality Tune Up on Fell, east of Divisadero. Cars waiting to enter the driveway regularly back up onto Fell and block the bike lane, forcing cyclists to detour into traffic. The plan calls for the two parking spaces between the Arco entry and exit to become permanent tow-away zones and for the four residential spaces just east of Arco to be tow-away zone from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. It is hoped that this partial tow-away designation will address the safety hazard while still allowing neighbors to park overnight. We hope that the MTA Board will give final approval to the proposal at their June meeting, and that the changes will be implemented shortly after that. In his letter to the MTA, Ross emphasized the need to monitor the affects of these changes, because if they do not resolve the safety issues, we need to try something else.

    More info:
    * StreetsBlog post
    * I Bike Nopa post

    I Bike SF: Discounts for Cyclists in Hayes Valley
    I Bike SF is a month-to-month, neighborhood-based program geared to encourage bicycling and support local businesses. Each month a new neighborhood in San Francisco will be featured and participating businesses in that neighborhood will offer bicyclists great discounts. All residents and visitors are invited: no fees, no sign-up, simply ride to participating businesses, present your helmet or bike lock key and get great deals. I Bike SF kicks off in Hayes Valley during the month of May. So far, twenty-five businesses have signed up to participate. More info:
    * List of participating businesses and discounts offered
    * Information for businesses

    May 15-21: Small Business Week
    On Saturday, May 15th, local merchants across the City will be kicking off Small Business Week with sidewalk sales, in-store demonstrations, special discounts, and other events. Supervisor Mirkarimi sponsored legislation to help out by waiving the fees for the sidewalk sales. Commercial corridors throughout District 5 will be participating, including:
    * Divisadero between Haight and McAllister
    * Fillmore between Sutter and Jackson
    * Upper Haight between Central and Stanyan
    * Lower Haight between Webster and Scott
    * Irving between 6th and 10th Avenues
    For more information, see

    May 15: First Inner Sunset Street Fair
    Enjoy the music, art, crafts, dance, yoga, tai chi, and food of our neighbors at the first annual Inner Sunset Street Fair. Borrowing from Ciclovia of Bogota Columbia, the fair will start with yoga and tai chi lessons at 10 and 11am. Then at noon the Pearse Connolly Fife Drum Band will kick off an afternoon of live music on the Irving Street stage featuring folk to jazz to blues. At 6pm, "Lindy in the Park" will teach everyone a few new steps and from 6:30 to 8:30 the Sunset's own Dianne Nola and the 7 against 8 Swing Band will fill the street with song and dance.

    WHAT: Inner Sunset Street Fair
    WHEN: May 15, 10 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.
    WHERE: Irving Street between 9th and 10th Avenues
    More info:

    May 16: Bay to Breakers
    The 99th Bay to Breakers will be run on Sunday, May 16th. Last year's race saw a significant reduction in problems and impacts on the neighborhood, although there is still more work to do be done. We are encouraged that the organizers have adopted Supervisor Mirkarimi's suggestion to implement a registration system for floats to generate additional revenue and create a new level of accountability for floats that are abandoned on the streets. Floats will be allowed to enter at the race beginning of the race and at Civic Center. Despite the improvements last year, the impact on the Panhandle area was still unacceptable. We are disappointed that the race organizers have not implemented Ross's suggestion of creating an end-point for floats in Golden Gate Park. He believes creating an event in the Park encouraging floats not to stop in the Panhandle would significantly reduce the impact on the neighborhood. Our office is working with float advocates to encourage them to spread the word that floats should not congregate in the Panhandle, and with the Police Department to ensure that the race is a fun, celebratory event while also respecting our neighborhoods. Any problems with the race, cleanup, or other issues should be reported to 311. The race organizers will be reimbursing the City for all costs, including police, cleanup, and 311 service.

    Special Resident Parking Available During Bay to Breakers!
    There will be no parking from 11 p.m. Saturday to 2 p.m. Sunday on the following streets:
    * Hayes Street between Market and Divisadero
    * Divisadero Street between Hayes and Fell
    * Fell Street between Divisadero and Stanyan

    To help ease some of the inconvenience, Supervisor Mirkarimi has worked with the Bay to Breakers to allow for off-street parking for residents from 6 p.m. Saturday through 4 p.m. on Sunday at either the DMV Parking Lot (1377 Fell Street) or the Ida B. Wells High School parking lot (1099 Hayes Street).

    These lots will be secured and you must present an authorized permit in order to gain access. Permits are available from the Bay to Breakers office by calling 415.359.2800 or emailing Please submit your request for a permit no later than 5:00 PM on Tuesday, May 11 so that there is time to mail the permit to you.

    May 24: Deadline to Register to Vote
    June 8: Election Day

    It's election time again! On June 8th we're going to the polls to decide on five statewide propositions, seven SF propositions, and the primaries for a number of statewide and federal offices. Here are the key dates to remember:
    - May 10: Early voting begins in City Hall, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    - May 24: Last Day to register to vote.
    - May 29 & 30, June 5 & 6: Weekend early voting in City Hall from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    - June 8: Election day. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

    Voter resources:
    - California Voter Information Guide
    - SF Voter Information Guide (PDF)
    - Check your Voter Registration Status
    - Check your Polling Place Location

    Looking for a Job?

    Census Jobs Available
    The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting temporary, part-time census takers for the 2010 Census. These short-term jobs offer good pay, flexible hours, paid training, and reimbursement for authorized work-related expenses. For more information, go to There you can take a Practice Test (PDF).

    The best way to start your application is to call 680-2020 to schedule a test.

    San Francisco is using federal stimulus money to put 1,000 unemployed and underemployed parents to work. The JOBS NOW! program benefits local employers by providing referrals of qualified workers and by subsidizing 100% of their wages until September 30, 2010. More information:
    Information for Employers - Find out how JOBS NOW! can pay for new employees through September 30, 2010.
    Information for Job Seekers - If you are an unemployed or underemployed San Francisco parent, you may qualify.

    Work for the YMCA
    The San Francisco YMCA has a number of job openings across the City. For information go to

    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

    Check Out the One-Stop Career Center
    The new One-Stop Career Link Center is open to the public five days a week providing employment-related services. Call for an appointment or just drop in to talk to one of our friendly staff about our services. Bring your resume and get a 15 minute critique. Get helpful tips on planning your job search, navigating an Internet job search and how to evaluate your job interviews. Meet the staff and get the answers to your burning questions about jobs in demand, how to answer the tough interview questions and how to dress for success.

    Hours of Operation at 1449 Webster (Safeway Plaza) are: Monday-Thursday from 9 to 5, Fridays 9 to 12 for job searches and 12 to 5 for workshops and classes. Job seekers are encouraged to come access the services. For more information, please call (415) 655-2620.

    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 at

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.

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