I believe that my neighbors should know what I believe is important for us to improve as a neighbporhood and as a city. For this reason, I have listed issues facing our community, and how I would approach these issues.
We need traffic lights on all intersections along Geary Blvd. The MTA keeps telling us that Geary is one of the busiest corridors in the city. If this is true (it is) then why has the MTA not installed traffic lights at all intersections. Is the ability for us, our family, neighbors and visitors to safetly cross the street not a priority? I will make installing the absent lights along Geary a priority.
TARGETED STREET CLEANING
For those business corridors and certain areas, where debris collects, targeted cleaning on a more frequent basis is needed.
LOCKED BINS- TRASH / RECYCLING / COMPOST
We need to require RECOLOGY to provide locks for all our bins. Ever seen your bins on a windy winters day? Where is all the trash and recycling going? It blows all over- landing in street drains, at curbs and on our garages. How about when persons go through recycling bins and are not careful about what they dump out of the can. Locking our cans prevents garbage from flying all over on windy days. It also allows RECOLOGY to recover all the cans, bottles and glass we put out. Those items that RECOLOGY can recover, subsidizes our recycling program and trash collection bills. It also prevents identity thieves from going through our recycling, looking for sensitive information.
We were told years ago that street cleaning needed to be reduced to twice a month for budget purposes. That crisis ended a few years ago, but weekly cleaning has not been reinstated. We need to return to weekly street cleaning in the neighborhood, or at least on streets ajacent to commercial corridors.
As a community we need to decide what are acceptable conditions for our streets and sidewalks. I believe we need to plan on replacing our sidewalks and repaving our streets on a systematic basis...say every 20 years. We need to set aside and put away on a yearly basis 1/20 th of the cost of replacement. That way we will always have the funds available to replace the infrasture without passing expensive bond measures to pay for something we should have been paying for already.
Using precious drinking water to wash our sidewalks, trash cans and vehicles is a waste of this resource. We dump millions of gallons of reclaimed fresh water into the ocean daily. This water should be available to residents and businesses to keep our streets clean and green. We need to have a distribution system throught the district so that this reclaimed water can be used for cleaning and watering our neighborhood.
BUS RAPID TRANSIT (BRT):
BRT has been a topic for over a decade. Of the many plans proposed by the MTA, the simplest one not considered would only involve elimination of left hand turns on Geary and the procurement of busses with left hand doors. Allowing muni to use the center lane without making it exclusive to only busses serves to increase muni speed without eliminating traffic lanes that would just move traffic to other streets in the neighborhood that are not equipped to handle high volume traffic. It is also the least costly and is not dependent on federal funding sources. It addresses the concerns of merchants (who are worried about long term construction and disruption of their businesses), MTA and riders (who want to increase transit speed and service), and motorists (who want to use Geary efficiently without losing traffic lanes).
Rent control has been an emotional issue that has been a factor in the last two election cycles, and has been used by candidates to divide richmond district neighbors. Unfortunately the powers of the city will again pit candidates and neighbors against each other along the pretext of renter vs. property owner. The truth that seems lost in the discussion is that rent control was passed by the voters and ONLY the voters may recind rent control. The person asked to serve as your representative on the Board of Supervisors CAN NOT remove rent control. Rent control is a complex issue that deservers more than a "for" or "against" answer. There are many issues bundled into 'rent control" and we must take each issue individually, looking for a balance for both renters and property owners. Rent control does not need to be "all or nothing". There are problerms with fairness on both sides and I will seek to treat both sides, and their issues fairly.
LAW ENFORCEMENT (SFPD)
Body cameras on our uniformed officers in the SFPD and Sherrifs departaments is necessary to protect the public, the officers and the tax payers. We need more than "he said-she said" when it comes to dealing with the public. We need to know that our officers are following the proper procedures while conducting their duties. We need to evaluate officers so that the best are rewarded and the bad are removed. This is the only way we improve trust between our officers and the public whom they serve. Cameras level the playing field protecting the public from abuse, law enforcement from untrue allegations and the tax payers from paying huge amounts of city money to settle lawsuits against the city.
Businesses deal with multiple forms and registrations every year. A typical year can see a registration fee, licence fee, scale fee, secured property tax filings to name just a few. We need to do a better job consolidating the individual reporting and associated fees from each department. We all have recieved consolidated statements in which all charges are listed, and an itemized total presented for payment. San Francisco needs to stream line the billing and collection of these fees and taxes, so as to reduce the cost of government and make it easier for businesses to pay these fees.
BIKE ONLY STREETS
Biking through San Francisco is becoming more popular every year - for not only recreation, but as a means to navigate throughout the city while reducing conjestion and pollution. Having bike only streets allows for a faster and safer means of traveling, via bicycle. A street that has historically less vehicle traffic, like Cabrillo or Anza, can be designated bicycle only. Access must be maintained for vehicles belonging to residents and visitors, but through traffic would be limited. Residents on this type of "bike street" would gain a safer more enjoyable street, while cyclists would be afforded the ability to use the whole street making bike travel faster and safer.
HOMELESS / SUBSTANCE ABUSE
Many who live in the inner Richmond may know some of our residents who have fallen on hard times, due to drugs or alcohol. Many of us just go on about our day and don't bother, or justify it, saying its their choice. As someone who knows at least two personally, I do not believe we are demonstrating responsibility and compassion. We need to have a SAFE shelter where they can go to clean up, get meals, treatment and work.
CITY JOBS RESERVED FOR JOBLESS AND/OR RECENTLY PROBATION RELEASES
Positions within the city that require entry level skills should be reserved for persons transitioning from shelters, and persons being released from jail or prison. These individuals need a chance to reenter the workforce and city positions like: filling potholes, park maintenance, curb striping, powerwashing city trash cans, graffiti removal, janitorial and entry level maintenance, to name a few, afford this opportunity to our fellow citizens who could use a way back to regularity.
PUBLIC PARKING GARAGES
In order to assist businesses and residents we need to increase parking within the neighborhood, no public facility should be built without incorporating parking into the site. If Argone Playground and the Richmond Recreation Center had incorporated underground parking when they were being redesigned the neighborhood could have gained over 300 parking spaces. This is parking that residents can use instead of parking on streets. The extra availability of parking would make it easier for people outside of our area to visit, shop and dine.
Wireless access is not a luxury in todays environment. It is as necessary as any other utility. As such, I believe that a basic level of internet service must be available to every person in San Francisco. Just as any other utuility, nothing is free. We as a community must be willing to pay to setup, maintain and run the service. We can do this through the city or through a partnership with the private sector. The farest way to fund this service would be through offering extra service upgrades (pay for faster conection speeds) and an adjustment to our property tax and/or sales tax.
The new arrival of shared homes in San Francisco will surely be an issue in this years election. As a general rule, I believe that people should be able to do what they want in their home. However, I am concerned that many former units that were available to people who want to rent in San Francisco are now not able to, because these units are being rented out to multiple parties for short time periods. Housing is supposed to be for people who want to work and live in San Francisco. Every unit that is used for short term rentals means that there is one less unit available for a family, a worker, senior, long time and native San Franciscans. This inevitably has the effect on not only reducing the availability of units, but through supply and demand, forces the price up for the units that are still available. This seems very unfair to those San Franciscans who have to live and work in San Francisco.
EQUAL TREATMENT UNDER THE LAW
Law enforcement's role is not only to enforce the law, but to educate and set an example for the citizens it serves. As citizems, we can be cited for using a hand held cell phone while driving because it is dangerous. So why do we see so many of our officers using cell phones while driving? Should they not use a hands free phone while driving? They should, because it is no less dangerous. We can, and should, be cited when we do not come to a complete stop at a stop sign, but I am sure we have seen law enforcement roll through stops on a regular basis. Check the next time you are driving behind a law enforcement vehicle. Officers regularily park in bus zones and red zones while on break, are muni busses less impeded by a police car parked in the bus stop, verses a private vehicle. Of course not. Law enforcement has a tough job and the objective here is not to be critical and blame officers, but to make them aware that part of the job is to demonstrate good practices to its citizens and lead by example.
Graffitti has been an ongoing problem in the neighborhood and city in general. We need to have a faster response to graffiti removal. I would like to see the removal from city property within 24 hours. This is an achievable goal, because when called in through 311 the Departament of Public Works, and MTA seems able to get the job done. This tells me that they only need better coordination and a policy of being proactive in identifiying, scheduling and removal of graffiti from signs, traffic boxes, trash cans and light poles. We need to shorten the time given to owners of billboard sign and newsracks to no more that 3 days to remove the graffiti or loose the right to place those items in the public right of way. Property owners and bussines have to do their part as well by removing graffiti as soon as possible and not waiting for a letter from the city to have it cleaned up. We can not forget the people causing this expensive problem (the person(s) creating the graffitti in the first place). The penalties are too lenient and usually are not administered untill an individual has been caught and charged multiple times. I agree jail seems too harsh for this type of crime, so how about sentencing people to graffiti clean up that is lengethened each and every time they are caught? It only seems fair that the people commiting these crimes be forced to clean up the graffiti, so they can understand how hard and expensive it is to clean up.
“I voted for your guy (Dsilva). Of the candidates, your candidate was honest and truthful"
Voter commenting to volunteer sign holder on Geary Blvd on election evening after leaving his polling place
- 2008 election for board of supervisors -