tv Government Access Programming SFGTV December 14, 2019 1:00pm-2:01pm PST
and the teacher interns who make $40,000 per year. i think about my friend who is a substitute who is disabled. he can't work full-time. he wants to serve the students. we need to keep them in the community. they are dedicated. i thank you for your time. >> i am katie o'connor, a counselor a at hoover middle school. i live in hunters point in a bow market rate unit. i it is williams birthday today. happy birthday william. we are definitely so lucky to have the below market rate, but it is a one bedroom and it is
tiny. i can't classify as one bedroom. we have a sliding glass door to separate the bedroom from the living room which is currently serving as the baby's room as well. when we talk about educator housing, i hope that we all keep in mind educators with families expanding because we have to look for something bigger. the place we are in isn't working, and that is a big challenge. we are going to be looking outside of the city because the only way that we can afford to get a bigger place is -- the only way it works is to rent something for three years and we can reapply for another below market rate. we don't have the capacity to wait that long.
and we can't afford the current rates of rentals. my colleagues are leaving in droves. we have 60 people at whoever between 10 to 12 every year leaving to move outside of the city, to work outside of the city, commutes are too hard. the statistics show this is detrimental to our students. >> thank you. next speaker. >> good morning. i am an anabelle. i would like to thank the board of education for leadership in addressing the affordability crisis that is affecting not just our educators but students and families. thank you to the district staff for working with us.
i also want to say thank you to the board of supervisors, mayor, and in particular i want to say thank you to the voters of san francisco for supporting the proposition of prop e. they understand we are in a crisis that we are addressing today. i want be to be able to continue working together to bring our partners. sfusd has been working on this for a very long time. we came together with the district in 2014 with the housing working group and they have been growing and bringing in other partners. with that we look forward to working again in partnership with the board of supervisors, with the district, board of education and san francisco accelerator housing fund to bring the resources, such as prop a $20 million that was in
prop a state credit. the income housing fund at the state level and other funding that will be used to start educator housing. this is just the beginning to ensure that we build housing for the educators to help stabilize our schools and continue to ensure our children receive the quality education. thank you. >> good morning. peter cohen with the council of community housing organizations. this is really an exciting time for us. we have been in the affordable housing world for a long time. seeing the talk about educator housing coming to fruition this year is great and we are happy to be part of it. there is a lot of technical stuff. i want to acknowledge the great partnerships we have experienced starting with the board of supervisorses, particularly the
sponsors having the vision to get the voters to put affordable housing for educators front and center. we have streamlining and re-zoning and buy right and that takes care of time and money as well as the board dedicating money to jump start that. those are smart moves. the board of he ha of education. you are great to work with with a clear framework so everybody the rowing in the same direction is very, very helpful. also, with the staff. the staff of sfusd. i know it has been great getting to know you and pulling together the housing working group, the mayor's office of housing providing technical support and the housing acseller rater fund, the financing brains to help with project management. all of the folks in place at leadership level, technical level and advocate level.
hearing the stories from united educators on the ground and in the schools, that is the spirit. this is not a technical thing, this is a human thing which makes it so great for us to be part of it. thanks for inviting us to the table so we can look forward to seeing the projects happen this year. thanks. >> with the council of community housing organizations. thank you so much for hosting this very important discussion. as a coalition of 24 affordable housing developers and advocates we have been talking about the housing crisis for over 40 years. the housing crisis that affects the poor, low-wage workers, the families who depends on our public like schools and city college system. in the last few years we have
seen the discussion of a housing crisis expand to much broader set of folks who can no longer afford to stay in if city, to workers lieu are essential to keeping our city running, thank you, supervisor mar, supervisor walton and those who put forth the discussion around housing our workers. this discussion today is about educators. we are not just talking about educators. we are talking about nonprofit workers, child care workers and health workers who are essential to keeping the city running but addressing potential disaster resilience. what happens when those workers don't live in the city. my child goes to the school in the excelsior district we have a teacher from sa vallejo. a teacher will work three jobs
to stay in the city. this cannot go on. we have talked about the housing crisis but an opportunity. it opens the idea for public investments and public land and we can restructure our housing delivery system in a way that serves more people without leaving behind the most vulnerable. prop e really changed the framework, started to address income levels so we can't talk about just the highest use. >> good afternoon, supervisors and board members. i will say i am walter p. i went to lincoln, robert lewis stevenson, yaloaw. we had a field trip in third
grade. i stood here in the courtroom. i got to ask the judge how did you get to be a judge? i wanted to say one thing. there is no place like affordable home for the holidays. when no matter how far away you roam. if you want to be happy in an million ways, for the holidays it is affordable homes sweet homes to get straight a's. thank you. >> it is always hard to follow walter. i had to get up here. thank you all so much community members for holding this hearing today. i am from the supervisor fewer's
office. i wanted to add a couple points and thank the followings that had -- the folks that had a key role. thank you supervisors for co-sponsors the bill. you know the mayor, full board of supervisors for making sure we got 76% of the voters and the voters for supporting it and thd teachers here and mayor's office of housing who helped us with this policy. we really are just very thankful for that. a couple things to point out. there was a couple comments about making sure we think about other employees of the school district and workers. we could not agree more. i want to clarify that prop e does cover four teacher projects all employees of the school
district and city college so we are thinking about our cafeteria workers and everyone else. definitely we want to make that clear. also, prop e helps and there are folks on the teacher housing. it is a game changer for all affordable housing in san francisco. it rezones all land city-wide that is larger than 10,000 square feet for 100% affordable housing. in addition to the teacher housing projects on the school district and city college land. i want to be sure that is clear. this is a huge moment that we were able to pass not only this re-zoning but the biggest housing bond $600 million. it is incredible. the two biggest barriers to affordable housing land and funding we were able to tackle. of course, we are not done. we have to continue to provide more funding to make this sustainable.
one think that was important to us was getting $20 million in seed funding in the prop a housing bond so we can make prop e a reality to get those starting funds to get it going, but we know we will continue to put our money where our mouth is if we are serious about housing our educators. we can't expect the market to take care of the problem. we are excited to partner with the school district, city college in order to find out what the needs are. we know there are state funds on the stable, matching funds that weren't available a year or so ago when they originally started planning this. things have changed. it is exciting to pursue the funds. as chair of the budget committee, supervisor fewer is committed to making sure we leverage whatever resources we can and work with our partners
to make sure we can go after those funds and make these projects happen. thank you all so much. we are excited about the opportunity this has brought. this is just the beginning. we really appreciate it. >> any more public comment? seeing none, public comment is closed. i want to thank ian for coming up to make clarifying statements and for thanking everyone so i don't have to do it now. i appreciate everyone who did come out to speak today and who did fight with us for prop e and a to finance to have the affordable housing we need. of course, we have more work to do to get there but we are moving in the right direction. i see supervisor mar has some comments. >> thank you, chair walton. i want to echo the many
acknowledgments that have happened around all of the -- everyone involved in this important work over the last five years to ensure that our teachers and other educators at the sfusd and city college are able to continue to live in our city and the communities they are serving and for providing such an important role. it was great to hear ms. o'connor, the counselor at whoever speak and share her story today. she was my daughter's counselor last year and it is really just heart breaking to hear those stories where there is a personal connection in our critically important educators and school staff struggling to stay in our city. i know these issues are really important just to the broader
community with the city's first educator housing project moving forward in my district and at the francis scott key annex i have seen how strongly supported that is in our community right now. not just, you know, among families with children in the district but by everyone in our community. this is a different situation than before where there was a similar housing project proposed at the current location of diane dianne feinstein school 20 years ago not as broadly supported. it wasn't able to move forward. i think now with the broad support that we see for the francis scott key annex site project, we can see how important these issues are for our entire city, and i guess i
also want to say that i am glad to see that the different discussion and planning that has happened around the educator housing in the last year and through some political struggle has really landed on a focus on ensuring that or prioritizing that these projects are going to be moving forward using 100% affordable housing model. i think that at least for me that if we are using public lands if the school district owns it or city college or whatever, i very much would prefer and very much prefer to see us build 100% affordable housing on public sites and not having to look at private market rate housing being included as a way to finance it. i am glad that at least that is the focus right now with the
passage of prop a allocating $20 million of that housing bond to educator housing and the passage of prop e which is focused on 100% affordable housing at different levels for educators. i think the model moving forward at the francis scott key site is supported and the city is affordable housing educator model. i think the reason why i know that we have been looking at other models of educator housing development with a mix of market rate housing in it because of the need for financing and that challenges the financing 100% affordable educator projects. i have questions around the
financing of the educator housing projects. if i could just ask. i wanted to ask how can mohcd most effectively deploy this initial $20 million allocated in the prop a bond towards educator housing sites the school district and city college are prioritizing to leverage the financing program for these projects? >> thank you for the question. the mayor's office of housing will work closely with the school the triact to identify the best way to move forward. i spoke about this earlier. i think the pool of developers they qualified will be asked to do feasibility analysis at looking at using prop a and e for the three sites they identified as being under
utilized. we will work with the school district to see what that analysis shows. in answering a question about what sources of funding are available to us. we do see limited sources of funding for middle income. the city has put in the local subsidy for francis scott key and that is in addition to low income tax credits for paraeducator units. there may be other opportunities. we want to ask the qualified developers to look at what is possible. we don't know yet without doing that analysis. we will be gathering that and sharing that information with you all soon. >> thank you. colleagues are there any more statements?
questions? commissioner collins. >> i want to appreciate the folks who came out to speak and the educators. also, our school district workers. my heart goes out to you. as the parent i appreciate the work folks do in our schools to support our city's children and i am committed to working with city officials at all levels to make sure we are supporting the folks that are supporting our most needy residents, which are our children. thank you all. i am on the team. >> i wanted to thank you all for doing this and putting in the hard work for starting the process of what i hope is great housing for certainly teachers and classified and i don't know if administrators and students.
i think we need this kind of housing in san francisco, and you have put in the legwork, and i appreciate being part of it. i appreciate, you know, at this meeting i appreciate where i feel like the supervisors and the board of education and city college are able to get together. i believe that president randolph was instrumental to make sure city college was inserted into this prop e, am i right about that? i want to thank you for that because i would like to if you do a pool of some sort of developers, can we share? do we have to create our own pool? there are things we can do together that may again speed things up and mean that we can all build the housing for all of the people who help our students
in san francisco. >> thank you. trustee randolph. >> thank you. i want to thank the mayor's office and specifically jut son true. when this first came out a year and a half ago. i was reading the drafts and noticed city college was missing. what happens when it comes to education sometimes city college is forgotten. i immediately e-mailed the mayor's office. what about our educators, classified staff, sciu members? they looked it up and said you qualify as well. we were able to get in there. our educators, classified staff struggles as much as anybody else in the city. i think it is important for us to be here. i think that is why we are all active to make sure our groups are not forgotten.
there are a lot of important decisions to be made. >> thank you, president randolph. as stated in the beginning, it is exciting to see the city working together with the education institutions to address one of our major issues, which is affordable housing. with that said i would love to move this to continue to the call of the chair so we can make sure we continue to have this conversation, and this is the perfect setting. without any objection. >> is there a second? >> second. >> i have a second. we will move it without any objection. >> with that said, madam clerk, are there any other items. >> clerk: no further business. >> thank you all so much. this meeting is adjourned.
>> i know it is rain. we will try to make sure that we hurry up. actually, no, i am not going to hurry up. i am excited to be here today with supervisor fewer and this after we are standing in front of today to talk about how amazing the small size acquisition is in san francisco. this is amazing. let me tell you when our former
mayor ed lee served as mayor, he really understood in numerous conversations we had around the challenges with affordable housing. it wasn't just about building new affordable housing, which we so desperately need. it was about remembering people who live in apartment buildings like this, people who live in affordable housing all over san francisco and the challenges that exist with not only maintaining those facilities but making sure that they are available and remain safe and affordable for so many residents who could get displaced when the buildings go on the market. that is why this acquisition program is so important. no one on the board of supervisors has been a stronger supporter of this program than supervisor sandy fewer.
[applause] >> she continues to twist my arm to say, look, we haven't been able to do a lot around investments and affordable housing in my district on the west side of town so we need to do more to invest in small sites. that is an opportunity to help stabilize low income families who live in these apartment buildings all over the west side who often times are not getting the support they need. this is really amazing. we will be protecting 12 affordable homes. this is the second small site on the west side of town. we have not only invested millions of dollars in the past year's budget to support the small sites. because of the voters passing a $600 million affordable housing bond we will invest another $30 million in small site
acquisitions absolutely amazing. to date we have acquired 35 buildings with two 90 units in the sunset, mission, excel seo, soma and eight ash bury neighborhoods with 137 total units in the pipeline that is $135 million of city funds committed to helping support 550 residents in san francisco. absolutely amazing. i want to thank meta and someone will speak today for being an amazing community partner. the city can invest the funds. without partners and people willing to do the work, we can't get this done in a timely manner. often times they are timely. we are grateful for the partnership with meta and the san francisco housing
accelerator fund. they will talk in a minute. i want to thank the residents for their patience and excitement and trusting the city to work with us to make this happen. i know dan adams is here from the mayor's office of housing. thank you for doing amazing work around affordable housing every day. with that i want to introduce thsupervisor for this district r small site acquisition, supervisor fewer. [applause] >> thank you. first i want to start off by saying a big thanks to a lot of people. meta coming out here and buying this property for us and managing it. it is a gift. i know it is out of your geographic area. thank you for keeping these
homes here. to our may orthopedic and t -- . it takes everyone together. the san francisco housing accelerator fund and of course our rock star tenants of 359 third avenue. i want to say this is why we are able to do this and this is why we do this. i also really want to thank the housing rights committee. we have a west side site. there are partners in everything. they are the first people we go to when we hear about a building going to be for sale. when people e-mail to say, help, my building is being sold. i don't know what to do. i have lived here for 44 years. we called hrc. we are partners to keeping our residents stage. i don't want to correct the mayor.
this is the third site in the richmond district. all of them. >> two here and one over here. >> absolutely. we have one on 17th avenue which we saved. that was first. seniors are in that building. people who lived in the district over 40 years. another win where at ninth where hamburger haven is. the mayor was there celebrating the acquisition of 14 units. sro units inhabited by chinese americans that are seniors. one lady was 98 years old. they have lived there for 25 years and can live there the rest of their live also. of course, this is our third. we know the richmond district this is the strategy that we are going to use to keep people stabilized and keep these
wonderful families and the residents in the richmond district where they choose to live and they love. i want to again say thank you to meta. without them we could not have done this. you know, we have lost 500 units of affordable housing in my district alone in the last 10 years. when we can acquire buildings that are already built that already have tenants in them and tenants who love our district and that we love having them here, too, this is a perfect combination that we can do as a city and we should do more of. our office has worked very hard, as the mayor mentioned, about getting more money for it and to acquire more sites. earlier this year we penned the community opportunity to purchase act, copa. that gives the organizations first but at the apple before it goes to the market.
it gives non-profits a chance to buy them first. we need on the west side to to o rekeep more neighbors in the homes. with funding we received a grant to come together and create our own west side nonprofit so we can buy more buildings all on the west side. not just my district but in the sunset. we offer legislation to put more money every year in to this site for affordable housing. now we have a plan, we are on our way, we hope to keep more people in home also in the richmond and keep my residents stage. 65% of my neighbors are renters. they are vulnerable i in the housing market. thank you all for making this happen. this is a great celebration on
this rainy day. during this holiday season these wonderful residents no longer have to worry for 99 years this will be affordable. thank you everyone. (applause) >> it was smart to put remarks in plastic to keep it from the rain. next one of the partners to address this, some of you know how critical i am of the city bureaucracy and how long it takes to get anything done. that is why this partner is so important. the san francisco housing acseller rater fund help us with the funding so that when we have the opportunity to purchase these buildings they are really the bridge to make sure there aren't any delays to sacrifice the opportunity to get hold of these buildings for the people who live there. rebecca foster is the chief executive officer of the san
francisco housing accelerator fund. thank you so much for everything you do, rebecca. [applause] >> we do our work closely with meta. i will bring up the great team with us. as the mayor said, we are -- you have to move at the pace of the market to get opportunities like this and to not lose the affordability for residents like the amazing residents here. that is what we do. we work with amazing community-based organizations like meta and provide the capital they need to buy acknowledges like this that are -- to buy buildings and to rehab them and make improvements to the buildings and partner with the city to come in with the capital that is needed to make them affordable for 99 years. this is our 15th project.
we have over $118 million since we were created less than three years ago. as the supervisor said we need to trickle down to see these on the west side and also we love working with meta and the supervisor on this effort to build more capacity for community-based developers out here to do more work like this. >> i am director of community real estate at meta. this is castro, chief project manager that made this happen for the residents to stay. it is a hustle to buy a building off the private market and make sure the residents are aware what we are doing and also keeping the seller confident we are going to buy the building and making sure we have the financing through the housing accelerator and with the mayor's
office. we have been able to do this time and time again in the mission area and we are so excited to bring this to other parts of the city, including the sunset and richmond district. as you have heard from supervisor fewer and the mayor we are excitessed to do the capacity building now that we have more funding to look at other parts of the city and really grow our smal small agait could to the big engine and replace displacement in our city. thank you. >> i also want you to hear from the residents. first is laura. she will talk about her experience. thank you for being here, laura. >> when we heard the building was going to be for sale the second time in two years. it was now what? when we saw the ad they posted
for sale saying this was not rent controlled, our hearts dropped. what do you mean? we have been her 41 years under rent control. we were going buy the date of the occupancy. then we had a meeting, thanks to the san francisco housing committee. they introducessed us to meta. we read and we thought, okay. we still were concerned. we were half and half about rent control. we did the appeals, people's rents were raised, not everyone but some. it got to be homed. then we realized that i was here 41 years but no one else has been. that is when you put aside things saying you do things for the betterment of all, not just yourself. it meant a lot. we got it done with the help of
partners sandra and ian. every time i had a question, i sent them an e-mail. next day there was a response as busy as their jobs were. i don't know how to thank them enough. nor so the mayor for backing this project. thank you everyone. we are in homes, not going somewhere else. it means so much. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, laura. now for another resident chloe and one of the newest residents of 369 third street. >> so we found out the building was for sale for the second time when i was pregnant five months with our baby. laura found out it was not rent control the day after we found out it was for sale which meant we would have the rent hiked up
or they would tear it down or put people who wanted to spend a lot of money to live here. i decided no, i was not going to be moved out of my home. i was not going to let that happen to the rest of the tenants in the home. we are part of what makes the san francisco heart beat what it is. this is full of families and retired people. it wasn't going to happen. i am so grateful there was so much support and passionate people who put their effort to keep san francisco what it is supposed to be. very passionate people. i just i can't say enough,and i want everyone out there in the city to know you don't have to feel paralyzed. i did not know where to turn. i got a postcard from impact the next day and called them instead
of throwing it away in the mail and that got the ball rolling. you don't have to be -- you are not victims. we are people who are backed by amazing humans with big heart goes to keep the city the way it is supposed to be. thank you so much. (applause) >> well, there you have it. good news for a change in san francisco. i know we have real challenges in our city. challenges that so many people work on every single day to address, and because of an amazing group of people we have been able to create just a little bit of a good opportunity here for so many people who deserve it. i am so grateful to all of the people that played a role in
getting us to this point. it took a village. now that is a home for years to come, and i am grateful to everyone who rolled up your sleeve goes to make it happen. you can't wait to continue to do more acquisitions like this all over san francisco. thank you for braving the cold and rain to be here. it is worth it. we have more work to do. i know with supervisor fewer pushing for these acquisitions on the west side and all you alr san francisco we will save people in their existing housing for generations to come. thank you again for your support and being here today.
>> i lived in the mission neighborhood for seven years and before that the excel see your district. 20 years a resident of the city and county of san francisco. i am the executive director of a local art space nonprofit that showcases work that relate to the latino community and i have been in this building for seven years and some of my neighbors have been here 30 year. we were notified from the landlord he was going to sell the building. when we realized it was
happening it was no longer a thought for the landlord and i sort of had a moment of panic. i heard about the small sites program through my work with the mission economic agency and at met with folks from the mayor's housing program because they wanted to utilize the program. we are dealing with families with different needs and capacities. conversations were had early in the morning because that is the only time that all the tenants were in the building and finally when we realized that meda did have the resources to buy the building we went on a letter writing campaign to the landlord and said to him we understand you want to sell your building, we understand what you are asking for and you are entitled to it, it's your land, but
please work with us. what i love about ber nell height it represents the diversity that made me fall in love with san francisco. we have a lot of mom and pop shops and you can get all your resources within walking distance. my favorite air area of my homes my little small patio where i can start my morning and have my coffee an is a sweet spot for me and i >> hi today we have a special edition of building san francisco, stay safe, what we are going to be talking about san francisco's earth quakes,
what you can do before an earthquake in your home, to be ready and after an earthquake to make sure that you are comfortable staying at home, while the city recovers. ♪ >> the next episode of stay safe, we have alicia johnson from san francisco's department of emergency management. hi, alicia thanks to coming >> it is a pleasure to be here with you. >> i wonder if you could tell us what you think people can do to get ready for what we know is a coming earthquake in san francisco. >> well, one of the most things that people can do is to make sure that you have a plan to communicate with people who live both in and out of state. having an out of state contact, to call, text or post on your social network is really important and being able to know how you are going to communicate with your friends, and family who live near you,
where you might meet them if your home is uninhab hitable. >> how long do you think that it will be before things are restored to normal in san francisco. >> it depends on the severity of the earthquake, we say to provide for 72 hours tha, is three days, and it helps to know that you might be without services for up to a week or more, depending on how heavy the shaking is and how many after shocks we have. >> what kind of neighborhood and community involvement might you want to have before an earthquake to make sure that you are going to able to have the support that you need. >> it is important to have a good relationship with your neighbors and your community. go to those community events, shop at local businesses, have a reciprocal relationship with them so that you know how to take care of yourself and who you can rely on and who can take care of you. it is important to have a battery-operated radio in your home so that you can keep track of what is happening in the
community around and how you can communicate with other people. >> one of the things that seems important is to have access to your important documents. >> yes, it is important to have copies of those and also stored them remotely. so a title to a home, a passport, a driver's license, any type of medical records that you need need, back those up or put them on a remote drive or store them on the cloud, the same is true with any vital information on your computer. back that up and have that on a cloud in case your hard drive does not work any more. >> in your home you should be prepared as well. >> absolutely. >> let's take a look at the kinds of things that you might want to have in your home. >> we have no water, what are we going to do about water? >> it is important for have extra water in your house, you want to have bottled water or a five gallon container of water able to use on a regular basis, both for bathing and cooking as
well as for drinking. >> we have this big container and also in people's homes they have a hot water heater. >> absolutely, if you clean your hot water heater out regularly you can use that for showering, drinking and bathing as well >> what other things do people need to have aren't their home. >> it is important to have extra every day items buy a couple extra cans of can food that you can eat without any preparation. >> here is a giant can of green giant canned corn. and this, a manual can opener, your electric can opener will not be working not only to have one but to know where to find it in your kitchen. >> yes. >> so in addition to canned goods, we are going to have fresh food and you have to preserve that and i know that we have an ice chest. >> having an ice chest on hand is really important because your refrigerator will not be working right away. it is important to have somebody else that can store cold foods so something that
you might be able to take with you if you have to leave your home. >> and here, this is my very own personal emergency supply box for my house. >> i hope that you have an alternative one at home. >> oh, i forgot. >> and in this is really important, you should have flashlights that have batteries, fresh batteries or hand crank flashlight. >> i have them right here. >> good. excellent. that is great. additionally, you are going to want to have candles a whistle, possibly a compass as well. markers if you want to label things if you need to, to people that you are safe in your home or that you have left your home. >> i am okay and i will meet you at... >> exactly. exactly. water proof matches are a great thing to have as well. >> we have matches here. and my spare glasses. >> and your spare glasses. >> if you have medication, you should keep it with you or have
access to it. if it needs to be refrigerated make sure that it is in your ice box. >> inside, just to point out for you, we have spare batteries. >> very important. >> we have a little first aid kit. >> and lots of different kinds of batteries. and another spare flashlight. >> so, alicia what else can we do to prepare our homes for an earthquake so we don't have damage? >> one of the most important things that you can do is to secure your valuable and breakable items. make sure that your tv is strapped down to your entertainment cabinet or wall so it does not move. also important is to make sure that your book case is secure to the wall so that it does not fall over and your valuable and breakables do not break on the ground. becoming prepared is not that difficult. taking care of your home, making sure that you have a few extra every-day items on hand helps to make the difference. >> that contributes dramatically to the way that the city as a whole can recover. >> absolutely. >> if you are able to control
your own environment and house and recovery and your neighbors are doing the same the city as a whole will be a more resilient city. >> we are all proud of living in san francisco and being prepared helps us stay here. >> so, thank you so much for joining us today, alicia, i appreciate it. >> absolutely, it is my pleasure. >> and thank you for joining us >> he is a real leader that listens and knows how to bring people together. brought this department together like never before. i am so excited to be swearing in the next chief of the san francisco fire department, ladies and gentlemen, let's welcome, jeanine nicholson. (applause).
>> i grew up total tomboy, athlete. i loved a good crisis, a good challenge. i grew up across the street from the fire station. my dad used to take me there to vote. i never saw any female firefighters because there weren't any in the 1970s. i didn't know i could be a fire fighter. when i moved to san francisco in 1990, some things opened up. i saw women doing things they hadn't been doing when i was growing up. one thing was firefighting. a woman recruited me at the gay-pride parade in 1991. it was a perfect fit. i liked using my brain, body, working as a team, figuring
things out, troubleshooting and coming up with different ways to solve a problem. in terms of coming in after another female chief, i don't think anybody says that about men. you are coming in after another man, chief, what is that like. i understand why it is asked. it is unusual to have a woman in this position. i think san francisco is a trailblazer in that way in terms of showing the world what can happen and what other people who may not look like what you think the fire chief should look like how they can be successful. be asked me about being the first lbgq i have an understands because there are little queer kids that see me. i worked my way up. i came in january of 1994.
i built relationships over the years, and i spent 24 years in the field, as we call it. working out of firehouses. the fire department is a family. we live together, eat together, sleep in the same dorm together, go to crazy calls together, dangerous calls and we have to look out for one another. when i was burned in a fire years ago and i felt responsible, i felt awful. i didn't want to talk to any of my civilian friends. they couldn't understand what i was going through. the firefighters knew, they understood. they had been there. it is a different relationship. we have to rely on one another. in terms of me being the chief of the department, i am really trying to maintain an open relationship with all of our members in the field so myself and my deputy chiefs, one of the
priorities i had was for each of us to go around to different fire stations to make sure we hit all within the first three or four months to start a conversation. that hasn't been there for a while. part of the reason that i am getting along well with the field now is because i was there. i worked there. people know me and because i know what we need. i know what they need to be successful. >> i have known jeanine nicholson since we worked together at station 15. i have always held her in the highest regard. since she is the chief she has infused the department with optimism. she is easy to approach and is concerned with the firefighters and paramedics. i appreciate that she is concerned with the issues relevant to the fire department
today. >> there is a retired captain who started the cancer prevention foundation 10 years ago because he had cancer and he noticed fellow firefighters were getting cancer. he started looking into it. in 2012 i was diagnosed with breast canner, and some of my fellow firefighters noticed there are a lot of women in the san francisco fire department, premenopausal in their 40s getting breast cancer. it was a higher rate than the general population. we were working with workers comp to make it flow more easily for our members so they didn't have to worry about the paper work when they go through chemo. the turnout gear was covered with suit. it was a badge to have that all
over your coat and face and helmet. the dirtier you were the harder you worked. that is a cancer causeser. it -- casser. it is not -- cancer causer. there islassic everywhere. we had to reduce our exposure. we washed our gear more often, we didn't take gear where we were eating or sleeping. we started decontaminating ourselves at the fire scene after the fire was out. going back to the fire station and then taking a shower. i have taught, worked on the decontamination policy to be sure that gets through. it is not if or when. it is who is the next person. it is like a cancer sniper out there. who is going to get it next. one of the things i love about
the fire department. it is always a team effort. you are my family. i love the city and department and i love being of service. i vow to work hard -- to work hard to carry out the vision of the san francisco fire department and to move us forward in a positive way. if i were to give a little advice to women and queer kids, find people to support you. keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep trying. you never know what door is going to open next. you really don't. [cheers and
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