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tv   BOS Full Board of Supervisors  SFGTV  October 20, 2020 6:00pm-10:01pm PDT

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and that is four tenets -- five, actually. and the way we form it, in this city, those five categories ending with community policing all go to our ability to garner trust, in some cases, rebuild trust, in some cases, gain trust when we've never had it. but when we do all the other things right, we address bias, we address use of force, and we reduce the supports, and we reduce disparities, and we address accountability and also held accountable and all the other things, that we held the right people and we do things right, then we can tie into our community policing and values. i want to just point out -- next slide, please --
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>> supervisor peskin: mr. president? chief, you've done a great job this evening, and i'm really proud of you, but the one word that is missing from the community policing policies is longevity. police and community relationships are built over time, and when people cycle through a district station or through a sergeant's position or through a commander position -- and i understand promotional opportunities are important. but the people who are profoundly respected by a community are the people who have been through, and so the one thing that's missing from this is longevity. >> yes, sir, supervisor peskin. it's an astute observe, and part of our view is retaining
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the people we do have. we spiked a little bit with the retirements and resignations over the last couple of years, but i think what you're getting to is transfers and promotions out of different departments and all. when people retire and leave, we promote new people. definitely with retention and hiring, it is about longevity, and also, with these reform categories, really speak to us, getting that department, as well. we want to keep the talent we hired. we really hired some really good people overall, and we want to make sure we keep them, and keep them in assignments that they can thrive in, yet, there needs to be sometimes moving around and keep things fresh. i do understand that, and i get that, and i know that district captain stations, that we have almost totally turned over the captains from four years ago or three years ago and eight months ago when i got here
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mainly due to retirements and promotions. but we have 80% of our captains were not captains in 2017, when i got here. that's a part of the process, and what we strive for is when we do have the turnovers, that we put them in a position to succeed, and by the structures, we give them an opportunity to succeed and keep them in place so that longevity can set in. i appreciate your comment, and it's challenging, but we do believe it's there, as well. >> supervisor peskin: thank you, mr. president, for your indulgence. and chief, i was not talking about [inaudible] i was talking about q-2s. >> okay. only a few more slides. here is the results. here is what illustrates where
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we are with the recommendations. 114 completed, and of that 114, 86 are in substantial compliance. the other 28 are in external review, and we believe they will be in substantial compliance in a very short period of time. we believe that we're 84% complete with compliance measures. that doesn't mean 84% complete with the compliance measures. some of the compliant measures may have one or two compliance measures to complete, but a substantial amount has been done with reports and accountability. commander flaherty has that particular one. and as we wrap up, as you all
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know, reform has been a national discussion since the floyd incident. we were already engaged in a collaborative reform process, so we were well on our way, and in many instances, we've been looked at in our policies and the things that we've done, and a model for other police departments. we get a lot of inquiries about what we're doing here in san francisco. which again, it still doesn't take away from we still have a lot of work to do. and lastly, i want to talk about the plan moving forward. 80% of the recommendations are expected to be completed by the end of phase three, and as i said, that's going to put us around 234, probably higher, if we can get some more in there. but at least 234 is our goal, and we have those recommendations identified. well on our way, working with hillard hines and the d.o.j., making sure that those recommendations get across the finish line, so -- and we are
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well on our way there. so we do expect this to accelerate even more than it has in the last nine months, and i think we're in a very good place there. next slide. and then lastly, with mayor breed, she has four reform initiatives, as well, that really kind of worked with what we're already doing. you can see on the screen, remilita remilitarizati remilitarization, funding, and racial equity. a lot of work to do on those, but we do believe that folds into our ongoing contributive reform -- collaborative reform quite nicely and seamlessly, and we will move forward on those, as well. in the future, here are our plans to adopt the unified policy on data complex, which is one that -- data collection,
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which expands on the collection of our data. identify situational risk factors for our discrimination. that is actually in process. we actually have an equity team in place now, and we're committed to sustaining this work and keep the department
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where it needs to be. thank you for your time, and we'll take any questions that you may have. >> president yee: thank you, chief scott, and your team, for presenting such a precise, short presentation. you know, i -- this is along the line of supervisor hillary, when she mentioned the meet-and-confer process. i've gone through it a few times already, and sometimes, it's sort of legitimate in terms of what comes up. sometimes, it's an excuse for meet-and-confer, and sometimes, it's why are we sitting here, doing these things? i know you mentioned now you have a labor relationship director, but at the same time, i guess the question i have for you is for all those different goal -- goals that you have,
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[inaudible] you won't be wasting as much time because every meeting is time. >> yes, sir. so just real quickly, now that we have the director of labor with us, she's involved in these conversations on reform. we have meetings weekly on reform, and policy reform.
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she's in our discussions, and she can correspond with the department of human resources, the city attorney's office, you know, whoever needs to be in those conversations to ensure that whoever needs to go to meet-and-confer go to meet-and-confer process. so that process is very streamlined. we don't look at individual complains measures with meet-and-confer. it stands with us if there's a policy or protocol procedure that triggers meet-and-confer, those are the ones that will go to meet-and-confer. policy wise, because we have these meetings ongoing, we have an opportunity to know what's coming and what might trigger a meet-and-confer before we even have to get there, so the wheels are in motion. and we also have standing meetings with the p.o.a. now
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that we have miss preston on board as the labor director. we have meetings calendared every month with the p.o.a., so the those meetings are ongoing. >> president yee: thank you for that explanation, and i hope we can get rid of the wasted time when there is a meet-and-confer. i hope we can get to the issues we need to discuss up front. i think supervisor walton has been very, very patient. i've seen his name since 5:00. thank you so much, supervisor walton. >> supervisor walton: thank you so much, supervisor yee. i would just say that this presentation should be considered excessive use of
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force, especially under the hazing law of california. when we talk about law enforcement reform, this is a matter of urgency and the number of years it's taking to achieve implementation of our recommendations obviously is very problematic, but more importantly, i don't feel we need a high paid consultant to do the things that the department leadership is doing and can do. just for example, i'm going back and forth with the department of public health, over $240,000 just to provide testing on all our hope sf sites, and we're paying $1.2 million in addition to what we paid on the front end to a high paid consultant, and when i look at the department and the work of the chief, any needing movement is happening on behalf of your work and your
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leadership. so i have to say that i don't understand what this consulting firm is getting paid for. i see the work, but i don't understand why we're paying almost $2 million plus for a high-paid consultant when clearly, the work is happening at the department level. >> i will be real brief, supervisor walton. the technical assistance is really important, particularly for this type of reform, unlike other types of consent decrees, where the city has to bear a lot more costs. this is collaborative, so to have experts who have the technical expertise to help with incident reform is -- and they've been really helpful in terms of guidance on policies. sometimes they've been helpful to say, take a look at source
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information. we've been helpful with this department on this issue. l let's hook you up with them so you can learn from what they did. that type of technical expertise, particularly at the beginning to get us over the hump is really, really important. i think as morgan said, once we are done and have most of those recommendations completed, the ideal situation is we then can move on our own. and we have our institutional bandwidth and muscle memory to move on our own, but it's very difficult. you know, i want to point out that, for many police departments, they aren't able to do it on their own without that type of technical assistance. >> supervisor walton: i definitely don't -- that wasn't a question, but i appreciate your support of the consultant.
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i just wanted to say that i don't think they deserve anymore money from us. >> president yee: okay. supervisor preston? >> supervisor preston: thank you, president yee, and i know we have a lot of ground to cover, and we've covered a lot, so i'll keep it short. i did have a specific question, chief scott, on the presentation and a couple of the slides. if we could pull back up page 26 of your slides, which is the stopped by perceived rates, because i want to make sure i'm understanding this. are we able to display that or share that screen? >> operator: we're pulling it up right now. >> supervisor preston: thank
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you. >> i think we've lost it. just one second. we're pulling the presentation back up. >> supervisor preston: thanks. >> okay. slide 26.
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>> supervisor preston: okay. thank you. when you showed it, and i initially looked at it, my initial reaction was wow, the numbers are substantially going down, and i think this was shown in the context as an indicator or an evidence of a decrease in bias in policing, and then, as i looked a little more closely at this -- and i want to make sure that i'm understanding this correctly, if you look at a particular category like african americans who are stopped, right, the number declines significantly from the -- from that first quarter 2018 to first quarter 2020. the overall number drops. but what the number doesn't show me -- i just want to make sure -- if you were to plot
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this as a rate as opposed to just the absolute numbers here, am i correct that it would be flat? in other words, we're not seeing an actual decrease in these numbers in the percent of people that are stopped that are african american or the percent of people stopped who are latino, right? we're seeing -- just looking at the totals here, there's a drop from the back of my mind from, like, 30,000 people stopped from that first quarter stopped in that first quarter you looked at and 17,000 stopped in the last quarter you looked at. >> right. >> supervisor preston: but do you think it shows the rates, per 100, what percent of them are african american and what percent are latino? because i think the bias is it's the rates of people being
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stopped. >> well, this does not show the rate per capita, if that's your question. this does not show the decline. this just shows the category with every ethnicity, white, black, african american, latino. this just shows the per capita report, which has declined. not as much as we would like, but it has declined. you are right there, sir. >> supervisor preston: okay. i just want to make sure, but my sense in the presentation was this was being shown in the context of talking about decreased bias in the department. i assume that would be the purpose of a racial breakdown of this type, and it's the same. we don't need to go through
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each one, but if you go a few slides ahead through the use of force, it's pretty much the same thing. you see a pretty dramatic decrease in the use of force upon african american suspects, but it also -- there's a corresponding decrease in the overall use of force. so i just think when we're talking about bias to the extent that it exists, what would be more relevant in these presentations to me would be the rate, and i'm just concerned that presenting it in this way creates an impression of a sharp drop in the bias or the implicit bias here when i'm not sure the data shows that, so i simply wanted to make that the approximate. if you want to respond more, that's fine, but up to you. >> yeah, no, i will, just about the intent. if you go back to slide 23. >> supervisor preston: yes. >> that's really where you wanted to start this part of
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the conversation. i think this addresses what we're talking about, that we still have some major issues in terms of the rate and per capita rates. we didn't show it on the charts, but we wanted to show it at this point of the presentation, highlight it, that we have these issues that we still need to make better. the progress of fewer stops per capita, any way you slice is, is a step in the right direction, but this clearly points out that we have a whole lot more work to do, and these numbers are still disproportionately not where we want them. >> supervisor preston: we agree on that, and i think a picture is worth 1,000 words, and i think supplementing this presentation, if you're going to present the other one, i think would be helpful for the public just in terms of getting an accurate few when it comes
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to address bias. >> yeah, supervisor. appreciate your feedback, and we can definitely address that. >> president yee: supervisor peskin? >> supervisor peskin: thank you, president yee. let me just start by thanking supervisor fewer and those who preceded supervisor fewer who made us have this meeting and spend this amount of time. and let me thank the department for really giving such a r remarkably thorough presentation. chief scott, i appreciate your presentation and i appreciate you. i have actually been on this board under any number of police chiefs, and the way you're handling it, i'm sincerely honored. and in the same breath, let me concur with supervisor walton, which is that i think the most important thing i heard this
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evening is the word, chief, that you and your -- work, chief, that you and your staff are undertaking is institutionalized within the department. whether we're talking about 80 recommendations or tier one or tier two or tier three, and i'm sorry about the unfortunate words from your consultant at the beginning, that you're never going to get to all of the recommendations, which the department actually disagreed with. i think the most important thing is that this reform effort becomes an institutional effort, and that goes on long beyond your tenure, chief, long beyond any of our tenures as city council members or board of supervisors members, so i would like to concur with supervisor walton that maybe the time and the role of the
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consultant function may need to morph into something else or something different. it may have reached the end of its logical life stan, so i just want to put that out there for the department skpp for my colleagues, but i really want to commend you, chief scott, and your command staff. and as you know, i was the number one detractor of the expansion of your command staff. and i was actually prepared this year to go to budget chair fewer and once again bring that up. i lost on a 2-5 vote a number of years ago when you first became the chief, when you wanted to expand the staff. i did not do that this year based on your personal admonition to this supervisor that that staff was institutionalizing reform behavior and reform protocols within this institution that is the department. and indeed -- and i appreciate
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what supervisor preston said, let's see the rates in a graph. [please stand by]
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>> hi, i'm chris manners and you're watching can the coping with covid-19." today i'm going to talk about some of the steps that you can take to stay safe as we slowly lift our restrictions. (♪) >> keep wearing your mask when you're outside your home. there's a board consensus among medical professionals that wearing a mask will help to contain the virus. and in california you're now required to wear a mask in public or in high-risk settings such as when you're shopping or taking public transit or seeking medical care. not being able to see your friends or family is hard, even if you are video conferencing with them. limited socializing is now okay, but keep the number of people to
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a minimum to be safe. and try to only spend time with the same folks. getting together with people indoors is much riskier. so meet up outside, instead of in your home. if you don't have a backyard, choose a park that's nearby. many of the parks in san francisco now have social distancing areas on the grass so you can maintain a safe space. and take disinfecting wipes to sanitize anything that others may have touched. unfortunately, shaking hands and hugging are still out with the virus. and these days a thumbs up are much safer ways of acknowledging somebody else. some restaurants are now allowed to serve food outside. if you do choose to dine outdoors it's safest to only sit with people from your own household. make reservations at the restaurant and arrive on time so you don't have to wait too long. many restaurants can't serve food outside because they don't have the space. so don't stop ordering food for
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pick-up or delivery you if you can afford it. purchase multiple items each time that you go to the supermarket. it's probably the place that you're visiting that has the most people, so minimizing the number of trips that you take is a sensible choice. remain in a minimum of six feet apart from people not within your house hol household is very important. maintain a safe distance from others. finally, keep watching your hands. moving the virus from your hands to your face is one way that you can get sick. fortunately, soap and water kills the virus. so regular handwashing will help to keep you healthy. here's a quick recap -- in response to the pandemic and our current restrictions are changing quickly, go to sfgov-tv to review the most up-to-date guidelines. that's it for this episode. remember that the virus is still
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with us. so be careful and stay safe. you have been watching "coping with covid-19," for sfgov-tv,
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[♪] >> you are watching coping with covid-19. today's special guest is -- >> you are watching coping with covid-19. my guest today is the acting
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director of san francisco public works. he is here with us today to talk about how his department has pivoted to help the city during the pandemic and talking about some of the ongoing projects. welcome to the show. >> thank you. >> i know there are some unique challenges for our unhoused population during this crisis. namely handwashing -- handwashing and social distancing. how has public works been addressing these problems? >> you know, ever since public works got involved with the response to covid, it really began from day one. we have been working with the unhoused community and the city more broadly doing things like something to identify and design and construct a safe sleeping sights. we have been helping other areas like helping to do some of the prep for the testing centres that are all over the city now. we have also been helping to retrofit and design some of the
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medical facilities. we are prepared to address the surge if and when that does happen. we have also been working on the aberration side where we have been able to double the program. [indiscernible] it's just some of the things that we are regarding specifically to covid, but then on top of that, we have been doing our day-to-day work that we always do in helping to resolve some of the -- and the encampments across the city, working with the city to make sure we are doing extra cleaning
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at the food stations in areas where they are trying to distribute food. and it's something that we have been doing more recently which is imparting with our colleagues at the m.t.a., planning, and other departments to set up the shared spaces program. so you can bring that to san francisco. [indiscernible] you are seeing businesses being able to operate in the white -- right of way. there are some areas in the city where they are occupying the entire street. we are hoping that all of these efforts are going a long way to make the city bounce back. >> absolutely. it's great to see the city is coming up with ideas that will keep people safe and let some of our businesses partially reopen. >> absolutely. >> i understand that most workers are also categorized as
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essential workers, but at the moment, a lot of our buildings are still closed. how has your staff been redeployed to help out during the pandemic? >> there are 100 people assigned as emergency operations centres. they have worked on everything ranging from finance and logistics to accounting, to a communications. we have also had some of our staff been reassigned where we had people who were working within the bureau and we had them redeployed within the street cleaning groups. we are trying to solve problems as best we can. >> some city interior painters would normally be working inside city buildings and have been repurposed to work outside and remove graffiti. >> yeah, and that really -- and that is also a good example of trying to find ways that we can
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use those same individuals, those same skill sets but use them in a way that is safe. the one thing we have learned throughout this process with covid and shelter in place is that, you know, if you are inside, it is more at risk. so you could be an individual resident, or you as an employee or worker for the city and county of san francisco, getting you outside is important and for everyone, if you are at home, you may have to go on a walk around your neighbourhood, you know, you don't want to see graffiti and things like that. we are trying to make a conscious effort to clean those things up. >> that is great. i'm glad to hear that the pandemic hasn't halted ongoing construction. can you tell me how the new animal care and control centre is progressing and how about the ambulance deployment facility? >> they are moving along very,
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very well. and the care and control facility, it addresses a lot of the facilities that they have. and being able to separate the animals in a safe way and that project, along with the ambulance and deployment facility, those are all on track to be wrapping up towards the end of this year and at the latest of the beginning of next year. we had -- we just want to understand what the rules are in operating and construction. we worked closely with a health officer and other departments across the city along with the contractors to come up with rules and the way it would work and the way we have had to implement things. we are trying to limit the number of people that are going up in lifts and things like that one of the things i am proud to
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say is procedures are not just used here locally or regionally. they were adopted across the state. it is one thing i'm very proud of. the speed at which the city and county of san francisco are working with our partners to keep our projects going. these are a handful of examples that are now on schedule to be built on time. >> people are pretty fascinated by the floating fire workstation 35 project. how is that going? >> is that. 22.5. it is a two story building. it will be 15,000 square feet. this is a floating station. it was built in shanghai and it is currently over at pier one in treasure island. it will be there for the rest of this year. the plan is to flow it over across the bay and it will find
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a permanent home at the embarcadero at the beginning of next year. >> finally, i understand we are doing street improvements. how has the jefferson street scapegoat in. can you tell us about the upper transit and pedestrian improvements? >> those projects are going well it is one more example of the thought and the collaboration of the project team at public works along with the merchants that will be impacted by those projects. once we go to a soldier -- shelter in place, we could pivot and realize realize, okay. it could be time for us to speed up the schedule. because as the number of the storefronts were open. what we are able to do is speed up the schedules on the upper haight street and we were able to be able to speed up the schedule and finish early on
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that project and likewise for the project on the jefferson street project where we were able to make up some ground that we had lost, allowing us to do things some sidewalks and school streets. that is something we would not have been able to do without the partnership and the collaboration between the contractor, public public works, and emergency. >> thank you so much. i really appreciate you coming on the show. thank you for the time you have given us today b thank you. >> that is it for our episode. we will be back with more information shortly. you have been watching coping with covid-19. thanks for watching. [♪]
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>> working with kids, they keep you young. they keep you on your tones -- on your toes.
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>> teaching them, at the same time, us learning from them, everything is fulfilling. >> ready? go. [♪] >> we really wanted to find a way to support women entrepreneurs in particular in san francisco. it was very important for the mayor, as well as the safety support the dreams that people want to realize, and provide them with an opportunity to receive funding to support improvements for their business so they could grow and thrive in their neighborhoods and in their industry. >> three, two, one! >> because i am one of the consultants for two nonprofits here for entrepreneurship, i knew about the grand through the renaissance entrepreneur center,
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and through the small business development center. i thought they were going to be perfect candidate because of their strong values in the community. they really give back to the neighborhood. they are from this neighborhood, and they care about the kids in the community here. >> when molly -- molly first told us about the grant because she works with small businesses. she has been a tremendous help for us here. she brought us to the attention of the grand just because a lot of things here were outdated, and need to be up-to-date and redone totally. >> hands in front. recite the creed. >> my oldest is jt, he is seven, and my youngest is ryan, he is almost six. it instills discipline and the boys, but they show a lot of care. we think it is great. the moves are fantastic. the women both are great teachers. >> what is the next one?
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>> my son goes to fd k. he has been attending for about two years now. they also have a summer program, and last summer was our first year participating in it. they took the kids everywhere around san francisco. this year, owner talking about placing them in summer camps, all he wanted to do was spend the entire summer with them. >> he has strong women in his life, so he really appreciates it. i think that carries through and i appreciate the fact that there are more strong women in the world like that. >> i met d'andrea 25 years ago, and we met through our interest in karate. our professor started on cortland years ago, so we grew up here at this location, we out -- he outgrew the space and he moved ten years later.
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he decided to reopen this location after he moved. initially, i came back to say, hey, because it might have been 15 years since i even put on a uniform. my business partner was here basically by herself, and the person she was supposed to run the studio with said great, you are here, i started new -- nursing school so you can take over. and she said wait, that is not what i am here for i was by myself before -- for a month before she came through. she was technically here as a secretary, but we insisted, just put on the uniform, and help her teach. i was struggling a little bit. and she has been here. one thing led to another and now we are co-owners. you think a lot more about safety after having children and i wanted to not live in fear so much, and so i just took advantage of the opportunity, and i found it very powerful to hit something, to get some relief, but also having the
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knowledge one you might be in a situation of how to take care of yourself. >> the self-defence class is a new thing that we are doing. we started with a group of women last year as a trial run to see how it felt. there's a difference between self-defence and doing a karate class. we didn't want them to do an actual karate class. we wanted to learn the fundamentals of how to defend yourself versus, you know, going through all the forms and techniques that we teaching a karate class and how to break that down. then i was approached by my old high school. one -- once a semester, the kids get to pick an extra curricular activity to take outside of the school walls. my old biology teacher is now the principle. she approached us into doing a self-defence class. the girls have been really proactive and really sweet. they step out of of the comfort zone, but they have been willing
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to step out and that hasn't been any pushback. it is really great. >> it is respect. you have to learn it. when we first came in, they knew us as those girls. they didn't know who we were. finally, we came enough for them to realize, okay, they are in the business now. it took a while for us to gain that respect from our peers, our male peers. >> since receiving the grant, it has ignited us even more, and put a fire underneath our butts even more. >> we were doing our summer camp and we are in a movie theatre, and we just finished watching a film and she stepped out to receive a phone call. she came in and she screamed, hey, we got the grant. and i said what? >> martial arts is a passion for us. it is passion driven. there are days where we are dead tired and the kids come and they have the biggest smiles on their faces and it is contagious. >> we have been operating this
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program for a little over a year all women entrepreneurs. it is an extraordinary benefit for us. we have had the mayor's office investing in our program so we can continue doing this work. it has been so impactful across a diversity of communities throughout the city. >> we hope that we are making some type of impact in these kids' lives outside of just learning karate. having self-confidence, having discipline, learning to know when it's okay to stand up for yourself versus you just being a bully in school. these are the values we want the kids to take away from this. not just, i learned how to kick and i learned how to punch. we want the kids to have more values when they walk outside of these doors. [♪]
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>> all right, welcome, everyone.
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[applause] today is the day, dr. colfax. today is the day. it's the day that our kids get back to the serious business of play, and so i'm thrilled to be here with our mayor, supervisor safai and our director of public health, and many community leaders and wonderful people to celebrate the re-opening of playgrounds all across the city starting right now. we are here at mersed heights, so we're not just opening up the gates to playgrounds but we're also cutting ribbons on five amazing playgrounds that have just been waiting for children that have been renovated through the let's play s.f. initiative, which is is an incredible partnership between the recreation and the park department and the parks alliance, san francisco voters who support park bonds, and through let's play s.f. we're actually transforming 13
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playgrounds that have been loved to death across our city and to creative places that spark imagination, connection, and healthy bodies and minds. so without further adieu it is my great pleasure to introduce our parks champion-in-chief who has been a great nudge to make this happen. thank you, mayor. >> thank you. and thank you, phil, and thank you to all of the families in san francisco for your understanding and your patience as we deal with a very, very challenging time, one that none of us could have ever predicted. and i'm so excited to be here at mersed heights because i know how hard this community worked to get this park to be a priority. for so many years -- i see mary harris over there shaking her head hard. for so many years, and a lot of
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the people in this community, they have been fighting to make sure that this part of town receives the support and the attention that it deserves. there are families here and there are generations of kids growing up in this neighborhood and in this community. and they deserved the opportunity to make sure that we rebuild the library, which your supervisor is pushing for. that we rebuild the parks and all of the other amenities that make life so great in san francisco. and here we are, because i'll tell you, supervisor, not too long ago i know that we came here, and we cut the ribbon -- or we broke the ground -- and this happened really fast. this is pretty amazing. and, you know, to make a park like this to happen, and it is absolutely beautiful! it is so amazing. and i am so happy that today
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finally kids will be able to play in playgrounds all over san francisco. this is amazing. and i'll tell you that the reason why i'm so happy, because it is hard for children right now. you know, our private schools have opened and our public schools haven't. kids are not in school and they're in front of a screen on a regular basis. and that is not good for them. we know that it's not good for them. it's why i have been putting, of course, as much pressure as i can on the public to do our part to wear our masks and to wash our hands and to socially distance ourselves, and as much as we want to be around each other we have to make sacrifices for our children. so that they can go back to school, so they can play in playgrounds, so they can have a well-rounded life, because just imagine -- this is hard on us as adults.
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just imagine how much harder it is on kids. how tough it is, and how we are seeing even now -- even though we're providing devices and internet and other resources to kids, the achievement gap is still growing wide. so we have a lot of work to do. and that's why today is so amazing. and it's so exciting. because it's not just that we're opening up all of these playgrounds, we have renovated a number of playgrounds in san francisco, and so kids are going to have an opportunity to just enjoy something new and exciting in the city. i am excited and i'm grateful to you, phil, and i'm grateful to the parks alliance and the let's play initiative and all of the friends of mersed heights, you will hear from some community members here today, because this work happened because of this community.
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this work happened because you had an incredible leader in supervisor safai. so with strong leadership, with strong community support, with collaboration and with years -- wait -- decades of advocacy, you have made something incredible happen for the kids of this community, for the kids who are part of this learning hub, who are hoping that this press conference is over as quick as possible so they can come and play in this playground. in fact, it won't bother me if they play on the playground during this conference, just let them have a good time. because that's where we are now. and what this also does is that it gives us hope. it gives us hope that the time that we've spent in isolation, the time that we have spent, you know, doing what we needed to do during this pandemic, we know that there's a light at the end of the tunnel. we know that good things can happen if we all do our part. and so i really, really, really
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want to thank all of you so much for being here, so much for continuing to support our parks and the bonds that the voters have always voted to support because that's how this happens. and it is amazing, and it's a beautiful day, and, supervisor, you should be so proud of what you have been able to accomplish for this community, unlike never before, and we are so grateful for your strong advocacy and leadership. and, ladies and gentlemen, i want to introduce the district 11 supervisor, supervisor safai. [applause] >> thank you, madam mayor. this day is super special. i'll just say that. when i first started working in this community, the mantra was, why are we always treated like the forgotten part of san francisco? why are we not getting our fair share? why are the working people --
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why are the hard-working people that get up and make this city run every day treated like this? and if you saw this playground, if you saw this fence, right, phil, it looked like a prison yard fence. it looked like something that you would never want to bring your family to. the same at mersed -- excuse me, allis-chalmers that is open today. and they used to ride by that to say look at how awful this park is, will you please give us money, because down the street was daily city and it was shining. but i can say with full confidence that this community fought hard, this community advocated and never gave up. i want to give a special shoutout to renard menro, working here tirelessly on a little island by himself, using every little resource he has, going into his own pockets often, to make sure that this
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community had something. i want to thank miss wilma gardner, she couldn't join us today and she lives right across the street there and said i want to see this park rebuilt before i die. that's what she told me when i met her years ago. and i'm sorry that she couldn't be here today. there's a lot of people that couldn't actually physically be here, but all of their blood, sweat and tears went into this. i want to thank phil ginsburg and his staff. they have made a commitment to ensuring that the neighborhoods that have the most children, like ours, under the age of 18 get their fair share. and all of their hard-working staff. and i want to especially thank miss mayor, madam, london breed, because every single thing -- now don't get jealous of the supervisors -- every single thing that i have brought to her to talk about this community she has said, yes. when we asked her for a new library, she said, yes. when we asked her for a new job
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center, she funded that and we opened that up a year ago to this day. when we said three years ago -- not recently -- but three years ago when we said that the african american community is hurting she said, asha, you don't need to tell me, i know. and i said we're investing in this, and she said, yes. so this is one big step forward and i want to thank all of the people that have been involved in this, and all of the people that have dedicated themselves to this, and to all of the children and families that will enjoy this for many, many years to come. this is a new day in district 11, thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, supervisor safai. the mayor and the supervisor, you know, eloquently articulated the importance of this moment. playgrounds are happy, they're joyous, but for children and their development and their social and emotional development and their ability to problem solve and the ability to take risks and the ability to share
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and to collaborate, this is really serious stuff to get kids back on our playgrounds again. i think that the mayor said it, that kids have taken it on the chin a little bit during this pandemic, let's be honest. and i'm grateful to the mayor and to supervisor safai and the community for screaming out on behalf of our children. we have to now do the right thing. playgrounds are open. we need to keep our kids safe and our families safe. so, please -- yes, there are rules and there are capacity limits. there are -- we are supposed to continue to social distance and continue to wear a mask, right? do not eat and drink in these spaces. let's all do the right things so that our children and san francisco families can be healthy. so the last point they want to make before bringing up our next speaker -- yes, thank you, mayor. okay, do not -- if you are a parent, when you bring your kid to a playground, do not do this
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-- pay attention. no cellphone. pay attention to where your kids are and how they're engaging on these spaces. again, the goal here is only to allow our kids to have the freedom to play and to do it in a healthy way. one last point which is that this should be a reminder as both the mayor and supervisor safai mentioned about the importance of investing in our parks. san francisco has the best park system in the united states of america. it is 150 years old. but we have to continue to invest in it, continue to nurture in it so we no longer have fences that look like jails and playgrounds that aren't deserving of the children who use them. so i want to thank all san francisco voters for supporting the 2012 clean and safe neighborhoods park fund, without which we would not be here today. our most important partner in all of this are our friends at the department of public health who have as a tough a job as
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anybody right now in trying to figure out how to allow us to safely resume some sense of normalcy. and i am incredibly grateful to dr. colfax and dr. aragon and their team for working with us and truly understanding the importance and the urgency of opening up playgrounds. so dr. colfax, the mic is yours. >> well, thank you, director ginsburg, and really to acknowledge our gratitude to mayor breed, supervisors safai, director su, and mr. robert ellis for their leadership in this work. you know that there's been so many challenging days during this pandemic. and so many sad days. and this is such a day of gratitude and beauty. look out it here, and look at the kids playing. this is a pivotal moment as we
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work together to slow the spread of covid and realize that our children must go back to doing the things that we know that are important for their health and their family's health and the communities' health. the reopening of the playgrounds is an opportunity to get our kids back something that we haven't done since march, march. incredible. we at the health department are so happy to be here as we have worked to get san francisco to this place. to back to where kids can get in an environment where they can thrive, starting with school programs, community hubs, and elementary schools, step-by-step, and now playgrounds. we have made tremendous progress as a city. and we know that the sacrifice and the dedications of our families and our communities have made the contributions that have succeeded in slowing the spread of covid-19 virus.
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and i thank you. we thank you. and we want all of our children -- all of our children -- to continue to enjoy the reopening of activities. and so parents, we need your help in ensuring that we open playgrounds as safely as possible. when visiting playgrounds, please be sure that your family follows the health and safety rules for playground visitors. prepare your family for less children and for socially distanced fun. and i wouldn't be doing my job, you know what comes next, if i wouldn't remind people to, please, wear a face covering. they are required for all playground visitors, aged 2 and over. please limit your stay to 30 minutes when other households are present, so that other people can also enjoy the playground. and, please, practice that good hygiene. and although playgrounds are
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outdoors, we still want to be cautious. we need everyone's help in sustaining our gain and the progress that we have made. so let's have fun today. let's take advantage of these beautiful seasonal days that we have in san francisco, and, again, thank you mayor breed, supervisor safai and director ginsburg for your partnership and work. and everyone, let's continue to play it safe. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, dr. colfax. so we're now going to hear from two important community members that have fought for children and for families in this neighborhood. our first speaker, renard monroe, the executive director of youth first. you've been amazing. thank you for your partnership in our community hub program. i want to acknowledge executive director, dr. mariea su, my partner in crime and all things kids and families. but, ménard, you are running a
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model program and you're doing it for kids who really need the support. and we're so grateful to you for your help in keeping these spaces safe and clean. please come up and say a few words. [applause] >> good afternoon. this is a bittersweet moment for us as a community, because there are some people before ménard who really put in some hard work to make sure that we have this space for the children and our community. and i need to acknowledge a few people who didn't make it to see this day. our neighbor, she lived right there, her name was karen mccoy. [applause] she fought and she fought and she had phil's number on speed dial trying to get this place renovated. she didn't make it to see it, she passed away and i'm thankful
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for her and her daughter, they both passed away. they fought for this park and i'm appreciative of that. and delores, who is also a resident fought for this park. and mary harris and al harris, okay, a lot of people put in -- wilma gardner, a lot of people have been fighting to make sure that this community gets what it needs. i'm just happy to be part of the process and i'm thankful for today and i'm thankful for our mayor to allocate the funds and phil ginsburg, he's been awesome. it's been awesome. and i appreciate you. he comes out the first day they put this together and went down the slide with the kids and impressed the kids. it's just one of those things where san francisco is supposed to be about community. and these type of events are so important, especially in a times that we're living in and the covid-19. i definitely want to thank our supervisor safai. [applause] for all of his hard work and
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pushing for our district to make sure that we can have spaces like this. also i want to thank our community as a whole, first and foremost. our residents right here, up and down the street. using this park every day, and we're so happy to have it back open, to have our kids back playing safely and in an environment, and something to be proud of. i'm proud of our district. i'm proud of where we're going. okay, we have organizations and c.b.o.s who are really making a push for this district to get the resources allocated here. and all of the things that we are doing just to make sure that the community gets what it needs and to make sure that children have a future. so, thank you. [applause] >> thank you, renard. so another community leader that had my phone number on speed dial, my phone number, my email and my twitter and my telegraph
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handle was edna james. and edna couldn't be here today, but she has asked one of her closest community partners to come up and to say a few words. robert ellis. robert is the vice president of the o.m.i. community action organization and a member of the friends of mersed heights playground, and to say a few words about the power of community when it comes to getting things done. robert, the microphone is yours. >> hi, i wish i had been first. all of these accolades have been handed out and it's well deserved. and i want to thank our mayor breed for all of her dedication, all of her dedication to the city. and not only she is smart, but she's pretty. so that's a good thing.
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like i say, i want to thank phil definitely -- if you stand here and you look around you can see the transformation of this park and the future is still bright. i have been on di dixie street r the last 50 years and i have seen the park deteriorate and now it's like a phoenix rising from the sun. so you see that it's bringing a whole new atmosphere to the community. not only for the children, but also for the adults and for everybody in the community and the city. and i'm certainly glad to be a part of it and i want to apologize -- not apologize, but i want to give my regrets to miss james, the well documented partner was unable to be here today. so i want to thank everyone that
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invited me and phil and just say, phil, you're doing a wonderful job. keep up the good work. and god bless you. thank you. >> just a few quick acknowledgements and then we're going to wrap up and if there are any questions you have a few people here who might be able to answer them. just a couple of questions. but i i want to recognize through the san francisco park alliance that without the san francisco park alliance, make no mistake that we would not be renovating or ribbon cutting five new playgrounds. their partnership is invaluable and they lead with their heart and they care about the parks. thank you, san francisco park alliance. [applause] and then last to my own team, lisa brampton, lisa, thank you for all that you have done to bring private resources to help to supplement what the voters have done to allow us to renovate these playgrounds.
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to our park supervisor, brandon young bright and early here, mayor, making sure that this place looked super clean. so, thank you, brandon, for being here. and to dan mauer, our project manager for this particular project, and to all of the rec and park staff who really had to hustle to make sure that you can see these markings on the ground and you can see all of the signs in the last 36 hours we have put out maybe 750 signs and have marked playgrounds and, yeah, my staff always rises to the occasion. so a big shout out to the rec and park staff. let's let them play. thanks, everyone.
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[♪] >> i really believe that art should be available to people for free, and it should be part of our world, you shouldn't just be something in museums, and i love that the people can just go there and it is there for everyone. [♪] >> i would say i am a multidimensional artist. i came out of painting, but have also really enjoyed tactile properties of artwork and tile work. i always have an interest in public art.
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i really believe that art should be available to people for free, and it should be part of our world. you shouldn't just be something in museums. i love that people can just go there, and it is there for everyone. public art is art with a job to do. it is a place where the architecture meets the public. where the artist takes the meaning of the site, and gives a voice to its. we commission culture, murals, mosaics, black pieces, cut to mental, different types of material. it is not just downtown, or the big sculptures you see, we are in the neighborhood. those are some of the most beloved kinds of projects that really give our libraries and recreation centers a sense of uniqueness, and being specific to that neighborhood. colette test on a number of those projects for its. one of my favorites is the oceanview library, as well as
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several parks, and the steps. >> mosaics are created with tile that is either broken or cut in some way, and rearranged to make a pattern. you need to use a tool, nippers, as they are called, to actually shape the tiles of it so you can get them to fit incorrectly. i glued them to mash, and then they are taken, now usually installed by someone who is not to me, and they put cement on the wall, and they pick up the mash with the tiles attached to it, and they stick it to the wall, and then they groped it afterwards. [♪]
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>> we had never really seen artwork done on a stairway of the kinds that we were thinking of because our idea was very just barely pictorial, and to have a picture broken up like that, we were not sure if it would visually work. so we just took paper that size and drew what our idea was, and cut it into strips, and took it down there and taped it to the steps, and stepped back and looked around, and walked up and down and figured out how it would really work visually. [♪] >> my theme was chinese heights because i find them very beautiful. and also because mosaic is such a heavy, dens, static medium, and i always like to try and incorporate movement into its, and i work with the theme of
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water a lot, with wind, with clouds, just because i like movements and lightness, so i liked the contrast of making kites out of very heavy, hard material. so one side is a dragon kite, and then there are several different kites in the sky with the clouds, and a little girl below flying it. [♪] >> there are pieces that are particularly meaningful to me. during the time that we were working on it, my son was a disaffected, unhappy high school student. there was a day where i was on the way to take them to school,
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and he was looking glum, as usual, and so halfway to school, i turned around and said, how about if i tell the school you are sick and you come make tiles with us, so there is a tile that he made to. it is a little bird. the relationship with a work of art is something that develops over time, and if you have memories connected with a place from when you are a child, and you come back and you see it again with the eyes of an adult, it is a different thing, and is just part of what makes the city an exciting place. [♪]

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