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tv   Mayors Press Availability  SFGTV  April 17, 2021 6:35am-7:01am PDT

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>> thank you. >> the hon. london breed: good morning, everyone. let's get right to it. this is not unfamiliar territory for us. many of you remember, when i started at supervisor for district 5, 4-20, although it has been a tradition in san francisco for many, many years, there was one year in particular that was a little different than most years. we saw thousands of people come from all over the bay area to robin williams meadows to
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celebrate this unsanctioned holiday, alex, is that what we want to call it, right here in golden gate park? and i think when i was supervisor, i think that was the most complaints that i got from constituents after it was over, the conditions of the park. as much as we want to celebrate here in san francisco, and as supportive as the city has been to continue to see the tradition occur, it has been really challenging, of course, to gather in large groups during covid. now last year, what i really appreciate about people who come here year after year, is we asked you not to, and you followed our health guidance. you followed the health orders and you stayed away from golden
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gate park and prevented that from being a super spreader in our city, and we thank you for that. now i know that man of you thought we -- many of you thought we would be celebrating and that we would be in a better place. we are in a better place. we've seen the case numbers go down in san francisco. we've seen the hospitalization numbers go down in san francisco, and we've vaccinated at least 50% of san franciscans with the first dose of the vaccine, but we are not there yet, we are not at a place where we can have large number events, so what does that mean? that means this year's 4-20 celebration are cancelled. robin williams meadows will be
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fenced off and unavailable for access to any member of the public. it means we will be patrolling the area and on the lookout for mass events in our city. because the bigger issue for us is, the issue we don't want to see, is san francisco to go backwards. we only need to look at what's around a number of variants in the united states and what's happening in michigan. as much as we are tired about the virus and as much as we are excited about reopening, we are still not at a place where we can have large scale events, large gatherings of people. we don't want to go backwards. yesterday, i went to brett hart elementary school in the bayview-hunters point community. i can't tell you how excited i was for those children who were going back into the classroom
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finally. when i had lunch at a thai restaurant in the soma area, the owner asked, mayor, when are we going to bring businesses back? my business is suffering. people are still struggling. we are not completely 100% open, but we are in a decent place. in fact, we expected to have more news about going into the yellow sooner rather than later, and we have not gotten that news. so the point is, as grateful as we are as to where we are as a city, and how we have kept the infection rates down, how we are one of the densest cities in the country with one of the lowest death rates anywhere, as grateful as we are with where san francisco is, we're still not where we need to be, and so i'm asking members of the
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public who were making plans, which we know were happening on-line, on social media, we're making plans to go to -- media, were making plans to go to san francisco on 4-20, unfortunately, we will not be able to provide the space or the support for large scale events anywhere in our city. we need everyone to celebrate at home, responsibly, with your mask, in limits numbers in whatever way, shape, or form, and be patient with us because as we begin to reopen, we can look back and be proud of the sacrifices that we made here in san francisco to get us to this point. so i just want to -- we have a number of folks here to speak to talk specifically about what's going to happen so you can know, that even if you want to come any way, it's going to be virtually impossible for you to get to the location that you're trying to get to because
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it will be fenced out -- fenced off, it will be patrolled, and unfortunately, we will not be able to allow it this year. and with that, i want to introduce dr. grant colfax about where we are, and phil ginsburg, and a number of other speakers, and we're happy to answer questions after everyone's had an opportunity to speak. thank you so much. >> good morning, everybody, and thank you, madam mayor, for the introduction and your tremendous leadership during this unprecedented time. i'd also like to thank director ginsburg in the rec and park department for inviting me to be here for this important event. i'm here today to applaud the people of san francisco for the sacrifices that you have made and for following our health
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guidelines throughout this pandemic. your hard work and commitment has helped us beat back three surges, including our winter surge, and we continue to move forward with reopening. but i'm also here with words of caution. i am, we are watching with concern about what's happening in the -- in the mid western part of the country, including and especially in michigan, as well as in other parts of the world, including europe, and just yesterday, the director of the c.d.c., recommended that michigan go into another lockdown to bring its surge under control. i think we can all agree that's certainly the last thing that we want to see here in the state and in san francisco. i think we need to take the possibility of a fourth surge seriously, and gatherings like the 4-20 events we've seen in previous years could set us
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back. i applaud the efforts that organizers have done in cancelling the event. thank you. and i encourage everyone who looks forward to this annual event, if they choose to do so, to enjoy this day from home. we are making great progress on vaccinations. we are now vaccinating in san francisco over 12,000 people a day, but we are still not at that point where we can let our guard down. we still need to do, in addition to the vaccines that we know can slow the spread of the virus, masking, social distancing, avoiding nonessential travel and limiting gatherings with people outside of your household. we will be introducing this week what we call the enhanced orange tier. but i want to remind people that outdoor gatherings are
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limited to 25 people with same households with masking and social distancing. starting on the 15th, outdoor gatherings with increase to 50 people with masking and social distancing with no household restriction, and with food served, that restriction drops to 25 people. so that is progress, and i know we are all eager to make even further progress and to put this chapter of limitations behind us, but let's continue to take the precautions necessary for now. finally, i also have to mention that if you are going to purchase cannabis, we encourage you to procure your gear from licensed businesses and not from the street. cannabis from licensed retailers is tested and safe for consumption. and again, i want to thank all san franciscans for your on going support during this
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challenging time. when it's your turn, get vaccinated, do the right thing, and let's get through this pandemic together. thank you. >> the hon. london breed: thank you, dr. colfax. now, i want to introduce the new captain for park station, captain padrini -- am i saying your name right? all right. captain padrini. >> thank you, mayor breed, dr. colfax, director ginsburg, and [inaudible] my name is [inaudible] padrini, and i'm the captain of park station. we know that 4-20 is an event that has been held here in the
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park for a long time, and many look forward to celebrating. unfortunately, we won't be celebrating this year. san francisco has come so far in response to the covid-19 pandemic, and we just can't afford to let our guard down now. as you heard others mention already, the area of golden gate park where all have gathered to celebrate 4-20 day, that area will be closed. the city will be erecting and installing fencing and barriers to limit and control access. san francisco police officers, working with our partners, park rangers and parking patrol officers, will prevent access to these areas and keep traffic moving. we are prepared to do enforcement if necessary, but we're asking for your cooperation by celebrating safely at home or in your neighborhood. so again, please celebrate
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virtually this year so that, hopefully, all can celebrate in person next year. thank you. >> the hon. london breed: thank you, captain. you're, like, the third captain that we've worked with at park police station to deal with some of the challenges at 4-20, and the third one to say you look forward to it, as well. so with that, i want to introduce the director of the rec and park department, phil ginsburg. >> thank you, mayor. i want to thank the mayor, our health director and d.p.h., the office of cannabis, all our partners here in this effort to continue to keep our parks joyous and safe. it's been a long year for us all, but our parks all over the city have been places where we've been able to pursue our physical and mental health. we're almost there, but we're
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just not ready to party. so as the mayor alluded, and as captain padrini alluded, there will be no party here at hippie hill in robin williams meadow on 4-20. officers will be disbursed, making sure there are no large crowds. consider me director buzzkill. getting outside is fine, right? 4-20 is a holiday. celebrate it, but getting outdoors is not. you can celebrate in your household by live streaming
6:49 am our goal here is to maintain our treasured open spaces as places where we can, again, pursue physical and mental health. we welcome people to enjoy their parks. get out and enjoy a park. in san francisco, we have 225 of them. all of us live within ten minutes of a park, and if you're coming from someplace else, there are amazing parks and open spaces all over the bay area, the peninsula, and marin. use them. thank you. >> the hon. london breed: thank you, phil. but when you go to the park, make sure you know you cannot gather in groups larger than 25 with a maximum of three households, so we will be enforcing the health order throughout san francisco.
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enjoy our parks but follow the rules. and as i mentioned to you before, this event initially has grown into something that none of us could ever have imagined, like the pandemic. the fact is because we're san francisco, we didn't just shut our doors and say, it's not going to happen. we're going to end it, we decided to figure out what was the most effective way to make it safe, what was the most effective way to recover our expenses in terms of our cost. how were we going to make it the kind of event that you can celebrate, enjoy san francisco like many other events that occur here. we put our heads together, phil ginsburg and i and others, and fortunately, we have identified a native san franciscan who said -- we didn't go to him, he
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came to us. he said he wants to make it safe, he wants to work together. he owns a business on haight street, born and raised in the city, and really wanted to support this gathering, and as a result, put together a number of sponsors and entertainment and a number of resources to cover expenses related to transportation and things that are necessary to make this event happen, and we created an amazing partnership. and i think since this partnership has started, alex, you were only able to do one so far? is it two? so at this time, i want to introduce alex aquino who is really -- three? three? we've known about three traditionally in the city. technically, you're not
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supposed to smoke in the park, but we're trying to understand and be open-minded about this. we get it, and we have worked with alex over the past couple of years, and i want to introduce him now to say a few words. >> and good morning, everybody. is it still morning? good afternoon. thank you, mayor breed, director ginsburg, for having me this afternoon. it's best for our public and public safety and health. we encourage people not to gather. instead, take advantage of some of the great live streams that we're producing this year in the safety and comfort of your own home. we have a great show lined up this year by burner, hosted by michael blackson, paul
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rodriguez, and bob saget. we are working with weedmaps for a free live stream, hosted by snoop dogg, rocky, and more. these will be benefiting local businesses and local entities. so please go to >> the hon. london breed: thank you, alex, and thank you so much for putting together an alternative where people can still enjoy 4-20. a lot of folks we know this year and this past year have had to do virtual events. many people have adapted, and 4-20, no different, and fingers crossed, you'll all be able to return and enjoy golden gate
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park next year. i also want to recognize the director of the office of cannabis for the city and county of san francisco, marissa rodriguez. thank you for being here today, and at this point, happy to answer any questions that you may have. [inaudible] >> the hon. london breed: yeah. i definitely was saddened and disappointed and concerns when i heard about the johnson & johnson vaccine being removed, but unfortunately, we've had this challenge before. we know with a separate vaccine not related to covid, the pfizer vaccine, they talked about that, and my hope is that
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not a lot of people were impacted, and we're going to continue to do vaccines. we have other vaccines which have not been problematic. i have not had any symptoms or have experienced any clots related to the johnson & johnson vaccine. of course, i'm disappointed because it's a one-and-done vaccine that we all have encouraged other people to get. what we don't want people to do is to be discouraged from getting vaccines period. if i had to do it all over again, i'd still get the vaccine, and in light of the new information, probably would choose another option. those options have been in circulation and available to people even before the johnson & johnson was available. so i would say to those people who have received the johnson & johnson, to definitely contact your primary health care provider or reach out to the place where you have received the vaccine, like a number of the community places we have
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available. this is a set back, but it's not going to stop san francisco from moving forward and doing everything we can to provide vaccines to the public. [inaudible] >> the hon. london breed: so what was asked was about the new sobering center i announced today. let's just back up, because this goes back to even when i was on the board of supervisors and my support for safe injection sites. now, we know that people struggle with addictions in various capacities, whether it's drugs, alcohol, gambling, there are a number of addictions that people face, and just because we don't want to see them doesn't mean they're just going to go away, so we can't keep doing things the same way we've done them
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and expect to get a different result. we have some amazing programs like delancey street and healthright 360, but people using drugs that create psychosis can sometimes do permanent damage to folks who may not necessarily be able to say, i need help, and we see that playing out on our streets every single day. so what was important for me is to not let it play out on the streets, so get people in a safe, clean environment with health care professionals who understand people working with addiction, and hopefully, those people are able to get the help and the support that they need. and i will also say that as much as we want to see people get help, we all -- i mean, i have had family members that
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have struggled with addiction. we all know that until someone says i need help, it's a whole different process to getting them help. so hopefully, these sobering centers and safe injection sites for people will help prevent overdosing, will help present an option into treatment or some form of support, because we want to make sure it's easier to access help than it is to access drugs and alcohol on our streets, and that's what this sobering center is about. [inaudible] >> the hon. london breed: do we have that information or do we
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need to get back -- [inaudible] >> the hon. london breed: okay. i think we need to get back to you on the data because we haven't received the latest numbers from the controller's office as to the financial impacts on the city's resources, but you know that we provided equity grants for many of our equity applicants, people who were disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs, and making sure that they have opportunities to have capital to open up these businesses, but we do know, sure, that cannabis and a number of other businesses have thrived as a result of this pandemic, and we'll have more data probably at another time. [inaudible]
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>> the hon. london breed: i'm going to let dr. grant colfax answer that question. >> good morning again. so right now, we have the capacity to put over 20,000 vaccines in arms. we're doing an average of 12,000 because of the lack of supplies. i think the johnson & johnson, we're following the f.d.a.s and c.d.c.s lead on that and putting a pause on johnson & johnson, but because of the decrease in supplies that the state announced this week, we're getting a third less vaccine. this week, we've only gotten 500 doses of johnson & johnson. we'll put those on pause, but we don't anticipate disruption in the scheduled appointments, and we'll continue to follow the situation closely. [inaudible] >> no cancellation will be