tv Mayors Press Availability SFGTV June 15, 2022 3:30am-4:31am PDT
welcome to the bridge to excellence scholarship awards ceremony. please, give it up. what a beautiful day we've been blessed with. it's warm. it's sunny. and we're going to give out some amazing awards to some tremendously talented and perseverance students. the bridge to excellence scholarship is awarded to seniors who are highly dedicated to their academic success. the award is giving to students
so they can overcome the financial barriers that come along with attending a four-year university. and so today, i would like to introduce mayor breed. i would just like to say a couple words about mayor breed. she was born and raised in plaza east public housing by her grandmother. fast forward to 2018, she was elected to be the first african american woman to serve as mayor of san francisco. in 2019, she was re-elected and her and her administration have worked very hard and tirelessly to focus on some of the most crucial issues in san francisco including homelessness, public housing, workforce development,
and, of course, covid-19 recovery. we all remember 2020 and we want to thank mayor london breed for taking a leadership role in recovery. the vaccination point was very scary times. but she set up many vaccination sites all around the city. and, today, over 89% of eligible residents are vaccinated, so let's give it up for that. not only did she help the public health, but she also helped the businesses, the small businesses recover. she gave over $65 million in grants and loans to 3,000 small
businesses around san francisco. since 2020, she's been working on a homeless recovery act where over 6,000 units are being created as we speak to help house unhoused individuals. i can go on and on about mayor breed. she was the executive director of the african american art and culture complex for over seven years and it just goes to show how much effort and how much she cares about the youth in san francisco and that's why she created this scholarship in 2019 to help youth overcome the hardships and barriers that come along with attending
college. these students have maintained a very high gpa. they have overcome some of the toughest situations of being a young person in san francisco and these students have been dedicated to going to a four-year university and being one of the first people in their family to go to university. so let's give it up for them. once again, i would like to introduce one of my personal heroes, mayor london breed. all right. how are you doing? >> good morning. come on. the first thing i'm going to say is obviously i'm not mayor london breed. so we got that out the way. my name is murell green.
my name is dr. murell green. i am the newly appointed board of trustee for city college of san francisco by mayor london breed. and she asked me to come here this morning, today to express a couple words to the scholarship recipients. first of all, i'd like everybody to clap for our scholarship recipients and i think you can do a little better than that. please. there you go. secondly, it wasn't too long ago, well, actually it was that i was sitting in your place. a product of the san francisco unified school district, george washington high school off going to clark atlanta university and received a scholarship from various organizations. now, let me tell you what that
did for me. if it wasn't for those scholarships, i would have been able to afford to go to the college of my choice. someone somewhere believed in me. and, so this is what i did while i was in college. so this is the first lesson for the recipients. college is a time where you're going to have options some good, some bad. you're going to have to make decisions. whatever you do, remember who was that invested in me to get here and i have to make them proud. i have to follow through with what was delivered to me. as you think about the scholarships, it's more than money. it's a privilege. and i want you guys to take advantage of that privilege as you go on to your universities. i've looked over the list of outstanding universities. we have the cal state university system.
university of california system. one of my favorites historically black colleges and universities. but, congratulations to all of you. but remember there's somebody somewhere that's invested in you whether you know them or whether you don't know them. none of you know me. i'm invested in your future. there are people here today that are invested in your future and there are people who are not here that are invested in your future. so go forth, do well. we are so proud of you. thank you. [applause] and, with that, i will introduce the mayor of the city and county of san francisco, the honorable mayor london breed. [applause] >> i'm so -- testing, one.
two. i'm so really excited to be here with all of you today. i know it's been a long journey to get here and i want to thank murell for joining us and murell and i are still friends despite the fact i want to gal and he went to wash. are those rivalries still going on? kind of. a lost generation back in the day. anyway, i am really excited to be here because i started this program when i first became mayor. and i started it along with opportunities for all where young people can access to a paid internship and also folks who are first in their families to go to college can have access to a scholarship. and i've got to tell you, you know, i'm the mayor here of san francisco today because i had people who believed in me because i had support and even
though i had a lot of challenges growing up, i'm here. and i was able to attend college. and so when i started this scholarship fund, i wanted it to be something that really focused on kids who kind of grew up through similar challenges like i did. because i will tell you that people who i grew up with, are they didn't in some cases make it. sadly, they've ended up on drugs. they've ended up in jail. they've ended up dead. and, i remember going to more funerals as a teenager than i can even count and thinking to myself what can change? what can we do to make a difference? and i remember being in college and getting the phone calls of people that i loved and i care about who we had lost. there was a lot of pain and a lot of suffering to the point
where i felt like i wanted to give up. i didn't always have all the financial resources i needed. my grandmother who raised me in public housing, she didn't have the money to help. she did what she could. every now and then she'll send me a card in the mail with $20 and say stay focused and do good and $20 was a lot. and, what i am so excited about today is with my story knowing that regardless of my circumstances that i could be here with you all today and be in a position as mayor and to tell you directly if someone like me can grow up in the most challenging of circumstances, then you all can grow up in the most challenging of circumstances and you can still overcome that and you can still succeed in life. and, i don't want you to tell anyone -- i don't want anyone
to tell you what you can't do because the fact that you were able to maintain a high grade point average. the fact that you were able to graduate from high school. the fact that you were able to focus on applying to major universities in this country. and the fact that all of you, each and every one of you has a story that probably most people wouldn't even believe that you've gone through these extraordinary obstacles to be here today. and so i wanted you to know how important you are. how hard it was to make a decision to receive this scholarship. more importantly, this is really about making sure that money is not a barrier to your success. and that's what it means to make sure that we provide scholarships, that we provide
resources, that we provide support. and, today, i have a special surprise. yes, you're still getting your scholarships, but you're also getting something real special because i also think what you see is what you know you can be. the reason why i brought all these special people here today is because i want you to see yourself in them. i want you to know that there are people who have experienced the same challenges you have experienced and have become successful in life. so today i have a very special guest. this person grew up in san francisco just like all of you. he graduated from lowell high school. he participated in various programs including project level where he received a stipend because of the opportunities for all the programses. all these great things and he went on to be this
multi-platinum artist with 1.6 million, you know that stuff on spotify, streams. thank you. ya'll know i'm old. but here's the special thing about him, he continues to give back to the community. and so ladies and gentlemen, i want to platinum recording artist 24k golden. where's the walk-up song? ♪ oh, baby you you got what i need, but you say i'm just a
friend ♪♪ ♪ oh, baby you, you got what i need ♪♪ >> so let me just say, i wanted to invite him here because not only did he participate in some wonderful programs in san francisco, he's really a star. he's performed on the grammy's. he performeded here at what was that concert here? yeah. outside land in front of thousands of people, but he's not just a talented singer and recording artist. he worked so hard to perfect his craft. ment he worked so hard to do everything it is that he's doing and because of his hard work, he's a success and he's right here from the city and county of san francisco. so you should be proud. so i wanted to do something
special and i asked him to come talk to all of you and he said yes without hesitation. he gets paid a lot of money to show up. so when we asked him to come and talk to all of you about his experiences he said without hesitation, yes. but i wanted to do something special for him because he's been doing a number of things. he has not forgotten where he came from. when he had an opportunity to give to any charity he wanted, someone else's money, he chose project level and i see big rich in the back. thank you for having here. big rich works with project level who works with young people through a number of things, not just using their talents, but their skills and choreography and graphic arts and all these things that you all do and he chose this organization to not only give back, but he continues to be actively engaged in the community in some capacity. he knows that it's meaningful
to ensure that regardless of your success and how successful you become in life, it's so important that you give back and you provide opportunities to other people. so he's here to talk to you today, but before he does, i wanted to do something special to welcome him back home with all of his success to give him something that i hope would be beneficial, something he can be privileged and honor to carry around the world. today on behalf of the city and county of san francisco, we're going to officially declare it 24k golden day in san francisco. >> thank you so much. oh, my god. yo, can ya'll hear me all right? i'm a little more familiar with this one. first of all, thank you so much, mayor breed. i didn't know that this was going to be happening coming in
today. this is a huge surprise and i just want to say that this city made me who i am today. you know, it wasn't so long that i was in all your guys' position right there applying for college, trying to get scholarships and i know how crazy it is to grow up in this city, how beautiful it is, how special it is to all of us and even though you've put in a lot of work in the last 12, 13 years in the public school system, that's just the beginning. what ya'll are about to do now, that's the real beginning of your story. that's the real first step. so wherever you're going next whether it's college, university, community college, just make sure that next step is a stride and sorry to my mom because she probably wanted to be here to see this happen but i forgot to tell her. so my bad.
congratulations to all the talented scholars for your excellence that you demonstrated. >> let's make some noise for 24k golden. 24k golden day. right on, bro. so i'd like to just say that this is a very special moment for our young people right now. and i just want to say give yourself a round of applause once again, please. i'll be mcing and i'll be awarding, not awarding, but i will be telling the young folks to come up here. but before we do all that, are i'd like to introduce a special guest. mike hill gregory. someone who i think is just an
amazing person. i just have a few remarks to say about mikel. i've known him since i think he was a freshman in high school and he's always been such a hard worker, great leader and just a dedicated and motivated individual. i'm very praud of him. he went to u.s.f. getting his b.a. in communications, kept it going. he got his miner in african american studies and was on the pre-med track to go to columbia. he's getting his medical degree at columbia university. he's striving to help folks that are not usually comfortable going to the medical office or comfortable with doctors. he wants to change that. he wants to intersect communication and medicine.
he's super interested in medicine and that's what keeps him going. that's what keeps him motivated. mikel, i'm really proud of you and i would just like to say, you're going to do great things and i know it and i've seen it from the very beginning. so please come up here. mikel is so happy that his family, spiritual parents, his parents have all come to support him and it takes a village and that village. yes, sir. thank you so much. >> give another round of applause for nico. i'm from a baptist church. so i like call and response. amen? amen? thank you. i am a village project. my name is mikel gregory. i am a village project. that means 100% college prep. that means more magic. that means collective impact. opportunities for all.
college track, seo scholars, the list goes on. i can definitely acknowledge i'm not where i am right now by my own merit without my parents and my community, it would not be possible. again, good morning. ya'll playing. i'm call and response. good morning. there we go. my name is mikel gregory. and i'm the first in my family to attend college and now a proud graduate of the university of san francisco. yes, sir, clap it up. where i majored in communication studies and biology on the premedical track. i know that was a mouthful. but each of those identities and i'm talking to you 15 and those accolades were so pittal to my success up until this very moment. i know this time is many speeches and overdone messages so i'm not going to stand before you here long. i want to recognize as a peer,
as a peer graduate who stood in your shoes a little over four years ago, i know those emotions that you are currently feeling. excitement about the new journey ahead. anxiety over how you're going to pay for it. nervousness as to how it will work out and lastly, fear on whether or not you should be the one that's chosen or if you're capable of doing the work. let me be the first to say although i understand, i know you can do it. if i can do it, that if the individuals sitting here with degrees can do it, then by golly, you can too. and not to mention, you have us here to support you as well. i'm going to leave you with three critical aspects to success. if you remember anything from my words that i've given you, i want you to remember this, own your story. your full authentic self is needed in that classroom, at that university. don't filter it. don't hide it or for the fame. don't filter it, don't hide it,
the real you because of shame. stand proud of your story even the painful elements because it was the accumulation of that story that brought you to this very place. it's not about where you start, but about where you're going. and, fail forward. and what i mean by that is i always like to tell people their story about me in my biology class and how i failed two tests and how i was asked to leave the major. but trust yourself and your journey enough that even in the times of perceived failure, you can still make it. if i didn't grow to believe that the valleys in my life were necessary to my development, i wouldn't be preparing to attend columbia university in the fall. and, finally, remember to give back and share gratitude about what you've learned. to let people -- to let the people know who've poured into you thank you. the teachers, the relatives,
the mentors, the friends. they were individuals that poured into you on nights you didn't want to pour into yourself. so be careful enough to offer your deepest appreciation and thanks on this day and forever more. i promise you it will go a long way. but also, your words of wisdom and expertise being shared to the generations coming after you is almost required at this point. because after all, the more you know, the more you owe. again, i'm going to say that for you one more time. the more you know the more you owe. it's not stopping with you. thank you, congratulations bridge of excellence scholars. i wish you the best. please use me as a resource in the future. [applause] >> okay. let's give it up for mikel one more time. please. [applause] so i would like to bring up mayor breed to issue the
certificates and i will be announcing the names. students will be coming up. d.j. carlos will be playing their song. >> i'm going to ask some special guests to join me to issue the certificates. first of all, 24k golden, he's going to issue you your certificates. so he's going to be joining me as well as the president of the board of education, jenny lam. and then there's also a member of the board of education who's here, ann chiu. and finally the people who will make magic happen for students shgts the director of the department of children, youth, and families, maria sue and the human rights director cheryl davis. and, last but not least, when we're done issuing the certificates, we're going to take a group photo and then you
all can also take your blow-up photographs with you. something you can walk away with. all right. let's get started. you're going to use that microphone. >> yeah. sure. okay. our first recipient of the bridge to excellence scholarship is ayindi hamilton. [applause] [♪♪] ayindi attended mission high school. graduating from mission high school and is going to u.c. berkeley. [♪♪]
the tenderloin is home to families, immigrants, seniors, merchants, workers and the housed and unhoused who all deserve a thriving neighborhood to call home. the tenderloin initiative was launched to improve safety, reduce crime, connect people to services and increase investments in the neighborhood. as city and community-based partners, we work daily to make these changes a reality. we invite you to the tenderloin history, inclusivity make this neighborhood special. >> we're all citizens of san francisco and we deserve food, water, shelter, all of those things that any system would. >> what i find the most fulfilling about being in the tenderloin is that it's really basically a big family here and i love working and living here.
>> [speaking foreign language] >> my hopes and dreams for the tenderloin are what any other community organizer would want for their community, safe, clean streets for everyone and good operating conditions for small businesses. >> everything in the tenderloin is very good. the food is very good. if you go to any restaurant in san francisco, you will feel like oh, wow, the food is great. the people are nice. >> it is a place where it embraces all walks of life and different cultures. so this is the soul of the tenderloin. it's really welcoming. the. >> the tenderloin is so full of
color and so full of people. so with all of us being together and making it feel very safe is challenging, but we are working on it and we are getting there. dev mission's goal is aiming to train young adults, youth so we can be a wealth and disparity in underserved communities like where we are today. my name is leo sosa. i'm the founder and executive director for devmission. we're sitting inside a computer
lab where residents come and get support when they give help about how to set up an e-mail account. how to order prescriptions online. create a résumé. we are also now paying attention to provide tech support. we have collaborated with the san francisco mayor's office and the department of technology to implement a broad band network for the residents here so they can have free internet access. we have partnered with community technology networks to provide computer classes to the seniors and the residents. so this computer lab becomes a hub for the community to learn how to use technology, but that's the parents and the adults. we have been able to identify what we call a stem date. the acronym is science technology engineering and math. kids should be exposed no matter what type of background or ethnicity or income status. that's where we actually create
magic. >> something that the kids are really excited about is science and so the way that we execute that is through making slime. and as fun as it is, it's still a chemical reaction and you start to understand that with the materials that you need to make the slime. >> they love adding their little twists to everything. it's just a place for them to experiment and that's really what we want. >> i see. >> really what the excitement behind that is that you're making something. >> logs, legos, sumo box, art, drawing, computers, mine craft, and really it's just awaking opportunity. >> keeping their attention is like one of the biggest challenges that we do have because, you know, they're kids. they always want to be doing something, be helping with something. so we just let them be themselves. we have our set of rules in place that we have that we want
them to follow and live up to. and we also have our set of expectations that we want them to achieve. this is like my first year officially working with kids. and definitely i've had moments where they're not getting something. they don't really understand it and you're trying to just talk to them in a way that they can make it work teaching them in different ways how they can get the light bulb to go off and i've seen it first-hand and it makes me so happy when it does go off because it's like, wow, i helped them understand this concept. >> i love playing games and i love having fun with my friends playing dodge ball and a lot of things that i like. it's really cool. >> they don't give you a lot of cheese to put on there, do they? you've got like a little bit left. >> we learn programming to make
them work. we do computers and programming. at the bottom here, we talk to them and we press these buttons to make it go. and this is to turn it off. and this is to make it control on its own. if you press this twice, it can do any type of tricks. like you can move it like this and it moves. it actually can go like this. >> like, wow, they're just absorbing everything. so it definitely is a wholehearted moment that i love
experiencing. >> the realities right now, 5.3 latinos working in tech and about 6.7 african americans working in tech. and, of course, those tech companies are funders. so i continue to work really hard with them to close that gap and work with the san francisco unified school district so juniors and seniors come to our program, so kids come to our stem hub and be exposed to all those things. it's a big challenge. >> we have a couple of other providers here on site, but we've all just been trying to work together and let the kids move around from each department. some kids are comfortable with their admission, but if they want to jump in with city of dreams or hunter's point, we just try to collaborate to provide the best opportunity in the community. >> devmission has provided
services on westbrook. they teach you how to code. how to build their own mini robot to providing access for the youth to partnerships with adobe and sony and google and twitter. and so devmission has definitely brought access for our families to resources that our residents may or may not have been able to access in the past. >> the san francisco house and development corporation gave us the grant to implement this program. it hasn't been easy, but we have been able to see now some of the success stories of some of those kids that have been able to take the opportunity and continue to grow within their education and eventually become a very successful citizen. >> so the computer lab, they're doing the backpacks. i don't know if you're going to be able to do the class. you still want to try?
. yeah. go for it. >> we have a young man by the name of ivan mello. he came here two and a half years ago to be part of our digital arts music lab. graduating with natural, fruity loops, rhymes. all of our music lyrics are clean. he came as an intern, and now he's running the program. that just tells you, we are only creating opportunities and there's a young man by the name of eduardo ramirez. he tells the barber, what's that flyer? and he says it's a program that teaches you computers and art. and i still remember the day he walked in there with a baseball cap, full of tattoos. nice clean hair cut. i want to learn how to use computers. graduated from the program and he wanted to work in i.t.. well, eduardo is a dreamer.
right. so trying to find him a job in the tech industry was very challenging, but that didn't stop him. through the effort of the office of economic work force and the grant i reached out to a few folks i know. post mates decided to bring him on board regardless of his legal status. he ended his internship at post mates and now is at hudacity. that is the power of what technology does for young people that want to become part of the tech industry. what we've been doing, it's very innovative. helping kids k-12, transitional age youth, families, parents, communities, understand and to be exposed to stem subjects. imagine if that mission one day
>> my name is sylvia and i'm the owner of the mexican bistro. we have been in business for 18 years and we first opened on garry street in san francisco, and now we are located in a beautiful historic building. and we are part of the historical building founded in 1776. at the same time as the mission delores in san francisco. (♪♪) our specialty food is food from
central mexico. it's a high-end mexican food based on quality and fresh ingredients. we have an amazing chef from yucatán and we specialize on molotov, that are made with pumpkin seeds. and we're also known for handmade tortillas and we make our own fresh salsa. and we have cocktails, and we have many in the bar. we have specialty drinks and they are very flavorrable and very authentic. some of them are spicy, some are sour, but, again, we offer high-quality ingredients on our drinks as well. (♪♪) we have been in san francisco for 27 years, and our hearts are
here. we are from mexico, but after 27 years, we feel part of the community of san francisco. it is very important for us to be the change, the positive change that is happening in san francisco. the presidio in particular, they're doing great efforts to bring back san francisco, what it was. a lot of tourism and a lot of new restaurants and the new companies. san francisco is international and has a lot of potential. (♪♪) so you want to try authentic mexican food and i invite you to come to our bistro located on 50 moroo avenue in presidio. and i'll wait here with my open arms and giving you a welcome to try my food.
(♪♪) >> you are watching san francisco rising. a special guest today. >> i am chris and you are watching san francisco rising. focused on rebuilding and reimagining our city. our guest is the director of financial justice in the san francisco office of treasure to talk about how the city has taken a national lead in this effort and how the program is comlishing the goals. welcome to the show. >> thanks so much for having me. >> thank you for being here. can we start by talking about the financial justice project in
a broad sense. when did the initiative start and what is the intent? >> sure. it launched in 2016. since then we take a hard look at fines, fees, tickets, financial penalties hitting people with low incomes and especially people of color really hard. it is our job to assess and reform these fines and fees. >> do you have any comments for people financially stressed? >> yes. the financial justice project was started in response pop community outcry about the heavy toll of fines and fees. when people struggling face an unexpected penalty beyond ability to pay they face a bigger punishment than originally intended. a spiral of consequences set in.
a small problem grows bigger. for example the traffic ticket this is california are hundreds of dollars, most expensive in the nation. a few years back we heard tens of thousands in san francisco had driver's licenses suspended not for dangerous driving but because they couldn't afford to pay traffic tickets or miss traffic court date. if they lose the license they have a hard time keeping their job and lose it. that is confirmed by research. we make it much harder for people to pay or meet financial obligations. it is way too extreme of penalty for the crime of not being able to pay. we were also hearing about thousands of people who were getting cars towed. they couldn't pay $500 to get them back and were losing their cars. at the time we hand people a bill when they got out of jail
to pay thousands in fees we charged up to $35 per day to rent electronic ankle monitor, $1,800 upfront to pay for three years of monthly $50 probation fees. people getting out of jail can't pay these. they need to get back on their feet. we weren't collecting much on them. it wasn't clear what we were accomplishing other than a world of pain on people. we were charging mothers and grandmothers hundreds of dollars in phone call fee to accept calls from the san francisco jail. we heard from black and brown women struggling to make terrible choices do. i pay rent or accept this call from my incarcerated son. the list goes on and on. so much of this looked like lose-lose for government and people. these penalties were high pain,
hitting people hard, low gain. not bringing in much revenue. there had to be a better way. >> it is important not to punish people financially there. are issues to address. >> sure. there are three core principles that drive our work. first, we believe we should be able to hold people accountable without putting them in financial distress. second you should not pay a bigger penalty because your wallet is thinner. $300 hits doctors and daycare workers differently. they can get in a tailspin, they lose the license. we dig them in a hole they can't get out of. these need to be proportioned to people's incomes. third. we should not balance the budget
on the backs of the poorest people in the city. >> financial justice project was launched in 2016. can you talk about the accomplishments? >> sure sometimes it is to base a fine on the ability to pay. consequences proportional to the offense and the person. other times if the fee's job is to recoupe costs primarily on low-income people. we recommend elimination. other times we recommend a different accountability that does not require a money payment. here are a few examples. we have implemented many sliding scale discounts for low-income people who get towed or have parking tickets they cannot afford. you pay a penalty according to income. people with low incomes pay less. we also became the first city in
the nation to stop suspending people's licenses when they could not pay traffic tickets. we focused on ways to make it easier for people to pay through payment plans, sliding discounts and eliminating add on fees to jack up prices of tickets. this reform is the law of the land in california. it has spread to 23 other states. we also stopped handing people a bill when they get out of jail and eliminated fees charged to people in criminal justice system. they have been punished in a lot of ways. gone to jail, under supervision, the collection rate on the fees was so low we weren't bringing in much revenue. the probation fee collection rate was 9%. this reform has become law from california and is spreading to other states. we made all calls from jail
free. the more incarcerated people are in touch with families the better they do when they get out. it was penny wise and pound foolish. now phone calls are free. incarcerated people spend 80% more time in touch where families. that means they will do better when they get out. we eliminated fines for overdue library books. research shows were locking low income and people of color out of libraries. there are better ways to get people to return books, e-mail reminders or automatically renew if there is no one in line for it. this has spread to other cities that eliminated overdue library fines. these hold people accountable but not in financial distress can work better for government. local government can spend more
to collect the fees than they bring in. when you proportion the fine with income they pay more readily. this impact can go down and revenues can go up. >> i know there is an initial group that joined the project. they had a boot camp to introduce the program to large audience. is this gaining traction across the country? >> yes 10 cities were selected to launch the fines for fee justice. they adopted various reforms like we did in san francisco. as you mentioned we just hosted a boot camp in phoenix, arizona. teams of judges and mayors came from 50 cities to learn how to implement reforms like we have in san francisco. there is a growing realization the penalties are blunt instruments with all kinds of
unintended consequences. it is the job of every public servant to find a better way. governance should equalize opportunity not drive inequality. >> quite right. thank you so much. i really appreciate you coming on the show. thank you for your time today. >> thank you, chris. >> that is it for this episode. we will be back shortly. you are watching san francisco rising. thanks for watching.
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