tv SF GovTV Presents SFGTV July 29, 2022 6:30pm-7:01pm PDT
i grew up in and that that very, very important to give back to continue to work with the community and hope e help those who may not be as capable in under serving come back and give you're watching san francisco rising. today's special guest is monique gray. >> hi. i'm chris mannis and you're watching san francisco rising. the our guest today is marquise gray. he runs out of the office of the mayor in the city and county of san francisco. and he's with us today to talk
about the recent progress of the sunnidale hope sf housing project. welcome to the show. >> good morning. thank you for having me today. >> let's start by talking about the existing residents of sunnydale and their history. >> so sunnydale was built in the 1940s for a workers. it's the largest public housing community west of the mississippi. it's about 50 acres. pretty huge. about 760 single story units one to four bedrooms. >> i understand it's an ambitious rethinking of the residences. can you briefly describe the scope of the program and hope sf's involvement? >> yeah. the work of hope sf is this idea of more than housing. that acknowledging that our public housing community, the levels of violence and poverty
that are in these communities are not by accident. you know, it's our opportunity to address a system issue, you know, that people need more than housing. they need health services. resources. economic investment opportunities, jobs and things of that nature. and so hope sf strives to work with our city systems to better serve our public housing communities. >> so recently, mayor breed and speaker pelosi toured the site to both put focus on a national housing initiative and also to highlight the completion of the first new building. how many units does it contain and when will people start moving in? >> yeah. it was an amazing event. honored to have the secretary here with us as well in our community. it's 167 units. it's about 75% going back to the original families that currently live on site. so the replacement. so i did forget to mention i
want to say real quick, the beauty of hope sf is housing development, new development without displacements or anti-displacement initiatives. so, for example, the building is 167 units. 75% of those units going to families that have lived there in the community for generationings and the other 25% are tax credit units adding to the affordable housing stock here in san francisco and those units are up and running now. they're leasing them as we speak. people are picking their units each week until they're filled up. >> so was this particular building put on a new plot of land or did people have to move out so it could be constructed? >> that's a good question. our first building was vacant which you may have saw across the street from this building and then this plot of land is the way we kind of do it, we do it in phases. once one goes in, we're able to move families into the new unit
and where they previously were occupying, able to demolish old buildings to build the new. so this area had some older units that were demolished. >> it's impressive that construction has been able to continue during the covid-19 pandemic. can you talk about some of the challenges that needed to be overcome and how the community has managed during the crisis? >> that's a great question. you know, in san francisco, if i understand it correctly, i could be wrong, i believe housing was an essential service. the mayor made a strong commitment early on in the pandemic that we would continue to build housing as housing has been a critical issue in our city. so the housing part hasn't impacted us too much. 67 units have been going on its current time line. the bigger challenge for us was
showing the families in our communities, low income families had the resources we need to survive the pandemic. many of our families didn't have the luxury of working from home, working in the zone and things of that nature. making sure they had access to covid testing and things of that nature. so i want to give a big shout out to our resident leaders, our service providers across all four sites. for those that don't know, hope sf is four sites. sunnydale is one of the four sites. and so across those four sites, the most critical thing was making sure folks in these neighborhoods which have historically have been disconnected from resources have the things that they need to remain healthy, to, you know, survive the pandemic as we all had to survive the pandemic and we did pretty well. we were able to bring back scenes and covid testing on site.
food distribution was happening all throughout the week. wellness services and things of that nature were all happening on site thanks to our resident leaders and our service providers across the sites. >> so, finally, when could we expect the next set of residents to be ready? despite -- i guess we just said covid doesn't have an impact on the schedule. when will the next residences be ready? >> yeah. things are rolling. we have block a3 and block b3 to the building we were referring to earlier. and things are on pace. things are going really well. so we're looking at starting construction spring of 2022 and that will be 170 units and the goal is to have that lease up around 2024. >> well, thank you so much. i really appreciate you coming on the show, mr. gray. thank you for giving us the time today. >> thank you, chris, and i
manors. today's special guest is mary chu. >> hi. i'm chris manors, and you're rising on san francisco rising. the show that's focused on rebuilding, reimagining, and restarting our city. our guest today is mary chu, and she's here to talk with us about art and the san francisco art commission. well come, miss chu. >> thanks for having me. >> it's great to have you. let's talk about art in the city and how art installations are funded. >> the arts committee was funded in 1932 and support civic review, design investments and art galleries.
projects we have are funded by the city's art enrichment ordinance which provides 2% of construction costs for public art. >> so art is tied to construction. there's been a great deal in the southwest of the city. can you talk about some of the projects there? >> sure. our city has some exciting projected in the bayview-hunters point coming up. one artist created a photo collage. in the picture pavilion, one artist formed a collage of her one-year residency coming together with residents, and
anchoring the new center is a landmark bronze sculpture, inspired by traditional ivory coast currency which the artists significantly enlarges to mark that it's a predominantly african american community in bayview hunters point. >> are there any art installations around town that uses light as a medium? >> yes. the first is on van ness between o'farrell and geary. it's funded with the m.t.a.s van ness geary street project. another project is for the central subway.
it is one of ten artworks commissioned for the new line. it's over 650 feet long, consists of 550 l.e.d. panels between the powell street station and the union street station. it's called lucy in the sky, and the lights are patterned with unique sequences so that commuters can experience a unique pattern each time they pass through. >> perfect. what about the early day sculpture that was removed from the civic center? >> this is a question that cities have been grappling with nationwide. following the removal of early days in 2018, there was a toppling of statues in golden gate park as well as the
removal of the christopher columbus statue. we are partnering with the parks department as well as the community to engage with the public to develop guidelines to evaluate the existing monuments and memorials in the civic arts collection and evaluate the removal of a monument or statue but also installing new ones. >> finally, it seems like the weather might be nice this weekend. if i fancy taking a walk and seeing some outdoor art, where would you suggest i go? >> well, i would suggest the embarcadero. this work was commissioned with
funds from the fire station 35. this suggests the bow of a boat and the glass panel surrounding the structure depict the history of fireboats in the bay area. >> and where can i go from there? >> then, i would walk up to the justin herman plaza to check out the work of the art vendors. then check out the monuments like the mechanics monument. also, be sure to check out the poster series, installed in bus kiosks along market street, which features four artists each year. >> well, thank you. i appreciate you coming on the show, miss chu. thank you for your time today. >> thank you, chris. >> that's it for this episode.
>> 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.
>> thank you very much for being here everyone. good evening san francisco mayor london breed joined here today by department of public health, dr. grant colfax as well as dr. susan phillips, and members of the board of surprisers including the president of the board walton, members mandalten, dorsey and our state sin scott wiener. we are here because we as a city and county