Nearly 4,000 incidents of anti-Asian attacks — including verbal and physical assaults — were reported to Stop AAPI Hate, a national tracking project launched by a coalition of activist groups last year, as of late February 2021. Cynthia Choi, co-executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action, one of the founding partners of Stop AAPI Hate, reflected on the increase in attacks with “Civic.”
Hundreds of Muni workers have fallen ill with the coronavirus and two have died, said Roger Marenco, president of the Transport Workers Union Local 250A. For others, he said, the pressures of the job have only been worsened by the additional dangers posed by a global pandemic.
As the coronavirus vaccine rolls out and San Francisco’s commercial eviction moratorium extends at a piecemeal rate — it was scheduled to lift at the end of March but has now been extended — questions about the future of the city’s restaurant industry are becoming louder. Nonprofit food groups are offering solutions.
The spate of violence against Asian Americans, particularly seniors, has spurred communities around the Bay Area into action. In Chinatown, several groups of volunteers can regularly be seen patrolling the street, keeping an eye out for trouble. “Civic” tagged along with one group on their recent evening rounds.
“We had to look at community spread,” said Susan Solomon, president of the United Educators of San Francisco. “That was very important to us, that we not just protect ourselves, but protect our communities as well.”
City College says the existence of the college is at stake, and it is facing a projected budget shortfall of $33 million. Eira Kien, a student, Vick Van Chung, the student trustee, and Mary Bravewoman, a faculty member and vice president of the union representing teachers at the college, have been trying to prevent these cuts and talked with “Civic” about them.
The Bay Area’s Tigrayan community has been calling attention to what has become a humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia’s Tigray region. An internal U.S. government report on the situation, according to the New York Times, described a systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing.
Looking back on a year of responding to the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Kim Rhoads and Dr. Carina Marquez named two key components to improving public health, now and in a post-pandemic future: Prevention and community engagement.
Three educators — school social worker Yajaira Cuapio, special education teacher Megan Coluza and kindergarten teacher Cathy Sullivan — weighed in on the new school schedule and talked with “Civic” about the impacts of school closures on them and the families they work with.
Shanti Singh, legislative and communications director for Tenants Together, a coalition of 50 renters rights organizations in California, talked with “Civic” about state tenant protection legislation.
Two reporters who have been covering the city’s response to homelessness during the pandemic for the San Francisco Public Press, Brian Howey and Nuala Bishari, reflect with “Civic” on a year of stories about seizing belongings, COVID-19 testing, hotel policy and supportive housing.