As public transportation advocates and officials mark Transit Month in San Francisco and encourage riders to return to buses and trains, they are grappling with the reality that Muni needs, and has long needed, additional robust and long-term funding to meet the city’s transit demands.
Marg Gruberg, a San Francisco taxi driver since 1983 and a board member of the San Francisco Taxi Workers Alliance, talked with “Civic” about what this has meant for cab drivers and how he and others have stayed busy with advocacy even if they haven’t been driving in the pandemic.
A report on the waste picked up by cleanup crews working along the nation’s beaches and shorelines from the Surfrider Foundation showed almost 90% of the more than 80,000 pounds of trash collected in 2020 was plastic.
Rick Wilson, a senior engineering geologist with the California Geological Survey and manager of its tsunami program, joined “Civic” to outline some tsunami basics and explained how and why these maps are made and updated.
In an interview with “Civic,” Evangelina Peña, co-manager of the outreach division at the San Francisco Department of Elections, walked voters through the steps, from ensuring they receive a ballot to filling it out to tracking its processing status online.
A new documentary, “Homeroom,” shows how Oakland High School’s Class of 2020 faced a year of pandemic uncertainty with resilience and perseverance, amplifying calls to end policing in schools even as those schools shut down and their personal milestones were relegated to virtual spaces.
Emily Cohen, interim director for strategy and external affairs at the department, talked with “Civic” about where these investments are being focused — more than half of the funds are earmarked for housing — and why. A count of people visibly unsheltered on the street that takes place on one night every two years tallied about 8,000 people in 2019. Cohen said city programs have helped some 25,000 people exit homelessness since 2005.
A group of experts in relevant fields, from finance to affordable housing, has been selected to start to devise a business plan for a public bank. Fernando Martí, co-director of the Council of Community Housing Organizations, and Sylvia Chi, principal co-author of AB 857, California’s Public Banking Act and a member of the California Public Banking Alliance, talked with “Civic” about how a public bank would work.
The International Hotel on the corner of Jackson and Kearny in San Francisco is the second of its name. The original was a residential hotel, with small rooms affordable to low-income workers. On Aug. 4, 1977, more than 100 residents were evicted all at once, despite thousands of protesters outside.
There have already been attempts to challenge vaccine mandates around the nation in court. Dorit Reiss, a law professor at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law who researches legal considerations around vaccines and vaccine mandates, talked with “Civic” about what employers and governments must weigh when it comes to requiring immunization.
In the streets, in jails and other detention facilities and at its program sites around the Bay Area, the Young Women’s Freedom Center provides resources and support to girls, women and transgender and gender non-conforming people. It also provides training, internships, fellowships and jobs that pay to help people affected by poverty, exploitation and violence develop their voices.