Earlier this year, the San Francisco Public Press featured Gregory Nelson in “Driving Home: Surviving the Housing Crisis,” a photojournalism project by Yesica Prado documenting the experiences of people living in vehicles in the Bay Area. Prado followed up with Nelson to find out how his life has changed during the pandemic.
Former state senate candidate and public bank advocate Jackie Fielder recently launched a political action committee, Daybreak PAC, and has shifted some campaign organizing infrastructure toward a vaccine access effort. Some phone bank volunteers now make calls to seniors living in neighborhoods like the Bayview, to ask if they would like to get vaccinated and if they face any barriers to doing so.
San Francisco residents who are behind on their rent and other housing costs could soon get financial relief, thanks to government programs designed to help those who qualify.
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.
“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.
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.
A new city agency, founded in the wake of rising concerns about the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing’s ability to house the city’s homeless population, aims to bring 2,000 people into permanent shelter by the end of the year.
The new Office of Housing Opportunities will be a division of the COVID Command Center, shifting responsibilities away from the Department of Homelessness. Chris Block, formerly the director of the chronic homelessness division at Tipping Point, a nonprofit focused on battling poverty and homelessness, is directing the effort.
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.