San Francisco neighborhoods the federal government targeted with racist lending practices face the greatest health threats from pollution, a recent state study found. The California Environmental Protection Agency analyzed the latest pollution data in historically redlined neighborhoods, where people of color were denied mortgage loans under federal policies, in the report finalized in August.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for space in San Francisco’s office towers seemed insatiable. But with no end to the pandemic in sight and the prospect that many employers will allow their people to continue to work from home after the crisis, it’s possible that at least some of those gleaming office towers will empty out. As they sheltered in place in North Beach, architects Elizabeth Ranieri and Byron Kuth wondered what could be done with all of that vertical real estate.
They looked at two blocks of buildings bounded by Beale, Main, Market and Mission streets where Pacific Gas and Electric is scheduled to move out of one of the largest buildings. Ranieri said they realized that the entire two blocks could become a self-sustaining village.
“This is potentially the building stock that’s needed because it’s quite diverse,” she said. “Everything from the 1970’s tower to the historic buildings on Market Street that would be very well suited for repurposing for housing.
Researchers are hoping to learn whether and how the health of people who live and work near the old Hunters Point Shipyard, which was used as a toxic and radioactive waste dump, may have been affected by toxic materials. Journalist Chris Roberts reported for the Public Press that nearly all participants in a recent community health biomonitoring survey had elevated levels of toxic heavy metals that are “contaminants of concern” at the shipyard.
Soup kitchens and homeless service centers are pushing San Francisco officials to shut down a Tenderloin street to through traffic so their clients can maintain social distance from one another as lines wrap around the block and tent dwellers crowd the sidewalks.
Facilities Construction at Public Schools — Proposition 13 would authorize a $15 billion state bond measure to provide matching funding to districts for renovation and construction of facilities. $9 billion are slated for K-12 schools, and $6 billion for public higher education institutions. The measure prioritizes districts that have health and safety needs, like lead in their water, or that are too small to raise adequate funds through taxes.
Decades of explicitly and implicitly racist policies have left the Bay Area not just unaffordable, but also deeply segregated, panelists told a conference in San Francisco last week.
The documentary “5 Blocks,” by Robert Cortlandt and Dan Goldes, explores the history, economic downturn and efforts to revitalize San Francisco’s mid-Market Street neighborhood, an area whose focal point is just five blocks. Goldes discusses what he learned in his conversations with neighborhood residents from different backgrounds, including an SRO dweller and a tech worker. “I think the thing that I found most striking was that, despite the fact that there is extreme poverty and extreme wealth, side by side, a lot of folks really want the same things … a safer, cleaner neighborhood.” — Dan Goldes, “5 Blocks” filmmaker
An excerpt from the book, “Ten Years That Shook the City: San Francisco 1968-1978” — about how so-called urban renewal displaced African Americans from their enclave in the city.
A segment from our radio show, “Civic.” Listen daily at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on 102.5 FM, available in San Francisco.
An analysis of public records for more than three dozen buildings involved in a tenant lawsuit against Veritas Investments Inc. shows the number of reported problems and citations rose sharply after the giant landlord acquired the properties. These buildings also received a record number of violation notices.