Homes in San Francisco's Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood are seen against a background of skyscrapers in the city's financial district.

Tens of Thousands Vulnerable to Eviction as California Protections Poised to End

Roughly two years, multiple eviction moratoriums and over $3.6 billion in rent-relief payments after tenant advocates began worrying COVID-19 hardships would push thousands of renters out of their homes in San Francisco and elsewhere, California policy interventions aimed at preventing evictions are poised to end.

Barring an eleventh-hour postponement by lawmakers (not out of the question, given three previous last-minute extensions), California’s eviction protections expire June 30. Among those vulnerable to being forced from their homes are more than 135,000 tenants whose applications for rent relief have been denied, and thousands more whose applications may be denied in the future or not processed by the time protections are lifted.

One of the containment domes at San Onofre nuclear power plant in San Diego.

Court Says California Utilities Commission Must Obey State Public Records Act

In a broad victory for government transparency, an appeals court has ruled that the California Public Utilities Commission must comply with a state law requiring all agencies to promptly release information to the public.

In a unanimous decision issued Friday, a three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal in San Francisco said the commission’s lengthy and open-ended administrative procedures violate the strict timelines of the California Public Records Act.

The ruling could bring more accountability to the commission, which has faced criticism of excessive secrecy and ineffectiveness, advocates said. It regulates corporations ranging from utilities to ride-hailing services.

Several men gather just outside a building at San Quentin prison, with Mt. Tamalpais framed by dramatic clouds in the background. Four prisoners a tSan Quentin have tested positive for COVID-19 and their housing unit is under quarantine.

BREAKING NEWS: San Quentin Suffers New COVID-19 Outbreak

San Quentin State Prison is experiencing a new COVID-19 outbreak after four incarcerated men in a cell block tested positive, chief medical executive Alison Pachynski said on Saturday. Four of six men placed in quarantine this week were symptomatic and confirmed positive for COVID-19 even though they had been vaccinated, Pachynski said.

A COVID-19 vaccination card at a medical clinic.

Vaccine Mandates Likely to Pass Legal Muster, Law Professor Says

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.

Someone's hand is shown holding a phone with text messages on the screen. San Francisco residents who text “Rent” to 1-888-732-3215 will receive information about the statewide eviction moratorium, as well as referrals to groups that help people request financial aid to repay rent and utility debt.

In SF, Send a Text, Learn How to Avoid Eviction

San Francisco residents can now learn how to avoid eviction by sending a text message to a special phone number.

That service is part of an outreach campaign launched Friday by the San Francisco Anti-Displacement Coalition, a group of tenant-rights organizations. The goal: to teach people their rights and help them apply for rent assistance during the two months left before a statewide moratorium on evictions for unpaid rents expires.

Julia Arroyo-Guzman

Peer-Run Center Empowers Young People Affected by Poverty, Violence, Incarceration

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.

More than a dozen people stand in a hallway leading to courtrooms in San Francisco.

Evictions Jump as Sheriff Lifts Pause Imposed in December

The San Francisco Sheriff’s Office evicted 25 households in the two weeks of June after the state reopened for business, more than double the monthly average over the previous six months.

Sheriff Paul Miyamoto resumed evictions that had been on pause as city officials declared that San Francisco was gaining the upper hand in its fight against the coronavirus.

Pastor: Reparations Are Medicine for ‘Evil’ of Inhumane Treatment

The Rev. Amos Brown, senior pastor at Third Baptist Church of San Francisco and president of the San Francisco branch of the NAACP, is on both committees. He discussed with “Civic” California’s legacy of racism and what form reparations could take in this state and city.

Sara Eisenberg deputy city attorney

City Attorney to SF School District: Show Us Reopening Plan Details

After more than a year of online learning, certain groups of students and staff at some San Francisco schools began meeting in person in mid-April. For tens of thousands of students, distance learning continues. The school board and district intend to give every student the option of coming back full time in the fall. But the lawsuit that City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed against the district and board in February to compel them to reopen schools promptly is ongoing even as more students return to campuses. Sara Eisenberg, a deputy city attorney and chief of strategic advocacy in the city attorney’s office, said on “Civic” that the city attorney’s office is continuing the case to ensure that the district actually follows through on its promise.