Meetings

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By Bruce Wolfe, HANC Board

 

Last month's meeting welcomed a very informative panel on the status of Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) in California, AB 2145 (Bradford, D-Gardena) and the future of CleanPower SF, our own CCA program. The panelists were D5 Supervisor and LAFCo Commissioner London Breed, our own Jason Fried as Executive Officer of SF LAFCo , Jed Holtzman of SF Bay Area 350.org, Eric Brooks of Our City and SF Green Party, and, myself, Bruce Wolfe, facilitating on behalf of the HANC Board of Directors. SFPUC Commissioners Vince Courtney and Francesca Vietor declined to attend. Californians for Energy Choice (CfEC) lobbyist David Balla-Hawkins of ART Consulting from the Sacramento area was unable to attend. (Jed, Eric and I are coordinators and also representing CfEC).

The energy business in CA and around CCA is very wonky but all panelists gave excellent reports and explanations everyone could understand. A good outline of the history of CCA and what it brings to CA ratepayers was given. Any CCA formed would bring cheaper and cleaner energy to homes and businesses. Marin and Sonoma Counties have already implemented their programs and are reaping the benefits in addition to plans for local renewable energy build-outs better known as distributed generation. 

AB 2145 was the bill to kill CCA. It was hard fought by CfEC and allies who were successful in defeating it with the expert help of David Balla Hawkins despite various, significant labor unions being dragged into the fray under spurious influence by trade front groups, SuperPACs and investor-owned utilities (IOU) like PG&E, SoCalEdison and San Diego Gas & Electric. CfEC is reaching out to them to repair this political damage and explain that CCA is a boon to jobs in the emerging renewable energy industry in CA. They were sold a bill of goods that CCA would reduce jobs.

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By Calvin Welch, HANC Board

HANC devoted its September meeting to hearing from campaigns that it endorsed and discussing a plan of action for the November election here in District 5.

As readers of the Voice may remember HANC has devoted its last two meetings to discussions about the crucial importance of this year's ballot. In a City that has the double whammy of having the greatest income inequality of any major American city AND the highest housing costs in the nation, two measures on the ballot--Proposition G, which would raise the transfer tax on speculative real estate transactions which result in “flipping” properties after holding them for 5 years or less and Proposition J which would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2018 – will actually seek to address these huge issues.

Additionally this November has two measures aimed at making San Francisco more “child friendly.” The first, Proposition C would extend the historic “only in San Francisco” funding program for children, families and youth. The second, Proposition E would tax sweet beverages, the proceeds of which will fund new programs aimed at healthy diets for children.

Two measures address the distressing conditions of Golden Gate Park, measures H and I. Proposition H, placed on the ballot by signatures, would prohibit the installation of artificial turf and event night lighting at the western end of GGP. Proposition I was placed on the ballot by Mayor Lee And Supervisor Chiu specifically to “kill” H should it pass. But Prop I goes farther than that as it automatically approves any “renovations” to playgrounds, fields or trails that have a certified EIR, basically overriding citizen concerns.

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The July 10th HANC general membership meeting was devoted to a review and evaluation of measures on the November ballot, to date.  july 2014 panel

It was a standing room only crowd, and guest speakers included Tim Redmond, Corey Cook, Conny Ford and Chelsea
Boilard.

All of the measures, so far, have been placed on the ballot by either the Mayor or members of the Board of Supervisors.  It was noted that if the Mayor’s issues are defeated, it might open the way for a strong candidate to run against him in his re-election campaign in 2015.  The anti-speculation measure may be the most important measure of the Mayor’s popularity, and needed to slow the rampant “flip” evictions that are threatening renters.

Some observations by the speakers:  Progressives need to come together and ID measures they can work on in common to educate SF voters, to impact choices on Absentee Ballots, (as much more voting is happening by mail), and to turn them out on election day.  San Francisco is in danger of losing it’s soul, and this upcoming election could go a long way to saving the City we all love.


july 2014 audience

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Our May meeting included presentations by Dera-Jill Pozner, North of Panhandle Neighborhood Association (NOPNA) Board Member and prime mover of an extensive improvement plan for the Panhandle, and Isabel Wade, Friends of Buena Vista Park, who has initiated an effort to focus attention on problems in Buena Vista Park.

Both addressed the specific needs of each Recreation and Parks facility in the neighborhood and expressed their support for the HANC request that in the fiscal year 2014-15, $1.1 million be added to the Recreation & Parks Department budget:  $625,000 for the reconstruction/paving of the southern pedestrian pathway from Stanyan to Baker Streets in the Panhandle, and $500,000 for tree replacement and recovery in Buena Vista Park.  In addition, the three neighborhood groups requested that $2 million be included in the 2015-2016 Recreation & Parks Department budget for upgrading the irrigation system in the Panhandle of Golden Gate Park.

Discussion also centered on the need to developed alternatives to the failed policy of short term "sweeps" of parks to remove campers. Agreement was reached to pursue more creative solutions to the problem of camping by involving social service organizations who currently serve young people in the neighborhood.







parking permit area

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By Tes Welborn, HANC Board

Urban School reported few changes to its plan to build on St. Agnes's parking lot. They expect to start construction in May 2015 with completion by August 2016. They will return late summer with more detailed schematics.

The French-American International School's Page Street Pre-School will have 108 kids ages 3-6, and occupies the school district land on a 30 year lease. They plan to open in August this year. Several neighbors had issues about both the white zone location and the pick-up and drop-off plans. While the pick up times are spread out from 3:15 to 6 p.m., drop off is concentrated in 8:15 to 8:45 a.m. The school requires at least the parents of the youngest children to park and walk kids into school. They have 12 off-site parking spaces available for this. They think that this, plus shuttles from Oak campus, carpool encouragement, and site monitors will work for all. We asked them to return in 1-2 months to discuss traffic plans further.

 

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