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12 posts from February 2009

02/13/2009

Newsom Secures Wage Concessions From Nurses

Mayor Newsom Secures Wage Concessions From Nurses

02/13/09 - Mayor Gavin Newsom today announced the first wage concession agreement this year by a City labor union. On February 12, 2009, the City’s negotiating team and the Teamsters, Local 856 reached a tentative agreement for wage concessions in the Supervising Nurses labor agreement. These 126 nursing supervisors and directors are currently in a closed contract with guaranteed wage increases, but have agreed to reduce their upcoming wages. The agreement saves $113,000 in the current fiscal year and approximately $800,000 in fiscal year 2009-2010, reducing the City’s wage costs next year by 3.72%.

"We have seen the layoffs and service reductions in our department and we want to help," said Lawrence Nicholls, a member of the union’s bargaining team.

"We are proud of the leadership shown by our supervising nurses during this economic crisis," said Mayor Gavin Newsom. "Their spirit of public service is truly inspiring. President Obama has called on all of us to accept a little less, and the nurses deserve recognition for heeding that call."

The agreement is subject to ratification by the union’s membership and final adoption of the contract amendment by the Board of Supervisors.

02/12/2009

Mayor Newsom to Make Seismic Safety Mandatory

Mayor Newsom to Make Seismic Safety Mandatory

02/12/09 - Mayor Gavin Newsom today announced that he has directed the Department of Building Inspection to craft specific legislation requiring mandatory upgrades to San Francisco’s soft-story wood frame buildings.

"Although there is no such thing as an earthquake-proof building, engineers agree that proper seismic retrofitting can give buildings a fighting chance against a sizeable earthquake," said Mayor Newsom. "Now we must act decisively to protect our homes and workplaces."

A soft-story building is one that typically has large openings on the ground floor such as multiple garage doors or large storefront windows. The buildings are found throughout San Francisco.

The plan for mandatory soft story upgrades coincides with a report about to be released by the Community Action Plan for Seismic Safety (CAPSS) that focuses on one type of soft-story wood-frame buildings in San Francisco and their location, evaluates a range of vulnerability factors, and will propose retrofit options and costs. CAPSS also is studying other types of potentially vulnerable buildings within the City, and will be generating additional analyses and recommendations over the next 18 months for policymakers’ consideration.

The report was ordered by the Mayor last July as a top priority. Its analysis and recommendations are expected to recommend both voluntary and mandatory programs to address seismic safety issues around such soft-story buildings.

In addition, Mayor Newsom is developing retrofit incentives for San Francisco building owners and a feasible financing program – such as the possible repurposing of existing unreinforced masonry building bond monies – to help facilitate these retrofits under what everyone recognizes are difficult market conditions.

02/11/2009

Local Economic Stimulus Package Announced

Mayor Newsom Announces San Francisco's Local Economic Stimulus Package

02/11/09 - Today Mayor Gavin Newsom unveiled the details of his five-part plan for stimulating and supporting the local economy.

"Today we face extraordinary challenges, but among those challenges is the risk of being consumed solely by the crisis at hand," said Mayor Newsom. "We must continue to think strategically and continue to invest in the people, infrastructure and businesses that will pull our economy out of this decline."

The five-part economic plan includes: (i) accelerating capital spending, (ii) investing in local businesses, (iii) reducing the burdens local government places on local businesses, (iv) supporting our workforce and (v) attracting more foreign investment to San Francisco.

Since the initial announcement of the five-part plan in October, the City’s economic condition has worsened. The updated strategy details, and in some cases expands, the City’s efforts to implement those key strategies. These implementation strategies both build on existing economic development programs and launch a number of major new initiatives, including:


  • Granting local businesses a New Jobs Payroll Tax exemption for two years. Businesses will not have to pay payroll tax on any increase in non partnership payroll over 2008 levels for two years. This means new businesses coming to San Francisco in 2009 and 2010 will not pay any local payroll tax until 2011.
  • Amending the City’s Public Works Code to further expedite billions of dollars of already funded local infrastructure projects and to make it easier for local companies to work on those projects;
  • Directly providing over $23 million in no-interest loans to local businesses;
  • Granting local businesses a tax credit on new, locally purchased equipment;
  • Providing an offset for qualifying small businesses who are participating in Healthy SF;
  • Launching a business assistance strategy specifically directed to Spanish-speaking businesses;
  • Building on the success of "Homeless Connect" by launching a series of new "Job Connect" events that include job fairs and workforce assistance and counseling;
  • Opening the a "one-stop" workforce center for the unemployed in the Western Addition;
  • Expanding the City’s "Bank on San Francisco" program to include financial literacy;
  • Expanding the scope of the "Working Families Tax Credit" program;
  • Expanding the successful "Shop SF. Get More" and "Staycation" holiday marketing campaigns;
  • Expanding the City’s successful Neighborhood Marketplace Initiative ("NMI") and Community Benefit District ("CBD") programs to support even more neighborhood commercial corridors;
  • Expanding the scope and reach of existing state and federal tax credit programs; and
  • Providing free space to local artists in vacant storefronts.

02/10/2009

Expansion of SF Universal Healthcare Program

Mayor Newsom Announces Expansion of San Francisco's Universal Healthcare Program

Healthy San Francisco, the city’s universal health access program, expands to include residents at or below 500% Federal Poverty Level

02/10/09 - Mayor Gavin Newsom today announced that as of February 10, 2009, residents with annual incomes at or below 500% of the Federal Poverty Level (for one person $52,000; for a family of four $106,000) will be eligible to enroll into San Francisco’s first-of-its-kind universal health access program, Healthy San Francisco. Healthy San Francisco provides accessible and affordable healthcare services to uninsured San Francisco residents.

"Healthy San Francisco has been instrumental in our efforts to make healthcare available for all our uninsured residents, and it demonstrates the critical role that cities play in improving the healthcare delivery system," said Mayor Newsom. "Today’s expansion to 500% of the Federal Poverty Level recognizes the fact that uninsured residents with modest incomes also have difficulty accessing comprehensive healthcare services."

Over 35,000 residents are currently enrolled in the program. Through Healthy San Francisco, these residents have access to primary care and preventive services at over 29 participating public, non-profit and private health centers. In addition, participants have access to specialty, pharmacy and hospital care.

Healthy San Francisco offers universal health access for all City residents, regardless of a person’s employment status, immigration status, or pre-existing medical condition. In order to effectively and efficiently enroll San Francisco’s uninsured residents into the program, Healthy San Francisco enrollment is being phased in over a 24 month period.

Healthy San Francisco is administered by the San Francisco Department of Public Health, in partnership with the San Francisco Health Plan. More information on the program is available at www.healthysanfrancisco.org or by calling 3-1-1.

02/05/2009

Mayor's Office Public Safety Blog

Mayor's Office Public Safety Blog

This blog is managed by the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. It draws together reports and updates from the City’s many public safety partners. This includes weekly updates from the SFPD’s 10 district station Captains. These reports summarize activity in each district and explain how each district Captain is deploying his or her officers in response. On a more macro level, we will be providing updates on larger strategies and policy initiatives involving the City’s many public safety partners. Police-related information is drawn from publicly available sources.

For more information, visit: http://sfpublicsafety.com.