Meeting Notes 1/17/2018
Howard/Folsom short term improvements continue.
There are two open houses coming up to review designs March 8 6:30-8pm, March 10 noon-2pm @Bessie Carmichael School 375 7th Street. I’ve added these to the calendar as well. (Please let me know if viewing the calendar is an issue)

280 7th street, is a new development which should be in planning dept next month for approval.
See attached flyer for project overview – Langton st neighbors William from workshop1 indicated that outreach has been done and neighbors are happy with design. He did say they stepped down the Langton st. side to not block windows at the Langton/Folsom building right next door.
Though they had originally planned parking that has been removed, it will also have some 3 bedroom units, and these are not rentals all are for purchase. 2 units will be BMR.
the contact for the project is William B. Mollard

280 7th Street Project

Meeting with ADA Tom Ostly

ADA Ostly is requesting that neighbors, residents/business submit a letter that he can use when requesting stay away orders for drug dealers in our neighborhood. He wants to know how we are impacted by these crimes.

He will attach the letters to EACH stay away order he brings to the judges in our district. We do not have identify the dealer, that is his job. The impact on the community is what he would like from us.
Please see attached slides for more information. See photos of slides below (apologies for any blur)

Email your letter and any photos which can show the issues to

ADA Ostly would also be happy facilitate a meeting with you one on one with one of our local Judges if you would like to speak with them about the neighborhood. Just email him to setup (this would be outside of WSV).



Mayors Budget Meeting on Homelessness

2017 April 13 – Mayors Budget Outreach Meeting on Homelessness

I was invited as a resident of D6 to attend the Mayors Budget Meeting on Homelesness. Supervisor Kim initiated the invitation, a number of D6 residents including Adam Mesnick of #betterSoMa and Deliboard. There were no other people attending as residents, though many in non profits may be residents. It was also the first time residents were invited.

The other attendees were: City Officials – Mayor Lee, Jeff Kositsky, Supervisor Kim, Supervisor Ronen, DPH and a number of staffers from these groups; Non Profits from all over the city though 99% are located in SOMA, who were there to request budget and hand in proposals.

The Mayor kicked off by acknowledging that Residents and Business are not seeing improvements on our streets. He also talked about the need to spread Navigation centers throughout the city. How we as residents see the budget numbers and wonder how we can still be walking over feces and tripping over tents. The need for mental health care and basically everything all of us have talked about for a long time.

Each city Official gave a quick update, Supervisor Kim talked about the need to spread the problem as pretty much all services are located in D6 particularly Western SOMA. Supervisor Ronen talked about the new Navigation Center in her district (there was a meeting for D9 residents that she setup I think last week – It was acknowledged that D6, D9 and D10 are the only districts with Navigation Centers.
Jeff Kositsky talked about the upcoming plans in his group which are detailed in the WSV meeting he attended last month. Basically we need more housing and we need to co-ordinate resources.

The rest of the meeting was focused on the non profits, one which particularly stood out was a group who are in the Haight and provide services and beds to young people some of whom are coming out of foster care, Larkin Street services and others on the street.. They have a huge waiting list and talked about the need for a Youth Navigation Center in that district. Jeff Kositsky there is a team looking at sites there at the moment. Another point was that SFPD time spent on homeless issues cost $19,000,000 last year (yes really)

I got to speak about the perception that the citys problems are being pushed to D6, that we concur with what the Mayor said in that we are not seeing improvements and our lives are blighted by tents, feces, needles, open drug use. I asked about the possibility of a safe injection sites – he said that though he was opposed he is open to hearing more and that Supervisor Breed has a proposal for “harm reduction sites” as they will be referred to. I also mentioned that we don’t know who to call regarding tents etc. 311 just comes and cleans around the tents, calling the police is a waste of their resources (see above). Jeff is working with the city departments on co-coordinating 311 and resources for encampments.

Feel free to respond with other questions. I was really honored to attend this meeting (I say that without any irony). Its so important for residents who voted (or not) for these officials and to keep them accountable.

Meeting Notes from 04/05/2017

We had a full agenda on April 5th, Scoot, Jeff Kositsky, SFMTA

Meeting Notes


Scoot – Eli Saddler
Scoot is a network of hundreds of electric scooters that you can pick up and drop off all over San Francisco.
Their Head Office is at Howard and 7th.

Scoot RPP Meter Sticker 2017

Looking for support for parking adjustments for their electric scooters. See attached pdf for the proposal.
Jane Kim’s office has reached out to ask what we in Western Soma Voice think of the plan, as Scoot as asked them to back the proposal. Our feedback will influence whether the Supervisor backs the proposal or not.
Please send any feedback you have.

Jeff Kositsky

HSH Presentation 3.27.17 on Template

Jeff Kositsky from the Mayors office on Homeless came to talk to us, he has also shared his slides with us (though he did caution they are in draft form).

Jeff talked about the history of decision made which got us to this point, e.g. closing shelters, opening respite centers, closing respite centers etc. In reality we need both and his team is intending to have both.

Behind the scenes they are investing in infrastructure, which is getting a system in place which allows all of the city databases to connect to one another where it pertains to people. This way it is easier to track where a person is on a list for a bed, whether they have benefits due etc. There is also a need for this as he pointed out its not a fair system if someone comes and camps in a large existing encampment and gets to skip over others to get to a Navigation Center when the Encampment resolution team comes.
The Nav Centers right now are on Mission (between 15th and 16th), The Civic Center Hotel, UCSF Hospital Mission Bay, Dogpatch should open soon. Another is slated to open in the Mission. And there will be one more at Jessie and 6th street later this year. The staying time at a nav center is 30 days (Unless is the medically focused one at UCSF).
Jeff spoke openly about how neighborhoods are impacted by the tents and it is high on his list, its not just about moving on tents from street to street, that doesn’t help anyone. He also indicated that 5 or 6 years ago we didn’t see such a problem, many factors as to why there appears to more without homes? More vacant lots have been built up, an opioid epidemic (people on meth don’t sleep all day in their tents), other addictions causing people to lose homes, evictions.
Top focus for homing are families and veterans. 1 in 30 SF public school children are homeless. (check the slides for more stats)

A questions was asked what we can do to help his Dept. The answer is Money. Though the proposal last year to add more funding was voted NO. He hopes when people see progress being made they can add a new ballot measure in the next elections. He understands that people don’t see improvements and wonder where the money is being spent.

I asked what we can do about the tents when they are blocking the sidewalks, Calling 311 just goes to DPW for cleaning not tent resolution. Then its calling the police which seems like a waste of resources.

Jeff said they are working on triaging the various departments. In the meantime do this for tent issues on our streets and alleys.

  • We can CALL 311
    Ask to be connected to HOT team dispatch
  • Call HOT directly
  • For Mental health crisis.
    Call mobile health crisis.

SFMTA – Bradley Dunn

The Folsom and Howard Streetscape Project seeks to redesign the couplet of streets that are the cornerstone to the growing SoMa neighborhood. SoMa’s wide variety of uses is unique. SoMa has a high density and large variety of commercial retail, office space, bars and restaurants, night clubs, light industrial space, and residential units in the neighborhood. The street also serves as a major corridor for bicyclists. This project will ensure that these streets are safe and meet the diverse needs of the neighborhood
The Folsom-Howard Streetscape Project will create better, safer streets on Howard between 3rd and 11th, and on Folsom Street between 2nd and 11th. This includes improvements to bicycle, pedestrian and transit facilities, upgrades to traffic signals, traffic circulation modifications, and changes to parking and loading.
This initiative is fully funded from planning and community outreach to construction, with $26 million in local funds.

Public Meetings @Bessie Carmichael School, 375 7th St. (between Folsom and Harrison)

Thursday, April 27, 2017,
6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

Saturday, April 29, 2017,
12:00 pm to 2:00 pm

Meeting Notes from 06/07/2016

November Endorsements for State Senate

  • Should we as group endorse a candidate?
    Only consider members? (ask Patrick Valentino about membership process as Democratic club has done this)
    Interest in staying apolitical or non-partisan, while speaking to issues
    Speaking out may turn people away
  • Discuss of the rash of car and property break-ins, and approaches, e.g.
    • Improving the coverage of security cameras
    • Hiring private security and/or homeless outreach to get more eyes on the street
    • Signage to discourage keeping bags in cars
    • Collecting statistics on where breakins are occurring
  • Pit stop in neighborhood –

Next Steps for group

Event to walk the neighborhood to note street issues (Led by David Singer)
Place home-made signage where breakins are occurring if we can’t get the city to do it.

  • There’s quite a bit of new construction in the area, how can we be ready to work with them? [1]
    • Encourage them to install cameras?
    • Identify where security is posted?
  • What do we need to do to do a concerted membership drive:
    • of residents
    • of retail business
    • of commercial locations?
    • Decide what dues are, what they are for?
    • Start a project then raise funds?
    • What does the group stand for? Define
  • Invite DPH and DPW to next event
  • Invite city planning re possible Bart tunnel, Folsom BRT, Highway tear-down
  • Contact Sam Dodge re future meeting attendance

Website Updates needed

  • Producing Security Cameras recommendations for the website
  • Adding pages wrt a pending membership drive
  • Listing projects, their progress, and points of advocacy
  • Add meeting minutes
  • 311 how to use and how statistics are used
  • Links/info to construction projects in the neighborhood

Meeting Notes from 05/03/2016

1) Annouce BoS hearing:

FILE NO. 160278 – [Administrative Code – City Navigation Centers for the Homeless]

Thursday May 5th at 9:30am in Room 263 @ City Hall
The BoS Government Audit and Oversight Committee will be discussing this ordinance proposed by Campos, Avalos, and Mar
Ask people to attend and or send public comments to the committee clerk and it’s members:

Members: London, Peskin and Yee


2) Build Public presentation on Eagle Plaza

Description of plaza, plan, etc


  • Great idea, if someone sets up a tent in the center of the plaza, how are you going to deal with that?
    • Friends of Eagle plaza are empowered to be stewards of the plaza
    • We are working with the same group that manages Yerba Buena park and other spaces
    • CFDs as funding entities are very flexible, we’re starting with 2 buildings backing the plaza but it can expand as other
    • We might be able to get revenue from renting space to a food truck, etc.
    • Build public is beginning a phase 2 project to extend the plaza all the way to Folsom St, as a linear park that does not close traffic but expands the sidewalk
  • Have you thought of using shipping containers
    • We had a coffee kiosk in earlier iterations of the plan, but it takes a lot of space. It’s not currently in the plan.
  • <Question on funding for programming / maintenance>
    • Events on the plaza will pay an event fee to Friends of Eagle Plaza
  • Does it shut down at some point?
    • It’s a public open space, and the model we’re looking at is to partner with the property management group for the buildings so that the staff of those buildings can be 24-hr presence in terms of keeping an eye on the plaza
    • We’re hoping to also apply the Rec & Park guidelines to this space which would be enforcable rules which set standards for conduct
  • This area doesn’t have the same activity as Hayes valley, etc.
    • There is a lot of development going in, the challenges are real but we are problem solvers and we are committed to making this work
    • That area of Hayes used to be terrible, with a freeway, unsafe, etc. it has changed a lot and this area can as well.

3) Concrn Presentation by Jacob

Grew up in Palo Alto, worked from 15-21 as a cadet responder with the police. Over time because aware of the revolving door people are stuck in with prison, hospitals, etc. Switch from police to music, in Eugene Or found the Whitebird(?) clinic. They send mental health responders to mental health crises.

Instead of calling 911, you use their app to make a report ala SF311 and they will send a responder to the person in crisis, they work to establish a relationship then connect the person to services. Clients connected to them are more likely to make it through their service and treatment.

They started with the tenderloin, and are expanding into SOMA, etc. Hoping to cover the Bart corridor within a year. They are open to volunteers for compassionate response, which incorporates self-defense, mental health training, etc.


    • We’re building relationships with service providers and connecting up with them, also get a lot out of just being present on the streets and seeing people day-to-day
    • We work with Lava-Mae to provide outreach and such at their shower-bus. Instead of displacing people when they are in the way, we will try to pave a way for them to a service provider, in a way that is more negotiation than authoritative.
  • Do you have ways of tracking your clients
    • We work to establish repoire, then work from a place of lifting them up rather than having pity for them.
    • We work to link them back to their case manager, we call it meta-case management.
  • I used your app about a month ago, I opened the app, snapped a photo, I don’t know if it worked, but 30 mins later this person is no longer there, what happens?
    • We have 3 tiers of responders: lead responders, who have 100+ hours of training, regular responders: 20+ hours of training, and trainee responders: <20 responders
    • Until recently we were just trying to respond in the Tenderloin. Usually we can respond within 5 minutes. We went from averaging 1-5 reports per day, then after a few blog posts we had 50 per day which caused us to need to revamp our software – there’s a new app coming out.
    • Text number for reports: 415-881-8278
  • How much staff do you have, what percent of calls can you respond to, what’s your average response time?
    • We call the HOT team when we need transport.
  • Would you then call the HOT team?
  • I’m unclear on when I would call you.
    • We can usually get out their quicker, so I would call us and we can call in the HOT team because we have a direct line to them
    • People running in street, we can get their attention. When there’s someone smoking crack near a school, we can gently remind them that there is a school here and can them move somewhere elese.
  • What’s the end goal?
    • The goal is to empower and humanize the homeless population, support them to get treatment and housing.
  • Is this more specifically for people with addictions and mental health disorders? We see a lot of people who can not look after themselves.
    • It’s difficult to say what is mental health issue and what isn’t. Mental stability often comes from financial stability.
  • If someone is running down the street and having a psychotic break?
    • Yep that’s our bread and butter.
  • But if they’re a danger to themselves or others, then it’s 911
    • Yes, but we seek to get in before it gets to that point, but even then we’ve been able to intervene. We saw a fight break out the other day, a guy grabbed a girl around the neck and we were able to diffuse it without having to turn to emergency services.
    • There’s a lot you can do by not showing up with a gun and authority.
  • Metrics for success will be number of calls placed to you, tracking the logevity of people to services, and the efficiencies gained by the police department, and because of that, police can be working on things that are more life-threatening to the public.
    • Totally agree with 2 & 3, but not 1, there are a lot of calls that are not compassionate to the individuals
    • Do people have a better batting average when they’re connected to us, for their service provision, that’s a metric we’re watching
  • You have substantial overlap with 311
    • Yeah we work well together, we want to get there sooner, we like to capture the crisis in the moment, because that’s when you have
  • What’s your new neighborhood
    • We’re radiating out into SOMA and into the Mission
    • I can’t guarantee response, probably wouldn’t respond to the Richmond
    • Soon we’ll be down to Ceasar Chavez. I challenge you to test us because once in a while, we are able to respond farther out.
  • We both have 510 numbers, would that throw something off?
    • If you’re using the app, it will send its location. If you send a text message, please include your location
  • What’s the cut-off point on safety etc.
    • A guy pulled out an axe the other day, and we’re not equipped to deal with an axe
    • We don’t like to call 911, we have built relationships with officers, we call them and know they are less likely to escalate.
    • It happens, we see things that are dangerous. We always go out in teams of 2, sometimes more. We have radio contact & support.
    • Trainings are on Saturdays, 3-4, at our headquarters in the Tenderloin. 5 4-hr trainings gets to 20 hrs.
  • How are you guys funded?
    • Just barely, I’ve been volunteering for a long time

4) Fiona talks about the pending State Senate debate

We’re co-sponsoring, it’s set down in Mission Bay at the Mercy Housing Community Room. Co-sponsors are the South Beach Democratic club and the Homesharer’s Democratic Club. We can give 6 questions, but we need to provide them by Friday. They’ll debate the issues.

The 6 topics:

  • How to make the district more affordable
  • Address mental challenges
  • Make the district safer
  • Address Homelessness
  • Address other quality of life issues, e.g. Transportation
  • Address socioeconomic opportunity

2 min response to each question, 90 second rebuttal

We’re looking for a timekeeper.
Also runners to take question cards from audience.
I’ll send out info.

If Jane Kim gets elected, Ed Lee will select a supervisor for the next 2 years.

5) Ben

Create a CFD for new developments to fund

Crowd source funding for private security

  • Atlanta is divided into 25 Neighborhood Planning Units, we would have plans and expectations for developers via a Master Plan, we could make that the norm here
  • Presidio Knolls School is paying with Chris Foley for security on their block – how can we extend coverage more broadly. We could link these groups up.
  • I am offering help – we have waze but for crime, connecting people around you to protect you from crime. App name: Village Defense
    • Yes we don’t have good numbers for where the crime is happening
  • Criminals have a better playbook, they’re working together and we’re not. My door got kicked in and a neighbor had
  • Regarding the funding of this, can we ask the city for the money?




Meeting Notes from 04/05/2016

Quick Update on the past month’s efforts:
* VMD park
* Sharps Disposal

* library interested in disposal
* conrad house as well

* Eileen Loughran of DPH will be addressing the sidewalk sharps disposal program and its role in addressing the problem of discarded needles

* Daryl Fong, the new Southern Station Police Captain, will introduce himself and discuss law enforcement in the area. He is joined by Officer Campos who patrols our area.

* 1532 Howard development presented by the project’s engineer, Brian Kenny

* Discussion of cameras proposal that has been discussed here:

1) Introductions of neighborhood attendees. 7:30

  • Some object to sharps disposal at Conrad House as well as other places on Grace Street
  • We need an approach that improves steadily
  • Petition to remove the 9th and Mission bus stop
  • Grace Street and Washburn Street have needles and unsafe areas.

2) Update from past month on Victoria Manolo Draves (VMD) Park

  • Patrick Valentino 7:52
    • efforts to increase foot traffic
    • intercontinental hotel paying to add lights to the park
    • Talking with commissioner to see feasibility of enclosed dog park for both small and large dogs
    • ambassadors in the park
    • Friends of VMD park would like help in getting increased attendance at movie nights at the park

3) Captain Daryl Fong and Officer Campos 7:55

  • Hotspots should be addressed 9th & Mission, Washburn, Grace Street, etc.
  • Has been increase in enforcement at VMD and Homeless outreach in the park in the last two weeks (since coming into the position of Captain of Southern Station)
  • Cpt. Fong responds to question regarding Drug Acticvity at 9th and Mission 8:09
      • Drug enforcement strategy to monitor hotspots and homeless outreach to assess areas.
      • Current city wide operation to take some of the plainclothes officers from southern station to takle recent uptick in property crime
      • last week and a half narco officers have been after 9th & mission
      • judge released serial car burglary arrestee to supervised observation
      • make a wish foundation burglary arrests made
    • Attendee statement :Not a homeless problem, there is a criminal problem. Is there such a thing as a beat cop?
    • Cpt. Fong responds: Since redistricting between Tenderloing and Southern Station lost 14 beat officers. Taking initiative to split shifts Thursday- Sunday and as possible putting patrol officers on foot to combat increased activity.
    • Attendee statement: There was a time when more car patrols came through
    • Daryl: Visibility is important
    • Attendee question: How do we as a group help the police?
    • Non-emergency number gets backed up
      • Officer Campos said most helpful is good descriptions of people enganged in activities. Including specific clothing and any identifying marks.
      • Activate area through neighborhood use and have SF SAFE do a site assesments of improvements property owners and residents can do.
      • Community advocates for Bus shelter removal through MTA or other city department
      • He and Officer
      • Cpt. Fong stressed importance of reporting crimes. Money and resources allocated through data. So calling 911 for active crimes, Police non-emergency and 311 for other issues (nuisance and quality of life) is very important. If there is no record of issues then city will not respond.
      • Officer. Campos have taken notes through evening about issues they were unaware of and will take action.

Eileen Loughran 9:10

  • Outdoor disposal boxes – but where?
  • 20-22,000 Injection drug users
  • 150 Golden Gate at St Anthony’s
    • 4 months to start
    • Now 250 needles per week
  • Focus groups have said a lot of users clean up after themselves
  • Walgreens sells syringes – they will also accepts disposal (via bio-bins)
  • City has the Syringe Access and Disposal Program
  • HIV dies in the discarded syringe within a day. HEP C lasts “a little longer”.
  • Don’t want it on Washburn Street
  • Safe injection rooms in Canada as a model but SF Dept. of Health neutral on the issue
  • Is there a way to safely pick up needles if citizens want to take initiative? The health department or a provider could give that training. AIDS foundation gives this training when they do Community Clean Up days
  • Conrad House and Public Library both possible locations for pilot program.
  • Nothing will occur without community input and can be removed if prove to be problematic.

Brian Kenny 9:39

  • Planners discouraged retail
  • Who was the city planner?
  • Not conducive for long term growth (agreed)

Things we can do

  • More police to enable foot patrol
  • More call to allocate services
  • SEPTEC? Prevention via environmental design
  • We can get security through CBD
  • SF Safe assessment
  • Get the supervisor and SFSafe into the meetings
  • “Four corners Friday” (Eileen mentioned) as a model to do in our neighborhood
  • Connect with AIDS foundation re. organizing training, cleanup
  • 1532 Howard – find out who the planner was – Niki taking on

For Captain Fong (from our other List of things we would like considered)

  • There is an epidemic of car break-ins (and similar property break-ins). We need
    • better, more uniform, street lighting;
    • ‘warning signs’ on the light poles telling people that break-ins happen and not to leave material in cars
    • more police foot and cycle patrols at peak hours (just a note: I’d say “peak hours” for car break-ins are late night early mornings, at least in my neighborhood. I’ve never seen foot or cycle patrols other than daylight, and even sighting that is very rare).
    • Police drive-bys in alleys – lots of places to hide in our alleys, having police drive through could help deter some crimes of opportunity.
    • better statistics: there is no way to report a car break-in unless the car is yours, and many owners don’t bother. We need a 311 section for reporting crimes like this.
    • drug dealers arrested, prosecuted, moved on, and generally harassed until they give up on dealing in this neighborhood.
    • More foot / bike patrol
      • particularly around securing areas that have specific public purpose (e.g. VMD park and its bathrooms)
    • car window breaking traps
    • building breakins, mail theft
    • bike theft traps