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TODAY: Call into #SFRulesCom in support of the measure to remove the arbitrary minimum number of sworn SFPD officers from our Charter.…

Also call or write to your Supervisor and ask them to support it at the full #SFBOS tomorrow:…
(You might have seen a couple of different tweets from us this morning, now deleted. We failed to notice that since the item was heard in committee, it won't be available for public comment at the full #SFBOS. Sorry! Thanks to the person who pointed this out to us.)
Item #1 is the proposed measure to create a Department of Sanitation and Streets. #SFRulesCom
Sup. Haney says the current structure of DPW is failing to keep our streets clean. Need that more than ever during the pandemic.

Says we need “a more focused and intentional structure,” with “better oversight, accountability, and transparency.” #SFRulesCom
Sup. Haney says “there is no cost associated with this” for the next two fiscal years. Seems to be suggesting that any costs will be offset by preventing wasteful spending by DPW. #SFRulesCom
Item #1 opens up for public comment. #SFRulesCom
Nobody in line for that item, though. The #SFRulesCom moves on.
Sup. Stefani is talking about her opposition to the DSS proposal. Doesn't think it will accomplish anything. #SFRulesCom
Sup. Haney pushes back, basically saying that continuing to do things the same way won't change the result. #SFRulesCom
Vote to refer to the full Board:

Stefani: No
Mar: Aye
Ronen: Aye

Passes with Sup. Stefani dissenting. #SFRulesCom
Item #2 is a measure to amend the Charter to create the Office of Public Advocate. Basically a City watchdog department.

Sup. Mar will talk first. #SFRulesCom
Sup. Mar is talking about corruption throughout City government. #SFRulesCom
Item #2 opens up for public comment. #SFRulesCom
Caller: Concerned about limitations being written into the Charter amendment. Wants the OPA to be regulated by MOUs, the City attorney, etc; says having restrictions in the Charter ties the proposed Advocate's hands. #SFRulesCom
Caller is also making a point about the importance of discovery of records to investigate complaints. #SFRulesCom
Second caller supports the measure, citing the example of NYC having an OPA. Says trust in our City government “is at an all-time low” following the DPW scandal. #SFRulesCom
Caller wants to see it on the ballot but doesn't actually support it. Wants to “figure out how to do less with the government.” #SFRulesCom
And that's the end of comment on item #2. #SFRulesCom
Sup. Stefani opposes it. “Cannot support creating another elected office” during a recession.

Says the City already has many officials, boards, and bodies with these responsibilities. (Having a single point of contact is part of the point of the OPA proposal.) #SFRulesCom
Suggests that the OPA would be “duplicative” of the Board's own legislative oversight responsibilities.

“I have never heard anyone suggest that the solution to the City's problems is more politicians.” #SFRulesCom
Sup. Mar talking about the breadth of the federal investigation. “Four City departments, including department heads as well as a number of appointed commissioners” and other individuals.

Says the City's existing structures to root out corruption are not effective. #SFRulesCom
Sup. Mar cites the Controller's assessment that the cost will be “modest.” “It's really a cost-saving measure, because fraud and wasteful spending costs taxpayer money.” #SFRulesCom
Sup. Ronen supported it in 2016 but “now, it is essential.” Brings up the Airport, which makes five City departments with FBI corruption investigations. #SFRulesCom
Sup. Ronen: “The Controller has incredible breadth of responsibilities.” Basically, the Controller wears too many hats.

The Board has to serve individual constituents and run the City.

The Ethics Commission is underfunded and mainly educates candidates for office. #SFRulesCom
Sup. Ronen says that, like with the DSS proposal, there needs to be someone whose specific job is this.

Makes the same point as Sup. Mar that the existence of all these FBI cases shows that our City government lacks a system to root out corruption on its own. #SFRulesCom
Sup. Mar moves to recommend item 2 to tomorrow's #SFBOS:

Stefani: No
Mar: Aye
Ronen: Aye

Passes with Sup. Stefani dissenting. #SFRulesCom
Item #3 is an initiative proposed by the mayor called the “Save Our Small Businesses Initiative.” Sophia Kittler will present.

Folks who have opinions about this, or think they will, might wanna get in the public comment queue now. #SFRulesCom
Kittler: Around a third of businesses have not reopened.

Wants to address two “challenges.” One is permitting time. Businesses sign a lease and start paying rent but then have to wait months for permits before they can actually operate and collect revenue. #SFRulesCom
The other is “inflexible zoning” to enable businesses to adapt to the new reality under the pandemic. #SFRulesCom
Kittler talks about the changes that would be made by the initiative. 30d streamlined review and inspection process; waives fees and prioritizes remedy in cases of City error; parallelizes reviews; eliminates neighborhood notification for “principally permitted uses.” #SFRulesCom
Kittler expands on those “principally permitted uses” in “neighborhood commercial districts.” #SFRulesCom
Not entirely clear what's proposed here. “Allows retail workspace (e.g. co-working) in connection with Eating and Drinking Uses: [two examples]” #SFRulesCom
“Temporary uses in bars and entertainment venues for up to six years;” “60-day ‘pop-up’ retail in vacant commercial storefronts.” #SFRulesCom
Eliminates a couple restrictions. Not entirely clear what's going on here due to all the jargon. #SFRulesCom
Expands a couple of definitions of particularly kinds of places to include more uses and more qualifications for a “bona fide eating place.” #SFRulesCom
Lastly, “secures the Initiative's provisions for three years, except to further lessen restrictions.” #SFRulesCom
Chair Ronen is unclear on why this is an initiative. Suggests the Board could just do these things.

Kittler says it might get whittled away through that process, so an initiative might be the faster way to get the whole package through and keep it through the crisis. #SFRulesCom
Chair Ronen isn't satisfied. Says the Board could just do these things within 30 days; an Initiative has to wait for the ballot.

Kittler says the meantime could be filled through emergency orders or ordinances. #SFRulesCom
Sup. Mar shares Chair Ronen's concerns. Says it makes more sense to move it forward as an emergency ordinance. #SFRulesCom
Sup. Mar also says the Supervisors' offices weren't consulted, and they know what their various constituents' concerns are better than the mayor's office might. Wants to know whom the mayor's office worked with. #SFRulesCom
Kittler “was not involved with that process,” but they talked to the Small Business Commission, some businesses, and “a few Supervisors' offices.” #SFRulesCom
Kittler tags in someone else who says the Economic Recovery Task Force consulted the public and some of these ideas came from the public. #SFRulesCom
Chair Ronen asks about the difference from the “permit center.” Kind of a non-answer; there's some overlap but there isn't really a clear answer of what the boundaries of it are. Seems to be concern about duplication of effort. #SFRulesCom
They're talking about a 30-day deadline that apparently binds the City but has no consequence upon the City if they break it.

Apparently they can't make amendments by this point because it's an initiative. #SFRulesCom
Chair Ronen says they could keep developing it and “making it as strong as possible” in collaboration with the mayor's office if they were doing it as legislation. #SFRulesCom
Laurel suggests that the Board could impose such consequences through legislation.

Chair Ronen: “OK. Then let's just do it through the Board!” Then moves on to a question about (re)defining “bona fide eating place.” #SFRulesCom
Chair Ronen asked a question about adjustments that the City Administrator can make.

Apparently the City Administrator has to justify their adjustments. #SFRulesCom
This is the text of the proposed initiative:…

Read fast before public comment starts! #SFRulesCom
Chair Ronen: “Are we allowing WeWork as a permitted use” in all restaurants in the City?

Laurel: “WeWork is usually by subscription…” And “you can only operate on days the restaurant is operating.” #SFRulesCom
Cites a restaurant owner who “said it was helpful” to have “additional activity, someone watching the door” when the restaurant is open but doesn't have restaurant customers. #SFRulesCom
Chair Ronen says “it's 95% there” but wants to work with the mayor's office to make more improvements, and also pass it as legislation rather than wait for the initiative process. #SFRulesCom

“Can you explain who this is designed to serve and how it would work?” #SFRulesCom
“Businesses where there's a huge amount of rent… and it's not going to be able to open in its normal business model for the foreseeable future.” #SFRulesCom
Can already abandon that model through a normal change-of-use, but that's one-way. A business that wants to return to its model would have to do it again. This provides a two-way interim change-of-use. #SFRulesCom
Public comment opens on item #3. 10 callers in the queue. #SFRulesCom
Caller from the Entertainment Commission (“speaking on my own”) talked to a lot of small businesses and developed a list of needs. This initiative covers a lot of those, and they're in support. #SFRulesCom
Same caller answers: Why initiative? BoS starts with good intentions, then stuff gets watered down under community input. Let the voters speak on the proposal at the ballot box. #SFRulesCom
Caller who's a Small Business Manager for the City of Commerce is “so encouraged by this ballot measure.”

Echoes Chair Ronen's comment that “we needed this legislation yesterday.” #SFRulesCom
Same caller talks about “the importance of restarting our economy as we exit this crisis, hopefully in the near future.” #SFRulesCom
Caller supports Chair Ronen's “alternative proposal” of doing it legislatively. “Don't wait for the ballot box, just do it.” #SFRulesCom
Another caller also supports an emergency ordinance. Says the ballot is already overloaded, and even the mayor's staffers didn't understand it.

Calls out “voters need to have their say”; voters only get to say yes or no. #SFRulesCom
Caller laments a boutique that closed nearby recently. Supports the initiative to enable businesses to open more quickly. Calls back to Chair Ronen's comment that “this should have been done yesterday;” points out that it wasn't. #SFRulesCom
Caller who “was one of the first 100 employees of WeWork” says “the retail workspace component of this proposal is crucial.”

Talks up the importance of places being filled with people in the community to work and congregate. #SFRulesCom
Same caller objects to places having to take on food and beverage responsibilities. Also says WeWork-style subscriptions shouldn't be required (as far as we know, that was not proposed). #SFRulesCom
Caller supports the proposal and also supports Chair Ronen's idea of an emergency ordinance. “Seems a requirement in this moment.” #SFRulesCom
Same caller seems to be opposing doing it as an initiative. Wants it to be refined through the emergency-ordinance process and enacted sooner than January. #SFRulesCom
Caller talks about history of fighting the “creep-in” of “business models based on co-working” into Chinatown. Concerned about this initiative potentially being part of that.

Wants it done through the legislative process so they can have their say. #SFRulesCom
Caller “representing the Chamber of Commerce” reiterates the Chamber's “strong support of this measure.”

Talks about difficulties of the “permitting and inspection process” on small businesses. #SFRulesCom
Caller talks about the importance of streamlining ability of businesses to change their business model.

Another caller talks about being “threatened and harassed” during discretionary review. #SFRulesCom
Caller is not impressed by the notion that “we needed this yesterday;” points out that the Board had “chosen not to until this item came up.” Cites numerous examples of legislation to streamline review having been whittled down. #SFRulesCom
Caller talks up the dire situation of small businesses.

“We need emergency legislation now.” #SFRulesCom
There's two dichotomies here:

- businesses owners who want to see red tape get cut vs. community members who very much don't want certain kinds of businesses
- people who support the ballot initiative vs. people who want the Board to do it sooner

Caller points out that a ballot measure would supersede emergency legislation.

And that's the end of public comment on item #3. #SFRulesCom
Sup. Stefani is giving closing remarks. Supports the proposed measure. “The timing is right to have this on the ballot.” #SFRulesCom
Sup. Mar is concerned by the urgency. “I haven't heard a compelling reason why this has to move forward as a ballot initiative that delays the changes until 2021.” Wants to work collaboratively with the mayor's office on an emergency ordinance. #SFRulesCom
Chair Ronen has “just a couple more detailed questions” and an offer to work with the mayor to build an emergency ordinance. Wants to make it “stronger and more beneficial to small businesses” and “take into account more vulnerable communities.” #SFRulesCom
“We need relief, we have to give it to them, and we cannot wait until 2021 to do so.”

Asks about Chinatown and Mission and other zoning tables not getting amended. #SFRulesCom
Kittler says the 24th St corridor had “just gone through a very robust community process” recently, so they didn't want to supersede that. #SFRulesCom
Ronen asks about a “three-year freeze.” “Does that mean no changes can be made… in that time period?” Aaron: “It just means you can't undo what the initiative has done.” #SFRulesCom
Chair Ronen moves that the item has been heard and to file it.

Stefani: Aye
Mar: Aye
Ronen: Aye

Passes unanimously. #SFRulesCom
Item #4 is up now! This is the one that repeals the mandatory minimum of an arbitrary number of sworn SFPD officers.

You may want to get in line for public comment now.… #SFRulesCom
Pres. Yee is speaking on his proposal.

First, “establish an informed process for setting police staffing levels.” Chief makes a report every two years; Police Commission passes that on to Board.

Second, repeals the arbitrary minimum number. #SFRulesCom
Pres. Yee: The change enables “policy decisions to reimagine and improve our public safety services.”

Arbitrary number is “outdated”, being “25 years old.” (That's when it was added to the Charter; the number is actually older.) #SFRulesCom
Public comment on item #4 begins! Every speaker gets two minutes. #SFRulesCom
13 speakers in the queue. #SFRulesCom
Caller thanks the #SFRulesCom for removing the language to “maximize police presence in the communities” from the Charter in the newest draft. Encourages the Board to #DefundSFPD. #SFRulesCom
Caller says “this is an example of the past influence of the [POA].” Says there's a movement to get rid of the POA because “it doesn't really act as a union at all;” says there's no bargaining.

Encourages transitioning to non-violent public safety. #SFRulesCom
Caller: “This is not new, this call for abolishing the police. It's been around for decades.” Tells the Supervisors that “we're still watching you”; asks the #SFRulesCom to recommend this measure to the full Board for tomorrow.
Caller lists off things that could be done with a smaller sworn force. Civilianize traffic enforcement like Berkeley is considering; civilianize outreach to unhoused San Franciscans; expand SVIP. #SFRulesCom
Caller complains about SFGovTV cutting away from the Supervisors during public comment, then speaks in support of the proposed measure. #SFRulesCom
Caller shouts out @DefundSFPDNow. Wants to “meet with all of you one-on-one” to discuss options; wants to reallocate money from the police budget to “services that actually keep us safe.” #SFRulesCom
Caller: “Sometimes it feels like we're told to vote once or twice a year and shut up the rest of the time.” Thanks the Supervisors for listening and responding to public demand. #SFRulesCom
Caller points out that an arbitrary number of officers “provides no flexibility to adapt” to the City's needs. Brings up the history of the number coming from a 1979 consent decree; “it has no relevance to the City today.” #SFRulesCom
Caller suggests that “criminals are intercepting this message as an opportunity” to commit numerous kinds of crime as well as terrorism. #SFRulesCom
[CW: rape mention]

Caller responds to the previous caller, who listed rape among those crimes, saying that “police officers actually commit rape” and routinely get away with it. #SFRulesCom
Caller: “Public safety comes from investing in our communities, not criminalizing them.”

Answers the same caller from earlier, who portended that “people will die”, saying that “people *are* dying” (at the hands of cops). #SFRulesCom
Caller: “I feel a little bit odd thanking you for doing what is clearly the will of the people.”

Also objects to the camera feed being off during public comment.
Clerk reminds people to press *3 to get in the queue if you haven't already spoken. 6 callers in the queue currently. #SFRulesCom
Caller is a queer person of color and a police officer.

Wants to know how to defund police before we create public safety services like mental health services. Wants to know who will investigate crimes without the police. #SFRulesCom
Same caller acknowledges history of police oppression (but also says not all cops), but doesn't want to “dismantle the current system before the next system is in place.” #SFRulesCom
Caller says the police don't create public safety. Says “the police aren't good at” solving violent crime or reducing homelessness or solving vehicle thefts. “What they're good at is” political oppression. #SFRulesCom
Caller supports the amendment but says “I do not necessarily support defunding the police.”

“There is certainly no reason for having an arbitrary minimum of police.” #SFRulesCom
Caller: “I really don't think that international terrorists are going to target San Francisco because we changed our City Charter to eliminate arbitrary requirements of staffing” (as an earlier caller had suggested). #SFRulesCom
Caller suggests adding a deletion of the existing Charter provision that sworn officers can't be fired to civilianize their positions. Brings up Chief Scott's answer last week that ending SROs won't free up funding; those officers will just be reassigned. #SFRulesCom
Here's that passage, which is currently in the Charter:

“Positions may only be converted from sworn to civilian as they become vacant. No sworn officer shall be laid off in order to convert a position to civilian personnel.” #SFRulesCom
The current text of the measure adds “in the Police Department” after “Positions,” but doesn't otherwise change that passage. #SFRulesCom
Caller says their community keeps each other safe, but there are constantly cops patrolling. “By defunding SFPD, we are building the system that we need to take care of our community.” #SFRulesCom
Caller is married to someone “in law enforcement.”

“My husband will be leaving his job, and while we understand that people are concerned about public safety, we don't think that it has to look like armed law enforcement….”
Same caller acknowledges that “many will lose jobs” but “it's the right thing.” #SFRulesCom
Caller asks if the officer who called in earlier was aware of police brutality before a police van almost ran the caller over at one of the earliest #BlackLivesMatter protests in the City after George Floyd's murder. #SFRulesCom
Caller says “this is a good first step but we have a very long way to come.” #SFRulesCom
Caller brings up the history of the POA's involvement in 1994's Prop D. Views this as part of dismantling that organization's influence.

Also suggests that a lot of SFPD officers “live in Novato at this point,” so their salaries funnel City money out of the City. #SFRulesCom
Caller opposes the measure. Says they've seen fewer and fewer cops on the beat; lists various alleged crimes they've witnessed.

Also accuses public defenders of wanting “criminals” to go free.
That's the end of public comment on item #4! #SFRulesCom
Closing remarks from the Supervisors. Sup. Mar says “this is a common-sense change replacing the outdated and arbitrary” minimum number with an informed process. #SFRulesCom
Chair Ronen reiterates that the cutting away from the Supervisors' camera feeds is not the Supervisors' choice; “we are listening.” #SFRulesCom
Sup. Stefani is also on board for “reimagining what public safety could look like in San Francisco;” notes (as many callers have) that removing the arbitrary minimum is a prerequisite to any such endeavor. #SFRulesCom
Motion to recommend this to the full Board.

Stefani: Aye
Mar: Aye
Ronen: Aye

Motion passes unanimously.

The measure to repeal the arbitrary minimum number of full-duty sworn SFPD officers from the Charter is recommended to the full Board. #SFRulesCom
Item #5 is the “Sheriff Department Oversight Board and Inspector General.”

Sup. Walton talks about deaths and other abuses in our jails. “We need this independent oversight over our sheriff's department.” Says LA County has this already. #SFRulesCom
Sup. Walton talks about the work the new body would do.

Item #5 opens up for public comment. #SFRulesCom
(Apologies for not writing down more of what Sup. Walton said. Your friendly live-tweeter has to step out to make lunch.) #SFRulesCom
And that was it. A few public comments; one with some racist trash and some others calling it out and pointing out that police abolition includes prison abolition and abolishing the sheriff.

The #SFRulesCom voted to recommend the measure to the full Board.
#SFRulesCom has ended. Thanks for tuning in!

Those following the measure to repeal the arbitrary SFPD minimum: The full #SFBOS will hear it tomorrow, but there won't be public comment since it came from a committee.

Call or write your Supervisor today!…
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