Since we’ve been sheltering in place, many of my neighbors have shared with me how the coronavirus pandemic has affected them personally. Across our community, people are settling into working from home and helping their kids tune in to class via videoconference.
At the same time, people are getting sick or coping with the loss of loved ones, worrying about how to pay their bills or keep their small businesses open. If you need assistance at any time, please contact my office at 415-554-7752 or [email protected].
This is an extremely difficult time and it has affected us all in different ways — but we are in this together, and we will get through this together.
ACTS OF COMPASSION
Our community has stepped up to help the most vulnerable among us. In March, for example, my neighbor Ryan from Cow Hollow reached out to ask how his company could help stop the spread.
I worked with Ryan and Mayor Breed to coordinate a delivery of 60,000 surgical masks, 34,000 gloves, 2,000 surgical gowns, and 50 thermometers to support our frontline health care workers in their response to the coronavirus.
Ryan’s act of compassion, alongside many texts, calls, and emails from other neighbors asking how they could help, inspired me to launch a program to reach out to neighbors directly. In the weeks following the shelter-in-place order, we’ve recruited dozens of volunteers and called more than 7,000 senior residents of our community and made sure they had everything they need — whether food or medication delivery, resources for their small businesses, or just someone to talk to.
I want to recognize those who have participated in this volunteer effort. Your dedication to our community has helped people feel less alone and proven that San Franciscans are in this together. Thank you.
And while the heart of our community’s response has always been and will always be at the neighborhood level, I have pulled every lever at my disposal as supervisor to confront this pandemic head on, from writing and passing legislation at the Board of Supervisors to deploying funding I allocated in last year’s budget toward donating meals for those in need.
HELP WHERE IT’S NEEDED MOST
Sadly, as we all began to shelter in place, calls for help among victims of domestic abuse more than doubled in San Francisco. Based on this data, I wrote and passed resolutions warning of the public health threat of panic buying of firearms and reaffirming the Board of Supervisors’ support for survivors of domestic violence and the city’s service providers while they experience a heightened need for services.
If you are sheltering in place with an abuser or in an otherwise dangerous home situation, please call 877-384-3578 or text loveis to 22522.
Some of the most harmful aspects of the coronavirus have been the severe and lasting impacts to our local economy. When the virus hit San Francisco’s independent contractors and small businesses especially hard, federal support quickly dried up.
That’s why I authored a resolution demanding that Congress and the Trump administration not only expand the size of the critical Paycheck Protection Program, but also institute stricter oversight and controls to prevent large, publicly traded companies from taking advantage of this resource meant to keep small businesses afloat. It’s also why I have reallocated $49,000 from my District 2 Neighborhood Resiliency and Economic Development Fund to buy food from local small businesses for first responders, health care workers, and those in need.
Additionally, it was brought to my attention that there are first responders here in the city who also serve in the military reserves, and several of them have been called into active duty to serve in the Covid-19 relief efforts around the country. Normally, these individuals are eligible for full pay and benefits while in active-duty status, but due to a loophole in the city’s salary laws, that isn’t the case for this crisis.
I don’t believe that anyone working to keep us safe during this pandemic should have their pay or benefits diminished, so I introduced legislation to close that loophole and to make sure our first responders are treated fairly.
San Francisco has done much to bend the curve, but confronting the pandemic is still deadly serious. I have been so heartened by how our neighbors have come together to support one another over the past two months, and I will continue to do everything in my power to use data, science, and facts to promote public health and safety.
While we are not out of the woods yet, there is reason for hope. From the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake to Loma Prieta, history has shown us that San Franciscans are stronger and more resilient together.
Physically distant as we may be, we are united in our resolve to care for those in need and help our city recover as quickly as possible