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tv   ABC7 News Getting Answers  ABC  November 16, 2021 3:00pm-3:31pm PST

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announcer: building a better bay area -- moving forward, finding solutions -- this is abc 7 news. kristen: you are watching getting answers live on abc seven and wherever you stream. we ask experts your questions to get answers for you in real time. today, we have the san francisco mayor, london breed, who will be talking about the vaccination efforts on how the mandates for city employees going. students from the bay area school are lacing up there she used to honor a civil-rights legend. we are talking about ruby bridges. the pandemic has changed a lot of things, the way we work, the places we work, the health and safety, and what we want out of work.
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thanks to a partnership between abc 7 and sequoia, we company that helps businesses design for employees, we have a look at the transformed workplace. joining us to talk about these key findings and a few surprises is this sequoia vice president of comedic haitians. thanks for joining us. >> thank you for having me. kristen: there's so much to dive into. it is fascinating. because of your work with hundreds of companies, you are able to drill down on how companies have changed to meet their employees where they are at. tell it's about your new workplace survey. >> since the pandemic began, we've been studying how companies approach the workplace and the workplace has changed. people are working everywhere, the way we work has completely shifted. in this report, we surveyed 400 companies and our respondents are tech companies based mostly
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in california. we focus on three areas. one being returning to the workplace -- what does that look like? it has shifted quite a bit since the pandemic. the second area we looked at was employers covid-19 vaccination policies. thirdly, how companies are taking care of their people and allowing employees to relocate. kristen: this is an extensive survey. we will be reporting on the findings on the 6 p.m. news beginning tonight for the next three nights. but i want to ask about the perception out there that many people and companies are leaving the bay area or california for other states. is that reality? >> according to our insight while employers are allowing people to relocate, less than 10% of companies have reported people have actually relocated. so people are leaving in droves?
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that's not quite what our report is showing us at this point. kristen: we've done some reporting on silicon valley companies that allow employees the right to move but the area has a lower cost of living, they may actually pay you less. is that the norm or the exception? >> we are seeing more companies are allowing people to relocate. we asked a similar question almost a year ago and very few companies were open to relocating. that has shifted and what we are seeing is the majority of companies responded they are not adjusting salaries. so it varies from company to company. kristen: this when i am personally fascinated by because it seems like my commute home gets longer. seems like everyone is back but in your survey, isn't it only a small percentage of workers who have come back to the office? >> yes.
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one thing we have noticed is 75% of companies don't require people back in the office. of the people back in the office, it's less than 10%. not a lot of people returning just yet. kristen: are you seeing a lot of flexibility in terms of how many days workers are physically in the office? >> yes. of the people who are back, it seems to or three days a week is when people are coming into the office, but there is still a lot of flexibility. it's not required by most employers and some people are returning for different reasons. maybe they don't have a great set up at home and would rather be in the office. but it looks like right now, two or three days a week. kristen: that is something the pandemic has brought on that we couldn't imagine. you look at how companies have adapted covid policies. our they ready and willing to implement the biden administration's requirement to ensure full vaccination among employees?
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>> i would say yes. our data shows 57% of companies are requiring the vaccine for a number of different reasons. but we ask this question in february and only 7% of companies say they were planning to require the covid-19 vaccine. there's a big uptick and companies are ready to abide by new legislation. kristen: so they are ready and they want to, but do they have a plan in place? >> i believe so. we ask companies if they have a safety plan in place and a majority of companies do. you can require vaccination but how do you make sure they are safe once they are there? it seems like a lot of companies have been paying attention to different ordinances and are making sure they have a safe and healthy workplace for their people. kristen: how are companies dealing with those who don't want to vaccinate? are they firing them or allowing them to work remotely? >> there are two categories.
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there are those who are not vaccinated for approved reasons and we are finding companies are allowing them to work remotely for a longer time. but it is undecided for those people who are not vaccinated for unapproved reasons what companies will do. the majority of companies are undecided in less than 15% say they are willing to move to termination. kristen: that is often the last resort, especially when it is a tight labor market where you have employees whose work you like. what about the third area you focused on? wellness and perks. have companies and pimento new strategies to keep their workers happy and provide mental health resources? >> absolutely. since the pandemic began, we've seen companies really boost their well-being offers to their employees. 86% of our respondents said they
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have implemented new well-being strategies or plan to this year. those strategies range from mental health resources to better support their people, team engagement activities. a lot of people are isolated working at home by themselves and feel disconnected, so team engagement activities as well as increased communication. companies offer a lot of great benefits to their people but they don't know what those benefits are, so they are communicating more about it. kristen: it sounds like there's a lot of flex ability being shown. does it suggest there's a shift either in the power dynamics or priorities of companies or workers? >> i think companies are paying more attention to the needs of their people and we are in a new workplace, how we work, where we work, it has all shifted. their needs have shifted as
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well. attention to that, paying attention to the needs of their people and delivering better employee experiences when they can. kristen: sequoias vice president of commute kaisha, thank you for sharing these results of the new workplace employer survey and, as i mentioned, stephanie sierra has really gone deep on this and has reports coming up today, tomorrow, and the next day. you can find the entire survey results posted on our website,, so watch our ports and go to our website for the entire report. coming up, mayor london breed is joining us to talk about a number of san francisco initiatives and the latest on the cities vaccination efforts. we are taking a short break on the air, but
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kristen: we were just talking about the return to the workplace and employers different covid policies. san francisco is a major employer. mayor london breed joins us to tell us how vaccination efforts are going and a host of other new initiatives. great to see you. mayor breed: great to see you. kristen: i want to start by getting your reaction to jackie spears retirement announcement today. kristen: as you know, jackie spear is an icon. the work she's done her entire career has been extraordinary and we know of the challenges she's had to face. i saw her on the news talking about dedicating her life to
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public service after she was shot along with congressman leo ryan, who we all remember jonestown and what happen there and how she survived and persevered. she has been a terminusminus for women, gun violence and semi things. she has been a bay area jewel. it's time to move on, but i she will be very active in various capacities in terms of giving back. she has been an extraordinary public servant. kristen: we are waiting to see what that second act will be, but no doubt it will be in public service. we are looking at covid policies. how is san francisco ensuring compliance for your employees? that deadline has come and gone. we need to know how many have been fired. how much time are you giving people? mayor breed: we have given
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people a lot of time and resources. out of the almost 35,000 employees we have, we are at less than 700 who are not vaccinated. so to the over 90% of city employees who are fully vaccinated, thank you so much. thank you for doing your part to keep coworkers and the public safe. we are working through a process which is required for those who have asked for waivers and have made specific requests to not get the vaccine for various reasons. everyone has their own reasons. we want to give each hearing it's just do, but ultimately, we have -- if there are accommodations, we will do our best. but we are doing well when you look at other cities, they don't come close to san francisco in terms of having their workforce as vaccinated as ours is. kristen: that is a high
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vaccination rate, but it seems like you have a muni operator shortage? mayor breed: we do, and i spent some time talking to the folks who help us run the system, thanking them for our service and forgetting vaccinated. part of what we are doing is asking them to do over time so we cannot only keep service going but bring back some of the lines we had to cut. ultimately, we have to think about everyone who works for mta as well as the public and we will not be able to deviate from the requirement we have, but we will speed up the process to get more drivers hired. i was at a graduation last weekend we have people on the streets and we will keep working at it. kristen: it has been hard getting vaccine appointments. what is the city doing to help? are you opening vaccine sites? mayor breed: we have vaccine sites all over the city in various communities, especially
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in communities impacted by a lack of insurance. anyone can go to their health care providers to get vaccinated, but our various locations, including maxine hall, 2401 mckenna -- i'm sorryy 2401 key street -- no questions asked, the mission, we are doing vaccines. we will provide vaccines to anyone who asks, even if you are asking for a booster. ultimately, we want people to go to their providers and we are doing everything we can to make it as convenient as possible. these locations are familiar to many in the community. kristen: your public health department said children five to 11 will possibly have to show proof of vaccination for indoor activities like adults have to now. are you standing firm on that?
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some are pointing out the pfizer vaccine hasn't gotten full approval, only emergency use. mayor breed: i work very closely with our department of public health and it has everything to do with looking at the data and making sound decisions. we are seeing an increase of hospitalizations in san francisco. it is winter, but we knew after halloween, just like last year, we would see a number of cases go up. part of what we know is the vaccine is to prevent people from hopefully going into the hospital. that's a big deal for us. we don't want anyone to die because of covid, but i'm not certain if we are going to get to that point. until we do, we want to look at the data, make sound decisions and not overburden the public with a lot of requirements unless they are absolutely necessary. kristen: you recently weighed id
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on the recall against three san francisco school board members. you support the recall. most of the supervisors too. these are the only three who can be recalled, but do you think the entire board has been focusing on the wrong things these past two years? mayor breed: i have been very vocal about my concern about my decisions -- about the decisions that have been made at the school board level. a lot of times, we get financial request from the school board and school district general, which as a result of wanting to serve and support our children in the city, we can't hesitate. we have to support them. but i think about many of the decisions they made in light of the fact the schools weren't open and there were kids who didn't have computers and the city had to put up these learning hubs and we couldn't even use locations in the school district even with what we were
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trying to do. it was really frustrating and criminal. our kids have suffered, we have all suffered but at a time like this, you need strong leadership coming need people to step up and unfortunately, we saw time and time again decisions that were important decisions and discussions to have, but the fact the decision around reopening continued to be at the back burner or very problematic and our kids have suffered because of it. kristen: sf live initiative to support the city's music venues. tell us about that. mayor breed: we are bringing back live music in san francisco, not just inside venues but, what we have done throughout the pandemic is we value being outdoors more than ever to prevent the spread of covid and we want to take full
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advantage of our public spaces and just imagine walking up to civic center and seeing a band perform, seeing people dance, seeing people and places come alive because of music and a number of artists who have the ability to put a smile on our faces. this 2.5 million dollars we received thanks to our current city attorney, it will be used to provide resources to set up a lot of these places outdoors because it costs money to set up stages and sound and use electricity. the number of costs associated with that and plus we need to pay our artists. that is important as well. you will be walking around town and all the sudden you will hear great music and you may want to stop and hang out for a little bit. it's an important part of our economic recovery and i can't
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wait. kristen: music soothes the soul. i know you want to address this, i'm going to let you talk about folks who are in san francisco for thanksgiving or folks coming to visit relatives how they can best celebrate. mayor breed: make sure everyone is vaccinated. especially those who are not, that you do a rapid covid test, that you wash your hands and wear a mask when you are hanging out with each other. turkey day, it will will will wl top high schools playing football. it's a great outdoor activity for families. i will be there and there are other things going on. there will be car shows and other events and activities downtown. i think ultimately, try to to to many outdoor activities as you can when you come together as a family and
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thing -- appreciate and enjoy your family and friends during the thanksgiving holiday. kristen: always good talking with you. thank you so much. coming up next, highlighting the bravery of a civil rights icon, ruby bridges, who is only six years old when she made history, becoming the first african-american student to integrate into a white school. integrate into a white school. now students in i saw you toss the kites on high... improved vision coverage. so you can focus on every little detail. one of many cost-saving medicare advantage benefits from scan health plan for 2022. call today or ask your agent about scan health plan.
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♪ ♪ comprehensive dental coverage. so you can enjoy movie night to the fullest. one of many cost-saving medicare advantage benefits from scan health plan for 2022. call today, or ask your agent about scan health plan. kristen: tomorrow, students at a south san francisco school will lace up their shoes to honor a legendary civil rights act this, honoring the first-ever ruby bridges walk to school day. ruby bridges made history in 1960 when she became the first african american student to integrate an all-white elementary school in the south. the walk was made possible thanks to state senator josh ecker and fifth-grade teacher deborah carlino. thank you both for joining us today.
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i've got to start with the teacher. your class spearheaded this walk and seems very excited. tell us about ruby bridges and why honor her in this way? >> ruby bridges inspires us because she was a little girl who integrated into the segregated south, one of the first children to go to school with white children. the children are so inspired by her because of all she did for all of us. kristen: and this was their idea? >> it was their idea. we were reading about ruby bridges and one of the students asked if there is a ruby bridges day and when they found out there wasn't, they got fired up and wanted to do something about it. this has been four years of the children working really hard with adults, aaa, sender becker, we just so appreciated. kristen: state senator becker is
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sitting here with us. you introduced a resolution for ruby bridges walked to school day and it was passed unanimously. tell us about your inspiration and why you want to make this resolution happen. kristen: -- >> what i love ruby as her courage and bravery and her story shows the power of one act of one person, you can truly make a difference and that is evidenced by this day we have and the celebration we will have tomorrow. she inspired kids across the country, 60 years later. if i can say for moment, what deborah and her students, so impressive, their commitment to this, to never give up and take bold action, i'm them for bringing this forward
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to me and all of us. kristen: would you be so kind as to share the details of the walk tomorrow, where you are starting and ending up? is the public invited? i want to throw out the picture, the meme that reawakened ruby bid -- ruby bridges in people -- vice president kamala harris, you see the evolution and where the african-american woman is standing strong, being the vice president, taking her place, this became so iconic and for summary people. tell us about the walk. >> in san francisco, due to covid precautions, we are walking in different areas. high school and middle school students will start at orange park and martin elementary, we are going to start at lemon and california and we will walk to school with our wonderful senator becker, to whom we are very appreciative.
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the public can join us and we just want to thank you so much for putting this out there and sharing this news. we appreciate you as well, channel seven. kristen: before we let you go, i want to ask, going to another female icon, congresswoman jackie spear announced she is not running next year. is that something you are considering? >> today, we are honoring congresswoman spear and her trend is serviced to our region and our country both at the local level and state level. kristen: we have to
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kristen: thank you so much for
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joining us on this interactive show. we talked about a sequoia study about how the pandemic is change the workplace, san francisco's push to get tonight, jury deliberations under way in the kyle rittenhouse trial and what the jury has asked for. the judge asking rittenhouse to draw random numbers determining which jurors would decide his fate. five men, seven women, one person of color. rittenhouse facing up to life in prison if convicted on the most serious charge. terry moran standing by live tonight. this evening, abc news learning the fda could give approval this week for the pfizer booster shot for all americans 18 and older. a half dozen states already doing this. and the other headline tonight, pfizer requesting fda emergency use authorization for its covid pill. they say 89% effective at preventing hospitalization and death. the state of emergency tonight, nearly a foot and a
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