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tv   BOS Public Safety Neighborhood Services Committee  SFGTV  October 17, 2021 3:00pm-7:06pm PDT

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>> good morning, the meeting will come to order. welcome to the thursday, october 14th meeting of the public safety & neighborhood services committee. i'm supervisor gordon mar, and i'm joined by vice chair catherine stefani, and we'll be joined by supervisor aaron peskin for item 2. i want to thank this committee's john carroll mr. clerk, do you have any announcements? >> clerk: thank you, mr. chair. the committee members are participating in this meeting through video conference to the same
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extent as if they were physically present in choir there committee room. public comment will be available on each item on this agenda either cable channel 26, 78, or 99, as well as sfgovtv.org. you will be allowed two minutes to speak. it will be available to you via phone by dialing 415-655-0001, i.d. 24894796006. after you've entered the meeting i.d., dial the pound key twice to connect to the meeting. when you're connected, you will hear the meeting discussions, but you're line will be muted and in listening mode only. when your item of interest comes up on the agenda, please dial star followed by three to be added to
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the speaker line. best practices are to call from a quiet location, to speak clearly and slowly and to turn down your television, radio or streaming device. alternatively, you may submit public comment in either of the following ways: you may e-mail them to me, i'm the public safety clerk. or can you send your written comments to our office in city hall, the clerk's office, room 244, 1 doctor carlton, san francisco, and all of this contact information can be consulted on the front page of our committee agenda. and items acted upon today are expected to appear on the board of supervisors' agenda of october 26, 2021, unless otherwise stated. >> chair: thank you so much.
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can you please call item 1. >> clerk: a resolution urging and supporting mayor breadon in proclaiming a local emergency around the overdose crisis, and immediately implementing overdose sites. members who wish to provide public comment, should call 415-655-0001, enter the meeting i.d. 24894796006. press the pound symbol twice and then star followed by three to enter to speak. >> chair: i want to thank you supervisor haney for bringing this important, urgent legislation forward, which i'm pleased to co-sponsor, and thank you for all of your leadership on the crisis -- the overdose crisis in our city. and, you know, certainly your district has been ground zero and impacted the most, but it is a
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citywide problem and it is really a national problem right now. so i thank you for your leadership, and also for all of the community advocates and organizations that have been working on this urgent issue, and pushing us to take stronger action. so thank you, supervisor haney. the floor is yours. >> thank you, chair mar, and vide chair stefani, for your support and your leadership on this issue as well. this, as you said, is a tragedy. it is a crisis. it is an emergency. and we have to do more. this resolution will support a declaration of a local emergency on the overdose crisis, and it calls for our city to move forward immediately with the opening of safe consumption sites. san francisco is savvy on course for another record-setting year. lives lost to overdoses. we've already seen over
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400 deaths due to overdoses this year from january to july. and over the 12-month period last year, we lost over 700 people to overdose. and i've said this every time we've talked about this crisis, you know, these are people who have family, who have friends, who have people who care about them. and these deaths were preventable, and we should be working every day to do more to save lives in our city. we are also -- you know, it could have been a lot worse. there are people, many of whom you're going to hear from today, some of whom are drug users themselves, some of whom have devoted their lives to supporting people who use drugs, who have reversed thousands and thousands of overdoses in our city and saved lives. and i don't want that to get lost as well, that we have saved a lot of lives as well.
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we are saving more lives and we should do more to prevent even more deaths in our city. synthetic opioids and illicitly manufactured fentanyl have entered the drug supply and have accounted for nearly 60% of overdose deaths in san francisco. the prevalence of fentanyl has changed things. fentanyl is more deadly. and our response has to meet the scale of the problem that we're facing. we are, without a doubt, facing a local emergency that has changed substantially in the last few years. that should give us both the political policy, community, and legal mandate to act with more
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urgency and with bigger solutions than we have right now. we know that safe consumption sites work. there are hundreds of them around the world. they prevent overdose. they prevent disease. they help to link people with substance use disorder treatment, with health care and other services. they reduce public drug use and reduce barriers to care for people who are marginalized and harder to reach. we also have taken step after step here at the board of supervisors, making it clear in a unanimous way, that we want to see this happen now. in 2017, the board of supervisors enacted a resolution, charging the department of public health with convening its safety injection services task force. i want to thank is supervisor breed, now the mayor, for her leadership on this. the task force released their report and they were
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very clear: not only did they say we should open these sites now, but they would save lives and they would also save money. that this was the financially prudent thing to do in addition to the moral and policy urgency around it. since then, we -- mayor breed and eye offered legislation to create a framework to be able to open safe consumption sites, and a way to authorize them and permit them, and that is already the law here locally. i want to thank senator scott weiner for his leadership at the state level, pushing and pushing to make sure that the state laws are fully in place to authorize us to take these steps. but what this resolution will do, and we believe it is necessary for this reason, is make it clear that we are facing a local emergency, which requires a level of resources, of
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personnel, of the use of facilities and land to save lives in intervene at a scale that requires such a declaration. it's also stating very clearly that we believe that we have the authority right now to move forward with opening safe consumption or safe in injection sites, and we want to express or support, to the mayor, that we support her leadership in moving forward. so i have -- i want to mention that i do have a amendment to the resolution, which will strike through line five and six on page four. so the final sentence reads: "further resolve that the san francisco board of supervisors of the city and county of san francisco will support the mayor by concurring with a mayoral proclamation of
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emergency on the overdose crisis." and my office has confirmed with the city attorney that these amendments are non-substantive. i lastly want to thank the department of public health for their leadership. and the safer inside coalition, which has been fighting for this intervention to save lives and themselves leading in saving lives every day, and they've been a partner on this resolution and also special thank you to my friend gary mccoy, who is the director of policy and public affairs at health 360, who is really the key mover on this resolution, and whom we've all been inspired to greater action by the steps he has taken. so with that, i want to hand it over to the experts on this issue. we have alex crawl from the r.t.i. international, and thomas at the h.s.h.
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foundation. and daniella walky, and paul harken, a harm reduction specialist. and i have present to answer questions is wes savor from glide, and larry mclaughlin from d.p.h. thank you again, chair mar. >> would you like me to start? >> chair: yes, that would be great. >> i'm laura thomas, the director of harm reduction policy for the san francisco aids foundation. and i want to thank supervisor haney for his leadership, and thank all of the supervisors who have stepped up to support this time and again. i'm going to share my screen now. can you see that? >> chair: it's just black. we can't see any slides.
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>> clerk: mr. chair, in your e-mail in-box a few moments ago, you also will have received a copy of the slide decks from today's agenda items as well, if that is helpful for you. >> okay. is it showing okay now? >> clerk: it sounds like it is showing for some of us but not all of us. >> is there anything i can do on my end? >> chair: i think you can just go ahead with the presentation, laura. >> okay. sorry about that. it was working on the test previously. so thank you for the invitation to speak about this resolution and about supervised consumption services. the photo on this slide is
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from an event that we held on international overdose awareness day at the end of august. and there are 712 white flags placed on the lawn on city hall, representing the 712 san franciscans who lost their lives to accidental drug overdose in 2020. so as i said, i'm with the san francisco aids foundation. i'm going to give a quick introduction here and the policy context for the state of emergency resolution. then alex crawl from r.t.i., international will give some of the research background. and paul and danielle are going to talk about the urgency of the situation now. so what are we talking about? supervisor haney already covered much of this, but supervised consumption services are legally protected places where people use illicit substances in a safe,
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sterile, non-judgmental environment, and are provided with linkages to health care, counseling, and importantly to substance disorder treatment. this is one of the longest lasting largest supervised consumption sites in north america. and echoing supervisor haney in 2017, this body created a supervised injection services task force findings. and just to echo, first of all, the first recommendation from the task force was to support the creation of safe injection services in san francisco. and the second one, which i think is relevant to the discussion today, was calling on the city to recognize the legal and the real estate barriers to operating safe injection services, and to devise necessary contingency plans, which is what today's state of emergency is. and specifically said that
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san francisco must be deliberate in formulating a way forward for community organizations and building owners that includes local protections and procedures to respond to potential legal repercussions. >> we were here in front of you last year again with supervisor haney's resolution. and what has happened since then, the current state legislation, sb57, senator weiner's bill, was unfortunately stalled this year. and so the earliest it could possibly go into effect is january of 2023. we have, very importantly, a new federal administration that lifts our fear of the previous administration, although they've taken their statement of position yet on this issue. there has been a legal case coming out of philadelphia and an organization called safe house, that had a preliminary, very positive
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ruling from the judge, and more recently a negative ruling that has closed some of the legal options. and the most important thing that has changed is the uncreasing urgency of the overdose crisis in san francisco. this is summary of the calgary legislation. ab2495 was introduced in 2017. 8186made it through the legislature to are vetoed by governor brown. a number of things have changed in the local policy environment, importantly mental health s.f., and our city on home, and funding has come into play and enabled the city to create newly funded and expanded overdose initiatives,
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including expansion of treatment services. the department of public health is continuing to move forward in doing their due diligence on gathering input and planning for implementation, as supervisor haney mentioned, there is now a permit process. and one of the other things changing, obviously, is incoming city attorney former assembly member chill, who may also have his own approach to this issue. at the national level, one of the most important things that has happened is that the state of rhode island beat california to the punch and passed state legislation authorizing supervised consumption services, and they're planning to open services in march of next year. the steakhouse case, most recently, there was an (indiscernable) signed by 80 prosecutors and law enforcement leaders. the american society of
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addiction medicine issued a policy statement of support for this last year, putting the nation's largest organization of experts on addiction and substance use treatment solidly behind this. and former california attorney general is now the head of health and human services at the national level. you know, just in terms of the external context, here is an editorial from the san francisco chronicle, as well as a quote from a recent editorial in the los angeles times. both calling for community leaders and elected officials to move forward as quickly as possible with this. and so what we're asking for in terms of a public health state of emergency, is, first and foremost, the recognition that
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overdose deaths are an emergency in san francisco. as i think everyone knows at this point, we've lost more san franciscans to overdose than covid since the beginning of the covid pandemic. that is justifiably a state of emergency, and therefore this is as well. we want a statement of intention by the city to open services. and this would be an answer to the community call to action. this would support non-profits, such as the san francisco if foundation, who are willing to operate these services but want some legal support from the city and county of san francisco. it is certainly not the only possible legal strategy, but it is one that is in front of us right now. we know that supervised consumption services are certainly not the only thing that we need to do to better address overdose
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deaths in san francisco. but it is, importantly, one of the things we are still leaving on the table. we are investing in community-based teams. we're investing in community peer distribution of naloxone. and we're investing in supportive housing. and we need to be investing in this one, too. just to cover a little bit of how we historically used the public health state of emergency, we're all currently living under a covid-19 public health state of emergency, but perhaps a more specific example is syringe access, which in 1993, then-mayor frank jordan declared a state of emergency, which was repeated every two weeks by the board of supervisors through 2005, when the state law was changed. and it provided the legal cover for the san francisco aids foundation to provide these services. so that's the end of my comments.
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i'm going to hand this over to alex crawl with r.t.i. international. >> okay. i'll see if i can share my screen as well. hopefully i'll have a little more luck than -- there. can you see that? >> yup. >> clerk: if you put it into a full screen mode, then we will no longer see the thumbnails on the side and might be a little clearer for us. >> i can choose view. >> clerk: yeah, if that works. >> great. yes. good morning. thank you for allowing me to present to you today. i'm an epidemiologist. i've been conducting research on drug use in san francisco and around
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the country for the better part of the last three decades. and specifically i've been conducting research as the main person with a great team of people that have been evaluating the one safe consumption site that has been existing in the united states over the last six, seven years now. and in doing so, we have conducted a number of research efforts that have been evaluating that site, both in terms of what the impact is of the -- what the impact of the site is on the people who use the site, but also the impact on the neighborhood in which it is placed. and so we have this -- first of all, we have this paper that we published last year in the new england journal of medicine, which showed that in the first five years of operating this particular site, they supervised over 10,000
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injections events, and during those events, there were 33 overdoses, but they saved all 33 of those. there were no deaths, and none of them required paramedics to be called because they were able to save them using naloxone at the site. we also have a paper that is currently under review in the peer view medical journal that is looking at the impact on health care utilization among people injecting drugs. and what it found was that the people who use the safe consumption site were 27% less likely to visit the emergency department. they had 54 particulars 54% emey department visits, and they spent 50% few nights in the hospital. so we see both an impact on that particular site both on overdose deaths, but also on
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hospitalization use for that particular site. moving on to the neighborhoods in which they are placed, we published a paper earlier this year in the peer view journal of drug and alcohol dependence, looking at crime in that neighborhood. we took a 500 metre radius around the site, and compared what happened in terms of crime in that particular immediate area, and compared it to two other sites in the same city. the green lines in this skew are basically the 500-meted the safe consumption site. to the left of the dotted line is the five years before the site was opened. and to the right of the dotted line is the five years after the site was opened. and what you can clearly see then, in that neighborhood, you know, crime was actually going up in that neighborhood until the time that this opened. and then it steadily
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decreased, actually, after the implementation of this site. and the agency compared the neighborhoods, and the blue one was essentially stable, and in the red neighborhood, it looked very similar to the green neighborhood, but nonetheless. it either shows that the crime, you know, was certainly better or improved when there was a safe consumption site, or at least had no negative impact on it in any kind of way. with the paper that was just published in the peer view journal of drug and alcohol dependence this week, they looked at syringe disposal practices among people injecting drugs in that same city. and what it found was that the rate of improperly disposing syringes -- essentially that was -- it was defined as disposing syringes in public settings, like parks,
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streets, sidewalks, those types of places, and it actually found that the people, when they're using the sites, are significantly -- are actually disposing significantly lower amount of these syringes in public settings than when they're not using the site. so it is having a good impact on the neighborhoods as well, both in terms of syringes in the neighborhood. what i want to call your attention to, and supervisor haney referenced it in his opening, was a paper that we published in the journal of drug issues, and essentially what we looked at was, you know, what if we were to put the same kind of safe injection site that they have up in vancouver, that you saw the picture of, that laura saw the picture of earlier on -- if you
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put one of those sites in san francisco, what would be the fiscal impact on that in terms of both how much would it cost and how much savings would there be? they found that the annual net savings would be $3.5 million for one single one of those sites that has 13 booths. so we see there is actually cost savings for having these. you can tell that looking at some of the data i shared with you in terms of overdoses, in terms of hospitalizations, people don't need to go to hospitals as much if they're going to these sites. this is a summary of what i've shared here with you from our data in the united states, which really mirrors the data in canada, europe, and australia as well, which is that safe consumptions help the people who use them by preventing overdose deaths and by preventing emergency department use and hospitalization. and these sites also help the neighborhoods in which they're located by reducing crime and by reducing syringes in
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public settings. and, finally, these sites would save the city money. for all of these reasons, i think, is what it american medical association voted in 2017, also four years ago now, to approve safe consumption sites in the u.s. and so this is clearly something that has broad appeal in the country. thank you very much for your time and for the opportunity to speak today. >> chair: thank you so much, dr. crawl, for your presentation. are there anymore speakers? >> yes, paul harken and daniella have the last presentation. >> chair: okay.
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are they here? >> clerk: they are both connected to the call. mr. harken, are you there? mr. harken is the gentleman that is cued up to share his slides, which we have tested. he appears to not be at his computer. >> chair: all right. well... >> clerk: is daniella watki here? >> i am. and i can tell you a little bit about what is going on and why we're here without the slides. thank you so much for having me today, and thank you for being receptive to our ideas. i'm daniella, i'm a member of the safer sites. i'm here today to share with you the ongoing goals
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and stress the urgency of our action. we know from our diverse collaboration that safe consumption sites will benefit the whole community. they promote safer drug use practices and healthy behaviors, and they attract people who may not be served under any other service models, they reduce morbidity and morality, and they help to reduce the shame and stigma experienced by people who use drugs, which can cause further isolation. and they act as a bridge to other health services, importantly drug detox and treatment services. we treat people who use drugs in our community with dignity and compassion. safe consumption sites are an intervention needed now more than ever. when the task force first recommended facilitation, they experienced 20 overdoses. we are now on track for over 800 overdose deaths this year.
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approximately 2000 san franciscans have died since the task force first made its recommendations. each one of these deaths stole someone's child, parent, or loved ones. overdose fatalities began to skyrocket when fentanyl entered the city's drug supply. it is a faster acting opioid than the illicit drug market as ever seen. the time for overdose and the opportunity for reversal has been reduced to mere minutes. community health organizations have acted heroicly with narcan. and this effort has been extremely affective. over 5,000 lives were saved with narcan in the past year alone, an intervention that has tripled in use over the past couple of years. but it is not enough. people who are dying are typically alone with no one nearby to administer the life-saving antidote. and they're conditionally black, brown, indigenous.
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no overdose deaths have happened in a safer consumption site anywhere in the world. we cannot wait for the state legislature to pass sb57. hundreds to thousands more san franciscans were die in the interim. the vague legal threat of the federal government does not justify inaction. the crack house intervention was never to be applied to life-saving measures like this one. we did the same for needle exchange, same-sex marriage, and marijuana. it is time to put that sort of energy into action into saving the lives of our brothers and sisters. it is time for san francisco to lead once again with compassion and science, instead of stigma and fear. nearly twice as many people have died of overdose than of covid in the time of the pandemic. it is time for our city to continue its exemplary
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leadership. i'm grateful i was able to survive my overdose and later receive treatment. my privilege should be an option available to all people of our city, regardless of age, race, class, gender identity or socio-economic. now is the time for courage. it is time to put aside our stigma and address our public health emergency with the most effective intervention available in safe consumption sites. thank you for caring about san franciscans who use drugs. >> chair: thank you. i think that's most of the presentation, but, paul, is there anything you want to add. >> can you guys hear me? >> chair: we can. >> can you see my presentation? >> chair: yeah. we're already pretty far over the time -- >> i just wanted to mention, you know, the safe sites and thank you for the collaboration.
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the goodness has been behind this initiative since 2016. [inaudible] much as you've seen some other people doing that recently. so one of the initiatives is the health department brought together the harm reduction programs and the community agenda safety around golden gate avenue, and we started to have conversations around these interventions and how to include community concerns around public safety. and this involved the safer inside group, and was funded by tenderloin hit. and initiatives were launched, including educating the public about the safety of this
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service, and the efficaciousness, and the fact there has never been a single death at a safe consumption site. it is already the most public urgent health concern back then. there is deja vu about this -- why re we back here once again? well, it is essentially an extremely common-sense intervention. we can't wait for sacramento. when you have people dying every day on our streets from preventable deaths, what more will it take for it to become a public health emergency? i want to thank the boards and thank you, supervisor haney, for bringing this initiative and supporting my co-worker, gary mccoy, on this and the
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community at large. as a community, we're saying why do drug users' lives continue to be put on the back burner and considered of less value than individuals who may be exposed to covid. the covid emergency was extremely well-managed in this city, but overdoses are not. we're not seeing a proportionate response to the level of deaths that we're experiencing. and that can only go up. and the mayor and the supervisors in the city have done other interventions that we totally appreciate, but this is an intervention that is 100% efficacious. and this is going to be the one -- if this is going to be the last one that we do doesn't make any sense. when you look globally how successful it has been, there is no reason to assume that we'll be anything other than successful when implemented for the population of san francisco. we can't rely on narcan
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and people -- i've witnessed many people's officer doses and it was an accident of fortune, i was walking by the parking lot and i checked on them and i was able to reverse them. that is not a successful policy, you know? we need to have comprehensive approaches, and i hope you guys can support this and move this to an action phase. we don't want to wait until sacramento is ready in 2023. we need this yesterday, and thank you forgiving me a moment to speak. >> chair: thank you paul, daniella, laura, and alex. i know how hard you all have been fighting and how long you have been working on this, and how many lives you all have saved individually. and i want to just appreciate you for your commitment and your courage. this is absolutely something that cannot wait
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until 2023. i think that you all said it best, we need to move forward. i saw an article today where senator scott weiner, who has been a champion on this issue, also said we should move forward. so we should move forward. we saw what it looks like to respond to a public health emergency during covid. we deployed a level of resources and people and personnel and used land we had and facilities we had to a scale that responded to a crisis. and that's what we need to see for this epidemic as well, of which the safe consumption sites are one part but an essential part of a broader response. thank you for your leadership, and i'll turn it back over to you, chair mar. i don't have any more particular questions. >> thank you, again, supervisor haney, for your
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leadership on this. and to all of the presenters for the very informative and compelling presentations and cases you made. we need to move ahead with declaring a local emergency on the overdose crisis and move ahead aggressively on overdose preventions in our city. why don't we go to public comment. because i believe we do have a number of folks wanting to weigh in on this. mr. clerk? >> clerk: thank you, mr. chair. we're working with jim smith in the department of technology who has opened the public comment call-in line for our six callers who have raised their hands -- seven callers. for those who are watching our meeting on cable channel 26 or through sfgovtv.org, please dial 415-655-0001, i.d. number 24894796006.
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press the pound symbol twice and then press star, followed by three, to enter the qu to queue. please continue to wait until you're prompted to begin. mr. chair, there are 14 callers on the line, and now 10 of them have raised their hands to speak. mr. smith, could you please connect us to our first caller. >> hi, good morning, supervisors. i live in district. we urge you to support the immediate implementation of the prevent sites in san francisco. in 2017, i was part of the safe injection services task force, and since then, 2013 individuals have accidentally overdosed in san francisco. each year increases over the other. in 2017, 101, 2018, 244,
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2019, 309. please proclaim an emergency on the overdose crisis and immediately implement the overdose prevention sites. thank you very much. >> caller: hi, supervisors. my name is dr. andrea gotta, i'm a pediatrician at ucsf. as a physician and public health practitioner, it has become pretty clear to me there is an undo weight on covid, while ignoring overdose as a crisis. even though there are more deaths from overdoses than covid, ironically. i believe these two diseases have equal
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pathologies but are viewed differently due to stigma. i want to echo the sentiments of people who spoke today. [inaudible] >> clerk: caller, i'm going to pause your time. could you speak directly into your microphone? i think we have lost part of your connection. >> caller: to prevent deaths -- [inaudible] [audio is not clear] >> i urge you to please proclaim an emergency to ensure the safety of our community. thank you. >> clerk: thank you for sharing your comments,
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doctor. could we get the next caller, please? >> caller: hi. good morning, chair mar and supervisors. my name is michael lupet, and i live in the mission district. i'm part of the h.i.v. advocacy network. i'm a member of the h.i.v. caucus and board member of the harvey milk democratic fund. i'm calling to support the overdose prevention sites in san francisco. and i'm so happy to see many of you here and present. and thank you so much for the advocates. in 2017, i had the opportunity to visit h-17 in copenhagen, denmark. it was, at the time, the largest consumption site on the planet, i believe. a few things that i learned how copenhagen dealt with some of the crises, including overdose
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syringe disposal and the quality of living for neighborhoods there is that it had a positive impact, and this is cost-effective. and the morning that i visited, they had actually saved an overdose. so overdose consumption sites do triage people into services, but they also provide upper level quality of care for people who are active users. i'm calling to emphasize that overdose prevention sites exist in 65 cities around the world, and they've been successful in operation in europe for three decades, in vancouver for 15 years. there is no single model of safe injection sites, but they vary their approach. and one piece of advice that copenhagen gave me to bring back to san francisco is "ask for more." it is really important because we might not get everything we ask for, but the need for the service
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is enormous, and we can save lives. so i'm asking today to take the bold steps. thank you so much for your time. >> clerk: thank you for sharing your comments. can we get the next caller, please? >> caller: hi, my name is seth cast, and i work and live in the tenderloin in san francisco. i'm calling to show support. this seems like such an obvious solution, both morally and financially. everybody wins. this works to minimize drug use in public, improper syringe disposal, crime, and all of the things our speakers shared. i know these are all huge complaints in many public comments i've attended. this comes back to being both a financial and moral investment. and we know that this -- you know, there are different models, but we all know this is successful. this works elsewhere. and it just disappoints and blows my mind,
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honestly, that we haven't picked this up in san francisco yet. thank you, supervisors and community. >> clerk: thank you for sharing your comments. can we get the next caller, please? >> caller: hi there. my name is selma. i'm the executive director of the sidewalk project. we're a lived experience harm reduction organization that functions throughout southern california. even though we are not in san francisco, we're calling in support because we're part of the california syringe program coalition, and we really want to support the work of our friends and our community members in that area. we're really echoing everything that everyone is saying in support of the initiative for safe consumption sites. i believe it is highly necessary and a response to the overdose crisis. we ask you to push it through. i'm going to keep it very short and thank everyone for this really positive work. thank you.
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>> clerk: thank you for sharing your comments. can we get the next caller, please. >> caller: good morning, supervisors. zach lipkin in district 6, urging to proclaim an emergency on the overdose crisis and support the immediate pleasant takes implemn of the overdose sites. more people died of overdose than from covid last year, and we're on trackrfor more deaths than ever before this year. with those deaths disproportionately affecting people of color. we turned the city upside down to fight covid with a great success, and the response to this public health emergency must be just as quit. the sites already exist and more than 65cities worldwide. it is a proven, evidence-based model that saves lives.
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this can't be like the covid emergency or the vision zero emergency, which have frankly been more about press conferences than action. more than 457 people have already died of overdose in san francisco this year. we can't keep delaying with more task forces and studies to tell us what we already know: this program saves lives. this must be paired with a bold and immediate emergency response. open up overdose prevention sites. thank you. >> clerk: thank you, zach lipkin, for your comments. can we get the next caller, please. >> caller: hello, supervisors. my name is caleb muse, and i'm the community engagement manager at glide. i urge you all, and you heard the sentiments of everybody on this call -- i urge you all to support the immediate implementation of the overdose prevention sites
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in san francisco. i think it is the obvious choice on the public health scale for harm reduction. i ask -- i had a friend of mine whose family member lost his life to a codeine overdose when it was highly marketed at an all-time high. i just wonder if, you know, a place like this existed where he could have found help, where he could have found a way to not only practice safely but have health care workers being able to take care of him and to help him with his addiction -- i feel like it is obvious for us to do this because we're all hurting. we're losing too many
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lives out here. so, please, i urge you all to proclaim an emergency on the overdose crisis and immediately implement overdose prevention sites. thank you. >> clerk: thank you for sharing your comments. can we get the next caller, please. >> caller: hi. my name is michael wattso. i'm in supervisor haney's district. i'm attempting to write a harm reduction memoir -- a little harder than i thought but i'm making progress. i want to basically address any nay-sayers to these sites about my own experience. so i would like to make a point specifically that was touched on briefly in the presentations about how unconditional positive regard can be a positively shocking experience to drug users that would be going to these sites. when i injected speed the first time, i passed out
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for i don't know how long, putting me in harm's way and helpless. a overdose prevention site would have given me the attention. i can't say enough about the power of destigmaization. leading professionals like doctors and nurses and therapists that don't judge your drug use can lite absolutely change lives. i call it positively shocking. drug users are being used to being shunned. we get kicked out of houses and families. the word "addict" is a slur, similar to calling a gay man a word. i know because i've been called both. they supply self-respect for those people who have lost theirs. i am certain that the positively shocking nature of treatment at these sites, that it will
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reignite self-respect and can lead to quitting once and for all. i know this because that's how i quick using speed, by encountering caring professionals who reminded me, in their effort, to care for myself. >> clerk: thank you for sharing your comments. can we get the next caller, please. just to remind those folks on the line waiting for an opportunity to speak, if you hear the system indicate to you that your line is unmuted, it is your opportunity to provide your comments to the public safety & neighborhood services committee. >> caller: hello. can you hear me? >> clerk: yes, we can. >> caller: my name is (indiscernable) i live in district 6. i urge you to support the immediate implementation of overdose prevention
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sites in san francisco. treatment on demand was adopted as policy in san francisco in 1996. proposition "t" in 2008 acknowledged the need for funding, but none was ever allocated for substance abuse treatment on demand. in 2018, a task force it was convened to collaborate on solutions and assess existing systems and services. it is time to put our funds and infrastructure to use for proven solutions to address safety. [inaudible] there is always medical supervision, nor has there ever been the transmission of h.i.v. or hepatitis because there are no sharing of needles and the environment is sterilized. it is a disorder treatment and primary health care and it reduces public drug
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use. it is including people who engage in sex work, people who are experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity and people with a history of ins carceration. incarceration. [inaudible] thank you for your time. >> clerk: thank you for sharing your comments. can we get the next caller, please. >> caller: good morning, chair and committee members. my name is aliana vinter. on behalf of the organization, i'm calling in strong support of the resolution and urge the immediate implementation of overdose prevention sites. overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in california and across the united states every year since 2011. prior to the covid-19 pandemic, san francisco was already faced with the contributing factors and challenges posed by drug overdose.
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tragically, the situation has since worsened, and the need for associated services is amplified. due to stigma, marginalization and criminalization, increased use has resulted in the heart-shattering overdose figures presented by the expert panel today. we have lost loves ones, particularly black, indigenous, and people of color, and those who are at the intersection of homelessness and drug use, and they're experiencing the brunt of these consequences. on average, two san franciscans die of overdose every day. a disproportionate percentage, 26% of all deaths affect our black community. overdose will continue also we neglect, criminal criminalize and put up barriers. it is a moral imperative that we treat the overdose crisis that matches the impact the crisis is having on our community. this resolution represents an opportunity to help
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express the needs of people who use drugs. the science is imphatic. please provide them with the resources they ask for: implement overdose prevention sites. thank you. >> clerk: thank you for sharing your comments. can we get the next caller, please? >> thank you, chair, for supervising this issue. it has been close to five years since the task force delivered their overall recommendation to implement supervised consumption services in san francisco. it has been close to four years since the safer inside demonstration was hosted at glide. and every year since then the same group of experts, advocates, harm reduction providers and people who use drugs have come before this body and satisfied testifiedthat the overdose criss
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is intensifying. this entire time we have had the option of intervention sites, and in infutable evidence, and yet we have made the decision to neglect people who use drugs. and with the veto and delays in three separate legislative attempts, our leadership in sacramento, too, has failed them. but that choice is available to our city leader day to implement overdose prevention sites and we must do so now to scale and provide people who use drugs with the dignity, inclusion, and evidence-based compassion and care they deserve. please send a clear message to the executive branch to the city, the rest of the state, and a grieving country. unanimously support this resolution, reject the war on drugs, create a system
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that heals, and implement a clear, life-saving opportunity. >> clerk: thank you for sharing your comments. we have 21 callers on line and 11have raised their hand to provide comments. can we get the next caller, please. >> caller: my name is calder lorence. i'm calling in today to support taking bold action to save lives, like so many have around the world. i'm calling in to say that the city finally open a sea consumption site here in san francisco. years ago i lived in british columbia where i witnessed the opening of supervised consumption sites in that neighborhood. i watched the very real transformation of a community that was given a lifeline. there was a time while living there, before these services were open, that i would come across people that overdosed and died on my walks to work. sometimes medical personnel and police had
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responded, or sometimes you would have to call it in yourself, waiting on the phone, looking at the person, knowing they died alone. like many of us who work in human services here in the city know all too well, you're mind is experiencing and absorbing the trauma of responding to the death of a person, wishing you could have done something. what i remember thinking more than anything is that these individuals look like all of us would would in that moment if we were found out there, and with our sisters and brothers who weren't ready for what has happened to them. what is frustrating is we have an answer. these public health solutions to the crisis of overdose provide viable pathways to care, healing, and health. as a service provider and a resident of the city, i remind you that the urgency of this crisis is too great to postpone or delay. people are suffering and dying. the city support network, the people responding to these deaths on the is
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streets and in our services and buildings, workers, family members, and friends are asking for this life-saving support. our frontline staff is exhausted and traumatized. that's why we believe that the people using drugs are directly connected to the health and well-being of our community. we lost over 700 people last year. what number is too much? 1,000 people this year. shouldn't we try everything we can? we did for covid. thank you. >> clerk: thank you, calder lorence for sharing your comments. [please stand by]
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>> caller: youcan't act way for sacramento to. we've been waiting five years and thousands have died since then. it's time to . you want a statement of intention to open the site immediately and offer legal support so our nonprofitstill willing to open the site and start operating . they just need your support. they need the money to fully fund and openimmediately . it helps reduce hivinfections . it's part of the city's strategy to get tozero infections . it saves money , something i knowthe city loves to talk about . it improves access andtreatment outcomes . it improves the environment where it's open because it reduces drug use. performs disposal of syringes and sopeople don't have to walk up on dead bodies and most importantly it saves human lives >> thank you very much curtis bedford for sharing your comments . everyone must enjoythe same 2
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minutes worth of public comment time. could we get the next caller please ? >> caller: can you hear me? >> clerk: yes we can, please begin please. >> caller: thank you board of supervisors for taking up this critical issue of overdose gaps in san francisco. i'm executive director in residence at st. john's church in the mission district and i represent the task force in 2018. the medical examiner's office reports 457 accidental fatal overdoses in san francisco through september. each one of those represent a person, a friend, a child, a parent and someone who will be dearly missed and a devastated family. i believe that sigma is the primary reason we don't currently have a state of emergency. i don't have an example of another crisis that caused the deaths of 90,000 people in the year that has not had a
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hands-on response. it is time for san francisco's government to shout loudly with us that we care about people who use drugs. we care about their health and well-being. providing consumption sites will not end overdose crisis but it's a vital tool to help people who are not ready to put down the drug to improve their health and make connections with professionals and linkage to treatment . most importantly it will tell people who areso often stigmatized that we care that we willmeet them where they're at without judgment or coercion and walk with them towards a path of better health . every person's recovery is different and every person's drug use is different . we need to have more tools to reach people with love and care. thank you for caringabout people whouse drugs. these call for a state of emergency and open up overdose invention sites in san francisco now .>> clerk:
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thank you for sharing your comments, could we get the next caller please ? >> caller: thank you, i'm a resident of district 1 and am also a member of critical assistance and i'm here to voice my support to the declared emergency to the overdose crisis it's time we stop relying on a show to a public health crisis . it's timeto open up thesesites right now . we know they will save lives . having been personally affected by this crisis having loved ones in the families over the years pass from overdoses i know this is a right step in the direction of addressing this issue. it touches a lot of us and alot of our communities and we just need this declaration now . we've even seen in the last couple of years people in our communities dyingfrom drug overdoses . this is affecting so many people and cutting short lives of people that can really build up their communities and use that are crying out for help
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right now and this is going to be a step in the right direction and it's going to help us start to address this and break down the stigmas of drug consumption and also it really is the right step because we're not going to rely on the cops that we've seen over the years do not help us. the drug war has not helped us, it's just locked people up and created more stigma around drug use and this is the right directionthat san francisco should always have taken and should be taking now . i urge you to pass this resolution . >> clerk: could we get the next caller please west and mark. >> caller: i live in district 9 and i urge you to support the implementation of this project
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in san francisco. i've worked as a public healthcare worker to provide care for those being affected by this crisis. through these stories on people use drugs, people who use drugs are people first. we've lost so many to preventable fatal overdoses an i helped many of those desperately. as a healthcare worker we need more tools to respond to the public health crisis . these sites are one crucial evidence-basedintervention that we need to save lives of people who use drugs and give healthcare workers the tools they need . we should always be bold and leave the rest of the country. we must open overdoseretention sites >> clerk: could we get the next caller please ? >> caller: my name is caesar espinoza and i'm calling to declare that we declare a public healthemergency one for
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drug use and one for homelessness . it causes accelerated aging and reduced lifespan. for many years i would hop around from multiple districts where ever i could find housing and i would count serve. what is the board of supervisors waiting for justice delayed is justice denied . it's normalized government violence. this kind of siteshould have been pulled in about a decade ago . this is a question i would like you to respond to. i don't like to oversimplify things but right now, by not acting or by not opening the site you're really perpetuating this government violence. and let me give you this example like lastyear , when i was nearly, when police
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responded because i have been honest with them and told them they asked me if i was under the influence, because of that they didn't even treat me like avictim . incense cited me forpossession . this is how government is treating people who use drugs. and also this year when somebody had called because i was, they were concerned i was overdosing, the first thing theydid when the cops arrived was looking in . they basically interrogated me and even though they asked me if i was okay to go to the hospital and i saidyes because i was trying to get away , the ss fire emts, they injected me with a sedative even though i was okay and to decide my own destiny with the ssp that's government violence basically i was adopted .
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>> thank you mister espinoza forsharing yourcomments . could we get the next caller please ? >> afternoon. i am a california state director for just policy alliance and we are a national statewide organization that supports some policies founded in science, compassionate health and human rights and i'm here to support the resolution before you to declare an emergency in the city and county of san francisco as well as to operateand overdose production center .we are in strong support of this measure and you heard all of our colleagues about why this is needed. in march, dba was to commission a report of the overdose crisis in california. in particular looking at the numbers of the latino community and what we have covered within
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sanfrancisco, the overdose rates are actually one of the highest in california . and so we get are supported of the overdose prevention corridor as well as the racial equity aspect of the overdose crisis and all our communities make sure we have access to supportive services. thank you for your worktoday . >> thankyou for sharing your comments, could we get the next caller please ? >> this is tom wolfe, and the recovery advocate and number of the consistent street-level drug dealing task force and i'm calling to support safe sites as long as are packed with measures to reducedrug availability on street . nobody is talking about the elephant in the room that san francisco has the largest open-air drug market in the united states currently operating right now before seven . so unless the those two things together like they do in portugal where theyhave
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decriminalized drugs . they have consumption sites that hold people accountable have more than a 10 day supply of drugs. unless we do that here in san francisco, the problem of overdoses will not go away. it will not go away. while safe consumption sites might keep people safe and alive we're still going to have thousands of people in the city struggling with addiction with easy access 24 72 especially illicitfentanyl on our street . i ask you all to consider a broader package before you make any decisions aroundlimitation of a state consumption site . >> clerk: .the next caller please? >> my name is doctor leslie and i live in the free and i'm an internal medicine physician at san francisco general hospital fighting substance use care for hospitalized patients. i urge you to support the implementation of overdose prevention sites in san francisco. so many colors and i hospital
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not only seen a surge of overdoses in recent years but we've also seen an increase in drug-related heart including publications from hiv , titus c and so many love or infections as a doctor who provided addiction care i see at least 20 people a day hospitalized for these complications and i shudder to think about all the people who overdose that couldn't make it to the hospital in time all these applications are preventable and have my patients had access to and overdose prevention sites many of them would not have needed to come to the hospital. at the prevention sitesthey could have received immediate care for and overdose and have access to clean needles or other drug use supplies that would have prevented them from contracting andinfectious disease or any complications . they could have avoided complications from their drug
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use and would have hadaccess to a pathway to treatment should they have wanted it . i think theboard of supervisors orproposing thisaction and i ask you to claim emergency to the overdose crisis . thank you . >> clerk: thank you for sharing your comments . could we get the next caller please ? >> caller: my name is philip lassiter and i'm a health education or educator for the aids access services and i live in district 9. i would like to share a life experience that i hope will communicate as people who use drugs have many different needs and we have to meetthem where they're at and supervised services and the best way to do that . i used drugs for about 26 years and my journey had many different parts to it. i needed to be that while i was where i was at . there was a time when i had no interest in continuing my youth and no amount of coercion was
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going to do that and ineeded to be able to do what i was chosen to do as safely as possible . there wasn't a time when i wanted to quit but wasn't ready to take action yet. i needed to be able to do what i was doing as safely as possible and then there came an action and there was a relapse but i needed to survive .harm reduction techniques help me to survive long enough to reevaluate my relationship with drugs and ultimately choose abstinence. so i just think it's important that people be met where they're at wherever that is so that they can survive. as you can imagine, in 26 years of matthew's i have seen more than my fair share of unnecessary deaths that could have been prevented. and see consumption services is one ofthe best ways toprevent death . thank you . >> thank you for sharing your
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comments, could we get the next caller . >> my name is meg and i live in district 8 and i'm a policy director at services. i'm calling to ask you to declare an emergency on the overdose crisis immediately to implement a state consumption site and overdose connection site in collaboration with medical and harm reduction expertsand advocates in the community . as the city colors have explained this is a matter of utmost importance for public health not just to address the opioid crisis in the city but also to vent the spread of infectious disease and promote safe and healthy neighborhoods including for the compass server. a lot of callers have made a lot of compelling point about the reasons we need this to be implemented immediately and i'll add i think it sends a really disempowering message to children and low income
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families called the tenderloin their home and access services there especially when we're not caringfor the people who live there . when we're allowing people to suffer in the streets instead of offering compassion and care and ways for them to use drugs safely and appropriately. so please declare an emergency crisis and immediately fund and implementthese sites . >> thank you mary kayfor sharing yourcomments . can we please have the next caller ? and if you've heard that your line has been commuted that means it's youropportunity to provide your comments to share. there are still three colors on the line . caller, please go ahead.
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>> my name is angie mori and i'm with the san francisco community health center and i urge you to support the implementation of overdose prevention sites in san francisco . nights help the community by providingreliable access to clean drug use . when counseling on safe practices. one people who use drugs have access and understand the importance of clean supplies, they're less likely to reuse old the ridges and share syringes with others. safe practices like these with infectious blood-borne diseases like hiv and hepatitis c you again we are here begging the city to protect their vulnerable communities and art of watching kids die i'm tired of the city fear-based sickness punishing vulnerablecommunities instead of meeting both where there is compassion and understanding . please proclaim an emergency on the overdose crisis and immediatelyimplement overdose
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prevention sites . thank you . >> thank you for sharing your comments. could we have the next caller please . >> my name is jan and i live in district 4. i work at san francisco aids foundation and i'm calling in support of the coalition and calling to support the immediate implementation of overdose prevention sites in san francisco. as has been said we lost around double the number of people in fatal overdoses and you covid and i saw how good public health policies save lives we need to the same kind of urgency and bold action to address this overdose crisis. it seems evident the pervasive stigma against people who use drugs has been able an action and the lives lost overdose disproportionatelyor on how the black people of color are not disposable they are community members and neighbors . we have a moral obligation to
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prevent any more deaths in one way we can do this is through user centered harm reduction strategies like overdose prevention sites. we know these sites work. existing in over 65 cities worldwide without a single overdose fatality or transmission of hiv since there's medical supervision . we need policies that and the criminalization of people who use drugs andprioritize the health and well-being of our community members .declare a emergency and immediately implement overdoseprotection sites . >> clerk: thank you for sharing your comments . i've received word from jim smith we heard from each of the callers who raise their hand for this item. >> president: thank you so much. public comment is closed. i want to thank all of the folks that called in for public comment on this item. your all your urgent advocacy
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and your stories and personal experiences really highlight the importance of this resolution and the important parts of the city movingahead as rapidly as possible . despite the slow extracted by the state government to create overdose prevention facilities in our city. i think as the presentations before and public comments have emphasized, this isabsolutely needed .it will save lives and it provides immense public health benefits to drug users. it's also going to enhance the quality of life forthe surrounding neighborhood and save the city millions of dollars in public health costs . so yes, thank you forpushing the city and for all of your work on this important and urgent issue . supervisor stefani.>> thank you chair mar.
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i wonder if there's anybody wh can tell me where the overdose deaths occurred last year . i know that we had 700+ and i wonder if there's a breakdown as to whether how many are occurring in people's homes. how many areoccurring on the streets . and i ask that because i know that not everyone will benefit from an overdose prevention site and i just am curious as to where the overdose deaths are occurring if anyone has an answer that presented. and if not, i mean, that's fine. that's something that i will look into myself. but i think i raise it because i know that everyone's drug use is different and as someone said on the public comment that everyone decide for themselves
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when they're ready to address their drug addiction. if they think it's addicted. but what's striking me today is sitting here in this committee talking about this continued crisis. we talk about all the time and myriad of ways that i've been in so many hearings talking about this crisis and i've been on demand hearings,recovery working . recommendations in that hearing. they consumption sites, overdose prevention sites all of which i support and many of you have heard me talk about my personal experience with having many people in my family that did and it's a subject i understand muchmore than anyone would realize . and overdose deaths are an emergency in san francisco. it's very clear as spelled out in this resolution quite well on page 1 lines 18 through17 . synthetic opiates and illicitly
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manufactured fentanyl and treating the drug supply have accounted for 60 percent of overdose death in san francisco and overdose deaths involving cocaine and stimulants have been increasing. and what i cannot ignore and what i refuse to ignore and what i will continue to say is how are peoplegetting these drugs ? i think thecallers said it best . you can't ignore this issue and hope that you're going to address the overdose crisis in san francisco. as we sit here right now, there is someone maybe just blocks away from here doing what might be deadly fentanyl tosomeone and i am not exaggerating . we know that two people per day in san francisco die. where are they getting those drugs west and mark we are not
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protecting those who suffer from the disease of addiction or choose to use drugs whenwe do nothing about that . when this part of the ugly equation is ignored and not addressed and i'm going to keep saying this . people who are addicted to drugs are suffering from a life reckoningdisease . and we are not protecting them. when we make it so easy for them to get the drug that may kill them. and if you don't address that i don't know what you're doing. i don't know why this does not come up. we all know that 80s war on drugs did not work.we all know that attacking those with substance abuse and the stigma around substance abuse does not work and is life-threatening for those suffering from the disease of addiction but addressing those who suffer from the disease ofaddiction
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and drug dealers and sellers is not the same thing. it's not the same thing and if you don't deal with that ,what are we doing? this is a local emergency . this did , this does demand everything we have, bringing everything to the table and i support all of it i've never votedagainst any of it .but i'm not going to sit here and ignore the fact that there is an open air drug dealing crisis onour streets blocks away from where i'm sitting right now . no one needs to have a plan about what todo with that . so i'm going to keep raising it and i think many will come and raise it. people are selling these drugs to people and it's killing them. we have to address that too. so i'm supportive of this today. i'm supportive of everything we can do to save a life from people suffering from addiction but i'm not going to ignorethe
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fact that there are people out there selling drugs and that we have to do something about that as well . >> i can address the data issue you brought up. primarily overdose deaths are occurring and overdoses are occurring in the tenderloin on the streets i can go back to my colleagues dph and follow up with you on that data so you can have more of a breakdown inside versus outside in neighborhoods . >> my point bringing that up is we need to protect everybody and not everyone's going togo to an overdoseprevention site . people will use at home . anyone who knows anything about the disease of addiction, it's an isolating disease and a lot of people no matter how we try to decrease the stigma will use alone and we need to protect them too. we do that by addressing all aspects of this issue which also means those who are
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dealing drugs onour streets so openly and so easily , blocks away from where i'msitting right now .that's why i asked the question because we have to protect every single person . >> absolutely agree. thank youfor your comment and i will follow up . >> chair: thank you miss locklin response and following up with vice chair stefani's comments. i wanted to acknowledge and thank you for all your work. incredible leadership on our drug addiction crisis in the cityand your points are well taken . we need to really address it in a comprehensive way and you've been a big champion of access to treatment and also i think your points about addressing that access to fentanyl and the other drugs, that is so prevalent particularly in our central city neighborhoods. that needs to be addressed as well but again, this resolution
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declaring a local state of emergency on drug overdoses and in urging the mayor to take steps to as quickly as possible open overdose prevention facilities in our city. and as this provides tremendous benefits and i'm so glad to hear that we can move this forward. so unfortunately supervisor amy had to leave towards the end of public comment for another appointment so i want to make a motion to just q supervisor am . >> on the motion offered by chair? supervisor he excused from the remainder of themeeting , i scare .i'm sorry, chair mark. mister chair, that are 2 aye's. >> and supervisor haney, spoke to a minor commitment,
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nonsensitive amendment to the resolution that would be emailed to us that i would like to make a motion to accept the amendment and as presented by supervisor haney and also to move this item to the full board as amended with positive recommendations. >> from my clarity mister chair this is a motion to amend in a further result clause to strike the line to immediately authorize funding to implement overdose prevention siteswith full support and backing of the city attorney'soffice line 5 , sorry, lines 5 and six on page 4 . >> okay. on the motion made by chair mark that the resolution the amended as stated, vice chair stefani. [roll call vote] >> there are three on the motion to amend and member haney is excuse now on your
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motion, with the resolutionbe recommended as amended . vice chair. >> there is no opposition once again. >> thanks again to everyone for your participation in this very important hearing and in your support of this important resolution. itwill be sent to the full board for recommendation . mister clark can you please call item number two? >> item 2 is an update on implementation of funding of the city's urban canopy and street tree maintenance water retention replaces an extension plans including all trees on public property and in san francisco parts as well as three trees acquired up to the voters passed proposition e in 2016 . members of the public who wish to provide commentson this should provide all the public
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comments call in number . and to the meeting id of 248-9479 6006. press the pound symbol twice to connect and press áfollowed by the number three to enter the queue to seek and await the system from that will alert you that your line has been unneeded and that will begin your time . >> thank you mister clark and i want to acknowledge and introduce supervisor peskin is joining us forthis hearing and thank you for sponsoring this hearing , supervisor i want to note that i actually called for and convene a similar hearing about two years ago in 2019 on our progress towards our urban forestry plan and addressing the urban expanding urban canopy in our city. and also to say that these issues are extremely important and really urgent despite the fact that they get overshadowed by some of the bigger more pressing issues in our city so
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i'm really looking forward to hearing the updates on the progress or maybe lack of for the last two years. so supervisor thefloor is yours . >> thank you chair, good morning and thank you for hearing this item. and i think there's actually a lot of interest. you're right. this is a really important matter that does not get enough attention so i really want to thank you supervisor mar for not only holding the hearing a couple of yearsback , but for being the requester of the budget and legislative analyst report that was issued in june in the middle of the budget and i did not even realize until recently had been issued but we will hear more about that later. and i'm delighted that the hearing has also been cosponsored by supervisors
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mandelman and safai so thank you for their support. part of the mission today is to raise the profile of urban forestry programs at the board of supervisors and the public so i think our timing is good if not overdue. interestingly enough i actually believe, i got my start in local politics with treeplanting sponsored by friends of the urban forest well over 20 years ago , 25+ years ago was my neighborhood association and the north beach telegraph hill neighborhood and at that time public works did not maintain the vast majority of street trees in front of private properties in front of all the private properties in san francisco. i think it was a fraction of
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what they now have and it was my volunteer job or task at that time to go door to door to try to convince property owners to take on a tree. i had no idea at that time that i would run for supervisor a number of years later or run again in 2015 but i was around in 2016 when my then colleague supervisor weiner, today senator weiner authored and got the unanimous support of the entire board ofsupervisors for a charter amendment opposition e in 2016 . which provided a set aside for our urban forestry program. and then supervisor kim authored proposition w that provided a source of money to give the department of public works some $19 million per annum for this tree program
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where in the city took over all of the street trees that were heretofore under private responsibility. so we are 4 years in. supervisor mar as you said you helped me a couple of years ago and i thought that it was time for a progress report and a time to figure out what legislative fixes we need to address gaps and to hear from the various departments within the city that have jurisdiction over street trees ranging from public works who we will hear from last because they have the most substantial presentation as well as the san francisco public utilities commission that maintains 4000 trees in the city and our recreation parks department that has 14 percent of the real estate in
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the city and county of san francisco. we all know the benefitsof street trees. they sequester carbon . a clean over 250 tons of pollution on an annual basis and interestingly enough sense before proposition e when the city's urban forestry planand financing plan were developed , ironically those plants really did not equity in treeplanting so i want to delveinto that as well .and i don't want to just have one hearing and be done. i think this touches on many different parts of the city including the planning department where there are laws about treeplanting and new construction and there are laws about payments if the developer can't do those for certain
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reasons for the department, th planning department waives those requirements . there are issues around urban forestry council that is now housed at the department of the environment. we need tofollow-up and determine whether it's the best place and has the right composition . so with that , thank you again chair mar for your leadership around the tree canopy in san francisco which many of us know and was reported in a very good article in the chronicle is quite anemic compared to other cities in the united states with a tree canopy that encompasses less than 14 percent of the city and county of san francisco. far below almost half of the national average. there have been pronouncements over time. then mayor newsom announced we would have 50,000 new trees and
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here we are over a decade later and we are just as we'll hear later just treading water. so with that there are no comments from my colleagues i'd like to call on the new head of friends of the urban forest. it has a storied history in treeplanting and tree maintenance in san francisco. brian whitmire and they contract with public works to water trees for three years and he will give us a brief presentation on their work and the urban forestry goals that they have. >> before you start supervisor peskin i want to welcome supervisormandelman we spent part of our planning as well . >> if your self for supervisor
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stefani as anything they want to start with, great otherwise we got a long list of differen departments . >> i won't take up too much time other than to thank supervisor peskin for this hearing and chair mar for your leadership on this issue and i think supervisor safai get some credit or the leadership he's done in hisdistrict . i think the board cares a lot about trees and the city and moving to take responsibility for the maintenance of trees has done important things. i think we have not figured out how to get new trees intothe ground and get them supported for a few years when they need to be water . i think that that is fundamental. there are structural questions about should be responsible for maintaining trees and how the different departments and old trees at a structural level i would love for us to figure out a way to get the trees planted that we need to plant to have
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the urban canopy we deserve and with that i will get out of the way. >> this is a little bit of a pitch to the head of our count transportation authority. one thing i did not touch on as i was talking about the different aspects of the government where trees are involved . one interestingly enough is th county transportation authority turnpike supervisor mandelman and we do have an opportunity every day to address new planting and sourcing of funds as we reviewed proposition k . >> i also want to acknowledge and we will hear from certainly during public comment the legions of san franciscans who are committed to maintaining existing trees, planting new ones and who have beenwatchdogs over the bureau of urban forestry and department of public works . not only do they have to be acknowledged, they have
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coordinating information to share so i want to share that at the outset . brian. >> good morning supervisors an thank you so much supervisor peskin along with supervisor mandelman, supervisor safai and supervisor marfor calling this hearing . it is my pleasure to be addressing you for the first time at the executive director of friends of the urban forest . i'm grateful for this opportunity to share a little bit of what we do in san francisco to help claim this issue for thecommittee as part of this hearing. i have a few brief slides to accomplish that . and supervisor peskin mentioned if you've been paying attention to the media over the summer not only in the chronicle but across the country ruled that trees play in providing resilient climate infrastructure across our country and in particularin our
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cities has been in the news . and we don't need the media to tell us what the problem is and what we are facing in the years ahead when it comes to a hotter future. our own department of public health as published it's climate and health study and within that there are predictions about within 20 years where our warmest temperatures willbe in the city . we are blessed with a marine climate but it probably will not surprise you are eastern neighborhoods and southeastern neighborhoods in particular are poised to warm up and are in danger of all the health impacts that come with those extremeheat and we saw to the north across the state of california this number . friends of the urban forest is a nonprofit organization did 20 years ago. we partner with the city and organizations and what this map shows his for the previous fiscal year what weplanted .
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each of those dots is a tree across the county of san francisco and its overlaid with the environmental screen which is a state tool that looks at the vulnerability of populations to pollution and other environmental impacts and it probably won't surprise you neighborhoods according to the and virus screen are most at risk and it is where we are trying to focus most of our planting efforts and have been for several years. the next slide just contrasts that with our existing urban tree canopy coverage and you can see those neighborhoods are where there are fewer trees so we take factors into account when we are trying to target our planting but of course we plant trees citywide inthe previous fiscal year we planted 1100 trees in san francisco with the help not only of
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public works and support from thecity and county of san francisco but with state funds as well as leveraging unity support and contribution . whyis this important ?just to remind you all i know the board of supervisors hasdeclared climate emergency by resolution . certainly san francisco as our climate action plan routes and a well-developed urban canopy is part of our climate action strategy . not only that as was mentioned urban forest plan adopted in 2014 calls for increasing the urban tree canopy from what supervisor peskin mentioned under 14 percent to 25 percent . as you will hear from my think some of the departments presenting after me we are not close to achieving that and i want to focus this committee's attention on some of the strategies that i think we can adopt to get there including better investment in planting and in watering and care for our newly planted trees during the establishment period.
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combined with a strategy that focuses on tree canopy equity and planting in the neighborhoods where it's needed most we can repair our city for a hotter future that we know is coming in 20 years and our trees, our street trees have a huge role to play in that work so with that i will end my remarks and just thank you again chair and supervisor and others for holding this earring on this important topic that i also amlearning and know that people care deeply about in our city . >> chair mar, to dive quickly in the weeds i had an opportunity to meet last week with brian and a number of neighborhood-based and citywide tree advocates. i want to get in the weeds a littlebit .
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it's really about the relationship between friends of the urban forest and the department of public works bureau of urbanforestry . can you tell us about the protocols around the trees that left plants and how they are then watered and turned over to the city. can you delve into that? >> i can give a brief summary. we do contract with the city andreceived funding from other sources to plant new trees . once those trees are planted they are added to our list and friends of the urban forest for regular watering and care. we have teams that go out and regularly waterthe trees that we planted . that check in and care for those trees through the establishment period which is free to five years and we do water and try to care for all of the trees that we plant but
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noting that there are other trees that the bureau of forestry plants themselves and other agency plants that are not on our care and watering schedule. >> at the end of that 3 to 5 year period, more importantly because i've now found instances of the department of public works saying this is not a pop tree, we're watering it, there watering it .i'm all about transparency where somebody can go to a website or go to some documents and figure out what is under your jurisdiction and when it's been formally handed over so people know who to get excited with relative to trees that aren't being properly watered or maintained.
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>> absolutely. at the end of that establishment period thanks to the voters of sanfrancisco and aforementioned proposition e, maintenance and care and wateringresponsibility is transferred to the bureau of urban forestry . where in communication with our staff so there passed over depending on when they are planted . we do not yet have the capability on our website to offer folks an easy way to log on andsearch for trees that we have planted exclusively but what i'll say is we are in contact . one of the things i'm proud of that we do is how we involve neighbors and communities in our planting. trees weplant will have our names on them and have a qr code where folks can scan them . they're in multiple languages and we are always happy to work with the neighbors on issues related to tree care and watering for the trees we planted but i think as well get into further in mishearing this idea of a comprehensive database or resource for san
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franciscans to access that shows responsibility i think we have alittle bit of work to do to make that more accessible . >> i assume, i think i know that in order for us and your volunteers to plant a tree that you still have to obtain the permission of the fronting landowners, the property owners, is thatcorrect ? >> we don't have to but we do. we respect the wishes of the adjacent property owner and if someone defers the opportunity to plant a tree infront of their home or business we respect that . another big question that will confront us as the city and where we're going to need leadership in the years ahead is if our goal is to increase our urban streets tree canopy by a certain amount, what do we do with the public right-of-way which the public works has dominion over in front of homes and businesses that they know
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to trees for various reasons. how can we maximizeavailable planting site for trees where their welcome and how do we , what do we do with this list of deferred planting basis that may stand in the way of an inheritable. >> relative to the challenges of getting fronting property owners to not differ, do they have any say in selections of tree species and do you have to get permission from dpw as to those? can you give us a little. i know this sounds mundane but i think it'simportant . >> it's not mundane and again it's something i've been diving into over the last few months in this new role of the bureau of urban forestry maintains a list of approved species for street trees and sidewalk planting. that take into account things like the resiliency of thetree structure over time . limit failure is something that's come up especially in
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relation to the mature ficus trees we have around san francisco. it takes into account the adaptability and appropriatenessof that species for san francisco's unique climate . we talk about watering. we are hoping desperately for rain next week but they have to be species that are dropped resilient. that can survive wind and fog all of the climate conditions we have here so within the approved list though we try to work with the adjacent property owner and community to plant species that people want. >> my last question or questions for ryan and friends of the urban forestyou said you planted 1100 trees last year . do you know what you planted since proposition e past so like in 2017 today? >> i can pull up information quickly but it is several thousand. we averaged between i think 1100 and 1500 a year for the
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past four or five years so we're five years into the property now and i would reckon there at over 6000 trees but i can get you that number quickly if you give me a moment. >> were looking i guess two other correlating question is what mortality rates and survival rate has been of your annual plantings? so i mean, i guess the first three year trentonwould have been turnover of public works . out of that universe of 4000 is trees, how many of them would be turned over? >> i can update you with just about 5000 over the past four years we planted since the passage of proposition e and i would need to talk to our team about exact survival rates but what i can say is i believe it's over well over two thirds
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of the trees that we plant. we work really hard towater and care for them. i can get you that exact figure it is street trees when they die people noticed them . but i was talking to a colleague for comparison when reforestation work is being done in our wildest faces and open spaces and people are planting seedlings in those efforts the survival rate is about 10 percent so we do a lot more work and we spent a lot more time andenergy and resources ensuring that our survival rates for street trees in our urban environment survive at a higher rate . >> thank you. i don't know if colleagues you have any questions for mister wiedenmeierif not , sorry. >> i do have a few questions. thank you again brian for the quick overview and framing of these important issues for this hearing. and for all the work that you do in our city. i did want to say that i had the pleasure of planting a tree in front of our house i think
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it was about three years ago through friends of the urban forest program. and it was a weeping bottle brush and it's doing really well. andthe bees and the hummingbirds love it . but i was impressed by how it was the treeplanting was done in sort of this neighborhood engagement strategy where neighbors in the parkside wanted to plant trees who organized and work together an help each other plant the trees . in front of their houses so that's just a wonderful community building aspect of it aswell. and i met so many new neighbors three years ago that i kept in touch with . and i was wondering for your plant, the 1100 trees or so that you plantedlast year and the 5000 , over 5000 since the proposition passed.our most
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of those through this neighborhood engagement strategy or do you have other treeplanting programs? >> thank you for that question chair mar. i want to correct something about our care and wondering and it's an important point as i worked with supervisor mandelman this year on trying to secure funding or watering of trees . we currently do not have resources to water all the trees where planting so i want to make that important correction and draw attention to that gap in our work and assuming that we are looking foradditional resources . to your question chair mar about community planting event . like so many other things the covid-19 pandemic through a wrench inthat ball . for over a year we chose to pause those events out of an abundance of caution and the
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health and safetyof our participants . gathering in groups outdoors carries some risk. so during the pandemic what we did was switched to a staff led model and utilized our green crew, workforce development program to really do a lot of work in our youth workforce development program and planting new trees and we are very much looking forward to and have just started bringing back groups of volunteers to do neighborhood and community plantings and i look forward to inviting each of you to those events in the future in your districts but we have one coming up on the 16th this saturday in my neighborhood in ingleside. we will be out there planting over 20 trees but yes, that model is powerful and i think it is one of the benefits of having a community nonprofit partner with the city and this
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work is our ability to organize and bring neighbors together and chair mar i've had that same comment numberof times . i've met neighbors i didn't know i hadthrough this event . >> chair: i had a final question about the possibility of scaling up treeplanting work whether it's the volunteer community building strategy or the workforce strategy which i think is wonderful as well . you guys have the capacity to scale up and what would be needed to do that? >> all of the above, both strategies are powerful and result ingetting more trees in the ground . we need more resources and funding to do that work . the figure that we calculate is that to plant a tree not only
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the hard costs for the labor costs and then to care for and water it for those first 3 to 5 years is about $2000 per tree in terms of our costs total so if we want to scale up dramatically and start hitting those goals in our urban forestry plan the math is pretty easy to do and we're out there hustling to try to build support and we are grateful for the support we received from the city and if we're talking about climate resiliency and infrastructure and what the city is investing to be prepared for a hotter dryer future 1520 years from now i would put a plug in for the roi of planting more trees in terms of a few million really going along way to providing benefits when we are putting lots of great money and resources into projects like sealevel rise, clean power and transportation . >> chair: thank you so much
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brian. out turn it over to you supervisor peskin and supervisor safai thank you for joining us for thetree canopy hearing . >> we are joined by supervisor safai to see if he has any remarks you like to make. the provider safai before you got on we spoke to your interest and advocacy for the tree canopy of san francisco so thank you for being cosponsor of this hearing and i note that you actually have sometree -related legislation coming from the land use and transportationcommittee this coming monday the 18th . and so if there are any remarks you would like to make please do so . >> let me start by saying mister treeis here so i'm glad you allowed me to join the meeting today . thank you for calling this supervisor peskin and thank you foreveryone's investments . brian, i know in the past we have worked directly with
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organizations during the plantings of every time there's a planting in my district i like to be there because we made it a real part of our agenda from day one. we planted over 2000 trees anti-pending office. if not for that planting i'm sure you know and many people know our actual urban canopy citywide would have gone down but we made it part of our agenda with the mayor's office to allocate that money and work with public works over the last four years so we've done a tremendous job. i appreciate you guys choosing online. cal fire is giving money out so we're super excited about that. but we've made it a priority as i've said for years in a row to do that and we hit the mark in my first term in office of exceeding 2000 trees and
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counting. in fact i think it's still getting over 2500. some of this money is left ove from this process but we are excited. at times we get resistant . people will say why is the city planting a tree in front of my house without permission and this is not pointing a finger but it's doing the work we've asked them to do so i kind of change theconversation . as we talk about trees in the city , one city and voters led on proposition e, now we have the money for as muchmoney as we hopefully can have to maintain our urban canopy . and the city has kind of taken more of a proactive approach to maintaining the public right-of-way and i think that's an important change. when people say no, i go out personally and meet with them and have conversations and i've
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been battling 1000. by the time i walk away people have changed their perspective and we help them choose the right tree and we get out there and actually worked on disputes between neighbors from trees that were planted in the past so we made it a really big priority for allthe reasons that i've heard before i got on the call . >> supervisor you brought up my legislation around land use. we are going to change the process on how administrative penalties are assessed for illegal tree removal. when people are doing development they will have to work with an arborist to come out with an assessment on what the cost to replace it would be if any damages caused so people will know upfront what the for removal would be so that people are just making the calculation to cutdown the tree and pay a small fine .
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we're going to increase that fine definitely . depending upon the age of the tree. also in our legislation when the city's removing trees and the public right-of-way just like anybody else for going to ask him a certain amount of time they have to replace those trees unless there is a reason why the tree was removed in the first place that was for safety reasons that they had to remove that tree. but whereasking the city to partake in the same way we as private citizens andeveryone else to place those trees in a timely manner . so will have that conversation land-use on monday so thank you for calling this thank you to bob and everyone, allthe supervisors that have actively been involved in this . i take it seriously . i think a lot about the environment and offsetting our carbon footprintbut also making neighborhoods more friendly and workable and livable . and we did a demonstration project on the street when i first came into office on top of the 2000 trees we did. four years later you can drive down the street and every
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single home tree infront of it . in some cases whether they like it or notbut at the end of the day , it is it's transformed that street and it is absolutely beautiful and i've had people come back that were reluctant in the beginning to say it has made a significant difference to the likelihood and just the environment of being on that street. niagara off of mission. so i want to thank you guys. thank you for pushing this forward. i'm not 100 percent in support and involved in thismatter as much as i can be thank you for all your hard work all of you are supporting trees . and thank you for your good work out there. >> thank you supervisor. sowithout any further ado , i would like to bring up the recreation and parks department and any current, deputy director for operations will give a brief overview of and parks planting, maintenance and
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watering programs. mister karen, goodmorning if it's still morning good afternoon . >> good afternoon supervisor and i appreciate the opportunity to have this chance to address correct and parks tree maintenance and managemen program . mister clark, you have the visitation, could i ask you to pull it up and flipped theslide as i go through ? >> hang on just amoment please . >> john carroll, thank you for your last-minute scramble. it is truly appreciated. >> thank you and it is going to be a moment. you may want to begin providing your comments while i scramble to get back together. >> thank you, iappreciate it . so my presentation is about right and parks tree management
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and tree maintenance program. for some background, i think it's important for everybody here that a historical fact is that san francisco lacks the native course and i've mentioned that because in the hundred and 50 plus years that the cityhas been establishing city parks , the treeplanting effort was critical to us to be able to have the stanza trees on parkland and as supervisor peskin mentioned earlier, san francisco 14 percent of our cityacreage is parkland now . and had a lot of heart trees on it . i mention this because since a lot of the statuesque and large freeze. >> my apologies. i'm sorry, this is the work of the committee. i amactually not in receipt of your slides which is why i'm not able to call them up . if one of the wrecked park. onthe call to forward that to my email address .
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>> my apologies. ithought beverly had sent those to you yesterday . >> i'll check. >> mister carol, i can try to get this for you in just a moment. >> i'm checking to see. >> thank you john. i'll keep going though. i mention this because our parkland we have large stands which i'll talk about in another couple of moments here. and in our unmaintained open space we have what we call monocultures which an example of that is the large and expensive stands that you can look at on davidson and that type of thing which is something that we can't give up. there we go. i appreciate that. to the bottom bullet there we have an estimated 131,000 trees on our parkland within the
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city. next slide please. these next two we will talk about our resources. thestaffing i have in my urban forestry division is a total of 34 positions . the chief urbanforrester for arborist supervisors , the 11 arborist technicians, there are four laborers with them so with the supervisors arborists and laborers i can find three tree crews that we put out for all the tree work that those crews do in the city and i also have two reforestation supervisors and 12reforestation gardeners . those comprise the staffing of our urban forestry division. next slide please. and with that, the funding that goes along with it basically is divided up and operating, contracting and our urban forestry monitoring program. our total operating budget is just under $6 million annually.
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each year we do have contracting funds of about $1 million in our general fund capital budget and then from our bond program we do have an urban forestry bond program that has $2 million in it and of that $2 million 1 million of it is for the lake marseille trail program and the other million dollars is forfuture urban forestry projects .next slide. thank you. for reckoned park we have a goal of what i call a 15 year tree management cycle . what this would be his programmatic tree care touching each tree for required maintenance on a scheduled program of 15 years. this would be proactive tree management for all the trees that currently populate or are
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maintained parks, not unmaintained, open space like i mentioned at not davidson. but currently our current tree maintenance isprimarily reactive . by that i mean that my tree crews respond to current conditions on trees if we had a man hanging or they know that they have some pruning coming up or have a treefailure or that type of thing , my tree crews are the ones out there taking care of that and in addition they do that million dollars contract money we do contract out larger scale work that is taking us towards that programmatic tree management goal using tree assessment dat which i'm going to talk about in the next couple of slides . nextslide please . >> isn't this going back to the budget ? it looks like a $6 million
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overall per annum budget and there are sources of revenue for half that and the other 3 million is coming from the general fund. >> the million in the contracting fund is our general fund. capital budgets, that contracting fund comes from general fund. urban fund is five dollars. >> basically two thirds of the funds come from the general fund and another 2 million from the bond. >> that's correct. >> it recently came to my attention in preparing for this hearing that you guys actually do the maintenance of trees at lake merced which is puc property. i assume the puc pays you for that. >> we have an ongoing work
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order for the lake merced track which covers urban forestry money, natural resources maintenance and that type of thing. >> do you know how much of tha goes to your tree maintenance and operations ? >> i do not have that number but i can get it for you. >> i think that would be a good thing to know. and then on a related thing and this is a conversation that's been bouncing around city hall for a long time . relative to, and these are always painful physically and financially, to what the city pays out in legal settlements for people who are injured by trees. do you have any sense of how much of that, how much it is and how much of an annual basi . i realize they don't all happen every year and i assume those don't come out of wrecked and parks budget. >> that's correct supervisor.
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i do not have any payouts due to tree related injuries. i can get that for youbut in those do occur , those people settlements are paid for not by reckoned park out of the, i can't point to where it is. >> the claims and settlement budget at the city attorney's office. the only reason i ask that, let meask you this . have you asked for more? and not gotten them through the budget process? >> we certainlycould use more . the crews are keeping us busy. we could do more if we had an additional crew at least have 4 crewsto work for , towork on the reactive tree work . have we asked for it?
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we talked about it, i don't know if the department submitted a budget request. >> i just always wonder because we presided over multimillion dollar settlements and i realized him of these things no matter how good your maintenance regimen is or as they say ask of god may happen as was the case in washington square but i always wonder if we could actually allocate more money and claims and settlements to ongoing maintenance and have less people be injured in those freak accidents andhave more trees maintained . anyway it's one of the goals of this hearing and i'llturn it back overto you . thank you mister chair . >> what you just said would have a real benefit to it. so to treat assessments which is how weplanned our urban
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forestry work on parkland . we contract these out to a third-party and we do several treat assessments a year which i'll talk about in the next line but that in general they accomplish the following. when i put out an assessment contract is for a specific part or part of a specific part for our large lens and it completes the survey and an inventory with tags on all the trees. it assesses their suitability for preservation using those very factors in the next bullet assigns a risk rating. it's important to us because as you just mentioned the claims and maintaining public safety in our parkland that has stands of trees. a risk rating is ranked from two up to 12. 12 being the most severe, to being the most safe and if the
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failure potential whetherit's a or the entire tree and if the limb or the tree would fall , what would it hit ?in some respects a tree falling in the middle of the forest does not really have a card . but the trees surrounding the playground or next to a road or a pathway or an athletic field would definitely have a significant target. so that's what would increase itsrisk rating . and then once we have all this in the assessment document it's always ends up with tree maintenance recommendations which we take and when i go to the next slide which i will do here. we take those recommendations and we ensure that we can accomplish them within the next fiscal year. that we have the funding to achievethem . i mentioned that for the first couple of bullethere.
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i'm showing where we get them from operations . our capital projects each have a reassessment ontheir site . we also get them gifted to us by friends as another source. compiled nearly 100 treat assessments in the last several years here and in our strategic plan we commit annually the number of treat assessments commensurate with our ability to complete the recommended tree work in the following fiscal year. nextslide and this is why it's important . because tree assessments have shelf life . the tree is a living organism. even after the assessment age continues, health continues. pathogens, insects, weather events which are all susceptible to with the weather event depending on what the topography is where the tree happens to exist and then structural integrity's with other stands of trees so it's
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important that we get when we do commission on preassessment that we know that we can put an end to our tree management and get those recommendations accomplished the following year so that their relative to actual tree conditions at the time . next slide please. okay, i had mentioned a couple slides ago about we have a goal of a 15 yeartree management cycle . where we are on that is that my tree proves here in the urban forestry divisionoutperform the reactive maintenance . they get on average between 446 work orders per day on tree issues and then they scheduleto get those taken care of . and our tree cruise plan to do all of the tree maintenance recommendations from the annual tree assessments so those are the two main answering arguments to how urban forestry
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trees plan theirday , week, month, year and then we also contract out proactive tree maintenance where me know at a particular site whether it would be our most wherefore dolores park, whether it would be some other location. here's all the tree work we wantto get done . we put it into one contract and then using that contracting money you saw on the funding slide we pay for that and capture all those trees at the same time. only when our capital directorate is human capital project we also move in ahead of them and get all the programmatic tree work done there aswell. for example at alamo square is a big renovation of a couple of yearsago . construction fences went up . first my crew goes in and does all the tree work in their and then the contractor comes in and starts the park renovation
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owns the tree work has been accomplished. that is what our current plan is right now the last full is probably the most important one for me and that is we need a database tool and we've been workingon this for some years and we finally have some success . after looking at the data space management tools from various cities and other agencies who are using them we have come up with the departments we want. we have some good in-house gis capabilities and taking the framework of our work orders system and teaming it up with gis we think we have got the makings of bringing this thing into completion and be able to start using it. it's at work right now and i wish we had something more to report on this in the coming year . next slide. so from tree maintenance to reforestation.
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we have a performance metric of a two for one replacement. for every tree removed the plant 2 and we've been hitting this performance metric for several years so we're glad about that but this one replacement means that i take one tree out i'm going to class 2 somewhere in the parks system or maybe one where the tree came out but there probably will not be too. i may plan the other one somewhere else because when we do a treeplanting especially in a stand of trees i need to have enough three-dimensional space as the tree is planted and as it grows and concerns and its ground spread that it has enough space and as we do this we are looking fora diversification of species . that where planting trees that we have good management of pathogens and that where not
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planting trees that will be susceptible to infestation or other disease problems and of course cultivating the understory of our parks so as the trees grow we havea successor trees coming up underneath . and in golden gate park in particular we do large plots of plantation management out there to keep the west and golden gate park lookingthe way it is . okay. supervisors, that completes my last slide. i'd be happy to take any questions or anything else that i could provide . >> chair: thank you mister kern, that was quiteelucidating . i think you're right.the tree management database i think would be remarkably helpful to the public, to supervisors. it doesn't sound and i think in our discussions yesterday like
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rack and spark has been like for instance and this may well be appropriate unlike public works goal of planting x number of new trees. you have to 2 to one replacement mechanism, but there isn't a plan that like lake merced needs another 10,000 and golden gate park needs another3000 . can you see two insofar as we have ambitious citywide goals out wreck and part is part of that were not sits on the part by part basis? >> thank you supervisor, you are correct. we do not have a goal of expanding parkland urban canopy but we dohave a goal of sustaining it . the reason for that is because in our parkland has a wide range of use are large part of
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park ridge that i cannot plant trees on. for example athletic fields, large meadows and that type of thing. what we do is sustain the urban canopy that we have because it's a pretty tight space actually. i don't have a whole lot of open space to do canopy expansion but we are very dedicated to canopysustainment . so where you have a chance to enlarge canopy, it's very park specific as you mentioned where i do have a space. >> i appreciate that and then around removal and i think you guys are actually in the city the largest player.you actually have 30,000 more trees than public works although public works is every tree in the city. every street in the city and the puc that we hear from that
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is thebiggest player out of the country as we call it . they are by far the biggest tree agency in san francisco. but i think they may only have 4000trees . around tree removal, can you tell us do you determine that when you do your tree assessments and what protocols or regimens do you have relative to public notice of those? what abilitydoes the public have a question those for appeal those decisions ? >> thank you supervisor. our removal are twofold or actually threefold.number one when we have a tree assessment the tree recommendations will usually include removals for
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trees that don't meet the criteriafor sustainability of tree health, tree condition in decline, that type of thing so that's one way they've removed . the second one is when we do have reactive tasks, largely those are weather-related whether we have alarge windstorm ,heavy downpour, ground saturation .and then the third way is in all of our capital projects when we renovate a park a lot of times the new park design may call for someremovals but all our park , all our capital projects probably expand the canopy more even with the removals to make sure that they got at least the two for one if not more in a park renovation so that they got maintaining the tree stand on theparkland . if i have a weather event or i
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do not have a requirement to post because the tree simply has to come out and i have to react quickly before anything further happens when we are doing our removal whether it's a tree assessment or a capital project we do host a 30 day notice on our trees. it follows the dpw noticing process as well . the notice includes a phone number of who the public may contact to get more information to voice their concern or anything theywant to know or tell us about . >> thank you for that. and then the last question on the transparency anddata . you said you've located the most optimal system and do you have a time estimate as towhen that might be implemented ? i don't have a date i can
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nailed to the wall yet but it's a brief hiatus and we're back at work on this again. i would hope that at least we do have the original operation by the end of next year. i'd like it sooner but this is a place i need to go to get all my information on how we're planning our tree work. but there's a high degree of urgency but i do have something to show people by the end of 2022. >> thank you mister kern, i appreciate this presentation . and i'd like to welcome the publicutilities commission up . >>i did have a few questions .
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i appreciated your overview to the reckoned park urban forestry work and i understand it's really what we've done on maintaining the significant tree population canopy of correct and park but you did state that there's a reforestation goal of two for onereplacement whenever a tree is removed . i was just looking at the urban forestry annual report orurban forrester report . i think it shows on one table that wreck and park removed 159 trees and planted 128 in the last report. so it seems like that's not meeting the two-for-one report reforestation goal and i was wondering if you could comment on that. >> supervisor, let me look into that. my performance datashowed we
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did meet it but let me check and see . the numbers that youjust quoted , yes we would not have met the goal with these numbers . let me see if i can see what's going on here. >> chair: it was in the 2019 2020 urban forest annual report. and then just i'm trying to understand how that works. for example there was that massive water main break that flooded the main area and there was major damage to the hillside. i understand there'sa dozen or more trees that will have to be removed and replaced . so in that situation how does the two-for-onereforestation goal work ? >> that's a goodquestion and something we've been intimately involved with after that unfortunate catastrophic water break , i do want to say the puc has taken
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full responsibility and they're out theredoing the complete restoration work . the south slope of stern grove require the removal of 63 trees so that's going to give me a new target of 126. the trees are out and you may have seen the big crane, we had to lift them off the steep grade. we are now in slowstabilization planning and work right now . as soon as they have reestablished the ability we will then start plantingon it again . i don't know. we will probably plant more than 63 then. i don't think we're going to plant all 126 because as we say we have to plant so as they grow they thrive but we're working on that planting plan right now but i would say
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off-the-cuff there will be at least 63 ceilings, young trees put in there and we will be actually working with the puc establish that watering cycle as well so they thrivebut it's in work right now . and those which we do not plant on them really we re-stabilize, they will be planted elsewhere in the parks. >> chair: so the goal would be to do 126 tree plantings at the site and then also in other areas. >> it would be to replant the slope. it may not be100. it may not be 126 . we don't know the exact planting plan but we will have to look at the ability of the slope on where we want to put
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them. the goal here is to restore over time sterngrove. that look and feel and maintaining the growth . it's going to be years of them growing into their maturity there and we will have to planting plan here i hope within the next several weeks of how many are going to go in. >> chair: assuming you replace still oneto one replacement of those trees that have to be removed , either with there also be a plan to plant an additional 63 trees where else? on parklands inthe city to meet the two-for-one reforestation ? >> is our performance metric. they look about every year so since we know there's thethree came out , 126 going in but probably a couple different sites. >> thank you.
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>> thank you supervisor. i think it's just me you and supervisor stefani now. with that i'd like to welcome emily lamb who is the acting deputy assistant of external affairs to give us a brief overview . about the planting and maintenance and watering program at the puc . >> good afternoon supervisors. let me try to pull up the deck. great, can you all see that? >> yes. fantastic. >> one really quick if you don't mindme taking a second . i have a personal connection to the topic today so my parents operated in a small business for over 30 years in san
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francisco and i do actually remember when they came and asked if we want to planttrees outside and they did put to outside our business when they are still there . they're doing well so it's nice to see the programs arestill continuing. with that i will delay any further .again, welcome. i'm from s.f. puc. here i have a map of ss puc's properties that contain mostof our trees . much of the land we own in san francisco offers credit for the operations of our utility systems. we don't have a lot of street trees but we do have vegetation and trees in the public facing parts of ourfacility . we have approximately 4000 trees and half of which are at lake murray said and as we spoke about earlier they are maintained byreference parks . >> you so much.
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i know the colonel will look into this but how much the work order is to wreck and park and how much of that work order is for tree maintenance and removal and reforestation. >> i don't have that off the top of my head but we can look into it. okay. our responsibilities are focused on trees updated on sf pc properties. many of them which are in watersheds or reservoirs. we also evaluate trees and take actions as part of our operational maintenance or as part of our water power and wastewater capital projects . and i'm going to go over and show youexamples of properties . here's a list of our big locations so lake merced i think most people know where
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that is. southeast portion of san francisco. lombard reservoir which is located at lombard and high and keep park to the same as lombard street. o'shaughnessy track which is located on the west side of the ball hard. as it meanders from the drive out to boswell and into the glen park neighborhood. the sunset reservoir which is located on between 24th and 28. and to talk about the last four pieces i'm going to show you this map actually. so as we spoke about before there's behind our reservoir where half of our trees are located at about 28 acres and then clarendon with the reservoir across the streetfrom clarendon elementary . then some reservoir twin peaks reservoir which are on the twin peaks. so we always strive to comply with all local san francisco
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requirements andplans for trees . we have achieved arbor and he closely coordinates with public works urban forestry staff on key decisions and actions. so as approximately 2000 trees that are under our care and maintenance we do involves removal of dead trees. we generally only water trees that are not yet established . i would consider a balanced tree health, operational conflicts and use of space so what may work in our right-of-way may not be perfect on top of the water reservoir. we also remove trees to ensure water breaks and complied with fire safety. and some of the tree maintenance issues involved our local water reservoirs. so whether our class spaces are classified as california divisionof safety of dance because of the longer large waters behind the wall .
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and the division of safety over the orbital dam issued in 2013 have gotten a lot more strict about removing trees and then we explicitly prohibit these plantings. so in those cases we replace them with lower impact native vegetation that's the division of safety alas. and then when we do replant trees weuse the city's plant life . the city urban forestry plant at the vegetation management plan. one example is that trees shrubs andother native plants we recently planted along the avenue isaf. in collaboration with the area residents . so we try to meet very seriously our responsibilities to environmental stewardship and sustainability as the resources entrusted to our care and always in line with local food hubs. any questions? >> i do have a fewquestions .
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your map shows thewest side of the city and not the east . i know a lot of work is going on at the southeast treatment plant and there's also a part of thecity i represent , the northpoint plant and wondered what you have to say about those and why you're not on the map. >> only because most of the larger lands where we actually have the treatment arelocated on the westside . not any other particularreason . >> . [please stand by]
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. >> that was long overdue, i think, and i'm glad that we were able to take that on. it was something that, i think, was good for the city, and it came about as a result of our effort and came about with an estimate of how much it would cost to maintain the trees so we could see how much would be needed to pay for this bond measure, which was prop e, the one before by voters in 2016,
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and it was approved by a 79% rate and created a set-aside from the general fund of about $19 million that gets adjusted based on the current budget. go ahead. >> supervisor peskin: i'm sorry, but when i went on look and looked -- on-line and looked for the urban forestry plan, it looks like it was finalized a couple of years later, in 2014. the one on-line says may 2014, so i assume the original one was in 2012, a couple of years earlier. the one that's on your public works website says there were 105,000 trees, but i keep seeing this 125 or 124,795. do you know what the delta on
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that is because one thing we all seem to agree on is we're not planting enough new trees in rights-of-way in d.p.w.s jurisdiction. what's the difference between 105 and 125? >> sure. i think it was the understanding that we had 125,000 trees, but that was without doing an inventory, so once the inventory came back, it was more than expected. pleasantly surprised, but the history of the plan was that it was years in the making and then finally adopted in 2015 by the board, but the plan was completed before that census. >> supervisor peskin: got it. thank you for that clarification. okay. >> so i think you mentioned that before. there's a lot more trees, which
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also includes trees in open spaces, trees in the median. so to start, we had to hire, pick up equipment, and issue contracts, so that was our blitz at the beginning, and the hiring was a challenge. as we know, it's a bureaucratic system, but it was a priority for our city to make this happen. we currently have 18 arborists, but there's been a year-long freeze of hiring which has recently thawed out this week. recently, we had our first arborist exam, and we're excited to bring on new staff. we have nine positions approved and hope to hire all of them. we started putting in orders
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and started getting that at the start of the program, but then last year, we cancelled all of our equipment orders because of the funding crisis, and we wanted to make sure that we had enough funds to pay for employees salary -- employees' salaries. during the shelter in place order, everybody paused briefly and then began resuming work once they had safe protocols for social distancing. but we held off hiring while things were up in the area, but now that things are going to normal, the delay certainly tripped us up. >> supervisor peskin: yeah, we can't certainly blame you for covid. >> thank you. i'd like to talk to you about
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our maintenance and framework, just to give you a sense of how we prioritize things. we broke down the city into a series of key maps or grids, and this was a way to look at things in a more tangible way to highlight which parts of the city had the greatest number of tree issues based on our census data. so we focused on the red and orange key maps first, and we've completed nearly all of this, fortunately, and now we're starting to move into those yellow, light green, dark green areas, which are the lowest priorities, but we want to move onto them. the chinese elm that you see in front of you, we wanted to prune those trees like this almost leaning up against a
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house. the very common question that i understand it when a person says, a branch is touching my window, it's keeping me up at night or when are you going to get to my tree, i agree. we're trying to deal with it, trying to get to it, but we're also trying to deal with these really difficult trees first so we can eventually get to everything. if we stay on track by doing it block by block, we're a lot more efficient than running around to individual requests. but that's not to say that if -- if there's a genuine safety issue, we do want to drop everything and focus on that so that we're grateful for the information we get from 311, but we're often explaining our prioritization. so we inherited trees that were in various conditions with the head in proper care over the
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years or in growing spaces that need a lot of work, or we have trees that are declining or struggling and need to be removed. understandably, when property passed, homeowners paused their tree work because it was expensive. they knew we were coming, and we've got a growing backlog, and we've got to tackle that as quickly as possible. but as much as we do that, accidents are happening and failures are happening that we're continuing to respond to. one of our continuing focal points is sidewalk damage, so root work creates a tripping hazard, and we also want to address the damaged sidewalks. it's a much slower process
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through the backlog. it's hovering around this 11,000 to 13,000 trees per year mark, and last year, with covid, it definitely had an impact, but fortunately, with covid, our work is outdoors, so we were able to continue with that. going forward, some of our key maps have a lot of small trees, so it looks like our numbers went way up, that we could prune a number of small trees very quickly, and then, we have larger trees to this is
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something that has been a milestone for us. at june 30, the end of the fiscal year, we marked to getting to half of our trees, and if you've seen my urban forestry presentations over the years, we were at 47%, and we're finally at 50%. those key maps or grids are trees that we have pruned and making sure that our contractors did everything. and then, the active sliver is where we're working right now or just recently finished and are going back to look at the contractor work and verify it was done properly. and that upcoming wedge of the pie is where we're issuing contracts and checking with our crews to make sure which key maps they're able to go to next and working that property ranking. so to recap our progress, this is to date, so even more
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information since june 30. we've pruned 54,409 trees. if you had a large tree that needed to be removed at your cost, it could be many thousands of dollars, and it makes sense that, with the passage of prop e, if the city can do it, it makes sense to leave it to us. and we're grateful for folks leaving the pruning to us because we want to do it professionally. as far as the sidewalks, this is a massive number of 535,000 square feet of sidewalks that we've repaired. i know in context, what does that mean? what's left to do? that's something we're still working on. we have a backlog of thousands
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of square feet to do, but how many is left, that's something we're still gathering, something we're still working on. fortunately, our inventory gave us sites with uplifts, so we're able to focus on those, but every day, we're getting calls on sidewalks with uplifts that we want to triage or address. one way to deal with it is to slice it, where a contractor comes in with a grinder. the root may continue to grow and lift it up, but at least we can come in and make it safe for the time being, compared to a full cost or full repair. then, i'd like to talk about our tree watering. this is a very critical part of what we do to keep trees alive. as a coastal california city, we have the wonderful weather with no rain, and the rest of
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the country can plant trees in fall and then get some natural rainfall, cooler temperatures, trees established, and then, they're good for the rest of their life, and it's unfortunately not the case for us. it requires weekly watering visits from us to care for them. we have a staff of watering people that are watering tuesday through saturday. they go out early in the morning to take advantage of the reduced traffic volumes. they fill up their tanks with water from hydrants or, in a couple of locations, use recycled water, and we'd love to do more of that. we fill a gaiter bag, and at the bottom of the bag, there's a couple of holes, and that
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slowly saturates the soil. to give you an idea of how many trees our crews are watering, they're watering roughly 1200 trees a week. they have a water truck, and they're doing 500 trees a week. our biggest partner for watering is clean city. they are a grant recipient, grant partner of ours, and they are doing -- at the moment, they're doing 1800 trees, and we're adding another couple hundred trees to their list through an amendment right now. the benefit through our partners is we require them to have workforce development programs, so it's great job training, and it keeps these trees alive, and you can see, in the matter of a year,
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multiplying those weekly visits out, it is,000s a year, 213,000 weekly visits. >> supervisor peskin: and do all of these new plantings need to be watered once per week? >> yeah. >> supervisor peskin: so they all need to be watered once a week. >> they've planted trees, and normally, we water them, but they recently got a truck about 1.5 years ago, so they're able to water 500 trees. but whatever they don't water, we water. >> supervisor peskin: okay. that's a little different than
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what mr. weidenmeyer said. maybe we can clear this up, because that's been one of the sources of my confusions or questions. if d.u.f. has planted 5,000 trees, most of them are in their three-year need to be watered time frame, and what mr. weidenmeyer said is they water them for three years and then, they turn them over to you, which means you would need to be doing several thousand a week, so i'd like to get to the bottom of that. and then, on the same thing, department of urban forestry -- i assume the 6,852 trees that have been removed yet replaced
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because the property funding model, it can't be for new trees, per se. it can be used for existing trees that were removed, so does that mean -- if you've removed 6,852, have we planted 6,852 -- and sorry. this is my rambling train of thought -- why are we watering between department of urban forestry and land department half of that? >> yes. if i miss anything, please remind me. the trees that we've planted, or the bulk of them are planted by f.u.f., and then, it gets watered by 500 trees or we give a watering list to clean city
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and they water them, so it's all getting watered by us. the trees outside of the three-year list, they're getting removed. f.u.f. would like to get another truck so they can get all the trees water, but what brian was indicating was they water the day of -- oh, brian's here. would you like to direct the question to him? >> supervisor peskin: sure. do you want to help clear this up, brian? >> so yes. thank you for the question, supervisor peskin. i think [indiscernible] is describing the process correctly. we water 500 of those on a rolling basis as our capacity permits with the one watering truck we have, and then, we have to send the planting list
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to the city that, as nick described, and i'm learning here, then covers the watering of those 500 that we don't water, so between the city's crews and the clean city folks that are contracted. >> supervisor peskin: got it. and there's another possibility where -- and i'll mention this later, there are community watering groups, and those groups have been helpful in escaping beyond these limits of what we can water. >> supervisor peskin: and i'll bring this up because i have a slide of people watering in two different parts of san francisco, but the charge, which i am not pointing fingers
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but just want to optimize and get fixed if it needs to be fixed, which it sounds like it does, some trees are getting watered that aren't surviving. one question on this slide, and i'm sorry to bring it up, but i mentioned it yesterday, and that is given the unfortunate -- this is fodder for a different hearing and under a totally different title, and i know that supervisor mar has shared these concerns, but given the extremely unfortunate revelations and subsequent indictment of the former head of public works and revelations about our garbage monopoly, giving huge amount of money which was given to a parks alliance subaccount which were used and solely under the
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control of the former director of public works, relative to the contract between public works and clean city, can you just let us know how -- why that's been maintained? >> sure. that was something that we were uncertain about, and we've been checking with our counterparts with the city attorney's office and with the controller's office to make sure that our contracts could continue, and we've trusted them to do their investigation, but it, to date, has not impacted our ability to work with clean city, and from our perspective, they've been a great partner. they do a really great work with the watering and maintenance of trees. their success rate has been excellent. we did put this out as a competitive bid, and they were -- they were competitive. that's how they were able to
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enter in the contract with their bid, so i'm hopeful that we can continue partnering with them because they're watering so many trees, and there are very few folks that are willing to get on these, but that's been the history. >> supervisor peskin: thank you. really good answer. i'm sorry, but i did want to check that off. >> supervisor mar: i did want to ask a few questions on that follow-up, clean city. [indiscernible]. >> sure. if we have a business that we contract with for the pruning, they have to have a requirement that they meet as a contractor, but for our grants, it's a little different, where we
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require workforce development to receive a grant, so i think it's beneficial for the city to have that workforce development job training component. the other bids, where we have for tree pruning, it could be awarded to a smaller local business, and it could also go to a much larger company that's a statewide operation, and they have to partner with local businesses to makeup a percentage of their work, so i say grant because it's a different way that we issued the work to them versus our contractors, where we have different requirements and the different mechanism. >> chair mar: and it sounds
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like different opportunities for workforce development. >> yes. i should mention that being a nonprofit is one of the reasons. >> chair mar: and when was the contract to clean city for the watering started, and what's the amount -- annual amount? >> i don't have those numbers. i know that it was year ago, and it goes up for renewal, and we keep submitting for renewal. the history of that, and the amount, i could definitely send to you. >> chair mar: okay. yeah, i'd appreciate that. and then, final question. how is it divided up, the tree water? you say there's seven d.p.w. staff that do watering full time, and then, the clean city folks? >> yes, good question.
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so we have a preference to consolidate all of our watering in one area of the city. it's more efficient for them, and every time we change their tree list, the -- it's, like, changed to their grant in a way, in a small way. but with our crews, it's easier to just tell one of our staff members, hey, we're going to add this tree or take this tree off, and they can edit their route slightly. and as a result, most of our clean city trees are centered in one area, and then, we have our crews do the rest of it.
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it makes sense for them to concentrate there and focus what they're doing. >> chair mar: so it's sort of a geographic turf, just -- and i don't think -- i don't -- oh, supervisor peskin asked a question about the 6,852 trees that were removed. i'm assuming that's since street tree s.f. was created and whether those were replaced and how they -- how were they -- so i guess that's a question i would like some clarification on, whether those 6,852 trees were replaced, and who replaced them? >> this also reminds me i didn't fully answer supervisor peskin's answer, either.
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so the properties are are -- property funds are designated for use of maintenance, and we did ask the city attorney if we could use that, and we got the response that it's approved for maintenance and approval work, and this creates a gap in planting. i will share this. with prop k transportation authority funds or with supervisor add-backs for capital budget money, we can use that, and we have, and that's been our capital funding money. what you mention brings up a good topic of when we remove a tree, that's somebody who's
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receptive to a tree, so we do want to replace those trees, and they'll even voluntary, if you plant it, i'll water it, and we plant that really quickly. we have a goal of replacing in 90 days if somebody wants to water. but there's also an equity perspective, and i'll share that, too, where we have a lot of trees in concentrated parts of the tree. if we can only afford to replace the trees that we're removing, then we only end up repeating those trees in those areas. >> chair mar: thank you. i just was wondering if you could just estimate what
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percentage or how many of those 6,852 trees that were removed by d.p.w. since street tree s.f. was started have been replaced. is it close to 100% or you don't know? >> i don't have that. i'll have to get back to you, but i'll add that as a note to follow up. >> chair mar: okay. supervisor peskin, do you have any -- >> supervisor peskin: oh, i have lots that i could continue till dinner time, but i'll let mr. crawford continue with his slide. >> so regarding planting, we described this as the unintended consequence of success, meaning, we're
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removing dead, dying, hazardous trees, and it's creating this need for replacement trees, but it's unfunded without the additional money to makeup what we're doing. the press is aware of it, we're aware of it. this is something that's been really important to us to address. the removal numbers here shows the historical number that's jumped up as we've scaled up our program, and it's beginning to taper off over the last couple of years we finally were able to catch up. i don't think this number will drop off because it makes
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sense, but it does create this need for planting replacement trees: so actually, before i got into that, one more thing that i just wanted to mention was -- let me pull up my notes here -- we do have a tree notification page similar to what danny was mentioning in his presentation. we have this page on our website to notify folks of trees being removed in their neighborhood, and it came about as a board of appeals settlement agreement with neighbors in the district three surrounding washington square park, where they protested the removal of some trees, and we
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trees to replace the trees that we were removing, but also trees surrounding the neighborhood, and we followed through on that. we planted about 50 trees in a neighborhood event in the area there, and another component was to improve our notification of tree removals happening in the neighborhood, and we expanded that to make it accessible to everyone across the city so that even if you're not walking past the tree removal area, you can see it on the website. it's broken up into each district so you can see what's close to you what's going to be removed. i'm grateful for that feedback,
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and we're listing that on there so it's becoming a central repository on that. there's a bit of an overlap where it could be a street tree. if it's on their property -- and i don't know that m.t.a. has a whole lot of trees on, like, their property. it's mostly on their intersection of their projects on street trees that are in the public right-of-way, and that's what gets posted on the page.
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>> supervisor peskin: thank you. >> i want to talk about planting strategy, and similar to the notification page, i'd like to talk about how we got here. this year, we were audited by the budget and legislative analyst, and that audit was a deep dive into our processes, our finances. they interviewed our staff to really find out how we functioned to find out what we were doing and what we could do better, and they came up with land recommendations. one of them is already complete, and we do support the other eight recommendations and are working on them. one of the recommendations that came out was for the board of supervisors, which i would
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subtly recommended and if this can be sustained, i would love that; consider allocating general funding to close allocation gaps. our goal of hitting 155,000 street trees by 2040, in order to do that, we've got to plant 4,000 per year. we came up with that number based on about 2500 trees that we need to replace as we remove, and then another 1500 trees annually to actually
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through our canopy. if our costs are about $2,000 a tree, then we need a certain number a year, and i'm also going to share not only how many trees we need but where we're going to plant those. . >> clerk: we have received a presidential action memo appointing supervisor peskin as president in place of supervisor stefani for the 1:30
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meeting, so that has changed. >> so our urban canopy of 13.7% is not enough, and we know that, and we want to grow that, but it's also something we want to do in an equitable way. we've conducted a racial equity analysis across our department, and we really want to find out how this impacts our work in the planting aspect. so we have this environmental justice map, which i'll show in another slide, too, but you can see where it highlights the climate resilience need. this overlaps with what brian was talking about, the heat impacts, especially on the eastern side of the city, it's
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disproportionately impacted. but you can see the pollution, how we need to focus on planting trees there. our goal is to achieve street tree equity in all san francisco neighborhoods, and we want our planting work to reflect progress towards that goal. as the san francisco chronicle made us aware this year, you can drive a link between street trees and income, so what we'd like to do is draw a straight line across all income levels where we have an equitable tree canopy cover. this intentionally excludes trees and parkland because i
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think that can skew the numbers, and i find this a striking overlap with the environmental justice map. so talk about our progress on tree planting, you can see that it's hovered around this 1500 to 3,000 trees per year range, and we're talking trees that are in-house crews plus friends of the urban forest and also climate action now for those
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first three years, where we'll get those numbers for the first fiscal year. and also our forestry inspection team, which is critical because if we're enforcing the code, if you have a large renovation, where you're somehow flouting the tree requirement ordinance, our inspectors are making sure that the trees get plants, and that's something that we can enforce other enterities to do do -- entities to do their share. >> supervisor peskin: do you know the [indiscernible] that's
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something i think we could do a better job of tracking it. we're also finding that it could be species dependent. we are always trying to plant new species, but sometimes they don't establish as well and we're replacing them.
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there's also mortality from vandalism, which is really high for us, fortunately, and other reasons where a tree may not make it, but that is something that's worth tracking better for us. >> supervisor peskin: and just anecdotally, if i were just to apply this to these numbers, it would be, weirdly enough, in this period of time, the almost exact element in round numbers, almost the exact number of
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trees removed, 6800. i think, overall, we agree that we are just at the water line. we're just -- we're planting as many as we're removing. i think the net gain since prop e has been a net gain of 300 trees we have to collectively seriously up our game if we're going to get to anywhere near 4,000 a year. i think we projected to hit that number by 2034, and that was more ambitious because you thought you had more.
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i think we've learned stuff along the way, which is that 2500 a year didn't deal with mortality adequately, but i think we need to be transparent with the public about what we've learned in since getting onto covid, but i'll let you go on. >> yeah, no, thank you. when we're aware of a struggling tree, we want to make it right. 311 has been a good way for us to hear that in real-time. for that north beach planting, i was out there the day that we were doing it with a clean team group, and i went back out there yesterday, and there are
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some vacant tree basins,. it's not a high number citywide, but it does happen. when we got poor quality trees, then we hope that the tree makes it, but it does inform us where we buy trees, and if they're not good quality, we say, we'll buy our trees elsewhere, and we know that we're being measured by the top of our urban canopy, and i
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think it's important that we do this successfully. >> supervisor peskin: yeah, and then i'll say this, and then i'll try to shut up. having very clear metrics about what was set forth in the plan or alternatively, if we need to revise the plan, but having very clear metrics to advise on on an annual basis is important because we did go to the voters, and we have to show to what extent those promises are being kept, and i think that is metrics on, yes, trees removed, planted, mortality, and where we are so that everybody can see that graphic in relatively real-time or at least on a periodic basis.
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>> this business of trees is certainly what we care about the most, and we definitely want to grow our tree canopy.
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we're grateful for the support that we're receiving, and we feel the responsibility. i want to talk a little bit about the 28 street case study and -- 24 street case study and how this has worked for us. 24 street, i have to tell you, a beautiful busy area that has a lot of dense trees that are part of the fabric of that corridor. when we took a closer look at them, we realized that there were a lot of trees that were really stressed that we'd have to do a lot of impact on, and those trees are relative to the
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community. the trees caused a lot of damage to structures and sidewalks. delivery vehicles are jammed in there, and they're regularly bumping up against the trees and doing damage, and this [indiscernible] is doing damage, which is unfortunate, and you can tell they're being affected by that and the
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drought. this is something that didn't happen by accident. it took a two-year outreach, where we knew this would be a big impact, and we wanted to start that conversation proactively, and it was something that we thought was the right thing to do, despite being a really hard thing to do. and i'm route proud to say if you go down there, you can see the impacts. it's maples with -- and i'm proud to say if you go down there, you can see the impacts. it's maples mixed in with gingkos, and when we've got shorter days and a greater need
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for heating, you've got less fossil fuels being consumed.
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so [indiscernible] within a few blocks north and south so we can saturate all of those available basins, so that's a great example of that partnership. and one other example that i'd like to talk about, we're looking at the future of our urban forestry program, and it's looking really shabby right now. it's bear earth, and it's really striking for the city. somebody coming off the freeway, going down that off ramp, it's really striking, and what we're looking at is a tree nursery, something that will make it very inviting, but it'll serve a functional
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purpose, being able to grow small trees from a bare root and put them in a bot. with the irrigation, we'll be able to grow them to a size that we can plant the street trees. and this was just a dream a year ago, but the mayor set aside funting in the cap cal -- funding in the capital budget. this is, i think, an exciting time to be able to do some coal things now that we've knocked out some other things, like maintenance. so we're getting $2.5 million,
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and we have aalso got our prop k funding, and cal fire grants, which we could get, but it's especially valuable for our partners, and then, this infrastructure money, which we're hopeful. our position is we're one of just a handful of cities, that if we apply for that, we'd be able to receive that. so here is our planting funding, planting and establishment money. so you can see the huge jump
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with the general fund money in the current year, 300 -- or $3 million, which includes those numbers i showed, about 500,000 that we had last year, too. and then, we get a charge chunk, hovered about 1.1 million. and g.o. bonds revenues dropping, they are planting to reduce that by 1% from their budget. we have a meeting at 6:00 p.m. tonight, where we'll be making the presentation and the request, and hopefully, we'll get the funding reinstated.
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the largest most reliable chunk of funding for us, and it is worrisome that may not come to fruition. >> supervisor peskin: i think the voters are the arbiters of that, but as i said at the outset of this hearing, you're talking to a receptive audience. >> thank you. >> supervisor peskin: i really want to thank you. i've got a ton of questions, but i have a meeting with the controller on recology at 2:00, but i want to hear from mr. gonchar and the public. what i want to know is if we can go to public comment and continue this hearing because i think there's a lot of
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information and a lot we can do that can result in my working with chair mar to come forward with not only a set of additional questions but additional questions relative to policy changes that are within our purview. so mr. gonchar, if it is okay with you and chair mar, and we can continue this to another meeting of this committee, because i think there's a lot of value in this hearing, i would like to actually not have the b.l.a. report and direct people to look at it, and we'll put it -- make sure that it is on-line and go to public comment because at 2:00, i've got to go meet with the controller on recology. my apologies, dan, to have you sit here, but know that your june 14 report is now front and center in all of our minds, and it really does have some great recommendations.
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>> of course, supervisor. >> supervisor peskin: my apologies. >> chair mar: thanks, supervisor peskin, and i think all of that makes sense to me, so why don't we go to public comment right now. >> supervisor peskin: yes, and i will present mr. lance karnes' research, which we didn't have time for that. >> clerk: so members of the public who wish to call in, do so following the instructions on your screen right now. dial 415-600-0001, enter the meeting i.d. 2489-479-6006. press pound twice and then star, three to enter the queue. for those of you in the queue, and i see there's three of you, wait until the system indicates
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you have been unmuted. mr. smith, could you unmute the line for the first caller. >> oh, hello. this is lance karnes. if you could bring up my slide deck. i'm watching on sfgovtv. i can't see -- >> clerk: yes, it's going to take a moment for us to snap that in place, so hang on just a moment, please.
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>> clerk: sorry, everyone, for your patience. we have to find this specially arranged public comment presentation from lance karnes. there are quite a bit of moving papers in the creation of this meeting. >> chair mar: thank you, mr. clerk, for all your work. >> clerk: let's, for now, go to the next speaker, if we can, so when mr. karnes is back on, we can throw it up. >> i can help out with that, john, if you need me to -- >> i would be ready to go if
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you give me one moment. this is victor young. >> clerk: thank you, victor. mr. karnes, if you're still there -- >> yes. >> clerk: okay. please begin. >> okay. i'm not seeing the slide deck. >> clerk: there is a delay between the broadcast and the phone call that you're on, but we are displaying that, as well. >> i can go blind. good afternoon. my name is lance karnes, and next slide, please. this tree shown here was not watered by public works for six months. [indiscernible] for three
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years. next slide, please. i performed a tree watering audit, 75 trees total. only 28 trees were watered, or about 35%. [indiscernible]. >> next slide, please, and here's a watering success story, mission verde is a resident watering [indiscernible] created by public works. 140 watering areas created in the area and side streets.
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here's mission area residents, my grandchildren included, with push carts. [indiscernible]. >> thank you, supervisors, for holding this hearing. >> clerk: thank you very much, mr. carnes, and just so everyone knows, we are in receipt of those slides, and those slides have been added as a part of the file and automobile to consult with the
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research center. mr. smith, could you please connect us to the next caller. >> hello. thanks so much for holding this hearing. my name's sarah jones. i am on staff at the sfmta. i'm also a member of the board of friends of the urban forest, but i'm here today on my own time, and i'm speaking today as a resident of district 5. so as many people has mentioned today, our urban forest is a deeply effective way to make our city equal on two main goals: neighborhood equity and climate resilience. trees are a way that people are directly responsible for contributing and shaping their space. trees shouldn't be seen as something extra or something that's an amenity.
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trees are one piece of the fix and something we can't do without, really. so now, i want to talk a little bit about the context of the trees are our connective tissues of the streets of our communities. as supervisor mar mentioned, they are our most pervasive [indiscernible] another way that trees are essential is they are reaching part of that 80. street trees are safer and more
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hospitable spaces for -- >> clerk: thank you. your comments are concluded. >> supervisor peskin: miss jones, if you could finish that sentence, that would be great. >> sure, thank you. i just wanted to point out that as transportation authority noted, repaired harm to communities and climate resiliency are some of the top goals that we need to achieve on our streets, and there are many ways to do that, and one of them is that fundamental piece of funding, you know, funding, planting, and maintenance of trees on our
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streets. thank you. >> thank you. this is an anonymous caller. in the past, people could not refuse a tree. there were different reasons that they would have to. seniors or disabled or buckled sidewalks or trip and falls is not addressed, and cost of concrete and cement accounts for 6% of the world's pollution on par of steel production pollution. the half percent sales tax provides a covert tree funding. there should be one funding
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source to identify the cost of the urban forest in the city. for over a decade, a decade ago, the report from the urban [indiscernible] that were planted in district 8, and they were demanding that you accept the street tree in district 8 a decade ago. we need to have a discussion on the use of the transportation funding under the prop k and in the future proposition that's going to be on the ballot, so for now, we need to identify funding for the urban forest in one lucid area and not have it
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fragmented. thank you. >> clerk: thank you for your comments. can we get the next caller, please. >> unfortunately, i probably know more about legislation policy and practices on street trees than most people in this city. the legislation is not enough because it reduces public process. public process is one of the reasons that canopy is making
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any progress, including this hearing. this legislation has not had enough time to be examined, including by our own department of urban forestry, whose job it is to do so. i had the unfortunate experience of going to the sunshine ordinance task force with rec and park, which i proved they have no record of tree plantings and approvals, which means they've been submitting football numbers to the department of urban forestry in the last several years, and i would also point
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out that rec park capital projects do not require that. trees up and die for lack of water. prop e, there was a lag between the time it took effect and the tree watering took effect -- >> clerk: thank you for your time. sorry to cut you off, but each speaker has two minutes. can we have the next speaker, please. >> thank you. catherine howard, outer sunset. two years ago, the city planted new trees on sunset, but then, the city did not come and water them, and they eventually died.
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in addition to not taking care of new street trees, the upkeep of older trees did not fare much better. b.a.r.t. won't bother to design a station canopy that preserves mature trees, and many street trees are labelled a hazard and then cut down even though other trees with the same label manage to stay upright for years. the hazard term is a category that could be used by a city department with a new article 16 legislation, and that is going to eliminate public appeals of hazard trees. what could possibly go wrong? as climate change gains speed,
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san francisco must change its priorities and value mature trees. they provide wildlife habitat, protection, and shade, and i look forward to a robust conversation and protection of our street trees and nourishment of our urban canopy for the benefit and protection of all san franciscans. thank you. >> clerk: thank you. can we get the next comment, please. >> yes, hello. first off, i want to thank the supervisors for this inquiry into the -- our tree problem. i really appreciate that attention. there have been problems with trying to have citizens
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communicate with the city about the problems they have maintaining -- caring for their trees. i had questions about the questions that supervisor peskin placed. the stuff on the picture is playing at a very different time that i'm talking. in any event, i wanted to assert that no tree, no healthy tree can be replaced for any reason. construction by some builder, the trees were here before we were. they have rights of their own. we went through this with tree removal by m.t.a. on geary boulevard. a very healthy elderly, with 50
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more years to its life, cypress was taken out because it didn't fit in with their plans. when it was appealed, it was only heard by people within their own department, not by the board of appeals, and even so, the board of appeals has very seldom done anything to help us protect the trees. i wanted to suggest, for the tree watering, that more community efforts could be made to share in the care of the trees. maybe even certain communities could adopt a tree so that -- >> clerk: thank you. speaker's time has concluded. could we have the next caller, please. [please stand by]
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>> and determination to care for our city. so much of what we talk about is planting trees. many people don't realize that 75% of the city's budget, which it really doesn't have, 75% goes to paying watering crews.
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thank you for sharing your comments. we have reach the end of the queue for public comment. >> public comment is now closed. i want to thank all the speakers. i know you're all passionate advocates for greening trees in our city. thank you for all you do. i think we should wrap up this hearing today and continue it because there's still the la presentation and more discussion to be had. do you have any closing comments. >> i want to thank all of the people that appeared for public comment and my staff for helping prepare me for this meeting and all of the departmental staff
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who presented. there's a lot we can do here not just on the legislative side but transparency and data are important. governmental and organizational changes. we did not discuss things yet about whether or not there should be uniform standards. i think we can get to that at our next hearing. i would make a motion to continue to a date certain or to a call of the chair. >> call of the chair because we're still trying to schedule meetings in move. >> so moved. let us here it next month. >> on the motion offered that the hearing be moved to the call of the chair.
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there are two ayes. >> great. thank you. >> thank you everyone. is there any further business. >> there is no further business. we are adjourned. thanks everyone. go giants.
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>> chair ronen: the meeting will come to order. i am supervisor hillary ronen, chair of the committee. we are joined by our vice chair -- or we will be shortly, supervisor ahsha safai. [indiscernible]. >> clerk: the board recognizes that public access to city services is essential and invite public participation in the following ways: public comment will be available on each item on this agenda, either channels 26, 78, or 99 and sfgovtv.org are streaming the public comment number across the screen. each speaker

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