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Councilman voices opposition to bill extending drinking hours

WAVE NEWSPAPERS — City Councilman Paul Koretz and a group of activists spoke out May 3 against a bill before the state Legislature that would allow Los Angeles and nine other cities to extend alcohol sales to 4 a.m. Koretz and the activists — including members of Alcohol Justice and the California Alcohol Policy Alliance — held a news conference outside Los Angeles City Hall to oppose SB 58.

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By City News Service

LOS ANGELES — City Councilman Paul Koretz and a group of activists spoke out May 3 against a bill before the state Legislature that would allow Los Angeles and nine other cities to extend alcohol sales to 4 a.m.

Koretz and the activists — including members of Alcohol Justice and the California Alcohol Policy Alliance — held a news conference outside Los Angeles City Hall to oppose SB 58, the latest of several attempts by Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, to pass a law that would allow bars in some cities to stay open later than 2 a.m.

“Once again we’re here fighting a bill that is so persistent that it has earned the name, the Zombie Bill, because we just can’t kill it,” Koretz said. “For the fourth time since 2014, Sen. Scott Wiener has reintroduced the bill that would extend alcohol sales from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. No matter how many times the bill is beaten down by those of us who understand that defeating this bill is a life or death issue, Sen. Wiener and bar owners who seem willing to trade people’s lives for liquor profits come back again and again.”

Koretz introduced a resolution in March against the bill and held several news conferences in opposition to the idea of earlier bar times when Weiner was trying to pass the previous versions.

“This bill fails to address who will pay for the alcohol-related harms that this bill will cost. This bill will endanger all the lives of the commuters that will be going to work in the early hours,” said Veronica De Lara, co-chair of the California Alcohol Policy Alliance.

The reintroduced Let Our Communities Adjust Late Night Act (LOCAL) would grant Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, Long Beach, West Hollywood, Coachella, Cathedral City, Fresno and Palm Springs the power to extend alcohol sales until as late as 4 a.m.

The bill’s supporters argue that the law banning alcohol sales after 2 a.m. is an outdated requirement written in 1935 and is not in line with Los Angeles being one of the entertainment capitals of the world. They also say it would help businesses while giving the decision-making power to local jurisdictions.

The nonprofit group Alcohol Justice, which has opposed Weiner’s bills, said findings from various domestic and international studies have found that extending bar hours increases alcohol-related harm, including motor vehicle collisions.

The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board endorsed an earlier version of Wiener’s bill in 2017, saying “there’s no firm science behind last-call laws, no data that prove that 2 a.m. is better than 4 a.m. or 6 a.m. or any other time. The laws are more a reflection of a state’s history, its cultural practices and its politics.”

This article originally appeared in Wave Newspapers.

Community

Drive Thru Food Distribution

Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021 @ 11 a.m.

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Arsola's House Food Distribution Flyer
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City Government

S.F. Mayor London Breed Announces $50 Million in Tax Credits to Support San Francisco Non-Profits, Businesses in Disadvantaged Communities

The New Markets Tax Credit program creates a pathway for local businesses and non-profits to activate underutilized buildings in San Francisco’s most high-need neighborhoods, create local jobs, and provide lasting community services.

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Two Men Brainstorming Over Papers ; Photo courtesy of Scott Graham via Unsplash

Mayor London N. Breed announced on September 7 that the United States Treasury has awarded $50 million in tax credits to support local non-profit organizations and projects in historically underserved neighborhoods.

This allocation will help move forward critical investments in San Francisco while also creating new economic activity and jobs as San Francisco continues its economic recovery from the pandemic.

The New Market Tax Credits are distributed from the United States Treasury to the San Francisco Community Investment Fund (SFCIF), a non-profit that is tasked with helping to fund projects with substantial and sustainable community benefits in low-income San Francisco neighborhoods.

Previous credits helped fund the construction of projects such as the Meals on Wheels San Francisco food distribution center in the Bayview, SF Jazz and the Boys & Girls Club San Francisco in the Western Addition, and the ACT Strand Theatre on Central Market, the Manufacturing Foundry located at 150 Hooper Street sponsored by PlaceMade, and the renovation of the Geneva Car Barn located in the Excelsior district.

“The neighborhoods that were hit hardest by the pandemic were the same neighborhoods that had lacked access to resources and investment for generations—that is not a coincidence.

“That’s why it’s so important that our economic recovery focus on investing in these communities and creating new jobs in these communities, so we can create a more equitable city.

“The investments that these tax credits have helped advance in the past have had a meaningful impact on our city and I’m excited that this new allocation, the largest that San Francisco has ever received, will continue that progress,” Breed said.

In 2010, the City’s former Redevelopment Agency established the San Francisco Community Investment Fund to make qualified low-income community investments in the City. This program targets construction and capital improvement projects in low-income neighborhoods that deliver strong community outcomes, including job creation for low-income people, commercial and community services, healthy foods, environment sustainability, and flexible lease rates.

The New Markets Tax Credit program creates a pathway for local businesses and non-profits to activate underutilized buildings in San Francisco’s most high-need neighborhoods, create local jobs, and provide lasting community services.

Since 2010, the SFCIF has supported 12 projects across five neighborhoods that created over 1,000 construction jobs, and deployed $163.6 million in New Markets Tax Credit allocations.

“Investing in jobs and supporting opportunities for our underserved communities is critical, especially as we begin emerging from of this pandemic,” said City Administrator Carmen Chu, who serves on the SFCIF Board of Directors. “This allocation of New Market Tax Credits is significant because it means extra dollars in our hands to fully fund and bring so many worthy neighborhood projects to completion.”

“Meals on Wheels San Francisco opened a new $41 million state of the art kitchen in the Bayview neighborhood in November of 2020. Our project could not have moved forward on time and received full financing without the support of the San Francisco Community Investment Fund’s New Markets Tax Credit program,” said Ashley McCumber, CEO and executive director of Meals on Wheels San Francisco.

“Their lead investment attracted additional partners like Community Vision, Community Impact Partners, and Chase Bank to deliver a net of $8.1 million to our project. With this new facility, we have created more than 30 new jobs and expanded our production capabilities from 8,000 meals per day to as much as 30,000 meals per day when needed.”

Applications are received and reviewed on a rolling basis. For more information on the San Francisco Community Investment Fund, visit SFCIF.org.

     This story comes from the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Communication.

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Community

Good Samaritan Missionary Baptist’s Food Programs Close:

This church has had a rich history of serving the community and the surrounding vicinity for over 40 years.  Mr. and Mrs. Roger Rigsby, members of the church, began serving meals from their home to those in need. 

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Good Samaritan Missionary Baptist Photo Courtesy of Flickr

It is with a very heavy heart that I must announce that the Good Samaritan Missionary Baptist Church (GSMBC) Food Programs closed on Tuesday, Aug. 31.

This church has had a rich history of serving the community and the surrounding vicinity for over 40 years.  Mr. and Mrs. Roger Rigsby, members of the church, began serving meals from their home to those in need.

Dr. M.D. Slade and the late Mrs. Viola Rigsby combined their efforts and started the GSMBC Food Pantry and the USDSA food distribution programs.  Throughout the years this pantry has been a constant source of assistance; providing clothing, food and community holiday meals to everyone.

Dr. M.D. Slade has always been a prominent part of the Vallejo community as well as the North Bay Ministers Union as a senior pastor. He is still always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone or offer his words of wisdom and guidance.

I believe God has anointed me to serve, and I welcomed the responsibility of running both programs in 2016. With much prayer and Pastor Slade’s encouragement, I started by applying for an Enhancement Grant from the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano and through God’s grace we have not looked back.

As the needs of those we serve grew, so did the pantry.  We applied for the Solano County Funding Grant and was awarded $10,000 which allowed us to prepare for the COVID-19 restrictions. We remained open during the entire pandemic and served an additional 8,000 more clients than the previous year.

We are also members of the Feeding America Network and Meal Connect which provided amazing donations from Costco Vallejo and Safeway in Glen Cove.

Lastly, (I thank) the volunteers who have consistently supported these programs.  I, personally, have been truly blessed by you!!!

Last year we served over 21,000 that were in need.

Dr. M.D. Slade retired as pastor of GSMBC in December 2021 after over 40 years of faithful service to the church and the community.  The church membership did not initiate this action! They truly believe the program is needed.

The church leaders, members of the board, have decided to “pause” the programs, with the approval of the new incoming Pastor Anthony Briscoe.

When and if the board decides to reopen, they must reapply and find someone to train and certify the program. The board is confident that they can make it better and welcome the change.  The USDA program is …scrambling to find another site.

My heart goes out specifically to the senior and handicapped population that are in close proximity to the church location. We are surrounded by 4 senior housing complexes, as well at least 2 low-income housing complexes.

I feel so helpless now, but God is still in control.  He continues to make a way.  I have a tentative offer for a site in the vicinity and a definite home under another umbrella to work that shares the vision of serving and welcomes me.

Praise God that my efforts have not been in vain or gone unnoticed.  I will continue to serve, however at another location.

The Vallejo Post’s coverage of local news in Solano County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.

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