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Mayor Wants to Keep Street Ambassador Program, Add Retention Bonuses for Police to Keep Streets Safer

San Francisco Mayor London Breed told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that keeping street ambassador programs and adding supplemental funding for police and prosecutors will contribute to the city’s efforts to make its streets safer. Breed requested the policymakers to support a series of actions that intend to increase public safety

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Breed mentioned that many of the community ambassadors who are part of these programs are people of color who were formerly incarcerated or homeless.
Breed mentioned that many of the community ambassadors who are part of these programs are people of color who were formerly incarcerated or homeless.

By Olivia Wynkoop
Bay City News

San Francisco Mayor London Breed told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that keeping street ambassador programs and adding supplemental funding for police and prosecutors will contribute to the city’s efforts to make its streets safer.

Breed requested the policymakers to support a series of actions that intend to increase public safety.

One is extending the current contract for street ambassador programs put on by Urban Alchemy and Mid-Market Ambassadors in the Tenderloin and Downtown neighborhoods. Set to be reviewed at Wednesday’s Budget and Appropriations Committee meeting, the programs work to welcome visitors and assist pedestrians.

Breed mentioned that many of the community ambassadors who are part of these programs are people of color who were formerly incarcerated or homeless.

“When we talk about alternatives to policing, they are a perfect representation of what we’re trying to do,” Breed said. “Not only do they serve as non-police presence on the street, but they also train and uplift people who deserve a second chance.”

Breed also asked the board to quickly advance a $26.7 million budget supplemental she proposed in February that would fund police overtime and hire more prosecutors in San Francisco’s District Attorney’s Office.

The supplemental would work as a quick fix to the city’s severe police staffing shortage, deploy retired police ambassadors for beat patrol presence and hire more attorneys that can tackle fentanyl drug dealing cases, she said.

The San Francisco Police Department cited that between 2021 and 2022, it saw an overtime increase of 121 percent in order to respond to basic needs and have a greater presence in Downtown.

“This is about public safety right now. I know we need long-term strategies to address our significant staffing shortage, and we are working on that,” said Breed. “But every day, I hear from residents — and I’m sure you all do too — and small businesses who want us to do more around public safety. I’m hoping that we don’t continue to delay.”

Breed also said she’s introducing a three-year contract with the police department to offer retention bonuses and recruitment incentives to keep seasoned officers and onboard new ones. The contract would make the police department have the highest paid starting salary in the region.

Breed said police staffing is a national crisis.

“It’s one we have to tackle aggressively with local solutions,” she said.

EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: Image(s) related to this story can be obtained from the following Bay City News Service web link(s):

https://www.baycitynews.com/images/20221122-BCN-UNIONSQUARE-8.jpg

San Francisco Mayor London Breed joins a flock of city and business leaders to launch a strategic plan to bring Union Square back to life on Nov. 22, 2022. (Olivia Wynkoop/ Bay City News)

 

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Activism

Oakland Post: Week of June 12-18, 2024

The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post: Week of June 12-18, 2024

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To enlarge your view of this issue, use the slider, magnifying glass icon or full page icon in the lower right corner of the browser window.

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Art

Mayor Breed, Actor Morris Chestnut Attend S.F.’s Indie Night Film Festival

On June 1, the acclaimed Los Angeles-based Indie Night Film Festival arrived at the Kabuki Theater in San Francisco. San Francisco native Dave Brown, Founder and CEO of the Indie Night Film Festival, has a vision for the film industry that is squarely focused on promoting the many talented producers, actors, and designers contributing to this billion-dollar industry. The festival has been running for 12 years and it’s only up from here, he says.

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(Left to Right) Dave Brown, CEO, Indie Night Festival, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, and actor Morris Chestnut. Photo by Y’Anad Burrell
(Left to Right) Dave Brown, CEO, Indie Night Festival, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, and actor Morris Chestnut. Photo by Y’Anad Burrell

By Y’Anad Burrell

On June 1, the acclaimed Los Angeles-based Indie Night Film Festival arrived at the Kabuki Theater in San Francisco.

San Francisco native Dave Brown, Founder and CEO of the Indie Night Film Festival, has a vision for the film industry that is squarely focused on promoting the many talented producers, actors, and designers contributing to this billion-dollar industry.  The festival has been running for 12 years and it’s only up from here, he says.

A weekly celebration of cinematic artistry designed to elevate emerging talent while providing a platform for networking and collaboration, entrepreneur Dave Brown created Indie Night to bridge gaps within the filmmaking community by fostering connections between like-minded individuals worldwide. The Indie Film Festival currently has over 450 film submissions worldwide, and its cinematic vault only continues to grow.

The festival showcased over 10 short films and trailers, and featured Faces of the “City: Fighting for the Soul of America,” produced by veteran actor Tisha Campbell.  This film is about the vibrancy and legacy of San Francisco. The festival also previewed “When It Reigns,” a trailer by Oakland’s burgeoning filmmaker Jamaica René.

Indie films have not just challenged traditional cinematic norms; they’ve shattered them. These films offer unique storytelling perspectives and push creative boundaries in truly inspiring ways. With their smaller budgets and independent spirit, they often tackle unconventional subjects and portray diverse characters, providing a refreshing alternative to mainstream cinema. As a result, indie films have resonated with audiences seeking an escape from formulaic blockbusters and are increasingly celebrated for their authenticity and originality.

Organizers say the mission of Indie Night is to elevate the craft of independent artists and creators. It also provides a venue for them to showcase their work, network, and exchange information with new and established creatives. It creates a community that values and supports independent art.

For more about the Indie Night Film Festival, visit www.indienightfilmfestival.com.

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Bay Area

Sen. Wiener, Mayor Breed Announce Bill to Shut Down Fencing of Stolen Goods

On June 3, San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed joined State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) to announce a bill aiming to combat fencing, the sale of stolen goods. Authored by Wiener and sponsored by Breed, Senate Bill (SB) 925 would allow San Francisco to create permitting requirements to regulate the sale of items commonly obtained through retail theft and impose criminal penalties for those who engage in this practice.

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By Oakland Post Staff

On June 3, San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed joined State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) to announce a bill aiming to combat fencing, the sale of stolen goods.

Authored by Wiener and sponsored by Breed, Senate Bill (SB) 925 would allow San Francisco to create permitting requirements to regulate the sale of items commonly obtained through retail theft and impose criminal penalties for those who engage in this practice.

“The sale of stolen items in San Francisco has created unsafe street conditions and health and safety hazards that have negatively impacted residents, businesses, City workers, and legitimate street vendors,” states a statement released by the mayor’s office.

San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) Chief Bill Scott praised the effort.

“I want to thank Mayor Breed and Senator Wiener for identifying new ways to combat the illegal fencing of stolen goods. This will help our hard-working officers continue to make progress in cracking down on retail theft,” said Scott.

Under the legislation, San Francisco can require vendors to obtain a permit to be able to sell items deemed as frequently stolen by asking for documentation that the merchandise was obtained legitimately, such as showing proof of purchase.

The legislation also establishes that those in violation would receive an infraction for the first two offenses and an infraction or a misdemeanor and up to six months in county jail for the third offense.

Under this bill, people can still:

  • Sell goods with a permit
  • Sell prepared food with a permit
  • Sell goods on the list of frequently stolen items with a permit and proof of purchase.

“In San Francisco we are working hard to make our streets safer and more welcoming for all. SB 925 would greatly help us get a handle on the sale of stolen goods, all while taking a narrow approach that specifically targets bad actors,” said Breed.

Wiener says the cultural richness of San Francisco and the livelihoods of legitimate street vendors are threatened when bad actors are allowed to openly sell stolen goods on the city’s streets.

“With this bill we’re taking a balanced approach that respects the critical role street vending plays in our community while holding fencing operations accountable for the disruption they cause. It’s critical that everyone feel safe on our streets, including street vendors and neighborhood residents,” said Wiener.

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