Hey there, San Francisco.
Happy Valentine’s Day. 💘
Love is in the air! And, so is election season.
If you haven’t mailed in your ballot already, you’ll have a chance to vote in-person tomorrow.
And as we’ve known for some time now, this special election is going to be an odd one for several reasons:
Regarding the school board recall, it’s the first time in almost 40 years that San Francisco residents will decide whether to oust an elected official. Board members Gabriela López, Alison Collins, and Faauuga Moliga hope to keep their jobs like then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein did back in 1983.
Those living on the east side of the city will vote to fill David Chiu’s recently vacated State Assembly seat. But if none of the four candidates receive 50% of the vote, the top two vote-getters will square off again in April.
District 17 residents will have to decide on their Assemblymember AGAIN later this year since Chiu’s term was set to expire in November.
And, regarding the Assessor-Recorder race, well, it’s not much of a race since there’s only one person running. Joaquin Torres is your only choice.
And with that…onto some news…
Top story: Our inflation situation
In 2021, San Francisco’s inflation rate of 4.2% was the lowest of any major metro area, the Wall Street Journal reported this weekend. By comparison, Atlanta saw the highest inflation rate increase among the 23 metro areas considered by the Labor Department, jumping 9.8% last year.
The national average in December was 7%.
So, why aren’t prices increasing as much in San Francisco?
For one, the San Francisco metro area is already an expensive place to live.
Inflation rates in other coastal areas, like New York City, Boston, and Washington DC, were lower than the national average as well.
And, San Francisco’s population has shrunk as of late, while places like Atlanta are seeing more people moving in.
More people means more demand for housing, which means higher prices for renters and home buyers. (And, housing costs make up about ⅓ of the Labor Department’s consumer-price index.)
In Atlanta, median housing prices jumped 23% last year, while in San Francisco, they rose 10%.
Quick bits: Bite-sized news stories
👀 San Francisco will soon get its “westernmost” cannabis dispensary, located right next to Trouble Coffee in the Outer Sunset. Meanwhile, Black Bird Bookstore, which currently resides in the space at 4033a Judah Street, will relocate to Irving Street at some point next month. (Hoodline)
🍺 After an eight-year run, Magnolia is closing its Dogpatch brewpub, the company announced on Monday. Magnolia will “refocus [its] attention” on its original, Haight Street location, they said. (Eater)
🎸 San Francisco’s Small Business Commission has granted legacy status to Hyde Street Studios, the Tenderloin District recording and production studio that’s hosted musical legends like the Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Green Day, and more. (Chronicle / Hoodline)
🛣 Last week, a San Francisco judge ruled that the city, not the courts, should decide whether to fully reopen the Great Highway to car traffic. Still, the Board of Supervisors is not expected to decide on the matter until 2023. (Chronicle)
What else I’m reading: Links to browse
Stangel trial: Officer dismissed beating witnesses without interviews (Mission Local)
There Are Not 40,000 Vacant Homes in San Francisco (SocketSite)
Inside S.F. pasta destination Flour + Water, which just reopened after a major revamp (Chronicle)
‘I loved her motivation’: What Eileen Gu told her S.F. circle about picking China (Chronicle)
Did you see this recently-viral tweet that had our city looking oh-so-pretty?
“It reminds me of just how much a picture can mean to so many people — and take you completely by surprise,” Rubinstein said.
That’s all for today! Have a wondering evening y’all and see you back here again tomorrow. - Nick B.