Hey there, San Francisco.
Upstart politician Bilal Mahmood didn’t make it into April’s two-man runoff for State Assembly. But having received 22% of the vote in last month’s special election, many wondered if he would endorse one of the two remaining candidates (Matt Haney and David Campos).
Today, we got our answer – Mahmood will throw his support behind Haney.
His reasoning? Mahmood told the Chronicle he viewed the current city supervisor as “the most pro-housing candidate” left in the race.
Also, Mahmood told me on Thursday he has “no plans” to run again in June when there will be yet another election for the District 17 State Assembly seat.
And with that…onto the news…
Top story: Office return promise
On Thursday, Mayor Breed, along with several major San Francisco companies, made a public pledge to begin bringing workers back into the office starting this month.
Companies making the commitment (dubbed “Welcome Back to SF”) include Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Gap, Salesforce, Google, Meta, and Uber.
San Francisco City and County workers will begin returning to their offices starting on March 7.
The announcement should be welcomed news to downtown restaurants, bars, and retail shops, which saw a steep decline in customers as a result of work-from-home policies.
“We cannot overstate how important workers returning to their offices is to our survival,” Bun Mee founder Denise Tran said in a statement.
Still, it’s unclear how often employees from these companies will actually make the trip downtown.
Google, for instance, recently told its Bay Area employees to expect to come into the office three days a week and work remotely the other two days. That new policy starts on April 4.
Quick bits: News to know
🤳 In 2021, tourists spent $3.1 billion in San Francisco, according to figures released by the San Francisco Travel Association on Wednesday. That number was up slightly from the $2.8 billion visitors spent in 2020, but still much lower than $10.3 billion spent in 2019. (SF Business Times)
🚓 Mayor Breed withdrew her request for $8 million to pay for police overtime because the extra funding was not needed after 30 officers left the department in January. “The problem was solved by a much bigger problem,” SFPD spokesperson Matt Dorsey told the Chronicle. (Chronicle)
😞 A 23-year-old teacher at Mission Preparatory School died Wednesday morning after being hit by a semi-truck while riding his motorized scooter. The incident took place near Harrison and 22nd Street. (Mission Local)
What else I’m reading: Links to browse
She’s 81 and still playing soccer. Is this S.F. pickup game the fountain of youth? (Chronicle)
‘You’re under the mountain’: Inside San Francisco’s oldest, deepest station, Forest Hill (SFGATE)
Meet the three historical buildings vying to become Visitacion Valley’s first designated landmark (Hoodline)
Weekend Guide: Events, ideas, and more
🌷 Pick up a free tulip bouquet. 100,000 tulips will be on display in Union Square this Saturday. And to celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8), organizers are giving out free tulip bouquets for visitors to “gift to a woman that has inspired them this year.” The event takes place in Union Square from 1-4:30 pm. More info here.
🇺🇦 Order piroshkis. On Saturday, San Francisco’s sole Ukrainian restaurant Pushkin is selling fried piroshkis with all proceeds going towards humanitarian efforts in the country. You can pre-order the mix of potato and cabbage piroshkis (5 for $25) by sending a DM on Instagram or by paying ahead of time on PayPal. Pickup is from 1-5 pm on Saturday at Pushkin (located downtown at 40 Belden Place).
🍽 Try a new restaurant. ICYMI, this week, the Chronicle updated its top new Bay Area restaurant list. Maybe check one out this weekend. San Francisco spots on the list include Chuck's Takeaway, Little Red Window, Good Good Culture Club, Jikasei Mensho, and Automat. Also, a reminder that Schlok’s bagel shop near Divisadero is now open, though long lines are already forming.
That’s all for today! And before you go, a moment of zen. This Redditor found a rock that looks pretty identical to the city limits of San Francisco. Incredible!
Have a great night y’all and see you tomorrow. - Nick B.