Breed to squash free Muni pilot / Giants' stadium to open at full capacity in June
It's Wednesday, May 26.
Hey there, San Francisco.
Tragedy struck our friends in San Jose on Wednesday morning when a local transit employee reportedly took the lives of eight of his colleagues and then, his own.
The shooting, which took place in a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) storage and maintenance yard, was the deadliest in the Bay Area since a 1993 incident in San Francisco that also claimed nine lives.
“Our thoughts are with the victims and their families,” Mayor Breed tweeted on Wednesday.
“There’s a sameness to this and I think a numbness that we’re all feeling,” Governor Gavin Newsom said at a press conference. “It begs the question: ‘What the hell is going on in this country?’”
For more updates about this terrible incident, including information about the alleged shooter, this Chronicle thread is a good resource.
Much love to the people and the city of San Jose. We’re thinking about you.
And with that… onto some more news.
The Board of Supervisors voted 7-4 on Tuesday in favor of a $12.5 million plan to make Muni free for all riders for three months this summer. But as the Chronicle reported on Tuesday night, Mayor Breed is expected to squash the free Muni pilot with a mayoral veto, a power she’s rarely used in office.
“The mayor believes we need to return Muni to full service to support our economic recovery, especially for our lower income communities before we use precious general fund dollars to provide free rides for those who don’t need it,” the mayor’s spokesperson Jeff Cretan told the Chronicle in a statement.
Right now, Muni services are running at around 70% of their pre-pandemic levels with plans to move to 85% by January. The SFMTA has not committed to a date for a full return.
Supervisor Dean Preston, who introduced the proposal back in April, said on Tuesday that the pilot would have no impact on Muni returning its service and would benefit low and middle-income riders most. “Now is the time to put money back into their pockets,” Preston said.
But as Supervisor Myrna Melgar said, who voted against the plan, the board should first address the “transit desert” that some residents currently face. “Once that happens, I am more than happy to engage further in the free Muni conversation,” Melgar said.
📝 The SFUSD reiterated its commitment on Tuesday to bring back all students for in-person learning in August and included some more details about its plan, like streamlined start schedules for schools across the district. The Chronicle also reported that according to a staff memo, students and staff members will likely be required to wear masks upon their return. (Chronicle)
🏟 With California set to lift its Covid restrictions on June 15, the Giants said on Wednesday that Oracle Park will open at full capacity starting on Friday, June 25 in a game against its Bay Area rival Oakland A’s. (Mercury)
🌉 On Tuesday, Mayor Breed proposed a $9.5 million Downtown Recovery Plan that would expand the number of Community Ambassadors in tourist-heavy areas, like Union Square and Chinatown. It would also pay for an event series called “SFWednesdays,” which would start this July and consist of at least 10 two-hour events focused on arts and culture. (Broke-Ass Stuart)
According to a Twitter thread posted by Here/Say Media on Wednesday, the parents behind the school board recall effort now say they’ll need $500,000 to $750,000 to pay signature gatherers to meet their September deadline of at least 51,000 signatures.
To help boost their funding, the group recently increased the max donation amount on its website from $99 to $49,500. So far, they’ve raised $47,000 in total.
As Here/Say tweeted: “In a February interview… the group framed the $99 donation limit as core to its mission of being a ‘parent-led effort,’ noting that they ‘didn’t think they’d need’ to pay to collect signatures.”
Earlier this month, the group had just 20% of the signatures it needed to force a recall.
That's all for today!
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Alright, thanks for reading and we’ll see you tomorrow. - Nick B.