Injection site bill delayed / Homelessness leader to step down

It's Wednesday, June 7.

Hey there, San Francisco. 

On Tuesday, state lawmakers announced the pausing of a bill (known as SB-57) that would allow people to openly use drugs in sanctioned spaces, or what are often referred to as “safe consumption sites.” 

According to a Chronicle report, Assemblymember Jim Wood, who heads the Health Committee, said he postponed a decision on the matter until at least January 2022 to obtain feedback from the U.S. Attorney General, since the drug-use sites could violate federal law. 

Senator Scott Wiener, who represents San Francisco at the state capital and supports SB-57, told the Chronicle he was “extremely disappointed” by the delay. Local supervisor Matt Haney called the added wait, “deadly.” 

If passed, San Francisco would likely begin to create the consumption sites in one or more areas of the city, staffing them with medical professionals and offering access to treatment services. In April, Mayor Breed, along with several other mayors, sent a letter to the Attorney General, saying the sites were a “sensible harm reduction tool that is key to stopping the epidemic plaguing this country.” 

But not everybody thinks the consumption sites will make a major impact on our city’s overdose issues. 

Thomas Wolf, a recovering drug addict, told me on Wednesday that he probably wouldn’t have frequented the sites when he was homeless in San Francisco because he “didn’t care” where he used. Also, he “couldn't leave [his] belongings cause they would've been stolen.” Instead, Wolf said he’d rather see a focus on breaking up the city’s drug trade and getting people into treatment and recovery programs. 

“Users are gonna use, I get that. So they might as well be safe,” Wolf said. “But [these sites] won't make a difference.” 

And with that… onto some news… 

Quick bits: 

  • 👀 Jeff Kositsky, who headed a cross-agency group focused on moving people out of tents and into more permanent housing, is stepping down. Recently, Kositsky had come under fire for emails that surfaced in which he said: “San Francisco attracts unsheltered people to our City due to a lack of real enforcement and the many amenities we provide to folks.” Back in 2016, Kositsky became the city’s first director for the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. (Chronicle

  • ☕️ Portola has a new coffee shop called Hey Neighbor, which took over the space previously run by Four Barrel. Hey Neighbor is serving toast cut from “activated charcoal” loaves and coffee from places like Asia, the West Indies, and Sri Lanka—“communities that are often ignored or overlooked in this ever-expansive tapestry of coffee culture,” cafe co-founder Dee Derisse said. (SF Gate

Mark your calendar: 

  • 🎺 The Tenderloin jazz bar Black Cat is set to reopen on August 4, and with a new head chef, it looks even fancier than before. (Eater)  

  • 💜 Ube lovers unite! The Yum Yams food festival, which will be serving all-things Ube, is this Sunday (7/11) in SoMa from noon to 5pm. (48 Hills

  • 🎤 Four exhibits celebrating the work of musician Leonard Cohen will be on display at the Contemporary Jewish Museum starting August 5. (Marina Times

And finally… 

Here’s some awesome drone footage inside one of the Painted Ladies (with the Full House theme song and all) to end the day. Good find, Brock Keeling! 

That’s all for today! Thanks so much for reading y’all and we’ll see you back here tomorrow. - Nick B.

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