Mayor Breed's State of the City / New trash can designs

It's Thursday, January 28th.

Good evening, San Francisco. 

Mayor London Breed delivered her annual State of the City address this morning. The 15-minute talk was short and sweet...and hopeful! “To those who are writing obituaries of San Francisco. We read all these before. We proved them all wrong before. And we’ll do it again,” Breed said. 

The mayor spoke of the need to vaccinate 10,000 residents per day (her stated goal for the rollout) and open public schools for in-person learning. “Our city can't fully recover until our students are supported and our schools are open,” she said. 

Breed also touched on housing. “Can we finally put to rest the fantasy that supply and demand doesn't apply to our housing situation? You may have noticed rent prices went down, way down last year. Why? Because demand went down. When it goes back up... let's be ready, with more supply, more housing so everyone can afford to live here.” 

Lots of good thoughts in Breed’s speech, but a lot of work ahead. 

Onward to some news for the day. 

  • A key to solving San Francisco’s trash issues could lie in the hands of Slim Silhouette, Soft Square, or Salt & Pepper. Those are the names of the three trash can designs vying to replace the city’s more than 3,000 green receptacles, which, as one city official told the SF Weekly, have proven to be “not streetworthy.” All three of the designs aim to cut down on rummaging, which can be one of the biggest factors in trash ending up on sidewalks. Within the next six months, Public Works will place five of each of the new designs around the city and collect data on how they are performing before making its final decision. 

    Without seeing any of these out in the wild (or knowing how viable each really is) I think I’m pulling for Slim Silhouette at this point. How about you? 

  • The saga surrounding Anchor Brewing Company is heating up. After an outpouring of disappointment from patrons over Anchor’s major rebranding earlier this week, the company responded with an impassioned Instagram post of its own on Thursday, saying the changes were necessary to stay “afloat.” “After years of struggling to turn the tide, we were faced with a very challenging decision: make a bold stand to preserve our recipes and legacy or allow Anchor to be forgotten,” it said. 

    I like what Jim Stitt had to say—the person who hand-drew all of Anchor’s logos for the past 45 years before retiring in 2019. “I expected them to make some major modifications, and they did,” he told The Chronicle. “I think it’s OK. It’s not bad, it’s just different.” 

  • When my wife and I were looking for a new apartment recently, it was a very different experience. We weren’t bidding against anyone, we received 6 weeks of free rent, and we didn’t have to put any money down. Something that was a bit of a surprise, though, was not having the option to sign a lease for shorter than one year. 

    As this recent article from Public Comment covers, that’s partly due to a recent law the city approved, which cut down on Intermediate Length Occupancies, or leases that last between 30 days and one year. Under the new law, which passed last May, only 1,000 units in San Francisco (or 0.25% of the city’s housing stock) can offer less than a year lease. Public Comment said part of the city’s intention was to curb companies, like the rental startup Sonder, from turning apartments into “furnished corporate rentals.” But the law could have unintended consequences, it said. While other cities are working to attract new residents amid the pandemic, San Francisco may have made it even harder to move here. 

  • A friendly reminder that outdoor dining resumes today! Here’s a list The Infatuation put together before the shut-down in December that lays out restaurants (by neighborhood) that have outdoor dining options. 

  • And finally… if you have 7-minutes to spare, it’s worth checking out this new video from HereSay Media that explains what’s happening with public schools in San Francisco and why they haven’t reopened yet.

As for the impact school closures have had on students, Public Comment obtained a San Francisco Unified School District report on Thursday containing data that suggests remote learning “has had an unequal impact along socioeconomic and racial lines.” 

That’s all for today. As a programming reminder, I’m planning on sending these newsletters out four days a week to leave a fifth day for “business stuff” (like telling people we’re here!). That means no newsletter tomorrow. 

So I wanted to ask, after almost a week of sending these in the afternoon, what do you like better? Mornings or afternoons? 

The responses so far have been almost exactly split down the middle. Open rates are also pretty much the same, around 55%. 

Personally, I like the idea of a morning newsletter, but it has been nice not waking up at 5 am to get these out! I also keep coming back to what one reader said… that his inbox is inundated with emails in the mornings, so it’s nice for The SF Minute to come later in the day. Anyways, if you have strong feelings either way, I’d love to know! 

Have a great weekend everyone and see you next week! - Nick B.

Thanks to HiView for sponsoring today’s newsletter. If you own a business and need any help related to Google Cloud, give the team at HiView a shout. ☝️