Prince Harry to join SF-based startup / Oakland reveals guaranteed income program

It's Tuesday, March 23rd.

Good evening, San Francisco. 

On my jaunt through the Panhandle this morning, I noticed something strange. A twenty-or-thirty-something dressed up in nice pants, a quarter-zip sweater, and a backpack over his shoulders. Was he… could he be… going into the office?! 

On Wednesday, San Francisco will enter the state’s “orange tier” for reopening, which means downtown offices can start to reopen at 25% capacity. To celebrate the milestone, Mayor Breed held a press conference on Tuesday outside the Beale Street headquarters of the tech company Twilio. 

“I’m tired of working from home,” Breed said. “I think most people can agree, working from home is boring.” 

Moving to the orange tier also means that indoor dining and retail can expand to 50% capacity. And, bars and restaurants will be able to serve people alcohol outside without having to also offer food. 

The office part will be especially interesting to keep an eye on. Mayor Breed said on Tuesday that “downtown is going to start to come alive again.” 

Maybe. One day. 

And now… onto some news. 

Prince Harry is joining the San Francisco-based coaching and mental health company BetterUp as its chief impact officer, the firm announced on Tuesday. Yes, you read that correctly. Prince Henry just landed a job at an SF tech startup. 

Look, I didn’t watch the Oprah interview, but it seems as though the move to join BetterUp makes sense given Harry and his wife Meghan Markle’s decision to seek financial independence from the monarchy. 

“Proactive coaching provides endless possibilities for personal development, increased awareness, and an all-round better life,” Harry told the Wall Street Journal as to why he took the job. “I intend to help create impact in people’s lives.” 

BetterUp CEO Alexi Robichaux told the Journal it was a “meaty role,” and that the prince will likely spend some time in the company’s San Francisco headquarters in the future. When he does join the firm last valued at $1.7 billion, Robichaux said that Harry will “obviously have the whole organization sprinting to help him.” 

Oakland will provide 600 of its residents with $500 per month starting as early as this spring in what’s slated to be one of the country’s largest guaranteed income programs. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf announced the news at a press conference on Tuesday, saying that the residents will receive the no-strings-attached money for at least 18 months. 

“Our vision is an Oakland that has closed the racial wealth gap and where all families thrive,” Schaaf said. “We believe that guaranteed income is the most transformative policy that can achieve this vision and whose time has come.”

Oakland’s “pilot” program will focus on Black, indigenous, and people of color that have at least one child under 18-years-old and who make 50% of the area’s median income (around $59,000 for a family of three) or less. Those who are eligible and apply will be randomly selected. 

Quick bits:

  • 💞 Xiao Zhen Xie, the 75-year-old woman attacked on Market Street last week, said that she wants all of the $900,000 raised via GoFundMe to be donated “back to the Asian American community to combat racism.” (SFist

  • 💉 Almost 40% of San Francisco residents over 16-years-old have received at least their first vaccine dose. For those over 65-years-old, nearly 80% have had their first dose. (Chronicle

  • 😔 In February, 66 people died of a drug overdose in the city, with 45 of those people having fentanyl in their system, according to data released by the medical examiner on Tuesday. Already this year (in January and February), 137 people have died from an overdose compared to 81 people at the same point last year. (Twitter / Trisha Thadani

  • 🎒 The judge in the City Attorney’s emergency motion to reopen San Francisco’s public schools appeared skeptical on Monday that the court should "micromanage" the process. He is set to issue a ruling as soon as this week. (Public Comment

  • 🍚 Opening on March 31st on Fillmore Street (in what used to be Elite Cafe) will be a Northern Italian restaurant specializing in risottos called Tailor’s Son. “Often in U.S., you have risottos that are undercooked, overcooked, and with tons of cheese and butter,” said founder Adriano Paganini, who’s also behind the SF restaurants Wildseed, Lolinda, and Delarosa. “A perfect Italian risotto is a balance.” (Chronicle)

And finally… Last March Chronicle photographer Jessica Christian snapped shots of San Francisco residents in their windows and asked them how they were coping with the recent shelter-in-place mandate. 

A year later, Christian revisited those people at their windows to check-in. Visually, it’s probably the coolest “look back” piece I’ve seen about the pandemic and definitely worth scrolling through

“We took care of each other this year,” one couple said. “I’m looking forward to freezing through the extra innings at Giants games, running out of cash at live drag shows, getting my post-show Fillmore poster, and taking Muni home afterward.” 

“I’m truly ecstatic to hug my friends like there’s no tomorrow when this is over,” another said. “And never take that for granted again.” 

That’s all for today! Thanks so much for reading y’all and hope you’re doing well. See you tomorrow! - Nick B. 

Thanks so much to the team at Felt for sponsoring today’s newsletter.

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