Teachers, food industry workers to be eligible for vaccine / Salesforce to downsize city space

It's Tuesday, February 9th.

Good evening, San Francisco. 

Mayor Breed held a Covid update press conference on Tuesday and the message was consistent with what we’ve been hearing for a couple of weeks now: the city’s ability to administer the vaccine has grown (through mass and neighborhood sites, we can now vaccinate over 10,000 people per day) but supply remains a limiting factor. On Monday, a record 5,542 people were vaccinated, but on average, that number is closer to 4,000, Breed said. 

As San Francisco’s head of Public Health, Grant Colfax, put it: “We just need supply to meet the demands and the capability of our vaccine infrastructure.” 

One major bright spot from Tuesday’s event: Mayor Breed said that on February 24th, the city will move on to Phase 1B Tier 1 of its vaccine rollout. That means workers in emergency services, food and agriculture (including restaurant and grocery store workers), and education and childcare (including all the city’s teachers) will be eligible to receive the vaccine in the coming weeks.

A reminder that you can sign up here to receive a notification when you are eligible for the vaccine. And once you are eligible, you can go here to book an appointment at one of the city’s vaccination sites. 

And now, onto some more news…

At the same press conference on Tuesday, Mayor Breed was critical of the tentative agreement the San Francisco Unified School District and teachers’ unions reached this weekend for reopening plans. Breed said the plan (which would bring teachers and students back to the classroom when the county moved from a “purple tier” to a “red tier” and when vaccines were made available to school staff) wasn’t clear because it didn’t provide specific timelines for a return. “I have a lot of questions, just like a lot of parents have a lot of questions,” Breed said. 

If the district followed such a plan, Breed said the city’s public schools “definitely” would not open this school year. Instead, Breed said she hoped the schools would follow the Department of Public Health’s guidance, which has said that even without the vaccine, it is still safe for teachers and students to return to the classroom. At multiple points, Breed called attention to San Francisco’s 113 private and parochial schools that are back to in-person learning. “We have examples. We have data. We have information,” she said. “What we need to do is leave the excuses out of the way. We have the ability to do this and do this now.” 

Salesforce, San Francisco’s largest private employer and the company name attached to the city’s tallest tower, said on Tuesday that it expected most of its employees to work remotely part-time or full-time after the pandemic. As a result, Chief People Officer Brent Hyder told The Wall Street Journal: “I don’t believe that we’ll keep every space in every city that we’re in, including San Francisco.” 

Salesforce is the latest company to signal a reduction to its real-estate footprint in the city, following the likes of Yelp, Pinterest, and Dropbox. On Monday, Old Navy said it would shut down its Mission Bay headquarters to move into its parent company Gap’s downtown offices. In January, the real estate publication SocketSite said there were 14 million square feet of vacant office space in San Francisco, which was up from 5 million at the start of 2020 and the equivalent of more than ten Salesforce Towers.

The city’s first sanctioned site for people to park and live in their vehicles (located at 2340 San Jose Avenue, near the Balboa BART station) is set to close on March 15th to make room for a 138-unit affordable housing complex. Now, Supervisor Ahsha Safai wants similar parking sites to open across the city. “I feel like we did it right,” Safai told the Examiner. “It turned out well.” According to a December tally, 771 vehicles, including passenger cars and RVs, were being lived in across the city. 

Later this month, Safai plans to discuss the results of the inaugural site with the Board of Supervisors Land Use and Transportation Committee.

Quick bits: 

  • 🐂 This year’s Lunar New Year parade was canceled, but in its place are 11 ox sculptures (because it’s the Year of the Ox!) scattered across the Bay Area. Here’s a map to track them down. (Examiner

  • 🍍 Taiwanese Pineapple Cakes might just make the perfect Lunar New Year’s gift. Check out this East Bay pop-up, Home Flavory Eats, if you’re having some serious cravings like me. (Eater

  • 📵 Techie retailer B8ta has closed two of its three San Francisco stores recently out of concern for its employees’ safety and an armed robbery at its Hayes Valley location last week. (The Frisc

  • 📚 It’s worth checking out this conversation with San Francisco Board of Education president, Gabriela López, about renaming 44 of the city’s public schools, including why historians weren’t asked to advise. (New Yorker

And finally… Olive the GSP, my wife Kelsey, and I checked out the newly renovated dog park in Golden Gate Park this morning. We had only been there one time before the $2.4 million remodel, but from what I can remember, it’s a big-time upgrade. There’s new fencing, benches, water fountains, and a dedicated small dog park right next to the bigger play area. 

To me (and to Olive) the best part was the fallen eucalyptus trees the city incorporated in the park for dogs to run along and jump over. My main knock on the “Golden Gate Park Dog Training Area”  is that it’s mostly covered in sand. Maybe sand is easier (and cheaper) to maintain, but I just think having grass instead would have made it even better. 

Still, I’m excited for people who live near the park (it’s off Fulton and 36th Avenue in the Richmond) who can now bring their dogs to run across the eucalyptus trees! 

That’s all for today! A special shout out to everyone who’s shared The SF Minute with their friends, family, and colleagues. Today we crossed the 500 subscriber mark 😊 Thank you all so much for spreading the word! I really, really appreciate it and hope this can continue to be helpful for you all. 

Talk soon! -Nick B. 

Thanks so much to our friends from Candor for sponsoring this edition of The SF Minute. Candor has a newsletter of its own (focused on tech careers) that you don’t want to miss. Check it out!