Ronen Pushes Bureaucray for Affordable Housing Sooner than Later By Dominic Fracassa and J.K. Dineen May 21, 2018 "Planning has been better in speeding up pre-entitlements. But we are not seeing that focus post-entitlement. Of the seven approved projects in the Mission, not a single one has broken ground. I’m tired of it.” said Supervisor Hillary Ronen about D9 affordable developments in her district, totaling 733 units, which have been stalled for more than a year after approvals. Some of that has to do with rising construction costs and the complexities of financing, but part of the blame, Ronen said, can be attributed to bureaucratic foot-dragging.
Supervisor Hillary Ronan listens under the new canopies to a dedication speaker at LA PLACITA or the Mission's community plaza on Bartlett at 22nd St. Ed Reiskin [far right] Director of Transportation of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) began working on the Bartlett and 22nd in 2010 as the head of DPW. A public celebration will be held Sunday April 30, 2017 from 11 to 3pm More at missioncommunitymarket.org/
2017 RONEN on her First Year in Office
HOUSING PRODUCTION: "Over the last two years we were able to put 500 units in the pipeline in during David Campos’ last two years in office. I wanted to keep up that pace, which was five times the pace that we had achieved previously. I fell short — I put about 175 units into the pipeline this year."
I’m going to keep the goal of 500 units a year,,,We just have to get 10 times more creative and aggressive in figuring out how to get there.We just have to get 10 times more creative and aggressive in figuring out how to get there.
PROPERTY CRIMES: I would like to see and have championed and worked hard with the Chief and Supervisor Norman Yee to make sure there’s also focused attention on property crime, particularly car break-ins and bike theft, which are a major, major problems in the Mission. Those are areas that I want to see marked improvement in.
We’re going to have someone in Mission Station that is focused exclusively on [property crime], and that will be a point person that the public and myself can go to to find out what the strategies are to address these issues and what the accountability is.
HOMELESSNESS: I can’t even get confirmation of how many beds we have for people with mental health illness and substance abuse. .. Another thing that’s a problem is that the Department of Public Health oversees those beds and the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Services isn’t coordinating with the Department of Public Health on that. HELPING 16th St BART's ALICE: . I think she’s in grave danger on our streets, and there has to be a way of doing better here. I don’t understand that yet, but I am hell-bent on understanding the system so that we can improve and make it better.
16th St BART: think that treating all BART stations equally doesn’t make any sense. There are some that are much more in need of constant attention, and there’s no doubt in my mind that 16th is one of those, and I’m not gonna stop until we fix it.
SANCTUARY CITY: We have a pretty amazing system in place.We could always add more resources to that system and we will continue to fight to do so as needed, but I think San Francisco is one of the safest places for immigrants to be in the country.
Portala Theater Marquee Restored by the City 16SEP-2017 Supervisor Hillary Ronen, who lives in the Portola, said she favors an arts use at the theater, but that the details need to be worked out through community dialogue.
“We have incredible cuisine. We have coffees shops. We have several breakfast joints. We have a banquet hall,” Ronen said. “Other than FDR [Ferment-Drink-Repeat] we don’t have anything that is open later at night. And we don’t have an arts venue.”
The Avenue Theatre opened in 1927. In the mid-1960s it was taken over by the Lyric Photoplay Film Society, which operated it until December 1984. Now the dilapidated 400-seat theater that’s been empty since the last tenant, Channels of Blessings, left in 2013 will be put up for lease says building owner Phil Malouf, whose father purchased it in 1987. For now he has leased the space to the Portola Neighborhood Association, which is subleasing it at a discount to Urban Churn Creamery, an ice cream startup based in the Sunset. The Avenue Theater on San Bruno Avenue's tenant and Creamery owner Rica Sunga-Kwan said she was recruited for the space by the city’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development. Mike Buhler, executive director of the preservation group SF Heritage, says the theater is eligible for historic landmark status, which would allow the owner to get historic tax credits.
Hairball Ideas the spaghetti tangle of freeway arteries that interlock over Cesar Chavez Street, Potrero Avenue and Bayshore Boulevard
2NOV-2017 Ronen has courted potential donors from Facebook and other tech companies in the hope of forming a public-private partnership to finance the Hairball Navigation Center. The industrial Mission center would be financed with state money secured by Assemblyman Phil Ting, she said.
“I have to be blunt: For the last few decades it’s been districts Six, Nine and 10 have been used as the storage space for all of the city’s problems. And yet there’s this sort of trend that each district gets the same amount of staff and add-back money,”she said. “It’s not the same amount of work, and if our district is going to take on our share of the city’s problems, we need to at least receive our fair share of resources.“We need to look at what other cities and counties do and take those lessons and assess what we can replicate here,” Hillary Ronen said to fellow Supervisors in the wake of a difficult budget session.
"I find it ridiculous that in a city with a $10 billion budget, we can’t agree on cutting bloated department budgets in order to fund solutions to the biggest crises facing our city, including homelessness, seniors that are hungry and families that desperately need and cannot afford child care,” Supervisor Hillary Ronen said in late June as the budget committee divvied up extra budget funds. Friday. Ronan's proposal for a 4th aid at $160,000 per aid in response to an overwelming amount of district demand unable to get direct help from City departments or the 311 HELP line also appeared to be heading for defeat. http://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/SF-supervisors-seek-ways-to-ease-brutal-budget-11295169.php
San Francisco's Housing Density Compromise effective 2018
An extra two floors of height for 30% low income on commercial corridors “It’s a win for those who advocate for housing at all income levels. It’s a win for those who believe supply and demand exists, and think San Francisco’s affordability and displacement crisis requires more home creation,” declared Todd David, executive director of the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition,
“Some corridors such as Taraval (Street) struggle,” Supervisor and legislation author Katie Tang said. “When you have more density, more people can walk to the Laundromat or coffee shops. And that helps all the small businesses we’re not thinking about.” The program lures developers to build on more than 200 so-called soft-sites in areas along commercial corridors and near transit in The City by granting 20 additional feet in height—two floors—beyond the existing zoning. In exchange for the height boost, developers commit to building 30 percent of the units on site at specified below-market rates. Supervisor Hillary Ronen unsuccessfully pushed for an amendment that would have prevented developers from evicting the legacy businesses that give San Francisco its character.“I don’t want cookie-cutter neighborhoods,” Ronen said. Short-term furnished Rental Compromised Reached
The supervisors on May 23, 2017 also unanimously approved a settlement with short-term rental services Airbnb and HomeAway. The companies must now accept responsibility for insuring that all of their local hosts are registered with the city and paying taxes and fees on their legislatively restricted part-time business.
Homeless Solution or Magnet SFgate Columnist Dave Talbot tells us: " District Nine Supervisor Hillary Ronen is sticking her neck out on an even hotter local issue, the homeless crisis, by pushing for a Navigation Center in her district, which covers the Mission and Bernal Heights. On May 4, 2017 Thursday at 6 p.m. at John O’Connell High School, Ronen will host what is certain to be another contentious community meeting on the planned Navigation Center.
Some of those who attended Ronen’s last community meeting demanded to know why other supervisors aren’t doing as much to build Navigation Centers in their districts. It’s a good question.
One official in the mayor’s homeless program points to Districts Five and Eight as areas that urgently need such shelters, but says that Supervisor London Breed, in District Five, has resisted such efforts and newly appointed Supervisor Jeff Sheehy, of District Eight, has shown little interest or initiative.
That’s exactly what the Navigation Centers are meant to address,” countered Supervisor Hillary Ronen. “My goal is to end all encampments in the Mission. And if people don’t then take the option of moving into a humane shelter, I agree they will have to be removed from the street.”
It’s the NIMBY attitude that blocks more shelters from being built, I observed.
“I don’t want to be a NIMBY — I’m not like that,” insisted Wings.
Ronen said the city is “moving at warp speed” to push the Navigation Center through the bureaucratic process — although, unfortunately, it would remain on the site for only about nine months until construction begins on a residential-commercial development there. But she is already looking for another site in her district for a permanent shelter.
“This is a test for the city,” Ronen said. “If we can get this project (on South Van Ness) done quickly and efficiently, then it’s a model for every other supervisor and district. We need Navigation Centers all over the city.”
Lennar donates $1M and more to get 1515 So Van Ness Approved 17MAR-2017Supervisor Hilllary Ronan extracted a commitment to lease six 700 sqft"trade shop" spaces and a donation for "cultural stabilization fund" to be administered by the San Francisco Foundation. Erick Arguello, President of the Calle 24 Council, has frequently opposed market-rate development, he said he felt comfortable with the 1515 S. Van Ness deal.
“Preventing displacement and preserving our rich Latino culture are our top priorities,” Arguello said. “When developers work with us and our supervisor to accomplish these goals, we can feel good about moving these projects forward.”
The project will include 39 units affordable to a range of families making between 55 percent and 120 percent of area median income, or $59,000 and $129,000 for a family of four.
January 9, 2017Supervisor Hillary Ronen’s first bill ever — adds new conditional use authorization zoning regulations on new businesses looking to open within the Calle 24 Latino Cultural District, which is within the quadrant formed by Mission and Potrero plus 22nd and Cesar Chavez streets. Businesses will soon be required to obtain a conditional-use authorization When seeking to merge two or more separate storefronts [unless the total would be less than 800 SQFT or if the space was previously occupied by a city-designated “legacy business” — one that has been in operation for at least 30 years.
Most significantly would be a ban on new eating and drinking establishments if they’re in a 300-foot diameter in which restaurants and bars make up more than 35 percent of the retail businesses. Erick Arguello, Calle 24 Latino Cultural District Council president, said he wished the legislation had been introduced a few years ago but since the Mayor's office is supporting the greater restrictions no opposition is expected. calle24sf.org/en/visit/cultural-highlights/
The 1850 Bryant Project Feb 1, 2017 San Francisco Supervisor Hillary Ronen, who represents the Mission, said she is cautiously optimistic about the 1850 Bryant St. project, although she wants to make sure it’s as affordable as possible to cash-strapped organizations. “The idea of creating a permanent home for nonprofits, so they have a secure footing in the Mission, is really exciting,” Ronen said. “I’m intrigued by the idea of joint ownership — kind of a condo building for social service groups.”
Supervisor Hillary Ronen Stars at David Campos Roast by Laura Wenus posted December 16, 2016 Outgoing D9 Supervisor David Campos’ chief of staff and now successor Hillary Ronen delivered the zingers that made the evening at Brava Theater memorable.
“David is the most popular unsuccessful politician of all time. He lost public advocate, he lost the assembly race, he lost the Mission moratorium… Even his tenant protection laws were struck down by federal judges,” she said. “He’s really good at losing. He has a bright future in the Democratic Party.”
Others made gay jokes ranging from polite to cringe worthy (Tom Ammiano [also a former D9 Supervisor] made a joke about a gay police officer blowing his horse that fell so flat he had to pull out a noisemaker with a laugh function he had brought along).
"I am very much looking forward to finally working on achieving the promises that I’ve been making for a year. I want to start working on building affordable housing, on building navigation centers and removing tent encampments from the Mission, on creating a universal preschool program, on fighting for immigrants, the climate, healthcare, and against a Trump administration that attacks all the values we hold most dear in San Francisco."
JRB: What do you think about the tactic of appealing market-rate housing projects hoping for an eventual delay?
HR: I really am hoping to create a new dynamic, where developers come and work with me and my office and the community from the get-go and offer higher levels of affordability to try to stave off the showdowns that we see during these appeals. That’s just a better system all around — it’s better for developers who want predictability, it’s better for the community who have a million other priorities rather than fighting project after project after project.
I have made this campaign pledge of building 5,000 units of affordable housing in a decade, and a lot of those units will come through market-rate projects. My interest in seeing market-rate projects built is to see them with as much affordable housing in them as possible.
Developers who want to come and work with me towards that common goal, please do so, I can’t wait to work with you. Hopefully the community will be in agreement with that.
ELECTION RESULTS: In District Nine, which includes the Mission, progressive Hillary Ronen beat moderate
Joshua Arce 57.1 percent to 30.7 percent. Ronen is a legislative aide to termed-out Supervisor David Campos. By crossing the 50% threshold on the first count, Supervisor-elect Ronan avoided the long elimination process faced in three other Supervisor races which is expected to shift the progressive /moderate tilt of the Board of Supervisors from 6/5 to 5/6.
In neighboring Outer Mission District 11, which includes the Excelsior, Merced Heights and Ingleside neighborhoods and is now represented by termed-out Supervisor John Avalos, moderate Ahsha Safai was leading with 38.8 percent, or 6,467 votes. Progressive Kimberly Alvarenga’s was at 32.2 percent, or 5,363 votes.
September 28, 2016 at BRAVA Theater
From left to right: Brava Theater Host Anastacia (Stacie) Powers Cuellar, MMA Debate Moderator Roberto Hernandez, Candidates: Iswari España, Melissa San Miguel, Hillary Ronen, and Joshua Arce.
The debate panelists were vying to represent District 9 (Bernal Heights, Mission, Portola, Saint Mary's Park), gathered at BRAVA Theater for a lively discussion about small business issues, SFMTA, youth, affordable housing, seniors and the Latino Cultural District.
Housing is #1 Issue
Housing, which came up again and again, was perhaps the most contentious point of debate. Throughout the evening, the candidates repeatedly used the issue to criticize Hillary Ronen, who they sought to characterize as the incumbent and thus personally responsible for District 9’s problems.
“I won’t sit here like Ms. Ronen and make false promises about how many units I’m going to build in a certain amount of time,” said Melissa San Miguel, an education advocate. “She, as chief of staff to our supervisor, had the opportunity to build these units, but did not.”
Ronen has promised to build 5,000 units of affordable housing over the next ten years.
“The way I’m going to do that [build 5,000 units] is by finding revenue to build 100 percent affordable projects, and working with the developers to build good market-rate projects with lots of affordable housing in it,” she said. Ronen then mentioned that she was currently working on a plan with an unnamed developer for a privately funded project that would that would be 100 percent affordable.
"Both España and San Miguel blamed Campos for neighborhood issues. When asked about the recently-installed red bus-only lanes on Mission Street, for instance, San Miguel was unequivocal in her opposition.
“This plan has been a disaster,” said Melissa San Miguel, an education advocate with former state-level experience at the non-profit National Center for Youth Law. “People who were policy advisors and aides at City Hall did not think about us and include us because they do not know our community,” she said.
Responsiveness to the Small Business Community
“I believe that a lot of these issues could be solved by just having an open ear when you call a supervisor,” said Iswari España when asked about permitting for small businesses.
España, a training officer with the Human Services Agency, said Campos and his office simply route calls to different city agencies and that he would personally pick up the phone to help constituents.
“Answer the phone call,” he said. “You have stopped doing it.”
"Hillary Ronen was born in California and has worked and lived in District 9 for more than thirteen years. She has spent her career working to build an affordable future for her neighbors in Bernal Heights, the Mission, and the Portola. hill_babyHillary’s father immigrated to America when he was 30 years old, and he learned to speak English while working blue collar jobs. After watching the discrimination her father faced in the workplace, Hillary decided to dedicate her life to advancing the rights of workers and their families.
After graduating from UC San Diego and attending UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law, Hillary moved to the Mission District to work for La Raza Centro Legal. While leading the worker’s rights unit, she stood up to unethical employers who were stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in wages from workers, earning a reputation as someone willing to take on difficult battles and get results. hill_collegeFor the last six years Hillary has served as Chief of Staff for District 9 Supervisor David Campos, where she has become known for her ability to bring all political sides together to pass common sense laws. Her determination to help families during the affordability crisis has lead to essential legislation protecting families and school teachers from eviction; providing resources for the first LGBT homeless shelter in San Francisco history; and passing the Free MUNI for Youth program. hill_active
Most importantly, under Hillary’s leadership, the District 9 office has pushed to build the first affordable housing units in the Mission in over a decade. Hundreds of affordable housing units will be made available to district residents in the next few years, with hundreds more in the pipeline. Hillary is married to Francisco Ugarte, Immigration Specialist at the San Francisco Public Defender’s office. Their daughter Maelle recently celebrated her third birthday. If elected, Hillary will be the first mother to serve as a San Francisco Supervisor in over 4 years. "
Ines Lazarte, Member or Women’s Collective and Day Labor Program*
Isa Noyola, Transgender Law Center*
Jennifer Friedenbach, Coalition on Homelessness*
Jesus Barragan, Community Activist
Jill Shenker, National Domestic Worker Alliance*
Joseph Smooke, Former Executive Director of Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center*
Juan Carlos Cancino, Founder, The Green House Project*
Juanita Flores, MUA*
Juanita MORE, Drag Queen
Julio Loyola, Day Labor Program*
Kash Feng, Owner of Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Kate Monico Klein, Director at SF Department of Public Health*
Katy Birnbaum, Sunday Streets Organizer*
Krissy Keefer, Director of Dance Mission to Community*
Lariza Dugan Cuadra, Executive Director of CARECEN*
Lateefah Simon, Akonadi Foundation
Laura Guzman, Director at Mission Neighborhood Resource Center*
Laura Sanchez, Legal Director at CARECEN*
Laura Thomas, Deputy State Director, Drug Policy Alliance*
Lee Hepner, Legislative Aide, District 3 Supervisor Aaron Peskin*
Lily Wong, President of Portola Neighborhood Democratic Club*
Linda Weiner, Public Health Advocate*
Lorena Melgarejo, Parish Organizer at The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco*
Maria Villalta, CARECEN*
Melba Maldonado, Executive Director La Raza Community Resource Center*
Michael Rolph, Founder at Heroic*
Nato Green, Comic and Community Activist
Nicky Trasvina, Student Service Professional at SFState*
Olivia Cleveland, Youth Reader Bernal Heights*
Peter Gallota, Co-President, Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club*
Renee Saucedo, Former Director SF Day Labor Program*
Roberto Alfaro, Executive Director, HOMEY*
Rocio Avila, attorney, Domestic Worker Alliance*
Roma Guy, Former Health Commissioner*
Rosy Cho, Private Immigration Attorney*
Ruth Wallace, Founder of Portola Garden Tours and Portola Neighborhood Activist*
Sam Ruiz, Executive Director Mission Neighborhood Center*
Santiago Lerma, Latino Democratic Club, Community Activist*
Shanell Williams, Development Director at California Student Sustainability Coalition*
Sheila Chung Hagen, Legislative Aide, Supervisor David Campos*
Shirley Chen, Former Corridor Manager of San Bruno Avenue*
Stuart Schuffman, Broke-Ass-Stuart
Susana Rojas, Director of Mission Girls*
Teresa Duque, Executive Director of SF Empowerment Center*
Tom Temprano, Founder of Mission/Bernal Merchants Association*
Tommi Avicolli Mecca, Housing Activist
Vicky Castro, Executive Director of La Raza*
Supervisor John Avalos Supervisor David Campos Supervisor Jane Kim Supervisor Eric Mar Supervisor Aaron Peskin Supervisor Norman Yee Senator Mark Leno Former Assembly member Tom Ammiano California Democratic Party Chair John Burton School Board President Matt Haney School Board Member Sandra Lee Fewer District Attorney George Gascón Public Defender Jeff Adachi Former Supervisor Matt González Former Supervisor Bevan Dufty Former Supervisor Harry Britt Former Supervisor Jake McGoldrick Former Supervisor Sophie Maxwell Former School Board Member Kim Shree Maufas Community College Trustee Brigitte Davila Community College Trustee Raphael Mandelman Community College Trustee Thea Selby DCCC President Cindy Wu DCCC Member Pratima Gupta Former DCCC Member Hene Kelly Former DCCC member Kelly Dwyer