Community Platform

MEETING BASIC NEEDS

1) Ensure Equitable Access to Information

Information provided by the city and county should be available in multiple languages, in plain language and in a format accessible via screen readers. Recorded updates should be available by phone on a local or toll-free number for people who do not have internet or text access. All video materials should be captioned and audio described. Information must also be provided to people in shelters, hospitals, long-term care facilities, prisons, and other facilities. Information should include prevention techniques, testing, official recommendations, updated statistics, safety net services, and other relevant updates.

2) Ensure Deliveries of Food and Medications

Deliveries of food, medication, and necessary medical supplies must be available to seniors, people with disabilities and chronic health conditions, and others who have been ordered to stay home or for whom it is not safe or possible to go out, as well as unhoused people.

WORKERS

3) Create Public Health Emergency Leave and Worker Protections

The city must require at least 14 days of paid leave that can be used for a public health emergency, allowing private and public sector full-time and part-time workers adequate time for critical needs, including 14 days of quarantine, care for a child whose school is closed, preventative actions like self-quarantine and social isolation for vulnerable older and disabled workers, or workplace closure due to public health order or guidance. This leave must be in addition to any existing sick or vacation leave. Meanwhile, enforcement of San Francisco’s existing worker right’s laws including paid sick leave and healthcare security should be enforced with expedited procedures, and supported by increased funding for our Office of Labor Standards Enforcement. This includes the city pursuing aggressive enforcement against multi-billion dollar gig companies who are breaking local and state laws, depriving their workers of paid sick leave, healthcare, unemployment insurance and workers compensation and endangering their workers and our public health.  

4) Direct Payments to Vulnerable Workers, Not Through Employers

As a public good during this crisis, the City of San Francisco must provide financial support directly to workers themselves—especially low-wage, undocumented and vulnerable workers—instead of providing benefits through employers. This is necessary because many workers don’t have a single employer, new policies announced have significant gaps in coverage, and employer unwillingness to provide benefits plus lack of enforcement could leave many workers without support. For all days during which there are shelter in place policies and in cases of sickness or self-quarantine after that, San Francisco should directly provide eligible workers with adequate financial assistance. Eligibility should be determined by proxy through eligibility for other programs such as Healthy San Francisco, CalFresh, affordable housing etc. The City must mandate that employers extend their employer-provided healthcare coverage as workers are laid off or lose hours that are needed to maintain their healthcare.

YOUTH, FAMILIES & SCHOOL COMMUNITIES

5) In Emergencies Youth and Families Need Access to Food

All people should have access to food and wellness support in their neighborhoods, with a delivery structure for people unable to leave home. Schools & educators (SFUSD, CCSF, childcare providers – license and licence exempt) are crucial resources for providing food, emergency childcare (for those who must work) and wellness support for the entire community. Implementation of resources must be done with transparency, safety, and in coordination with stakeholders: families, community partners and workers (especially those responsible for facilities, food, wellness and education including childcare).

6) Funding to Fill Crucial Gaps in our Mental Health and Childcare Systems

This pandemic has exposed gaps created by underfunding of crucial mental and physical health supports, as well as a deep digital divide. Without proper health and safety measures, public schools (SFUSD and CCSF) and childcare providers cannot respond to health emergencies and to support vulnerable families and keep students (children, but also adults and elders) safe. Therefore San Francisco must find sustainable funds for full staffing of school nurses and social workers, must fully resourced wellness centers and provide emergency personal protective equipment, cleaning and disinfecting supplies. Finally, technology has become a necessary part of education, and therefore every student (youth and adult learners) must be provided free broadband internet and a computer

HEALTHCARE

7) Full Staffing and Protection in All Healthcare Facilities

Staffing capacity must be increased to meet public health demand without sacrificing training or access to personal protective equipment (PPE)  and in collaboration with organized labor. Despite recently hiring about 100 RNs, there are still dozens of RN vacancies and many other clinical staff vacancies that must be filled at the Dept. of Public Health, the majority of which are at SF General Hospital. Staffing capacity in private facilities fluctuates greatly but must be set at the highest levels to meet increased surge and to fill in for workers who must isolate themselves after contracting COVID-19. 

8) Increased Access to Basic Sanitation and Testing for All San Franciscans

The city must immediately provide access to basic sanitation and increase the testing capacity for COVID19, including both the number of testing locations available and the actual number of tests. Individuals who need to be tested should have access to private and public test sites, regardless of whether they are a patient of or insured by the testing location. Transportation to and from testing locations or mobile testing must be available as needed, to keep people at risk off public transportation. There must be no financial barriers or immigration status barriers to testing.


HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS

9) Rent Cancellation

We demand a full suspension of all rents and mortgages for the duration of the crisis.

Payment plans and delayed rent collection will put an undue burden on already struggling communities and will inevitably lead to more evictions down the line. The current SF notification process for delaying rent payments creates an undue burden on tenants, especially since many tenants will have a threat of eviction because they simply didn’t know they had to comply with these mandatory steps.

10) Make 14K units available to people who can’t self quarantine

House 9,000 homeless persons in vacant hotel rooms now. Move people in SROs and others who are at risk from a lack of ability to self quarantine.

Currently the City is only placing homeless people being discharged or diverted from SFGH beds who test positive or who are symptomatic into hotel rooms. The city announced they are prioritizing hotel rooms for vulnerable people on streets, in shelters and in SRO’s but they have not moved any of them into a hotel room. 

We are calling on the City to shelter all homeless people in vacant units as a preventative measure, NOT as a reactive measure provided only to those who fall sick.

In order to place clients in as efficiently as possible, the city needs to quickly deploy a decentralized access configuration for community based providers to populate hotel rooms. Homeless service providers are ready to identify, place priority clients into hotels, and are prepared to begin staffing hotels. There is no need for leasing and contracts slow-downs as both the Mayor and public health officer have the power to immediately commandeer hotel rooms and pay a “fair price” at a later date.

DECARCERATION

11) Reduce police contact to reduce transmission

Law enforcement should decline to arrest people for nonviolent crimes (including resisting arrest, where no violent crime precipitated the arrest), and limit contacts, stops, warrant enforcement, and instances of taking people into custody to situations where there is a reasonable imminent concern for public safety and where a violent crime is involved. Law enforcement should maximize use of cite and release for as many offenses as possible within a jurisdiction’s policies, including violent crimes. No citations should be issued for quality of life violations or crimes related to a person’s homelessness.


12) Release people from San Francisco locked facilities and house them

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, the city and county should release vulnerable populations from jails and juvenile detention facilities immediately. This includes: medically vulnerable populations, including pregnant people and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like asthma, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, and HIV (These populations have been shown to have higher rates of the medical conditions listed: transgender, gender non-conforming, intersex and LGBQ people; people with disabilities); people over the age of 50 and under the age of 25. Additionally, the city and county should begin a massive density reduction for all other incarcerated people by releasing: people with less than 2 years left on their sentence (including AB 109 population); anyone who does not pose a serious safety risk to the community upon release, such as anyone who was not involved in serious personal injury or death to another person. Upon release, previously incarcerated people should be provided with healthcare and housing in hotels, if needed, and should not be subject to electronic monitoring.