Supervisor Carmen Chu: Sunset District Update

I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday season!

Homelessness Despite the busy holiday season, 175 people attended a community meeting sponsored by my office on Dec. 17 to voice their concerns regarding homelessness.

I want to thank everyone who came out, as well as the city representatives who were on hand to address questions and comments: Captain Paul Chignell from the Taraval Police Station, as well as senior officials from the SF Recreation and Park Department, SF Department of Public Works, SF Department of Public Health, and the SF Fire Department. David Chan and Oona Weil from SF Safety Awareness for Everyone (SAFE) also spoke about how their organization can help community members work together by providing resources and education on neighborhood safety.

Participants were energized by the healthy dialogue between community members and city officials regarding this citywide issue. If you did not have the opportunity to attend the forum, I want to be sure you are aware of resources secured for the district due to our collective advocacy:

• The Taraval Police Station is now a designated training center, which means our district will benefit from receiving more officers resulting in added protection for our neighborhoods and streets. Five new police officers have already joined the Taraval Police Station since our meeting;

• After discussions with representatives from the Human Services Agency, we were also successful in obtaining two new homeless outreach team workers for the Sunset District. The agency will be looking to us for guidance as to where in the Outer Sunset to deploy the workers. These new workers are in addition to the two outreach workers already dedicated to the west side of the City;

• Earlier in December, I asked the Department of Public Works and Recreation and Park Department to help trim dense bushes along the Great Highway in response to concerns from residents that these enclosed areas attracted homeless encampments. As a result of the trimming, it is now easier for officers to spot homeless encampments along the Great Highway.

At the meeting, Dennis Kern from the Recreation and Park Department committed to trimming the remaining bushes along the Great Highway. I will continue the dialogue with our city officials to ensure that our district receives the resources needed to address homelessness, and that we all work together to tackle this citywide issue.

Pedestrian Safety Pedestrian safety continues to be a problem citywide, and in the Sunset as well. A vehicle struck an elderly woman at the 19th Avenue and Ortega Street intersection on Dec. 22. This incident, along with others that have occurred on 19th Avenue, highlight the need to improve pedestrian safety along our major thoroughfares.

My office will continue to work with the SF Police Department to explore the possibility of stepping up enforcement along 19th Avenue and other intersections of concern. The City is currently in contract negotiations with a contractor to install more-visible traffic lights, pedestrian countdown signals and other improvements at 10 major intersections along 19th Avenue. Installations are expected to begin in early 2008.

Office Hours
I am holding district office hours on Wednesday, Jan. 9, between 4:30 6 p.m., at the Sunset Recreation Center, located at Lawton Street and 28th Avenue. Stop by to share suggestions or to say hello. You can also contact my office at (415) 554-7460 or by e-mail at chustaff@sfgov.org for questions or suggestions or to sign up for our newsletter.

San Francisco Supervisor Carmen Chu represents District 4.