Happy New Year!
I hope that this new year finds you and your family happy and healthy. The start of a new year is a time for setting new goals. This year, apart from responding to the ongoing challenges of a global pandemic and setting our City on the path to even stronger recovery, we in the City Administrator's Office are committed to delivering the best government services to you. We are working to make services more accessible to all San Franciscans and identifying opportunities to simplify government processes.
Civic engagement is crucial to the strength of our City. Please remember to vote in the upcoming February 15 election. I would also like to invite you to share your priorities with our office at our virtual budget hearing on Friday, January 28 at 4pm. Visit here for more information.
Lastly, I know that many of us are envisioning how we hope to grow this year. If you happen to operate a local business and are interested in doing business with the City, I encourage you to check out our SF Small Business Summit resource page for guidance on how to get started and be successful.
We look forward to continuing to work with and serve you in 2022. And for those who celebrate the Lunar New Year like I do, may you have a wonderful and prosperous Year of the Tiger!
San Francisco City Administrator
Watch City Administrator Carmen Chu's New Year Greetings here.
News from City Hall
Your Voice Matters: City Hall is Now Open for the February 15 Election!
The City Hall Voting Center is now open for in-person voting and assistance on weekdays from 8am to 5pm. The center will additionally be open the weekends of February 5 and 12 from 10am to 4pm. You can also mail your ballot (no postage necessary) or drop it off at an official ballot drop box. Ballots have been mailed to all locally registered voters.
This election, immigrant parents who are non-citizens can register to vote in the School Board recall contests by mail or in person. Registration is required even if you were registered to vote in previous school board elections. Learn more here.
New COVID-19 Masking, Testing, and Vaccination Requirements
Beginning on February 1, San Francisco office workers, gym members, and other "stable cohorts" of people may remove masks indoors again, reinstating the mask exemption that was in place before the latest Omicron surge. Given the highly transmissible nature of the variant, there is an additional requirement that individuals in these stable cohort groups be "up to date" on their vaccinations, including the primary series and booster when eligible.
Requirements have also been updated for indoor "mega-events" with 500 or more people. Effective on February 1, patrons ages 16 and older of these events must show proof of up-to-date vaccinations or a negative COVID-19 test. For more information about the updated requirements, visit the Department of Public Health's COVID-19 health order webpage.
Vaccinations and boosters provide the best protection against the virus. If you have not yet gotten your vaccination boosted, don't wait. Visit sf.gov/information/get-your-booster for more information and to make an appointment.
Get a Text, Not a Tow
The SFMTA just launched a new program that allows you to sign up to get a text notification when your vehicle is at risk of being towed. The program applies to violations regarding 72-hour parking, blocked driveways, construction zone parking, and temporary no parking for special events and moving trucks. Sign up for the new Text Before Tow Program here.
Resources for Small Businesses and Nonprofits
Welfare Exemptions, Grant Writing, and Resiliency for Nonprofits
The Office of the Assessor-Recorder recently hosted an online workshop to help SF nonprofits navigate the complicated processes of applying for grants and the welfare exemption for nonprofits. Experts from the Assessor's Office, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, and Community Vision provided advice and assistance to support nonprofits to remain resilient during this challenging time. Watch the recording of the workshop here.
Become a Supplier for the City
Interested in becoming a supplier for the City and not sure where to start? During the San Francisco Small Business Summit, the Office of the Controller walked through each step of the process to help reduce barriers for small businesses looking to secure opportunities with the City. Watch the recordings here.
Small Business Rent Relief
Grants of up to $35,000 will soon be available to help qualified small businesses with their unpaid commercial back rent. The COVID-19 Small Business Rent Relief Pilot Program will be administered by the Office of Economic and Workforce Development to help business owners who have struggled during the pandemic sustain their businesses for the future. Applications are set to launch at the end of February. Sign up here to be notified about the program and access related resources at oewd.org/evictionhelp.
Chief Medical Examiner's Office Receives National Accreditation
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) was granted provisional accreditation status by the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME), the premier accreditation organization for medical examiner and coroner offices nationwide. The accreditation follows an implementation of key reforms and investments in staffing that have resulted in faster completion of final death certificates and investigative reports. Eighty percent of final death certificates are now completed within 90 days, bringing more expeditious closure to descendants' loved ones. San Francisco is one of only 3 medical examiner offices in California to achieve NAME accreditation.
Office of Labor Standards Enforcement Secures Over $5 Million Settlement for DoorDash Workers
The Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE) recently finalized a settlement for $5.3 million against DoorDash, benefitting 4,500 workers and representing the largest settlement secured in OLSE’s history. This settlement resulted from an OLSE investigation into DoorDash and alleged violation of San Francisco labor law--the Health Care Security Ordinance which requires that employers make expenditures for the purposes of healthcare for covered employees. Many affected workers were making deliveries during the height of the pandemic, making the settlement all the more important in supporting essential workers.
Agency Spotlight: Office of Contract Administration (OCA)
Purchasing Goods and Services for the City
From purchasing masks and PPE for essential workers to contracting janitorial and security services, procuring materials, equipment, and services is essential to provide San Franciscans with good government services and keep our city running. The Office of Contract Administration (OCA) is responsible for working with City agencies to support their procurement of goods and services valued over $10,000. OCA uses competitive bidding procedures to invite companies to bid in an open and fair process and requires vendors to comply with the City's requirements. In total, OCA manages over 1,500 active contracts valued at approximately $2 billion, awarding over $400 million in contracts each year.
Throughout the pandemic, the Office of Contract Administration has played a vital role in the City’s COVID-19 response, securing over 90 million pieces of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other scarce supplies. Recently, OCA worked with the Department of Emergency Management and the San Francisco Unified School District to procure 650,000 masks for students and teachers to help keep our school communities safe.
Those wishing to do business with the City should register online and find vendor opportunities through the SF vendor portal. To learn more about the City’s procurement process, go to OCA’s website or watch the recording of OCA’s Procurement 101 workshop from the SF Small Business Summit.