Happy Women's History Month!
March is Women’s History Month! This month, we celebrate the achievements of women and girls and commit ourselves to gender equity around the world. I am honored to have worked alongside so many powerful women leaders from inside and outside our City government throughout the pandemic. I recently spoke with one of our amazing women leaders, SF Environment Director Debbie Raphael, about what inspires her. Take a look in the video linked here. I look forward to working with more of you as we continue to rebound from COVID-19!
During this month, it is also important to remember and recognize women who came before us and became our trailblazers. Please take a moment to look at the women leaders recognized in the W Challenge’s “100 Years, 100 Women” social media campaign developed two years ago to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which extended the right to vote to women in the country. The W Challenge initiative was launched in 2018 to raise women’s voices and expand women’s representation. Learn more at WChallenge.org.
News from City Hall
Indoor Masking Update in City Facilities
City facilities will adopt new requirements following recent changes to San Francisco’s health order which strongly recommend but no longer require indoor mask wearing in public spaces regardless of vaccination status. Beginning on March 18, City Hall and City facilities, such as libraries and recreation centers, will no longer require indoor masking, except in hearing rooms while in session. San Francisco and other Bay Area health officers continue to strongly recommend masks as an effective tool to receive the best protection. See more details here.
Masks are still required in health care settings, congregate settings like correctional facilities and homeless shelters, and long-term care facilities. Federal and state law continue to require masks to be worn on transit vehicles and at transit facilities through April 18, unless extended.
In addition, San Francisco no longer requires proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to enter indoor bars, restaurants, and gyms. Businesses, venue operators, and hosts may choose to adopt more protective measures to safeguard staff and patrons.
Get Married at City Hall during Pride!
San Francisco Pride returns in-person this year on June 25-26! To celebrate, the San Francisco Office of the County Clerk will be opening up additional appointments for marriage ceremonies in City Hall on Friday, June 24, the Friday before Pride Weekend. Appointments can be scheduled 90 days in advance, so couples should go online to make an appointment starting on March 26 using the online reservation system. Ceremony appointments for June 24 are expected to fill quickly.
Financial Assistance for Families
As the tax season approaches, it is important to take the time to review and manage our assets to make sure we are on track to attain our financial goals. Please see below for some services for families:
- Free Tax Centers Available Now: The City can help those who earn less than $66,000 file their taxes for free. Tax experts will also help filers claim tax credits such as the San Francisco Working Families Tax Credit (WFC), Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and child tax credits to earn back as much as $9,600. For more information, call 415-209-5143 or go to freetaxhelpsf.org.
- Free and Low-Cost Estate Planning Services: The Office of the Assessor-Recorder and Housing and Economic Rights Advocates (HERA) have partnered to provide free to very low-cost estate plans for households in the southeastern sector of the city, including the Bayview, Portola, and Outer Mission neighborhoods. Estate plans consist of four documents—a will, living trust, power of attorney, and healthcare directive—and help households plan for the future and ensure the next generation is safeguarded. To sign up, contact HERA at 510-271-8443, ext. 300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tenants and Landlords: Apply for CA COVID-19 Rent Relief by March 31
The City is partnering with the California COVID-19 Rent Relief Program to accelerate rental assistance to tenants and landlords. Renters who experienced financial hardship during the pandemic and are at risk of housing instability can receive up to 18 months of financial assistance to cover unpaid rent and utilities. Both renters and landlords can apply directly for assistance. The last day to apply is March 31. For more information, go to sf.gov/renthelp.
Resources for Small Businesses and Nonprofits
Small Business Rent Relief
Applications are now open for the Office of Economic and Workforce Development’s Rent Relief Grant Pilot Program. Businesses can receive up to $35,000 to pay unpaid rent debt that was accrued between March 2020 and September 2021. Applications are due on April 1, 2022. Apply here.
Find Qualified Applicants with JobsNOW!
Did you know that employers can get help from the City to hire and pay wages of permanent workers? The JobsNOW! Program, operated by the SF Human Services Agency, matches employers with qualified and trained job seekers and reimburses the initial wages of program participants hired for permanent positions. There is no cost to participate in the program. Employers can get started finding qualified applicants here. Job seekers can get help finding and training for a new job here.
Two Year Anniversary of the COVID Command Center at Moscone
Two years ago, the City’s Emergency Operations Center moved into the iconic Moscone Center to enable City workers to centralize COVID-19 response efforts under one roof. The COVID Command Center (CCC), as the Center became known, served as a unified command post for all of San Francisco’s COVID response, planning, operations, logistics, procurement, and PPE distribution. Hundreds of City Administrator’s Office employees served alongside other City workers to coordinate logistics, manage PPE procurement and distribution, staff the Joint Information Center, establish testing and vaccination sites, set up Shelter-in-Place hotels, and much more. The City Administrator’s Office’s Emergency Response Manager Nick Majeski, served as the Deputy Logistics Chief for the CCC and was recently honored by the Rotary Club of San Francisco for his work on the City’s COVID response and planning. By the time the COVID Command Center closed its doors at the Moscone Center in June 2021, the CCC team had distributed millions of pieces of PPE, created one of the state’s largest mass vaccination sites, and established long-term COVID response and planning infrastructure when San Franciscans needed it most.
Ferry Service Launches on Treasure Island
Ferry service began on Treasure Island this month, marking a critical milestone in the redevelopment of the former Naval Station. The new ferry service operates 16 hours per day, seven days per week, providing fast, convenient transportation between the Treasure Island Ferry Terminal with the San Francisco Ferry Building. The ferry comes ahead of 229 new units of housing expected to be completed in 2022 on Treasure Island—nearly half of which are reserved for formerly homeless veterans—and more than 1,000 additional units expected to be completed by the end of 2024 in addition to parks, trails, open space, restaurants, shops, and public art installations. To purchase tickets or monthly passes, visit tisf.com/schedule/.
Agency Spotlight: Office of the County Clerk
Serving San Franciscans from Birth to Death and Everything In-Between
The Office of the County Clerk issues critical documents including marriage licenses, birth and death certificates, SF City ID Cards, and various business registrations and filings during some of life’s most important moments. The Office performs marriage ceremonies 5-days a week in historic San Francisco City Hall. The Office also supports businesses in filing Fictitious Business Names, which establish an accurate public record of who is responsible for the conduct of a business.
Through the SF City ID Card program, the County Clerk’s Office provides identification cards to help undocumented, unhoused, and other San Francisco residents access City services and benefits. The cards establish proof of identity and residency, but do not show citizenship status or gender. Immigration status does not impact eligibility for the card. SF City ID Cards are free for youth ages 13 and under, seniors ages 62 and older, and low-income individuals who reside in San Francisco.
The County Clerk’s Office is located on the first floor of City Hall in Room 168. For more information about the Office of the County Clerk’s services, visit sfgov.org/countyclerk or call 3-1-1.