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  • Writer's pictureConnie Chan

A New Start for San Francisco

San Francisco gave Connie and her family a new start as immigrants to the city. Now, Connie wants to give San Francisco a New Start to protect the working people in our city. Connie’s New Start Plan will prioritize the needs of small businesses and working people by closing the income divide, building more affordable housing and keeping people housed, and uplifting those who are too often left behind by many of our cities policies.

COVID-19 has demonstrated that our frontline and essential workers are not only our doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers — our transit workers, grocery clerks, food service employees, gig employees, and janitors are also essential. They risk their health and safety to ensure our families have food on the table, a clean neighborhood, and a ride to the grocery store.

This is why Connie supports expanding wage-worker protections, including unionizing workers, especially among mid-size and larger scale corporations. This will ensure our workers are paid a living wage and have a voice to fight for safer working conditions. We will also need to set up a local wage-worker protection system to help workers who are impacted through job losses or reduction in income, especially during disasters, to apply for benefits provided by our state and federal programs. Our City can also directly help all workers impacted by business shutdowns through increased investment in Free City College — Connie will advocate for job training and professional certifications to be offered in order to help laid-off workers retool their skills for jobs and industries that will be in demand.

Second, Connie will advocate to ensure our small businesses are prioritized in any business assistance programs by providing them technical and legal assistance to apply for state and federal relief funds. Our small businesses are the backbone of our local economy, and Connie will work to help them sustain and grow through small business tax credits for local ownership and production; streamlining the small business permitting process with technical support; and business tax code reform that holds corporate and chain businesses to equal if not higher standards as our local merchants. Connie will also support the city’s efforts towards public banking to further invest in small businesses, and expand the Legacy Business program to recognize more longtime anchors of our neighborhoods.

Third, this public health crisis’ stay-at-home order further manifested that San Francisco must continue and expand protections for tenants and keep people housed. The City should invest more deeply in our small site acquisition program to preserve rent-controlled apartment buildings and prevent tenant evictions. Connie will advocate to expand funding for first-time home buyer programs for working class families and develop a supportive system for homeowners and renters on fixed incomes. To prevent further tragedy on our streets Connie will work to pave a pathway to bringing our homeless population off the streets into Single Room-Occupancy (SRO) units and long-term supportive housing, invest in improving the conditions of shelters and SROs, and transition the current housing insecure population to workforce and permanent affordable housing.

Finally, our recovery will not be complete unless, and until, a complete analysis of our public health system with an eye to addressing the gaps in care and coverage in the current Healthy San Francisco (HealthySF) system is conducted. Connie will push for an inventory of neighborhood public health clinics to ensure equitable services throughout the City, improvement of services, expansion of access to dental coverage and mental health services, and the creation of a language access hotline for non-emergency healthcare for the City’s immigrant communities.

Connie understands that for San Francisco to stay strong and thrive, we must invest in working people first.

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