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Boosting Small Business and Improving the Richmond

For decades, the Seal Rock Inn and Restaurant hosted guests in the Sutro Heights neighborhood and served delicious food to neighbors and tourists alike. Impacted by the pandemic, Seal Rock Restaurant closed down the restaurant in 2020, and faced unexpected hurdles to reopen with a significant amount of annual encroachment fee despite having operated the restaurant in the same footprint since 1974.


As the City continues to recover from the impacts of the pandemic and prepare to weather the looming recession, and to support our neighborhood small businesses, Supervisor Connie Chan introduced legislation to waive the encroachment fee, clearing bureaucratic barriers for the Seal Rock Inn and Restaurant in reopening their restaurant.


And to make sure we continue to improve every part of the Richmond District, Supervisor Chan introduced a resolution to initiate the historical landmarking of the Alexandria Theater’s already recognized historical resources. Her historical landmarking legislation was introduced to start a strategic conversation with the property owners to preserve key elements of the Theater while paving the way for the lot to be developed to benefit the Richmond community. Supervisor Chan is committed to push for significant improvements that the Richmond neighbors and the Alexandria Theater deserve.


Another beloved Richmond District institution, the Internet Archive, located in the Inner Richmond, has been providing free access to information, including loaning free digital versions of books but it is facing legal challenges that warrant everyone’s attention. In Spring of this year, a New York judge ruled that the Internet Archive is violating the copyrights of four major publishing companies by lending out free digital copies of published materials. This ruling would require that libraries must use licensing agreements to lend digital books, which would impede on the Internet Archives and our public libraries’ ability to provide free access to information.


In April, the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed Supervisor Chan’s resolution recognizing the irreplaceable public value of libraries, including online libraries like the Internet Archive. Her resolution also urged the California State Legislature and the United States Congress to support digital rights for libraries, and free access to information online.

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