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‘As we rise again’: Breed talks recovery in State of the City address

Mayor London struck an optimistic tone about San Francisco’s future and Covid-19 recovery during her State of The City address on Thursday morning.

The mayor delivered her 18-minute address virtually from the Moscone Center, which has acted as The City’s Covid-19 Command Center since the first cases of the virus were diagnosed in March. Breed said in her remarks:

“Today, with hard lessons learned, and so much yet to do, I believe we are at the start of an incredible recovery. We aren’t just going to repair it. We are going to reinvigorate, to come back even stronger.”

She touted The City as a national model during the pandemic, pointing to the significantly low death rate compared to other major cities. San Francisco has recorded a total of 308 Covid-19 deaths and is currently averaging 203 new cases per day, down from 373 new cases per day just a few weeks ago.

Breed spoke about initiatives to help small businesses, build more housing and address the homelessness crisis. The mayor praised the passing of Proposition H last November, which helps streamline approvals for those who want to start small businesses in The City.

One example she gave was an immigrant family who wanted to convert a salon into an ice cream shop, a request that once would have taken six to nine months for approval. That time was cut down to one day.

Breed said:

“We’ll build on this success and make it even easier to turn an idea into a thriving small business. Bureaucracy cannot keep getting in the way of people.”

Breed said that building more housing, with a goal of 5,000 new homes per year, needs to be part of The City’s recovery plan, adding:

“As we rise again, let’s not repeat the mistakes of the past. We will put affordable housing dollars to work, and streamline the approval process even if it means going to the voters to do it.”

The mayor mentioned the need to push forward with the Homelessness Recovery Plan she introduced in July.

She said The City will continue to divert 911 calls to the Street Crisis Response Team so residents with mental health issues can quickly get the help they need. She announced on Twitter that a second crisis team will be launched on Monday.

Stressing the importance of infrastructure investment, including public transportation improvements, she said:

“Yes, public transportation is the lifeblood of a great city, and making Muni work better than ever is critical to our economic recovery.”

Breed referred to critics who have written The City off time and time again, especially during the pandemic, saying:

“We’ve read these all before. We’ve proved them all wrong before and we’ll do it again.”

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