We got an email from the Friends of the Urban Forest today with an update on a ballot measure they have been trying to get onto the upcoming November 2016 ballot.
The new measure would require the City to maintain all street trees, fix all tree-related sidewalk damage, and release property owners from any tree-related liability — and is funded by a budget set-aside and a small, progressive parcel tax.
According to the Chronicle, “The city began transferring the ownership and upkeep of its trees to homeowners in 2011 after the recession cut into the city’s budget. That incensed residents, who often don’t have the cash for costly pruning and associated sidewalk repairs.”
I’m sure many readers recall a sign being wrapped around a tree or two in front of their house, declaring their immediately responsibility for their upkeep. Some of these street trees are enormous, and require significant annual spend for upkeep.
On Tuesday of this week, the Board of Supervisors met to decide which measures to place on the November ballot. But as these meetings often go, it devolved into political infighting and a decision on the street tree measure was postponed until next week.
FUF says that only four supervisors are committed to putting the measure on the ballot – Sup. Malia Cohen, Sup. Mark Farrell, Sup. Katy Tang, and Sup. Scott Wiener. So they are encouraging residents to email their supervisors to voice their support for the measure. Again, this is just to get the measure on the ballot so San Franciscans can vote for whether or not it should pass.
Below is the contact information for our District 1 Supervisor Eric Mar, who has yet to support the measure getting on the ballot.
Plus contact information for the other Supervisors in case you live outside our district. Please call or email them this week asking them to support the Friends of the Urban Forest ballot measure. If you wish, say a few words about why you want the city to maintain street trees and repair broken sidewalks.
District 1 (the Richmond)
Eric Mar: 415-554-7410 / Eric.L.Mar@sfgov.org
District 3 (Russian Hill, Nob Hill, Telegraph Hill, North Beach)
Aaron Peskin: 415-554-7450 / Aaron.Peskin@sfgov.org
District 5 (Haight Ashbury, Panhandle, Western Addition)
London Breed: 415-554-7630 / Breedstaff@sfgov.org
District 6 (South of Market, Tenderloin, Treasure Island)
Jane Kim: 415-554-7970 / Jane.Kim@sfgov.org
District 7 (Park Merced, West Twin Peaks)
Norman Yee: 415-554-6516 / Norman.Yee@sfgov.org
District 9 (Mission, Bernal Heights)
David Campos: 415-554-5144 / David.Campos@sfgov.org
District 11 (Excelsior, Oceanview, Merced Heights, Ingelside)
John Avalos: 415-554-6975 / John.Avalos@sfgov.org