San Francisco

Mayoral Candidate Unveils Clean Streets Initiative in San Francisco

A San Francisco supervisor and mayoral candidate unveiled Wednesday the "San Francisco Loves Clean Streets Initiative," a plan to help fix the problem of needles, feces and other flotsam on the city's streets.

Supervisor Jane Kim is running for mayor in the city's June 5 election against seven other contenders including Board of Supervisors president London Breed, former state Sen. Mark Leno and former Supervisor Angela Alioto.

Kim, whose District 6 includes the Tenderloin and South of Market neighborhoods, has long been an activist on the issue of clean streets. District 6 piloted the city's Pit Stop program, which provides mobile, monitored public toilets for homeless people.

The initiative is part of her mayoral campaign platform and has three elements: expanding neighborhood street teams employing homeless people to clean the streets, doubling the number of mobile public toilets in problem areas, and appointing a clean streets director to coordinate efforts.

"There is a crisis on our streets," Kim said, noting that the number of calls for service about street cleaning doubled from 20,000 calls in 2013 to 40,000 in 2016.

The calls testify to the increased amount of human feces, glass and trash on the city's streets, she said.

In her supervisoral role, Kim is hoping to get $2.5 million in unspent city funds from the first six months of the 2017-18 fiscal year to deploy a flexible, manual street cleaning team to areas in the city "where the data says it's needed the most," she said.

Kim cited the San Diego hepatitis A outbreak, a local health emergency that was declared in September 2017 and ended in January, as a reason for her concerns. The outbreak was spread person-to-person and through contact with environments contaminated by feces, according to the city of San Diego.

San Francisco's Department of Public Health has taken "strong preventive action" against a possible Hepatitis A outbreak, including vaccinating about 5,500 people in the at-risk group, department spokeswoman Rachael Kagan said.

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