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Politics & Policy

This week in civics: Redraw our city map, prepare for the midterms, become a plant parent

The San Francisco Standard’s motto is “Know Your City.”  And through our reporting, we hope that we’re helping you do just that! We believe that journalism is an integral part of civic engagement. 

With that in mind, we’re launching a weekly roundup of civic-based events that can help you get more engaged with your community and the city at large. 

Rally and Public Comment – SF Redistricting Task Force

City Hall and Room 416 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Civic Center
Monday, April 11, Rally @ 4:30 p.m., Meeting @ 5:30 p.m. | Free

In case you haven’t been keeping up with San Francisco’s contentious redistricting process, the latest chapter in the saga to redraw the city’s voting district lines unfolded in the wee hours of Sunday morning after four members of the city’s Redistricting Taskforce walked out of the meeting to finalize the boundaries of San Francisco’s supervisorial districts. 

A new and pretty much final district draft map has been approved ahead of an April 15 deadline to set the city’s supervisor voting districts in stone (at least until the next redistricting process), and some communities and constituencies are not happy about it. 

That’s why a contingent of Black, LGBTQ+, Asian, Native American and organized labor leaders are coming together today at City Hall to speak out against the map ahead of the 5:30 p.m. meeting of the SF Redistricting Task Force. 

“The four Task Force members’ decision to leave the meeting abruptly also showed a loss of faith in the process,” wrote San Francisco Rising, a grassroots political coalition of “working-class communities and communities of color,” in a press release about the rally. They are “denouncing the draft map” and “demanding” that the Task Force adds more public meetings to the calendar, even if it means going past the April 15 deadline.

So why does all this redistricting rigamarole matter? Every 10 years, voting district maps are redrawn to adjust for population changes based on federal census data, and San Francisco is in the middle of that process. The redrawing could radically change representation on the Board of Supervisors as well as impact upcoming contests for three Board of Education seats and additional local offices and change the distribution of government funds. 

So if you want to raise your voice about these redrawn lines, get to City Hall today. 

Want to learn more about this issue? Check out our related stories on redistricting: 

    —Christina J. Campodonico 

    How to Build Winning Campaigns in an Age of Political Uncertainty: A Conversation with Cory Booker

    Manny’s, 3092 16th Street
    Tuesday, April 12, 7:30 p.m..M. | $5-15

    Paying people to talk politics to their friends? Or rethinking political advertising all together? These are a few campaign strategies that Democrats are floating as they head into the 2022 midterm elections. So what do Democrats need to do to build smarter, better, more progressive campaigns and turn purple—or even red states—blue? New Jersey Senator and former presidential candidate Cory Booker headlines a conversation with leading campaign strategist Lauren Baer and presidential campaign organizer Addisu Demissie—named one of “ten young Black aides to watch” by the Washington Post. (CJC)

    bone black: a ritual reading for bell hooks

    Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD), 685 Mission St.
    April 13, 2022, 6  – 8:30 p.m. | Museum admission: $6 – $12; Event is “pay what you can”

    Come to the Museum of the African Diaspora and observe bell hooks’ work the way she intended her work to be consumed—through a ritual performance led by 69 Black women, transgender and non-binary artists reciting her memoir, bone black

    bone black dives into hooks’ experience as an impoverished Black American girl growing up in times of racial segregation. hooks believed in the importance of engaging readers through deep listening, meditation and discussion, and this performance aims to do exactly that. Wear red and bring offerings for an altar honoring the late Black feminist, writer and theorist, who died last year from kidney failure. 

    And if you want a virtual option to support Black women… 

    Treva Lindsey: Violence, Black Women and the Struggle for Justice

    Online live-stream
    Wednesday, April 13, 4 p.m. | Free with registration

    Join Treva B. Lindsey, author of America, Goddam: Violence, Black Women and the Struggle for Justice, in a virtual discussion exploring the nuanced racism that Black women and girls face, compounded by misogyny and capitalism. Her book, titled after Nina Simone’s protest song, includes the story of her own sexual assault by a police officer when she was 17 and is a demand for justice and transformation. Lindsey is quickly becoming a go-to voice in conversations about black women in news, media and pop culture. (RT)

    School Board Welcome Party

    2505 Mariposa St.
    April 13, 2022, 7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. | Free, but RSVP

    (L-R) Lisa Weissman-Ward, Ann Hsu and Lainie Motamedi, three new members of San Francisco School Board. | Ekevara Kitpowsong

    Whether you were for or against the school board recall, Wednesday’s meet and greet with the city’s newly appointed Board of Education commissioners is a chance for San Franciscans to get to know three of the newest leaders in SF’s public education system.

    New Board of Education commissioners Ann Hsu and Lainie Motamedi will join Lisa Weisman-Ward in conversation and light bites for public school parents and really anyone with a stake in San Francisco public schools. 

    “My hope is that it will be attended by people with lots of different vantage points, but with a collective vantage point of we want to do better for our kids,” Weissman-Ward said.

    The event is co-hosted by the San Francisco Parent Coalition and civic engagement nonprofit TogetherSF—full disclosure: The Standard shares office space with the latter, where the event will be held. (CJC)

    Youth For SF Richmond Cleanup w/ Refuse Refuse

    Pizza Joint, 3088 Balboa St.
    Friday, April 15, 4 p.m. | Free

    Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    Everyone in San Francisco complains about the dirty streets, but the cool kids clean it up! Youth for SF is an organization led by the youth for the youth, with a goal to encourage civic engagement amongst high school students of San Francisco. As part of their mission to improve the city, this upcoming Friday they will be hosting a cleanup around Washington High School in the Outer Richmond. Supplies and free pizza will be provided to volunteers, so all you need to bring is yourself! (RT)

    Story Hour – Russian-Ukrainian War, AAPI Discrimination

    Ampersand, 2190 Market St.
    Thursday, April 14, 7  – 9 p.m.| Free with registration

    No matter how many stories we read, or documentaries we watch, nothing moves people to action like a personal story. Listen for a Change is a non-profit organization that provides personal storytellers with a platform and a safe space to share their stories with the world. This Thursday, Listen for a Change is hosting their first Story Hour since 2019, featuring:

      SF Library Plant Swap

      San Francisco Public Library, Sunset Branch, 1305 18th Ave.
      Saturday, April 16, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. | Free

      You know what your overflowing plant collection needs? More plants! 🪴🎍🌱 Bring a plant and take a plant at the San Francisco Public Library’s plant swap. You can bring and take

      seedlings, divisions, cuttings, starts, bulbs or even full-sized plants. 

      All levels of horticulturists are welcome. Come socialize with local gardeners and take advantage of this easy and affordable pathway into plant parenthood. (RT)