Skip to main content
Politics & Policy

Supervisors to kickstart dialogue on city’s reparations plan

District 10 Supervisor Shamann Walton speaks during a debate with District 10 candidate Brian Sam Adam at the Bayview Opera House in San Francisco on Nov. 2, 2022. | Chris Victorio for The Standard

The Board of Supervisors will hear a progress report on Laguna Honda Hospital’s rocky road to recertification Tuesday, as well as pass resolutions related to gun violence in the wake of several deadly mass shootings in the state

The supervisors will also schedule a hearing on the city’s African American reparations plan. As usual, wonks can find the whole kit and caboodle in this week’s agenda.

More on Committees

Board President Aaron Peskin announced the new makeup of board committees during roll call last week, and the news here is both old and new. 

Under the new assignments, moderates now dominate the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee and will lead the Rules Committee. Others remain mostly unchanged; and there will be a new committee addressing homelessness. 

Notably, the Land Use and Transportation Committee is the same as last year, with Supervisor Myrna Melgar serving as chair alongside Peskin and Supervisor Dean Preston. Peskin also created a new Select Committee on Homelessness and Behavioral Health, with former budget chair Hillary Ronen at the helm and other members yet to be announced. 

So far, freshman Supervisor Joel Engardio has been assigned to the Youth, Young Adult and Families Committee, and to the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee, where he serves as vice chair. 

As reported last week, the new committee assignments are effective Feb. 1.

'Resignation-gate' Law Hits Rules

Meanwhile, the outgoing Rules Committee will review Preston’s legislation banning the practice of requiring commission appointees from signing predated resignation letters.

Preston introduced the bill in December in response to the “Resignation-gate” fracas uncovered by The Standard last fall, where Mayor London Breed’s administration had required nearly 50 commissioners to sign undated letters of resignation. 

At a hearing last October, Breed’s Chief of Staff Sean Elsbernd testified that the letters were requested from appointees “based on a subjective standard,” and as a backstop against misconduct or abandonment of duty.  City Attorney David Chiu determined that the practice was “inconsistent” with the City Charter, and Breed pledged to end the practice. 

If the new law passes muster at the committee, it will go on to the full board later in February. 

This will be the last meeting of the Rules Committee under hair Peskin.

Supervisor Matt Dorsey, an ally of Breed, will chair the new Rules Committee along with fellow members Supervisors Shamann Walton and Ahsha Safaí. 

Laguna Honda Progress Report 

The board will hold a special hearing on the recertification process at Laguna Honda Hospital on Tuesday.

Laguna Honda, the nation’s largest skilled nursing facility, was decertified last April by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) over alleged drug-related contraband and infection-control issues, among other other deficiencies in care. 

CMS ordered the hospital to close and discharge its patients, but after community outcry over the deaths of several transferred patients and threats of litigation, it came to a settlement with the city to allow the hospital to stay open for current patients at least until Feb. 2, when the status of the hospital will be reevaluated. 

The Department of Public Health submitted an action plan to CMS on Jan. 6 that included a significant number of proposed changes in care policy, which were under review at the Health Commission last week. 

Speaking Out Against Gun Violence

Supervisors are also expected to pass resolutions urging a federal assault weapons ban as well as recognizing the first seven days of February as National Gun Violence Survivors Week. Supervisor Catherine Stefani, a longtime gun control advocate, introduced the resolutions in an emotional speech at last week’s board meeting. 

California has experienced a Cruel January of gun violence, with six mass shootings so far, the most recent happening Saturday in Beverly Crest. Stefani’s speech reflected reactions to recent mass-casualty event shootings affecting the Asian community in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay.

California has among the strictest gun laws in the country, and more are coming: East Bay state Sen. Nancy Skinner co-sponsored a bill to require gun owners to buy liability insurance. Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla urged stronger action on guns in Congress. 

Reviewing Reparations

The board is also set to pass a motion to hold a hearing next week on the city’s draft African American Reparations Plan, which has garnered national attention. 

The draft plan includes, among other possible recommendations, giving Black residents of San Francisco who meet specific tenure criteria a one-time payment of $5 million to compensate for protracted “economic and opportunity losses.” The draft drew outrage in the national conservative press, and a hearing will kickstart the conversation locally on what it may ultimately amount to. 

Walton sponsored the legislation that led to the draft plan, and it passed the board in December 2020.