Join us this coming Wednesday, June 23, as we put our faith into action on behalf of the immigrant community in San Francisco!
First, at 5 pm, we’re hosting an in-person research meeting with Supervisors Dean Preston and Hillary Ronen, to understand why immigrant families are being shut out of the rent debt relief they need to stay at home in our Sanctuary City. This event will be at our new office at 3042 16th Street (@ Mission) and is only for those who’ve been fully vaccinated.
Then, at 6:30 pm, the SF Democratic Party County Central Committee is considering a resolution sponsored by State Senator Scott Weiner urging Speaker Pelosi and Senator Feinstein to stand strong and include essential workers in a path to citizenship as part of the Build Back Better budget reconciliation plan this summer. We’ll be making public comment on Zoom in support of the resolution.
As a city, San Francisco escaped the worst effects of the COVID-19 pandemic by implementing strict and long-lasting public health restrictions. But these positive measures had an unintended consequence—economic devastation for hotel and restaurant workers, house and office cleaners, and others, the vast majority of whom are immigrants.
In less than two weeks, the state eviction moratorium is due to end, and these immigrant families face mountains of rent debt which, if not addressed, will result in them living on the streets. San Francisco has received $90 million in state rent relief funds, but a low estimate of the total rent debt in SF is $160 million, leaving a huge gap. Moreover, the state funds have multiple restrictions making it difficult if not impossible for many immigrant families to access those funds.
Last fall, San Francisco voters tried to address these issues by approving Proposition I, a measure that doubled the real estate transfer tax on large buildings, generating an estimated $102 million in revenue for the coming fiscal year. The funds were supposed to be used for two purposes—COVID-19 rent relief and “social housing” (e.g., buying buildings and making them permanently affordable).
But the Mayor did not include any local funding for COVID-19 rent relief in her proposed budget, and now the Supervisors are similarly backing off the commitment they made to voters last fall. Join us on Wednesday as we ask Supervisors Preston and Ronen how they plan to get their colleagues to fund a local rent debt relief program so that we can live up to our promise of being a Sanctuary City!
Background on Efforts to Include Essential Workers
In a Path to Citizenship
During the pandemic, our immigrant siblings have worked long hours at grueling jobs with very few protections and have seen little justice. As essential workers, they’ve put their lives on the line for our country, in the face of a virus that has killed over half a million Americans. As human beings, they’ve suffered sickness and death at disproportionate rates.
For decades, undocumented Americans have been essential workers, and essential human beings — community members, neighbors, friends, and family. And yet they have lived in fear, without basic rights and without government support when they fall on hard times.
We know that Speaker Pelosi and Senator Feinstein understand this injustice and support a pathway to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented Americans. We also know that given the current political context, the most realistic way to accomplish this is through the budget reconciliation process and the associated “Build Back Better” plan.
Please join us on Wednesday as we urge the SF Democratic Party to support a resolution urging Speaker Pelosi and Senator Feinstein to include a path to citizenship for as many immigrants as possible, and especially essential workers, in the Build Back Better budget reconciliation legislation this summer.