Press Releases

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Ting Joins State Lawmakers in Urging For More Action To Improve EDDOverwhelmed with constituents needing help with unemployment benefits, state legislators have exhausted all avenues at their disposal to get resolution for the people we serve. They've waited months for EDD to provide a roadmap out of this crisis, but none has been forthcoming. While there have been recent executive mandates announced by Governor Newsom to address issues previously highlighted by lawmakers, they unfortunately only scratch the surface of the disaster that is EDD. They sent a letter urging further action to improve EDD operations. Read the entire letter here: EDD Letter to Governor 

Monday, July 27, 2020

Economic Stimulus Package UnveiledSacramento – Key working groups from both houses of the California State Legislature are prioritizing economic recovery in the final weeks of session and have developed a joint $100 billion stimulus plan, building upon the successful collaboration that led to a balanced state budget addressing the $54 billion deficit.

Led by Senators Bob Hertzberg (D- Van Nuys) and Steven Bradford (D-Gardena), and Assemblymembers Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) and Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks), lawmakers aim to protect Californians and spur job creation during and even after the COVID-19 crisis. Legislative leadership in both houses have been supportive of the working groups’ efforts;

“Early on in the pandemic, the Senate created a Working Group on Economic Recovery to offer ideas for California’s economic recovery without raising taxes, while also focusing on the needs of all Californians – including small businesses and working families – millions of whom have been adversely impacted by this crisis. We must do all we can to help heal our economy, while ensuring that our solutions do not create further harm.” – Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D–San Diego)

“Millions of Californians are suffering in this economic downturn, and Republicans in Washington, D.C. don’t seem to care. Assembly and Senate Democrats are advancing innovative proposals to help people and small businesses. I look forward to further development of today’s proposals and others in the weeks and months ahead.” – Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D–Lakewood)

The stimulus plan aims to raise $100 billion through a new tax voucher program and the acceleration of other existing revenue streams. The money would be used to boost the economy and protect jobs, small businesses, and working families.

“While the stay-at-home order was the necessary and responsible thing to do during the pandemic, the legislature and Governor must now work together to forge an inclusive path forward. Our strategy ensures people don’t fall further behind, while also generating opportunities to put people back to work and build a stronger California.” – Assemblymember Phil Ting (D–San Francisco)

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Joint San Francisco & Santa Clara Statement on Caltrain Sales TaxSupport includes Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco). The full statement can be found  here: Joint SF-SC Statement on Caltrain Sales Tax

As elected representatives of Santa Clara and San Francisco counties, we call on San Mateo County to join us in supporting a comprehensive path forward for Caltrain. This includes forwarding for voter consideration a dedicated sales tax to support the railway immediately and into the future, as well as engaging in meaningful and timely discussions of Caltrain governance reform, which is key to ensuring accountability and transparency for our constituents. The proposed 1/8-cent sales tax would provide a reliable source of funds for Caltrain and relieve the local transit budgets in all three counties. This is much needed and desired. However, given the serious nature of any tax proposal, we are keen to advance governance reforms in parallel, to ensure that we have the ability to directly oversee the use of funds and truly shape and set policy in an equitable manner.

Caltrain’s current governance and management structure requires significant change to facilitate these processes and outcomes. In particular, we must ensure equitable representation for Santa Clara and San Francisco counties, which together comprise nearly 80% of anticipated sales tax proceeds.

We believe Caltrain is an incredibly valuable asset to our counties and the greater Bay Area and want the system to thrive. To make needed changes, we should work toward CEO accountability and establishing an independent and dedicated agency at Caltrain, separate from SamTrans, even as we pursue a permanent source of revenue for Caltrain operations and development. Our proposed sales tax ballot measure provides for immediate needs to keep essential Caltrain services running, while setting out a reasonable process and timetable to address needed reforms.

It is never a ‘good time’ to deal with governance, but we can’t keep kicking the can down the tracks. There are myriad needs in this Covid-era and we need meaningful reform to allow for the robust policy discussions, trade-off considerations and ultimately, tough decisions that will be needed in order for Caltrain to navigate these challenging times. If we work collaboratively, we can emerge stronger than ever to realize the railway’s potential to provide dynamic, metro-like service for all users across our region.

Now is the time for all the partners to join together to fund Caltrain and create an equitable, accountable and transparent organization. Only in this way can Caltrain become the exceptional example of regional cooperation and investment that the region and its taxpayers deserve.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Renovation keeps SF’s rail history alive in the Excelsior

Geneva Car Barn Exterior         

San Francisco, CA -- Work is complete on a meticulous renovation of the Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse, part of San Francisco’s railway history in the Excelsior District, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department announced today.

The historic landmark will open to the public as a hub for creativity, performance, youth arts education and community connection when health orders allow. In the meantime, Performing Arts Workshop, Rec and Park’s programming partner, is offering online arts education.

The $14 million project represents the first of two phases of improvements to the Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse, which is made up of two adjoining structures that served San Francisco’s first electric streetcars: the single story, 3,000-square foot Powerhouse and the two-story, 13,000-square foot office building known as the Car Barn.

Rec and Park and Public Works broke ground on Phase 1, a complete renovation of the Powerhouse portion in 2018. The building’s antique doors and windows have been restored, and glass flooring showcases its historic basement and tunnels. The renovated building is now earthquake safe and outfitted with storefront doors, a new roof, improved entrances, and new mechanical and electrical systems. The ADA-accessible venue boasts an office and green room, a floor with radiant heat, and audiovisual equipment.

While the Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse is under the jurisdiction of Rec and Park, the renovation and activation of the space is part of a multi-agency coalition which includes the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), the Office of District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safai, Public Works, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, the Planning Commission and the San Francisco Arts Commission. The renovation was made possible by the 2012 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond Parks Bond, state funding advocated for by District 19 Assemblymember Phil Ting, the City’s general fund, and Historic Preservation and New Market Tax Credit Funds and grant funding through the partnership with the Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST).

“I’m thrilled to see the completion of the Geneva Car Barn project, creating a place to nurture and inspire generations of local talent. It’s important to invest in the arts, and I’m proud to have championed $3.5 million in state funding that helped transform this historic landmark into a community treasure,” said Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), chair of the Assembly Budget Committee.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Ting Statement on the Passage of the 2020-21 State Budget

Sacramento - Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, released the following statement after the passage of the 2020-21 state budget:

Now is not the time to slash services, especially when Californians need their government the most. We learned from the Great Recession that deep cuts can prolong economic recovery and have no desire to repeat that. The 2020-21 spending plan approved today aptly weighs compassion for struggling residents with our duty to balance the budget. Some tough cuts were unavoidable, but I’m proud our budget protects priorities like education, healthcare and vital safety net programs – all while maintaining the necessary resources to fight the COVID-19 pandemic with additional legislative oversight. The federal government must next follow through with more fiscal relief for states. This partnership will be key to California’s rebound.

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Thursday, June 11, 2020

Assembly Advances Package of Bills to Address Homelessness

Package of legislation aims reduce homelessness and ensure funds are used efficiently 

Sacramento, CA--A package of bills proposed by California lawmakers to tackle California’s homelessness crisis passed the California State Assembly this week. The proposals aim to establish aggressive new strategies, ensure accountability, and increase funding to address homelessness.

On any given night, more than 150,000 Californians experience homelessness, and the state has the highest rate of unsheltered homeless individuals in the nation. Even as people are housed, more are falling into homelessness. In Los Angeles County, for every 133 people housed, 150 fall into homelessness. In Oakland, for one person housed, two more become homeless. In San Francisco, for every one person housed, three become homeless. 

As COVID-19 continues to impact communities around the state, the need to comprehensively address homelessness has only become more urgent. With more than a quarter of California’s workforce unemployed, individuals who were already facing precarious financial situations have become more susceptible to falling into homelessness. With troubling outbreaks in unhoused communities across the state, COVID-19 has been especially dangerous for those experiencing homelessness.

The bills that moved forward this week seek to address homeless on a number of fronts, ranging from requiring accountability to implementing bold new strategies to speeding up construction of shelters.   

While many localities have tried mightily to increase their emergency shelter capacity, cities still run into roadblocks like lengthy approval processes and slow construction. Assembly Bill 2553 by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) would address this by giving localities flexibility to expedite the construction of shelters. AB 2553 expands and builds off of the successful emergency shelter pilot program passed in 2017.

“The key to getting emergency shelters up and running quickly is flexibility,” said Assemblymember Ting. “Cities and counties cannot afford delays when homeless individuals and families need a roof over their heads now. With my bill, local leaders will be able to overcome hurdles that can slow construction when time is of the essence.” 

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Senate, Assembly Reach Agreement on 2020-21 Budget

SACRAMENTO— Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego), Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood), and Budget Committee Chairs, Senator Holly J. Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) and Assemblymember Phil Ting (D- San Francisco) announced today an agreement has been reached between the Senate and the Assembly on the proposed 2020-2021 state budget.

The joint legislative plan builds on the Governor’s framework to further protect jobs and preserve vital services, while recognizing the sober economic outlook facing California. Acknowledging the strong likelihood of additional federal relief, the plan would use reserves to avoid overcutting now, while still keeping reserves on hand for the future, and ensuring full funding of K-14 schools. The plan also increases legislative oversight on COVID-19 spending, recognizes that employee groups are engaging in the collective bargaining process with the administration, and encourages health plans to engage with the administration in discussing options that may be needed in the months ahead.

“The joint legislative budget agreement shows our commitment to helping all Californians through the tough times brought on by COVID-19,” said Ting. “We prioritized vital safety net programs and restored many proposed cuts because we cannot leave working families behind, as we forge a path to economic recovery. This shared fiscal plan gives us momentum to pass a balanced, on-time budget by the June 15th deadline.”

“Our economy has been pummeled by COVID-19, but thanks to a decade of pragmatic budgeting, we can avoid draconian cuts to education and critical programs, or broad middle-class tax increases. Californians are counting on us to make the right call at the right time. Working families who still have jobs but need the state’s safety net are relying on us to budget carefully so that our state, and all who live here, can rebound,” said Atkins. “This plan builds off the spirit of Governor Newsom’s proposal, and will set our state on a path of economic recovery, while avoiding actions that would further harm Californians.”

“The key budget goal is preserving programs serving those who are most vulnerable. Nevertheless, all the budget plans being discussed acknowledge the possibility that more difficult cuts will be necessary, due to COVID spending needs and weak revenues,” said Rendon. “This will be especially true if Washington, D.C. doesn't step up. The Legislature is prepared to work closely with the Governor to achieve California's goals. That's how, over the past decade, we built the large budget reserve that now helps us face the fiscal crisis.”  

“Although we worked with an abbreviated timeframe, the integrity and responsibility of our proposal has been maintained. Everyone has stepped up to the plate to make sure we do not make conditions worse. The Administration had a tough job, working with a $54 billion shortfall; we used their proposal with a couple of key differences. We still have a lot of work to do but we are aware the June 15 budget deadline will not be our last action this year due to the ongoing devastating impacts of COVID-19,” said Mitchell.

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