City Administrator's November 2021 newsletter

Community Challenge Grant Portola

Grants for Improving Community Spaces - Apply by Dec. 3

Over the past three decades, the Community Challenge Grants (CCG) Program has provided much needed resources to community groups, businesses, schools, Community Benefit Districts, and nonprofits across the City to fund neighborhood beautification projects.  

Recently, City Administrator Carmen Chu visited the Portola Green Plan project near San Bruno Avenue, where the Portola Neighborhood Association (PNA) uses CCG funds to build a peaceful and welcoming greenway extending from Burrows Pocket Park for residents and visitors to enjoy. Check out the greenway in the video here and hear from PNA President Maggie Weis how the community came together to create this hidden gem.   

The 2022 Community Challenge Grants cycle is now open for proposals for community-led projects of different sizes ($15,000 - $150,000)! The deadline to apply is December 3. Projects implementing green infrastructure may consider applying for the Watershed Stewardship Grants program, which shares the same grant cycle.  

City Hall

News from City Hall

City Employees Return to Workplace

With nearly 98% of all City employees vaccinated, City staff who have been working from home returned to work in-person on November 1. Most in-person services at City Hall have been resumed since June but may have limited opening hours or require appointments to facilitate the flow of visitors. Please contact the individual agency or call 311 before visiting.

Vax for Kids Ages 5 - 11

Children ages 5 and up are now eligible to receive the Pfizer-Biotech COVID-19 vaccine. To help answer questions about COVID-19 vaccines for kids, the Department of Public Health hosted virtual town halls with medical experts. You can access these recordings on SFGovTV's YouTube channel in EnglishCantonese, and Spanish.
To make an appointment, contact your child's healthcare provider or visit

New Effort Launched to Build SF Climate Resiliency

In the wake of the recent severe weather events, the City announced a new multi-agency effort to take collective action on climate resilience planning. ClimateSF brings together critical partner agencies including the Mayor's OfficeOffice of Resilience and Capital PlanningPlanning DepartmentDepartment of the EnvironmentPort of San Francisco, and Public Utilities Commission, to address the impacts of climate change and meet the City's climate goals by developing effective legislative strategies and building a citywide climate resilience framework. Learn more here.

Latest Treasure Island Developments

With the help of the Treasure Island Development Authority (TIDA) and partnering agencies, over 8,000 new homes, including 2,000 affordable housing units for families and veterans, are slated to be built on Treasure Island and neighboring Yerba Buena Island. To help bring current and future residents from the islands into San Francisco's downtown, ferry service will begin on Treasure Island in January 2022, transporting passengers to and from the City's historic ferry building in under 10-minutes!


Chap 14B Legislation Signing Ceremony

Resources for Small Businesses

Strengthening Support for Local Small Businesses in City Contracting

To help San Francisco local small businesses better compete in the City's bidding process, the City Administrator's Office and the Contract Monitoring Division (CMD) have worked closely with the Local Business Enterprise Advisory Committee (LBEAC) and local small business community stakeholders to update and strengthen the Administrative Code Chapter 14B Local Business Enterprise (LBE) Ordinance. The Board of Supervisors approved the legislation and Mayor London Breed signed the legislation this month.

Major amendments include:

  • Increasing the LBE certification thresholds (effective December 13, 2021)

  • Average gross receipts used to determine LBE size will now be calculated using the five most recent tax years instead of three
  • Increasing the contract limits for micro-LBE set asides
  • Providing additional capacity-building support for small businesses, such as establishing pilot programs that focus on the use of micro-LBEs from our most economically disadvantaged communities and extending bonding/loan assistance to City-funded projects on private developments
  • Strengthening enforcement mechanisms to ensure Primes use listed LBE subcontractors and provide payment in a timely manner
  • Adjusting minimum competitive and threshold amounts

If you feel that your firm's current LBE-certified status may now change to be considered either a micro-LBE or small-LBE, please feel free to contact CMD as soon as practicable. To request a review of your certification status, you may submit 1) an application and 2) all owners' individual and business federal tax returns for the most recent five years, either online at or by email to (Note: If you have previously submitted your tax information to CMD when they recently re-certified your firm, the taxes do not need to be resubmitted; however, please advise CMD staff accordingly.)

Learn more about the new updates here or watch City Administrator Carmen Chu's presentation on 14B to the Rules Committee here.



Streamlining Over-the-Counter Permit Services

San Francisco's new Permit Center at 49 South Van Ness opened in August 2020 to provide a one-stop-shop for construction, business, and special events permits. By May 2021, the Permit Center restarted in-person over-the-counter (OTC) review, allowing customers to receive permits much more quickly. Using a state-of-the-art queue management system, Permit Center staff have reduced peak wait times substantially by identifying service disruptions quickly and data sharing with partner departments. Live wait times posted on the Permit Center's website add convenience and certainty to the process. As of this month, most customers wait less than 15 minutes for service, and 61% of customers receive their OTC permits within two days.

San Francisco Recognized for Digital Leadership

San Francisco ranked 3rd in the Center for Digital Government's 2021 Digital Cities Survey, a nationwide examination of cities' use of technology to better serve their residents. This year, the survey recognized San Francisco's innovative use of technology to aid COVID-19 recovery and improve equity, including by improving internet connectivity for the City's most vulnerable residents and providing timely COVID-19 data. Meanwhile, San Francisco's Chief Digital Services Officer Carrie Bishop was named Local IT Leader of the Year for her efforts to improve accessibility and user experience on the City's new centralized website. Read more here.

Office of Transgender Initiatives

Agency Spotlight: Office of Transgender Initiatives (OTI)

Transgender 101 Training Launches for Transgender Awareness Month

As the first and only trans-led city government office in the country, the Office of Transgender Initiatives (OTI) partners with community organizations to ensure that trans people have access to the full range of City services. Together with the Transgender Advisory Committee, a diverse group of local trans leaders, OTI this year worked with Mayor London Breed to allocate funds for a Trans Guaranteed Income Pilot project for low-income San Franciscans. OTI also recently worked with the Mayor and Supervisor Mandelman to pass legislation that will allow the City to collect voluntary and anonymous sexual orientation and gender identity demographics from City employees and applicants.

In recognition of Transgender Awareness Month and the Trans Day of Remembrance on November 20th, OTI and the Department of Human Resources launched a new online learning module to help all City employees better serve trans residents. Titled “Transgender 101: Strengthen Your Commitment to Inclusion,” this module offers an introduction to transgender and non-binary identities, a critical analysis of the gender binary, best practices around gender pronouns, and an overview of the DHR Gender Inclusion Policy. OTI also launched a new training website, which includes information on trainings for City employees, as well as resources for further learning about trans and non-binary people and issues. 

To learn more about OTI’s trainings and explore resources for further learning on gender diversity, please visit the Office of Transgender Initiatives’ website.  

Last updated May 19, 2022