A lot of topics float in and out of the media maelstrom in this town, but traditional concerns about public safety, economic opportunity and the cost of living are holding the attention of the public, in this long economic winter of our discontent, just as much if not more than they always have. Recently, KQED News sent reporters out into the 'hoods to talk to people about the issues that matter most to them. The feature was called "Dear Mayor...", and some of the top concerns are expressed in this word cloud:
The individual neighborhood reports provide a good cross-section of the anxieties weighing on residents as they attempt to survive, if not thrive, in San Francisco. Take a look...
- The Bayview: Where Broken Promises Cloud Future Hopes It has been called San Francisco's forgotten district--the gritty industrial neighborhood known as Bayview-Hunters Point. For decades, residents and small businesses here in the city's southeast corner have struggled as others have prospered. As the mayor's race unfolds, the Bayview is demanding what it's always demanded: opportunity. Full report
- Central SF: Finding a Place for Families in City Mosaic...Jane Zimmerman and her family are part of a more and more common drama in the city. They've lived in their $1,800-dollar-a-month apartment, with no laundry on site, for more than a decade. In the meantime, rents in their neighborhood--NOPA, north of the Golden Gate Park Panhandle--have skyrocketed. Full report
- The Mission: Displaced and Priced Out ... Again...The shifting demographic tide in the Mission is not a brand-new story. The district has seen changes before, having been a working-class Irish-American district through the middle of the 20th century, then changing with an influx of immigrants from Mexico. In the 1980s, emigration from Central America added to the area's ethnic complexity. And since the beginning of the dot-com bubble, the Mission has become home to young tech workers, professionals, and others drawn by its affordability and attractive cultural landscape. The current surge of hiring in high tech and biotech appears to be making rents jump again, with one recent city survey estimating the going rate for a two-bedroom unit in the Mission at $3,100. Full report
- Pacific Heights: Guarding the Status Quo...The district's prime location and its highly educated, affluent population help make District 2 the most expensive part of the city. The median sales price of a single-family home here is estimated at $4.5 million. And though most of the district's residents are renters, rents aren't cheap, either. An average two-bedroom apartment runs about $3,700 a month. So it may come as no surprise that residents who can afford it often feel a need to preserve the lifestyle they're paying for. Full report
- The Richmond: Staying Open for Business...The high cost of running a small business in San Francisco, and their importance to the city's health, is a major topic of conversation for shopkeepers in the Richmond and beyond. They say big companies like Twitter grab the headlines and the tax breaks. But small businesses--and there are more than 100,000 in San Francisco--employ half the workers and contribute just over half of San Francisco's tax base. Full report