Friday San Francisco News Roundup
Mirkarimi Calls For Hearing On Sanctuary City Policy In Response To Shooting Controversy
San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi is urging San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and the Board of Supervisors to hold a hearing on the city’s Sanctuary City policy following a July 1 homicide allegedly committed by an undocumented, convicted felon.
In response to a letter from San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee earlier this week, calling on the sheriff to rescind the department’s federal immigration communications policy, Mirkarimi sent a letter Wednesday asserting that the request raises legal conflicts that must be resolved immediately.
The shooting death of 32-year-old San Francisco resident and Pleasanton native Kathryn Steinle at Pier 14, and the subsequent arrest of undocumented immigrant, convicted felon and five-time deportee Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez has ignited a national debate over the city’s Sanctuary City and Due Process for All ordinances.
Among those who have weighed in on the issue are presidential candidates Donald Trump, Hilary Clinton, and Martin O’Malley as well as local elected officials who say Lopez-Sanchez should not have been released onto the streets of San Francisco instead of handed over to ICE.
Mirkarimi said he wants a committee hearing to be held on the two ordinances that have come under fire.
The mayor maintains that the Sanctuary City Ordinance allows for the sheriff’s department to communicate with federal immigration authorities regarding requests for notification pertaining to undocumented, convicted felons.
Lee also said “in certain circumstances” local law enforcement may notify federal officials when “a particular individual” is set for release. He said that type of action is not prohibited by the 2013 Due Process for All Ordinance.
Mirkarimi said an “open and honest conversation about the legislative intent and meaning of San Francisco’s ordinances and how they comport with everyday enforcement of laws leading to deportations” is needed.
“Your letter does not provide legal clarity regarding my department’s duty under city law,” Mirkarimi writes.
Mirkarimi said that requiring the sheriff’s department to contact federal immigration officials would gut the city’s Due Process For All Ordinance, which both Mirkarimi and the mayor supported when it was created in 2013.
The sheriff maintains that his department does not honor ICE detainers and does not notify federal immigration officials about the release of undocumented immigrants from custody because without probable cause it would violate not only the Due Process for All Ordinance and the Sanctuary City Ordinance, but also the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
In order for the sheriff’s department to comply with the mayor’s request, Mirkarimi said that the Board of Supervisors would need to amend the administrative code as it relates to honoring detainers or else appoint an administrative law judge to review immigration detainers and provide a warrant or finding of probable cause for those who federal immigration officials seek to detain.
Tenderloin History Museum Shares Neighborhood’s Rich History
A new museum that opened Thursday beneath the historic single-room occupancy Cadillac Hotel in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District aspires to preserve relics of the neighborhood from bygone eras and share its history of vice, corruption, activism and art.
Situated at the corner of Eddy and Leavenworth streets, the Tenderloin Museum, a project of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, uses old photographs, fliers, posters and newspaper clippings to inform visitors of the neighborhood’s legacy as a place of refuge for new, often misunderstood, ideas.
Upon entering the glass-walled museum, visitors are greeted with an image of a cow showing the cut of the animal known as the tenderloin. Alongside it is a plaque explaining the origins of the neighborhood’s name, which is thought to derive from the high amount of bribe money collected by police officers in the area, leading them to joke that they could now afford the high-quality cut of meat.
In the main room of the museum, framed artifacts spanning the life of the neighborhood adorn the walls. The room, styled with tables reminiscent of a gambling den and equipped with a pinball machine, is a tribute to the area’s rich gambling history.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, Tenderloin Housing Clinic executive director Randy Shaw, and Reverend Cecil Williams, founder of Glide Memorial United Methodist Church, were among those who gathered for the museum’s opening day this morning.
The neighborhood, often overlooked as seedy and dangerous by visitors and locals alike, has served as a hotbed of controversial activity since the city was founded, ushering in the rise of speakeasies, the advent of pornography, and the establishment of brothels.
It has also served as a refuge for Southeast Asian refugees following the Vietnam War and for other immigrant populations over the years.
Gay and lesbian residents also created a rich community in the neighborhood, with the support of gay rights activists such as Williams.
Political Pressure Delay CleanPower SF Program
A San Francisco Civil Grand Jury report released Thursday examines why the CleanPowerSF program has taken over a decade to be developed and how, even as the city anticipates it to roll out in early 2016, some of the issues that have caused delay might further holdup implementation.
CleanPowerSF, a community choice aggregation system established in 2004 by the Board of Supervisors, is expected to launch in January 2016 and be administered by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.
CleanPowerSF will generate electricity from renewable sources such as wind, solar, hydroelectric, biogas and small-hydro.
When CleanPowerSF launches, almost 12 years after initial approval by city officials, San Francisco residents and business will have an energy option other than PG&E.
Jurors said they “discovered that political pressures were interfering with SFPUC’s ability to stick to its first priority-development of a financially viable program serving as many San Franciscans as possible with affordable clean power.”
The creation of CleanPowerSF is a result of the city’s plan to eliminate most of its greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century.
CleanPowerSF, the report states, will be small when it starts and will need to grow rapidly to meet the city’s timeline to reduce greenhouse gases.
The program is also designed to move all San Francisco PG&E customers onto CleanPowerSF with the option to opt out of the program and go back to PG&E at no charge, according to the SFPUC.
Jurors examined whether CleanPowerSF would be financially viable, stating that “CleanPowerSF still faces a challenge, in that it seeks to provide an inherently costlier product – green energy – at rates that are competitive with those charged by PG&E for a less “green” product.”
Up until 2013, CleanPowerSF had planned to bring 100 percent clean power to San Francisco customers, but the price of that service was expected to be higher than the price charged by PG&E, so CleanPowerSF will instead provide a mix of both renewables and conventional power, the report states.
CleanPowerSF’s default product is targeted to provide between 33 to 50 percent renewable energy, depending on the cost of these resources, with the exact percentage to be determined later this year, according to the jurors’ report.
Woman Arrested On Drug And Weapon Charges After She Brings Shooting Victim To Hospital
A woman allegedly found in possession of ecstasy tablets and a pistol was arrested Wednesday night after she drove a Bayview District shooting victim to the hospital, a police spokeswoman said today.
Jamellah Ramadan Alisuluki, a 25-year-old San Francisco resident, pulled up to San Francisco General Hospital shortly after 6 p.m. on Wednesday in a gold sedan riddled with bullet holes to drop off a man with multiple gunshot wounds, San Francisco police spokeswoman Officer Grace Gatpandan said today.
Upon arrival at the hospital’s emergency room, the 38-year-old man, who suffered gunshot wounds to the arm, leg and abdomen, received medical treatment while law enforcement officials questioned Alisuluki about the shooting, Gatpandan said.
Officers in the Bayview District located a crime scene in the 1600 block of La Salle Avenue, just east of Third Street, where they found numerous shell casings, a blue Nissan with bullet holes, and blood near the vehicle, according to police.
The shooting victim is expected to survive his injuries and police haven’t arrested any suspects in connection with the shooting, Gatpandan said.
During a search of the gold sedan that Alisuluki drove to the hospital, law enforcement officials found tablets of ecstasy and a loaded .40 caliber pistol in her purse, Gatpandan said.
Police seized the car and arrested Alisuluki, Gatpandan said.
Alisuluki was booked into county jail on suspicion of unlawful possession of narcotics while in possession of a firearm, possession of narcotics for sale and carrying a loaded firearm in public, according to Gatpandan.
Police are also investigating a shooting that occurred on the same block much earlier that same day, Gatpandan said, explaining that there is no indication yet that the two shootings are related to each other.
At about 3 a.m. on Wednesday three friends brought a 25-year-old man who suffered a gunshot wound to his leg to San Francisco General Hospital, Gatpandan said.
The victim and his friends were uncooperative with the officers’ investigation, but police were able to locate the crime scene in the 1600 block of La Salle Avenue.
The officers were able to preserve evidence from the shooting but have not made any arrests, according to Gatpandan.
Police are continuing to investigate the motive for the shootings and are urging anyone with information to call the San Francisco Police Department’s anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or to send a tip by text message to TIP411 with “SFPD” in the message.
Weather Forecast For The San Francisco Bay Area
Today will be cloudy in the morning with patchy fog before skies begin to clear. Highs will be in the 60s. Southwest winds could reach 5 to 15 mph.
Tonight will see partly cloudy to cloudy skies and patchy fog after midnight. Lows will be in the upper 50s and southwest winds could reach 5 to 15 mph.
Saturday will be cloudy in the morning and partly cloudy in the afternoon. Highs will be in the 60s and southwest winds could reach 5 to 10 mph.