San Francisco residents concerned about property crime should send a message to City Hall ASAP.
Supervisors need to press pause on the video surveillance ordinance and give it more thought before voting on it. A number of important issues remain unresolved.
Click here for a sample email addressed to the supervisors. Add your name and neighborhood, then hit send.
If you want more background information, read Joel Engardio's OpEd in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Please share this on Nextdoor and social media.
SAMPLE LETTER TO SUPERVISORS
Please press pause on the video surveillance ordinance. Important issues still require your attention before voting on it.
I agree with Stop Crime SF and its more than 500 members that the following points must be addressed:
Are there unintended consequences that impede police officers from solving crimes? This law gives a lot of control over police work and policy to a Board of Supervisors that can be very divided and politicized.
Is there an economic impact report? The cost to implement the law will have an impact on police resources. How much administrative burden will be created that takes officers off the street?
The law says the use of technology must cease if the Board of Supervisors does not approve a policy in 180 days. Is that enough time? The SFPD works with at least 10 business improvement districts and many more private groups. Is it possible to create and get approval for all those policies in 180 days? Consider how long any law takes to pass.
Body cameras worn by police officers should be exempt because they already went through a robust yearlong approval process.
Large-scale events like the Pride Parade and Chinese New Year Parade should be exempt. We must match the safety level of events in other cities and not be considered an easy target.
Why rush a complicated issue? San Francisco supervisors have spent a few months on this legislation when other cities have taken much longer to craft their video surveillance policies.
I want to thank the authors of the legislation for listening to the concerns I share with Stop Crime SF. For example, we asked for an amendment that says police should be allowed to both receive and use private video from homeowners and businesses. After an earlier amendment only referenced the "receipt" of private video, Stop Crime SF was told the word "use" has been added.
While I appreciate this improvement, I worry the remaining issues won't be addressed given it took more than a month of advocacy by residents to include the word "use" in the legislation.
I agree with Stop Crime SF that this is a well-meaning law needed for legitimate concerns about privacy. But this law can do a better job keeping us safe while protecting our privacy. Please press pause on voting for this law until everything is resolved.
CONTACT YOUR SUPERVISOR
Always send your email to Board.of.Supervisors@sfgov.org so your message is put in the official record. Then send a copy to your individual supervisor so they see it:
District 1 — Richmond
Sandra Lee Fewer
District 2 — Marina
District 3 — North Beach, Chinatown
District 4 — Sunset
District 5 — Inner Sunset, Cole Valley, Lower Haight, Hayes Valley, Fillmore, Japantown
District 6 — SOMA, Tenderloin
District 7 — West of Twin Peaks, West Portal, Inner Sunset, Sunnyside, Lakeshore/Merced Manor, Westwood Park, Miraloma Park
District 8 — Castro, Glen Park
District 9 — Mission
District 10 — Bayview, Portrero Hill, Visitacion Valley
District 11 — Excelsior