Board of Supervisor Candidates: DISTRICT 7 - Norman Yee

DISTRICT 7 - Norman Yee

How would you describe the specific impact of artists and arts organizations on the life of our City? Please use at least one example of the arts changing lives or communities.

Please use at least one example of the arts changing lives or Communities. I believe the arts and artist have an incredible positive impact on the community and on our city. I see everyday how our community is made better by art and artist. I was very proud to work with Precita Eyes to expand a beautiful mural along Laguna Honda Hospital and we were able to do so through our District 7 Participatory Budgeting Program.

How will you ensure that San Francisco’s historically underserved communities are able to access the full benefits of the arts and resources for creative and community expression?

I believe that everyone should be able to enjoy and benefit from the arts. I would like to see a significant increase in funding for arts program and events specifically to be held in underserved communities. Over the past year the arts have been utilized to improve safety and protect the environment. For example, artist studios have activated vacant buildings. Murals have highlighted bike corrals and warned residents about the dangers of pollution. Name one or two ways you would leverage the work of artists and arts organizations to cultivate vibrant neighborhoods and achieve civic priorities. I have been incredibly excited to work with the Ocean Avenue Association on their Second Sundays event which brings music, art and entertainment to one of the main thoroughfare in the district. I have also been excited to work with Precita Eyes on a mural project. I am also looking forward to working with other organizations on many similar projects.

Research shows that students with an arts rich education have better grade point averages, lower dropout rates, and score better on standardized tests in reading and math. How will you ensure every San Francisco student is provided a robust arts education in school and has access to ample opportunities to engage in art outside of school?

I was one of the authors of Prop C which reauthorized PEEF for 25 years ensuring that San Francisco Public School will have a baseline to ensure arts education is provided and thriving in our Public Schools.

How will you improve affordable housing and tenant protections, both for low income and middle class San Franciscans? Do you support artist specific affordable housing? Why or why not?

My plans are to continue to push for additional funding for affordable housing. I believe what the City can access in terms of state and federal funding is insufficient, and therefore we must continue to invest local money to supplement funds already available. As Supervisor, I supported increased investments through our November 2015 housing bond, and through our annual budget process. I also believe that we need to ensure that the affordable housing we do build meets the needs of all the people who are struggling to remain in San Francisco. I am working with the City Planning Department to define the elements of good family units to apply to new housing, and pushed to include more family friendly housing units in new developments such as Mission Rock and the 5M development in the old Chronicle building. I am also supporting an effort to build housing at the Balboa Reservoir that balances the neighborhood character  with the need to create affordable housing. I have pushed to make this project at least 50% affordable.

What can the City do to address skyrocketing rents for office, studio, rehearsal and performance spaces for artists, arts groups and other nonprofits?

I am excited to support Proposition X on this November Ballot as an important step in the right direction. I was also supportive of the allocation for arts organization been displaced in the City. We need a comprehensive strategy to address displacement, this strategy will have to include artists and arts organization because we cannot to pit people against each other, many are struggling and we need to come together.

Do you support the SF Arts and Families Funding Ordinance, restoring allocations of some Hotel Tax revenues to the City’s arts agencies and resources to prevent family homelessness? Why or why not? 
Yes

Private development in some portions of the City must set aside 1% of their construction budget for art, or support for arts facilities. Would you support extending that 1% for art requirement on new development to the entire city? Why or why not?

Yes, I think that it is good policy and it could be successful city wide

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