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tv   [untitled]    October 16, 2011 1:00am-1:30am PDT

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[speaking spanish] and we want to ask that the fast pass program be free for all youth, not just low-income youth but for all youth that are riding the system and going to school. [speaking spanish] and again, i want to say that it shouldn't just be for low income youth but for all youth, no matter how much they make in their family. [speaking spanish] and we want to fight to make this a reality for youth here in the city. not just here but in our home
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country. [speaking spanish] and thank you very much. and just wanting to recognize that, you know, there's a lot of beautiful places in this city that maybe youth can't access because they don't have the money. thank you. >> gracias. [applause] [speaking spanish] so if we extend free fast passes we do it in the summer as well when young people need to get around to the different parts of san francisco. [applause] >> good afternoon. my name is yshon and i'm also
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here with power. my nephew, james, a 14-year-old at hooper and he also uses muni school bus. today, i just want to give three points about why it's really important that we have these fast passes for youth. one is that it's a basic common sense thing. when i was his age, getting on muni cost 35 cents and i never had to worry about dealing with police officer getting on to ask us if we had proof of payment. and whether if we tapped on the back door or not there was always the option to ask for a courtesy ride. but in his case it's not true and adds the extra stress that we see with many youth, especially in bayview, where youth jump off the t train platform because they see fare enforcement officers come. which is a danger and children shouldn't have to feel that way about riding public transportation. another thing that it's something that is fair and something that's about racial justice, about folks who ride muni the most. when we get on the buses, and we do organizing, mostly the
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people we talk to are low-income folks of color who are african-american, latino, pacific islanders, and they are folks who depend on the system the most, right? and if their children aren't able to get to school, it's -- they don't have equal access to san francisco like you've had in the past. so this is something that -- it's an improvement for everybody. and it's also something that environmentally conscious as far as encouraging youth to be the next set of ridership. and the other thing i want to mention is that a lot was talked about different funding. and there have been several sources of funding identified. and the muni transit efficiency program was one of the things that came out in the new controller's report that was brought up. and also that we just want to call for all the agencies to come together regionally and my netchue is holding just some -- nephew is holding just some of the petitions. we gathered ,000 signatures from folks in the -- gathered
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1,000 signatures from folks in the community. [applause] >> thank you. if you have a couple petitions you can share with us so we can see, that would be great. ok. go ahead. >> hi. good afternoon. my name is nicholas presky. i'm 16 and youth commissioner and also a dale yes muni rider. -- daily muni rider. every day getting home, i see a little sticker. and it says service is our only business. and every time i see that little sticker, i smile a little bit. because most of what i see is drivers just yelling at kids. who have transfers that are five hours expired and trying 0 get on or trying to get on through the back door and they don't have any other options. like it's -- and we're really targeting like the wrong population here. because the youth aren't the ones with the options to like be able to pay or not to be able to pay. so like really, we're not providing service. which is really our goal to
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provide service to our residents. and really we're not trying to be a private sector business. and just trying to rip people off. we're really trying to provide service to everyone in this city. and not give them tickets for not being able to do something they can't do. thank you. thank you very much. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon. my name is rachel and i'm also a member of the san francisco youth commission. but today, i'm not speaking as a representative of the youth commission. i'm speaking for myself. i'm speaking as a 16-year-old high school student. a frequent day church user and also a really, really lucky girl. my family can afford to pay for the bus. and i'm really grateful for that and i know i'm very lucky. i say this not to oppose the issue of accessibility to transportation for youth. i firmly believe in this issue along with many people here today. i say this to add another perspective to this debate.
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what concerns me about this movement is that it seeks to provide free muni for all youth. whether they need it or not. and this is -- this is a very idealistic vision. however much i like it and however much i would like not to have to look for quarters every time i take the bus, i don't think that this vision is realistic. we as a city cannot afford to provide unneeded services. and the key word there is unneeded. not all youth need free transportation. we have to prioritize where we allocate our funds. and it doesn't make sense to refuse money to people -- refuse money of people who can pay. i'm here today to encourage, to urge that other options continue to be explored. that we look at ways to provide free or reduced muni specifically for youth in need. because access to transportation for youth is an issue. but we need to find a realistic solution for it. on monday, the san francisco youth commission moved to support this resolution, giving muni to youth. however, it's important to note
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that on that resolution, there was an amendment to urge that we continue to explore other options. and that's why i'm here today. to pass that along, and to say that we really do need to explore other options. because i know that we're all here trying to find a solution to the same problem. and i know that we're all working together. i just want to make sure that solution is the best one. thank you very much. >> thank you very much. next speaker, please. >> hello. my name is rene ontevors and i'm a youth commissioner in district nine. as a juvenile with two parents working, we didn't qualify for free reduced lunch yet i still had my unfair share of tickets i had to pay for because i -- it was either lunch or muni and bart. the youth commission did pass a resolution to urge all agencies to collaborate and we will be one of those agencies that i would like to be in the development of this project, this pilot program. we understand that youth only
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represent 1% of muni's budget so we feel it should be accessible to all youth. let's not create a class division. it's a new era. let's provide -- let's not profile each youth whether they meet the criteria of low income or they barely go above it. let's create it for all youth. [applause] let's invest in a transit and future transit riders where they will all be able to unify together, not on a class -- on a class division, where only some can ride the bus but where future riders will promote this great efficient transit agency and more greener san francisco. and also -- we strongly believe that it's a new era and a time and we strongly urge all agencies to come together in this collaborative process and just be the leadership city that san francisco is. let's not regress and go through the past. school buses will become a day of the past.
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and they will diminish and let's secure our students' rides to school right now. [applause] >> thank you very much. before the next speaker i have a question for the budget analyst office. and let's quickly -- i'm not sure that microphone is working right there. maybe we can use that one. the question is for the areas -- the municipalities that have free youth service, is that means tested? is that based on income level? or is it all youth in those places? portland, oregon, and new york city? >> yeah. portland is all youth. and new york is distant from the school. >> not based on income -- >> and where students live, right. >> ok. very good. thank you very much.
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>> hello. my name is annie and i'm a senior at galeo high school. i'm with the youth empowerment project, a youth-led, youth-run advocacy organization based in chinatown. so all of the youth are from our -- are high schoolers. mostly coming from low income families that live in chinatown. visitation valley, gulch and excelsor neighborhoods. for the past 12 or 13 years, i've been heavily dependent on muni not only for five days of school but also on weekends for chinese school. it usually takes me 45 minutes to an hour to get to school. without transportation, it is impossible to get to school because it serves as my lifeline as a school bus. i am also one of the four daughters with my family. and while some other families
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have to pay for one fast pass, my mom struggles to afford transit for each of my siblings. two years ago, it would cost $40 for a fast pass but today it costs $84. and an increase of $44 which is a lot every month. so for a couple long periods of time, my mom is the only one supporting for the family of six. my parents are low income. and i have been receiving free school lunch since kindergarten. youth rely on public transit as their primary transportation. youth make up 15% of muni riders. and about 60% of u.s.d. students are receiving few or frufede lunch. -- or reduced lunch. parents are not making enough income to afford expense he have fast passes and may not even -- expensive fast passes and may not have money for food
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or other and that's why this is a needed program. thank you. >> i'm james. i'm also a volunteer at adopt an alleyway. i'm currently a freshman at san francisco state university. and i just graduated from galileo high school last year. >> congratulations. >> when i was in high school i used to take the 19 bus to get to school and i also took the 30 stockton to get from school to chinatown where most of my friends went to volunteer. the economic recession has made a lot of my friends' parents, have their hours cut from their jobs making it hard to find the money for their bus passes. this is a bad time because the price for youth passes has gone up 110% in the last two years. i know some people who aren't buying bus passes because it
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costs too much for their families. free muni would make sense because it -- because youth already using munis to get to school. this is why we need to have free muni for youth now. because it would help young people get to school. and get to parks and get to places to volunteer. this won't help me personally because i'm already 18. but i know it impacts the younger generation of students. and i think it's important to speak up for them. munis should be accessible to all youth in san francisco. so they can enjoy the great benefits that the city has to offer. i love muni but it costs too much. [applause] i depend on muni as my lifeline to get to school. and i think that other students would agree, too. and it's my ticket to the city. thank you. >> thank you very much.
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>> hi. my name is shrie and i'm from the beacon after school program. we've had a collected 160 signatures for the free muni passes. and we just wanted to let you guys know because we shouldn't have to pay to go to school. and you guys -- and we -- yeah. >> good afternoon. my name is stela alvarez and i work at the beacon center. this is part of our community leadership team. and the free muni for youth passes is very important to all
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of us. after our programs, our kids are sometimes asking for fare to go home. and i always emphasize to the kids, right now, school is your job. focus on school. a lot of them, you know, they want jobs. they want to be able to purchase things. and i tell them focus in school. but it can be very discouraging when sometimes they don't have enough money to go to and from school. so they've been collecting signatures from youth and adults in the community. of all ages. and i'm just very proud of them that they can get this chance to present to you guys. does anybody else want to say something? >> my name is jill mandes, a student from everett and i feel it's important for like kids to get free muni because like i see a bunch of my friends, like ask people for money to get on the bus because either their family can't afford it or like
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-- it's like they're struggling. and i just feel like it's very important. >> and my family doesn't have money, either. because we just moved here. and it's hard to get back in to school because we just moved here. and we don't have any money. >> my name is vagnal boro. i'm an everett student. what i'm coming to say is not very much people grew up with money. some of them just grew up with no money. what i'm saying is that sometimes no people have money. so like me, i don't have money. so i was just asking if we
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could get them. thanks. >> i do want to add that this group is doing an educational piece, along with this work. and we've also done pictures to educate other youngsters about how to ride more responsibly. and we've uploaded onto the facebook an album dedicated to educating youth, you know, they have signs that say i pledge to give up my seat to elderly. i pledge to be a responsible rider. so they are really getting creative and working hard. and again, thank you for your time. >> you guys are so great. thank you so much. [applause] thank you. i really appreciate -- i know it's not easy to say that you come up to the podium and publicly you're on tv and say you don't have a lot of money. and i think that's really important that you're making that statement to all of us. and you're doing it on behalf
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of all the other young people as well. so thank you for coming forward. next speaker, please. >> i don't know how i could top that but i'm going to try. hello, supervisors, how are you? my name is robin vanu and i'm on the youth commission. i'm here to raise a conscious fortune on behalf of my fellow youth commissioners and colleagues in the underrepresented youth of san francisco. on a personal note, i'm 19 years old and attend community college and i'm the product of a single parent home and i've been working in the community for almost six years now. today, the controller's office issued statistics on the city survey that says that satisfaction with muni rates have dropped 55% in 2009 to 32% in 2011. there were two fare increases during this period. supervisors, i pose a serious question to you. if your constituents are unhappy with muni service and fares, how do you feel your young constituents feel? san francisco youth need
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reliable transportation that's affordable at any socio-economic level so they can feel comfortable in the inner city and not afraid to catch public transportation. so if they don't get a ticket, that their families can't afford in the first place, or their parents can't afford to send them to school in the first place. we takes me to my second point. this resolution has opened the door to sfmta and the board to come up with a better way to serve our transportation needs for youth. let's be honest. you invest all of your manpower so we can have schools, public safety, transportation, where does that work go to when they can't get there? what is all your hours that your legislative affairs, that your legislative aides do for you and you can't even get kids to school? thank you for your time. supervisor avalos: thank you. next speaker, please. come forward. you're up. >> hello, supervisors. i'm chair of the san francisco youth commission and co-author of the youth life plan resolution and a resolution
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that the youth commission unanimously pass in support of free muni for san francisco's young people. i would first like to say thank you for hearing this resolution and acknowledging the work that the youth commission has done over the past two years. to give you some background on myself, i grew up riding the bus. when i lived downtown i took the k to ocean avenue to get to school and then when i moved to daley city i took the 14 to mission and geneva and then the 15 which is now the 8 a.x. to the k. even though 20 years old and a third-year student at s.f. state i still take muni to school. the 29 to the youth commission on youth commission days and the k back home and i don't have a license, and don't own a car and no one in my family does. and when i do get a license i probably won't own my car. you know why? i see public transportation as my way around the city. my school bus, my car, and my ride. and according to youth vote, 78% of school district students feel the exact same way when they take one or more bus to school every single day. and the numbers will only
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increase. because the school district is planning on cutting their yellow bus service by 50%. and they're going to continue to do so over the next two years. and i'm studying urban studies at s.f. state. and i'm -- and i'm focusing on public transportation. and we think about who has a right to the city. and what -- a public or private good. public transportation is definitely a public good. and the use of public transportation is neither a privilege or a curse but a as much as the city provides to its residents so they can get to point a to point b so supervisors, you're in the ue nook position. you have a golden opportunity to decide if young people have a right to the city. to answer the question, should they have the ability to get to point a to point b? and i urge you to stand with the youth commission and all the people who are here and i strongly urge you to give back youth their right to the city because doing so will create a new generation of transit riders like myself and help this city commit to its transit first policy. so thank you and have a nice evening.
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supervisor avalos: well said. >> i hope she doesn't run in district nine next year. supervisor avalos: next transette advocate please -- transit advocate, please. >> i'm a junior and take bus to and from school every day. and for the fare, it's a burden for families because i come from a working class family. and i know that some of my friends even tried to go to -- from the back door or tried to go -- just because they couldn't pay their fare. and funding from san francisco should help these youth and therefore i urge you to support free muni passes for our youth. thank you. supervisor avalos: next speaker, please. please come forward.
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>> hello. my name is mark mutais and i'm a san francisco resident. and i support the concept of free muni for youth. however, i would like to identify potential funding source. the city and county of san francisco, taxpayers, currently subsidize free parking or subsidize parking for city employees. and i don't know what the number is, what city managers who are represented -- supervisor avalos: you want to speak closer to the mic? >> city managers represented by the municipal executives association. currently pay $10 plus the cost of a muni pass to park their vehicles in city parking lots. i think that is in direct contradiction of the climate action plan and the transit first policy. and i think we should explore eliminating the taxpayer subsidy for city managers, most of them who make over $100,000 per year.
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the other potential source of funding would be to address the vandalism that occurs on s.f. muni. my understanding is it's somewhere around $20 million per year that we pay to address vandalism. so if we could eliminate the criminal activity that takes place on the muni system, we could provide more funding for this free muni for students. thank you. supervisor avalos: thank you very much. next speaker, please, please come forward and anyone else who would like to speak, if you want to line up on this side of the room. thank you. oh, and i have other cards. didn't read. so why don't you go ahead. >> my name is mia shackleford and a youth commissioner but like rachel today i'm speaking on behalf of myself. i've been riding munii pretty much for five years now, almost daily and like many other frequent muni users, i dealt
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with the packed buses and the buses packed with litter and graffiti. however, even though these problems come in many cases because of a loss of revenue, i would still trade that and more for the chance to have some sort of reduced, free or sliding scale of muni passes. and this is for a few reasons. the primary one is just the financial burden of monthly passes on families. i honestly don't think it make any sense or ethical for going to school to be mandatory but not necessarily to provide a way to go to school. like high schools often start at 7:30 in the morning. you can't expect someone to walk across the city to get to school and then find their parents if they don't go to school. it's simply crazy. the other thing is i honestly think that having so many citations issued because of people not paying the muni fast passes, just increases disrespect and fear of law enforcement officials who they
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shouldn't feel fear for. they should feel -- they should feel respect for them. they should feel -- safe people to go to. but i think the idea of getting a huge fine that their families can't handle for not paying a 75 cent fare just kind of makes -- kind of makes riding the bus as a high school student seem like -- seem like a constant collaboration against the law. and i don't think that's a positive thing for the san francisco's young people. the other thing is just the promotion of environmentally friendly practices for youth. i think is something that's very important for our city and central to our city's values. and quite honestly i think that muni could use a little bit of good press. nobody likes what's going on with muni right now. and this is a chance for muni to do something that's really universally good. supervisor avalos: thank you very much. and the general manager said that he would be reviewing the tape, too. so we know that will be heard.
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within muni. >> hello. my name is fanny and i'm 17 years old and been part of san francisco for three years and working on behalf of the program where high school youth speak up for youth in the community, we have been investigating about immigration and muni bus fare ideas for about a year and a half. youth are not able to get to school safely and efficiently because they are unable to afford muni ever day. because of the budget cuts in san francisco's school bus services are being cut. causing problems for youth regarding transportation. getting free muni for youth can ease the problem of these cuts. youth will be able to get to school and receive the education they need in order for them to be successful. in the long term, youth will be able to get to school a lot more easily. producing a lot more successful leaders from our community. with this bad economy, worrying about fees for a ride to school is a big burden on individuals who are struggling to pay for other things. this is an issue that should be solved now.
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you should be able to get to school, back safely with no hassle. now is a good time to advocate for the free muni for all youth because youth pass fares have been going up. it -- goes from $10 to $21 a month. also the yellow buses for the schools have been cut by 50%. no families that didn't -- so families that didn't worry about having to get to school -- having to get their kids to school halfway across town have to deal with the fact that their kids isn't provided that service anymore. san francisco is losing families. due to these increases and cuts, and families have decided to move to places where they can afford to live. we need to make a change right now. supervisor avalos: thank you very much. ok. just before the next speaker, in case i -- you haven't spoken, your cards, people's names that want to read. sam lee. mark matias. bob allen. george williams. >> my name is goodna kellen and
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i'm a san francisco public school rider and i grew up using public transit here and in seattle and my main form of transportation and it still is. i've never owned a car and don't ever plan to. i credit my childhood experience with turning me into a car-free adult. if we want a transit first city, we have to make it easy for kids to choose transit first for their whole lives. thank you. supervisor avalos: thank you very much. next speaker. [speaking spanish]


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