SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — San Francisco Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously declared a State of Urgency, calling on the city to expand its Emergency Firefighting Water System to ensure the entire city is protected in the event of a major earthquake or fire.
Currently, the water system only covers about one third of the city, leaving neighborhoods in the city’s west and south sides vulnerable.
“Recently, we’ve experienced multiple earthquakes and fires across the Bay Area and we must be ready in every neighborhood when the big one strikes,” said Supervisor Gordon Mar, the legislation’s author.
“The current pace is not enough and we must expedite the expansion of this life saving infrastructure across the city,” he said.
The city’s emergency water system was first created after the 1906 earthquake. Comprised of a 135-mile-long network of high-pressure pipelines and two saltwater pumping stations, the network, however, covers mostly the city’s northeast side.
Neighborhoods not protected include the Richmond and Sunset districts, the Bayview, Hunters Point, Visitacion Valley, Oceanview, Ingleside and Merced Heights, among others.
The legislation is in response to a Civil Grand Jury report, released back in July, that recommended that the city come up with a plan by the end of 2020 to extend the emergency water system to all neighborhoods before 2043.
In 2014, the U.S. Geological Survey predicted a 72 percent chance of a 6.7-magnitude earthquake striking the Bay Area by 2043.Separately, on Tuesday, Supervisor Hillary Ronen introduced legislation to create the first ever American Indian Cultural District.
The district would be located within the city’s Mission and Mission Dolores neighborhoods and would be bounded by Sanchez Street to the east, Folsom Street to the west, 14th Street to the north and 17th Street to the south.
The area contains several spaces, program resources and services for Native Americans, including the Native American Health Center at 160 Capp St., the Friendship House Association of American Indians at 56 Julian St., the Indian Education Program at Sanchez Elementary School at 325 Sanchez St. and the International Indian Treaty Council at 2940 16th St.
“Cultural Districts are one of the most important tools we as a city have to proactively strengthen the cultural identities of neighborhoods and communities that face the pressure of gentrification and displacement,” she said.
“There are few communities in the country that have experienced displacement as violently and as profoundly as American Indian people, and I am proud to support this community in securing the resources necessary to help protect their cherished cultural assets,” she said.
“It’s important to remember that San Francisco is an original home of American Indian people. Their village, homes and sacred sites are within the proposed cultural district,” Helen Waukazoo, CEO of the Friendship House, said.
“In the last half century, with the arrival of American Indians into urban areas, San Francisco’s Mission District became a home base for a thriving Native American community. It is fitting that the cultural district be established in an area that carries such a strong historic and current significance to our community.”
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