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Thank you.

Reflecting on four years of progress
1.7.23

I am so grateful to have had this opportunity to serve the Sunset and San Francisco for the past four years. We have spent four years achieving real material wins for working people, changing the trajectory of the Sunset, and challenging what is considered possible for this seat, this District, and this City.

Groundbreaking at Shirley Chisolm Village, San Francisco's first affordable educator housing project at 43rd and Judah, Sept. 2022

Housing and Transportation

When I took office, District 4 had the worst housing production record of any District, losing more affordable housing than we’d built.

Together, we spearheaded the first 100% affordable housing project for working families at 2550 Irving, which will continue to move forward. We launched the first homeless outreach services in District 4 with the Sunset CareVan, and the first permanent supportive housing and affordable housing acquisitions ever in the Sunset, creating dozens of units of permanently affordable housing and protecting scores of residents from being displaced. And just this Fall, we broke ground on the first 100% affordable teacher housing project in the entire City at Shirley Chisholm Village, a project I am so proud to see realized after years of work and countless partnerships. 

We also led the way to streamline Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and create new incentives for homeowners to expand their homes, creating more housing for multigenerational families and renters alike. 

And on my last day in office, the policy report I commissioned on converting office space to housing was published, and will help guide decisions in months and years to come on how we tackle our twin crises of housing affordability and reimagining downtown. 

We led dozens of traffic calming measures, brought bike share to District 4, kept the L Taraval Improvement Project on schedule and on budget, and created the D4 Daylighting Initiative and the District 4 Mobility Study.

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Sunset Solidarity March for Black Lives on the Great Highway Promenade, June 2, 2020

Community and Culture

We had the vision to create the Sunset Chinese Cultural District, the City’s first cultural heritage district on the west side, and the first focused on the cultural and economic vitality of San Francisco’s Chinese American community. I’m excited to see this new institution continue to grow and develop in the years to come, and foster more community connections, events, and opportunities for our entire neighborhood.

I’m proud that we had the imagination to envision and create the Great Highway Park at the beginning of the pandemic, and transform our western waterfront for community building, public art, civic action, and active transportation. This was a deeply divisive issue, and it’s one we never shied away from, but worked to broker compromises and find common ground, without losing sight of the long term realities of climate change and its impacts on our waterfront. I’m proud that one of the final legislative accomplishments our office delivered was passing the Great Highway Pilot Ordinance , keeping in place the promenade on weekends and holidays for the next three years, and requiring City Departments to conduct broad public outreach, extensive traffic planning, regular data collection, and to finally create a comprehensive sand management plan. The long term future of the Great Highway is still yet to be determined, and I look forward to seeing what’s on the road ahead – thanks to our work with the community to find creative solutions, and create new possibilities. 

I’m also incredibly proud of our partnership with Sunset Mercantile to create and launch the Outer Sunset Farmers Market and Mercantile . This was an idea that came up during our 2018 campaign, and we made it an early priority when we entered office. It would have been easier to bring in an existing farmers market – some bigger, less local business that could’ve quickly set up shop. But with Sunset Mercantile, we took the bolder and more difficult path of building a wholly independent market from scratch, and the result is a unique neighborhood gem that was truly built by and for the Sunset. It’s been an immense joy to watch this market grow and flourish, and see how broadly and deeply it’s been embraced by the neighborhood. 

Each of these new neighborhood institutions – the Sunset Chinese Cultural District, Great Highway Park, and Outer Sunset Farmers Market — started as ideas on how to meet long held needs of our community. They took vision and courage and commitment to create, and each has transformed our neighborhood in unique ways, and highlighted the core common thread of my time as Supervisor: a sincere effort to bring people together.

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Sunset Boulevard  Reforestation Project with Climate Action Now!, 2019

Investing in Our Sunset Priorities

We had the conviction to fight for funding our Climate Action Plan and getting District 4 its fair share in resources. This includes historic investments for Sunset Boulevard that will continue to benefit our neighborhood for years to come, creating a dedicated gardening and landscaping team, and finally beginning the work to convert the Boulevard’s irrigation system to recycled water.

During difficult budget years, we also secured millions in funding for STEAM grants for all District 4 schools, for college and career readiness programs for all high schools, for new initiatives supporting our small businesses and artists, and, with the support of Assemblyman Phil Ting, for major renovation and expansion of the South Sunset Senior Center and creating a new senior center on Taraval. We also created the Storefront Vandalism Relief Grant to support small businesses and revitalize commercial corridors. 

I fought for and secured a decade of full funding for Free City College, protected public teachers’ pay, and fulfilled a key campaign promise when we brought City College classes to the Sunset.

We also laid the groundwork to finally expand the City's Emergency Firefighting Water System to fully protect the Sunset during a major earthquake or fire. 

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SFO airline food catering workers protest for fair wages and affordable heathcare, 2019

Supporting Workers, Veterans, & Public Safety

We had the courage to take on corporate special interests to write and pass the strongest dark money disclosure law in the nation, and tripled the impact of the public financing program to uplift the voice of the working class in our local politics.

We fought for new labor rights, expanded paid leave for hundreds of thousands of essential workers, and helped thousands of laid off San Francisco workers regain employment during the pandemic.

We wrote and passed groundbreaking laws to prevent crime and make our communities safer and led community-based programs to provide community ambassadors, safety escorts for seniors, and home security upgrades

We passed groundbreaking policies for veterans, expanding their access to park facilities and affordable housing, and protecting the pay of military reservists.

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The District 4 team over the years: Li Miao Lovett, Gordon Mar, Edward Wright, Alan Wong, Obai Rambo, Karen Chan, Jenny Huang, Daisy Quan, and superstar volunteers Ralph Lane, Jeff Rigo, and Ken Rackow

Looking Forward

While our time in office is coming to a close, our impact isn’t. Sunset Forward will help inform the next decade of housing planning, and projects from our District 4 Mobility Study, including a new community shuttleSunset Neighborways, plans for a westside subway, and our citywide School Access Plan will move forward.

My work fighting for working people and progress didn’t begin when I entered this office, and it won’t end as I leave it. I’ve been in this movement for decades, and I’m not going anywhere. I look forward to keeping in touch as I step away from public office for now, and can be reached at gordonmar@gmail.com.

Achieving lasting change for a fairer and more equal City doesn’t always happen in the span of an election cycle, and we have a responsibility to keep fighting – not just for the next campaign, but for the next generation. The work continues.

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