Editor’s note: This is the first in a weekly series of conversations with District 9 Supervisor David Campos addressing issues and events in the Mission.
Mission Local: Following the recent shooting at Garfield Square, what are some solutions to drive down crime and facilitate cooperation between Mission residents, the police and the board?
David Campos: It’s heartbreaking any time there is a shooting. We immediately responded by ensuring that the police department had all the resources and personnel to make sure they are visible to prevent any escalation or retaliation.
Crime is really the number-one priority. Nothing can work in a neighborhood unless it’s safe … We have focused a lot on community policing, making sure we have a police station that is active and engaged in the community as much as possible … that there are as many foot patrols … that the police officers are around the neighborhood … and know the people in their community.
The captain has a monthly meeting where the focus is on public safety. We have office hours and we try to have community meetings from time to time.
But public safety is not just about police presence. There’s also a violence prevention component. The city has violence prevention workers that have a better sense of what’s happening on the ground [and] they work with the police department.
[Campos’ office has called a special community meeting at 6 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 24, at 1294 Potrero Ave.]
ML: The board passed CleanPowerSF earlier this week. Talk more about the program.
DC: [CleanPowerSF] would give people who are part of the program [the option] to buy 100 percent clean energy, free of energy produced by a nuclear power plant. Community choice aggregation allows members of the public, consumers who want to protect the environment to pay a little more … for the benefit of having 100 percent clean energy.
Folks who want to participate will pay a little more … and [rate increases] depend on level of usage of energy … but there will be benefits of energy conservation.
We will begin to roll out the first phase [next spring] … We’re trying to finalize which neighborhoods we are talking about. We will be sending different notices by mail, working with members of different community-based organizations … We are going to make sure that outreach is done in a culturally sensitive way, in different languages.
The way that the program works under state law is that it’s an opt-out program, meaning … that the ratepayer will be enrolled in the program and be given the option to opt out. The law requires that you give people two opportunities to opt out … [but] we will give them five.
ML: This summer the board established a task force for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) elders. What issues is it poised to address?
DC: [The task force] is the first of its kind in the country … It’s a very diverse group of people from all walks of life from the LGBTQ community and working with LGBTQ elders. You have an aging LGBTQ community, and we’re not talking about [their] needs.
The elderly as a group have very similar concerns and needs, but there are needs that are specific to [LGBTQ] residents … There are a lot of members living with HIV and the [task force will target] specific needs involved with that.
As they are moving into a different living situation as they get older, one of the things we’ve heard is that even though [LGBTQ elders] were out their entire lives, they go and live in a certain facility and … they may have to go back into the closet because they don’t feel safe. That’s a very specific issue.
Another issue is that there are a number of transgender elders who have their own unique set of challenges.
[Campos said that the task force is charged with coming up with a list of recommendations for discussion and review.]
ML: Finally, what’s your favorite restaurant in the Mission?
DC: I really don’t have one. One of the challenges with the job is that I don’t have time to cook … I eat out or take out every night, so I try to patronize different establishments … I love Mexican food and Central American food.
I love the carne asada burritos at El Farolito. [I go there] at least once a week. Probably more.