To the Members of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce,
This year has been tough for San Francisco. Our economic core has been slow to recover as employees are hesitant to return to the office and tourism hasn’t yet reached our pre-pandemic highs.
Today, we all are concerned, frustrated, and worried. But San Francisco is improving rapidly, and I am confident with hard work, investment, and concentrated willpower we will rebound. We live in a world-class city -the talent is here in San Francisco, the funding is here in San Francisco – we top the charts in venture capital funding across America.
I believe that a certain amount of turmoil always makes us better in the end. We have an opportunity to evolve into a more unified city, one that is less divisive, even more sustainable, and resilient. The biggest lesson from Covid that we learned is that everything is connected: housing, transit, street cleanliness, poverty, wealth and we must carry this lesson with us into a reimagined San Francisco.
The past year, the Chamber of Commerce has been at the center of advocating for a city that works better for all of us. We’ve successfully pushed for additional police officers to keep our city safe, increased transit to bring workers back downtown, and funding for downtown recovery in this year’s city budget. In 2023, we’ll continue to ask policymakers to stay focused on these priorities.
We will also keep pushing in the short term for clean and safe streets – our residents and employees should feel safe in their homes and at work. And in the long term we have to imagine what will be the next best version of San Francisco and be aggressive in rebuilding a more inclusive and resilient city.
A key part of that resiliency lies with sustainability initiatives. In 2040, just 17 years from today, we have goals to address seawall challenges around the Embarcadero. A monumental feat, structurally as well as financially. The city has approved a Climate Action Plan, with very specific goals to reach net zero emission goals by 2040.
Let’s come together to make our 2040 goals San Francisco’s North Star, to come together around innovation, clean energy, sustainable entrepreneurship, and housing affordability. As I look to the year to come, I hope we can use this 2040 goal to imagine a Downtown 2.0, examine what industries we can use to diversify and grow our economy, and keep San Francisco the world-class city that we all love so much.
As we start a new year, I invite you to join
the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce as we embark together into the next chapter of San Francisco.