tv [untitled] April 10, 2014 6:30pm-7:01pm PDT
powerful message that it will not stand by silently when a government passes laws criminalizing same-sex couple and their allies and allow lgbt people including youth to be tortured openly without any consequences for their perpetrators. thank you very much. >> thank you. so, now julie dorf from the council of [speaker not understood]. >> good morning. thank you for inviting me. i am a senior advisor with the council for global equality in washington, d.c., but i reside here in san francisco ~. and for the past 30 years i've been involved with the former soviet union and russia's human rights situation and have degree in russian and soviet studies and have been traveling there since the mid '80s when i worked on soviet jury matter. since then i have focused my
entire career on defending the rights of lgbt people globally. to add to that background to what you obviously all are knowledgeable this particular anti-gay crack down in russia right now, i think it's important to under a teeny bit the context for that, which is that president putin, after his second reelection, experienced for the first time opposition, and this has been part of an overall crack down to keep opposition at bay. and in particular, to take all the freedoms away from civil society actors. the most important law that has impacted lgbt people in russia is actually the foreign agents law which is in the process of taking down any civil -- any no. nongovernmental organization
that receives funding from outside of russia. just yesterday in st. peter'sberg, the longest standing human rights mainstream organization, the moriales was to shut its doors. every lgbt organization in russia with a few exceptions are in the process of having to account for their funding that primarily comes from europe and the west, and is being confronted -- full agency means you are being called a spy, a foreign spy. so, the nclrs of russia are really being targeted. in addition, i think it's important to note that the homophobic legislation that is coming our way and the author of the worst bill to date is the remove children from lgbt families. there are hundreds of known lgbt family in russia who are
considering fleeing or have already been preparing to leave because they are afraid their children will be taken away. we have at least three instances of social services beginning a process even before this legislation was passed, and we know that given the anti-gay propaganda law which passed 4 02 to nothing ~ when it came before the duma, if this goes forward it will pass overwhelmingly as well. so, the fear and terror among the community and particularly for lgbt family is extremely high and we're already seeing immigration equality in new york talk about a 300% increase in asylum claims from lgbt people to the united states and there are other similar situationses in europe. the situation is actually quite terrifying. more importantly, i think it's important to know this is a kremlin directed campaign. this is a deliberate conflation
of nationalism and homophobia for political gain. it is not only important our country stands up for what is right and fair, but that we do it with our actions as well as our words. and as you probably know, u.s.-russian relations are at another all-time low. our diplomatic opportunities to influence the situation in russia is very limited. human rights defenders in the country have increasingly few opportunities to speak out. [speaker not understood] any country that has growing dictatorship as is russia right now, it is even more important that those of us outside speak up and act. and, so, i really want to appreciate that you are all in support of this divestment tactic. the united states as a federal government has been increasing, as we know, sanctions against particular individuals in
russia including, as part of our krimea sanctions, anti-gay propaganda bill has not been allowed to get a visa to the united states and has had her assets seized and it's time for all of our opportunities to have them feel the pain of persecuting lgbt people for political gain to continue. so, i look forward to being asked back to a similar hearing by the board of the retirement fund. i think that discrimination is bad for business. when uganda passed its law a couple months ago, the currency fell. i think it's no surprise that the assets went from 38 million to 26 million. russia is not a good investment opportunity at the moment. they're at the brink of war in
krimea. they were kicked out of the g-8. it's a bad brand. where there is anti-gay persecution and discrimination as well as other human rights abuses, there are many reasons to divest from russia and i encourage you to keep up the fight. thank you. >> thank you, [speaker not understood]. finally, i want to ask virginia, president of the board, directors of san francisco pride. >> good morning, supervisors. i'm gary virginia, a long-time lgbt and human rights activist and member of gays without borders and current president of the san francisco board parade [speaker not understood]. i'm here to ask you to educate the public on the dangers of russian lgbt and allies and putin anti-gay laws and ask the fund pulling the approximate 26 million it has invested in russian securities. the retirement board is the only city agency that conducts
business with russia. it has been said the city and state should not be investing in russia for moral and economic reasons. it's not a place where there is rule of law. we should not be putting money at risk or supporting in any way their government which is cracking down on lgbt russians, ethnic minorities, political dissidents and others. when putin consolidating political and economic power, though assets are at risk. for the record, on june 30th, russian president vladimir putin signed a new law that threatens to arrest, detain [speaker not understood] groups that publicly support lgbt or spread quote-unquote propaganda about quote-unquote [speaker not understood] life-style. [speaker not understood] display of affection between same-second partner, statements in support of lgbt rights, and the use of symbols is up as rainbows that are connected to the lgbt community.
russia also enacted a law that prohibits same-sex couples from adopted children. on september 30th last year, our [speaker not understood] a resolution urging calpers and cal sters not to invest future pension fund in russia. mark leno passed 29 to 1 bipartisan vote. the resolution was co-sponsored by equality california and the national center for lesbian rights and it was coauthored by 16 senators. senator mark len owe made a similar request at the state level stating, we hope this resolution will bring greater attention to what russian president vladimir putin is doing in russia and encourage other states to follow our lead. this is classic scapegoating, a did despotic ruler [speaker not understood]. it can potentially lead to genocide. color our world with pride is the theme of the san francisco pride parade in celebration which is just 82 days away.
our event will be focusing on global issues. lgbt people in uganda, russia, nigerian, cameroon and latvia are seeing criminalization of gays largely due to american evangelist scott lively who has traveled to these countries for years to encourage governments to sanction gayses. with close to 7,000 votes cast for grand marshals and honorees in san francisco, recently, scott won the pink brick award for causing the most harm to our lgbt community. in addition, the san francisco pride selected activist and lawyer melanie nathan who is a native of south after cavity she is currently in uganda advocating for gay people and she will be honored in the san francisco pride parade. ironically, it was scott lively who attempted to sue her for her exposure of his hate laws.
scott lively additionally is still being charged federally for crimes against humanity in his home state of massachusetts. these laws in russia as previously cited will be resulting in a mob mentality where gay russian are tortured, videotapes and sometimes killed. this is no laughing or insignificant matter. there is widespread support among gay and straight allies of san franciscans who believe in equality who would support divestment in russia if not just for the financial stability of the employees retirement system than for joining us in solidarity for equality. the rather smart request we are making of the san francisco employee retirement system is a step in the right direction to educate the public and join our state, national, and global community, protect the human rights of all people. thank you, supervisors, for your support. >> thank you, mr. virginia. so, madam chair, those are the presentations and, so, we can have public comment. >> thank you. thank you. i'd like to open this item up
for public comment. anyone wishing to make public comment, please line up to my left. and come on up. you'll have two minutes. oh, seeing no public comment, public comment is closed. [gavel] >> okay. >> so, madam chair, again, thank you very much for accommodating us in terms of time and holding the hearing. we really appreciate it. and, colleagues, as you can hear and i know that you in a way preaching to the choir on this, that this is incredibly important to the lgbt community and our city and worldwide. and, so, we will be following up with the retirement system and trying to work towards a strong evaluation of whether divestment can occur consistent with the fund's fiduciary obligations. i am going to have [speaker not understood] as it can be, given it is a very small amount of
holdings with a rather large message behind a divestment. so, i look forward to those conversations. so, madam chair, i would request that this item be continued to the call of the chair. >> okay. is there a motion? okay. motion, without objection, without objection, this item is continued to the call of the chair. thank you. [gavel] >> thank you very much. >> all right, madam clerk, can you please call the next item. >> item number 2, is a hearing on the current status of gosolarsf solar incentive program and plans to ensure the ongoing success of the program in helping san franciscans go solar and creating local green jobs. >> okay. supervisor chiu, the floor is yours. >> thank you, colleague. i want to thank you for your consideration of this important item around the current status of our go solar san francisco program. i'd like to invite my aid [speaker not understood] if you could start a couple of slides to kickoff this discussion. so, let me first start off by also thanking you, colleague, as well as others on the board
of supervisors for your continued support of advocacy for our go solar san francisco program. this is a program that has been very successful. it is a program that is both creating important jobs as well as is good for the environment and it is a program that has been a model to the rest of the state. in fact, the rest of the country in how we need to move forward in this area. we are here because we know in recent years we always have budget challenges and what has -- what we have senior after year is the -- what we had expected to be continued funding for this program typically has been cut and every single budget cycle the last few years. we've had a significant community fight to restore the funding to what we need. and we hear every year from environmental activists, from work force advocates, from solar advocates as well as the community on what we need to do to restore the funding and then the funding gets restored. what i'm hoping to do today is something a little different.
that before the budget process starts, to have a conversation about why this program is important, what some of the issues have been around funding to see if we can try to resolve these issues before the budget process begins. what i'd like to do is present a couple of slides just to frame kind of where we are today and then i know that there are a number of city staffers that can help provide some additional information on this. and then i'd like to hear from the public on this issue and i want to thank the members of the public who have provided concerns and asked questions about this so that we can start a public dialogue around this. if we go to our first slide. sfgov-tv, if you could hit the access to the laptop. why don't we go to the next slide. so, from a program overview, as i said before, this has been one of the most successful renewable energy initiatives that our city has ever had. it was launched in the middle of 2008 as a 10-year solar rebate program, as a
collaboration between our then mayor newsome, our then assessor recorder phil tackverctiontion, the san francisco public utilities commission, board of supervisors, as well as leader from our work force, [speaker not understood] and business community. ~ tang since 2008 this is a program that has helped more than 2,500 san francisco homeowners, businesses, nonprofits and tenants install solar panels. it has supported over 8 megawatts of solar, qua drewvling the number of solar rooftops in our city ~. it's created hundreds of jobs in companies, clean tech innovators that have chose tone headquarter in our city because of policy innovations like this program. one thing that was interested a few years ago, our then assessor phil tang showed this is a program that pays for itself. it increase he property values which lead to property revenues from our tax. this is a program that has created hundreds of local jobs including jobs for over i think
the number is now 121 residents from economically challenged neighborhoods who have graduated from our work force development system. please go to our next slide. so, this describes the funding levels recently for the go solar san francisco program. as you can see, during the depth of the great recession in 2008 through 2011, we managed to fund this program at $5 million levels. last year the proposal was $2 million and it wasn't until there was significant advocacy on the part of the community that that was increased to its $4 million level. and i haven't [speaker not understood] the san francisco puc to make a presentation. my understanding is they have initially propose that had this program be funded at a $2 million level and that is really part of what we are here to discuss. that is not a budget perspective that i share, but would like to understand from the puc which is undergoing some significant funding challenges itself, its rationale for that funding
level. if we can go to the next slide. this slide, i think, tells some of the story of what we have seen over the last couple years with regards to the go solar program. we saw a significant jump in total rebates that were paid out to various users of the program. but we've also seen in the last couple years a, a significant drop that frankly does not build confidence within the solar installation community and our local residents that the annual budget drama that we experience here every year at city hall is helpful. and i've heard from solar companies and potential customers who want to install solar that they're not sure how this is going to work i goerv enthat the incentive structure has continued to change. ~ given that next slide, please. which leads to a significant decline in what we have seen of go solar installations. installation have dropped from a peak of 640 in the fiscal year 2009-2010 to this past year of an installation number
of 264. and you can see this is not, i think, the timeline we want to support here in san francisco. [speaker not understood]. we have heard from the community a number of issues around administration of this program about the desire for more transparency, about a desire to make it easier to implement this program with electronic document signatures. a desire for more consistency in the administration. and then there is the twin issue of continuing funding, of how we continue to fund this if the sfpuc power enterprise is having issues. there have been a number of ideas that have been put out in this area, but part of what i want to discuss today are some of what our best ideas and how to move this conversation forward. so, with that, i'd like to invite up from the san francisco public utilities commission -- i thought harlan kelly was coming, but todd, are you ready to present to give us a little bit of a sense of the budget picture within the sfpuc
and some perspective around the go solar program, and then we will hear from others. >> thank you very much. my name is todd reid strom and i am the [speaker not understood], i've been there for almost six years now. and i wanted to express mr. kelly's regret that i couldn't personally attend. he had another meeting, but he did you send his regard and wish he could be here because it is an important program to him and one he is supportive of. with that's correct good morning and thank you for having us in this discussion today. the [speaker not understood] provide context is important because we are running the water and power system of hetch hetchy which has been a system that has provided greenhouse gas-free, very low cost power for about 100 years to san francisco. so, today in the context of go solar s.f. and important part
of power provision, i have three specific points that mr. kelly wanted to express. first, go solar is a good program and it's one of the mechanisms that the san francisco puc has utilized to achieve the city's energy efficiency as well as renewable energy program priorities. since 2008, the sfpuc has provided $19.4 million, 19.4 million of go solar incentives, and we have appropriated 24 million as shown in the previous slide and mentioned by supervisor chiu. this has resulted in about 2,5 83 installations to date and represented about 8.1 megawatts of solar installation ~. this is really significant and really important in san francisco. it's a big accomplishment for san francisco. we want to be very clear that the sfpuc likes go solar s.f., we think there is a lot of
value added to diversifying the production of renewable power and locally generating those in our city. and we're very proud of what we, with your support as the board appropriations, have been able to accomplish in san francisco. as a second point, as you consider future funding for this program -- and i know you do deliberations on an $8 billion budget of which ours is a smaller 13% or so of the total, but nevertheless every dollar is important and we want to provide a broader context for you as you look at specifically our budget in the coming weeks, in may as well in particular. let me provide a bit of background to put it into context. hetch hetchy power has provided many benefits to the city, and we've been generating power since 1918. nearly 100 years we've been generating greenhouse gas free energy for the city central
services. this saves the general fund $50 million a year. i think that's especially important for san franciscans and something to be proud of because it' efficiency and our work and your previous funding ~ of the hetch hetchy water and power project. $50 million a year is saved by the general fund, by the community college, by the school district, by the metropolitan transportation agency, by the muni's parking and traffic division, and others. that allows the general fund dollars to stretch a lot further. we also have done a lot of thing to advance the city's climate agenda. and, for example, installing the 8 megawatts of rooftop solar on city facilities as well as the grants that have been provided for private solar on rooftops. but the system is aging and needs a great deal of improvement.
take a moment and think about our mountain title as an example, it's been in continuous operation for over 80 years with very minimal improvements. and, so, you will hear from us as our commission has been deliberating over the last several months, that our capital needs have increased significantly. we run a system that is in large part 50 to 100 years old. and many of those assets have had little to no refurbishment because they were built to last that long, and that's a testament i think some of the [speaker not understood] soundness of the men and women in san francisco and those that came before us. the central capital improvements mean that our capital plan and our required spending is going up over 500 million alone and closer to now be a total of 883 million of essential capital improvements. we think of our capital as both
essential. you have to do it in order to keep thing just running and the low cost power coming into city hall and funding all the street lights, the general hospital and the muni. and then also there is a lot of other capital projects that you'll hear about during our budget hearing that we would like to be able to do, but there's just not funding identified yet. so, you're going to hear capital needs in excess of a billion dollars. mountain tunnel alone i mentioned earlier is one that is about $6 28 million, and this tunnel has been in operation for 80 years ~ with little maintenance at all. and it's a function of how well it was built and being built through granite. additionally, to the expensive and not aging infrastructure, we have benefited significantly as a city from very low cost of distribution rates. an interconnection agreement settlement in 1987 with pg&e.
those costs are set to increase significantly upward of 16 to $20 million based upon what pg&e has filed for their ferc as well as cpuc rates. those cost increases are far in excess of what we had previously assumed in our ten-year projections. and you, along with the city charter, require the puc every single year to update a ten-year capital plan, a ten-year financial plan, and we then convey that to our policy makers and the public what those rates are going to be needed to cover costs. there is no profit. there is no extra money. it's just what will cover costs. previously that balanced financial plan and capital plan was in existence until these three significant pieces of additional cost increase for large capital, mountain tunnel, the significant increases with pg&e projected costs for the
transmission and distribution, and then lastly a regulatory environment change which resulted in us having to do additional improvements because of federal regulatory requirements, in particular, for the safety of the electric grid. many of the requirements are important given the sensitivities that we've seen in the press recently. however, that means that costs are higher than what we've previously assumed and what you would have seen a year ago when we discussed our budget and our capital plan. general manager harlan kelly is developing and executing a plan right now. we have and are continuing to work with the mayor's budget office on our plan and proposed budget. we have also, thank you to your budget analyst, met with ms. karen bum and her team to go over the projectionses. we've met and discussed them at length with the controller ~ as well. and, so, the numbers are very
daunting and i have to tell you, after being here six years, they are the large concern. that being said, we really like the go solar s.f. program. but there is a concern that without bridging the gap and raising rates further on general fund departments and others that have benefited from low-cost power which we've been able to do historically because we had assets that lasted 80 years, that lasted 100 years, but they don't last and they're not going to last 200. we need to be able to increase revenues in order to bridge that shortfall. we discussed with our commission in context, just in closing, that our projected shortfall is nearly a half a billion dollars over the next ten years. those are numbers very large that you may have heard about on the general fund and the three-year order of pfizer report. but just for our enterprise alone, because of the significant increases and the
$6 28 million for the mountain tunnel along with the pg&e costs and the regulatory costs are a net result in about half a billion dollar shortfall. that means while we would like to be able to give and deliver clean greenhouse gas free power to municipal facilities for $50 million less than what pg&e would cost, i don't know mathematically how that's possible any more. so, we look forward to working with you as well as the budget committee over the upcoming month. and our proposed budget is $2 million over the next two years in our plan as adopted and review to date by the commission has $2 million for the next four years for a total of 8 million as well as continuing to increase funding for street lights. we want to do more. we would like your help in reviewing how we could possibly do more and look forward to working with you. assistant general manager
[speaker not understood] also has a presented asian to provide you information. ~ presentation >> if i could ask a couple defining questions. first, i appreciate your comments in support of the program in general. i think that is a value we all share. i think part of the reason we are here is every single year your department has proposed reducing the amounts and we come back and we have a big fight about it and then we have ended up restoring this. and what i was hoping to do was to avoid that groundhog day by starting the conversation. the surprising news you provided in recent months about what you were projecting to be significant budget shortfalls, is there or has there been an audit of your sfpuc power enterprise programs? this is information that has caught all of us who are your policy makers by surprise, and, frankly, we're all trying to under how we got here given the stability in prior years. so, can you give us a little bit of a sense of how we were caught so off guard with this information?
>> a good question f. we turn the clock back two years ago when you saw us come to the budget committee, you heard both myself and mr. harrington at the time talk about the hetchy fiscal cliff. and at that time it was solved by cutting the capital program, deferring $2 24 million ~ of other types of improvements. that $2 24 million of cuts included the assumed reductions from 5 million down to 2 million go solar sf, cut energy sufficiency, cut city renewables on city buildings, $90 million, 30 million each from programs that we really want to do. but if we continue to provide power below cost, there just is not enough money to do all the things that are good and that we would want to do. and, so, the fiscal