The subjects of “Unsettled”: Junior, Mari, Cheyenne and Subhi. Photo courtesy of Open Door Productions

LGBTQ Refugee Doc Debuts on Public Television, Streaming

The San Francisco Bay Area has a reputation for being a kind of “queer promised land,” says filmmaker Tom Shepard. In the documentary “Unsettled,” that notion is put to the test. The film follows four LGBT refugees as they try to build new lives in San Francisco after fleeing violence and discrimination in their home countries.

Landlords Threaten to Sue Over S.F. Eviction Ban

A landlords’ group plans to sue San Francisco over tenant protections established in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the organization’s executive director. The Board of Supervisors this month approved a permanent ban on evictions for rents unpaid from mid-March through July. An earlier local eviction moratorium would have allowed landlords to start pursuing evictions of tenants for any remaining unpaid rents — even those due during the emergency — by the end of December. The end date of the eviction ban is based on an executive order by Gov. Gavin Newsom, who could extend the time period. The switch to a permanent ban galvanized the San Francisco Apartment Association, a property owners group with thousands of members, to threaten legal action.

Applications for building permits have been rising since Mayor London Breed allowed construction to fully resume in early May. In this graph, each bar represents one week of permit filings. The first week of 2019 contains partial data because it began on a Wednesday.

Construction Ramps Up in S.F. — for Now

Construction sites are coming back to life throughout San Francisco, but the surge in activity may not last long. Builders pulled 334 permits last week, up from zero 10 weeks earlier as the coronavirus shutdown took effect. That puts construction activity at about 58% of normal. In the year leading up to Mayor London Breed’s mid-March order for construction to cease, City Hall received about 580 permit applications a week. The number of permits has been on a slow climb since hitting zero, and began to accelerate on May 4, when Breed allowed construction to fully resume.

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Homeless Activists’ Latest Tactic: Occupying Hotel Rooms

Seven protesters from Poor Magazine, a publication and activist organization, attempted to occupy the Marriott Marquis hotel in downtown San Francisco on Monday morning to demand that the city house more homeless residents in the thousands of hotel rooms left vacant during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Testing in Mission Shows Virus Hits Workers, Latinos at High Levels

A Mission District coronavirus testing initiative has shown stark disparities in who has been getting sick — 95% of those who tested positive in this initiative identified as Hispanic or Latinx. Most earned less than $50,000 a year. But evidence of this disparity had been mounting even prior to the testing, when doctors in San Francisco hospitals saw that the majority of the coronavirus patients who needed to be hospitalized were also Latino.

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Rental Relief Programs See Requests Surge From Newly Jobless

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Nonprofits that serve people who need emergency help with their rent are seeing requests surge from a new class of clients — those who were previously financially secure but have lost their jobs due to COVID-19. But red tape is complicating their efforts to help the newly jobless, the groups say.