Promises and progress 

Promises Mayor Gavin Newsom made in his inaugural and State of The City speeches since taking office in 2003.


Promise: Pass a supportive housing bond and create work force housing for teachers, nurses, firefighters and other working people, 2003.

Progress: Newsom championed two housing measures — for affordable and "working class" housing — during his first year of office; voters rejected both.

Public Safety

Promise: Hire an additional 150 new police officers within 18 months, 2004; promised to have 220 new police recruits by end of June 2006, 2005.

Progress: 153 new officers have been hired, according to Newsom.

Promise: To put crime surveillance cameras in Mission, Hunters Point, Bayview and the Western Addition, 2005.

Progress: San Francisco has since installed nearly 100 cameras, 68 of which are within 12 public-housing sites, with the remainder watching 14 high-crime intersections in other parts of The City. A plan to install an additional 25 cameras at eight intersections goes before San Francisco’s Police Commission later this month.

Public Transportation

Promise: Muni’s new Third Street light rail to be in operation by 2005.

Progress: Third Street light rail is scheduled to be in full service in April 2007.


Promise: Provide every San Franciscan with access to free wireless Internet service, 2004.

Progress: Negotiations with Earthlink and Google — which partnered to offer a free citywide service along with a faster, fee-based Internet service — are in the final stages, according to Newsom. Contract would need to go to the Board of Supervisors for final approval.


Promise: Encourage biotech companies to come to San Francisco through the passage of a new tax credit, 2004.

Progress: San Francisco is chosen as the new site for the state’s new stem cell institute; to date, only four new biotecd firms have come to San Francisco’s new Mission Bay development area, while the Bay Area is home to more than 900 life science companies. Newsom promised in his 2005 State of the City speech that more are on their way.

Government efficiency

Promise: Create a City Hall live-person hot line for residents to use to access all nonemergency services within 18 months, 2004.

Progress: More than a year past the goal date, San Francisco’s 311 line is scheduled to be up and running in March 2007, according to city officials.


Promise: Create a construction trade program called CityBuild that will train and connect San Francisco residents with thousands of public works jobs.

Progress: To date, 240 residents have been trained and placed in CityBuild-related jobs, according to Newsom.


Promise: Implement Care Not Cash, which reduces cash welfare payments and provides housing.

Progress: The number of single homeless adults receiving general assistance payments has dropped from 2,497 in May 2004 to 333 today; 1,726 of those people have been placed in housing, according to city officials.

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Bonnie Eslinger

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