Shortly after San Francisco’s Stay Home Order went into effect, organized The COVID-19 Effect, a series of virtual discussions to explore the impact of COVID-19 on the future of San Francisco. Ahead of each conversation, authored an in-depth analysis of the topic. We then brought in a local expert to discuss further and answer questions from our community.

July 14, 2020

The COVID-19 Effect on San Francisco’s Housing and Rental Market
Featured Speaker: Xiomara Cisneros, Bay Area Council

In June 2020, San Francisco rents fell by an unprecedented 11.8 percent—the largest drop of any American city. “Pandemic pricing” was just one of many topics covered during’s conversation about the impact of COVID-19 on the San Francisco’s housing and rental market. Adding her expertise, Bay Area Council Policy Director, Xiomara Cisneros, helped us explore the Bay Area’s housing challenges before, during, and after COVID-19.

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June 23, 2020

The COVID-19 Effect on San Francisco’s Restaurants and Food Culture
Featured Speaker: Laurie Thomas, Golden Gate Restaurant Association

Restaurants have been among the businesses hardest hit by COVID-19. Even before the pandemic, operating a restaurant in San Francisco was costly, explained Laurie Thomas, Executive Director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association. She talked to about the additional challenges restaurants have had to overcome and how San Franciscans can support their local favorites during the pandemic.

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June 9, 2020

The COVID-19 Effect on Elections
Featured Speaker: Alex Padilla, California Secretary of State discussed the impact of COVID-19 on the 2020 Presidential election with California Secretary of State Alex Padilla. Also known as California’s Chief Elections Officer, Secretary Padilla explained the state’s decision to automatically send all California voters a vote-by-mail ballot. He also walked us through other precautions the state is taking to maximize both voter turnout and voter safety during the November 2020 election.

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May 27, 2020

The COVID-19 Effect on San Francisco’s Transportation
Featured Speaker: Jeffrey Tumlin, San Francisco Director of Transportation looked at how COVID-19 impacted San Francisco’s transportation system with San Francisco Director of Transportation Jeffrey Tumlin. We explored the ways in which COVID-19 upended traffic patterns across the Bay Area and the challenges new pandemic-induced transportation trends pose for San Francisco’s future.

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May 13, 2020

The COVID-19 Effect on San Francisco’s Office Space Market
Featured Speaker: Rich Hillis, San Francisco Planning Director talked to Director of San Francisco’s Planning Department, Rich Hillis, about the impact of COVID-19 on San Francisco offices. In a matter of weeks, COVID-19 prompted office occupancy rates to drop from 90 percent to 10 percent. Hillis explained how the City’s office space market supports San Francisco’s overall economic health and what to expect from offices in the future.

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April 21, 2020

The COVID-19 Effect on San Francisco’s Budget
Featured Speaker: Ben Rosenfield, San Francisco City Controller discussed the impact of COVID-19 on San Francisco’s budget—including a projected $1.7 billion deficit—with City Controller Ben Rosenfield. Rosenfield explained which of San Francisco’s revenue streams will be most affected by COVID-19 and the path toward economic recovery.

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