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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Coffee with the Mayor

From SFGate,
(Photo by Lea Suzuki / The Chronicle)
Have coffee with Mayor Ed Lee

The mayor, his coffee and ... you?

Do you have a brilliant idea to make Muni run on time or are you just annoyed by that guy who camps on your front steps?

Here’s your chance to tell the man in charge.

Starting Saturday, Mayor Ed Lee will be hosting monthly coffee chats with regular folks across the city.

“We need to hear directly from our residents about the issues that matter most to them,” Lee said in announcing the move.

It’s not the first time one of our mayors has tried something like this. Lee’s predecessor, now-Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, had “open door sessions,” although the first two were at police stations in the Tenderloin and the Mission — not exactly coffee-house cozy. Newsom borrowed the idea from former Mayor Willie Brown, who is Lee’s buddy and now a Chronicle columnist.

Lee’s spokeswoman, Christine Falvey, said the plan grew out of town halls the mayor held last year to hear community priorities on balancing the budget. Those are continuing, too. Here’s the schedule:

District 10 & 11 with Supervisors Malia Cohen & John Avalos
Saturday, April 28, 2012 (10 – 11:30 a.m.)
City Arts and Technology High School, 325 La Grande Avenue

And seeing how Lee has embraced the “technology mayor” handle, those wouldn’t be complete without a lunchtime digital townhall on Google+, similar to the Google+ Hangout with President Obama earlier this year. The date is still being sorted out.

As for getting some one-on-one time with the mayor, interested residents can call 311 and leave their name, contact information, and brief details about what they want to discuss. The mayor’s office says participants will be selected at random. Residents will be notified of their appointment the Thursday prior to the meeting. People will get about 10 minutes with the mayor, who plans to meet with a dozen or more folks (depending on if people bring family, etc.) over about two hours at each session, staff said.

Here’s the “community coffees” schedule:

Saturday, March 10, 2012 – District 11
Saturday, April 21, 2012 – District 6
Saturday, May 19, 2012 – District 1
Saturday, June 9, 2012 – District 8 & 9
Saturday, July 14, 2012 – District 10
Saturday, September 15, 2012 – Districts 4 & 7
Saturday, October 13, 2012 – District 5

Lee, who often waxes fondly about cleaning up trash or wading through water from burst pipes during his Department of Public Works days, has set up the coffees to correspond with “Community Clean Team” events, where volunteers and city crews clean up trash, paint over graffiti, remove weeds and the like.

First up is Ingleside Heights for an Arbor Day-inspired clean up effort, where, you guessed it, they’ll be planting a tree (besides plenty of other work). The coffee session will be at a nearby coffee shop.
 h/t R Davis & A deJesus

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