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To all our friends, family and community members,

We recently sent you information about Matcha N’ More to spotlight the inequities of the Discretionary Review process. As a club that has pledged to work for equity and social justice for all, we firmly believe in a fair, equitable and predictable process for small businesses to open up in San Francisco.

Jason Yu, a San Francisco native, and James Mai wanted to open a green tea–themed ice cream shop called Matcha N’ More. But in March, an individual filed a Discretionary Review on their permit, which placed their small business plans on hold until their Planning Commission hearing in June. With the community’s support and your public comments, Jason and James won their case and resumed their plans to open Matcha N’ More. We are proud to support Jason and James, while shining a light on the inequities of Discretionary Reviews.

The Discretionary Review process is broken. It allows one person to place a new business on hold for months until the Planning Commission makes a decision. To go through the Discretionary Review process, a new business must keep paying rent on their commercial lease and hire expensive lawyers, costing thousands of dollars with no promise that they will be allowed to operate. The threat of Discretionary Review disproportionately impacts women and minority owned businesses who have less access to capital and do not have time to fight it. A long regulatory process overburdens small businesses that want to open in San Francisco.

To ensure small business owners of all diverse backgrounds can succeed in San Francisco, Mayor Ed Lee fought vigorously for Discretionary Review reform and permit streamlining for small businesses. San Francisco needs to eliminate the bureaucracy and make the permit process simpler, faster, and more streamlined. If your business is following the rules and regulations to open in San Francisco, you should be able to get your permits to operate.

Support new San Francisco small businesses! Mayor London Breed introduced a ballot measure to eliminate bureaucracy and make it easier for small businesses to open and operate throughout San Francisco. This is a step in the right direction.

Thank you for your continued support. Two scoops for everyone and stay safe!

Selina Sun
Edwin M. Lee Asian Pacific Democratic Club