Malia Cohen for Board of Equalization

Feds Give Gold For Struggling California Cities?

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, along with other state leaders, announced Friday a new partnership aimed at helping small- and medium-sized California cities take full advantage of “opportunity tax incentives” included in the 2017 federal tax bill.

The California Opportunity Zone Partnership was organized by the nonprofit Accelerator for America with support from the Energy Foundation...

Garcetti announced the new partnership with California Treasurer John Chiang, San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Malia Cohen, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.

During Phase 1 of the partnership, grants will be given to three small-to- medium-sized California cities to help them attract investments into their opportunity zones, while experts from the cities of San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and Los Angeles will provide support to the cities awarded the grants.

During Phase 2 of the partnership, lessons learned by the grant cities will be used to inform state policy and legislation to help cities of all sizes across the state maximize opportunity zone investments while avoiding the negative impacts of gentrification and displacement, partnership officials said.

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San Francisco announces plans to provide doulas for low-income mothers

San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Malia Cohen Tuesday announced a new program aimed at combating an alarming number of health problems in black and Pacific Islander babies and mothers.

The plan is to train and provide doulas or birth companions.

Records show nearly a quarter of all infant deaths in San Francisco are African Americans. They make up just five percent of the population.

"This issue for me is an issue of equity, fairness and most importantly it's an issue of respect," said Cohen.

Nationwide, black mothers die in childbirth at three times the rate of white mothers in the United States.

Part of the program will be to recruit and train African-Americans and Pacific Islanders as doulas and have them work with those families.

The doula program is slated to begin in January.

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Cannabis tax headed for November ballot

Despite opposition from the industry, the Board of Supervisors placed a gross receipts cannabis tax on the November ballot Tuesday...

Board president Malia Cohen, who introduced the measure, made concessions to the industry by lowering the rate from what she had initially proposed and delaying implementation to 2021.

“There is a black market now and there probably will always be one. I just feel like that is a little bit of an excuse,” Cohen said...

If approved by voters, the cannabis tax would start on Jan. 1, 2021. There would be a 2.5 percent tax on retail cannabis gross receipts up to $1 million and a 5 percent tax on gross receipts in excess of $1 million. There would be a 1 percent tax on gross receipts up to $1 million in non-retail cannabis activities, and a 1.5 percent on gross receipts more than $1 million.

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Bay Area new girls’ network is getting results

For only the second time in our city’s history, the mayor is a woman. And for the first time, the mayor is a woman of color. Finally, that glass ceiling has been broken.

Breed embodies the future of this country — the rising American electorate made up of people of color, unmarried women and Millennials...Now, with the election of Malia Cohen as president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, two African American women are leading the city.

Navy Releases Plan to Retest Hunters Point Shipyard for Radiation



San Francisco supervisor Malia Cohen announced Friday morning that the Navy has also agreed to test another parcel at Hunters Point, Parcel A, for hazardous material. Parcel A is a section of the shipyard where people are already living in new condos.

Regulators have always said Parcel A is clean and safe, that it does not pose a health risk, and that it was never contaminated with radiation to begin with. But Cohen hopes the tests will give the public peace of mind.

"For decades, workers and community members throughout the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhoods have expressed concerns about the dangers of the Shipyard, while millions of taxpayer dollars were wasted on fraudulent testing by Tetra Tech," Cohen said. "More still needs to be done to give assurances of the health and safety of the public and the environment at the Shipyard and we will continue to place pressure until regulators do the right thing."

The Navy will pay for the testing of Parcel A with money secured by U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Cohen said.


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Cohen introduces cannabis tax for November ballot



Cohen’s proposal is expected to generate between $5 million and $10 million in 2021.The first $500,000 in gross receipts would be exempted from the tax. Medical cannabis also would not be taxed.

A City Controller’s analysis on a cannabis tax last year said a 1 percent cannabis gross receipts tax without exemptions would generate between $1 million and $2 million annually. A 5 percent cannabis gross receipts tax would generate between $6 million and $12 million.

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Election 2018

In the race for the District 2 seat on the state's Board of Equalization...San Francisco District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen...took first place with 36 percent of Tuesday's vote.

"I look forward to making history in November as the first African-American woman elected to the BOE," Cohen told the Bay Area Reporter Wednesday morning...

Cohen said she was "tired" from staying up late watching the election returns come in, "but extremely grateful for the overwhelming response" from voters to her candidacy.

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Flavored Tobacco Ban Triumphs at the Polls

San Francisco voters on Tuesday night rejected the campaign influence of Big Tobacco by overwhelmingly voting to ban flavored tobacco.

With 68 percent approval, Proposition E now bans flavored tobacco products — menthol cigarettes and vape liquids included —  in San Francisco. Opponents spent more than $11.5 million to defeat it, while supporters only had $2.3 million to convince others...

Supervisor Malia Cohen authored the ban, which the Board of Supervisors approved in June before the ballot challenge, arguing that flavored tobacco lures children who might otherwise develop a distaste for regular tobacco. The American Heart Association, African Cancer Society, African-American Tobacco Control Leadership Council, NICOS Chinese Health Coalition and others joined the list of supporters.

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Farrell’s two-year budget proposal includes $21.1M in soda tax revenue

Mayor Mark Farrell’s budget proposal will include millions of dollars from San Francisco’s soda tax for services to improve the health of low-income communities of color who are most impacted by the sugary beverages.

Farrell is expected on Tuesday to announce the plan to use the anticipated revenue from the one cent per fluid ounce tax on soda that went into effect in January with Supervisor Malia Cohen, who championed the November 2016 soda tax measure...

Said Cohen, “As the sponsor of this law, I am proud to stand with the community and uphold the promise of directing soda tax revenue towards reducing health disparities for people of color and working class people.”

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