The following is for game purposes only. The persons displayed are entirely fictional.
The City and County San Francisco is a consolidated city-county, being simultaneously a charter city and charter county with a consolidated government, a status it has had since 1856. It is the only such consolidation in California and the only California County with a mayor who is also the county executive. San Francisco is the only California city with a Board of Supervisors, which acts simultaneously as city and county council.
Office of the Mayor
San Francisco’s Mayor is the head of the Executive department. The Mayor directs and controls all City offices and departments except where that authority is granted to another office by the City Charter.
Mayor Hector Sandoval
Biography: Hector Sandoval became the 42nd Mayor of the City of San Francisco when he took office on December 9, 2003. The first Latino mayor of this city, he has earned a national reputation for strong leadership coupled with strong initiatives to address transportation, public safety, emergency preparedness, economic opportunity, immigration reform and other challenges facing the city. By choosing to balance his progressive views with an unabashedly pro-business agenda he has angered some on both sides of the political fence, but the San Francisco economy has recovered faster than the national average since he took office, mollifying some of his detractors and delighting the ethnic community that mobilized to ensure him a victory at the polls.
Sandoval rode to victory on a wave of popular discontent with the previous city administration that was accused of lining its pockets while allowing city services to languish. The current mayor has pledged to clean house and restore the integrity of the Mayor’s Office, a difficult challenge but one he says he relishes. Including in his agenda are several key issues: revival of decayed programs through urban renewal; job programs for at-risk youth; increasing the density of in-city housing; and improvement for the city school’s academic curriculum. The national recession following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 left San Francisco deeply in debt; the Mayor has worked ceaselessly to balance the city budget, sometimes drawing fire for raising sales and property taxes to pay for his programs. A recent dispute between City Hall and waste management unions nearly led to a city-wide garbage collector’s strike, but the crisis was averted at the last minute by a round of intense talks that resulted in a compromise that is fair to both sides and earned Mayor Sandoval a reputation as a tough but fair-minded negotiator.
Mayor Sandoval is a fourth generation Hispanic American who has dedicated his political career to improving the city where he was born. He was elected three times to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and served on the Board from 1997 until 2004. Before embarking on his career in public service, Sandoval was a labor organizer. In 1992 he helped organize the city’s first inter-union summit meeting that resulted in policies which created thousands of jobs for San Franciscans.
The Board of Supervisors
The Board of Supervisors is the legislative branch of the City and County of San Francisco. The Board consists of 11 members elected on a non-partisan basis from the district in which he or she lives. The Board of Supervisors establishes city policies, adopts ordinances and resolutions, and responds to the needs of the citizens of the City and County. The Board also approves and adopts the city and county budgets, provides for public safety and health, authorizes capital (building) improvements, levies taxes, oversees the finances and assets of the City, and manages the many committees that conduct much of the actual work on behalf of the citizens.
Board Meetings: The Board of Supervisors hold regular meetings that are held at 2:00 p.m. every Tuesday at City Hall. Meetings are cablecast live on Channel 26 and broadcast via KPOO Radio, 89.5 FM. Special meetings may be convened on different dates and times to deal with emergencies.
The members of the Board of Supervisors are all NPC’s, listed in order of the Districts they represent.
San Francisco is a compact city. After New York, it's the second most densely populated city in the United States, with over 750,000 residents crowded into an area of 47 square miles. Its location at the tip of a hilly peninsula, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, gives it one of the most dramatic cityscapes in the world. The Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge, the Bay Area Rapid Transit System (BART) and vast networks of highways connect the city to the metropolis known as the Bay Area.
The Bay Area
San Francisco is the heart of the Bay Area, a collection of cities and towns clustered around San Francisco Bay and connected by a series of bridges and interstate highways. Many of these communities, such as Oakland, Sausalito, San Rafael, Richmond, San Mateo and Berkeley, are suburbs of San Francisco and make up the Greater Metropolitan Area. Others, like San Jose and Fremont, are independent cities in their own right (San Jose is, in fact, even larger than San Francisco).
First established as an outpost of Spain's empire in the New World, the Presidio was for many years the site of an army base. But in 1994 its ownership passed to the National Park Service, and today it's an area of wooded parkland, sandy beaches, and buildings that stand as a reminder of the city's previous ages. This beautiful wooded corner of the city has stunning views of over both the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay. Remnants of its military past, including well-preserved barracks and artillery emplacements, can be seen everywhere among its winding roads and hiking paths.
Once it was wealthy, but today Richmond is a densely-packed residential neighborhood south of the Presidio. Some of the lowest housing prices in the city are found in the area, attracting many working class families, small businesses and huge numbers of immigrants from a wide variety of origins.
Marina & Pacific Heights
Pacific Heights is an exclusive neighborhood that clings to a hillside rising 300 feet above the city. With its magnificent views, it quickly became a desirable place to live, and elegant Victorian houses still line its tree-shaded streets. Along the north edge of the neighborhood the streets drop steeply down to the Marina District, ending at San Francisco Bay. Marina is another affluent residential neighborhood, with an ambiance resembling a seaside resort for the wealthy, with smart shops, lively cafes and prestigious yacht clubs.
Fishermen from Genoa and Sicily first arrived in this part of the city in the late 19th century, and here they founded the San Francisco fishing industry and fleet. The district has given way slowly to tourism since the 1950s, but the fishing fleet still sets out from the harbor early each morning. Tourists flock here to enjoy the innumerable cafes, bars, restaurants, fish markets, street performers, museums and amusement rides. The neighborhood extends south and upward, well beyond the waterfront, to encompass a large residential area claimed mostly by working class families, young professionals, fishermen and a huge number of people who make their living on the waterfront. Ferries to Alcatraz Island (see below) leave from here daily.
Named for the semaphore tower installed on its crest in 1850 to alert merchants of the arrival of ships, this steep hill looms above Little Italy and overlooks the waterfront. In the past the hill was home to immigrants and artists who appreciated its panoramic views. Today the quaint homes are much sought after, making this one of the city's prime residential areas.
Sometimes known as North Beach, this lively Italian-American neighborhood sits several blocks south and uphill of Fisherman's Wharf. Jack Kerouac and the Beats found inspiration here once, drawn by the area's exuberant reputation created by its original Italian and Chilean settlers.
The Chinese settled in the 1850s around the plaza on Stockton Street in the shadow of Nob Hill, lured to the city by its boom town economy and the Transcontinental Railroad construction work. Today the neighborhood's markets, shops and mazelike streets recall the atmosphere of a typical southern Chinese town, but the customs, architecture and public events are distinctly American hybrids on a Cantonese theme. The district is very densely populated, with colorful facades, teeming streets, temples, theatres, and herbalists—almost a city within a city. Tourists enter through the Dragon Gateway on Grant Avenue, with its signature up-turned tile roofs and import shops. Locals frequent the labyrinth of narrow streets, alleys, and small markets in the vicinity of Stockton Street. Many Chinese immigrants spend their entire lives within this area, rarely venturing out into the rest of the city.
Rising above Chinatown's eastern border is the stately slope known as Nob Hill, the city's most celebrated high ground, famous for its plush hotels and views. In the late 19th Century, the "Big Four" tycoons who constructed the transcontinental railway also built their mansion homes here; all but one were leveled in the earthquake of 1906. Today's hotels and private homes still recall the opulence of Victorian times.
Financial District & Union Square
Montgomery Street was once the location of small shops where miner's came to weigh their gold dust. Today it is the heart of the Financial District, the city's economic engine that is one of the most important commercial centers in America, stretching from Embarcadero Center to staid Montgomery Street, and encompassing the theatre district, the Powell-Hyde cable car turntable and stately Pier 7. Here old-style banking halls from the late Victorian Age stand in the shadow of glass-and-steel skyscrapers, not to mention the eerie Transamerica Tower and the Museum of Modern Art, and crowds of office workers throng the streets. All the principal banks, brokers, law firms, exchanges and professional offices are located in this neighborhood.
Named for the big, pro-Union rallies held here during the U.S. Civil War, the wide plaza is now at the center of the city's money and shopping districts. All the largest and most expensive department stores and many of its most modern hotels are here, surrounding this place where thousands once gathered to urge that California join the Northern cause. At the center of the square rises Victory, a statue commemorating the victory at Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War.
The administrative center for the city and county has its focal point at the Civic Center Plaza. Its grand government buildings and palatial performing arts complex are the source of a great deal of local pride. The old City Hall was destroyed in the 1906 quake, creating an opportunity for the city to build a civic center more in keeping with its fast-emerging role as a major port. Perhaps the most ambitious and elaborate city center complex in the entire country, its major buildings include many state and federal agency offices, the consulates and embassies of foreign nations, the city's new main library, and a small number of very well preserved Victorian homes.
Haight-Ashbury & The Mission
Inhabited now mostly by the wealthy middle class, this was the center of the universe for the hippie movement and thousands of its members. During the turbulent 1960s they created one of the most lively and unconventional neighborhoods in the country. Today the place still retains its funky urban charm, but the days of "flower power" are long gone.
The intersection of Haight Street and Ashbury Street gives the area its name. East is the Mission District, settled originally by Spanish monks and today home to much of the city's huge Latin American community.
This area was a middle-class suburb that survived the 1906 quake, so it is home to some of the city's best-preserved Queen Anne style homes, many of which were divided up into private apartments following World War II. By the 1960s "The Haight" was home to a thriving bohemian community and a hotbed of political activism and even anarchy. Today it retains its politicized and radical atmosphere but there are problems with drug abuse, homelessness and prostitution. The aura of the past lingers, but only as a ghost.
Just east of Haight Ashbury, the hilly Castro District is the heart of the city's high-profile gay and lesbian community. Gays of the flower power generation moved into the predominantly working-class neighborhood during the early 1970s, renovating its beautiful Victorian homes and establishing successful small businesses, including many of the city's best independent bookstores, bars, art galleries and cafes. The neighborhood's openly gay identity has made it a pilgrimage spot, symbolizing a freedom seldom found in other cities. On nearby Market Street the NAMES Project, a giant quilt commemorating thousands of persons who have died from AIDS, is displayed proudly in a private gallery.
Forming part of the southernmost city limits, these two hills offer a perfect 360-degree view of all of San Francisco. Its wooded slopes house a small residential district of fine old homes, and there is a small grassy park at the summit.
Golden Gate Park
South of the Richmond neighborhood lies the spectacular Golden Gate Park, a masterpiece of landscape gardening created in the 1890s out of reclaimed sandy wasteland. This is one of the largest urban parks in the world, stretching from the Pacific Ocean almost to the center of San Francisco. Among the park's many attractions are meandering footpaths, sports facilities, a Japanese tea garden, numerous historic buildings, the Great Buddha statue and several museums, including the Asian Art Museum, and the California Academy of Sciences.
A rugged seascape of rock, cliff and cypress woods, Land's End is the wildest part of San Francisco. It can be reached by foot along the Coastal Trail, which begins at some stairs in Lincoln Park (below). Every year, a number of hikers and tourists who foolishly leave the marked trail are lost when they are trapped by incoming tides or swept away by high waves.
Alcatraz means "pelican" in Spanish, a reference to the birds that once flocked to this rocky, steep-sided island lying 3 miles east of the Golden Gate. Its position is both strategic and exposed to harsh ocean winds and currents. In 1859 the U.S. military established a fort here that guarded the city's water approaches. From 1934 to 1963, it served as a maximum-security federal penitentiary. It is now part of the Golden Gate National Recreational Area, and parts of it are open to the public for tours. One reaches Alcatraz by ferries that leave San Francisco's waterfront.