Axios San Francisco

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Today's newsletter is 916 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Looming Muni fare increases

Muni buses travel along Stockton Street in 2020. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Muni fares are on track to increase for the first time since before the pandemic.

Why it matters: The proposed fare increases, along with other increases, come as the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency seeks to crack down on fare evasion and is beefing up enforcement of illegal parking, including on sidewalks.

  • Officials say that the rate increases, part of a proposed $1.4 billion operating budget submitted to the mayor's office last week, are among efforts to reduce the agency's $12.7 million budget deficit.

Zoom in: The budget proposes raising single-ride Clipper and Muni mobile app fares from $2.50 to $2.75 next year and to $2.85 the following year.

  • The adult monthly pass is also set to increase from $81 to $85 next year and to $86 the following year.
  • Single-ride cash fares, however, would remain unchanged at $3.
  • Parking fines would increase by 8% each year.

What they're saying: To close the budget gap, the SFMTA board "had to make difficult decisions," spokesperson Andrea Buffa wrote in a blog post.

  • "Our revenues still haven't recovered from the economic impacts of the pandemic," she wrote. "So, we have to raise revenues to avoid cutting programs or services San Franciscans need and deserve."

The other side: Janelle Wong, interim executive director of San Francisco Transit Riders, told Axios via email that the fare increases would negatively affect ridership as the city is striving to be a transit-first city, reduce the impact of climate change and meet its Vision Zero goals.

Flashback: SFMTA proposed fare increases in 2020 but changed course after city supervisors argued that increases would further burden struggling San Francisco residents amid the pandemic.

What to watch: Once Mayor London Breed sends the budget to the Board of Supervisors, the board will decide whether to allow it to take effect or reject it.

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2. Asian Americans still fear hate in post-COVID world

The bar chart displays the percentage of various racial groups in America who feel there is hate toward their own group, with Black Americans reporting the highest percentage at 73%, followed by Asian Americans at 61%, and Latinos at 41%.
Data: Savanta Research; Chart: Axios Visuals

While most Americans think hate crimes against Asian Americans are going down, Asian Americans disagree: One in three reported being the subject of hate this past year, a new survey finds.

Why it matters: Four years after the pandemic, when the nation witnessed surges in anti-Asian hate, Asian Americans — who comprise more than 37% of San Francisco's population — still feel they are targets despite anti-hate campaigns and assurances from elected officials.

By the numbers: Americans in the survey believe hate has increased the most toward Black Americans (42%), followed by Asian Americans (33%) and Hispanic Americans (25%), according to the Social Tracking of Asian Americans in the U.S. Index.

  • In stark contrast, 61% of Asian Americans feel that hate toward them has increased, the study showed.

Zoom in: 41% of Asian Americans think they are likely to be the victim of a physical attack in the next five years because of their race, ethnicity or religion, the survey found.

  • 59% of Asian Americans think it is at least somewhat likely that they will be a victim of discrimination in the next five years.

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3. The Wiggle: Navigating the news

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

🎖 Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi received the Presidential Medal of Freedom last week, the country's highest civilian honor. (SF Chronicle)

🛣 State officials plan to reopen the collapsed portion of Highway 1 near Big Sur by Memorial Day weekend, Gov. Gavin Newsom said. (SF Chronicle)

🍻 Mayor London Breed has a new idea for an "entertainment zone" in the Financial District that would enable bars and restaurants to sell alcohol for outdoor consumption. (SF Standard)

4. Chart to go: AI jobs in Silicon Valley

Symbol map of U.S. metro areas showing new AI jobs posted per capita in the first quarter of 2024. Overall, there were 11.7 new AI jobs posted per 100k people in Q1. Cities in California, Washington and Virginia had the most new AI jobs relative to their populations, with 142 new jobs per 100k people in San Jose, Calif. The San Francisco metro area had 49.3 new AI jobs per 100k residents.
Data: UMD-LinkUp AIMaps; Note: "AI job" defined as a job requiring technical skills to build and/or use AI models. A bigger circle indicates more new jobs per capita. Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

San José, Seattle and San Francisco are the country's AI job hot spots, a new analysis finds, though some other perhaps more surprising metros round out the top 10.

Zoom in: San José (142.4 new AI jobs listed per 100,000 residents), Seattle (74.4) and San Francisco (49.3) led the way in the first quarter of 2024 among cities with at least 500,000 residents and 25 newly posted jobs, per estimates from UMD-LinkUp.

Yes, but: Austin (39.9), Washington, D.C. (35.3) and Northwest Arkansas (24.7) are emerging as strong second-tier contenders, as are Raleigh (19.7) and Atlanta (19).

What they're saying: "The productivity enhancements created by AI will be profound, and knowing where those productive employees are located is going to be crucial to understanding how the U.S. economy is functioning," Evan Schnidman, co-founder and CEO of Outrigger Group and project partner, said in a press release.

Between the lines

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5. The Bay Area's favorite personal injury lawyer

Anh Phoong says her famous catchphrase in front of her billboard. Image: Claire Reilly/Axios

Something wrong? Call Anh Phoong!

  • We dialed 866-GOT-PAIN (for real) and met up with the Bay Area legend at one of her iconic billboards (no photoshopped baseball bats in sight).
  • The accident lawyer and social media maven has her face across more than 600 billboards in SF, Sacramento and Los Angeles, and she was in SF over the weekend cutting the ribbon at a party at the famous LGBTQ bar The Stud.

State of play: Phoong became a local celebrity after her firm invested in splashy ad campaigns to reach more potential clients.

  • Statistically, the odds were against Phoong, who is Vietnamese and Chinese.
  • Women of color make up around 4.3% of law firm partners, according to a 2022 report on diversity in the industry.

What she said: "It's touching to me because I've come from nothing," Phoong told us. "What I love about my job ... is to have been not just what you typically see — male figure, older."

  • And she's not going away anytime soon.

Head over to Axios SF Instagram for more from Phoong!

🥎 Megan's softball team was demoralized over the weekend, but she still had a blast.

🥹 Shawna can't wait to reunite with Mopsie after two weeks away from home.

🙌 Claire can't believe she met Anh Phoong. She's a true Bay Area local now.

This newsletter was edited by Rachel La Corte and copy edited by Khalid Adad and Anjelica Tan.