Axios San Francisco

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It's Thursday. We're almost there.

🌤 Today's weather: Clouds giving way to sun. High of 65, low of 52.

🎂Happy birthday to our Axios San Francisco member Karen Wickre!

Today's newsletter is 908 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Teachers say pay still isn't enough

Map showing average teacher salaries by U.S. state for the 2022-23 school year. The average U.S. teacher salary was $69,544. California, New York and Massachusetts had the highest average salaries at over $90,000 while salaries were lowest in West Virginia, Florida and South Dakota at around $53,000.
Data: National Education Association. Map: Alice Feng/Axios

California teachers have the highest salaries in the country, yet many still struggle financially.

Why it matters: Teachers and their unions say they are fighting for better pay to keep up with inflation and alleviate chronic staffing shortages, particularly in areas with expensive housing, like San Francisco.

The big picture: Despite record salary increases in some states, U.S. teachers average making about 5% less than 10 years ago, adjusted for inflation, according to a new National Education Association report.

By the numbers: The average California teacher salary in the 2022-23 academic year was $95,160, up 7.5% from the previous year.

  • That pushed their pay above New York and Massachusetts teachers, whose salaries are also far above the $69,544 national average.

Reality check: Residents need to make more than $400,000 to afford the mortgage on a median-priced San Francisco-area home.

  • The lack of affordable housing has led many Bay Area school districts to invest in teacher housing projects — San Francisco's first affordable housing development for educators is set to open this fall.
  • The union representing San Francisco public school employees also reached a deal with the district in October after threatening to strike over salary concerns and working conditions.

What to watch: Facing a dire budget crisis, San Francisco's public school district said last week that it no longer has full control over its spending after California's superintendent of public instruction outsourced the authority to suspend or reverse financial decisions.

  • United Educators of San Francisco, which represents over 6,5000 employees, condemned the intervention and accused the California Department of Education of pressuring management to lay off teachers against students' best interests.
  • The San Francisco Unified School District would need to lay off over 300 employees by the end of the month and enact its school closure plan to address its $420 million budget deficit next year, the San Francisco Examiner reports.

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2. Weekend lunch traffic rises

Three slope charts that show the change in weekly share of restaurant transactions from 2019 to 2023 in San Francisco compared to the U.S. overall. The weekly share of weekday lunch changed from 24% to 19. Happy hour shares changed from 6 to 6. Weekend shares changed from 28 to 34.
Data: Square; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

San Francisco's restaurant spending is shifting from weekday lunch hours to the weekends, reflecting changes driven by the pandemic and the shift to remote work, new data shows.

What they're saying: "Before COVID, consumers were going out more during the week to eat lunch by their office and grab drinks after work," Square Research lead Ara Kharazian said in a report this week.

  • Now, "weekend traffic is at its peak."

By the numbers: The share of weekday lunch restaurant transactions in San Francisco fell from 24% in 2019 to 19% in 2023, based on data released this month from food and drink establishments using Square.

  • By contrast, the share of weekend lunch transactions grew from 28% in 2019 to 34% last year.

Zoom out: Nationally, the share of weekday lunch transactions fell from about 21% in 2019 to 18% in 2023.

  • The weekend's share grew from about 30% in 2019 to 35% in 2023.

How it works: Square, which makes payments processing tech, defines the "weekday lunch" period as 11am-2pm, the "weekend" as all day Saturday and Sunday, and "happy hour" as weekdays between 4-6pm.

What to watch

3. The Wiggle: Navigating the news

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

🛒 The new Trader Joe's in Hayes Valley is set to open Friday after a yearlong delay. (SF Chronicle)

Pro-Palestinian protesters at UC Berkeley agreed to take their encampment down this week after reaching a deal with administrators over their list of demands. (SF Chronicle)

🌥️ Alameda has ordered a group of scientists to stop conducting their cloud brightening experiment due to concerns over health and environmental safety. (Alameda Post)

Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced $3.3 billion in funding ahead of schedule to go toward construction of more behavioral health treatment centers. (Associated Press)

4. Throwback Thursday: Remembering Seals Stadium

An aerial view of Seals Stadium in 1959. Photo: Duke Downey/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Before the days of Oracle Park and even Candlestick Park, the San Francisco Giants had a stomping ground in the heart of the city: Seals Stadium in the Mission.

Flashback: Seals Stadium, built in 1931, was located at Bryant and 16th streets.

  • It was originally home to minor league teams the San Francisco Seals and the Mission Reds.
  • The San Francisco Giants, in the ballclub's first season after relocating from New York, played its first game at Seals Stadium in April 1958.
  • Ahead of the completion of Candlestick Park, Seals Stadium was torn down after the Giants' second season in San Francisco ended in October 1959.
willie mays
Giants legend Willie Mays at Seals Stadium in 1957. Photo: Joe Rosenthal/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Today, the land that housed Seals Stadium is home to the Potrero Center, a shopping complex featuring Safeway, Petco, Sally Beauty and other retailers.

5. Things to do this weekend

The scene from the 2010 Bay to Breakers in San Francisco. Photo: Lea Suzuki/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

The weekend is almost here, and there's a ton going on, including the one and only Bay to Breakers.


🎶 Learn about the history of the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus at the Chan National Queer Arts Center.

  • It features stories from those who helped launch the chorus 46 years ago.
  • Pay what you can. 7pm.


🍿 Catch "Selena" sing-a-long style at Dolores Park to kick off this summer's Sundown Cinema.

  • Free. 6pm.


🏀 Celebrate the new Golden State Valkyries at a block party featuring E-40 and other Bay Area artists at Thrive City.

  • Free. 2-6pm.

🚗 Check out classic cars, lowriders and more at the Ocean Avenue Car Show.

  • Free. 12-3pm.

😋 Indulge in "a purple haze of deliciousness" at The Ube Festival, featuring savory and sweet ube items, live music and more.

  • Noon-5pm. District Six at 428 11th St.


🏃🏻‍♂️ Walk, run and/or party in the streets of San Francisco at the 111th annual Bay to Breakers.

  • Race registration starts at $95. 8am-12:30pm.
  • From Howard and Main streets to the Great Highway.

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🏃🏾‍♀️‍➡️ Megan is reminiscing about first running Bay to Breakers as a kid with her aunt.

🎉 Shawna is celebrating her partner's law school graduation.

☁️ Claire just returned from New Orleans and she's feeling grateful for SF's cool weather!

This newsletter was edited by Rachel La Corte and copy edited by Kathie Bozanich and Anjelica Tan.

Editor's note: Wednesday's story on a new legal fund to help Asian Americans fight discrimination at work has been corrected to remove a description of Stand With Asian Americans as a local organization.