United for Infrastructure: Sabrina Suzuki Rises to the Challenges of Community Engagement During Shelter-in-Place

While praising our teams in the field who work to make our citywide infrastructure upgrades possible, we’d also like to showcase teams that work behind desks communicating with the community about these critical projects. Sabrina Suzuki joined the SFPUC External Affairs team with over a decade of experience in communications outreach. Her on boarding also coincided with a time when the pandemic began to present challenges to normal operations of communications and public outreach.

“My previous experience at SFMTA helped prepare me for the important community issues around construction projects that impact the vital services our residents rely on every day. With social distancing guidelines and a lot more residents working from home –and subsequently feeling the impacts of our construction projects – there were some unexpected challenges that the communications team was all faced with around the time I started,” explains Sabrina.

Rising to the challenge, Sabrina has been educating San Franciscans (from a socially acceptable distance), on how they can help protect our combined sewer system from the comfort of their own homes. By writing helpful articles for the SFPUC newsroom on topics such as non-flushable wipes, best tips for staying ahead of pollution prevention, and teaching homeowners about the responsibility they have in protecting their own sewer pipes and laterals, she is enlisting every San Francisco resident in the effort to protect our vital wastewater infrastructure.

“Now that families are spending more time than ever in their homes, it’s important that we are all familiar with the Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to what we are flushing down the drain and sending through our system” says Sabrina. Speaking of those “Do’s and Don’ts,” make sure you tune in to SFPUC’s Source Virtual Explorations on September 23 to see Sabrina and her colleagues give an overview on pollution prevention. You may also recognize Sabrina from our video earlier this year educating San Francisco drain adopters on How to Safely Clean A Storm Drain

Sabrina is just one of our external affairs team members who compliment the vital work wastewater maintenance crews and construction teams are performing citywide to ensure our system is resilient, reliable, and seismically safe for future generations. As we all take the time to readjust and acclimate to this new normal, we hope you find content like Sabrina’s both helpful, informative, and interesting. If you have questions about the combined sewer system or ideas for Sabrina’s next SFPUC Newsroom story please send them our way!