I’ve just passed a major milestone in my life which has undeniably repositioned the anchor to which I have tethered my sense of home. I’ve now lived here for just over 30 years- now counting more years in California than in my home state of Michigan. No matter the calendar, nor the count of the years, it’s been true for me that I’ve felt more at home in San Francisco than anywhere else.
This city had welcomed me when I was broken and afraid as a 28 year old young man, it’s helped me declare and sharpen who I am each day, and it’s provided a community from which I’ve drawn my closest friends and family, on par with my own blood family, whom I love so much. Over these 30 years, I’ve become more whole, I’ve learned to stand shoulder to shoulder with my peers, I have found my voice to declare what is important, and I’ve found a community in which I can give of myself and be supported by them in return.
In these past years, it’s become clear to me that I’m living the life I used to only dream of. Even more importantly, I’ve pulled down the rose colored glasses of youth and fantasy, and have come to appreciate it for all it’s multi-textured, irregular, and at times worrisome, outcomes. While there’s much, much work for us to do as a community, for the most part, we’ve got it pretty good here. It’s all part of the crazy story of the Eureka Valley.
None of my 30 years have been more fulfilling than those in service to the EVNA. As a supporter, a board member, and finally now as president, I’ve been fortunate to meet so many of the hearts and hands who work in our rich community: the Castro Merchants, Ford Street Neighborhood Action Group, the volunteers of the Castro Community on Patrol, the reporters and city representatives in our local government. What my time in position has affirmed is that our community is a diverse and wonderful place, with its own energy and inertia that can sometimes weigh us down, and at others fill our tanks in service of our common interests. As president, seizing the positive momentum has been my objective all along; we’ve worked hard to provide a needed forum for education, insight and discussion in the hopes we better understand our obligations to each other, and take advantage of the opportunities that lie before us. We've expanded our membership, drawn neighbors out to say Hello. We've built our online historical archive and bolster our social media presence. I’d like to think the EVNA is stronger as a result of our efforts over these past two years.
With my eyes widened and my heart full, it’s now time to pass the baton of leadership to another. A special “thank you” to the many people who have served on one of EVNA’s committees and on the board of directors, giving their time, insight, skills, funds, and energy to keep the EVNA running. I’m grateful to have worked with these fine souls, and wish the new president and board the best in their years to come.
Thank you Alex Lemberg, Kevin Cureton, Griffin Gaffney, Mary Edna Harrell, Rob Anderson, Rob Cox, Rob LeVan, Loic Olichon, Dan Schulman, and Desmond Morgan and Steve Clark Hall~ what a great bunch of neighborhood heroes and nerds!
2019 is rapidly coming to an end and the holiday season approaches. I want to take this opportunity to thank our many volunteers, members, supporters, and neighbors. Community-based nonprofits depend entirely on the energy of all of us to make a difference in our neighborhoods, and I want to thank you for all the time, energy, and ideas that you’ve contributed this year.
I want to give special thanks to our outgoing board president, Mark McHale, who has dedicated countless hours to the EVNA and the Eureka Valley community over the last two years. We are all grateful for his leadership, charm, and warmth.
As we look forward into 2020, I want to encourage each of you dear readers to think of what would make our neighborhood a better place to live, and ways to achieve those goals. No one of us can achieve these goals on our own, but together our power to make a difference is unlimited. I hope to see all of you in some capacity in 2020, whether you can help us plan a community event, address planning and land use projects, participate in social events, or just come to one of our informative public meetings.
From the EVNA board, we wish you a warm holiday season and a happy new year.
With the Thanksgiving Holiday this month, we've rescheduled our public meeting to Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019 at 7pm at the Eureka Valley Rec Center, upstairs meeting room. The doors open at 6:45.
Members will be voting for the 2020 Board of Directors, so don't miss it!
Due to the high winds, we've decided to cancel tonight's EVNA 2019 movie night for reasons of safety.
We'll see if Rec/Parks will allow up to reschedule for next Saturday, October 5th.
Stay tuned for confirmation.
Sorry for the inconvenience!
A quick reminder... our BiMonthly EVNA Neighborhood Meeting is Tonight, 7 pm, Eureka Valley Rec Center.
- Welcome and Introductions
- Supervisor Mandelman update
- CBD Renewal, Andrea Aeillo
- Jessica Closson, Community Liaison, D8, Community Engagement
- Proposed Changes to the ByLaws for members ratification
The proposed amendment to the ByLaws includes discussion regarding a code of conduct (still in draft) by members and a process to rescind membership under certain extreme situations. You can view the proposed language here on our website.
Then don't forget....
It's Movie Night Again!
Our 2nd annual Neighborhood Movie Night- Saturday 9/28, 6:35pm - 10:00pm, Rikki Streicher Baseball Field at the Eureka Valley Rec Center (corner of Diamond and 19th Streets). We're showing E.T! a sci-fi classic that will warm your heart as you enjoy a flashback from your childhood. Bring the kids! Admission is free. Bring blankets, warm clothes, and lawn chairs. Concessions are available.
Dear Eureka Valley Neighbors,
The fall season is here, and with it, the resumption of Board meetings here at City Hall after an August break.
My office has been working on a broad set of issues, from improving transit to helping small businesses, but addressing homelessness and mental health remains a daily priority. Here are a few initiatives we’ve been working on lately.
Last fall, I requested a Budget and Legislative Analyst report on the City’s use of Lanterman-Petris-Short conservatorships. That report was released in late July, and it showed that, despite the number of sick and vulnerable people languishing without intervention on our streets, San Francisco's referrals to the LPS conservatorship program have dropped by 50% since 2012. I believe we need to do more to get sick and mentally ill people off the streets and into care — that is why I worked hard to locally implement the expanded SB1045 conservatorship program, and why I am continuing to make sure the pilot program is implemented successfully.
In addition, I joined Mayor London Breed in September to launch an initiative that will provide evidence-based, comprehensive services and solutions to meet the needs of nearly 4,000 people suffering from severe mental illness and substance use disorders, starting with the 200 highest needs individuals. By prioritizing this group for housing and public health resources we can save lives and direct our resources to have the biggest impact.
Focusing on our neighborhoods, my office has been working with the Mayor’s Policy Director on Homelessness as well as the Healthy Street Operations Center to create a list of District 8 hot spots, including locations in the Castro, for increased outreach, street cleaning, and police presence. We have also created a list of the highest-need individuals who are dealing with substance use issues and/or mental health challenges, to help get those people wrap-around services and ensure they stop cycling between our jails, hospitals, and city streets.
Lastly, the Mayor’s Meth Task Force which I have co-chaired since April has been working hard on our recommendations for the City’s response to the methamphetamine epidemic. On September 9th I co-sponsored a Town Hall discussion about meth use in the LGBTQ community, and on September 12th we hosted the fourth and final meeting of Meth Task Force. I am looking forward to releasing the Task Force’s recommendations in a final report this October, and to working with my colleagues on the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor to implement those urgently needed changes.
As always, if you have a question or concern, don’t hesitate to reach out to my office, at