Castro/Duboce Community Safety Forum: Let’s Keep Our Neighborhood Safe For Everyone

On November 6 from 7-9 p.m. at the Eureka Valley Rec Center, several neighborhood organizations, including Castro Community on Patrol, DTNA, Eureka Valley Promotional Association, and Merchants of Upper Market and Castro, will co-sponsor a Community Safety Forum focusing on the Castro and Duboce Triangle. Our neighborhood is an amazing one – vibrant, fun, diverse, and tightly knit – and we have been fortunate not to have some of the crime and violence problems that other neighborhoods have experienced. But, that doesn’t mean that our neighborhood is a bubble or that we shouldn’t be aware of, or respond to, the crime and violence problems that are part of living in San Francisco.

Almost two years ago, we formed Castro Community on Patrol after a rash of sexual assaults in the Castro. During the time since then, the organization has tried to raise awareness in the neighborhood of all sorts of community safety issues, from violent crime to auto break-ins, etc. The goal has been not to scare people but rather to educate the community about how to make sure that our neighborhood remains a safe place for everyone who lives, works, and/or plays here.

As Castro Community on Patrol celebrates its second anniversary, we believe it is important to take stock of where we are, where we should be going, and what we can all do to move in that direction. The forum will focus on a wide variety of issues, from street crime, to the role of SFPD versus the role of community policing, to hate crimes, to emergency preparedness during natural catastrophes, to homelessness. It will be a fluid discussion of the many issues that we, as a neighborhood, need to focus on in order to ensure that this amazing neighborhood remains the unique, diverse, and safe place that it has been for so many years.

We will have a terrific panel of experts in different areas, each of whom will give his or her perspective on community safety in the neighborhood. We encourage people with a stake in the neighborhood to come out, listen, and participate in the discussion. It will be an interesting and productive evening, and we look forward to seeing you there.

For more information, contact Scott Wiener at 437-9414.

Minutes of the August 21, 2008, EVPA board meeting

Present: Steve Hall, Scott Wiener, Demien Quesnel, David Weiss

Steve Hall provided an overview of recently joined members, the status of the website, placement of the new bylaws on the website, and the newsletter (deadline for print is September 3).

Steve indicated that he will be out of town for the September 4 MUMC meeting, and Scott agreed to attend for EVPA.

The board discussed activities of the Community Benefit District, particularly the issue of whether to hang flower pots in the Castro. The board was split on whether this was a good idea.

The board discussed EVPA's cash reserves.

Demien discussed certain activities of the GLBT Historical Society, including the idea of creating a historical map of the Castro for use by residents and tourists. Someone from the historical society will be speaking at the September membership meeting.

The board discussed the possibility of EVPA endorsing certain ballot measures but deferred the issue. Demien reported that EVPA has been abstaining at the Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods, which is frowned upon.

The board discussed the Castro Street Fair and the need to recruit volunteers to work on behalf of EVPA. EVPA will receive proceeds from the fair depending on the number of volunteers it produces.

Demien reported that efforts are underway to bring a farmers market to the Castro, twice a week, once on 17th Street (between Hartford and Castro) and once in front of Cafe Flor. The topic is being discussed in detail at the Upper Market Alliance.

Steve reported that EVPA will need to elect a new board in November for 2009. The board discussed various issues relating to the election.

Demien reported that the UMA is working on potentially allowing the Castro to have several additional full service restaurants.

The board discussed the possible kiosk to be installed at Castro and Market, including various issues relating to the idea.

Scott updated the board on the Community Safety Forum, scheduled for November 6, 2008 at the Eureka Valley Rec Center.

The meeting was adjourned.