President’s update: March 2019

It’s spring again, and there’s lots to keep us busy! With the new year, we are taking focus on issues and matters important to us as a neighborhood- and we are raising the stakes and calling membership into action.

The newsletter committee is publishing its second edition in digital format later this month. Not only is the committee hard at work pulling together March’s content, but they’re adapting their work processes, figuring out best practices for content collection and distribution systems, and also getting our advertisers renewed and making calls to bring in new advertisers. These guys don’t know the meaning of “stop” because they go till it’s done…hat’s off to Psyche, Rob, Mary Edna and Steve! Look for the next edition coming out around March 20, 2019. If you’d like to advertise your business or cause, click here- Advertise in the Eureka, and submit your payment and artwork! Be sure to support out advertisers and all the businesses in the Castro. Look for the one page "teaser" newsletter on doorsteps around central Castro, or sign up for the digital version at evna.org

We’ve reserved the March issue of the Eureka! to cover topics important to EVNA’s Planning and Land Use Committee. You’ll find fascinating articles on the basics of planning and land use terminology, one explaining the process used to interact with developers and the planning department for balanced outcomes. Another article covers who’s on the committee and how you can attend or join. You can read about Collingwood Park- ever wonder when that dirty old dog park is going to get some much needed attention, or how the park got surrounded by those super high fences (I do!)? Lastly, you may have heard about SF’s Board of Supervisors Aaron Peskin’s proposed ordinance SFBOS 181216, which is his attempt to reign in developers/ builders/ speculators who sometimes abuse the city’s demolition and renovation rules and regulations to unfair advantage. We do need to safeguard our rich architectural history while doing whatever is in our power to build more units, but does the ordinance go too far? Read up- you’re going to be asked to weigh in when it comes to public hearings later in March or April.

Who decides what gets built where?
SF Parks Alliance helps communities and parks raise funds to ensure the health and well-being of these vital assets.

Ever wonder how to bring a community dream into reality? Think back recently to the efforts you may have participated in regarding a potential redesign of the Harvey Milk Plaza, or when we widened the sidewalks- those are examples of a community improvements process, and wow, that was a lot of organizing, talking, listening, hand holding, etc. Well, EVNA sent several delegates to attend the SF Parks Alliance’s Partner Conference 2019 to learn more about the process to bring community projects into reality. It was a full day workshop with guest speakers and locals experienced in the process. We’ll have an update posted for you in the Eureka! Who knows, we may even think of a worthy community project to get behind at some point.

The Mission Dolores Green Benefit District (MD-GBD) is a great example of a community improvement project- this group of dedicated and passionate residents are working to create a “green benefit district” around Dolores Park, two of the edges are west of Castro and south of Market Street (where it would dovetail into the Castro Community Benefits District). Conan McHugh has been EVNA’s liaison, and is now inviting EVNA members and local residents to a Focus Group to provide their input on the project. Are you curious? What are your thoughts? Contact Conan McHugh, 650.722.6347 or conanmchugh@hotmail.com

The City of San Francisco is considering a 5 year pilot program to expand conservatorship in an effort to get some of many individuals who experience extreme mental and drug related illnesses, into care and off the streets.

On another important front, you’ll be hearing more about SB-1045, written by Scott Weiner and passed into law by Governor Brown, it’s scheduled soon to be considered by our own Board of Supervisors. The law creates a five-year pilot program allowing for strengthened conservatorship laws that focus on providing housing and wraparound services for people suffering from mental health and substance use issues. There are many questions we should be asking to ensure humane and well monitored support systems to those suffering the most, and it’s one of the few tools we have to actually try to help some to get stable enough to actually change their circumstances. We’re asking our members to read up on this pilot program and support it however possible- send an email or letter to SF Supervisors, attend the hearings coming up, and get involved. The word is there will be a lot of push-back by the Coalition on Homelessness and other civil liberties groups. What’s your position?

Reach WAAAAY back, and try to recall anything you may have heard about the Welcome Wagon? I’m not old enough, but I have been told, neighbors used to make a big effort to welcome new neighbors when they moved in. Why can’t we do that again? I’m really excited to announce the Castro Welcome Pack! With grant funds from the city, and coordination with the Castro CBD, the Castro Merchants, and Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association, we are going to bring the tradition back to life! EVNA volunteers will visit new neighbors every quarter and deliver a Castro-branded wine tote full of information about the EVNA, our neighborhood history, and including lots of coupons and special offerings from Castro area Merchants! It’s all an attempt to build community, make new friends and promote our shopping district. It’s going to be a blast. I’ll be knocking on doors myself- would love to have you join me.

As a final mention- I’m sad to hear that Lion Barrett has passed in December 2018. He lived on 17th Street, and served as a past president of the EVNA from 1998-2001 (then called the EVPA). We don’t have many details, and if you can share pictures or memories, we’ll be sure to include them in the March newsletter.

As you can see, there’s a lot going on in Eureka Valley, and I’m looking forward to seeing you around the neighborhood, be sure to say “hello”.

Our next general meeting is:

Wednesday, March 27th

7:00pm to 8:30

Doors open about 6:45pm

Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy on 19th at Collingwood in the Cafeteria

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