Category Archives: Elections

Opinion: What is the Future of the EVNA?

In 2019, there is no blueprint for what a neighborhood association is or should be. And I doubt someone will write the preeminent guide to this question in the next few months. So where should the Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association head in 2020?

For an organization founded in 1881, it is easy to fall into old habits. There are many things the EVNA does well: our public meetings are rousing successes and enjoyed by many. We provide a forum for valuable information to be conveyed to local residents. We’ve dabbled in social events—all of which have been fun, but not all well-attended. We provide a place, in our Planning and Land Use Committee, for residents and business owners to seek approval and support of home and business improvements.

The times, they are a-changing. The population of Eureka Valley and the Castro is growing, changing, shifting. While our neighborhood is still seen internationally as the Gay Mecca, fewer gay men are moving to the Castro and our community is becoming more diverse. Our vibrant shopping corridor and access to public transportation are making the Castro more of a hot commodity than ever before. And, frankly, our membership has not grown accordingly. We enjoy a level of support from our long-time members but have struggled to engage newer residents.

My vision is simple: an organization committed to community improvement. The Castro is filled with some of the smartest, most creative, interesting people around. While we represent a wide range of opinions and ideas, finding consensus among us is usually simple. For example, everyone agrees that we need to help our homeless population out of living on the street. We all want to see the Castro and Upper Market commercial district thrive and grow. We all crave beautiful and usable green spaces. Traffic and public safety and transportation improvements benefit all of us.

This amazing group of people, the Castro community, has the ability to make all these changes. But implementing this plan takes more than just a group of smart, creative, interesting people. It requires sweat equity, passion, and commitment.

I have two simple asks:

  • Make a commitment to taking on one project in 2020 that will help our community to improve.
  • Consider taking an even larger step to join the EVNA board.

In the upcoming year, I want the EVNA to focus on fewer, but more impactful projects. What those projects are is entirely up to our community—you. Think about what change you want to see the most, and, right now, commit to it. Write a SMART goal, set a New Year’s resolution, edit your vision board. Join me, and together we can make Eureka Valley an even better place to live.

President’s Update September 2019

President's Update; September 2019

Building community has been one of EVNA’s primary goals since our founding in 1881. In the last two years, since I’ve assumed the post of president, we’ve been busy bringing people together around different interests and causes: whether its mayoral debates or movie nights, I’ve been happy to see our neighbors and members joining in the action. The Castro and Eureka Valley is (by a long shot) one of the most community focused and engaged neighborhoods in the city.

There have been plenty of activities to get engaged in over the summer and more planned for this fall. If you’ve got an interest, please reach out and help in any way you’re able, we’d love to have you.

The 2nd round of the Castro Welcome Pack has been assembled and delivered by an army of volunteers in August. We received a list of over 300 new names and addresses this past quarter of those  moving into the neighborhood, and managed to pack and distribute welcome packets to most of those. A big thank you to all the board members and volunteers who gave their time and effort, especially to Barrie Simpson, who went above and beyond in making deliveries and getting the word out about EVNA.

As a follow on to the Welcome Packet was the Neighbors Mixer- we sent postcards to those on the Welcome Packet list, as well as sent an email out to member’s inviting everyone to the mixer on August 10th at the Spark Arts Gallery on 18th Street. This is such a cool space to meet up for tasty coffee and baked goods from Spike’s Coffee on 19th, check out the current art on display, and sit around the comfy living room furniture and catch up with each other for an hour or two. I have to say this is one of my favorite spaces and definitely my favorite EVNA event. We’ll have the next mixer in November sometime.

Looking forward on the calendar is the upcoming EVNA movie night on Saturday September 28 at 7pm! Mark your calendars and tell your neighbors. This is our second annual event sponsored by Vanguard Properties on Castro Street. The board is busy finishing up the planning and details. It will be held again on the Rikki Streicher Field at the EV Rec Center, corner of Diamond and 19th Street. The movie title will be announced as soon as we have it. This will be a great family event, free to all but donations welcome.

 

And most importantly, we are gearing up for elections at our November 25th public meeting. Nearly h

alf of the current board is up for election, and new board members are welcomed and encouraged to run. If you live in the EVNA footprint, are a dues paying member, and would like to throw your hat in the ring, please email me with a headshot and a brief statement about you and your aspirations as a leader in the community. Women, persons of color, people of all persuasions, ethnicities and orientations are welcomed and supported.

Please plan to join us at our next public meeting on September 25th in the upstairs meeting room at the EV Rec Center. Meeting starts at 7pm, doors open at 6:45pm. In the meantime, I look forward to seeing you around the neighborhood.

Next General Meeting is Here!

 

President’s Update: July 2019

Mark D McHale

What’s Shaking These Days in the Valley?

 

It’s summer, and school is out- and Karl is making the days chilly and windy this year! We’ve had a few of those perfect days though, you know, the ones where the breeze is warm and promising, the trees are sporting their new leaves, and the sidewalks are clear and clean… those days that remind my of why I moved here in the first place!

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Our general meeting location is changed this time to the upstairs multi-purpose room at the Eureka Valley Rec Center...100 Collingwood Street on Wednesday, July 24th, 2019, doors open at 6:45pm and meeting goes till 8:30pm.

We’ve got some good stuff to cover in the meeting- Our D-8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman will update us on the latest SF Budget which passed earlier this month, and includes extra funding for some issues that are very important to EVNA. You can get his latest newsletter by clicking here for a sneak peak. Find out if funds were approved for additional beds, mental illness and rehab services that have been on everyone’s list of high-priority demands this year.

As you know, we are featuring one new candidate for District Attorney each meeting. Last meeting, we heard from Lief Dautch, and this month we’ll hear from Suzy Loftus. Ms. Loftus will introduce herself and tell us a little about her career experience and her aspirations if elected to the post. 

Hats off to our board members and volunteer crew for assembling this quarter’s Castro Welcome Packets for delivery to all our new neighbors moving into the Eureka Valley since April. The crew prepped almost 400 bags, and we’ve got teams signing up to make the deliveries. If you haven’t helped yet, just know this is absolutely fun. Welcoming new folks is central to our core values as a welcoming community. Deliveries are scheduled to go on from July 20th to August 10th...when we have a party to meet everyone face to face!

 

Our second new neighbor’s mixer is coming up and also being combined with our member’s mixer- save the date! Saturday, August 10, 2019 from 10:00am to 11:30am...located again at the Spark Arts Gallery at 4229 18th Street. Join us for coffee and pastries, see a cool art exhibit, and meet some old and new friends!

Elections for the Board are Coming up in November- we’ve got a great group, and we’ve got room for more good souls to share the fun and work with us- we keep EVNA running and relevant! Of particular interest are candidates who can bring new voices to the conversation: if you’re  non-male, of any age but certainly between 21-50, and any non-white ethnicity, let’s talk. This year we’ll be focusing more on community events, and would appreciate skills in marketing, PR/Events, communications, advertising and social media.

Hope you’ll make it to the general meeting on Wednesday, July 24 starting at 7pm and going till 8:30pm. Doors open at 6:45, come early!

Eureka Valley Rec Center (100 Collingwood Street x 18th), Upstairs

In the meantime, I hope to see you around the neighborhood!

The Proposed Mission Dolores GBD

Many of our EVNA members who live on the East side of Castro street but not within  the boundaries of the Castro/Upper market Community  Benefit District (Castro CBD) will have an opportunity to participate in the process for the formation of a new proposed Mission Dolores Green Benefit District (MDGBD).  

Conan McHugh and Tom Shaub of the MDGBD formation committee briefed the EVNA Board of Directors about proposed GBD and the general concepts involved in making the GBD a reality.  The Board concurred with the GBD  Formation Committee on the process of engaging neighbors to evaluate the needs and benefits a GBD could bring to the neighborhood. The EVNA Board has taken no position on the property owner election to establish the GBD and is eager to provide a forum for our members to engage in meaningful discussion on the pros and cons of a GBD as proposed.

For more information about the proposed GBD, you can visit the MDGBD website at http://www.doloresgbd.org

EVNA Members are invited to join a meaningful discussion below.  You must be a member in good standing (i.e., dues up to date) to participate.  Being a subscriber to our newsletter is not membership.  If you live within the boundaries of the ENVA, please join us to join the conversation.

November Public Meeting Was a Hit Despite the Rain

The public meeting was held this past Wednesday evening at Harvey Milk Academy. The meeting also serves as the annual business meeting when eligible board members and officers are elected.

First on the agenda after introductions was Assemblyman David Chiu. Assemblyman Chiu thanked the EVNA members for our work, and he shared highlights of what’s new in the state legislature, including some of the intense fights with Washington over sanctuary policies, immigrants rights, and even the new federal tax deduction limitations . Other priorities for Mr. Chiu include housing, transit oriented development, and clearing the back log of unprocessed rape kits .  A Q&A session followed and included questions regarding conservatorship law changes, modifications to Costa-Hawkins, global warming, and state level programs to assist cities with the growing challenges dealing with the mentally ill and homeless.

David’s presentation was followed by District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman. Supv. Mandelman talked about his work to date in City Hall.  About 1/3 of the issues brought to him involve citizens dealing with people living on our streets.

Supervisor Rafael Mandelman with his City Hall Update

Rafael let attendees know the palm trees were trimmed on Market Street, and additional news about street trees- his goal is to expand our city's green canopy. He has been working to help small businesses located in buildings that need seismic retrofitting, and possible zoning changes to make it easier for small businesses and restaurants to open in the Upper Market neighborhood commercial district. The Q&A that followed included questions about vacancy taxes, more about the perplexing challenges of empty retail space, and the proposed micro-hotel on 18th street.

Next up was Jody Schwartz, executive director of Lyric, Jodi shared Lyric’s mission, programs, and accomplishments.

EVNA secretary Leila Decker then announced the results of the annual election.  A quorum for the election was met per the EVNA bylaws.  All of those running for a board or officer position were elected. Congratulations to our new Vice President, Alex Lemberg, and treasurer Kevin Cureton and welcome aboard to new board members.  The newly elected board members and officers take over their duties on January 1, 2019 for two year terms.

EVNA President Mark McHale concluded the meeting by encouraging the members to use the 311 App, and ended with an open forum for attendees to bring up issues important to them.

The next general meeting is on Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at 7pm, also at the Harvey Milk Academy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next General Meeting and the Toy Drive!

Our next general meeting is this Thursday, 11/28/18.  Members, guests, and residents are invited to come together to hear the latest, get educated and provide input on what's going on in our neighborhood.

Our meetings are held in the cafeteria at the Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy located at 4235 19th Street at Collingwood.

Door open at 6:45pm and our meeting goes from 7:00pm  to 8:30pm. Arrive early, get signed in, and say hello to a few neighbors.

Our topic is "Good Neighbors" and I have a personal request for those attending the meeting- bring a new toy or two (in original packing) to donate to the Mission Station Toy Drive- we're making an effort to help kids in need to have a brighter Holiday. If you can't make the meeting, there are barrels stationed at Cliff's Hardware at 479 Castro Street all holiday long- shop local and donate local, too!

Our Agenda:

  • Update from State Assemblyman David Chiu
  • Update from District 8 Rafael Mandelman
  • EVNA Board Elections
  • Update from the EVNA President
  • Community Input

 

Meet the Candidates- Board Elections at November Meeting

For members attending our board meeting on Nov 28th, we will be electing candidates to the Board of Directors. Please be sure to identify yourself as a member upon signing in, and grab your ballot along with the agenda.

The Board of Directors is pleased to present the following candidates for your consideration. Board members serve for two year terms, and half are up for re-election each year. You must be a member to cast your vote.

Vice President- Alex Lemberg (current board member at large)

Alex Lemberg has lived in the Castro on Caselli Avenue with his now-husband Kevin since 2013. Serving on the EVNA Board of Directors for the past year has been a highlight of Alex's year and he wants to keep building up the Castro community through service, events, collecting meaningful community feedback, and strengthening community bonds. He is also proud to serve on the board of the GLBT Historical Society, another amazing nonprofit that serves the Castro, and works as a staff attorney at Open Door Legal in the Bayview/Hunters Point neighborhood of San Francisco, helping SF residents keep their homes. Alex would be honored to have your vote as Vice President of the EVNA.

Secretary- (currently filled by Leila Decker) No candidate

Treasurer- Kevin Cureton

Kevin Cureton has lived in Eureka Valley since 2003 and in San Francisco since 1997. He lives with his husband Alex, and their roommate Steve, in a cozy condo on Caselli Avenue that Kevin has owned since moving into the neighborhood. Kevin has worked as a software engineer since moving to San Francisco and is currently employed with Netflix. Kevin is concerned about the quality of life issues that impact our neighborhood and he feels the neighborhood association is uniquely positioned to help positively influence policy on these issues. Kevin will bring a high-degree of transparency to the role of Treasurer, simplifying financial processes and reporting, and using best practices for the EVNA.

Board Member at Large- Desmond Morgan

Desmond Morgan has lived in San Francisco for over 20 years with his husband of one year, Romwald Connolly.  They are new to the Castro Neighborhood.  Recently, Desmond and Romwald (Ray) purchased 3987-3989 17th St.; and Desmond is looking forward to getting involved in the community.  If elected to EVNA Board of Directors at Large, he looks forward to helping out in any capacity. Desmond Morgan has been in the BioTech industry for over 15 years.  Currently, he's a Territory Account Manager at Relypsa, Inc.

Thanks to ALL the candidates for offering to be a part of the board. We are only as strong as our volunteer base, and we are grateful for your time and efforts.

President’s Update: EVNA Elections in November

President's Update:

We're almost to the holidays, can you believe it? I love these days of fall temperatures and colors; the shorter daylight hours bring longer shadows and longer nights to be indoors and enjoy the comforts of a cozy home.

October's first ever EVNA Movie Night was a big success- the board hosted the event (thanks to everyone!), setting up and welcoming 75 guests from all over the neighborhood and surrounding areas. COCO  on the big screen and outdoors brought back a lot of fond memories of my own small town, close knit community experience. The kids (and there were MANY!) really seemed to enjoy singing along and watching the story unfold.

Next upon us is elections- the EVNA elections, that is.  As I watch the events unfolding on a national level, I am even more convinced of the importance of local service- where we actually meet each other face to face and engage with one another as neighbors. You can do good by being a part of EVNA, and serving on the board or on a committee is a great way to build relationships and create the bond of community.

To date, we've had a high level of interest in those considering joining the board, but you if you'd like to run, there's still time.

  • Vice President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Board Member at Large (up to 5 new)

Candidates wishing to stand for election to the Board must have their names submitted by October 31st. You must have a paid EVNA membership, live within the boundaries laid out in the newly adopted Bylaws (under the "About" tab), and be confirmed by the Board before elections at our General Meeting on 11/28. Email me with your questions.

Our next General Meeting meeting is Nov 28th, 2018 in the Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy cafeteria from 7-8:30 (doors open at 6:40-ish). We'll have EVNA elections at this meeting, and then focused our attention on our theme for the holidays: "Good Neighbor."  We'll take a well deserved look at those among us who volunteer for service and give of themselves and their resources to make our neighborhood closer and more caring. There's a LONG list to consider!

See you around the neighborhood!

Mark D McHale

 

 


 

9/26 Membership Meeting

President's Update:

Our September general meeting focused on Quality of Life issues. Though we had some last minute changes to the presenters list, we managed to put on a very informative meeting.

Thanks to Vietnam Nguyen from the George Gascon's DA's office (who I hear is NOT going to be running for re-election!). Vietnam discussed attempts by his office to reach out to communities across the city to improve communications, crime reporting, and statistics.

The Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza crew provided us with an update on the project with new renderings and a video fly-through of the space allowing us to "see and feel" what was in mind for the site. Members got very excited when Ray Connolly spoke about their efforts to create a world-class memorial to Harvey Milk and give tribute to his impact on so many people across generations and continents. Mr. Connolly has joined in the fundraising efforts about to launch.

A special thanks to our very own Supervisor Rafael Mandelman for making time to join us. Rafael is making good progress with his own comprehensive study and taking steps to unravel the puzzle behind the increase in the extreme conditions we're experiencing on our streets in the Castro. Since his election in June, he's brought together the people involved, spearheaded key legislation, and working closely with police and service providers to get solutions in place (both temporary and long term). Be sure to follow him here on his FB feed..

We had a great turnout  with over 65 people in attendance. For the past several  meetings, more Eureka Valley residents are showing up and taking part. It's been really fun to see so many members and so many new faces in the seats. I did have some good feedback from a long-standing member who felt that the Q&A time (which I kept to 4 minutes after each speaker), was too short and he didn't get to ask his questions- As a result, I think it best to slim down the agenda (it's been pretty packed), allowing more time for attendees to interact, take questions and make comments. Appreciate the advice!

Please mark your calendars for the next Board of Directors meetings: October 9 and then November 13th, 2018 at 7:00pm in the community room at the Chance Bank on Sanchez/15th and Market Streets. You're welcome to attend, observe, and make comments.

Candidates wishing to stand for election to the Board must have their names submitted by October 31st. You must have a paid EVNA membership, live within the boundaries laid out in the newly adopted Bylaws (under the "About" tab), and be confirmed by the Board before elections at our General Meeting on 11/28. Email me with your questions. Open positions include: Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and up to 5 Board Members at Large.

Our next General Meeting meeting is Nov 28th, 2018 in the Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy cafeteria from 7-8:30 (doors open at 6:40ish). We'll have EVNA elections at this meeting, and then focused our attention on our theme: "Good Neighbor."  We'll take a well deserved look at those among us who volunteer for service and give of themselves and their resources to make our neighborhood closer and more caring. There's a LONG list to consider!

See you around the neighborhood!

 

 


 

The September Eureka! Newsletter and Our Next Membership Meeting

EVNA Members;

The September Eureka! is hot off the press, and it's our Quality of Life Edition. The challenges on our streets and in our neighborhood get top billing and some desperately needed attention from our QOL committee members, and our elected and government officials.

You've got the newsletter here first... lots of really good content that should be of interest to many of you.

Board Elections are soon upon us- we're looking for a few good souls to join us in our efforts to serve the community, now is the time to put your name in. Elections take place at our November meeting:

  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Board Member at Large (up to 5 positions)

Please mark your calendars now to join us Wednesday, September 26th, 7:00 pm (doors open at 6:40pm), at our next membership meeting at the Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy on 19th Street at Collingwood.

Meeting Agenda!

  • Supervisor Rafael Mandelman
  • Assemblyman David Chiu
  • Mayor London Breed (not yet confirmed)
  • Call for EVNA Elections
  • EVNA's First Movie Night in October!
  • 2 Presentations:

Print copies come out this week, and we're looking forward to seeing everyone at the meeting!