President’s Letter

Act locally in 2018. HVNA hopes to inspire you to meet like-minded neighbors and find purpose to contribute to our community. While the political landscape evolves on all levels, your local actions will have impact. You’ll be receiving a snail mail letter from our Nominating Committee, to inform you of our proposed new Board of Directors (if you’re a member) and an email blast later to our listserve. You must be a member (not associate member) of HVNA to vote. Election is February 22, at the Hayes Valley Playground Clubhouse (corner of Hayes and Buchanan). See you then!

HVNA will provide many opportunities in 2018 to find meaningful ways to take action. Our January 2017 board and community retreat prioritized what is meaningful to us:

Find affordability for local residents in local art and culture. In addition to new affordable housing, how can we help residents feel a part of our local cultural and arts scene? We have already identified how local art and culture activities matter to neighbors. We’re planning a Design Week in Hayes Valley for June 8-15, Hayes Valley Art Works ongoing activities on Octavia Boulevard at Oak Street, and other collaborations with local galleries and merchants. And we’re working on a way to memorialize the Freeway Takedown. It was an incredible grass roots effort, and its story should always be remembered. Contact art@hayesvalleysf.org

Motivate more neighbors to be involved, especially our new residents, to engage in “meaningful” social activities. We’re planning on opportunities to tell stories about Hayes Valley, what residents have witnessed in the past and even yesterday. We know our neighbors love hearing the local stories, and we’ll be organizing meet-ups to record, write, and perhaps post online stories we collect. Want to help? Contact vicepresident@hayesvalleysf.org

Bring people together, especially the neighbors who live north of Grove Street and south of Page Street? How do we reach neighbors who live in our new condominium and apartment complexes? Do you live there or know of others who do? We’re planning to reach out to more residents, especially renters, who seem to think that HVNA is for homeowners. 1/3 of our membership are renters, and we want to recruit more. Want to explore your neighborhood? Contact president@hayesvalleysf.org

Embrace our homeless neighbors and encourage them to move off the streets. We have the HVNA Homelessness Task Force. We taken our first census and worked with the Department of Homelessness, Public Works, and SFPD Northern Station. We’ve discovered communication, institutional, and residential concerns. Be a part of this good work. We believe as a Task Force, prioritizing Hayes Valley Neighborhood Assn’s mission statement goals, we can be successful with our homeless population. Waiting for the agencies to “make it happen” is a non-starter. Experimenting with our typical “We can do this.” attitude will make a difference to move homeless residents off the streets, not to another neighborhood. One point we can all do. ..Introduce yourself to a homeless person and ask his or her name. It will make them less invisible and more personal to you. Contact president@hayesvalleysf.org if you’d like to be a part of this Task Force.

And, of course, an issue of great importance to the neighborhood: an affordable grocery store. After New Seasons Market withdrew their intention to come to 555 Fulton, our ongoing community group is re-evaluating HVNA’s decision to lift the chain store ban for New Seasons Market. The community group, which includes a diverse group of neighbors, had negotiated a Community Benefits Agreement with NSM. This document will serve as a basic commitment from any store/s that will occupy this large, 29,000 square foot space. Local hiring and price affordability on a specific basket of goods were the two top priorities. Suddenly withdrawing, as NSM did, after so much community input, is a typical action of a chain store. We had hoped it would be different with New Seasons, a B-corporation, but we were incorrect. We’re looking for suggestions, and we’ve heard from several of you. Contact business@hayesvalleysf.org

New temporary sculpture has been confirmed for Patricia’s Green. It is scheduled to be installed March/April. It’s an exciting work of art that will draw opinions from all sides. The non-permanence of the sculpture makes Patricia’s Green always an interesting place to be! Patricia, our founder, would be pleased.

And, lastly, our mayoral election is coming up in early June. HVNA is a 501-C4 non-profit organization, which doesn’t allow it to select and promote political candidates. However, the organization can and does take on specific issues and ballot measures that promote its mission and the Market/Octavia Better Neighborhood Plan as well as city-wide concerns. So, please engage with the mayoral candidate of your choice. We are fortunate to have a group of qualified, committed candidates who seek the mayor’s job. We are pledged to work with whoever is elected, for the betterment of our neighborhood and of our city.

Read candidate bios and President’s message here