Last night 200 plus people packed the Bayview Opera House to engage in what was billed as a workshop to address community concerns in the Bayview. This meeting boasted some of the City’s political heavy hitters: members of SF Mayor Ed Lee’s staff; District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen and staff; and Bayview Police Captain Paul Chignell. With recent homicides and increased scrutiny of the "Town Center" area at Mendell Plaza, the meeting could have been solely safety oriented. In fact, without a reduction in crime in the area, no other proposals for the Third Street Corridor can even hope to get off the ground.
So, what could have been an opportunity to “pick the brains of” and engage these City heavyweights, resulting in a solutions-oriented forum, instead became what felt to some like a “musical chairs” session. Participants were herded and shuttled into several groups that were then tasked with identifying Community concerns, producing action items which were prioritized by popular vote.
Despite the night’s almost carnival-like atmosphere, a positive outcome was achieved, in that a dialogue of area concerns was reportedly compiled. Future meetings, according to the evening’s host, James Moore of the Third St Corridor Project, will address blight (social and physical); job creation; beautification and utilization of Mendell Plaza; and health and safety in the Bayview.
It is this writer’s hopes that a carefully cultivated forum conducive to sober conversation will also be on the agenda.
Friday, February 24, 2012
Third Street Corridor Project Meeting
Last night, the Third Street Corridor Project hosted a meeting attended by roughly 200 Bayview residents who wanted to weigh in on the future of our neighborhood. Due to a family emergency, I was unable to attend, but resident Mary deJesus was there, and had this to say: