Neighborhood Meeting December 5, 2015 @ 1pm —

  • Sat, Dec 5, 1:00 PM
  • 1930 Market Street, San Francisco, CA


    Western SOMA neighbors will meet to discuss organizing as a neighborhood association, with an eye to improving existing conditions in Western SoMa.

    This meeting we’ll be defining the initial work for the group and organizing sub-groups to take on specific efforts. We had great meetings on the 23rd and 30th, and we’re looking forward to organizing and expanding the effort.

Meeting notes from 11/30/2015 —

Here are David Singer’s meeting notes, posted to Nextdoor:

1) We need to get the truth behind the story that West SOMA is treated as a ‘containment zone’ (aka dumping ground). Anyone any ideas on how to pursue?
2) We need to get data, statistics, city income from West SOMA and expenditure, population, etc.
3) We need publicity; a good neighborhood blog, articles in the papers, and so on.
4) We need to get people on board; a flier to go around, maybe customized (different for business, residential, non-profit, etc.) “we’re forming, these are the problems we see, can you help get us organized?”. Filer needs to explain processes, resources (311 and the app, non-emergency police, DPW, SFPUC, etc.)
5) Indeed, how do we move from being a get-together to being an organization?
6) We need to define ‘Western SOMA’. Later in the meeting, it was suggested — 6th to Division, Mission to Harrison.
7) We need to talk to the agencies and non-profits working in our area, and make sure we have them as our friends. We’re in this together (as are the many of the homeless).
8) Long-term, look at making a Community Business District (but that takes 50% of the property owners voting yes, so that’s long-term).
9) We need to establish a ‘tiered’ organization, Neighborhood watches that meet by themselves, as well as the ‘whole zone’.
10) We need two sub-divisions of the organization: Neighborhood Watches, mapped out and established where they are missing, and functional groups: something like (a) Voice — press/blog/; (b) enrollment/awareness — fliers, visiting businesses; (c) data — statistics/maps etc.; (d) infrastructure and organization — mailing lists, use of Nextdoor/facebook etc., meeting planning (dates and locations); (d) Communications — talking to Police, Supervisor, Mayor, etc. (just a strawman list).
11) We need news items…anyone know the guy who paints the light-poles? The big one suggested — ‘Take back the park’ (Victoria Manalo Draves Park, which, by the way, has a Yelp! page and Facebook page, both worth reading, in addition to the Parks and Recs page).
Overall, I get the sense we need to move from lists of what we don’t like (easy to write, I have done several) to lists of how we’re going to go about doing something, and getting something done, about it.


Meeting notes from 11/23/2015 —

Stephanie Stockwell recorded these notes from the Nov 23, 2015 meeting.

  • Issues in Western Soma are well known, but they are not getting attention by City Officials to remedy
    • Summary of issues:
      • Unsanitary street and park (Victoria Manalo Draves) conditions: open drug use, syringes, feces, trash, illegal dumping
      • Crime: burglaries (auto, home), robberies
      • Illegal RV/vehicle parking
      • Increased homeless encampments, blocking sidewalks
      • Public drunkenness, open selling of drugs, drug use
      • Lack of District 6 Supervisor’s involvement with residents to develop action plans to resolve issues
  • Neighborhood watch groups have been formed for some enclaves in SOMA and have been effective
      • Creating a neighborhood watch group takes minimum of 4 people, SF SAFE group helps get a group started
      • Individual groups are beneficial for the smaller neighborhood, but SOMA needs a collective voice across all of SOMA to get City Official attention on the issues
  • Several neighborhoods in SOMA have a CBD – Community Benefit District that levies a small tax on property owners to fund additional sidewalk/street cleaning
      • Attendees at the meeting do not live in a CBD and this was identified as a desired future outcome of the Western SOMA Voice group
      • CBD takes 18 months to 2 years to setup. ┬ámedium term goal
  • The group discussed the need to organize a neighborhood association to bring together the residents of Western SOMA to lobby for resources for the Western Soma neighborhood and establish a “voice’ for Western SOMA in City Government
      • Group name: Western Soma voice
      • Comprised of residents, business owners, and schools in Western SOMA to promote clean, safe and livable streets in SOMA
      • First phase of Organizing group is to create infrastructure before attracting new members
      • Infrastructure to include but not limited to:
        • Exact boundaries of Western SOMA
        • Website to post key messages, central repository for member listings, promote key initiatives
        • Bylaws
        • Establish Board
      • Second Phase will involve plotting organizers locations and create a plan to build awareness and attract fellow residents, schools, and business owners to the association and foster participation
  • Next Steps:
    • Follow up meeting on 11/30
    • Secure a speaker from SAFE to provide an update at a future meeting
    • Establish milestones and expected accomplishments
    • Identify attorney in the neighborhood that can help navigate and provide perspective