District must stand tall
by Richard Corriea
The election season is obviously upon us. The phone-calls, junk mail and all of the chatter are the telltales of the season. Please take note, stay informed and vote.
The Planning Association for the Richmond’s (PAR) continuing effort to support an informed electorate was evident at our general membership meeting in April, which focused on several ballot measures.
The meeting was a robust, well attended and interactive gathering. We heard from partisans about Proposition A (public utilities revenue bonds), Proposition C (tax on commercial rents to fund child care and education), Proposition D (tax on commercial rents to fund homelessness services) and Proposition H (authorizing police officers to use tasers). And, State Sen. Scott Weiner joined us to talk about the state’s housing supply and housing density. He also commented and took questions on the contentious bill he introduced, Senate Bill-827 (to increase housing density), which was voted down by a Senate committee the previous day.
My term as president of the board of directors of PAR ended in April. I am delighted to report that Kate Lazarus, PAR’s vice president, is now president. She was overwhelmingly endorsed by PAR’s membership at our general membership meeting.
Lazarus is a long-time Richmond District resident whose family has been active in PAR for many years. I believe she will lead PAR in a manner that keeps its mission focused, responsive to the membership and disentangled from politics and issues that are unrelated to the mission stated in PAR’s bylaws.
I will be staying on PAR’s board of directors and intend to support Lazarus’ efforts.
The new of board of directors at PAR includes two new-comers who joined the board since the 2017 election, Jean Barish and Natalia Kresich. They join a well-qualified and steadfast board of directors focused on PAR’s mission, which is to:
• Develop and implement policies and recommendations for the maintenance and enhancement of the physical and social dimensions of life in the Richmond District;
• Stimulate formation of neighborhood organizations in those areas of the Richmond District presently unserved;
• Support individual associations in pursuing issues relating to planning and the physical and social environment.
Our quality-of-life concerns here in the Richmond have often been subordinated by our civic leaders as they attended to matters they felt more important. In such instances, PAR has been your advocate. And now we have Sandra Fewer, a life-long district resident, as our supervisor. She has strong feelings about many issues, and while we may not always agree, her overarching concern is District 1 – the Richmond. And for that we are fortunate.
In an era when participation in community and civic organizations is on the decline, the years to come will be especially challenging ones for PAR, which has a strong membership base, committed volunteers and a great history. We will need to leverage its strength and lead on diverse issues, including, housing density, transportation and public infrastructure.
In sum, my sense of good government demands that politicians and bureaucrats should focus and advance appropriate policies that people want, not the policies that these people, temporarily in positions of power, think we need.
Let’s work together to assure that we have room in our neighborhoods for folks who want to live here and to maintain the quality of life that draws them here. We need to enact policies that make it so people can stay here, like Bobby and Jack, my own fifth-generation Richmond District sons.
To the City’s many political action committees, especially the ones with names that have no connection with their mission, I think it’s time you better elucidate who your principals are, your sources of money and what the organization’s agenda is. As long as I am around, I will continue to remind folks that – the Richmond is not for sale to your special interests. Glad to talk, glad to work together, but not while you wear a mask.
Lastly, I want to acknowledge and thank Laura Jacoby-Meyers for all the work she does for PAR and seeing that our newsletter is a high-quality and relevant publication.
If you would like to join PAR, please visit the website at www.sfpar.org for information.
It’s been an honor serving as PAR’s president for the last three years.
Richard Corriea is the past president of the Planning Association for the Richmond (PAR), as well as a former SF Police Department captain at the Richmond Station.