As an able-bodied resident of District 1, I have the privilege to visit Golden Gate Park whenever I want. I can easily access the road by foot, bicycle, scooter – you name it. But the difference between me and those pushing for a car-free JFK is that I recognize that the ability for me to walk in the park is a privilege.
The potential for a permanent closure of JFK Drive is personal to me.
I have an elderly grandmother who loves visiting the park. As she continues to grow old and in turn, become less mobile, she can’t visit the attractions she once loved because of the closure. She can’t be left alone and can’t walk long distances – how is she supposed to visit the Conservatory of Flowers? Or the Entwined Light Show in Peacock Meadow? The simple answer is that she can’t because of the park closure. Those working to make the JFK closure permanent have tried to silence the voices of most San Francicans with false narratives and an elitist agenda. But in reality, they have awakened that base.
Over the past few weeks, voices from all different communities in different languages have called into key meetings to oppose permanent closure: The Feb. 8 Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF) Board of Trustees meeting had overwhelming opposition for permanent closure of JFK Drive. The Feb. 18 Mayor’s Disability Council (MDC) meeting discussing the permanent closure of JFK Drive had public comment with almost every single person calling in to oppose permanent JFK closure. Last week’s general Board of Supervisors meeting on March 1 had over 40 people call and write in pleading to reopen JFK. All had genuine, heartfelt and impassioned stories opposing the permanent closure of the road.
This discriminatory closure must end now — our voices will no longer be silenced.
Grace Collora, a fifth generation San Franciscan and senior at the University of San Francisco.
Categories: letter to the editor