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Treated like Second Class Citizens in SoMa

The Parks & Recreation Department did not bother to perform community outreach to residents living South of Market Street in the Rincon Hill neighborhood regarding the desire by a nearby group of businesses to build bocce ball courts. This follows an unfortunate pattern from our leaders in City Hall that choose to ignore and brush off the opinions of those of us living South of Market. I do not believe we deserve to be treated like second class citizens, and I will be telling the Board of Supervisors as much this afternoon when I ask them to send the bocce ball idea back to Recreation and Parks with an order to show some respect to RIncon Hill and perform appropriate community outreach.

Since someone at the Mayor’s Office told ABC-7’s Carolyn Tyler no one lives in the Rincon Hill neighborhood near the proposed bocce ball courts, I beg to differ …
Rincon Towers on Howard Street between Steuart and Spear – one block away from proposed site
The Millennium Towers on Mission Street between Beale and Fremont – 3 blocks away
Several daycare centers with hundreds of kids …

I am proud of the willingness of South of Market residents to shoulder the burdens of many of the City’s problems while also providing much of the economic growth (AT&T Park, Moscone Center conventions, our entrepreneurs like Twitter, Yelp, etc.). We deserve better than being ignored.

We are taxpayers contributing millions of dollars to the City and County of San Francisco, and it should be infuriating to be treated this way by our local government.

-jamie whitaker

2 Responses to Treated like Second Class Citizens in SoMa

  1. Wait, I’m confused. What’s wrong with a bocce ball court? I feel like there’s something else going on here other than community outreach, or a lack thereof. Am I wrong?

  2. There may be nothing wrong with a bocce ball court. Maybe that’s what folks living South of Market believe would be the best use for this park space. However, without the Recreation and Parks Department performing a legitimate community outreach process to hear the opinions of those of us living South of Market, we do not know what the community living near this park space wants.

    One idea already under discussion is the need for a kids playground. There are over 900+ kids in the Rincon Hill neighborhood each workday (I’ll email you the breakdown), and the only public open spaces are those where dogs pee and poop. It’d be nice to set up a temporary playground until we get a permanent playground on the roof of the Transbay Transit Center in 2017 so that kids can run about and develop their muscles, eye-hand coordination, and so on. That would probably activate that space better than bocce ball, achieving the goals of the One Market Street and surrounding business folks and adding to the quality of life for the neighborhood (and our many visitors who pass through).