tv Mayors Press Availability SFGTV December 18, 2021 10:35am-11:01am PST
>> good afternoon. welcome to this cold dreary day. a day with challenging news. i want us to be optimistic. as you look behind you and see this rather uninspiring playground across the street. i want you to envision a space for gardening and gathering. in this block arts and entertainment with a memory walk celebrating this community's history. behind us basketball and barbecue. behind us all ages kids to seniors. all ages play space. then the fifth block for active
recreation otherwise known as sports that is the dream here that this community has been working on for a long, long time. that is because of leadership of the two elected officials behind me and because of this community wherever so close to being able to actualize. we don't do these projects alone. obviously, today, we celebrate the western edition community. the supporters most active in re-envisioning and addvo indicating for change at buchanan mall. i want to acknowledge a few groups including the african-american arts and culture, trust for public land, great streets. my dear friend tie ron you will hear from later. citizens filling and the san
francisco parks aligns that help -- parks an liians. the mayor's advocacy resulted in a big boost in the most recent parks bond. this is a big project. $5 million per block. we have been working to figure out how to cobble the funds together. along came senator weiner who called us and said i want to do something in buchanan mall. he knows the park system in and out and has delivered $5 million to this project. we have a big grant pending that we are supposed to hear from any day to be another $5 million. we have another grant that is pending which will be 3.5 to $4 million. we have two other sources of funding mapped out. if they come to pass we have the
$25 million to make this vision a reality. i want to thank everybody, but today is really acknowledging and celebrating this community but the elected leaders who made it happen. i will turn it over to our park champion and chief, mayor breed. >> mayor breed: thank you for being here today. it is wonderful to be here to celebrate this incredible milestone. there is a lot of history that goes into what we are doing here. in fact when i served as executive director of this building african-american art and culture complex. myself and so many community members. we had a vision for what we knew this space could be. vendors, people who saw the things and products they made from this community, performances, events, recreation, open space.
this buchanan mall many years ago when i was a kid used to be the space that we gathered in, hung out in, roller skated in. blasted boom boxes when we had to walk around and use batteries to power them. this was an amazing community. then we experienced a lot of challenges. a lot of gun violence, death, destruction, lack of resources, things changed considerably in this community. this once vibrant area that brought all of our communities together where we were one community, this area bay like a -- became like a ghost town. people weren't using it in the same way. fast forward years later when this community during the height
of that violence we decided to come together and take our neighborhood back. we worked with folks like tyrone in green streets and hayes valley and the entire community to provide opportunities, to try to transform our community. something was still missing. what we did more recently a couple years back is invest resources into activating this space. you can see the lights and the seniors and people coming out to enjoy the gardens and sitting in the open spaces. there is so much that needs to be done. this has to be an area for all people who live in this community. now when i was a kid, again, we start up at oc, plaza east, slide down the slide, walk next to buchanan park and the playgrounds and up and down the block. we want to see that happen again. we want to see people from this
community enjoy and use this space. the plan is to make it the kind of space that is usable, that is welcoming. that makes everyone feel that they are welcome to be here. we can use this space. hopefully we don't have to go through a lengthy permit process, bill ginsburg. we used to use it. now it is city bureaucracy. we will deal with that another day. this was so important one of the most recent bond $2 million was dedicated to this particular project. getting us to this extraordinary place was our champion and addvo cat in sacramento senator weiner bringing in $4.8 million.
[applause] >> the resources to make this a reality is driven by this community. this community that raised me, that is near and dear to my heart, this community that has suffered for so many years and deserves it more than anything else. not only what i am hoping for to make sure this is reality. when you think about it when you visit other countries, they have marketplaces, vendors and people where you just go and pick up what you need. there are so many talented and creative people i have met during my time at the cultural center where they sell shay butter and clothing.
the african-american art and culture complex are in stones town selling things they made. they are from this community. we want to make sure that this place is also a destination, a place to showcase how special it is, how talented people are. it will give us so much hope for the future. for the possibilities what it can be. i am excited about the money we have and we will get to finish this project for this community. i can't thank senator scott weiner enough. there are so many priorities and he made this project one of things budget asks priorities. i am very much grateful. we will do everything we can in the city to make sure this project, promise made to this community is fulfilled. i want to turn it over to state
senator scott weiner. [applause] >> thank you, madam mayor and thank you for your leadership on so many issues around parks and otherwise and your commitment to western addition. i want to say, and i say this a lot. in an era where government is criticized so much and so many challenges in doing basic things, san francisco rec and park department has done an extraordinary job managing this massive park system. san franciscans don't fully appreciate how unique this park system is. it is so big and varied with with so many park props. renovating every rec center, park, tennis court because of
the dennosity of voters and -- generosity of the voters. it is exciting. it is a bright spot especially during a difficult few years. hear it for rec and park. [applause]. we had a good budget year in the state. we were able to fund some local projects that you don't always have the good budget years. when i thought about what made sense, the buchanan mall project made all of the sense in the world especially coming out of this pandemic. certain communities were impacted much harder than others. we need to be very clear we are investing in all of our communities. we are not going to be leaving communities behind. the western addition community. it is an amazing community that
struggled at times and has not always got what it needs from government. the mayor has changed that. we need to keep pushing in that direction. congratulations to the community. i look forward to celebrating all five blocks. it is amazing. let's keep working. thank you. [applause] >> we have a couple more speakers representing the group of people that are really driving change, which is this community. it is one thing to fund the project. you have to have the project to fund. that takes work and community convening and creativity and persistence. first speaker is eric flores for trust for public land. it is such an important partner. we have been able to do a lot, but sometimes government can't
do it all on its own. we need partners, friends, supporters, philanthropy. the trust for public land is a steadfast partner and has gone deep and understands the importance of the history of uncovering and celebrating the history of the space. it is my pleasure to bring upper rick. [applause] >> hello. thank you, phil. i am eric flores community organizer with the trust for public land. i am so honored to be here to celebrate this milestone. we are proud to support this project. we believe all communities deserve high-quality space and beautiful parks. this community here is no exception. it is many, many long years of continued engagement, visioning,
planning, dreaming. what does it mean for the community? how will there benefit the people of the neighborhood? increasing lighting, safety, beautification. connecting all sidewalks together to use by the community. fostering social interaction and recreation between youth and elders and families. developing opportunities for skills training and job creation. of course, celebrating the rich and diverse histories of the neighborhood and incorporating into the design of park itself. this project is so much more than just creating a beautiful park. we see this effort as an investment in the community that is affected by systematic injustices and wrongdoings over many decades. we cannot undo the past. this started with and will continue to uphold the community as the center and upload their voices leading change to the
future. it is incredibly inspiring to hear the hopes and dreams for the youth, knowing the history, having a sense of opportunity and following in the footsteps of leaders, activists and ancestors. the project is no longer just a project on paper. it is real thanks to everyone here and strong dedication to see this built. i would like to acknowledge phil ginsburg and the rec and park staff and for the deep commitment. lydia for strong leadership in bringing in her youth voice. tyrone for his work with green streets. i would like to thank our leaders, senator weiner, mayor london breed and supervisor
preston for their support for this project. our fundders come together to invest in this community. i would like to acknowledge the soma community for strength, resilience and add so cassie. there is to much work to be done. this is a huge milestone in-turning vision into reality. thank you. [applause] >> our final speaker today is the most important. tyrone mullins. he is representing the community. tyrone has worked really, really hard with community on this project with citizen film.
he has helped organize community, give voice to community. it is my pleasure to bring him up to say a few words. [applause] >> first, thank you forego me to be able to come up here and show my voice. you are correct. the work we put in was a collective. collaboration and what it means. the work we put in behind-the-scenes stuff was a lot of heavy load. she won't take the acknowledgment but the glue that makes this stay together. i want to acknowledge senator wiener and mayor breed. thank you for making this a
priority. i don't have to tell you how much this means to us. there is a lot more work to be done. i am committed. that vision you have seen. i will help see it through. 36 years old and i was part of that group that detoured some of the community in this area. we was part of the gun violence. we lost a lot of people. we hurt a lot of people. we hurt this community. not only my personal road to redetermination and one to create a better quality of life for my kids, my brother's kids and everybody else's kids and the elders who still remain. who knew it from the time and to create community again. it was two things that happened that got me to buy in.
first, when we talked about the project. phillip with trusts for public land made the hayes valley playground and they did that over. i told him we wasn't happy about that. he said i have seen many people from the community at the meetings. i took that as a challenge to be present to know that somebody from my dynamic won't have our voices heard. i am with that. behind that shannon from plaza east a part of developmental process at green streets was shot on clarke street. unfortunately, i knew that more than likely it came from my side of the neighborhood. we had a decision to make in that moment. we had been in a position with
the green streets to do work in hayes valley and plaza east. we had trust andage with us being from here. fully immersed in the project will create opportunity for it to be something beautiful here. the vendors, people being able to create and earn a positive dollar, those drive me in this project. the garden to talk about things like farm to table to teach people to properly feedsem selfs. to be aware what they are putting in their bodies. i lost my mom two years ago to digestive systems complications that is from not being educated what to put in our bodies and
take care of ourselves. knowing we can create a safe space where people can earn an honest dollar and feel safe with the community pan have it be for everybody. it is a push we haven't seen since the panthers being able to say empower one another and ourselves no matter what the bias may be of me or how i look, to my core i am about my people. i know that i have a responsibility as someone who survived and seen. i am standing here today. i have got work to do. i have got work to do. i thank you. i will go over my listing of other community people to acknowledge.
lydia, sasha and thomas. those young ladies are on the mural by the senior building with me or breed on there as well. i thought that was to have them realtime be acknowledged as they grow and develop to show people what they was part of coming up in this neighborhood and what that would mean to other young ladies being acknowledged with the likes of mary rogers and mayor breed. lastly, we want to pay homage to those who passed. alice lang and eugene white. i want to send a piece to not only my mom but my grandmother
louis harvey whose shoulders i stand on. as a little kid her taking me to the filmore center, different meetings where you would not want to go. she would say it is down, seat something or be quiet. she was primping me for this moment. my brother told me this morning you was being prepped to speak and you didn't know it. to share my personal story november 2009 i shot a man on fullerton street and withent to prison for it. black man in my neighborhood. i stand here today. when i stand on fullerton street and be able to do this work and know that i am guided by something bigger than myself that got me on this journey to do this work here.
i want to say rest in peace to a friend who passed two weeks ago mental health complications. had it been more active stuff should have joined to give support to be more productive. you know what i mean? these are things i think about when i wake up. i know it another to be he -- i know to be here is a blessing. i got work to do. thank you. [applause] >> a few more quick thank u.s. i did want to acknowledge barbara thompson very involved in the project showed up at every single community meeting and event. thank you for your love. to the rec and park team.