I am a city girl, born and raised. But I’m blessed to be a city girl in San Francisco, where world-class parks and beautiful open spaces are never more than a short walk away. I love our parks. I cherish the role they played in my childhood, and want to ensure the next generation of kids (and adults) can sneeze and scrape their knees just like I did.
Our parks are in many ways the face of San Francisco to the world. The Golden Gate National Recreation Area attracts over 14 million visitors per year. That’s more than Niagara Falls and on par with Disneyland. This is both an enormous economic boon for the City and a testament to our parks’ incomparable beauty.
I am committed to protecting and improving our parks, for our citizens and for visitors from around the world.
I am very proud of my record of supporting parks and I look forward to building on it as Supervisor. When I served on the Redevelopment Commission we had nearly 100 acres of parks in our portfolio. I approved the funding to keep Yerba Buena Gardens beautiful. I supported the creation and upkeep of parks in Mission Bay, South Beach, and the Hunters Point Shipyard. In my own neighborhood, I helped transform Koshland Park on Buchanan from a drug den to a scenic, renovated community haven.
I am committed to funding our parks and keeping them free for visitors.
I, like nearly three quarters of San Franciscans, supported the 2008 parks bond, which provided $185 million for our parks. I am proud to live in a city whose residents so value their parks, and I’m heartened by the improvements these bonds have facilitated so far.
I wholeheartedly support the pending 2012 bond measure, Prop B. The Recreation and Park Department has over $1 billion in deferred capital needs, and these bonds are the best way to help fill them. The bonds provide $195 million for neighborhood parks, waterfront spaces, playgrounds, Lake Merced and other valuable projects. And there should be no tax increase since the new bonds will be issued as old bonds are paid back.
Community & Use
Our parks contribute to the feel of life in San Francisco. I particularly appreciate neighborhood parks—the sanctuary right outside your door and the sense of community. I’m very glad the lion’s share of the 2012 bonds ($99 million) will go to neighborhood parks.
I am uncomfortable with the rising use of park space for private, for-profit purposes, at least insofar as it displaces community groups and kids’ programs. Revenue generation shouldn’t come at the expense of communal uses.
From a scheduling standpoint, the primary purpose of parks should be to provide more opportunities for our youth. I’m proud to have led programs at the African American Art and Culture Complex that did exactly that.
I want to streamline the planning process and put in reasonable barriers to entry on the appeals process. As a progressive, I believe we need to make progress actually possible.
It’s District 5 and perhaps Rec and Park’s most vexing issue. We need a comprehensive approach to cleaning up the area. We don’t want our efforts to merely drive the issues elsewhere without resolving them. I want to work with homeless advocates, all the neighborhood groups, and SFPD in an ongoing effort that combines real service referrals (counseling, treatment, shelter space, etc.) with stepped-up enforcement. I am deeply sympathetic to the homeless population in this area, but at the same time, I refuse to accept an open air drug market 50 feet from Park Police Station.