San Francisco, California
EVPA Column: Improving the Neighborhood
By Scott Wiener
In November, I was honored to be elected president of the Eureka Valley Promotion Association (EVPA). Since 1881, EVPA has been the neighborhood association for Eureka Valley – i.e., what we now call the Castro, Duboce Triangle, Upper Market, and surrounding neighborhoods. EVPA has focused, and continues to focus, on improving the neighborhood in various ways, from ensuring sound planning and land use policies, to improving public spaces, to promoting neighborhood safety and increasing economic vitality. We work on these issues on our own and in collaboration with other neighborhood and merchant associations.
• Focus on Public Spaces: The Castro and surrounding neighborhoods are densely populated with limited public space (Duboce Park and Dolores Park are wonderful but located on the periphery). Thus, we need to focus on maximizing and caring for the public spaces we have.
• Neighborhood Block Parties: The key to a healthy neighborhood is neighbors knowing neighbors. The more connected we are to one another, the healthier we are as individuals and the healthier and more vibrant the neighborhood is.
• More Communication: To engage the neighborhood, EVPA needs to communicate with them. We put out a newsletter every other month, and we will be working hard to distribute it widely so that people know what we’re doing and can participate.
• Continued Participation in the Planning Process: EVPA has always done a great job monitoring development in the neighborhood and working with property owners and developers to ensure that projects are appropriate for the neighborhood. Our planning committee will continue to do this important work.
• Increased Membership: EVPA currently has around 80 members. This is a good start, but we need to increase that number to increase neighborhood participation and strengthen the organization’s voice in advocating for the community. You can join EVPA by going to evpa.org. Dues are $20 for an individual, $30 for a household, and $40 for a business.
These are ambitious goals, but they are good ones. Please join us to help make them a reality. Our next meeting is Thursday, Jan. 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the Castro meeting room, 501 Castro Street, 2nd Floor. I hope to see you there!