AN OPEN LETTER TO MAYOR BREED
We believe in the power of community and human connection to make positive change. As a group, we are in agreement on how beneficial the block closure has been, and we have a shared vision for what it could be in the future. We are very encouraged by the broad support we have received from our community, and the active advocacy for our plan.
Home to 30,000 residents, including an estimated 3,500 children, the Tenderloin is one of the most diverse, culturally-rich neighborhoods in San Francisco. It is also one of the densest, with heavy traffic congestion and little in the way of green, open space. We want to change that.
Last year, the pandemic forced social service organizations to move our operations out onto the street. We were able to do so with a temporary block closure on Golden Gate Avenue, between Leavenworth and Jones. Turning crisis into opportunity, we’ve used the space to serve the community even more effectively than before, hosting things like outdoor voter registration, COVID-19 pop-up testing, and Play Streets events for children.
Our time outside has also allowed us to imagine what the block could be with a permanent street closure: an oasis in the heart of the Tenderloin that would benefit the community physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Provide a public green space that gives our community more room to engage in beneficial community activities, like ongoing Play Streets.
Provide shade to mitigate the “urban heat island” phenomenon, which disproportionately affects young children, the elderly, people with certain pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, and people who work and/or live outdoors.
Create a safe, traffic-free space for people to walk, sit, play, and move around.
Improve mental health through plants and public art. Green space has been shown to have a positive impact on psychological well-being.
Create a beautiful, safe gathering place for the Tenderloin community, as well as visitors to the neighborhood. A place that is safe for people to sit and rest, to talk, and be happy. A place where wonderful things can happen.
Maybe you care about this because you have noticed how little greenspace the Tenderloin has compared to other neighborhoods in the city. Maybe you’re concerned about traffic safety in a highly pedestrianized neighborhood. Maybe you recognize the health benefits that nature and fresh air offer.
Whatever your reason for supporting this, we’d love for you to send an email to Mayor London Breed, Supervisor Matt Haney, Fire Chief Jeanne Nicholson, and SFMTA Director Jeff Tumlin.
WHO WE ARE
A diverse coalition of nonprofits, neighbors on the 100 block of Golden Gate Avenue, believers in the power of community and human connection to make positive change.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
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