Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Advocating for SF to Refund us on a Diversity Bait/Switch

I used to live in Hayes Valley and then moved to the Inner Richmond District. For many years, I only ventured to Golden Gate Park or the 'Avenues' when I was craving to check out worms, festivals and raccoons. Now living a spit's throw from GGP, I'm craving the Sunday Roller Discos, Swing Dancing and resident freebie access to the Botanical Gardens.

I'm gravitating to nature because San Francisco's losing its diversity - but those worms have astutely maintained their personality - and I'm hanging onto them like a lifeline of SF once loved.

Last year I joined a long term volunteer team for Friends of the Urban Forest, FUF, (no need to be hyperlinking references), advocating that this November public vote ballot: where the city would retake control of street trees. They're currently dumped in the hands of property owners. Today, the supervisors will announce if they support this ballot for November voting. I hope they do because the city is cash rich, thanks to a mayor who pimped himself to give tax free access to tech companies and has maxed on his personal, financial gain as a result. It's always political PMS at city hall! This is accounting the city hasn't gained though, and diversity is diminishing based on high costs of living - thanks to gentrification in abundance. Last week I walked down Market Street and it stank of urine, worse than ever. So much for the ivory tower tech companies supporting local businesses and using their tax havens to re-inject back into the Tendernob areas. They're more like nobs that have no tender bone in their body. Where's the paying forward? Oh right, they're using that cash to lobby for less laws on their bottom lines. Stupid me!

I'm also starting to yell back at drivers that scream profanities at me; they truly (in their hearts of hearts) believe they do not need to yield to pedestrians, yet their daily feat from A to B includes ram rodding as many walkers as possible. So I'm now on the Walk SF campaign, Vision Zero initiative and spent the past seven months verbally ram rodding my way to involvement. Hurrah for yesterday when I met with the SFMTA, after the FUF advocate 'schmooze as many supervisors into voting the ballot' series of meetings.

The drivers are primarily the gentrified type - again the ones who eat free food in their ivory offices, bitch about low salaries even though it's their first job, and have the entitled attitude that they can bulldoze through the city during their heyday. That heyday will be over when the next city creates a tech bubble. Until them, they're demolishing our city one 4x4 at a time, outing diverse homeowners and then destroying the interior of the city's much beloved, unique architecture - a feat they'll then destroy, flip and make a killing on. Any new homeowner that doesn't have an over-inflated salary needs to account that buying a home includes acquiring a tree that the city's not maintained. So if a pedestrian trips over concrete, uplifted by tree roots...they will sue the homeowner, not the city. Does any normal homeowner have $100k put aside just in case they're faced with 'trip/fall' litigation?

Then there's the mass of 'live in a window' apartments being built. Same structure, style, insignificant architectural beige attitude - that ironically, attracts the same personality of gentrified people. Attraction does attract the same ole.


Gentrification has caused this. The major's 'open doors to tech' has killed it and that's why I live for Sundays in GGP. I love the feather boa rollerbladers, the 'no Pokemon Go' walkers who refuse to zap an icon in the Botanical Gardens and the swing dancers who can't Snapchat or they'll lose their two step coordination. And because there are no lunatic cars in the park, it's safe to walk.

Us long term locals of SF, and accounting the respected die-hards who were born, raised and refuse to uproot resident, deserve a key to the city. We have been duped with a new bait/switch belief that SF is the global mecca of mad, amazing, quirky, odd ball and unhinged 'anything goes so you'll fit in if you don't fit in anywhere else' attitude. We're now in an era that Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and all the other social platforms demand we are 'open, connected and transparent' but if we want to complain to them about what they've done to the city....there is no phone number or way or reaching them. Irony at its best: demanding these 'mission statements' yet hiding away in their obscenely designed, same ole wood floor/new fixtures, offices with that one brick wall for 'authenticity.' Bollocks to that.

The city has stripped itself of its famous rainbow culture and like the saturated flurry of mediocre coders...it's turning into binary black or white residents. I demand a refund from San Francisco for being duped into believing it was unique. The simple fact is...it's not.

PS - Any typos, get over yourselves :)