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Investing in Our Community

Last month, my office welcomed the Golden Gate Park Community Benefit Fund recipients and Another Planet Entertainment to the Richmond Recreation Center to jointly announce $110,000 in funding for community-based organizations and programs benefiting the Richmond. As part of the Outside Lands (OSL) contract with the City, the Richmond District receives annual funding from Another Planet Entertainment (APE) to help mitigate the impacts the concert series has on our neighborhood.

Last year, SF Mayor London Breed, the Recreation and Park Department and APE proposed to expand the OSL concert series to include a smaller scale concert the weekend after the OSL Festival. While I was the lone no vote on the Board of Supervisors for this expansion, I was still able to negotiate an additional $10,000 to be added to the Community Benefit Fund for this new weekend closure, in addition to free concerts in downtown areas in order to generate positive activity and revenue for the rest of the City.

We also required the City and APE to hold community input meetings to ensure Richmond residents could express their concerns about the concert and the proposed expansion. Through these meetings, the Richmond spoke out about the impacts the park closure and concerts have on our neighborhood, including the lack of revenue for local small businesses, difficulty with parking, the harm caused to native wildlife, and trash left by concertgoers. Our office also did additional outreach to Richmond residents to gather further input on how the Community Benefit Fund should be utilized.

With your feedback, we will be partnering with our neighborhood commercial corridors’ merchants and residents to expand neighborhood celebrations, including night markets, film festivals and more. The first night market, “The Heart of the Richmond,” is scheduled for the beginning of June in Central Richmond. These festivals will bring residents and visitors to the Richmond and foot traffic to our small businesses. We will also be partnering with some of our public-school Parent-Teacher Organizations (PTOs) to help bolster their annual fundraiser, using Richmond District schoolyards for paid parking for concertgoers. To help alleviate the parking issue for residents, we are working with the PTOs to create parking vouchers for residents to use during the concerts, giving funds directly to the PTOs to benefit the schools and giving residents easy parking.

We also heard from many of you about the environmental impacts the concerts have on our neighborhood and our local wildlife. To help offset this, we are investing in San Francisco Nature Education (SFNE), which has provided San Francisco children with environmental education and field trips to local parks for more than 20 years, as well as the Cabrillo Playground Dahlia Garden, bringing more beauty to the Richmond District. Lastly, we identified funding to bring new equipment to the Richmond Recreation Center. The recreation center has a large contingent of ping pong players, but the aging equipment makes it difficult. The funds will go toward purchasing new tables and paddles, and we will be organizing a ping pong tournament this spring.

I look forward to seeing the results of these investments in our community. This process has shown that, together we can find solutions that support citywide interests and bring benefits to our neighborhood. But our work is not done. We will continue in partnership with APE and Rec. and Park to host community outreach and meetings in the months to come to make sure the City has a concrete plan to mitigate noise, traffic and other neighborhood impacts.

This article was published in the Richmond Review in April 2024.

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