Behind the Scenes Series

Statement RE: the HVNA

HVSafe’s origins in part came about because the founders of HVSafe were ousted from their roles as HVNA (Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association) Communications Committee Chairs.


INTRO behind the scenes

We’re launching a ‘behind the scenes’ series on the humble beginnings of HVSafe, neighborhood politics and players in Hayes Valley who are setting out to shape policies and decisions which are impacting our community.

Founder reprimanded by HVNA President Jen Laska

As luck would have it while we’re beginning our series ‘behind the scenes‘ …one of our founders received the following email last week from the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association’s (HVNA) president

Founder Ejected from HVNA Meeting, Again

We’re still reeling from the last reprimand by the HVNA and then last night Richard was ejected from the HVNA T&P meeting. Unreal.

This time it’s even more brazen!


The Genesis of HVsafe

Once we decided to roll out this series we knew we had to kick things off with a brief reflection on the time and circumstances of when HVSafe officially began its efforts.


We Did Not Form a Coup

The year leading up to the 2020 HVNA (Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association) Election was a doozy in large part because past President (Gail Baugh) was still calling the shots while the new president (Craig Hamburg) stepped into the role. 2019 also marked the year of the District 5 supervisor campaign.


How a Neighborhood Serving Committee Was Shunned – intro

At the start of the Pandemic the HVNA Communications Committee Chairs were functioning on an island on their own, shut out from the HVNA board, dis-included from information and we’re used as a scapegoat at community meetings when the public pointed to the lack of community outreach by the HVNA.


CLearing confusion about our Traffic calming initiative

Here’s our email to Bob Barnwell who continues to dismiss our public safety efforts in Hayes Valley while calling himself the Chair of the Hayes Valley Public Safety Committee when in fact he’s the chair of the HVNA (Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association) committee. Kinda confusing, we know (you can read more about this here). It’s not the first time we’ve been on the receiving end of having to explain ourselves, in fact last year he and the HVNA president were cited circulating rumors that we were trying to oust the Police Captain.


A Neighborhood Communications Committee Blocked Out

In June 2020 the encampment crisis was in full swing. Octavia Blvd and a number of locations around Hayes Valley were plagued with tents. There was a rat infestation occurring on and near Parcel R &S (Hayes Valley Art Works). We were in the beginning stages of COVID and concerns and nerves were on the rise.


“Leaders who do not act dialogically, but insist on imposing their decisions, do not organize the people–they manipulate them. They do not liberate, nor are they liberated: they oppress.”

― Paul Freire

“Do remember, though, that sometimes the people you oppress become mightier than you would like.”

― Veronica Roth