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.

We sent this email because Bob coordinated a meeting on Traffic Calming after he knew very well that our coalition had been working on this initiative for the last year; the meeting he held was creating a lot of confusion amongst neighbors so we thought to clear the air.

March 6, 2022

As you know HVSafe a year ago formed a working group to tackle street calming initiatives in Hayes Valley; in fact last February in an HVSafe hosted public safety meeting (which you were part of) the decision for the formation of our coalition was made. 

It’s also since been a focus area that we’ve outlined here and referenced in our end of the year message here

Note, because your HVNA meeting tomorrow is replicating the same points we are working on with City Agencies along with our inbox being full of inquiries from people who are confused (including from those in our group) about why you are potentially trying to blot our efforts; (since neighbors are aware of our ongoing efforts for the last year) – I’m reaching out to you.

In your recent HVNA meetings which Richard has attended — he cites HVNA views traffic calming as a T&P issue. It’s also the view of those in our active coalition that Jason has run his T&P committee as a fiefdom without getting on the ground input from the broader community. This is another reason why HVSafe found it to be an opportune time to get a working group in gear to take on this initiative.

We’ve done a lot of leadership by reaching out to community neighbors and businesses in conducting task force meetings, one on one meetings and so forth. Our group consists of neighbors from various areas in Hayes Valley Proper — so, we are confident we have a good assortment of views to share with the Agencies that we are actively engaged with.

We intend to see this matter through; it’s a commitment we’ve made to HVSafe members and our community which has entrusted us to be a collective voice on this subject. In order to ensure that broad input is considered for any decisions that impact our neighborhood as it pertains to traffic mitigation/and calming — rest assure HVSafe will be involved. Richard and I are reiterating this to you primarily because HVNA has a long history of making claim to represent the neighborhood when in fact it does not.

Lack of acknowledgment on your part of our ongoing efforts is a disservice to our coalition of neighbors who have invested a lot of time/energy/patience into this initiative. 

Richard will be following up on this tomorrow — since he’s often cut off from speaking at your meetings. I thought best to drop you a note today in advance of that as a means of setting the record straight on this.


Public Input Censored during HVNA Public Safety Meetings

Richard had sent a detailed email as well to board members of the HVNA with similar points prior to the meeting and attended the meeting in hopes of being able to bring a voice to the above. Regretfully as supported by other community members we’re getting ongoing accounts of Bob’s HVNA Public Safety Meetings being censored which brings into question whether these meetings live up to being a fair forum where input and views of the community are being heard; not to mention there are continued grounds of discrimination in play that are of concern.

HVNA Board Corresponding Secretary exchange with Richard regarding censorship of community discussion

We report this to highlight the challenges neighbors experience with the HVNA leadership which maintains the narrative that as a longstanding neighborhood association they are an authority that speaks for the community while they continue to suppress the voices of other neighborhood advocates who have contributed to building the political capital of the neighborhood with City Hall.

Since the HVNA has become complacent while being in existence for 3 decades, we see the value and evolution of other groups in the neighborhood representing the needs and interests of those who the HVNA fails to serve as a net positive; it’s sad that while others find their voice, the HVNA continues to try to illegitimatize us.

Read next post: A Neighborhood Serving Committee Shut Out – The Start of the Retaliatory Move by the HVNA Board

Behind the Scenes

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