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.
Let’s set the stage shall we.
Albeit the existing neighborhood organization (HVNA, Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association) has had a long standing presence in the neighborhood, many neighbors/small businesses have witnessed the paradigm shift that has taken place over the last few years with the organization’s core focuses and motives. An organization that once represented the voice of the greater portion of our neighborhood’s diversity (renters, small businesses, different walks and ethnic backgrounds) is now seemingly dominated and run by ‘recently acquired’ property owners and those involved in non profits. The organization’s makeup today resembles something more along the lines of a country club while its board members are driven by self interests. Leadership credentials are directly tied to social status or whether you play nice with ‘the powers that be’.
As is the case with any organization/coalition, people come together for a cause in an effort to effect change and to have a voice. HVSafe formed not only out of necessity but because several of us who had been long term advocates for the neighborhood began to see our voices, positions and concerns squashed.
February 2020 marked the HVNA annual board of directors election. The months leading up to this event demonstrated the deep cracks within the organization’s leadership; it was then that a number of us decided it was time to take a stand. In our next post we’ll dive into this chapter.
Thanks for your interest and sticking with us in our journey to share our experiences as neighbors/businessess and advocates for the Hayes Valley neighborhood.