Dear Members, Merchants, and Neighbors,
It has been a busy few weeks for Russian Hill Neighbors. Our membership continues to grow, and so does our list of activities and events. Thank you for your support and participation. This is a wonderful time to be a part of the Russian Hill community!
As you will read throughout this newsletter, we have been busy in the community. RHN organized our most successful event for families yet on June 4 (thank you to Sarah Abbott, our Families with Children Committee Chair) and a fun Cheers social mixer on June 23 (thank you to Joyce Kucharvy andHelen Doyle from our Social Committee). Many of you have expressed interest in a neighborhood-wide summer picnic to help further bring our community together. RHN is on the case! We are working through the options. Please get in touch with Joyce if you would like to help plan or participate. Finally, Joyce arranged for a delicious Prix Fixe Dinner at Bel Campo on June 22 for RHN members. Please join us!
Tina Moylan, the Safety Committee Chair, put together a stellar panel on safety in mid May. Notes from this meeting, including crime statistics and tips on staying safe, can be found on our website here. Thank you to Supervisor Mark Farrell, SFPD Captain Ann Mannix, Central Station Captain David Lazar, Northern Station Captain John Jaimerena, Paul Henderson from the Mayor’s Office, and all of the SFPD staff who participated.
Important news on the safety front: Captain Lazar now deploys a patrol officer for a 10-hour period each day to specifically cover a six block radius around Lombard Street. As many of you know, Russian Hill has experienced increased criminal activity in this area which is busy with tourists. This patrol assignment is intended to be high-visibility and significantly deter crime. As Captain Lazar says, “We will continue our work to address auto burglaries and robberies in the area, sending a message that the police are present.” Thank you, Captain Lazar!
On a lighter note, we celebrated SF’s Small Business Week at the end of May by highlighting many of the wonderful small businesses in Russian Hill on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. We were also thrilled the Russian Hill Bookstore participated at our kids event by offering an incredible array of safety-themed books and toys, and we were grateful the local Rachael Maddison Creative agency designed our event poster. We appreciate and support our local businesses.
In March, after conducting a survey of our membership and the community, and carefully considering data and city experiences related to the topic, Russian Hill Neighbors took a position against Supervisor Aaron Peskin’s proposed ban of all formula retail within the Polk Street Neighborhood Commercial District (NCD). See our letter to the Supervisor here. Among other reasons, we believe the community should always have a voice in the kinds of businesses which want to come to our neighborhood, whether large or small, chain or independent; a ban would prevent this community dialogue.
Many Russian Hill Neighbors’ members gave public comment at the SF Planning Commission’s hearing on the proposed formula retail ban on June 2. After a lengthy debate between the Commissioners, the Commission voted not to support Supervisor Peskin’s formula retail ban. You can read more about the hearing in SFGate here. We were pleased with the result. On Monday, June 13, at 5:30pm, the same legislation will be heard by the Small Business Commission in Room 400 at City Hall. If you are interested in participating with us, please contact me.
We look forward to a wonderful month of June full of neighborhood events, activities, and, hopefully, a victorious NBA Championship. Please be in touch with questions and join us!