Thank you for joining with more than 600 residents and businesses on Russian Hill to pursue our mission: to be a voice for residents and merchants to preserve and advance neighborhood character and quality of life through collaboration, volunteerism, and celebration of community. Your membership and support are so important.
Briefly, here are some of RHN’s activities and accomplishments during fiscal year May 1, 2018—April 30, 2019.
DESIGN, ZONING, LAND USE
Volunteers attended approximately a dozen pre-application meetings and project presentations to offer input and monitor for broader neighborhood impacts. Through the November 2018 Planning Commission when the Conditional Use of 1600 Jackson Street by Whole Foods 365 was denied, DZLU helped to formulate RHN’s position and advocate on behalf of the community for a full service grocery on Polk St. On the policy front, DZLU provided input on Special Area Guidelines for Polk St. It continued to support historic preservation of threatened properties, expressed opposition to new installations of wireless equipment on wood poles and supported the San Francisco Coalition to Underground Utilities. Members have also participated in the Van Ness Corridor Neighborhood Council and attended meetings of District 2 Neighborhood Associations’ Leadership organized by Supervisor Stefani. Several DZLU members visited two existing Navigation Centers to learn how they address homelessness and how future centers may impact neighborhoods. You can reach DZLU by email to email@example.com.
COMMUNICATIONS AND MARKETING
The Communications team re-branded & launched a new RHN website in February 2019. They were able to do this and to make the following significant contributions by increasing their committee from 3 to 4 amazing volunteers. As a result, they reached an all-time high of 30 newsletters and over 100 Instagram posts (in the last 8 months). They increased the mailing list 24% to 1250 subscribers and delivered an open rate of 37%, beating the 21% industry average. Regarding social media, they focused on Instagram and increased followers by over 200%. They kept us informed by highlighting our work: social events, neighborhood enhancement, parks, RHN NERT, DZLU as well as neighborhood police & safety activities. At the same time, based on a communication volunteer’s hours that were worked in 2018, our revenue increased from a significant Intel Corp donation. To further compliment the website re-branding, the website saw an addition of over 200 timely postings to ensure a relevant & vibrant communication site for the hill. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
RHN’s Families Committee works to promote a sense of community for families in the neighborhood. To that end, this year the Committee has hosted family gatherings at Helen Wills, our local playground. Together with the Polk Street Merchants Association, the Committee co-sponsored the annual Polk Street Halloween Walk where children, pets and parents trick-or-treated in costume at local businesses and also decorated pumpkins to take
home! In addition to in-person get togethers, the Committee periodically sends out emails compiling information about family-friendly things happening in and around Russian Hill. RHN’s Families Committee is always looking for ways to make Russian Hill an even more wonderful place to raise children. If you have ideas or want to get involved, please reach out to email@example.com.
The Parks Committee continues to hold successful Community Park Workdays. In conjunction with SF Recreation and Parks Department (SFRPD), RHN helped fund park improvements including a new picnic table at Helen Wills Playground. A Family Street Sweep was organized in collaboration with RHN’s Neighborhood Enhancement Committee. Finally, RHN celebrated the Francisco Park Conservancy’s successful campaign to fund the construction of the long-awaited Francisco Park at the historic reservoir site. RHN’s donation of $15,000 to the Francisco Park Conservancy combined with a generous donor’s challenge grant, greatly advanced FPC’s fundraising goals. To volunteer or make suggestions for park improvements on Russian Hill, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
RHN participates on the Fay Park Citizens’ Advisory Committee. RHN representatives have been working with the SFRPD regarding the funding of permanent lighting in the historic gazebos. For more information about Fay Park please contact email@example.com.
RHN sponsored its First Local Business Mixer in conjunction with the Polk District Merchants Association in March. Attended by more than 40 business owners and managers, as well as RHN Board Members, the event hosted by Saint Frank Coffee on Polk Street was a wonderful opportunity for networking and learning how RHN and PDMA can support local businesses. Be sure to shop local and patronize our many Local Business Members (see RHN website for full listing)! For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Central Subway extension and the Lombard (crooked street) congestion continued to be major topics addressed by the Transportation Committee. RHN supported Assembly Member Phil Ting’s legislation to allow a toll and reservation system to be initiated as a way to manage the Lombard Street automobile congestion. The next phase of the Central Subway planning process involves a meeting with various neighborhood associations, likely
occurring in June or July. Watch for notice in the RHN newsletter for details. Contact email@example.com.
Neighborhood safety continues to be an important focus for RHN. Signage warning visitors to Lombard Street of frequent car break-ins was finally installed. In August and September, RHN sponsored a six week Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT) training that was attended by about 75 Russian Hill residents who learned such things as disaster medicine and triage, search and rescue techniques, use of fire extinguishers, organizing disaster staging areas and more. If you would like to join the committee, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Neighborhood Enhancement Committee continued to schedule periodic volunteer street sweeps on Saturdays. Our group of volunteers, through their hard work and dedication, has raised awareness for, and facilitated, clean streets on Russian Hill. We followed up on our Survey of Mechanical Street Sweeping by providing the information and paperwork by which individual blocks can petition to have mechanical street sweeping. The Committee also provided an information meeting at which Rubbish Revolution presented its program and app. On Earth Day, RHN joined with Rubbish Revolution and the Polk Street District Merchants Association for a major neighborhood clean-up. Questions, contact strong>email@example.com.
In addition to organizing RHN’s two traditional all member events – the Summer Picnic and December Holiday Party, the Social Committee invited members to several new events including an afternoon of miniature golf and a gathering at the Cheese School, both at Ghirardelli Square. In September, we participated in the SF Community Night at SF Symphony where RHN members enjoyed a wonderful program of Gershwin’s An American in Paris, Gershwin’s Overture to Girl Crazy, Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz No 1 and Tschaikowsky’s Rococo Variations with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas. A very successful Cheers evening was held recently at Café Meuse. The Committee has just announced the re-launch of Wine and Dine (WAD) – see the website for details – with the first scheduled for June 22. If you have questions or suggestions for the Social Committee, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Membership increased with 64 new members joining RHN in 2019 to date, bringing our current memberships to over 600 individuals and businesses. Welcome to all new members and thank you to those who renewed for 2019. Contact email@example.com.
The History Committee takes photos of all of RHN’s gatherings and events, featuring them on the website and maintaining them for archival purposes. The committee also responds to requests from the public for historic information on Russian Hill and our organization. Contact strong>firstname.lastname@example.org.
DESIGNATED RESTRICTED FUNDS
RHN continues to manage the collection and expenditure of donated funds designated to specific projects including the maintenance of the Vallejo Stairway Garden, the Greening of Broadway at Larkin, Ina Coolbrith Park and Historic Preservation.