Crackdown Deja Vu

Here we are again, same hullabaloo different year. Anyone remember the big hullabaloo about drinking in the park we had in Dolores Park last year in August?

I do. It is what prompted me to get involve and co-found Dolores Park Works (DPW).

Well, here we go again. SafeCleanGreen, consists of some very well organized neighbors. They are upset at about the stabbing and the “rowdy behavior,” after curfew noise, non-permitted amplified sound, public urination and litter. They decided to do something about it.

According to Captain Corrales, a meeting was initiated by Gideon Kramer, President of  SafeCleanGreen with SFPD and RPD. The outcomes from which included the need for signage and an agreement to increase police presence and law enforcement.

I checked in with Gideon, a co-founder and former steering committee member of DPW who left the committee in February because of philosophical differences.  He explained his position via email quite thoroughly, but would only like to be quoted as saying, “SafeCleanGreen Mission Dolores advocates for respect for all Rec&Park codes, for reasonable and judicious enforcement of those codes, and for a robust program of public education to encourage park patrons to use the park responsibly as it was intended.”

Personally, I can’t blame neighbors for not wanting people defecating at their doorstep, waking them up at 1 AM with a flash mob, stepping over piles of trash, or seeing historical monuments defaced, but I think a key point missing here is that most of that behavior is being conducted by a small group of people. Why punish everyone?

Strict law enforcement is not the right way to go. This is San Francisco! This is Dolores Park we’re talking about! It is an unparallel place on this earth. It is a leading character in San Franciscans’ lives. The problem is that people have different POV on what role it plays. Some say it’s a just a neighborhood park, others think of it is San Francisco’s town hall. What I think we need is balance, respect for individual viewpoints, and focusing on what we can agree on such as unabashed love for Dolores, and a desire to see it safe, respected, and beautiful, however you define or experience that beauty. That is what Dolores Park Works has been advocating for and working toward.

I’m not really a fan of closed-door meetings that push a particular agenda, especially one that I’m not fond of. So, we’ve worked hard over the last couple of weeks to organize a community meeting where all sides can be present and their voices heard. So please come out on Wednesday, September 1st, from 6:00-8:00 PM at Mission High School cafeteria to hear everything from the horse’s mouth and advocate for your position on the subject. Please help us get the word out.

About Crystal Vann Wallstrom

Dolores Park Works Co-founder