Growing up in the Marina, I spent almost every day in the summer at Funston Park (since renamed Moscone Playground). I played pick-up basketball in the gym, read books at the library next door, and played baseball out on the fields. For me and for the other children I grew up with at Moscone (many of whom are still great friends today), having a thriving Recreation and Park Department, with great facilities and planned activities, was a core part of growing up in San Francisco.
San Francisco’s parks and open spaces are critical to the quality of life we enjoy throughout our city, and I believe an essential element of our neighborhoods. Today, because of San Francisco’s commitment to our parks, Moscone continues to be a hub of activity for children and one of the great playgrounds in District 2 where my wife Liz and I take our children.
In my opinion, supporting our Recreation and Park Department is even more critical today. As a city, we are struggling with young families leaving San Francisco – I have written about the topic often, and continue to push an agenda at City Hall that focuses on our families. Having a vibrant Recreation and Park Department is essential to reversing the trend of family flight, and supporting Proposition B is a great step in that direction.
Proposition B is officially titled our “Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks” bond. It is part of San Francisco’s 10-year capital plan (which means it will not raise current taxes), and will provide $195 million to renovate parks and playgrounds throughout San Francisco.
At Lafayette Park in Pacific Heights, we are already witnessing the benefits of our last parks bond from 2008. Despite delays from certain opponents, construction has begun on a $10 million renovation that will completely overhaul Lafayette Park and provide an extraordinary place for families, seniors, dog owners, and everyone in between. Thanks to additional fundraising efforts from the Friends of Lafayette Park – an incredible neighborhood organization – the renovation will include an amazing new children’s playground similar to what we currently enjoy
The 2012 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks bond will be allocated toward specific projects – such as renovating the Moscone East playground and Mountain Lake Park near Lake Street – and also will provide long-awaited investment in Golden Gate Park, McLaren Park, and Lake Merced, as well as renovations to the parks’ support infrastructure. It will give our city the resources it needs to repair worn-out, unsafe facilities and equipment, provide critical seismic upgrades, and restore shorelines devastated
Proposition B is an important investment in our city’s future. Our parks speak to the diversity of our city’s neighborhoods, provide revenue to our city through tourism, and increase the value of our property. They are our backyards where we have barbecues with friends, where our children grow up, where our dogs run, and where people throughout San Francisco create the lasting memories of their lives. In many ways, they define us as a city.
As District 2 supervisor, it has been one of my top priorities to ensure our parks and recreation areas – across San Francisco – are beautiful, safe and family friendly. I hope you will join me in supporting Proposition B, and continue our city’s tradition of keeping our neighborhood parks clean and safe for everyone, in every neighborhood.