"Vote Like Your Life Depends On It" On or Before November 3!
October 31, 2020
There are few events in American history whose dates have been etched in our shared memories: December 7, 1941 will always live in infamy in our American psyche; many of us remember where we were and what we were doing on November 22, 1963 at the moment we learned President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated; and we will never forget September 11, 2001 when we and the world watched with horror on live television as terrorists struck on our own soil.
November 3, 2020, the date of our next General Election, is predicted to be one of most momentous days in our nation’s history. While the events and the dates noted above were unexpected, the arrival of November 3 is yielding no surprise but rather, great
anticipation. What was unexpected are the enormous stakes this election would entail: that our nation would be embroiled in such deep divisiveness, that an awakening and national movement toward equality, equity, and inclusivity would result, and that we would be grappling with the devastating impact of a global pandemic and defending the truths emanating from the rigorous practice of science.
As many of you know, on August 26, 2020 the Glen Park Neighborhoods History Project began celebrating the centennial anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, under which nearly all America women finally won the right to vote. Despite this success, Asian and Native American women and, because of Jim Crow laws many African American women, were forced to wait decades to win their fundamental right. Given that most suffrage events this year have been curtailed by the pandemic, we will be celebrating suffrage and the Valiant Women of the Vote until August 2021.
The Glen Park Neighborhoods History Project has also been spreading the word about America’s first suffrage march, held in Oakland, California by women of the California Equal Suffrage Association on August 27, 1908, and co-led by Glen Park resident Johanna Pinther. We are continuing our work to uncover the history of diversity and inclusion in this event, one that history has concealed for far too long.
It is the sacrifice and persistence of those historic women who guided us to 2016. Four years ago, many thought the presidential glass ceiling would finally be broken. Yet, while a woman did win the popular vote, she lost the Electoral College vote to a controversial businessman who promised to “drain the Swamp.” According to statistics available through the New York Times, an average of 88.8% of residents in the 11 precincts throughout our district of Glen Park, Sunnyside, Fairmount Heights, and Diamond Heights (and here) voted for Hillary Clinton, while an average of 6.2% voted for Donald Trump (range 92% and 3%, respectively, in Fairmount Heights; 81% and 11%, respectively, in Sunnyside).
As imperfect as the U.S. Constitution may have been in creating equality and equity for all at the get-go, it did succeed in setting a path for striving to it. Now, the very principles of our Founding Fathers and Founding Mothers are threatened, and the deep divisiveness in which we are embroiled has been cultivated over the past four years. We now find ourselves debating not only Red versus Blue, but Male versus Female, White versus non-White, and in the depths of a global public health crisis in which one simple act could help save tens of thousands of American lives, Masks versus No Masks. We can, however, celebrate that a woman of color from the Bay Area, Kamala Harris, has been selected as the Democratic vice presidential running mate (only the second to be so honored, preceded by Charlotta Bass, the first African American woman to own a newspaper and a candidate on the Progressive Party ticket with San Francisco’s Vincent Hallinan in 1952).
Former First Lady Michelle Obama recently urged us to "Vote like your life depends on it!" No matter your political affiliation, this election matters. Exercise your constitutional right that so many throughout our history have fought, and often died for. On or before November 3, 2020, let your voice be heard and VOTE!
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GPNHP Holds its First Virtual Meeting!
By Evelyn Rose
April 26, 2020
In this age of COVID-19, we have been forced to forego many of our usual methods of community outreach and venture into realms that may be beyond the comfort zone for many of us. As part of that reality, on Saturday, April 25, 2020, the Glen Park Neighborhoods History Project held its first virtual meeting! Presenters were GPNHP board member and architectural historian Hannah Simonson who shared the history of the Red Rock Hills Design Competition, a 1961 event that kicked off redevelopment in Diamond Heights and brought national attention to the district within the architecture community. Hannah will also highlight the design and politics that shaped the built and unbuilt schemes in the competition. Afterwards, GPNHP Director Evelyn Rose shared a surprising new theory about the origins of the name given to San Francisco's Islais Creek in Glen Canyon!
In case you were unable to join, grab your favorite beverage, get comfortable, and view the meeting in its entirety.
Honor Our COVID-19 Front Line Workers: Join the San Francisco Sing-a-Long with Tony Bennett, This Saturday, April 25
By Evelyn Rose
April 24, 2020
Three hours before our GPNHP Virtual Meeting on Saturday, April 25, stand on your front porch at 12:00 noon and join the live Sing-a-Long with none other than Tony Bennett. He invites us to help honor the front line workers: "Let's spread the love and strength throughout the bay!"
Download the words to "I Left My Heart in San Francisco."
Practice on YouTube here (click through the ad in 5 seconds).
SFGate encourages us to" "film our virtual duet with Tony, a cappella, please, without help from Bennett’s recording — during Saturday’s singalong and send it to us by 5 p.m. Saturday via Dropbox, at bit.ly/SingOutSF." It may be featured on www.sfchronicle.com.
We Can Do It! The Role for All of Us in This Historic Global Event
By Evelyn Rose
April 5, 2020 (updated April 19, 2020)
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been thrust into what is truly a historic period of humanity, one that we hope will teach future generations lessons about the critical importance of preparedness and prevention. As San Franciscans, we are fortunate to be served by a public health department and city government that had the foresight to see the tsunami barreling toward us, enacted a state of emergency before the first case of COVID-19 had been diagnosed, and soon after declared the first shelter-in-place in the United States. As of this writing, San Francisco has just nearly 600 cases diagnosed and less than 10 deaths - certainly not numbers to jump up and down about but what we hope is a sign that the actions we've all taken as a community will help flatten the curve and minimize the number of people infected, the number of total deaths, and the long-term impact of this disease.
And, a disease this is - it has no insight about our political affiliations, economic status, spiritual beliefs, age, gender identification, race, ethnicity, or country of origin; the coronavirus exhibits equity in every sense of the definition. The number of those who believe social distancing is an overreaction may be waning. Yet, as the scientists, health practitioners, and epidemiologists learn more about this novel (ie, never seen before) virus, whom among us carries it, how it is transmitted, and how easily it passes from one person to the next, the mantra of keeping 6 feet apart in public and staying home for all but essential outings ("essential" includes that daily walk in your 'hood) seems the most prudent action we as a community can take. While we do this at risk of entering an economic recession (if not outright depression) that may in itself become historic, history tells us that we as a people will persist, and we will eventually get through this.
As a community, our most heartfelt thanks and deepest appreciation goes out to the first responders and healthcare workers on the front lines of this pandemic who are daily caring for those who are ill and dying, and doing so under conditions they never imagined possible. In this modern 21st century that is
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spawning driverless vehicles, drone air deliveries, and 3-D printers that can make just about any item at home, our healthcare workers are lacking the most basic protective supplies, despite their risk of being exposed to high loads of virus with every patient they care for, tending to each several times during each shift. How can we ever properly thank them for taking such dire risk for all of us? And thank you to all the people in transit, delivery, food service, and all essential businesses - especially our local ones - who are braving the frontlines of everyday human contact. Thank you for helping keep our economy going, and ensuring our everyday needs can be fulfilled as best as supply and access allow.
In the iconic We Can Do It! image above, and given that March was International Women's Month, it seems fitting that the muscular strength in the arm of Rosie the Riveter, the iconic image from World War II demonstrating the importance and impact of women supporting the war effort, could be adapted to portray the strength and persistence we need now to flatten the curve of COVID-19.
Stick to the science; stay the course - it seems to be working. We Can Do It!
How You Can Help Others During the COVID-19 Crisis
There are many in our community who have suddenly found themselves struggling emotionally and financially because of the sudden closure of non-essential businesses as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Many of the nonprofits who traditionally focus on supporting those in need are now in need themselves as they continue to further their mission under overwhelming circumstances.
Our neighbors atop Red Rock, Gold Mine, and Red Rock Hills in Diamond Heights, under the auspices of Resilient Diamond Heights, have assembled information from California State Senator Scott Wiener, District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, the City of San Francisco, and other sources about the organizations working to help keep individuals and our community whole. View/download the Resilient Diamond Heights Resources document.