A Sense of Community?

km123's picture

Dear Reset San Francisco,

I wish that my neighborhood had a greater sense of community. What ever happened to asking your neighbor for a cup of sugar? You know, I don't even know my neighbors' names - let alone feel comfortable asking them for a favor.

How can we create a stronger sense of community in the city?

TK's picture

Our community

I think we can all agree, San Francisco has the potential to be one of the greatest cities in the world, but we're slipping.

nblackburn's picture

One of my favorite things

One of my favorite things about SF is its neighborhoods. It is truly reminiscent of New York City. Each neighborhood has its own culture and its own flair. 


Don't you think overbearing senses of individual neighborhood community could ruin or clash with our city's sense of community?Which to you is more important?

gentaiko's picture

Our community of San Francisco

We've been slipping for awhile, back in 1962 dated article from the SF Chronicle on "Vertical Earthquakes" comments on the disregard to community and individuals and focus on the developers profit and city profit.  Such short term focus leaves an imbalance to the human psych.  It continues to plague many cities, "Gentrification".   I certainly hope San Francisco government realizes they are tipping the balance.  Would dislike to see San Francisco become another cookie cut-out city, or an ethnic facade disneyland.  Western addition on Fillmore has that facade feel, artificially sweetened.   SF Japantown is on the chopping block for another skyscraper condo development, there is a sliver of a chance if individuals and organizations speak up.  Help protect one of the last three historical Japantown's in the nation survive from destruction, and give input for improvement to make it a vital neighborhood we would all enjoy visiting, sharing with family and friends, and living in a neighborhood vital with culture and arts.

LZamora30's picture

I feel like you're right, SF

I feel like you're right, SF is slipping in terms of community, but all is not lost! Like eddietortue said, the Community Market is always a place to feel more in touch with the community. I have been there myself and have had countless conversations with people I have never met. In addition, people should go to local parks, especially is there is an event going on! It's a great place to just chill and relax with the community. My favorite place to go is the dog park, everyone is just willing to talk. Of course, it's much easier to make conversation when you have a dog (if you don't have one, I highly suggest adopting one. haha). All in all, I feel as if there is a sense of community, it's just hidden and you have to find it.

Then of course there are the cultural aspects of every community which make every community strong as a whole. In certain parts, I feel like everyone from a certain community have a similar strong belief in something. Still, I see km123's point in which no one knows anyone's neighbors. If anything, introduce yourself to your neighbors - and if they are not receptive, well it's their loss. But like I said, just putting yourself out in events in your community will make you realize that you're not far at all from a close knit community as it seems. Remember, there will always be people that will shun you, but there will be more that won't. :)

bobbyh's picture

We need to help families

I think an important part of creating a sense of community in any city/town is to foster a healthy family atmosphere.  And it is in this exact area that San Francisco is doing poorly, which is resulting in our city "slipping", as others have mentioned.  If you look at the demographic trends here in San Francisco, you see a big influx of residents coming here in the early 20's, then a huge exodus of people in their 30's, and another influx of people at retirement age.  That trend is disturbing because it shows that young college grads move here only to leave when they start having children and establishing families.  They return only when the kids are gone and they are so called "empty nesters." 

What does that say about San Francisco?  People do not view the city as a family friendly place and as long as that's the case, I don't think we'll ever have a sense of community here because people don't stay long enough to be invested in the community.  It becomes a place where kids come to party and make a few dollars, and leave to join other communities to establish their lives.  That is sad for such a historic city that began with folks moving here to create a new community during the Gold Rush and establish their new lives.  Now it seems the "rush" is out of San Francisco for people to begin new lives and I believe that is the culprit in our lack of community these days. 

How do we combat this?  Good schools, safe streets, clean parks, etc.  All the things that many Supervisors have discounted for years, but are most important to a majority of residents. And in fact, critical to the future of this city.

Paid for by Phil Ting for Assembly 2012. FPPC ID# 1343137