And yet, we weren't surprised to learn today that this Wednesday's community update is off. The Town Square team says it remains committed to "behind the scenes work" and "staying in touch with all of you" now that the election season and the holidays are behind us and fund-raising deadlines are approaching. Because, you know, this is important to the community.
Here's today's update:
Hello everyone, we hope your New Year is off to a good start. With the elections in full swing and then the holidays, the past two months have been relatively quiet. However, we do have progress - and good news - to report.[noevalleytownsquare.com]
As you know, our goal is now to raise all the funds needed for the project by Dec 2013. We are pursuing three major avenues of funding:
How you can help:
- City of SF: We are still aiming for a significant amount of funds from the city's Open Space Fund. The first step in getting this funding occurred when the Town Square was "officially" added to the Rec and Park acquisition roster at the Jan 8, 2013 PROSAC (Park and Rec Open Space Advisory Committee) meeting! The next major milestone on this front will be getting approval from the SF Rec & Park commission, which should happen by March. And then on to the Board of Supervisors (hopefully by April).
- Grants: We are applying for Prop 84 Urban Greening funding from the State of California. On November 13, we attended a half-day technical workshop with the team that administers the grant. The feedback we received on our project and our application was very positive. Our formal grant application will be submitted shortly. The next major milestone will be in Spring, when the short list is published and we find out if we made it to the next round in the grant process. All indications are positive so far.
- Community i.e., YOU: We are now at $470K in pledges. If you have been thinking about making a pledge, please do so as soon as possible! For the City of SF as well as Prop 84 grants, every additional pledge will count as another community "vote" in support of the project. Also keep in mind that we need to raise approximately $1M (depending on other funding) from the community to make this project happen.
January Community Meeting Cancelled: In view of the brisk activity happening on the funding front, and the packed Noe Valley community calendar, we are cancelling the meeting that was targeted for this week (Jan 16th). If you would like to speak with us in person, we will be at our table at the Farmer's Market. You can also reach us, as always, through our website and via email.
- Make a pledge! If you have made a pledge, display a poster at a visible location in your home or business.
- Did you know Noe Valley lacks open space? Spread the word. Encourage your friends and neighbors to make a pledge towards this project.
- If you or someone you know can make a substantial pledge to support this project, let us know! We are looking for major donors to make the Town Square a reality.
What's Next: We will continue extensive behind-the-scenes work to secure funding for the Town Square. This means working with Rec & Parks to draft an operating agreement for the Town Square, staying in touch with (and nudging along) the approval process for Open Space funding, dotting the is and crossing the ts on our Prop 84 grant application, and of course, staying in touch with all of you. We look forward to hearing from you, and see you at the Farmer's Market.
-- The Town Square Team.
(Todd, Chris, Leslie, Nisha & Kate)