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New Community Leadership Foundation announces creation of Oversight Board for Fillmore Heritage Center

October 31, 2017

Join the public rally on Thursday, Nov. 2, 12 noon

by New Community Leadership Foundation

San Francisco – Residents and community organization leaders in the Fillmore District are banding together to ensure that the community benefits package promised to them by the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) actually materializes with the forthcoming sale of the Fillmore Heritage Center.

The New Community Leadership Foundation (NCLF), an African American-led 501(c)(3) community organization, announced today that it is accepting applications for founding members of the Fillmore Heritage Center Oversight Board (FHCOB) to monitor the sale of the property and protect the rights of the stakeholders whom the Fillmore Heritage Center was intended to serve. Applications will be accepted from Nov. 2 to Dec. 4, 2017.

“This community has suffered for decades since the City’s ‘redevelopment’ projects displaced thousands of African Americans and destroyed countless Black-owned businesses,” says NCLF Vice President Lily Robinson. “We were told that the Fillmore Heritage Center would be an anchor point for rebuilding our neighborhood economy. We expect and demand for that to happen.”

“This community has suffered for decades since the City’s ‘redevelopment’ projects displaced thousands of African Americans and destroyed countless Black-owned businesses,” says NCLF Vice President Lily Robinson.

On Feb. 10, 2017, OEWD issued a Request for Proposals to find a new owner for the 50,000 square foot commercial property located on the corner of Fillmore and Eddy that had formerly operated as Yoshi’s SF. Nearly seven months after the RFP submission deadline, that process appears to have stalled.

“We were told that the Fillmore Heritage Center would be an anchor point for rebuilding our neighborhood economy. We expect and demand for that to happen.”

“Throughout the neighborhood, there is deep concern that the community benefits package has been compromised and the formal selection process has been abandoned,” adds Hugh Gregory, NCLF executive director. “We are working to unite the community to speak with one voice and empower individuals and organizations to be the watchdog.”

As published in the RFP (available at http://oewd.org/fillmoreheritagecenter), respondents were to be scored based on whether their proposals would form partnerships with nonprofit organizations and local small businesses, provide affordable community activation opportunities, create jobs for local residents and provide entrepreneurship opportunities for minorities and women.

“If you’ve been around this neighborhood long enough, you can see when something’s not right,” explains legendary saxophonist and longtime Fillmore resident Bobbie “Spider” Webb. “I’ve been in meetings with every organization that proposed a real community benefits plan, and those aren’t the faces I’m seeing now at the Heritage Center. We’re being left in the dark.”

Mr. Webb, along with numerous Fillmore District community leaders, believes an organized approach to oversight is necessary to ensure that the City fulfills its promises.

“I can guarantee this,” Mr. Webb adds. “There’s going to be a lot of vocal community support for this movement. So this watchdog’s going to have a bark. And there’s going to be a lawyer or three on the oversight board, so this watchdog’s going to have a bite, too.”

NCLF will host a rally on Thursday, Nov. 2 at 12 noon outside of the Fillmore Heritage Center at 1330 Fillmore St. to formally announce the creation of the FHCOB and solicit applications. The event will also debut a new website, www.fillmoreheritagecenter.info, dedicated to monitoring and reporting on developments at the Fillmore Heritage Center.

NCLF will host a rally on Thursday, Nov. 2 at 12 noon outside of the Fillmore Heritage Center at 1330 Fillmore St. to formally announce the creation of the FHCOB and solicit applications.

The New Community Leadership Foundation can be reached via Majeid Crawford, communications director, at majeidcrawford@gmail.com.

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