The Tenderloin Reclaims its Community

by "Shorty" Lagasca on April 30, 2004

For over 25 days, the Tenderloin community has been anxiously awaiting a response from City Officials. After working so hard to make the Tenderloin a safer and friendlier community a strip club is not a positive statement for our children.

Our children are naturally curious about everything. How do you explain a strip club and its marquis contents everyday before and after school lets out? Because of their young age, it is extremely difficult to explain while still protecting their innocence. Because of my own personal experience, I believe kids should be kids and have plenty of time to grow up.

We want to beautify the Tenderloin neighborhood. It is important that people feel safe to leave their rooms and apartments, whether it be to walk their dog, walk with their children or just to leave to go the store.
Last night I attended the Tenderloin Task Force Community Meeting with Police Officers. One of our agenda items is to convert Boddecker Park into the community garden and space it was intended to be. Already it seems that we are making progress and that we will win back access to the park in the name of the children and the elderly in the community.

However, no matter the amount of progress in Boddecker Park, the placement of a strip club next to an elementary school is a direct contradiction to our goals. Pastor Roger recognized this incongruity of priorities and has engaged in a hunger strike for over 25 days. He has accurately assessed the issues that City Officials must confront:
1. The New Strip Club next door to 220 Jones Street, located next to the elementary school must be closed.
2. There must be more new liquor licenses issued in the Tenderloin. The legal limit is 25 and the Tenderloin has 45 and 2 pending.
3. Boddeker Park needs to get cleaned up so the families and children can enjoy it.
4. The Tenderloin should have a committee made up of residents, which is able to have some say in what forms of entertainment are welcome in its own neighborhood. Since the residents are the ones who will have to suffer the consequences.

Clearly the placement of a new strip club near an elementary school is only one example of the lack of consideration that City Officials give to the Tenderloin community.

To offer your support, take time out and visit Pastor Roger Huang who is sitting across the street from City Hall. You can also call your City Officials to share your concerns: 554-6516.

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