August 2016
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Thriller Flashmob in Jane Warner Plaza
Letter from the E.D.
As I walk through the neighborhood people stop me and ask "What's new in the neighborhood Andrea?" We stop and chat for a while, so I thought I'd use this letter to update all of you.

The late breaking news is the rainbow crosswalks at 18th and Castro will finally be replaced the week of September 12th! The contracts are signed, the permits are good to go and the work will really begin on the 12th of September. If you remember, the crosswalks were damaged when ABC was filming their new miniseries When We Rise. Originally intended to be replaced in time for Pride, delays occurred on the city's end. Replacing the crosswalks entailed repaving the street and the city wanted Ghilotti Bros. to fix the drainage problem at Castro & 18th. Understandably, the city wanted the regrading and the crosswalk installation to happen together.  And it's a miracle...they are happening together! I've been assured that we really are all good to go. All four crosswalks will be replaced and the drainage problem will also be fixed! The crosswalks are being paid for by ABC and the necessary grading to fix the drainage problem is part of the sidewalk widening contract with Ghilotti Bros. Ghilotti Bros. will also be replacing the pavement at Jane Warner Plaza (it crumbles when it is steam cleaned), again part of the original sidewalk widening contract.

Installation of rainbow crosswalks in 2013

The funds the CBD has been waiting for to make improvements to Jane Warner Plaza have finally come through! We've hired a Plaza Steward who is managing the tables and chairs, keeping the plaza clean, welcoming performers and vendors, welcoming tourists, reminding people not to smoke and generally being an extra set of eyes and ears on the plaza. The Plaza Stewards work Wednesday - Sunday from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. The funds also will be used to expand our Live! in the Castro programming and to pay for an LED lighting installation.  The LED lighting installation, called The Seed, will help bring positive interest to the Jane Warner Plaza at night, and create a night time positive destination in the Castro. More details are provided below.

Plaza BazaarIn June we kicked off a monthly Pop-UP Art Fair - The Castro Bazaar. The next Castro Bazaar is on Wednesday, August 17th, featuring local, San Francisco artists selling their wares. The Castro Bazaar is located at Jane Warner Plaza and runs from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. We've featured  local pottery, hand crafted accessories and cards, hand crafted Venetian style masks, paintings and living arrangements. Stop by after the Farmer's Market and bring your friends/relatives who are staying with you while they visit S.F.! 

If you are an artist or have a referral, please have them email Kristin.

I'm taking advantage of the Mayor's pledge to FIX IT! The Mayor launched a new program in May and identified the Castro as one of the programs priority neighborhoods. The program, led by Sandra Zuniga, aims to improve residential and mixed use neighborhoods by reaching across all city departments to fix problems. So, I've asked Sandra to help the CBD address particularly vexing problems including: removing illegal food vendors on Castro St., helping mentally ill and drug addicted people on the street, cleaning large tent encampments at Market & Octavia, trimming trees on Market St., restoring Pink Alley,  and replacing burnt out street lights as a start. However, this list does seem to grow daily.

Castro Cares is working closely with the FIX IT team to bring licensed, behavioral health providers to the Castro, providing additional assistance, support and training to the Castro Cares Homeless Outreach Team.

The CBD also received a small grant from the city to implement the Retail Strategy project. Implementation will launch in September. As the project gets implemented we will focus on bringing commercial property owners, commercial brokers and merchants together to address specific challenging blocks, develop a pop-up business program and improve the relationship of commercial brokers to the Castro/Upper Market.

That's a quick summary of what the Castro/Upper Market Community Benefit District is up to.  Below are more details of the work the CBD is doing to improve the neighborhood.

See you in the 'hood!


Castro Cares

Castro Cares provides additional homeless outreach services and additional police patrols dedicated to the Castro/Upper Market. The Homeless Outreach Team is out talking to those at risk and living on the street Monday - Friday in pairs of two, 2 hours a day. Eugene Liu is the Castro Cares funded Patrol Special officer working weekdays Monday & Friday 7a - 1p and Tues. - Thurs. 7 a - 3 p. Eugene however has been out on medical leave for the past 6 weeks and unfortunately, I think we have all noticed his absence. Without Eugene around, there is little enforcement of the city's existing quality of life laws.  Patrol Special Police is working hard to develop a staffing plan to fill Eugene's hours beginning August 1st. Castro Cares funded Patrol Special officers also walk the Castro & Upper Market beat Friday & Saturday nights and Sunday from 9a - 5 p. Castro Cares funded Patrol Special officers are in addition to the officers funded by the neighborhood merchants. Beginning this weekend, Castro Cares will also fund a CBD clean team worker on Friday and Saturday nights to keep the heart of the Castro clean during the evening hours.
Castro Cares is supported by city grants and donations from neighbors and merchants. To help support Castro Cares,
Press release for upcoming changes in Jane Warner Plaza

Changes Coming for Jane Warner Plaza
Tables and chairs are back at The Castro’s Jane Warner Plaza, inviting all to sit for coffee, lunch and to people watch.
Andrea Aiello, Executive Director for the Castro/Upper Market Community Benefit District, said the chairs were fully occupied the minute they were placed in the plaza. “It was amazing. The first couple of days the chairs were out people just kept thanking me. The community is very happy to be able to sit in the Jane Warner Plaza once again.” The new furniture was paid for by the Castro/Upper Market Community Benefit District. (click to read full release)

We're still welcoming new folks to become Castro Ambassadors! The active list of Castro Ambassadors now boasts 22 volunteers working 4 hours a month welcoming visitors to the Castro. Join this exciting and fun volunteer group, contact:

Become a Castro Ambassador. 


Live! in the Castro Upcoming Events 
Events are updated often. Follow us on Facebook.

July 30th @12pm  Recology teaches us how to compost!
July 31st @1pm  Mark Etheredge - Live music with the return of Mark Etheredge to the plaza.
August 14th @ 1pm Klipptones - Jazz Pop Mash-ups

August 17th @ 4 - 6pm Pop Up Art Fair - The Castro Bazaar
August 20th @ 12pm Sundance Saloon -
 Country Line Dance-A-Thon
August 21st @ 1pm Castro Flaggers - think "Flagging In the Park" only "Flagging in Jane Warner Plaza"!
August 27th @ 12pm Foggy City Dancers - your favorite square dancers!
August 28th @ 11am Mary Delave Fine Arts Show - local artist showing & selling her work

The CBD seeks artists and performers to join us in bringing Jane Warner Plaza to life. If you are a musician, dancer, performance artist or community group, we want to hear from you! We are interested in exploring all types of activities, music, dance, lectures, community outreach, interactive art. Email the CBD


Please see our website:
for up to date information on the Castro CBD meeting schedule.
  • Street Scape Committee Meeting: Monday 8/1/16 6:00 p.m. 2355 Market St., Coldwell Banker
  • Board of Directors Meeting: Thursday 8/11/16 6:00 p.m. 501 Castro Street, 2nd Floor
  • Finance Committee Meeting: Monday 8/9/16 8:00 a.m. 2355 Market St., Coldwell Banker
  • Executive Committee Meeting: Tuesday 8/23/16 10:00 a.m. 2355 Market St., Coldwell Bank
All Castro / Upper Market Community Benefit District Meetings are open to the public with public comment taken at every meeting. The meeting agendas are posted on the CBD website 72 hours before every meeting.
Copyright © 2016 Castro CBD, All rights reserved.

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