Task force will examine fundraising proposals, determine frequency

The next stop for fresh produce or used furniture could be the City College of San Francisco.

Faced with $20 million worth of state budget cuts that resulted in the elimination of 800 classes, the community college responded by putting together a flea market in October. Although proceeds from the parking lot sale only saved two of the cut courses, CCSF’s Board of Trustees is interested in exploring the idea’s full market potential. The classes cost about
$6,000 each.

“I want it to be operating continuously, whether it’s once a week or once a month. I don’t know what makes more sense,” said board President Milton Marks, who launched the flea market idea. “We need to figure out how to select someone who will run the process.”

Organized within a period of about three weeks, the Oct. 24 market attracted about 60 vendors that paid from $35 to $65 for space within the parking lot at the college’s main campus. After the event, vendors and shoppers expressed a desire to see the market become a regular event, CCSF officials said.

The market, however, also depended heavily on volunteers to coordinate the event, collect and sort donated materials and goods, offer them for sale at the event and manage the distribution of items after the sale, according to board documents.

“We only had three weeks to put this thing together,” said CCSF spokeswoman Martha Lucey, adding that only about one-third of the parking was filled that day. “It was a short period of time to organize 60 vendors.”

The board plans to create a task force to look at how to coordinate future markets, including how often it would take place, and possibly if the school should hire a person or group to help coordinate other fundraising events such as a farmers market.

The board is proposing that the task force, which would consist of representatives of the college administration as well as the Associated Students and local neighborhood residents, make recommendations by the end of February.

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