I have worked for Bayview Senior Services for more than 36 years and knew many seniors in the community who had worked in the Hunters Point Shipyard. Since the Shipyard closed in the 1970s, Bayview has struggled with high unemployment and isolation from the rest of San Francisco. Over the years, many promises have been made with the hope that an economic engine would be created to produce jobs.
We have been waiting to see these promises fulfilled.
I joined many activists and community members attending countless neighborhood meetings and discussions on the revitalization of the shipyard and the neighborhood in general. There were talks of new industries, a new stadium, a shopping mall. While people looked forward to these new opportunities, very little has materialized until now.
We are finally beginning to see real change in the shipyard, with the opening of affordable housing and homeownership. Now it is time to bring the economic changes to the shipyard. Proposition O is vital to ensuring there is enough office space necessary to provide the employment promised so many years ago.
Some San Francisco voters may not appreciate or understand the critical importance of Prop. O in finally realizing the dream of a vibrant new community at the shipyard and Candlestick Point.
After over four long decades of neglect, we are counting on finally implementing the plans we have been working on for so many years.
Revitalization of the shipyard will bring 17,000 permanent jobs with a local hire preference; 12,500 new homes with 32 percent affordable housing; reconstruction of the Alice Griffith low-income housing with no displacement of existing residents; more than 300 acres of parks, beaches and public art; a retail shopping and entertainment center including an African-American marketplace; and a new transportation network of roads, bike lanes, pedestrian walkways and public transit.
Most of all the shipyard will bring hope for real economic prosperity for the Bayview-Hunters Point community. Who knew it would take more than 40 years from the shipyard’s closure to get this far? Who knew we could be so close and still have to work so hard to get those final inches across the finish line?
Bayview is the new frontier in San Francisco. Prop. O just expedites the opportunities in a way that we haven’t seen since the shipyard closed. For those of us who spent so many years discussing and planning, it’s time to make it happen. Please vote yes on Proposition O.
Cathy Davis is executive director at Bayview Senior Services.