Oct 22Herz Gym
Proposition A on the Ballot this November
Reverend Sonya grew up in the 1960s in Sunnydale and would take a bus out of the neighborhood to play basketball. “We’ve never had a gym in the community, we used to go over to Palega Gym (5 miles away). It would be a great asset to the community for young people to be able to have a place to go, and to expend their energy right here in our community.”
Community residents have been pushing for a neighborhood gym for over 20 years, and this November that vision could become a reality through Proposition A, a bond measure on the ballot in San Francisco, that would provide $10 million toward the building of a recreation center at Herz Playground in Sunnydale.
Drew Jenkins, a Mercy Housing Resident Services Manager/ Safety Administrator, and longtime community member shares this as he emphasizes the importance for his community to get out the vote for the rec center/gym:
“When I was young, we didn’t have any place, and that’s with VisValley/Sunnydale in itself having the most kids in it in San Francisco – talk about inequity. We want to get as many people to vote on this for us to get a gym in our community and start getting the same thing in our community that the rest of the city has.”
Proposition A, a general obligation bond dubbed the Health and Recovery Bond, has unanimous support from the Board of Supervisors and Mayor Breed. It contains $487 million for three main categories of investment: health and homelessness; parks and open spaces; and streets/sidewalk repair. For all of these, there is the goal of supporting economic recovery and the health of those experiencing homelessness and struggling with substance use and mental health disorders.
If Prop A passes on November 3rd, $10 million in bond funds would be combined with $10 million from the Sunnydale Capital Campaign to help construct the new recreation center. The $35 million Capital Campaign covers both the gym and a major community center that will be adjacent to the gym. Mercy Housing and partners have raised slightly over $20M through generous private donations with another challenging $15M remaining to fundraise before construction begins in 2022. (Find out more and how to get involved at buildthehub.org).
The new rec center will be 11,500 square feet of indoor space including a basketball court, bleachers, a multi-purpose room, restrooms, site staff office, and equipment storage. Prop A would also fund outdoor improvements with a plaza at the entrance, installation of adult fitness equipment, lighting, removal of hazardous trees, and pathway and circulation improvements to connect the park with the Sunnydale community and community center.
Youth in the community are especially excited for the gym, knowing that safety and being indoors are both vitally important to Sunnydale residents. Malua, a high school athlete who grew up and lives in Sunnydale shares:
“I think it’s important for us to have a gym because it’s a good outlet for some of us who are athletes or just like to play a sport. I feel like to have a gym in Sunnydale it’ll be a much cleaner and safer spot to play. We won’t have to take a bus ride out of our community to play either.”
Sunnydale residents are active in GOTV activities both in the larger context of registering their neighbors to vote in a significant general election year, as well as ensuring that residents know about and support Prop A to make the reality of a gym in their community come to fruition.
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