Friday, January 28, 2011

D8 DCYF Meeting

Well, I won't say it wasn't worth going, I did get to talk to Gillian Gillett and also Liz Lian Ungar from Friends of Noe Valley. And I learned a little - not necessarily anything applicable, but sometimes academic exercises are useful.

DCYF is an organization that has a pot of money from yet another ballot box set aside, that it distributes to non-profits who write grant applications. The grant cycle just ended with some distributions, if I understand it correctly, so they start anew looking at what neighborhood needs are.

Basically, Noe Valley isn't getting any of this money, and maybe that's just as well. We have a pretty solid support structure, and the problems we face in the Family/Children/Youth space aren't the sort that you solve with barrels of money anyway.

About 30 people showed up. Roughly ten of them we'll call - "People from the City", DCYF staff, consultants, Supervisor Scott Wiener. There were roughly ten parents of children age 2 through late teens, from Noe and Duboce Triangle for the most part.

The last ten or so people caught my attention and gave me some understanding of the scope of DCYF. After a few comments about after school programs for middle schoolers, a transgendered person spoke up and talked about the need for homeless transgender and queers in the 18-24 year old range to have programs for them so they have a place to go, and maybe something to eat. OK - this definitely isn't just a meeting to discuss pre-school options for Noe Valley Stroller Moms! They were outside afterwards doing a post-meeting wrapup session - to them this meeting was important to try to show numbers and get some help. Frankly they were probably the closest thing to the charter of DCYF.

Most of the applicable commentary to me - a father of a 2 year old in Noe who hopes to be able to send his son to school nearby and have something to entertain him with after school - also nearby - was mostly off topic for the meeting. Of course we did go into that topic, which is basically the school assignment system. Turns out there is also some trouble that you might get the school you want, but might have trouble enrolling in after school programs in the same neighborhood - one parent complained that they got into Alvarado School in Noe, but then AFTER school they had to truck over to Japantown.

Other random topics - why not throw in the trouble between dog owners and parents (this time in Duboce, not Noe Courts), Swim lessons closer to D8 was brought up as well.

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