Proud to be a Native San Franciscan

The past six months (or should I say years living in Dogpatch District) I've been blessed with amazing experiences I had not expected. As some of you know me well enough, I stay active in Dogpatch community since I moved here almost 14 years ago. 

I believe the universe wanted me to live on this side of town in San Francisco before anything was really here.  I thought (and still do) volunteering every year for almost 13 years, is something great to do for the community and the neighborhood I live in. I've seen it grow and grow, almost like a child like where you want to protect it, defend it and let it grow to something so wonderful. Really, it's not me, it's the community that I fed off of over the years because of their passion, drive and determination in protecting this area - Dogpatch Historic District.

Summer 2009, I was elected to be on board of Dogpatch Neighborhood Association as Member Coordinator/Corresponding Secretary. Re-elected last October 2015 for another 2 year term. But in 2009, I did mention to the board let's have a "block party". Then, I was told to go ahead and do it. But it wasn't easy. Then in 2013/2014, I said it again to DNA member and that member Bruce Huie said, ok, let's make it happen. The funny thing is I made it happen. All I needed was some encouragement. 

November 14, 2015 came and that day was the first day I organized my first community block party. Not just any block party, it was DOGPATCH BLOCK PARTY

Dogpatch Block Party was a success!  Again, felt blessed because it wasn't just a block party, it was also a "walk-about" event. I had over 20 participating businesses in Dogpatch neighborhood that provided discounts, drink specials, and even the amazing Golden State Warriors Organization, Pier 70, Piccino's, Longbridge Pizza, Sutton Cellars, Museum Craft & Design and much more. (Click on the Dogpatch Block Party link for more info.)

To my surprise, since Dogpatch Block Party was in conjunction with Mark Dwight's Rickshaw Bagworkds and Dave Warnke's amazing Block Heads Art work there was an Award Ceremony. When my name was announced, I was in shock.  I did not expect it as I knew Dave Warnke and Mark Dwight did a lot to make the block heads art work happen - to beautify our neighborhood. And in realization, so did I but it wasn't just for me. I did it for the community of Dogpatch. My motto for this event is, "for the neighbors, by the neighbors." There have been many different events in our neighborhood yet it wasn't really targeted for us. My event was specifically for the neighbors.  

This past April 2, 2016, I participated in helping the Angel Alley project on Tennessee St., to yet, again, beauty our neighborhood.  It was a ribbon cutting ceremony where our District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen participated and passed out awards. That day, I was volunteering as a photographer for the event when I heard my name. I was surprised again! Malia Cohen said to me, girl you deserve it and yes again. I was thankful and appreciated. 

I am so proud to be not only from San Francisco but to give back to this amazing city that continues to grow! I know our city has issues, but it's beautiful with richness in every corner. 

I thank my neighbors, community of Dogpatch and the City of San Francisco. You can make a difference, too. Take time out to volunteer in something you love. 

~vanessa 



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