Sup. Wiener & the CBD: Looking for a Few Good Castro Ambassadors

Scott Wiener on MUNIDistrict 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener recently announced via his online newsletter that the neighborhood is looking for some special volunteers to act as Castro Street Ambassadors.

The Ambassador program is primarily a week-end gig for those wishing to act as good will go-betweens the multitude of visitors to the hood, then, directing them to the variety of attractions, museums, bars/clubs, events, businesses and the myriad of personal and social services fostered in the Castro/Upper Market Eureka Valley district.

Beyond being a living map and font of business and historic information about our wee hamlet the Ambassadors are also equipped with training, uniforms, physical maps, team leaders who guide and offer support and a grab bag of other tools to help each volunteer create a home away from home for all in the Castro.

Castro Ambassador helping out two visitors to the Gayborhood. (Photo: CBD Website)

Castro Ambassador helping out two visitors to the Gayborhood. (Photo: CBD Website)

The Ambassadors are the brain child of the Castro Community Benefit District (CBD) whose mission, according to their website; “is to provide services that improve the quality of life in the neighborhood, emphasizing clean, safe, beautiful streets. It also promotes the area’s economic vitality, fosters the Castro’s unique district identity, and honors its diverse history.”

The CBD has been around since 2005 and is directly affiliated with the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development (SFOEWD). They’re one of eleven Community Benefit Districts operating within San Francisco and, it seems according info provided by the SFOEWD, anyone can form a CBD for a specific, unserved, business area, collect funds and begin to influence and participate in the day-to-day life experience and needs of that community.

Castro Community Benefit District LogoWhat the Castro/Upper Market CBD has primarily been providing for the last 7 years according to the City’s Dept. guidelines is: sidewalk cleaning/ maintenance, public safety, building attraction to the 270 neighborhood businesses, and streetscape improvement-aka public furniture-like the controversial once installed and then removed benches at Harvey Milk MUNI Plaza.

Last year, by the CBD’s estimates, volunteering Castro Ambassadors helped over 5000 people from all corners of the planet find they’re way through out what they’ve coined ‘The Gayborhood’ discovering the treasure trove of gems tucked into every corner of one of San Francisco’s best known neighborhoods.

Interested? You can apply here on the CBD website for duty as Castro Ambassador.

Waiyde Palmer

Waiyde Palmer loves San Francisco, social activism and punk rock(ers). His work has appeared in Handbook Magazine. SF Bay Times, The Advocate, Diseased Pariah News and American Music Press . He also has an extensive and repeatedly redacted FBI file.

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3 Responses

  1. BlackDutch says:

    Dear supervisor,

    perhaps you can make ambassadors out of the people who you are so enthusiastically displacing.

    They can talk about our rich history,our gay fellowship, our outreach to those in need and that fact that you have NOTHING to do with it.

    And this next part, I offer to you free of charge (I know ho you like your money!) If you give all of your new homeless constituents a vest and clipboard they won’t be nude, right? Problem solved. (see how I did that?)

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 5

  2. bear on the peaks says:

    In the last ten years we have seen a major economic shift taking place around the world with massive foreclosures, increased government surveillance, rise of corporate power, skyrocketing health, housing and food costs, infotainment replacing news. And you in all your wisdom have decided the displacement of poor people from the Castro neighborhood lies solely with the quiet gay Jew who I see riding on the metro with me to work? If you want to blame someone, blame the populace who fill the Castro bars and greasy spoons every day obsessed with their electronic devices, citizens focused on the latest sex video from a celebrity, instead of coming together in Jane Warner Plaza and displaying their outrage at the scary new world we inhabit.

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    • BlackDutch says:

      Not solely. I think the job of any representative at baseline is to protect their constituency, regardless of tax bracket. He has failed the people lost in need. That’s enough for me. He can remembered as the man who saved people’s homes or someone who stood by and watched as they lost them. In historic terms, that will resonate as a fail. I apologize for the spelling errors, I was on Muni.

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