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Messages to Decision-Makers

A Birthright

Belonging is part of each human’s birthright. It is as essential as sleeping and eating. Every human suffers to witness others who are “not allowed to belong.” It is the nature of being human to care about ourselves and others in order to have a good life. Any human denied belonging will not only suffer in themselves deeply but will also show the manifestations of this hurt in society. Each contact with a human in this situation of “not belonging” will impact on others and when a situation occurs from such systemic rigidities everyone will carry feelings of powerless, hopelessness, and insecurity in their own well-being. Each person will become less connected, zestful, and able to take action against these feelings.

—Cynthia Bird

Livability

This city is made livable by the diverse communities who have invested in it since day one. This city has a history of diversity, culture, art, and of course, commerce. When one group is overlooked, as the aging, artists, and cultural workers and educators have been for decades in the city's budgeting and short- and long-term planning, the city loses its soul, its cultural continuity, not to mention, the tremendous amount of commerce that it attracted in the first place. Artists and cultural workers have been under-valued and completely exploited by San Francisco’s officials and developers for years. It is time to recognize this error and begin to repair and plan for a holistic approach to city planning.

—Termeh Yeghiazarian

To the MTA Planning Commission

Slow the FUCK down on development. We need to pay more attention to humans, not buildings!

—Abby

To City Leaders

Create spaces where artists can continue to live in gentrifying areas. So-called "live-work lofts" were a great idea, but unfortunately commandeered by wealthy professionals, and not really available to artists. Old military bases and old warehouse districts should have major portions set aside for the arts. The Presidio and Dogpatch represent two huge examples of lost potential. City leaders should know that when creative "outsiders" are driven out, that the creative spark that made a financial boom happen goes with them.

—Larnie Fox

To Trump

I would talk to President Trump and ask the President to pay more attention to China’s human rights.

—Aiyu Xing

Empty Feeling

I want to tell many people, specifically our president, that peoples’ places of belonging usually mean so much to them, and they depend on them, and if you take it away from them, it can really leaven an empty feeling inside them.

—Lelio, sixth grader