The Alliance for a Better District 6 (ABD6) was formed in October 1999, initially as an effort to respond to the change in the manner in which candidates were elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. The election in 2000 would mark a return to district elections, where candidates would be elected from a particular district instead of campaigning city-wide. Given this change at the Board of Supervisors, community activists and community based organizations seized this opportunity to create a community platform for the new district. From this grassroots endeavor to represent the interests of low income residents in what would become District 6 and to find common ground between residents and other stakeholders came the Alliance for a Better District 6.
From its inception, ABD6 has been at the forefront of the struggle to incorporate the interests of District 6’s low income households into San Francisco public, social and land use policy. The community platform that ABD6 created was endorsed by all 17 candidates that ran for Supervisor in District 6 in 2000. In 2002 ABD6 submitted its proposal for changes to the boundaries of District 6 with the intent to prevent the Tenderloin and South of Market neighborhoods from being split. As the District 6 map attests, the effort of ABD6 was successful.
ABD6 partnered with KPFA 94.1 FM to jointly host the Tenderloin Summit 2002 and with KPFA 94.1FM and a local business owner to jointly host the Tenderloin Summit 2004. These events, broadcast live over the airwaves, provided a community forum to discuss such topics as the living conditions in Single Room Occupancy Hotels (District 6 has the most SRO Hotels in the San Francisco), crime and public safety, at risk and youth of color, homelessness, and quality of life issues for seniors and those with disabilities. The Summits were very well attended, with over 120 participants at each.
In June 2005, ABD6 co-sponsored the Emergency Vehicles Sirens Community Forum. This Forum served as a means for the residents of Lower Nob Hill, the Tenderloin, and the Mid Market (all areas in District 6) to voice their concerns over the excessive noise from the continual and excessive use of air horns and sirens on the part of emergency vehicles. This Forum was attended by either the Directors or high level staff of the San Francisco Fire Department, the San Francisco Police Department, Department of Emergency Services “911 Dispatch”, Department of Environment, Department of Parking & Traffic, Mayor Office of Neighborhood Services, with representatives from both Supervisor’s Chris Daly and Aaron Peskin’s Office and over 70 residents from District 6.
ABD6 also led the fight against the removal of half the bus stops along the Geary Corridor. This Corridor provides residents of the Tenderloin access to supermarkets, medical facilities, and other necessities of life. The efforts of ABD6 limited the elimination of bus stops to only 3 stops out of a proposed 6. The efforts also led to the inclusion of ABD6 members onto the Citizens Advisory Committee and the Technical Advisory Committee for the Geary Bus Rapid Transit project and the Tenderloin/Little Saigon Neighborhood Transportation study. More importantly, the San Francisco’s transportation bureaucracy realizes that any transportation changes to the Tenderloin must be made with the input and approval of the residents of the Tenderloin.
ABD6 also participates in tree planting efforts with organizations such as the Friends of the Urban Forest; its executive officers are Board Members of the North of Market Community Benefits District; it played an integral role in the decision to site a San Francisco Police Department station in the Tenderloin; and it continues to serve the interests of lower income residents of District 6 by actively monitoring land use decisions by the San Francisco Planning Commission, San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, and private developers.
As shown by its achievements, the purpose of ABD6 is to empower people who live, work or have an interest in improving the quality of live in District 6; to resolve problems affecting District 6 and Citywide and to achieve these results by consensus. The underlying belief of ABD6 is that government at all levels must be responsive and accountable to the needs of all people, particularly those who are under served and under represented. ABD6 is a non-partisan unincorporated civic association.