Friday, October 21, 2011

Steering Committee Meeting tonite, and ohbytheway, Earthquake Education

I may have mentioned that I'm on the Delores Park Rehab Steering Committee.  The park is getting a 11 million dollar renovation, and the local community is providing their comments as to what we would like to change, and/or add and remove.  Quite the interesting experience of which I will be writing about at another time.  I am usually so frustrated by the meetings that when I come home, the last thing I want to do is rehash the stupidity.

But last nite, which just happened to be the nite of the earthquake, we had another meeting and this one was open to the public.  On the agenda was whether or not to remove the "clubhouse" or if not, what to do with it.

But first, I was asked to open the meeting, make introductions, explain the process,  and tell a bit about myself and why I was involved.  So I said:

"Thank you for coming, blah blah.  I've been so proud to be a part of team and it's been a learning experience, and I'm very impressed with how well the design team has facilitated the entire process, because ohmygosh, do people in this city care about Every. Little. Detail!

I'm from Idaho.  Seven years ago, I loved a man who lived here, and fell in love with San Francisco.  I fell out of love with him, but stayed in love with the City.  (People clapped at that)  Five years ago, I signed up for public housing because I'm on Disability, which was why I was involved, because I wanted to represent the needs of the handicapped.  Eight months ago, I finally got my letter saying I had a studio apartment if I wanted it.  So, six months ago, I moved from Idaho.  From a community of 3,000.

During those 5 years of waiting, and losing hope basicially, I kept the picture of the city skyline taken from Delores Park as my screensaver.  The money shot.  (People laughed).

So imagine how thrilled I was to take this walk (as I pointed to the path I walked on a map of the park behind me) up Church Street, only to discover that I lived less than a half block away from the picture I had had on my screensaver for 5 years!"

I then asked the other Steering Committee members to stand, so that the rest of us could see who they'd be working with, blah blah.  Well actually, I forgot that part and had to poke it in after someone else got done with his part.And then I also said,

"Oh, and by the way, if there's any counselor or psychiatrist in the building, please can I talk to you after the meeting?  I just experienced my first earthquake today, and I need to learn some emotional coping skills!" (Big laughs)

So, all fine and good, right?  We broke into smaller groups with each steering committee member facilitating the discussion at their table.  Then we regrouped as a whole, and reported our findings to the entire meeting.

There just happened to be an expert person on building earthquake proof buildings.  When she got up to report on her table's decision on the clubhouse,  she told us that if we kept the clubhouse it would have to be retro-fitted to meet current earthquake standards.  She went on to tell us that the worst buildings that suffered the worst damage were made of concrete, and prohibitively expensive to get up to code. 

My building is made of concrete.  I'm four stories up.  There's one more story above me. The city/county/state of California is broke, remember? 

Crapola.  I had often wondered if I'd rather be on the first floor during a disaster.  Less falling that way.  Then I decided noooo, I wouldn't want four stories to fall on me.  (I decided this during all the 9/11 ten year anniversary stuff was airing on TV).

However, since the earthquake, I've decided I'd rather be smushed by four stories above me.  I'm glad I could have this discussion with myself.  They say preparedness is everything.  


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