Mayor Edwin Mah Lee: 1952-2017

The year ended with the sad and sudden passing of Mayor Ed Lee, who served the residents of San Francisco since the mid-1980s. The first Asian-American Mayor of San Francisco, Lee was born to Chinese immigrants and grew-up with five siblings in Seattle's public housing system. He left the Pacific Northwest for UC Berkeley, where he studied law before moving into a position focused on housing issues in the Bay Area. 

He later worked for five City and County of San Francisco departments before being appointed the City's Human Right's Commissioner in 1991 and City Administrator in 2005. He became San Francisco interim Mayor after Gavin Newsom left the position to become Lieutenant Governor of California in 2011, and was elected by the residents of San Francisco to the position in 2012 on the well-known platform of "Run, Ed, Run!". He was re-elected Mayor in 2015. He was 65 years old.

Civic Center Commons
Holiday Event
Holiday Tree Lighting

The holidays brought cheer (and snow) to Civic Center Plaza December 5th at the annual Civic Center Plaza Tree Lighting ceremony in front of City Hall. The event was emceed and hosted by  Honey Mahogany, and included performances by vocalist and X-Factor finalist  Jason BrockThe Tap Dancing Christmas Trees; musicians from the San Francisco Symphony; and members of  Boxcar Theatre's Speakeasy, including Artistic Director Nick A. Olivero, who lead a Christmas sing-along.

Christmas VIPs such as The Great Dickens Christmas Fair's Coventry Carolers, Charles Dickens, Mr. Scrooge, the Ghost of Christmas Present, Sam Weller, the Grinch, and the man-of-the-hour -- Santa himself -- were also there

The  San Francisco Police Department  and  Another Planet Entertainment , lead an amazing new-toy giveaway for kids 12 and younger. Over 300 toys, free popcorn and candy canes were distributed.

Annie's Hot Dogs and Noe Valley's Homestead Cookies provided kid and family-friendly snacks and Best Beverage Catering offered adult attendees an array of festive holiday cocktails.

The event was organized by the Civic Center Community Benefit District, Another Planet Entertainment, Civic Center Commons, Nick Olivero and various City agency partners. Generous sponsors include: Another Planet EntertainmentEric Rodenbeck, San Francisco Police Department's Northern Station, San Francisco Public Works and the San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department. See the SFGovTV VIDEO.

If you are interested to participate in the 2018 event please contact the Civic Center CBD.

Santa welcomes excited children, and adults, to the Tree Lighting.
"Snow" starts to fall.

The Christmas Tree twinkling in the night.
The Tap Dancing Christmas Trees light up the stage.
Honey Mahogany and Jason Brock with Santa and the Grinch.
The Dickens' carolers between songs.
Meagan Lillis accepts the Civic Star Award on behalf of DST
Holiday Party for the CBDs: Central Market, Civic Center and Tenderloin 

The Board Holiday Party at Waystone on Market Street December 2nd featured festive bites and the annual presentation of the CBD awards, including CCCBD's Civic Star Awards. This year's awards were given to Allison Wyckoff of the Asian Art Museum for leading efforts to facilitate public programming in Civic Center, and the Downtown Streets Team  for their service alongside the CCCBD's Clean Team.  See photos of the event here .
San Francisco Conservatory of Music Celebrates 100 Years

Originally founded as the Ada Clement Piano School in a house on Sacramento Street, the esteemed conservatory marked its centennial in October. Part of its future plans include expanding the school with student housing and performance spaces on Van Ness. The plans, illustrated on Socketsite, also include a ground-floor restaurant. The school will continue its season-long Centennial celebration with concerts through February. Read the San Francisco Chronicle article here.
Van Ness 
Improvement Project

The last quarter of 2017 saw the replacement of major utilities and sewer systems, surveys of sidewalks and work on joint trenches to power the overhead wires for buses along the Van Ness corridor. The preparation for this work included moving bus stops to temporary locations, lane shifts, and installing protective barriers around trees.

For more information on the project, check out their informational  video, and visit the SFMTA site.

Upcoming Events
Safety Summit: Train for an Active Shooter Scenario

The 2018 Safety Summit, geared toward District Facilities and Office Managers, will offer an Active Shooter Training by Jason Garden of SFPD's Tactical Unit. The event will also feature multiple exhibitors from disaster preparedness organizations offering information and resources.  The free event takes place 3:00 pm-4:30 pm Tuesday, January 30 at A.C.T.'s Strand TheaterRegistration is required. 
Grand Opening of  Helen Diller Civic Center Playgrounds