A Neighborhood Constant: The East Cut CBD Supported By People
A community benefit district within a large metropolitan city can be defined by many facets. Most obvious is the boundary around that district, which includes blocks and parcels that receive a benefit. Anecdotally, the architecture, the open spaces, and the companies that establish their headquarters in the district provide further associations by which the general public perceives the area. But one of the most defining qualities is, of course, the people that make up an area. The world as a whole is now experiencing an event that has removed the majority of people from our neighborhood districts, and the impact is apparent.
The experience in The East Cut is not immune from these realities. City streets once populated with tens of thousands of people each day are now empty. Small businesses that provide unique items that you can only find in the district have boarded up facades to prevent theft. Glassy new office towers – the tallest in San Francisco – now sit, void of most activity. The neighborhood as a whole, however, is far from being empty.
Residential towers, typically vacant during the work day, are now full of residents that are still allowed to step out into the neighborhood for exercise and fresh air. A constant that has remained before and during this crisis is The East Cut services team, continuing to provide 24/7 safety and cleaning for the thousands of residents that call The East Cut home. With less people on the streets, graffiti has increased, illegal dumping of garbage still occurs, greening projects continue to need water and weeding, and unhoused residents need outreach more than ever.
The East Cut team provides that presence in the neighborhood, and stakeholders have begun to notice. Thank you notes and donations, both monetary and food, from appreciative neighbors have been coming in regularly. A program launched by The East Cut Community Benefit District requesting funding for service team lunches from district restaurants yielded $2,500 over a few days; and a resiliency fund established to help cover wages of service team members that cannot work due to the coronavirus has brought in nearly $40,000 from the neighborhood’s largest companies, including Google, Okta, Slack, and DoorDash, among others.
This rallying from our district stakeholders has been a positive force in keeping spirits high, and has helped The East Cut CBD position itself as a strong neighborhood resource, reinforcing the reality that the CBD is and has been the leading advocate for the neighborhood – both in this crisis and for when all of the people return.
What do you think about the contribution of large companies to help cover wages of employees that cannot work due to the coronavirus ?
Tick tock tick tock… Next week you will discover the Montreal Destination centre-ville action plan.