SAN FRANCISCO – A small business owner in San Francisco’s Mission District says she has seen little or no progress in asking city officials for help since she and other merchants declared a state of emergency in the area last month.
For Anna Vale, what started as a dream has become a nightmare. She owns Abanico Coffee Roasters in Mission.
“I feel tired. My energy has dried up,” Vale said.
She told me that things around her have not improved. It’s been almost two weeks since she joined the other.after a woman was assaulted near the 16th Street BART station.
While the prosecutorWhile the horrific attack on a 78-year-old woman in February spurred local businesses to take action, many of the cases that encourage visitors to the Mission continue.
“I know things don’t happen overnight. I feel like they can happen overnight. When there’s an event, the streets are cleared,” Vale explained.
But since there is no incident, the streets around her business look dirty.
“It’s a lot. And it’s a mess. I don’t think this neighborhood should be left like this,” Vale said.
KPIX spoke with Latino Task Force Director Roberto Hernandez on Monday as he prepares to attend another meeting with San Francisco Mayor London Braid.
“I show her these encampments that block the sidewalks. This is where we have our mission food center services,” Hernandez explained. “People can’t even walk on the sidewalk. And I know there are empty beds. Why don’t we get these individuals off the streets and into shelters?”
He said this is one of the many quality of life issues that threaten the future of small businesses like Abaniko Coffee Roasters.
“It’s very sad, and it makes me angry, people who have invested in the community where I was born and raised and started their own business,” Hernandez said. “It’s sad to see a Latina woman who invested here go. But we support her and look out for everyone around us.”
Anna hopes the push will help the city decide to clean up the area to keep her businesses open. Otherwise she has to leave.
“As a business owner, I want to focus on brewing coffee and providing these services to the community,” Vale said. “But I find myself fighting with outsiders or emailing the supervisor or emailing members of the Missionaries and asking, ‘What else can we do?’ I’m saying.”
For now, she plans to stay on mission, giving life to the place she and her family call home.