SAN DIEGO CDC
536 Maple Street, No. 103
San Diego, California 92101
October 27, 2016
Joyce Beers Center
1230 Cleveland Street
San Diego, California 92103
Re: Letter of Support for the AIDS Memorial Committee Recommendation to Place the San Diego AIDS Memorial In Olive Street Park:
Dear Uptown Planners:
On October 10th, AIDS Memorial Committee, chaired by Katherine Stuart Faulconer & Nicole Ramirez-Murray, made a presentation to the Metro San Diego CDC about creating a permanent memorial to those affected by HIV disease and AIDS in San Diego. A portion of the Olive Street Park site in Bankers Hill is currently under consideration for the location of the AIDS Memorial; The Metro San Diego CDC unanimously endorsed placing the AIDS Memorial at the Olive Street Park site on May 9, 2016.
The Metro San Diego CDC, and its predecessor the Bankers Hill/Park West Community Association, have spend the better part of a decade battling to establish the Olive Street Park, which will be named the “Woods-McKee Park”, after the family that donated the northern parcel of the future park to the city almost 100 years ago. The City of San Diego purchased the southern parcel of land that will be an additional part of the park several years ago. The Metro San Diego CDC remains strongly in favor of placing the AIDS Memorial in Olive Street Park, and supports the AIDS Memorial Committee, the Mayor, and City Councilmember’s Gloria’s recommendations to place the AIDS Memorial at this location.
B. Michael Seidel
(Gay San Diego, October 14, 2016)
“AIDS MEMORIAL UPDATE
A presentation by the San Diego AIDS Memorial Task Force was made at a recent meeting of the Metro San Diego Community Development Corporation (Metro SD CDC).
The task force — co-chaired by San Diego’s first lady Katherine Stuart Faulconer and longtime activist and San Diego City Commissioner Nicole Murray Ramirez — has led the charge with raising awareness, fundraising and finding a permanent home for the memorial, which would honor thousands of San Diegans who lost their battle with the disease.
(l to r) San Diego’s First Lady Katherine Faulconer and City Commissioner Nicole Murray Ramirez, co-chairs of the San Diego AIDS Memorial Task Force, shown on stage at the recent B-52s concert fundraiser.
“[Today] families don’t have a place to go to remember their loved ones,” said Susan Jester, the representing member of the AIDS Memorial Task Force at the meeting.
Jester, along with Katherine Johnston and Jen Lebron, representatives of Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s office, appeared Oct. 10 before the group to give an outline of the AIDS Memorial project, planned to be located in a Bankers Hill park.
The Metro SD CDC is a nonprofit that serves the Uptown communities of Bankers Hill/Park West, Five Points/Middletown and the western slope neighborhoods of Mission Hills.
Metro SD CDC administrator Leo Wilson had invited the task force to the Oct. 10 meeting, to meet the development group in person. In a meeting last May, the Metro SD CDC had endorsed the preliminary plan to posit the memorial in Olive Park.
A small parcel of land within Maple Canyon near the corner of Third Avenue and Olive Street in Bankers Hill, Olive Park is close in proximity to Truax House, the former home of Dr. Brad Truax and the first facility to offer AIDS-related services.
A total of 8,000 people have died in San Diego of AIDS/HIV since the 1980s, Jester said at the Metro SD CDC meeting, adding that San Diego is the only large American city without an AIDS/HIV Memorial.
“The 1980s were like a holocaust situation,” Jester said. “We want to remember that time in our history so that it doesn’t happen again.”
Jester founded Walk for Life in 1984, the precursor to what is now called AIDS Walk and Run San Diego.
The memorial will come one step closer to being a reality Nov. 1, when the Uptown Planners meet at 6 p.m. at the Joyce Beers Uptown Community Center in Hillcrest listen to plans for the long-awaited park.
Katherine Stuart Faulconer and Nicole Murray Ramirez, co-chairs of the San Diego AIDS Memorial Task Force, were unable to attend the meeting with SD Metro CDC, but will be at the Uptown Planners meeting, which is open to the public.
The total project will cost $1.2 million and will take 25 months to build, said Johnston, a planner in the mayor’s office said, at the meeting. The memorial would open to the public by summer 2019.
For more information on the AIDS Memorial, visit tinyurl.com/hrgz8cp. To keep up with the AIDS Memorial Task Force, follow them on Facebook.com/SDAIDSMemorial.”