CITIZENS’ INITIATIVE TO PROTECT COIT TOWER OFFICIALLY QUALIFIES FOR JUNE 5TH SF BALLOT

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

News Release

CITIZENS’ INITIATIVE TO PROTECT COIT TOWER OFFICIALLY QUALIFIES FOR JUNE 5TH SF BALLOT

 Citywide coalition of San Francisco neighborhood groups votes overwhelmingly to endorse Protect Coit Tower initiative

The San Francisco Department of Elections has announced that the 16,300 ballot initiative petition signatures filed earlier this month by citizens’ groups to protect Coit Tower from neglect and decay contained more than enough valid voter signatures to qualify the measure for the June 5th city election ballot.  Last night, the Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods, a powerful collection of more than 30 neighborhood associations from across the city, voted overwhelmingly to endorse the Protect Coit Tower initiative.

“Coit Tower and the 27 historic WPA murals that ring the inside are a priceless treasure that the people of San Francisco will now have the opportunity to help preserve and protect,” said Jon Golinger, Chair of the Protect Coit Tower Committee, a coalition of artists, environmentalists, and neighborhood leaders.  “The endorsement of the citywide Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods shows that people all across this city feel Coit Tower is not just some deteriorating old facility that should be left to decay, but a one-of-a-kind symbol of what makes San Francisco such a special place.”

If approved by voters at the June 5th election, the Protect Coit Tower initiative will make it the official policy of the City and County of San Francisco to protect Coit Tower and its murals by prioritizing the funds raised at Coit Tower for preserving the murals, protecting the Coit Tower building, and beautifying Pioneer Park around Coit Tower and by keeping commercial activities and private events limited.

“Thousands of San Franciscans signed to put this on the ballot because it’s just unacceptable that so many of the irreplaceable WPA murals that ring the inside of Coit Tower have endured serious damage due to lax oversight, carelessness, and neglect,” said Golinger.  “The interior of Coit Tower has broken lights, water leaks, and lead paint peeling right off the ceiling.  But, even though concessions and elevator fees at Coit Tower generate more than $600,000 for the city every year, less than 7% of those funds are being used to protect and preserve Coit Tower.  This initiative will give voters the chance to start solving the problems at Coit Tower by saying we have to do better.”

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