Tonight: Community Meeting on Ordinance for Bernal Hill Memorial to Alex Nieto


Back in September, Bernalwood reported that an effort was underway in the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to require the City to install a memorial for Alex Nieto on Bernal Hill. Tonight, a community meeting will be held to discuss the ordinance introduced at the Board of Supervisors which would create the Alex Neto memorial.

This morning, Ailed Paningbatan-Swan from the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center tells Bernalwood that in one of their final acts before leaving the Board of Supervisors, Supervisor John Avalos and SupervisorDavid Campos  have introduced an ordinance to establish a permanent memorial for Alex Nieto. The measure would direct “the Recreation and Park Department to install in Bernal Heights Park a memorial in honor of Alex Nieto.”

The complete text of the ordinance can be found here.

Alex Nieto was the Bernal Heights neighbor who was killed during a March 2014 confrontation with the San Francisco Police. A San Francisco District Attorney investigation of the incident concluded that police acted lawfully during the incident, and during a subsequent wrongful death suit initated by the Nieto family, a jury ruled that the SFPD officers involved in the incident had not used excessive force. Friends and family of Alex Nieto maintain his death was a byproduct of gentrification.

In addition, Ailed also passes along word this morning that BHNC will host a community meeting TONIGHT at 6 pm to learn more about the proposal:

Join the Bernal Heights Community to discuss the Creation of an Alex Nieto Memorial on Bernal Hill.

Please join us for an informational meeting and community discussion to learn about efforts taking place to create a Bernal Hill memorial for Alex Nieto, a long-time Bernal Heights Resident and City College Student.

Date: Monday, November 28, 2016
Time: 6:00pm-8:00pm
Location: Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center
515 Cortland Avenue, SF CA 94110
Dining Hall

For additional information, please contact Ailed Paningbatan Director of Community Engagement at BHNC 415-206-2140 x 130, or Carolyn Goossen, legislative aide to Supervisor David Campos, at 415-554-7729.

PHOTO: Top, ad hoc Alex Nieto memorial on Bernal Hill, September 14, 2016, by Telstar Logistics

11 thoughts on “Tonight: Community Meeting on Ordinance for Bernal Hill Memorial to Alex Nieto

  1. Why not just install a bench that says “in honor of Alex Nieto?” Everyone likes a good bench to sit on, and that would be a tribute to Alex.

  2. It doesnt say what the memorial will be… I cant make the meeting tonight, can someone find out what they are planning the memorial to look like?

    • They are a long way from that I am afraid. It is being left to a guiding committee working with Campos/Avalos and sure to continue under Ronnen

    • No definite plans have been made although it will probably be a plaque and possibly a bench. Call the numbers above if you want to be more involved in the planning process. Basically, it is up to the Nietos to decide with community input.

  3. Just left this meeting disappointed that the first 1 1/2 hours was not about establishing a memorial for Alex Nieto but a memorial come-together meeting. It was very touching and sad to to hear from the Nieto family and indeed other families of recently shot citizens who were introduced by Campos. Campos and Avalos (with a brief but sympathetic cameo by Hillary Ronnen who left shortly after 7) spoke at length . Then the father of Alex spoke o Alex’ life and then warmly about once sitting on that bench with his son overlooking the city. Then, a woman from the arts commission distributed paper info with photos re plaques, sculptures and other forms of remembrance. She noted that given the story she heard from the father perhaps a special bench might be what the community wanted…(I thought this was so appropriate and hoped the crowd would agree but this was not to be that kind of meeting.) There was then another round of much shouting “Amor, Amor” for Alex and posturing by one man in particular. I left about 7:20 hearing no constructive talk about a memorial other than Campos/Avalos saying there would be a community process, two supervisor meetings, and a guiding committee you could sign up for. The vast majority of people in the room appeared to either express love for Alex or anger for the incident. But one man said he “wasn’t much for memorials… he wanted to see the whole hill and park named for Alex. “Nieto Mountain.” At least he was on topic.
    The meeting description it was not:
    “Please join us for an informational meeting and community discussion to learn about efforts taking place to create a Bernal Hill memorial for Alex Nieto, a long-time Bernal Heights Resident and City College Student.”

  4. I went to the meeting. It was an overflow crowd. Once the resolution is passed, it is up the the Nieto family with input from the community to decide what form the memorial will take. Someone from the Arts Commission made a presentation about the process, gave ideas about plaques, benches and statues. Right now there is no City money available for the memorial. Some in the audience wanted to approach the City to fund it; others thought it should be funded by the community. Beth Stephens who teaches at UC Santa Cruz offered to fabricate the plaque at the USC bronze foundry. Other people offered to write grants.

    Rufugio Nieto talked about his son and said that at one point he dragged Rufugio up to the hill at 3 am and they sat together on a bench and Alex said he loved seeing the City asleep and that he felt so safe there, safer there than anywhere else.

    People should email or call all of the supervisors asking them to vote to approve the ordinance.

  5. I attended the meeting together with about 40 others. The people attending were all supporters of Alex Neito and friends/familes of the other 2 victims of police killlings this past year. The family of Alex Neito spoke in Spanish and was translated to English. Alex apparently grew up in Bernal and attending local public schools. He latter attended a JC and studied criminology. He did alot of volunteer work with children. I attended to learn more about his contribution to Bernal and to understand the reasons to establish a public memorial on the hill. Campos, Avelos and Hillary Ronnen attended. Each spoke and their comments were unremarkable. A artist from the city art commission spoke about the type of memorial that might be considered. She had a portfolio of brass plates, benches and bronze bust. She mentioned that a bronze bust of Newsom cost about $120,000 that some of his wealthy patrons contributed to have it made. She did mention the public must pay the cost of this type of project. However, Campos chimed in to announce that he inserted language in the ordinance to possibly include city money to purchase the memorial. He received a round of applause. I left the meeting after 45 minutes and still cannot understand why two public officials – Campos, Avelos and Supervisor elect – Ronnen would endorse a public memorial for Alex Neito. Hearing scheduled Dec 5th at 1pm. If approved by this committee, it will go to the full Board for a hearing.
    Three graduates of ST Anthony’s grammar school on Precita gave their lives in Vietnam in the late sixties – Victor Romero, George Martinez, and Roy Leed. Why do we not have a memorial for all Mission homies who gave their lives for this country in Vietnam, and the Middle East????

    • If people in the community and/or the families of the soldiers who died in Viet Nam want to get together they could also request a memorial — this is not a zero sum game. To clarify, whatever Campos and Avalos are getting from this, it was Alex’s parents that requested this memorial.

      • How many “private memorials” does the city permit on Bernal Hill? Campos by his own admission, did “slip” into the proposed ordinance the possibility of public financing for this memorial. I oppose any public funds to be used for this purpose. Private funds were used to pay for the bronze bust of former Mayor Newsom that will be placed in city hall. This is the proper way to handle this. Campos is a lame duck politician and he has nothing to loose by imposing his will on the residents of the Mission, which he failed to serve over the past 8 years.

  6. Alex is memorialized in a mural at the top of the hill. His image is on the north west wall in a lowered section. It is not as easy to see as the main walls. Not to say he shouldn’t get a bench (or something) but just wanted to make people aware if they were not already.

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