Voices of the Community

Voices of the Community

Welcome to Voices of the Community, we strive to amplify solutions facing where we live through featuring residents like you, along with change makers, and thought leaders to support our fellow residents and people visiting or working in our area. “Our goal is to feature the unheard comments and stories from communities across our region in hopes to create dialogues to address our common problems and support the change of the status quo.” - George Koster, Creator/Host


January 25, 2023 44 min

"There's still a lot of public resistance to the idea of giving people in homelessness cash, because, the public doesn't trust people in poverty or people in homelessness, I think that has to be corrected and addressed" - Dr. Jiaying Zhao

One of the topics we have focused on through our special Covid-19 series is our unhoused neighbors' lives by organizations and governments experimenting with providing cash tran...

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“I volunteer at a safe sober space. I serve on the board of a retreat for healing that happens once a year. I serve on the Board of StartOut which helps LGBTQ + entrepreneurs gain access to mentorship and resources and fundraising to increase our representation as founders of companies. I will always do this work, because these are the same kind of organizations that empowered me to have the life I lead today.” Jugal Patel



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December 7, 2022 48 min
It breaks my heart as a mother and a teacher almost the, majority of people who are unhoused are families with children. Sleeping in cars, sleeping in garages, and that these families, these moms and dads, aunts and uncles, they work, but again, they can't get enough together to secure safe and affordable housing”-Elizabeth Softky

Welcome to our annual holiday show and fundraiser. As we bring this year and our special series on...

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December 3, 2022 63 min
"It’s the chemistry of people, who come from very different backgrounds, you have gay, transgender, straight, and different talents and different abilities coming together and making this music and magic"-Shavonne Allen

This episode features the voices of the founder of ABD Productions and the Sky Watchers Ensemble program, Anne Bluethenthal, along with the members of the Sky Watcher Ensemble, Shavonne Allen and Joel Yates w...

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“We provide education to encourage people to vote and participate in government”-Michelle Moritz

Welcome to our 2022 Election Show. Given all the propositions on both a State of California level as well as the usual too many propositions to understand on the City of San Francisco level we wanted to bring together two wonderful subject matter experts to help us better understand both the Pros and Cons of both State and City propositi...

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“The Compton, Cafeteria Riots and Felicia Elizondo's life living in the Tenderloin in the 1960s and trans sex workers who were fighting for their right to survive, connected with the ideas that were coming out of my mind”-Adrienne Price

In this our one hundredth episode of our special series on the impact of the ongoing covid-19 pandemic on our nonprofit's small businesses and local government, we reached back out to folks a...

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“I think the, first one that stood out to me is unlike some other cities, the San Francisco city government, is not pushing for these downtown office to housing conversions”- Sarah Wright

This is part three of our three episodes exploring how the Covid-19 pandemic is impacting San Francisco's downtown neighborhood and economy along with the efforts to address the issues in the reinvention of downtown San Francisco. As downtown S...

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“San Francisco’s tax structures are incentivizing companies to, in some cases just move entirely out of San Francisco”-Anna Tong

This is part two of the three stories we are covering on how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the downtown of San Francisco and the efforts to address the issues and the reinvention of downtown San Francisco.

In this episode we feature the voices of two local reporters Anna Tong from the San Francisco Sta...

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“I always say that music is a healthy thing that we do. It's something that we strongly believe that even the flowers and the plants and the trees really enjoy having music being played for them”-Mauro ffortissimo

One of the topics we’ve covered in our two plus years of producing this special series on the Covid-19 Pandemic’s impact on our community is the impact the pandemic is having on our live performing arts organizations. ...

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“We heard of neighbors helping neighbors, of people dropping off food on their friends’ doorsteps, of mutual aid groups, of people becoming champions and ambassadors in their community and, showing the way to access resources and support”-Elena Fairley

As millions of families accessed and received billions of dollars of financial support from the US Federal Coronavirus Relief CARES Act Fund, millions of immigrant families were exclu...

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"I think that there is a recognition that we're all interconnected and that this area is important. It's essential for, the City and the region. I think that there is a, great opportunity for all these groups to come together and to build something great." - Chris Wright

This episode focuses on the impact the COVID 19 pandemic is still having on the city of San Francisco's downtown community area. Along with this...

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"We are taking charge of our community. And Dr. Aboelata has coined this phrase years ago, healing our community from within. And we do have to look into ourselves to help heal what ills our communities"-Aquil Naji

Over the past two-plus years, our community health care centers have faced many challenges in an ever-changing landscape, forcing them to adapt and evolve their outreach and delivery of both health care and compre...

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“Zoe is grappling with how to be an adult or starting to be an adult in a world in which she feels, there's not really a space for her to imagine a future”- Alicia MP Nelson as Zoe

In this episode, we are following back up with The San Francisco Mime Troupe who we interviewed two years ago in episode four. Back in June of 2020 with the beginning of the pandemic, Michael Gene Sullivan shared with us that the San Francisco Mime Tr...

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"CalNonprofits was pushing for relief for the sector and contract flexibility so that we could be as responsive as possible to our communities while they were dealing with the pandemic”- Lucy Salcido Carter

We know from our interview in January 2021 with Jacob Harold and Anna Koob of Candid that from their extensive study they estimated that over 4 thousand nonprofits in California could go out of business from the impact of the...

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“First responders save lives; second responders help put people’s lives back together. Artists are essential workers in our society and our economy, helping us recover, reflect, and rebuild”-Julie Baker

This episode is focused on the importance and economic impact of the arts, culture and artists on both our economy and our communities.  We are hosting a panel of guests from the San Francisco Arts Commission, Californians for the Ar...

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April 1, 2022 61 min

It's just understanding that, life is tenuous. Life is hard and, sometimes people need help and it's all okay - David Goodman

Over the past two years of producing this special series, we have brought you stories from nonprofits working on some of our long-term social issues such as homelessness, housing, hygiene, and mental health.  In this one-hour-long special show, we wanted to turn our focus back to food insecurity for c...

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March 2, 2022 34 min

“They want housing to allow them to build their lives up from there…” - Poly Pop-Tart

At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020, we featured Sammie Rayner and Community Forward SF’s work in episode 5 and with our unhoused trans-gender, LGBTQ, and people female-identify community members.

In this episode, we bring Sammie back along with Felicia Torrez from Community Forward SF and Poly Pop-Tart a Drag Queen, Stan...

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February 11, 2022 59 min

"We have to give them something to do. You know, if you're just sitting there and this is what you see, this is who you become..." - Phyllis Opara

Welcome to our one-hour special on the importance of education especially to the low income youth in our communities. We explore how the combination of the covid-19 pandemic and economic meltdown has impacted the support services of an Oakland legacy education organization the...

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January 26, 2022 41 min

"I think that housing is just fundamental and it's, unfortunately, not really a right, right now in our country" - Dan Sawislak 

Since 1970 California has not been building enough housing especially affordable housing.  The latest estimate of California's housing shortages ranges from 3 to 4 million housing units. This decades-long lack of housing impacts both the estimated 160 thousand unhoused Californians and the ...

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"If there is anything that I've seen transformed in the past 19 months, is that more and more people are unwilling to accept what we previously accepted as normal."- Yuan Wang

In this episode, our featured voices are the co-founder and director of Blue Heart Lindley, Mease and co-director of a APIENC Yuan Wang.

This episode is focused on sharing the work of two grassroots organizations Blue Heart which empowers individual...

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