San Francisco – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi wrote to the Presidio Trust Board of Directors today congratulating the Presidio Trust Board on reaching the financial self-sufficiency requirements of the Presidio Trust Act. Pelosi wrote the legislation creating the Presidio Trust enabling the Presidio’s transformation from military post to park and has made the Presidio a priority in the Congress working on a bipartisan basis with the California Congressional delegation, House and Senate, and four presidents of the United States. In response to many requests as to her views, Pelosi also took the occasion to express her thoughts on the decision that is before the Board regarding the former Commissary site at Mid-Crissy Field.
December 18, 2013
Dear Presidio Trust Board Member:
Congratulations to the Presidio Trust on achieving the goal of self-sufficiency by 2013. It is a wonderful milestone in the history of the Presidio, and I hope you will take time to reflect positively on the magnitude of this achievement.
Also, as one who was privileged to be part of the Congressional leadership to create the Presidio Trust, I appreciate the serious consideration you are giving to the proposals submitted for reuse of the Commissary. It is apparent that your deliberations and the decisions you face are challenging, and your commitment to bringing a continued stellar presence to the Presidio is to be commended.
There are three worthy proposals before you. As you consider these proposals, I hope you will emphasize the need to draw a vibrant cross section of visitors to the Presidio, with particular attention to inner-city youth. Educational programming is essential for the Presidio to attract and excite young people, and to actualize a generational bridge that will engage the community now and also span the next generations. This is has been a guiding principle for the Park from the time Congressman Phillip Burton created the GGNRA in 1972, when he specifically prohibited entrance fees so that underserved children and families would have access to the GGNRA. A strong proposal that would realize this goal is important to the future of the Presidio, particularly by increasing visitation and also by creating a star attraction to provide a distinct destination site for visitors.
Given the potential value of these concepts to the Presidio, I would strongly urge the Trust Board not to delay the decision-making process. In fairness to those who have invested considerable time, energy and other resources, a timely decision would be most appropriate. It will also allow the Presidio to receive more visitors sooner, as opposed to delaying coming attractions for people to enjoy.
Thank you for taking the time to consider my concern with regard to the timing and nature of your selection. I understand the weight of the decision that is upon you, and your interest in how it will impact the long-term standard of excellence for the Presidio. The three finalists deserve to have their answer in January, as you have outlined. It is my hope that the Trust could welcome all three participants to the Presidio.
As you well know the Presidio is always in my thoughts, and near and dear to my heart. Thank you for your excellent stewardship of this important national treasure.