NOPNA: 25 Years of Respecting the Neighborhood

This is a milestone year for the North of Panhandle Neighborhood Association, which started 25 years ago, in 1991. At the time, the neighborhood was a victim of the urban renewal efforts pushed on the Western Addition. 


There were drugs, crime, empty storefronts and rundown apartments. Leading with the slogan, “Respect the Neighborhood,” a group of concerned longtime and newer residents banded together to make a positive change. The idea was to take ownership and accountability for one’s self and neighbors. NOPNA’s mission, last revised in 2010, remains true to that original idea:

NOPNA is a nonprofit organization of neighbors who care about the community, our city and our world. Our mission is to establish neighborhood unity, maintain multiethnic, multicultural diversity, foster a sense of neighborhood pride, promote a safe and clean community, and improve the quality of life for all residents of the neighborhood.

In recent years, NOPNA has been involved in a variety of activities to further our mission. We recently raised funds for the victims of a fire in our neighborhood. For the past 12 years or so, we have built neighborhood pride with our annual summer block party, co-hosted with Parkside Market, our Halloween party and a holiday party.

As the city’s population has grown, we have partnered with other neighborhood groups to get funding for Panhandle Park improvements, hold the sponsors of Bay to Breakers responsible for encouraging a more family-friendly and positive event, and push for streetscape upgrades to Divisadero and Masonic.

We continue to work closely with our District 5 Supervisor to find solutions to complex issues, including displacement and development. In celebrating NOPNA’s 25th year, we would like to hear from you about your experiences in the neighborhood. We are looking to publish proflies of long-term residents or stories you have from growing up in the neighborhood. Or maybe you have a story about a NOPNA Halloween or block party, or how you and your neighbors came together to help another neighbor.

Please send your stories to Tell us a little about yourself, and let us know if we can publish your story. NOPNA is open to any resident living within the boundaries of Fell, Turk, Masonic and Divisadero. In addition to this bimonthly newsletter, we host a bimonthly general meeting on the third Thursday of every odd-numbered month, at Oasis Cafe. We hope to see you at the next one on May 19 at 7pm