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Mission Community Council announced it’s losing the better half of its funding as the city tightens its belt in an increasingly grim budget climate. Members met Thursday morning to discuss the repercussions.

The council functions as an umbrella, connecting over 50 community groups in the Mission District.

The most concrete result of budget changes is the handoff of the group’s Plaza 16 project.  Its original purpose was to bring events to the plaza at the 16th Street BART station, making the area safer and friendlier. Intersection for the Arts will take over the project.

BART representative Molly Burke said that they hoped there was a way to save the Plaza 16 project, and noted that BART wants to improve its outreach into the Mission community and will hold a meeting for that purpose some time in April.

Sixty-two percent of the council’s funding comes from the Community Convener Initiative, which is getting cut for 2010-2011. That means a reduction in hours for its director and only salaried staff member, Emily Claassen.

Claassen had planned to leave the organization to start something new but agreed to stay on at 20-30 hours per week to help the council through a tough spot.

The organization isn’t fighting the cuts, since the money came from the city’s Department of Children, Youth, and Families.

“It’s more important that kids get after school programs,” said Crystal Vann Wallstrom, a volunteer board member. If the council’s funding was saved, money might get shaved from kids programs or other services that the council deems more critical.

She said the council  will be looking for creative ways to keeps functioning on a shoestring.

“It’s a beloved project,” Vann Wallstrom said.

Several members at the meeting had unrelated announcements:

New Door Ventures, which works with youth 17-21, will be holding a group orientation on March 4 at 3:30.

The Women’s Building representative said it has an immigrant food pantry open for anyone who self-identifies as an immigrant. She said that people who make less than $52,000 per year are eligible to have their taxes done for free in San Francisco. Call 211 for details.

La Cocina will be launching a cart vending program where they would purchase carts and rent them to vendors, if they get a grant from Pepsi. Supporters have to vote for their idea – when it’s up – for them to get the funding.

The Boys and Girls Club will start summer enrollment on March 28. It’ll be $10 for the whole summer. Also the club is provided tax services from 4-8 p.m. on Tuesdays.

District 9 Supervisor David Campos’ office asked everyone to come support legislation to give due process to immigrant kids during a public Rules Committee hearing Thursday March 4 in room 263.

Community United Against Violence is having a meeting about how the community can respond to violence in a way that avoids police and prisons. That will be April 15 from 7-9 at 170A Capp Street.

Plaza Adelante will be having a March 6 grand opening street festival at 230 Mission, near 19th.

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Anrica is a science reporter and twice Cal grad, with a degree in engineering and a master of journalism. She's a Bay Area native and lives in Oakland. She's enjoyed wide-ranging professional endeavors, including shoveling manure, researching human signaling proteins, volunteering in a leprosy hospital, using an atomic force microscope, and modeling the electricity grid.

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