Founded in 1992, the Federation has served as an umbrella group for all neighborhoods in San Rafael.
What we do: We provide a platform to address multi-neighborhood issues that cross over neighborhood boundaries and impact a multiple number of neighborhoods. Often individual neighbors or neighborhood associations have addressed these issues in ineffective and redundant ways and have been unable to gain the attention of the City of San Rafael. The Federation has gotten involved in Graffiti abatement, downtown development, street repaving, illegal units, wildfire safety, St Vincent’s dining room and many more issues since its inception. The group is made up of both neighborhood associations and individuals who often care about broad issues that can impact all of San Rafael. The group has established a positive partnership with the City and created a vehicle for solving real problems with positive outcomes.
Photo: October Candidates Night - hosted by the Federation. Photo by Jim Draper
Federation of San Rafael Neighborhoods Annual Meeting
"A Beautiful and Brilliant New Year" Thursday, Feb 13, 2020
- Fed VP Richard Bernstein explained our two proposed bylaws amendments, which passed. Fed northern borders have been eliminated, allowing all San Rafael neighbors and neighborhoods to join us. The second bylaw brings clarity to the two classes of membership, creating the option for neighborhood boards to vote.
- Christine Foster, City Data Specialist, announced plans to update their neighborhood files and encouraged all neighborhoods to fill in updated information.
- SRFD Chief Bob Sinnott spoke about fire safety and training, encouraging neighbors to prepare by taking a CERT course and Get Ready classes.
- Barry Miller, 2040 General Plan Project Manager, spoke about the importance of the Neighborhood Element and the urgency of submission.
- Rafat Raie, City Traffic Engineer, updated our attendees about new signalization and data-driven and project plans along 3rd St. He zeroed in on specific crossroads and updated the audience.
- Vice-Mayor Kate Colin delivered an engaging City update about issues that matter to Fed members: the Fire Safe marin program, the imminent opening of the new public safety building and the two completed fire stations, community engagement, SMART, and she urged support of Wildfire Measure C.
photos from 2018 holiday party
Photos from the 2017 Federation holiday party
Bret Hart • Dominican/Black Canyon • Forbes • Gerstle Park Neighborhood Association
Lincoln/San Rafael Hill • Montecito Area Residents Association • North San Pedro Road Coalition
North San Rafael Coalition • Picnic Hill • Rafael Highlands • Sun Valley
Paul Jensen, Community Development Director.
Take a moment to read this succinct summary of past Downtown planning. There is much development pressure on the City, and the Mayor's Downtown Design Committee is hammering out guidelines to steer how the City will look, with hopefully "Timeless" design.
Click Here to see presentation on and Discussion of Downtown San Rafael Vision
in Preparation for General Plan 2040
View slideshow below:
Station Area Forum II
Wednesday, March 29th
Watch video from the meeting:
View Slideshow from the presentation:
Hugo Landecker, city activist from
Gerstle Park, dies
By Keri Brenner
email@example.com @KeriWorks on Twitter
Hugo Landecker, a longtime San Rafael booster, volunteer and community organizer, died Sunday after a six-month battle with an aggressive form of lung cancer. He was 78.
Mr. Landecker, one of the cofounders, with wife Cynthia, of the Gerstle Park Neighborhood Association, died at 2:26 p.m., just as the neighborhood group’s annual picnic, which he started at the then-new organization in the 1970s, was getting going. The Gerstle Park group is San Rafael’s oldest neighborhood association.
“I texted Amy (Likover, a close friend) ‘He’s gone,’” Cynthia Landecker said. “Then the band played ‘Say Goodbye,’ and everyone was crying.”
Gina Silvestri, president of the neighborhood association, said it was especially poignant that Mr. Landecker died “just as the community was coming together” at the picnic, she said.
“He was all about community,” Silvestri said. “He was a gem.”
Cynthia Landecker said her husband of 49 years, a San Rafael “Citizen of the Year” in 2014, was devoted to improving the city and preserving its heritage. He spent decades removing Scotch broom from the area’s open spaces, freeing up trails that were formerly closed.
“He believed that you could work together with others, and that you don’t have to be help-less,” she said. “He said if you established relations with city officials and others, then you can work together to make your life better and enrich the community as well.”
In later years, Mr. Landecker took up the cause of downtown merchants who were troubled by the actions of a growing homeless population — earning himself both controversy and praise. His daily email blog on homelessness issues, The San Rafael Group, went out to 500 people.
“A lot of people thought he was evil; he wasn’t,” Cynthia Landecker said. “He just didn’t want the city destroyed.”
San Rafael Mayor Gary Phillips said he and Mr. Landecker disagreed about how to approach homelessness problems, but Phillips said he appreciated the interchange of ideas. Phillips said he invited Mr. Landecker to his office to discuss the issue on multiple occasions.
“He had the best interests of San Rafael at heart,” Phillips said Monday. “I’ve always respected that.”
Likover, interim chair of the Federation of San Rafael Neighborhoods, said both Landeckers also served with her on the board of San Rafael Heritage, a historic preservation advocacy group that the Landeckers cofounded in 2015. “He worked tirelessly to champion the city he loved, and was a mentor to many of us about public engagement and the importance of the individual as a change-maker,” she added.
Silvestri said Mr. Landecker’s love of historic preservation extended to him being the one to offer reviews and consultations when homeowners in Gerstle Park needed to make renovations.
“He was such a wealth of information and knowledge,” she said. “It’s rare that you find someone who had that many different gifts.”
Hugo Carl Landecker was born in San Francisco in December 1938 to Laura Miller Landecker and Hugo Landecker. He left high school to join the U.S. Navy, and spent three years on the destroyer USS Lofberg, where he learned navigation. After the Navy, he became a journeyman machinist at Hunter’s Point Naval Shipyard, later shifting to Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo after the Hunter’s Point facility closed.
The Landeckers moved to San Rafael in 1968, where they raised daughter Julie, who lives in Santa Rosa. Mr. Landecker retired in 1991.
Mr. Landecker had a longtime love of sailing and took many sailing trips with his family.
Services are pending. Contributions in his memory may be made to the Gerstle Park Neighborhood Association, San Rafael Heritage or the Marin Conservation League.
St. Patricks' Day Memorial for Steve Patterson
Photos from the event - click to enlarge. Photos by Jim Draper
Steve Patterson 1947 - 2012
Marin Independent Journal
Steve Patterson, a ubiquitous and outspoken voice on San Rafael issues for more than two decades, died Monday of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, friends said. He was 64.
Mr. Patterson, a Gerstle Park resident since 1976 and co-founder of the Federation of San Rafael Neighborhoods, was heavily involved in numerous city issues from development to the 2010 library tax to street trees.
Over the years Mr. Patterson both took on and cooperated with City Hall.
"He always worked the line between the neighborhoods and City Hall," said Hugo Landecker, a longtime Gerstle Park resident who served with Mr. Patterson on the neighborhood association board. "He always was able to kind of get people working together or coming up with some common ground. Steve was able to bridge that gap."
Born on May 2, 1947 in Oakland, Mr. Patterson grew up in San Francisco and moved to San Rafael in 1960. He attended San Rafael High School and San Jose State University, where he received a bachelor's degree in business and a master's in business administration.
Mr. Patterson had a varied career working as a McGraw-Hill publisher, sales rep and real estate investor.
An avid bicyclist, weight-lifter and former competitive runner, he owned condominiums in Sonoma and Sausalito, houses and duplexes in San Rafael and a four-unit building overlooking Angel Island in Tiburon's Lyford Cove.
Mr. Patterson continued to serve as chairman of the Federation of San Rafael Neighborhoods until his death.
"If there wasn't a federation, there'd be trees falling in the forest and no one would hear them," he told the Independent Journal in 2007. "We enable a dialogue that wouldn't otherwise happen."
A group of residents nominated Mr. Patterson for San Rafael's citizen of the year last month.
"Steve has worked tirelessly for the betterment of San Rafael," resident Jackie Schmidt said in a letter supporting the nomination. "He always did the administrative grunt work, communication, and also personal advocacy — day in, day out, year in, year out. He was reliable (some would say relentless) in his efforts — always to be counted on to participate, never 'dropping out' of the dialogue."
Sandy Miller, a Dominican resident and former federation secretary, said Mr. Patterson "just had his fingers on everything in San Rafael. He made sure nobody got away with anything."
Former Mayor Al Boro sometimes butted heads with Mr. Patterson at public meetings but remembered him as a dedicated force in city politics.
"We sometimes didn't agree on how to get things done, (but) I think we both wanted to accomplish the same things," Boro said. "He certainly put a lot of effort into being concerned about the city. He should be recognized for that."
Mr. Patterson informed his friends and colleagues of his diagnosis late last year, said Amy Likover, president of the Gerstle Park Neighborhood Association.
"He sent an email to community leaders and friends to tell them of the card that he had been dealt and said that he was going to keep on working until the end — and he did," Likover said. "He's a real straight shooter — you always knew where you stood with him. He spoke to the issues. ... He was all about transparency in government."
Mr. Patterson is survived by an aunt and cousins in Iowa, said Tymber Cavasian, the federation's vice chairwoman. A memorial service is still in the planning stages but will take place in the next few weeks at Mr. Patterson's home, she said. For information on the service, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 459-4337.
In Memory of Dick Watts, FSRN Board Member
"One generation plants the trees; Another gets the shade." Chinese Proverb Those of us fortunate enough to be part of Dick Watts' life will always enjoy the shade of his love and generosity. Richard Leonard Watts was born in New York and raised in New Jersey. A graduate of Princeton and Purdue, he studied chemical engineering and went on to a distinguished career in that field with Chevron. A long-time Marin County resident, Dick dedicated his retirement years to the service of his church, Lincoln Hill Community Church, and his community.
He was active in organizations including the Sun Valley Neighborhood Association and the San Rafael Federation of Neighborhoods. Dick was particularly proud about his work on the 2020 General Plan Steering Committee for the City of San Rafael. Dick tackled his every occupation enthusiastically and efficiently. But, he also took time to enjoy himself. He was an avid tennis player and swimmer, and could often be found at the theater or in a College of Marin Italian language class. He traveled the world. And, as he was truly an engineer at heart, we know he enjoyed researching and planning trips as much as taking them. Dick was a very intelligent man. But, he will be remembered for his wisdom, earned from a life well lived. He died July 1st, at home, on his own terms, after a brief bout with cancer. He will be dearly missed by his wife of 15 years, Nadine Watts, two daughters, Jill Silvestri and Laura Wise, three sons, Brant, Kell and Cade Hardin and six grandchildren.
Published in Marin Independent Journal from July 3 to July 9, 2010
Mayor Gary Phillips in a conversation with the FSRN Board at the November meeting.
Topics included the latest on SMART, homelessness, massage parlor reductions, Ritter House, community outreach.
Federation Gives $1,500 Grant to Marin ReLeaf
The original funding offer of $1500 from Steve Patterson of the Federation was incentive to the City Council for the formation of the Tree Advisory Committee. The Parks Department of San Rafael Public Works and Sandra worked out the details after the Committee’s work was completed. Marin ReLeaf must find funding for each year’s plantings since they do not receive money from the City.