I’ve only recently learned who Randy Shaw is and it’s primarily by reading this article that I learned more about his whole Uptown Tenderloin Museum as well as related posters. Now, I’ve never met Randy Shaw. I have no idea what he’s like as a person, but I do know that he lives in Berkeley, so I have a hard time taking his activism for the Loin seriously. I also know that what he’s doing is helping no one in the Loin because despite working here for 20+ years, there has been no discernible change since when he started and the current day. Sure, you can point to the various laws he helped to draft and pass in the city, but on the ground, they have affected no change.

By the way, this new “Uptown Tenderloin” marketing slogan is downright embarrassing.
(comment from SFGate article)

The worst thing about people like Randy is that they do indeed mean well (although aid research has proven that good intentions are not enough). The problem is that their system of “aid” is based upon a mashup of Christian guilt mixed with American capitalism. They run on the premise that more money and more “awareness” will fix the problems that plague an area such as the Loin. Sadly, they are dead wrong. What fixes the Loins of the world are grassroots, foundation-up changes wherein businesses open in the empty storefronts attracting customers, citizens become active members of their neighborhood, and the criminal elements are forced out by a local population tired of rotten apples damaging the whole basket. Creating more homeless shelters or soup kitchens or community activism groups won’t affect this change. It will only attract more homeless, dealers, and preachers while alienating the rest of the neighbors.

To those still reading along, it would probably be easy to accuse me of encouraging gentrification when in fact I’m wishing more for urban renewal which from my viewpoint is a far better option than endless millions of dollars being lost in a black hole of aid and non-profits. Randy Shaw’s museum is one such project. This should get no funding from the city, let alone the $3.9 million he’s pursuing. That’s a staggering amount. Granting 200 local businesses $19,500 (or however you want to break that amount up) would do more to revitalize the neighborhood than one museum started by one man/group that will always be in need of funding from year to year.

The Tenderloin has a rich history and is a place that needs some stability. I doubt this project is that.
(comment from SFGate article)

It’s the development seed money that the neighborhood needs, not Randy Shaw putting up posters and a fancy front to try and milk money out of a broke city administration that caters to far too many non-profit groups already. On a small level, the seeds are indeed being sown with places such as little bird, Koko Cocktails, Brenda’s, Hooker’s, Jebena, farm:table, Infinite SF and Dwntwn, as well as several art galleries opening up recently. Not to mention many, many other great places in the neighborhood that have nothing to do with subsidized housing or charity aid.

We come for the food Randy. What we could do without is it being an open air sanitorium. Work on that Randy.
(comment from SFGate article)

People who believe in the neighborhood are investing in it, but with activists like Randy Shaw working to bring in yet more aid money to continually focus the homeless and destitute in one neighborhood, it will sabotage all these efforts. I cry foul in all of this and plead with Randy Shaw to work on the local social issues on his own neighborhood while we continue to work on ours in a way that works for us because we live here.

In other words, we don’t want your museum or tours Mr. Shaw. Anyone who says otherwise either doesn’t live here or just wants a piece of that tasty tasty pie you’re chasing.
(comment from SFGate article)

By way of an update, it appears that Randy Shaw doesn’t like comments, particularly when they pertain to him…