Excelsior Action Group
In August 2002, residents, merchants, and community organizations of the Excelsior Neighborhood came together to voice concerns about their declining Mission Street shopping district. Community members were concerned about preserving small, family-owned businesses and the eclectic character of the neighborhood; they also wanted to see more residents feel comfortable and excited about shopping in the Excelsior. A number of large, long-term and blighted vacancies, coupled with the city’s three decades of disinvestment, was leading to the displacement of long-term businesses, no longer able to keep their doors open because of the decline in commercial activity. The businesses that opened in their stead--check cashing, liquor stores--were no longer serving the community’s broader needs for goods and services. Ultimately, we formed a community-driven action group to strengthen the commercial district by focusing on physical, social and economic improvements. We call ourselves the Excelsior Action Group, or "EAG."
EAG began as a pilot economic stabilization and revitalization project staffed by volunteer committees to increase the safety, attractiveness and viability of the commercial district so as to retain locally serving business and minimize displacement. Our success in leading semi-annual community building events, supporting and empowering our community's local small businesses in their success, attracting new business and investment from both the public and private sector, as well as developing local leadership and advocacy through our activities and programs served as a model citywide.
Today, we work with a number of small businesses and community members to develop and implement a community-driven vision for D11's commercial corridors.