Todd David is sort of a hero. He’s the community activist demanding better lives for families and children. He’s also the guy around the neighborhood people wave at and show their baby photos to.
David, 44, a New Jersey native has his plate full. He is the co-founder of the San Francisco Parent Political Action Committee, the founder of the non-profit edMatch and the president of the Residents for Noe Valley Town Square, not to mention a father of two.
The Wall Street worker of a previous life has switched gears towards bettering all-things education.
It all started when he sent his kids to the local public school. While being a part of the Alvarado PTA, David got the urge to understand why some schools had less resources than others and saw a future in improving San Francisco public schools.
“I had to understand why,” said David. With San Francisco being more like a big town, David believed he could easily make a change. “I’m actually one person removed from a decision-maker. [In San Francisco] you can see the results of the work that you do.”
In his efforts to make changes, David took on the responsibility to make sure the right people were put in charge. Through SF Parent PAC and edMatch, David “[Supports] policy to help make San Francisco more family friendly.”
He also made it a point to meet with each person running for the District 8 Supervisor position in 2012. “If youre asking for my vote, then youre gonna come sit at my house for two hours and I’m going to grill you on education,” said David. “And the funny part is they did.”
David who has remained focused on improving public school policy in San Francisco has now become one of the leading figures in transforming a Noe Valley parking lot into the neighborhood’s own town square.
David thought transforming the lot into a public space just needed some attention.
“I think if we show broad neighborhood support for this, we’ll get the politicians attention,” said David. “So I set up a table every Saturday.”
Through his grassroots fundraising techniques, David quickly gathered $600,000 in pledges. As of today, David, with the help of other community members Bill Jackson and Chris Keene, has raised $550,00 in actual donations.
David has been supporting the transformation of the lot because he simply believes every neighborhood needs a gathering place. He believes such a place will create community.
“[The town square] is going to be a great gathering place. Where in Noe Valley do toddlers, teenagers, parents, the elderly, have a place to hang out together?” said David.
The importance of community emanates from David’s passion. He has been in the game of supporting his community for some time now and shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, David only speaks with excitement. The issues he tackles, now and in the past, can seem quite daunting to an outsider, but David approaches them fearlessly.