History

The San Francisco Neighborhood Newspaper Association (SFNNA) was founded in September 1988 by David Ish and Maggie McCall and was initially comprised of 10 newspapers.

In 2016, there are currently 14 members: Castro Courier, Central City Extra, El Tecolote, The Ingleside-Excelsior Light, Marina Times, HAtCH Beat, New Fillmore, Noe Valley Voice, Potrero View, Richmond Review, San Francisco Bay View, Sunset Beacon, Westside Observer and West Portal Monthly.

The SFNNA’s mission is to help neighborhood newspapers thrive through sharing resources from advertising to reporting.

Notable achievements:

• 1988 to present—The SFNNA has met regularly with the past 5 San Francisco mayors, starting with Art Agnos in 1989, to Frank Jordan, to 2 terms with Willie Brown, to Gavin Newsom, to current Mayor Ed Lee. The meetings allow members to get first-hand information concerning our neighborhoods and allows us to act as “aldermen” for our districts. We have also met with Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, District Attorney Kamala Harris, and other politicians.

• Early ’90s—Banded together with our print publications to fight a sales tax that was put on newsprint and on the printing of our publications by the state of California to fill a budget hole. (Printed publications have always been exempt from sales taxes.) The state relented and eliminated the proposed tax.

• Mid-’90s to present—Started publishing citywide stories with local angles. Some stories we have published include: taking a critical look at Mayor Willie Brown’s Office of Community Development, and the problem of teen suicides in the city. We have a standing budget (up to $500 per story) to develop new stories for SFNNA members as required.

• Late ’90s—Worked to scale back a Draconian plan to eliminate newsracks in the City, protecting the First Amendment and the rights of smaller publications to distribute in San Francisco. Gordon Reynolds has represented the SFNNA at the city’s newsrack committee since it was founded.

• Circa 2010—Met with then-Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi to express our concerns about his proposed legislation that would have restricted door-to-door delivery in the City. The legislation was scrapped.

• 2013—The SFNNA held a 25th anniversary gala at the Exploratorium.