The Day Doesn’t End at 3 O’Clock

Running to keep the Neighborhood SAFE

Mr. OConner at work in the community.

Peter Diaz and Thayer Hopkins

Mr. O’Conner at work in the community.

By Zack Hammer, Reporter

In our latest edition of the roundtable, we polled students and faculty to see what they do after the school day ends at three o’clock. Everybody did something very interesting, but Mr. O’Connor’s extra curricular activity was very interesting. Here is his story.

Mr. O’Connor is part of his neighborhood’s SAFE organization. SAFE stands for Safety Awareness for Everyone and is a nonprofit organization that aims to bring neighborhood communities together to become a safer place through communal meetings and activities. Mr. O’Connor has been the captain of his local SAFE team since 2004. His chapter has close to 80 members, and usually has 10-15 members show up for their monthly meetings. During their meetings, they often have people from the SFPD and CHP show up to answer questions and to give briefings about their neighborhood. Other city officials often make appearances as well, such as the District 10 Supervisor, Malia Cohen. They’ve also had a number of other representatives at their meetings, including people from MUNI, MTA, Caltrain, UCSF, SF General Hospital, and many more. Mr. O’Connor is responsible for maintaining the Facebook page and blog for his chapter, and his group has accomplished a great deal over the years. Some of their projects include street calming measures on Kansas Street, neighborhood clean ups, a community garden, and tree plantings. “It’s great getting to know the neighbors,” Mr. O’Connor said, “It makes the whole area a nicer place to live and much more friendly.” On top of moderating SAFE for his neighborhood, Mr. O’Connor tries to exercise as often as he can. He’s an avid runner and the longest he’s ever run is a half marathon at Disneyland, but normally he just runs through the city. He uses an app called RUNKEEPER, which is a free app that tracks distance, speed, calories burned, a map, goal setting and much more. There also is a paid version, but Mr. O’Connor doesn’t use it and is unsure about what exactly it adds. Mr. O’Connor has been running since high school, and he says that it keeps him energized, he enjoys the fresh air, and it lets him see new and exciting neighborhoods. For Mr. O’Connor, running serves a higher purpose than exercise, as he said “I get to reflect on a whole lot of things, there’s no distractions, it’s time for just me, etc. If that’s not worth making running a practice, than I don’t know what is.”