SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A new effort is underway to boost San Francisco's civic pride among locals.
The $4 million campaign is called "It All Starts Here San Francisco" and aims to reshape the city's image from within.
At Saturday's kickoff event, families, artists, and community members celebrated San Francisco's strengths.
"It's the diversity. It's the community and how engaged we are," said artist Serge Gay Jr.
According to campaign organizers, the $4 million, multi-year civic pride campaign comes at a crucial time. Headlines about San Francisco often highlight homelessness, drugs and crime.
"Unfortunately, there was a constant barrage of negative stories about San Francisco and a bunch of people came together deciding to respond," said Alex Tourk, spokesman for "It Starts here San Francisco."
"This is the beginning of a civic pride campaign to rally San Franciscans to share their love, share their unique stories about SF but also to send a message to the world, we're open for business," said Alex Tourk, spokesman for "It Starts Here San Francisco."
"This is to instill pride in San Francisco. This is to instill hope and to get people excited. And part of it is to counter some of the negativity with some of the positivity of what's going on," said Mayor London Breed.
On this Saturday, families gathered for music, free food, and a chance to engage with their community through painting murals.
"We're painting a community mural," said student Theo DiLullo
"It shows people still care about the community. You look around, see all these people are painting. People still care and we're working for a better SF," said Alec DiLullo, a student.
Here's what the organizers hope will happen next with the civic pride campaign.
Several media efforts are underway including major TV ad.
Beyond that, organizers hope the community will get involved in several ways.
"Share on social media your love of the city-- #ItAllStartsHereSF. Show your support with a campaign sign in your residence or small business and donate to Avenue Green Light where every dollar goes to support local business in SF-- which are the economic lifeblood of our economy," Tourk said.
Many people say San Francisco has a lot of work to do.
"I think there needs to be some massive changes in how we manage the city and how we handle the drug problem," said SF Resident Mindy Sears.
But some believe this civic pride campaign can help.
"It starts with all of us. We got to all do our part. It can't just be the government or donors from the tech companies and soon. We've all got to pitch in," said SF Resident Paul Sears.
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