Posts Tagged ‘stop the war on fun

18
Oct
09

help stop the war on fun, attend a hearing at city hall

Kind of long but important Facebook message from the awesome Stop The War On Fun kids:

Please help support night-time entertainment in SF by coming to a hearing on Monday, Oct 26 at 1PM, in City Hall room 263.

http://www.dnalounge.com/backstage/log/2009/10/14.html

A vocal group of ultra-conservative neighbors have banded with the anti-alcohol and anti-entertainment elements in the police department and the state alcohol control department to shut down night-time entertainment in San Francisco. This is a real threat. These people have come to hearings at City Hall and blamed night-time entertainment for violent crime, murder, prostitution, public urination and defecation and any host of problems that the city has been facing for decades. Never before have they been this strong and powerful, if you love going out at night, you need to show up and tell City Hall that we are not to be blamed for society’s problems. We need you to show up at Monday’s hearing and/or send an email of support now.

The Entertainment Commission was created in 2002 to take responsibility for the granting and oversight of Entertainment and Late Night permits. Before the EC, these permits were all controlled by the police. Separating the authority was a way to give citizen stake-holders a place in the decisions around entertainment. Enforcement remained with the police, and the granting and oversight were given to the EC.

Two years ago the Mayor’s office and the EC convened a “Night-time Safety Summit” to hear recommendations from the entertainment community and the Police Department on how to strengthen the role of the EC in rewarding well managed venues, and disciplining problem venues that were making the industry look bad. The legislation that is being heard on Monday comes from that summit.

Currently, the Entertainment Commission does not have much enforcement power: they just have the “big stick” of permit revocation, which is a very heavy-weight, expensive and time-consuming process. This hearing is about giving the EC the ability to write tickets for minor infractions, for example, to tell a venue to manage their line better without having to first let things get bad enough that revocation makes sense.

The strategy of the anti-night-life and anti-alcohol forces is to keep the Entertainment Commission toothless, because that makes them look ineffective. They think that if the EC continues getting bad press, SFPD will be able to take back unilateral control of permitting, which would be bad for night-life and bad for San Francisco.

So please show up and support this legislation that will allow the EC to do its job, out in the open, with accountability and citizen oversight! Don’t let the prohibitionists wreck your city.

Whether you can make it to the hearing in person or not, we need you to send an email to the committee members of the Board of Supervisors who will be presiding on Monday. For example, something like this:

——————————————————-

Subject: Support 1060/1070 without moratorium
To: gavin.newsom@sfgov.org, david.chiu@sfgov.org, bevan.dufty@sfgov.org, chris.daly@sfgov.org, sean.elsbernd@sfgov.org

Honorable Mayor and Board of Supervisor Committee members;

I support the strengthening of the Entertainment Commission. I do not support the moratoriums that will restrict the granting of special event permits because there is no proof that those special events are any problem.

I am a ___resident / employee / patron___ and I think that the entertainment venues in the city are safe, well run and that the Entertainment Commission does a good job managing all of them. The couple of problem venues will be required to fix their problems faster if the commission gets this additional power.

I pay taxes, live, work and play in San Francisco and believe that well managed entertainment of all types is vital for a city like ours. It is one of the reasons I choose to live here and not in the suburbs.

Sincerely,

___your name___
I live in ___your neighborhood___

——————————————————-

If you are able to make it to the hearing, it would be helpful if you were willing to speak for a minute or two in support of the Entertainment community and the Commission that was set up to regulate it. Some suggested points to make:

* Sunshine and fairness: The EC allows neighbors, the music community, and stake-holders an official, on-the-record forum for public input. The EC has taken venue licensing out of back rooms and into the public eye where it belongs.

* Better neighbors / safer clubs: The EC holds venues accountable with fair, enforceable steps to become good neighbors. The EC has mandated more soundproofing, plus fire, electrical and building safety upgrades than at any other time in the city’s history.

* More local jobs: Venues are labor-intensive, and almost completely locally staffed. SF needs jobs!

* Tough / fair enforcement of sound laws: EC staff test for sound complaints and ensure both compliance for neighbors, and fairness to venues. The EC’s staff must be augmented, and given more enforcement power, a key issue on Monday.

* Cheaper tickets: More venues means more shows, competition for artists and competitive pricing for customers.

* Protect outdoor concerts, street-fairs: The EC has defended the city’s unique locally operated fairs and festivals. They employ thousands, entertain hundreds of thousands and bring millions into city coffers, plus massive hotel and restaurant income.

* Fair regulation: Every Week San Francisco hosts regional, national and international tourists who support our local economy. Hundreds of thousands of people come and go enjoying the sights, food and entertainment that this city is famous for with few problems. Keep that success and give the Entertainment Commission the authority to regulate the few problems that we do have.

* I love going out: Tell them about your favorite venue and how often you go out. Tell them that you enjoy your time with friends listening to music and dancing, that you feel safe and secure, and thank the Entertainment Commission for doing its job.

* I make my living from entertainment: If you work in the night-life industry, tell them about it! Give examples where you have seen the Entertainment Commission doing good work.

Thank you!

(That was a lot of words, but hopefully you read them all and are willing to help out.  Send an email!  Go to the meeting!  Save our awesome clubs!)

-bex

01
Oct
09

Stop the War on Fun, mini update..

Just got this Facebook message from the wonderful people at Stop The War On Fun..

Hello all,

The good news is that ABC has dismissed their case against the Great American Music Hall!

The bad news is, ABC says they intend to make up a new rule, then turn right around and come after GAMH again.

They also say that they intend to continue attacking the other clubs, because maybe the next judge will give them a different answer.

So it’s a minor victory, but the fight is far from over.

I wrote something going into a little more detail:

http://www.dnalounge.com/backstage/log/2009/09/29.html

Please write your representatives, and remind your  friends!

http://www.stopthewaronfun.org/email.html


Well, baby steps into small victories into total and complete annihilation of this bogus crap.

-bex

13
Aug
09

stop the war on fun! 8/14 benefit show

There’s a benefit at the Uptown in Oakland this Friday (tomorrow 8/14) for the Stop The War On Fun campaign.. who is trying keep the Alcoholic Beverage Control from screwing over (or closing down) San Francisco’s awesome all-ages clubs.

The Uptown is donating 100% of the proceeds to help the legal defense fund for our local venues.

Didn’t know this was happening?  The ABC has decided to enforce some kind of arbitrary rules (that they’ve kind of just pulled out of their asses) and has now cited a bunch of our SF clubs like Bottom of the Hill, Cafe du Nord, Slim’s, Great American Music Hall, DNA Lounge, and Glas Kat.

To be an all-ages venue in San Francisco and sell alcohol, you are required to provide food.  Plain and simple and fair enough.  But the ABC is telling these venues that they’re not selling enough food, or not selling it at the right times, or giving them shit for changing their menus.  It is also accusing DNA Lounge of “running a disorderly house injurious to the public welfare and morals.”  All of this is, well, absurd.

STWOF’s website has this to say:

At a time when small businesses are failing left and right and Californians everywhere could use a lift, the ABC has decided to step up harassment of bars, clubs, dance halls and live entertainment venues of all types.

These clubs aren’t accused of serving alcohol to minors. Nor are they accused of attracting crime or violence. They’re attempting to present entertainment to all-ages audiences.

And the site also has this wonderful and fantastically logical quote:

“Something’s wrong when the state ABC can shut down law-abiding nightclubs for not selling enough food, or changing their menus or even how people dance.”  -Assemblyman Tom Ammiano

Help save our venues.  Donate to DNA, check out the War on Fun facebook page, go to the Uptown this Friday.  This shouldn’t be happening and we can all help out to make sure it doesn’t.

The Uptown – 1928 Telegraph Ave in Oakland (right next to 19th st BART station), $8 cover, doors at 9PM.

-bex




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