Friday, October 16, 2009

SF Entertainment Hearing Info

The Board of Supervisors Committee Chairman Bevan Dufty has moved the hearing on legislation designed to strengthen the Entertainment Commission to Monday, October 26 th at 1:00PM in room 263 of City Hall. There will NOT be a hearing on Monday, October 19th as announced earlier. This change works in our favor because it gives us another week to get the word out to our friends and supporters and more time to send emails to the Supervisors and the Mayor. We regret the confusion this change makes, it is not a decision that was in our control… let's use this time to our advantage. Spread the word far and wide!

As you may have heard, there have been recent attacks that threaten the future of entertainment in San Francisco. Anti-entertainment groups are pushing hard to “severely restrict music and shut down nightlife” and the fate of your favorite venue may be at risk. We need you to do two things: 1) send an email to the Mayor and Board of Supervisors, and 2) come to the hearing on Monday, October 26th at 1:00PM in room 263 of City Hall.

The October 26 th hearing at City Hall is regarding amendments to SF Police Code 1060 (Place of Entertainment) and SF Police Code 1070 (Extended Hours Premises). These are the two main laws that govern Entertainment Venues in SF and are administered by the Entertainment Commission.

The Entertainment Commission was created in 2002 to take responsibility for the granting and oversight of entertainment and late night permits. Before the Entertainment Commission, the granting, oversight, and enforcement of these permits were all done by the police. Separating the authority was seen as a way to give citizen stakeholders a place in the decisions around entertainment. Enforcement remained with the Police and the granting and oversight was given to the Entertainment Commission.

Two years ago the Mayor's office and the Entertainment Commission convened a “Nighttime Safety Summit” to hear recommendations from the entertainment community and the Police Department on how to strengthen the role of the Entertainment Commission in rewarding well managed venues and disciplining problem venues that were making the industry look bad. The legislation that is being heard on Monday Oct. 26 th comes from that summit and will give the Entertainment Commission emergency suspension powers to more quickly address a problem venue and the ability to write infraction tickets for lesser offences, like poorly managed lines in front to a venue or repeatedly leaving the door open causing a noise disturbance.

To help insure that our community's support of the Entertainment Commission is heard please do one, or hopefully both, of the following:

1) We need folks to send an email to the committee members of the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor's office asking that they support the legislation strengthening the Entertainment Commission. The follow link will generate a pre-written email that you only need to fill in a few of blanks, including your name. Or, you can add more if you wish. If you would like to send your own email, suggested text and recipients are at the end of this message. Please click here to send an email to the Board of Supervisors' Committee and the Mayor.


2) Please show up on Monday, October 26th at 1:00PM at room 263 in City Hall and speak for a minute or two in support of the Entertainment Community and the Commission that was set up to regulate it. Even if you do not want to speak, your attendance will make a statement.

Here are some talking points to start from:

a) 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.

b) I go out to ______(favorite place)________ several times a month. I enjoy my time with friends listening to music and dancing. I feel safe and secure and thank the Entertainment Commission for doing its job. If there ever is a problem, I want the commission to act quickly to keep the city's venues safe.

c) I work at ___________ and have seen the positive work of the Entertainment Commission. An example is when this happened____________________. Keep the commission strong.

d) The Entertainment Commission gives venues enforceable steps to become good neighbors. The Entertainment Commission has mandated more soundproofing, plus fire, electrical and building safety upgrades than at any other time in the city's history. Subsequent employment of thousands of contractors has been an ancillary boon.

e) Entertainment Commission has the only staff in the city that can test for sound complaints and ensure both compliance of good neighbor policy and fairness to venues. If anything, the Entertainment Commission's staff should be augmented, not disbanded.

f) Fewer venues and fewer local jobs at a critical time in our economic history. Venues are labor-intensive, and almost completely locally staffed. Every dollar spent on labor in an entertainment venue returns over two dollars to the local economy.

g) San Francisco has more small and locally operated street fairs and festivals than any city in the US. They employ thousands, entertain hundreds of thousands and bring millions into city coffers, plus massive hotel and restaurant income. The Entertainment Commission is part of the success of street fair culture.

Thanks for making this hearing a success and showing the support for entertainment that is part of San Francisco life.

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