In the ongoing War on Fun in San Francisco, a new combatant officially entered the battlefield last night with the launch of the California Music And Culture Association (which strangely goes by the acronym CMAC rather than CMCA). It aims to be a political advocacy organization and to provide members with services such as neighbor relations advice, group insurance, and discounted legal services.
“We're here to celebrate a new era of nightlife and entertainment in San Francisco,” CMAC President Sean Manchester, owner of Mighty and Wish, told a crowd at Mezzanine that included club owners, lawyers, promoters, performers, and politicians ranging from supervisorial candidates Scott Wiener from D8 to Debra Walker in D6. California Sen. Mark Leno also sent a formal resolution of support for CMAC.
A video prepared for the event included an even wider array of local figures extolling the importance of nightlife to San Francisco, including SF Convention & Visitors Bureau chief Joe D'Alessandro and San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR) director Gabriel Metcalf, who said, “I think it's great that the nightlife industry is getting organized.”
That organization was prompted by threats and harassment from the San Francisco Police Department, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, neighbors of some clubs, and Mayor Gavin Newsom and others who have been on a campaign to demonize the industry and its regulation by the Entertainment Commission.
It's a trend that the Guardian has been writing about for years, and one that I'll be discussing this Tuesday as part of a panel assembled by SPUR that includes representatives from the SFPD and Entertainment Commission, as well as Sup. Bevan Dufty, who spearheaded the cancellation of Halloween in the Castro.