Wiener proposes economic study on nightlife

Sup. Scott Wiener wants the city to study nightlife before any more crackdowns.
Tim Daw

While the basic ideological makeup of the new Board of Supervisors didn't change much, there are a few notable differences between the newbies and their predecessors. Much has been made of Sup. Jane Kim's greater willingness than Chris Daly to vote against her progressive colleagues (we have a story in tomorrow's paper about that), but another significant one is Sup. Scott Wiener's support for nightlife and concerns about what we've called the Death of Fun.

His office has announced that at today's board meeting, Wiener will call for a study of the economic impacts of entertainment and nightlife in the city. “It’s important that we understand the size and reach of this industry as we consider regulating it,” Wiener in a press release.  “Without this information, it’s difficult to make informed decisions and to enact effective policies concerning entertainment and nightlife, which are a key part of San Francisco’s cultural identity.  Particularly as we attract more young people to San Francisco, as the biotech and other new economy industries grow here, we need to ensure that we are providing them with entertainment opportunities.  Understanding the size and scope of entertainment and nightlife in the City will help us achieve that goal and help us remain a world-class city that attracts people here.”

Contrast that with Wiener's predecessor, Bevan Dufty, who led the effort to cancel Halloween in the Castro (enforced with hordes of police and water trucks) and presided over the city's efforts to demonize the nightlife industry, give the cops greater authority to crackdown on clubs, and opposed efforts to create and support street fairs.

Longtime Entertainment Commission member Terrence Alan was an enthusiastic supporter of Wiener's supervisorial campaign, breaking with many of his progressive allies who were backing Rafael Mandelman. And now, with this study, Wiener seems to be trying to show how valuable this industry really is to San Francisco in the hopes of stopping future crackdowns.