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.


I am not surprised that Wiener wants to give more cover to the bar/party industries. It makes economic sense as well as cultural sense, and he received big bucks from North Beach nightlife interests. And Scott's legislative aide, Adam Taylor, goes out clubbin' every week -- that's certainly an indictator.

Does this mean that Halloween is back in full force? Let's see.

Posted by Common Sense SF on Feb. 01, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

Am I hearing this correctly? Did Wiener do something right? From the BG? WOW!

Posted by Guest on Feb. 01, 2011 @ 7:31 pm

We always just call 'em as we see 'em. If moderates want to support urban culture, they'll have our support. And when they start supporting the renters that make up the bulk of that culture, my fond hope, they'll also have our support.

Posted by steven on Feb. 02, 2011 @ 10:31 am

Good lord, Steven.

*I know* that *you know* that this City has the strongest set of tenants rights in the nation, without question. The result is, of course, even higher rents. New renters continue to subsidize the sweet deals enjoyed by longtime rent controlled tenants, and landlords have become so paranoid of the draconian restrictions placed upon them that they simply let their units sit vacant (better that thanrisk the dreaded - and all too common - $50K "buyout").

Paul Krugman, who you paper quotes all the time but not on this issue, has wrote about this at length. May want to check in on it..

Posted by Sambo on Feb. 02, 2011 @ 1:26 pm

It's about maintaining the breadth and vigor and freedom in nightlife that attracted people to San Francisco in the first place. Coming from a place that seemed almost pained when people were having fun, I moved to San Francisco, not because of it's incremental advantage in happiness over previous locations, but in its (seeming) unwillingness to pee into the wind, and fight petty battles in order to keep adults from congregating to dance the night away. I applauded the officials' abilities to pick their battles for years, contrasting it with the policy of crackdowns from South Bay, which I watched effect self-fulfilling prophecies of violence. Until recently. Hopefully we can right the ship, before the powers that be start mortgaging what makes this city incredible and attractive to visitors, especially younger ones, the earners of tomorrow.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2011 @ 4:21 am