Minutes, Meeting of 9 September 2017

Thanks, Nick!

  For anyone willing to volunteer at the Folsom Street Fair to help raise money for the appeal in the legal challenge to overturn California's anti-prostitution law on constitutional and privacy grounds, here's what to do:

1) RSVP for the event at the Decriminalize Meetup page – https://www.meetup.com/decriminalize/events/240382327/
2) Go here to register for a volunteer shift – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/volunteer-for-folsom-street-fair-2017-registration-36675642835
3) Email ESPLERP volunteer coodinator Claire Alwyne <claire.alwyne@...> and let her know you've registered to help

  I believe each several hour shift will translate into hundreds of dollars donated by Folsom Street Events to the Erotic Service Providers Legal Education & Research Project (ESPLERP) to help fund the legal appeal.

  Speaking of which, oral arguments before a panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals are scheduled to be heard at the Federal Appeals Court in SF on Thursday Oct. 19! Location is 95 Seventh Street at the corner of Mission St., at 9:00 a.m. in Room 307. If you'd like to attend that potentially historic hearing, please RSVP here – https://www.meetup.com/decriminalize/events/243268607/ .

  Regarding our credit union, I asked that whoever is getting the mail from them let us as a group know when the annual meeting is, so those of us who want to go and lobby them for better policies can do so. I noted that I was successful at getting members of my credit union, SF Fire Credit Union, to adopt a resolution voicing their concern about government anti-privacy requirements and asking the credit union to inform members about them.

  On attending Board of Supervisors meetings, I agreed we should first try scheduling these as regular party events, with dinner afterward, and see if we can get some folks coming. I've set up a recurring Meetup for them, starting with the Board meeting this Tuesday, Sept. 12, at 2:00 p.m. in City Hall Rm. 250:


  Here's the text of the Meetup announcement:

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors meets every Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. at City Hall (corner of Polk and Grove) in Room 250, the main chamber on the second floor (from the Polk street entrance, just walk straight back across the rotunda and up the big stairway, and it's the room directly behind the top of the stairs on the 2nd floor).

If you've never been inside SF City Hall, you should come just for the architecture. It's one of the most beautiful and impressive buildings in the city.

Sadly, and more relevantly from a libertarian perspective, it's also a place where a lot of harm is caused, and where our influence on the legislative process is desperately needed! Virtually every Board meeting has lots of opportunities for public comment – I believe the Supervisors are required to take public comment on any item that they debate or intend to vote on, and there's also time for general comments on any other matter under their jurisdiction but not on the agenda.

For each comment, you usually get up to two minutes. In addition to speaking, you can also bring printed material of size 8.5" x 11" or smaller to put on the overhead projector during your comments.

All the Board meetings, including all the public comments, are video-recorded and broadcast on Channel 26, also online at SFgovTV.org. Here's a clip of some public comments from the most recent Board meeting on Sept. 4, 2017, in which you can see yours truly take the Supervisors to task and suggest they respond directly on the record to questions from the public! (I'm the 5th speaker, at around 4:01:40):


Note the 2nd and 4th speakers use the overhead projector option; the 4th speaker spins a top on a map. :slight_smile: There are definitely some characters (check out the 7th speaker). Some people have used public comment time to sing, or do other performance art! You could probably even use your time to read a passage from a pro-freedom book, e.g. George Orwell's "1984", as long as you somehow relate it to city policy, e.g. "This is what the city government's policy of putting cameras on Muni buses reminds me of..."

Anyway, this Meetup, which will recur every Tuesday when the Board is in session, is your chance to be a minor TV star for a good cause! (I've actually had somebody come up to me on the street and say they recognized me from public comment at a Board meeting!) The Supervisors may or may not listen to you, but your libertarian views will be on the record, and numerous people both in the chambers, live on TV, and later online, will see you. (Note that you're not obliged to give your name or any other personal info unless you want to, and you don't even have to give any public comment unless you feel like it – being there for moral support of those who do, while educating yourself about local politics, is okay too. You could educate others too, by sitting there in the audience and liveblogging on Twitter or something!)

Among the items on the agenda for this week's meeting – http://sfbos.org/sites/default/files/bag091217_agenda.pdf :
• Mayor Ed Lee appears to address the board and possibly answer questions (2pm) • Revising the amount of the "inclusionary affordable housing" fee (upward, no doubt!)
• Loosening zoning restrictions on where child care facilities are allowed (this actually sounds good, but doesn't go far enough!)
• Responding to the Civil Grand Jury's report on government performance, accountability, and transparency
• Proposed moratorium on cannabis dispensaries (a terrible idea from Supervisor Cohen)
• Resolution expressing continued support for all immigrants [great opportunity to ask during public comment whether the SFPD officer(s) who, against city law, turned the undocumented man who came to a police station to report his car stolen over to federal immigration ICE officials, have been held accountable!]

If you plan to come, text me at (415) 625-FREE so you can connect with any other Libertarians showing up that day. Depending what's on the agenda and how long the meeting goes, or how long we feel like staying – Board meetings can last only an hour or two, or up to 7 hours or more – we may go out for dinner or drinks afterward!

Love & Liberty,
                                ((( starchild )))