OT: Music And Culture Charter Amendment - With government-expanding provisions dropped, this measure looks good!

According to backer Terrance Alan, Supervisors Mirkarimi, Ammiano, Daly, Dufty and Sandoval are supportive, so it looks like this is headed for the ballot. With provisions increasing the size or cost of government having been dropped, I believe that is a good thing. I've reviewed the text of the legislation as currently proposed, and while the language is not ideal from a libertarian perspective -- it affirms that "advertising and promotion efforts [of music, nightlife, etc.] should include... advertising and promotion by officers, boards, commissions, and departments of the City and County," and one sentence in particular could be interpreted as justifying new restrictions on development -- nevertheless, it looks positive on the whole. Taxpayer money is already being spent to promote tourism, and this is not likely to change any time soon, so affirming that this advertising should include nightlife and so on is not a major concession. And given the reality that new developments have often resulted in pressure against the legitimate property rights and other legitimate interests of existing entertainment venues and their patrons, I think even the sentence in question, that "San Francisco's music and performance venues and indoor and outdoor cultural events should be preserved and enhanced and protected from displacement due to development" is not entirely unreasonable. In any case, the measure contains nothing concrete or enforceable regarding increased advertising or further restricted development.

  Meanwhile, several provisions of the legislation mandate specific, concrete changes (where "shall" rather than "should" is the operative verb!) decreasing the burden of government. One such provision would make it more difficult to increase fees and add burdensome regulations...

"Notwithstanding any other provision of this Charter, and to the extent permitted by state
law, beginning January 1, 2010, any new criteria including criteria for fees adopted by a City
officer, board, commission, or department pertaining to the issuance of an entertainment-related
permit, as defined by ordinance, or other permit or license that must be granted or determination
that must be made for a music or cultural event or other entertainment event to take place, shall
be subject to a hearing at the Entertainment Commission prior to its adoption."

  ...while another would move toward simplifying the existing hurdles to acquire entertainment permits by eliminating paperwork and taking the application process online:

"The working group shall develop policies and procedures for the creation of an on-line system for
entertainment-related permits, as defined by ordinance, and other permits or licenses that must
be granted or determinations that must be made for a music or cultural event or other
entertainment event to take place. The goal of this working group shall be to develop a plan for
an on-line system that simplifies and expedites the permit process with features such as but not
limited to on-line application, payment, and permit tracking, and reduction or elimination of
paper use."

  A third positive change contained in the measure would grant permit applicants the automatic ability to appeal negative decisions of the Recreation and Park Department:

"...the Board shall hear and determine appeals with respect to a license or permit under the
jurisdiction of the Recreation and Park Commission or Department, if the license or permit is
an entertainment-related permit, as defined by ordinance, or a permit or license that must be
granted for a music or cultural event or other entertainment event to take place; provided,
however, that the license or permit applicant is not required to submit an appeal to the Board
in order to seek judicial review of the decision of the Recreation and Park Commission or
Department."

  Overall I am pleased to report that this legislation, as currently drafted, would appear to portend a positive impact on San Francisco's cultural scene as well as on the city's economy, and I endorse it in its current form. Please consider writing or calling your Supervisor to ask him or her to become a co-sponsor.

Love & Liberty,
        ((( starchild )))
Outreach Director, Libertarian Party of San Francisco*

*for identification purposes, as the LPSF has not endorsed this measure