Sign ban/City Hall lobbying

Hi all,

  I went to City Hall yesterday for the hearing on Supervisor Fiona Ma's
proposed sign ban. Missed the hearing itself, but learned that the
issue has been continued (that's bureaucratese for "postponed") until
next week. I also took the opportunity to go around to the offices of a
number of the supervisors to lobby directly.

  I spoke to Fiona Ma and Bevan Dufty, and left messages with the staff
of Gavin Newsom, Sophie Maxwell, Matt Gonzalez, Gerardo Sandoval, Aaron
Peskin, Tony Hall, and Chris Daly. (Jake McGoldrick's office was
locked, and I think Tom Ammiano dislikes me.)

  Fiona was very friendly, even when she heard Libertarians were opposed
to her sign ban. She is altogether too charming... a politician to
watch out for. Listened politely to my reasons she should drop the
legislation, tried to disagree as non-confrontationally as possible.
Dufty was likewise friendly and charming, but he does seem to be
leaning against the ban. Said he didn't think it had a chance of
passing, which seemed to be the general consensus among the people I
spoke with. However he spoke of the Castro only having two bulletin
boards, both of which are always full, and wanting to create more
approved areas to post things — suggesting that he would favor
prohibiting postings in other areas.

  Matt Gonzalez's aide invited me to use their office computer to write
Matt a note in my own words, so I ended up leaving him quite a lengthy
letter. Besides discussing the sign ban, I also suggested that we would
be interested in having a Libertarian or Libertarians appointed. I
specifically mentioned the Elections Commission as a body that ought to
have representation from the various political parties.

  Speaking of which, while in Bevan's office I found out that one of his
two paid legislative aides is a registered Libertarian! I had no idea
of this, and Bevan only remembered it after first thinking it was an ex
of his who'd belonged to our party and only a few minutes later
remembering it was a member of his staff. Anyway, the aide is a
young-looking guy named Hershow Al-Barazi, and I invited him to come to
our meetings, which he duly listed in his calendar. He also said we
could send him a packet. When I asked why he became a Libertarian, he
said he was pretty much a laissez-faire kind of guy and was generally
for limiting new legislation. This was certainly an unexpected
pleasure! He said he lived in SF, but preferred to get mail at the City
Hall address. I'm not completely sure on the formatting of the address,
but I think this should work:

ATTN: Hershow Al-Barazi
(Office of Supervisor Bevan Dufty)
City Hall
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place,
Room 244,
San Francisco, CA 94102-4689

  The other staffers I spoke with didn't indicate which way their
supervisors were planning to vote on the sign ban except for those of
Gonzalez (who said he is definitely against it) and Daly and Maxwell,
who sounded like they probably opposed or at least had serious concerns
with the legislation. Maxwell's aide seemed particularly in agreement
with the reasons I gave to oppose it.

Yours in liberty,
              <<< Starchild >>>

P.S. - As I was leaving the building, I found out why McGoldrick wasn't
in his office -- he was with Mayor Brown, at a small reception in the
rotunda for the publishing of a new coffee table book on the city.
Brown was in usual form, receiving the lavish praise of one of the
people involved with the book with nary a modest rejoinder. He praised
one photo of City Hall in particular as "magnificent," and drew polite
laughter by adding that the photo would have looked even better
"without those people in it," and if they'd put his picture on the
front instead. I whispered to the woman standing next to me, "He says
these things, and people think he's joking!" She gave a tight little

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