Author Archive

You Won! (UPDATED)

February 5, 2009

San Francisco’s Planning Commission turned down American Apparel’s bid to open at 988 Valencia Street by a 7-0 tally.

The outpouring of community spirit was inspiring. Thanks and congratulations to everyone who wrote letters and everyone who made it to City Hall today (they had to open up two overflow rooms). A very special thanks to the oh-so-patient members of the planning board: Ron Miguel, Christina Olague, Michael J. Antonini, Gwyneth Borden, William L. Lee, Kathrin Moore, and Hisashi Sugaya.

But, like Christina Olague and others on the board noted, we shouldn’t let this stop here. MEDA, whose Dairo Romero worked on this campaign, is one community group that was mentioned tonight … and they are just one out of many community organizations in the Mission.

Be proud of what you did today. Show it by going out and getting even more involved in your community.

Also, check back here for more updates about upcoming community activism.

Lastly, of course, thank you again. You did it!

***UPDATE***

If you feel that you haven’t written enough letters yet, or even if you feel like you have, how about sending one last round to thank the folks on the Planning Board (who, again, are all volunteers). They hung out for a long time yesterday, and gave everyone who wanted it two minutes to speak (they could have shortened everyone’s time to one minute). So let the folks on the Planning Board know how much you care that they care, show them some love:

Christina Olague

1650 Mission Street, Suite 400
San Francisco, CA  94103

(415) 558-6615 x 3 c_olague@yahoo.com
Ron Miguel
600 De Haro Street
San Francisco, CA  94107
Phone:  (415) 601-0708
Fax:  (415) 641-8621

rm@well.com

Michael J. Antonini

2827 Franklin Street
San Francisco, CA  94123-3107

Phone:  (415) 558-6615 x 6
Fax:  (415) 558-6409
wordweaver21@aol.com

Gwyneth Borden 1650 Mission Street, Suite 400
San Francisco, CA  94103
(415) 367-3801
plangsf@gmail.com

William L. Lee

Director of International Economic
& Tourism Development
San Francisco International Airport
P.O. Box 8097
San Francisco, CA  94128

Phone:  (415) 558-6615 x 8
Fax:  (650) 821-3953
bill.lee@flysfo.com

Kathrin Moore San Francisco, Planning Department
1650 Mission Street, Suite 400
San Francisco, CA  94103
(415) 558-6615 x 4
mooreurban @speakeasy.net
Hisashi Sugaya

San Francisco Planning Department
1650 Mission Street, Suite 400
San Francisco, CA  94103-2414

(415) 558-6615 x 2
(415) 558-6409 fax
hs.commish@yahoo.com
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Game Day

February 5, 2009

Everything in Steve’s post below still stands.

Today, February 5, 1:30pm, Room 400, City Hall.

See you there.

Thanks for Coming Out!

February 3, 2009

A big thank you to everyone who came out last night to show their support for keeping big, international chains off of Valencia Street.

A very special thanks to Supervisor David Campos for attending the event and expressing his support. Also, of course, thank you very much to everyone who performed!

This is it folks, final push … if you haven’t written letters yet it is now or never:

Pilar LaValley
San Francisco Planning Department
Pilar.Lavalley@sfgov.org

Please feel free to write letters directly to members of the Planning Board as well:

1. Christina Olague

1650 Mission Street, Suite 400
San Francisco, CA  94103
(415) 558-6615 x 3
c_olague@yahoo.com

2. Ron Miguel

600 De Haro Street
San Francisco, CA  94107
Phone:  (415) 601-0708
Fax:  (415) 641-8621
rm@well.com

3. Michael J. Antonini

2827 Franklin Street
San Francisco, CA  94123-3107
Phone:  (415) 558-6615 x 6
Fax:  (415) 558-6409
wordweaver21@aol.com

4. Gwyneth Borden

1650 Mission Street, Suite 400
San Francisco, CA  94103
(415) 367-3801
plangsf@gmail.com

5. William L. Lee

San Francisco International Airport
P.O. Box 8097
San Francisco, CA  94128
Phone:  (415) 558-6615 x 8
Fax:  (650) 821-3953
bill.lee@flysfo.com

6. Kathrin Moore

1650 Mission Street, Suite 400
San Francisco, CA  94103
(415) 558-6615 x 4
mooreurban@speakeasy.net

7. Hisashi Sugaya

1650 Mission Street, Suite 400
San Francisco, CA  94103-2414
phone: (415) 558-6615 x 2
fax: (415) 558-6409
hs.commish@yahoo.com

Rally Tonight!

February 2, 2009

We’re having a rally this evening at 7pm at Amnesia Bar on Valencia. This may be our last big rally before the hearing with the planning commission on Thursday. So let’s make a great turnout. We’re going to have entertainment featuring readings from Daniel Alarcon, Evan Rehill, Peter Orner, and Daphne Gottlieb, comedy by Nato Green, and music by Dan Weis. There’ll be a bank of typewriters set up so you can write a letter to the planning board.

The rally is at 7pm. At 9pm Belle Monroe and Her Brewglass Boys will perform. They are a rowdy country/bluegrass band. It should be a great event. Looking forward to seeing everyone there.

It’s Official

January 30, 2009

District 8 Supervisor Bevan Dufty has announced that he too is against American Apparel moving in at 988 Valencia Street (click the link and send Supervisor Dufty a note of appreciation).

Dufty will make a phone call later today to let the Planning Board know his feelings about the subject, citing concerns about American Apparel’s lack of outreach to the community before trying to open a storefront on Valencia Street.

To Supervisor Dufty, our sincerest thanks!

Typewriters Save Valencia Street

January 29, 2009

Haven’t written your letters yet? Want to send the folks at city hall a message they can hold? Want to do it with a crew of good people in a very cool way? The following message from Hiya Swanhuyser is for you:

In the hopes of keeping American Apparel, and by extension other big chain stores, off Valencia Street, we’re having a letter-writing party. Elected officials such as the Planning Department whose attention we hope to get, weigh letters more heavily than you might think. It’s generally understood that one succinct hand-generated letter represents not only the opinion of the writer, but 99 others as well. You equal 100.

So we’re bringing our beautiful old manual portable typewriter collection to the café, to make the letter-writing more fun for us all.

What: Anti American Apparel/chain stores on Valencia letter-writing party
Where: Ritual Roasters, 1026 Valencia, S.F.
When: Sunday, Feb. 1, 6-8 p.m.

Letters will be sent to the following folks. If you can’t make the event, and you haven’t sent your letters yet, times running out. One week to go folks:

Pilar LaValley
San Francisco Planning Department
Pilar.Lavalley@sfgov.org

Bevan Dufty
District 8 Supervisor
Bevan.Dufty@sfgov.org

David Campos
District 9 Supervisor
David.Campos@sfgov.org

Christina Olague
President of the SF Planning Commission
c_olague@yahoo.com

Lawrence B. Badiner
Zoning Administrator
San Francisco Planning Department
Larry.Badiner@sfgov.org

Gavin Newsom
Mayor of San Francisco
Gavin.Newsom@sfgov.org

Protest Chain Retail on Valencia Street

January 29, 2009

The following is a press release from Pirate Cat Radio. Time to get out the signs ladies and gentlemen … read on:

San Francisco, CA, 1/29/2009 — Pirate Cat Radio will host a demonstration to protest the licensing of formula retail in the Valencia Street commercial corridor. Pirate Cat Radio deejays, community leaders, local business owners, and concerned citizens will gather at 988 Valencia St. at 10:00am on Saturday, January 31 to show their commitment to maintaining a locally-owned economy and support for the unique businesses of the neighborhood.

Pirate Cat Radio will be broadcasting live from the location, giving attendees the opportunity to voice their concern about the construction of an American Apparel clothing store 988 Valencia St.  ATA and Mission residents will join Pirate Cat Radio in expressing the significant interest in the Mission District protect the economic integrity of Valencia street.

“Regardless of the business practices or the quality of products sold at American Apparel, a chain store on Valencia marks a shift from unique, locally-owned businesses towards large, corporate formula retail,” says Monkey. “We do not believe this serves the best long-term interest of preserving the character of the neighborhood.”

Additionally, the cost of rent on Valencia St. has begun to pressure the local businesses that make the commercial corridor so special. If formula retail moves in and pays the inflated rent, the trend is unlikely to reverse, accelerating the potentially inevitable decline of the spirit that makes Valencia Street a noted commercial and cultural destination.

Pirate Cat Radio also encourages concerned citizens to voice opposition to formula retail on Valencia Street by taking the following actions:

·   Write a letter to the city planner in charge of this case:

M. Pilar LaValley
Preservation Technical Specialist/Planner
City & County of San Francisco Planning Department
1650 Mission Street, Suite 400
San Francisco, CA 94103
pilar.lavalley@sfgov.org
Subject: 988 Valencia – Case No. 2008.0720C

·  Attend the city hearing on the matter:

There is a meeting scheduled for Thursday February 5th at City Hall. Please call the San Francisco Planning Department at 558-6422 after Monday, February 2 for a more specific hearing information, RE: case no. 2008.0720C

Pirate Cats

January 28, 2009

The following is a note from Pirate Cat Radio. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves:

There appears to be some confusion about Pirate Cat Radio’s position on the addition of American Apparel to the Valencia St. corridor. Please take this as the official statement of the station management: Pirate Cat Radio is categorically against the construction of American Apparel chain outlet in the former home of the Mark Sanchez for District 9 office space for the following reasons:

1) Regardless of the business practices or the quality of products sold at American Apparel, a store on Valencia would mark a shift from unique, locally-owned businesses towards large, corporate formula retail. We do not believe this serves the best long-term interest of preserving the character of the neighborhood (see Haight St.)

2) The cost of rent on Valencia St. has begun to pressure the local businesses that make the commercial corridor so special. If formula retail moves in and pays the inflated rent, the trend is unlikely to reverse, accelerating the potentially inevitable decline of the spirit that makes Valencia street a unique destination.

Feel free to drop me a line if you need any further clarification.

=Monkey

The Mission Doesn’t Want Chains

January 26, 2009

From Pirate Cat Radio:

In 2006, San Francisco voted on added restrictions for chain stores. 2006’s Prop G can be viewed as a referendum on chain stores. It passed with 58.2% of the vote.

The vote in the Mission was overwhelmingly opposed to chain stores–between 70% and 90%!

The proposed American Apparel on Valencia is actually across the street from District 9 in District 8. But that area also voted over 80% for Prop G.


Read more here.

Another Business Owner Speaks Out

January 24, 2009

Below is an open letter written by Sean Quigley, owner of the Valencia Street business Paxton Gate, to Pilar LaValley of the planning commission. Want to write your own letter? Click here to learn more.

Dear Ms. LaValley,

I am writing regarding the proposed opening of American Apparel on Valencia Street.  I moved my business to Valencia Street in 1999 knowing that the area was not yet a shopping destination.  Many of my neighbors – Dema, Therapy, Ruby and others – had already started to create the unique feel that Valencia Street has become.  My businesses and others have added to that flavor and together we have created a collection of creative and unique companies that are independently and locally owned.  When I moved my business here I canvassed many neighborhoods and selected this one because I wanted to help create a neighborhood rather than move into an already established one.  I would hate to see that work go to waste.

By allowing American Apparel to open on Valencia Street we will set a precedent that will be hard to argue against in future hearings making it likely that other chain stores like The Gap, Starbucks, and Banana Republic will follow.  The hard work that we have accomplished in creating a unique shopping experience will be lost and this shopping district will be like others.  Customers and tourists will have no reason to venture to the Mission District when they can do all of their shopping at the same stores downtown, on Union Street or Fillmore.

This is not about American Apparel; I have nothing personally against them.  This is about chain stores and changing the flavor of a unique neighborhood.  I strongly oppose this proposal and I hope that my thoughts and those of my neighbors will be respected.

Sincerely,

Sean Quigley
President
Paxton Gate, Inc.
Paxton Gate’s Curiosities for Kids
One Inch to the Left, Inc. — Landscape Design-Build
(all located on Valencia Street)