Thursday, September 13, 2007

SF's Richmond District Activism stops STARBUCKS in our Neighborhood

For the past few months I have been working with a number of small business owners, and anti-chain store activists in trying to stop the STARBUCKs multinational corporation from opening their 81st store in SF in our neighborhood, the Inner Richmond District. And last night our work paid off when we successfully urged the SF Board of Supervisors to reject the STARBUCKS in our community. Previously activists like Tess Manalo Ventresca in the Sunset District and other activists in the Hayes Valley and Japantown Districts had kept the chain out of their areas. But we were unsure when some of us first learned of the STARBUCKS proposal in July that we could build the momentum we needed to keep STARBUCKS out.
This was my post to the blog I set up with the other activists -
Thank you so much to everyone who wrote, called, rallied and spoke out at the 9/11 Board of Supervisors meeting to stop the Starbucks in the Inner Richmond District.
The SF Examiner and SF Chronicle coverage didn't adequately acknowlege the tremendous groundswell of support we built from our Richmond District community and other neighboring communities to stop the STARBUCKS:

Starbucks' effort to flood San Francisco with coffee shops ground to a halt Tuesday when the Board of Supervisors blocked a new outlet in the Richmond District under chain store regulations passed by voters last fall.
The board voted 9-1 to overturn the Planning Commission's June approval of a Starbucks at the corner of Geary Boulevard and Fifth Avenue, killing the proposal.
Jesse Fink, who has owned a nearby cafe for 25 years, filed the appeal on behalf of the Clement Street Merchants Association, which represents approximately 30 merchants in the area.
"I don't want San Francisco to lose its character and become a city of strip malls. ... That's what Starbucks is all about," Fink said in a hearing before the board.
Kudos especially to organizer extraodinaire Bryan McKeon, Toy Boat's Jesse Fink and his family, and Meg Lynch of Velo Rogue Cafe and the many richmond district small business folks that supported and built this campaign from 2 people to over 4700 united voices in a few weeks. Thanks also to David Tornheim, Dean Preston -, Eric Brooks -, Kathryn Roberts, and planning commissioner Christina Olague and others that provided key strategic advice. And Sue Hestor and Steve Williams for their legal advice as well.

Most of us were worried going into the 9/11 hearing, but by the time the Supervisors were deliberating we knew we had won. My 7 year old daughter Jade joined in the celebration last night too, not only because she thought there might be free ice cream from Toy Boat. I told her 'this is what democracy looks like' - and it's better than ice cream.

1 comment:

jayne said...

hello, my name is Jayne and i am a student journalist at sfsu.
I was wondering if i could get in touch with you for some questions regarding this issue and maybe some other ones.
I am working on a project where I am to get to know the Richmond district and its happenings.
Please send me an email on how to get a hold of you.
Thank you.