Clouds darkened the sky on Saturday afternoon, and perhaps, somewhere in District 8, Supervisor Bevan Dufty shivered with an ominous premonition. For they were out there, armed with fistfuls of pink fliers: a half-dozen bicyclists taking their first ride dedicated to his downfall.
It took them a while to get organized. At a quarter past 1, the small gaggle of progressive activists still waited at the cement steps of Dolores Park. “That's the problem with the Party Party,” said one rider. “They're never on time.”
The upstart San Francisco Party Party has gained attention during its seven-month existence in part because it has the best slogan ever: “Like the Green Party without the weird smell … like the Democratic Party without all that money!” Its members stand for late-night revelry and weekend bike rides in a car-free Golden Gate Park. When Dufty voted against the six-month trial that would close JFK Drive to traffic on Saturdays, the outraged Party Party launched the Dump Dufty campaign, complete with Web site (www.dumpdufty.com) and thongs and dog T-shirts emblazoned with its logo. “He's a nice guy,” says party organizer Ted Strawser of Dufty. “He walks around the Castro, and if he sees litter, he'll pick it up. But he's been skating on that for a while. When you look at his voting record, it's pretty grotesque.” Strawser and his cohort want a more progressive supervisor for District 8, and are hoping someone will challenge Dufty in the November election.
Last Saturday, Strawser rode up on an orange-and-white cruiser and assessed his small troupe. “I figure we'd put some fliers out and have a beer,” he said. “Next time we'll put some more fliers out and have a beer. Every time we'll get more people until, eventually, there will be no more Dufty. That's the formula.”
The brigade hopped on their bikes and set off for the Castro, where they handed out fliers for an hour. Then, the day's work done, they bought burritos and beer and retreated to Dolores Park. They sat on the grass, and raised a toast “to someone else.” No matter that November's filing deadline is approaching, and that no candidate has stepped forward to challenge Dufty. Should one emerge, the Dufty Dumpers will put down their beers and follow.