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Sell on Wheels: A Supervisor Courts the Roller-Disco Vote 

Wednesday, Apr 9 2014

The Facebook invite for David Chiu's roller disco birthday party urged guests to wear their most garish '70s attire — "the more polyester, the better." Within half an hour of the announcement, one friend of the city Supervisor had already dug up her sequinned, puff-sleeved high school homecoming gown. Others had equally alarming frocks languishing in their closets, just itching to be resuscitated.

Chiu evidently humored his guests by picking the roller disco birthday theme, and he only enhanced it by holding last week's fete at the Church of 8 Wheels, an abandoned place of worship on Fillmore Street that's been revived as a roller rink. But the widely-publicized party wasn't engineered for Chiu's inner circle alone.

It turns out roller disco is enjoying renewed cachet in a city long known for skate parties at Golden Gate Park, and for such characters as David Miles, the fur-bedecked, leopard print-hatted, "Godfather of Skating," who helped turn the pastime into a social cause. Miles pitched in to organize Chiu's party after inviting Fillmore Supervisor London Breed to skate at Church of 8 Wheels; he sees roller disco as an apt vehicle for local politicians to court their constituency.

"You look at who makes up that community," Miles says. "They're involved in a lot of things that make the city go." That's a good demographic for Chiu to have in his pocket as he muscles for state Assembly. Even if its aesthetics are questionable.

About The Author

Rachel Swan

Rachel Swan

Rachel Swan was a staff writer at SF Weekly from 2013 to 2015. In previous lives she was a music editor, IP hack, and tutor of Cal athletes.


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