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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Updated: Mayor Ed Lee Names Today After Virgin America

Posted By on Thu, Aug 8, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Updated, Friday, 11:51 a.m.: We just found out that Virgin America has been donating money to Animal Care and Control of San Francisco since 2010, which not only burnishes its image but also makes for some frighteningly adorable photos of flight attendants with dogs. (See below.)

Updated, 5:11 p.m.: Wait, stop the presses, guys. Incidentally it's also International Orgasm Day. So we're giving you some tips, courtesy of HuffPost.

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It would have been pretty cool -- and maybe even apropos -- if Mayor Ed Lee had concretized a sacred day for virgins in San Francisco. We thought as much after a cursory glance at a press release that came over the transom this morning, rechristening Thursday, August 8 as the city's "Virgin America Day," to coincide with the airline's sixth anniversary. And really, given the company name, who could blame us?

But sadly, San Francisco would rather name its days after corporations than after sexual proclivities (or lack thereof). And it turns out this particular mayoral administration has a rather profligate habit of dispensing days out to whatever business sidled up to it most recently. In May, Ed Lee handed a day to Los Angeles-based fashion house BCBGMAXAZRIAGROUP, despite the company's questionable record on LGBT issues. San Francisco also honors days for Walgreens, Dottie's True Blue Cafe, Devil's Teeth Baking Company, and Gold Dust Lounge.

click to enlarge VirginAmerica.PNG

In most cases, the business actually has to do something civic-minded to earn its own day -- like donate to a charity or host an event, says the mayor's spokeswoman Christine Falvey. "...We have presented proclamations to event organizers to raise awareness on anything from bullying to autism to cancer research," she explained in an e-mail, adding that businesses can also earn "day" proclamations by hiring locals.

As a local company, Virgin America probably did a lot of recruiting in town to swell its workforce. That we can only assume, since the company didn't mention hiring practices in its press materials. Instead, it touted second-quarter growth, workplace innovation, and quality customer service -- all honorable achievements, if perhaps not worthy of outright sanctification.

"Virgin America has much to celebrate," the press release trumpeted, providing a bullet-point list of milestones -- 23 new destinations, 2,600 jobs, 25 million passengers, best-in class awards -- and a gushing encomium from San Mateo Congresswoman Jackie Speier.

We're impressed, too, although we're also wondering if Ed Lee has perhaps lowered the entry barrier for such proclamations. If so, we'd like to suggest "Hump Day" for Trojan condoms. Just sayin.

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About The Author

Rachel Swan

Rachel Swan

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


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