SF Weekly Letters

All Talk, No Action
Smart part of electorate stays away from committees: Democracy only works when there is a well-informed, self-controlled, grounded electorate [“Inefficient by Design,” Joe Eskenazi, Feature, 7/27]. Currently about 1 percent of the population fits this criteria. They [this 1 percent] know to stay away from committees, task forces, advisory boards, etc.
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Don't be surprised: We need a commission on the status of commissions.
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Nutty city: This is a fantastic article. But it really makes me wonder why I live here; this city is plain nuts.
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Citizens may not be effective, but they're refreshing: I've lived in three cities in three different countries (London, Cork, San Francisco), and I can honestly say that San Francisco government, while not perfect, stands up pretty well in comparison. I find it refreshing that so many citizens are involved and have a voice on commissions. And sorry, but banning the sale of live animals in S.F. is not crazy, but compassionate.
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Of babble and boondoggle: Eskenazi writes, “It's discrepancies like these that [Supervisor Jane] Kim hopes to iron out. The total of $6.5 million, she notes, 'is not a huge dollar amount.'” All you have to do is repeat that to yourself three times a day per year, and voila! A $7 billion annual city boondoggle budget to nowhere. And the city forgoes tree care to save $600,000. And forgoes street repair. And forgoes its parks. And on and on.
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Blog Comments of the Week
In response to a blog post about S.F.'s Happy Meal toy ban influencing McDonald's kids' meals: Banning the toys sold with fast food won't make kids healthier [“San Francisco Defeats McDonald's,” W. Blake Gray, SFoodie, 7/27]. I think the focus should be on healthy families — healthy groceries, making nutritious meals together, being active together. It's about a healthy lifestyle, and that means everything in moderation. I don't eat fast food often, but sometimes I enjoy a #3 from McDonald's. I would hate to have that taken away by the government.
Jessica Chamberlin
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Seeing the city as the winner: Gray is absolutely right [when he writes], “Guess what? Just like in the World Series, San Francisco won!” When S.F. residents really care about something, we are not afraid of being laughed at. It is refreshing to see this kind of spirit alive and well in San Francisco again. This story would have made Herb Caen's column for sure.
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Seeing the city as the loser: While San Francisco may have defeated McDonald's, it will be McDonald's and other businesses that will defeat San Francisco [overall]. This city is so business- and middle-class unfriendly that nobody wants to do business here. Nobody wants to open a business or expand into the city. The company I work for is already in the process of moving its 7,000-plus jobs to Phoenix and Denver, and others are doing the same. Nobody wants anything to do with San Francisco; most of the nation is laughing at us.

While the city may have won the battle, it's already losing the war. Good job, San Francisco. For the first time in my life, I am ashamed of my city.
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