Tenderloin Community Demands Apology from Hisashi Sugaya for Drug Remark

Tenderloin residents are going after Planning Commissioner Hisashi Sugaya, demanding that the famously offensive planner apologize publicly for his recent “insensitive” comments about the neighborhood.

Last week, Sugaya, with his trademark racy humor, suggested that a Tenderloin market sell drugs. The planning commission was debating whether to grant permits so that a local corner store owner could sell wine and beer on a limited basis. It's a sensitive topic, in part because community activists have opposed the idea of more liquor stores in a neighborhood notorious for drugs, alcohol, and crime.

After public comment, Sugaya said of the store owner, “I guess he could just sell drugs or something.”

Huh? Not only did Sugaya's statement make no sense, audience members started hissing, saying it was an unnecessary attack on a neighborhood that is desperate to escape its seedy image.

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