The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

I don't understand liberals who act like this:

San Francisco Supervisor Matt Gonzalez put a populist spin on his campaign for mayor Tuesday when he unveiled a proposal that targets new chain stores in the city.

He introduced a bill that would require chain-operated businesses to seek city approval to open if there's any formal neighborhood objection to the project.

"San Franciscans are highly sensitive to and proud of their distinct neighborhood character," Gonzalez said. "The increasing number of formula/chain stores has a homogenizing effect on our neighborhoods and makes it more difficult for local and independent business to have a foothold in the city." Gonzalez got a late start in the mayor's race and is only now starting to cement his platform.


Susan Leal and Supervisor Gavin Newsom, all expressed support for giving residents and merchants a say in whether big-box retailers, such as Home Depot and Wal-Mart, could locate in their neighborhoods. Gonzalez's plan goes further and would affect businesses of all sizes.

The bill takes aim at "formula retail businesses" -- companies with four or more stores that have such similar characteristics as merchandise, employee uniforms, signs and logos. Gonzalez already introduced legislation that focuses on coffee stores and pharmacies, such as Starbucks and Walgreens.


Peter Cohen, a neighborhood activist who helped persuade Starbucks to drop plans to set up shop in Hayes Valley, said the Gonzalez plan isn't an attempt to thwart business development but to give neighborhoods a greater say over their community.

"It's not about blocking anything, but to give people their day in court, so to speak," said Cohen, who moved out of Hayes Valley and to the Duboce Triangle neighborhood. "This is a way to allow public debate to take place and raise the issue."

What's the difference between getting the government to keep Starbucks out of your neighborhood, and getting the government to keep blacks out of your neighborhood? Or homosexuals?

You would think people in San Francisco, of all places, would understand live and let live. I guess a common reaction to being persecuted and bullied is for the victim to find some other people that he can persecute and bully.



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