Rainbow flag, colorful chatter
The annual Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club Pride Breakfast is one of my favorite events of the year. Amid the festive air of the parade, gaggles of politically minded locals meet at Yank Sing on Spear Street at the crack of dawn to schmooze, gossip and make promises to get drinks with each other soon.
Important people try to make speeches at the event, but they are usually ignored as the room itself absorbs sound and the people in it are absorbed in conversations. But that’s all right because what really matters are the pictures.
Just ask Supervisor Malia Cohen, who repeatedly hissed “WAIT” at a photographer who dared to start taking pictures before she could join the “City Family” onstage.
Also on hand was Mayor Ed Lee, wearing a shirt with his picture on it. I’d accuse him of being a narcissist if I thought he was sartorially aware enough to have made that choice. I blame his staff. It was probably the same person who told Lee’s parade contingent to wear the Warriors’ team colors.
The City Family included Sheriff Vicki Hennessy and Assistant Sheriff Paul Miyamoto, who would not tell me any juicy Sheriff’s Department gossip, no matter how hard I tried to goad them. The jail population is down, I assume for reasons of laboratory bungling that resulted in early freedom for the prior tenants. But new police academy classes in this year’s city budget promise herds of enthusiastic young crime fighters who will fill the pokey again soon. The department is ready though, as “Stonewall” Hennessy assured me that her “budget is right on target.”
Ah, yes, there is so much promise in the air.
Even Joseph Carouba, manager of the Gold Club and the Penthouse Club and Steakhouse, was feeling optimistic. While I didn’t see it in the official America’s Cup economic impact report, Carouba told me he is planning to overhaul the Gold Club and add a new roof deck in anticipation of the (literally boatloads) of classy Cup visitors, who, under the right circumstances, are willing to help put our local gals through college.
I left the event exhausted. Though 7:30 is awfully early to get up on a Sunday morning, it’s worth it to see so many great folks, including Mark Leno, the esteemed state senator — in his black leather pants. I love this town.
Approval ratings high for Lee, low for Mirkarimi
In late May, the polling firm of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates surveyed 608 likely voters in San Francisco for a local political committee. No, I don’t know what committee.
According to the poll results, 54 percent of us believe The City is going in the “right direction” and 29 percent think we are on the “wrong track.” I can only assume that the remaining 17 percent have ridden Caltrain and thus understand that one can be going in the right direction and also be on the wrong track.
The survey listed homelessness, jobs, education and the economy as equally concerning to us voters, with no one issue really standing out. That the endangered frogs at Sharp Park Golf Course did not make the list of overriding concerns will surprise a number of people who email me regularly.
President Barack Obama enjoys a favorability rating of 82 percent, and Gov. Jerry Brown is at 73 percent. Mayor Ed Lee is viewed favorably by 62 percent of voters, but an even larger percentage
(71 percent) believe he is doing a good job, even if they don’t like him. Lee has certainly been working a lot with the Board of Supervisors (lame question-time notwithstanding) and the current supes have generally not made asses of themselves (Eric Mar notwithstanding) which may explain why the board’s job approval rating is at a remarkably high 53 percent.
For all the power people believe he wields when it comes to local development (which explains why he was on the list) Aaron Peskin had only an 18 percent approval rating. The only person who scored lower was Ross Mirkarimi, with only 14 percent of voters viewing him favorably.
As for Lee’s removal of Mirkarimi, 76 percent agree with Lee’s actions and — you guessed it — 14 percent of respondents disagreed. Mirkarimi’s fans may be a lot of things, but inconsistent isn’t one of them.
Quote of the Week
“I personally think the residential parking program is just bad.”
— Supervisor Scott Wiener to Ed Reiskin, transportation director of the SFMTA, at a Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee meeting Monday
As Reiskin was explaining that the agency plans to increase enforcement of current meters and parking laws, Wiener pointed out that many residents have parking permits for the blocks where they live, but when other people take those spots, permit-holders are stuck scrambling for parking elsewhere. Reiskin agreed that the current patchwork of residential permits doesn’t “make sense” and promised that a high-level review of the system is underway. I imagine Reiskin’s “to do” list is longer than the line to get Justin Bieber tickets. (Shudder.)