‘Warriors on the Waterfront’ rally surprises presumed organization allies 

click to enlarge Adonal Foyle, a former player for the Warriors, speaks at a Warriors on the Waterfront rally in front of City Hall on Tuesday. The group has been accused of fudging its list of backers. - ANNA LATINO/SPECIAL TO THE S.F. EXAMINER
  • Anna Latino/Special to the S.F. Examiner
  • Adonal Foyle, a former player for the Warriors, speaks at a Warriors on the Waterfront rally in front of City Hall on Tuesday. The group has been accused of fudging its list of backers.

The battle for — and against — the Warriors’ proposed waterfront arena is heating up. So it wasn’t a surprise to see a group calling itself Warriors on the Waterfront throwing a noontime rally Tuesday outside City Hall.

Unless you’re a member of the group’s “steering committee.”

“We’ve been getting calls about a rally or a group, and, I just gotta say, I have no idea what this group is or how our name came to be used in affiliation with them,” said Josh Arce, executive director of the Brightline Defense Project, a San Francisco nonprofit focused on sustainability and local-hiring issues. “I guess we’ll find out at some point.”

Oddly, the Warriors on the Waterfront steering committee website lists Arce’s organization — which is supporting the arena project — as “Brightline Defense Group” and erroneously categorizes it as a labor union.

The only actual labor union supposedly on board is Carpenters Local 22. No one at that union who picked up the phone Tuesday morning had heard anything about the rally or being listed as a steering committee member.

Warriors on the Waterfront’s chairs include former Golden State forward and general manager Chris Mullin and Chamber of Commerce head Jim Lazarus. Also listed as supporters are Ken Cleaveland of the Building Owners and Managers Association, Rob Black of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, and representatives of San Francisco Travel and sf.citi.

Joe Arellano, one of former Mayor Gavin Newsom’s platoon of ex-representatives, answered an email sent to the Warriors on the Waterfront general account by saying the group was started when consultant Nicole Derse’s group 50+1 Strategies “put together a small organization we believe will be energizing the project with support at community meetings, festivals and neighborhood events.”

While Derse’s group is working the official Warriors arena campaign, Arellano stressed that Warriors on the Waterfront would be “funded separately from the project itself.” The group’s expenditures thus far, he said, have been “fundraised for” — but he was unable to provide specifics on fundraising sources and how much has been gathered.

Members of the steering committee, Arellano continued, were amassed when “our organization asked them if they were willing to join the effort.” As for groups that don’t recall this, “There are probably going to be some people who were spoken to who didn’t realize what was happening.”

joe.eskenazi@sfweekly.com

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