Thursday, September 13, 2007

VICTORY! - united community defeats STARBUCKS in the Richmond District

Thank you so much to everyone who wrote, called, rallied and spoke out at the 9/11 Board of Supervisors meeting to stop the Starbucks in the Inner Richmond District.
The SF Examiner and SF Chronicle coverage didn't adequately acknowlege the tremendous groundswell of support we built from our Richmond District community and other neighboring communities to stop the STARBUCKS:

Starbucks' effort to flood San Francisco with coffee shops ground to a halt Tuesday when the Board of Supervisors blocked a new outlet in the Richmond District under chain store regulations passed by voters last fall.
The board voted 9-1 to overturn the Planning Commission's June approval of a Starbucks at the corner of Geary Boulevard and Fifth Avenue, killing the proposal.
Jesse Fink, who has owned a nearby cafe for 25 years, filed the appeal on behalf of the Clement Street Merchants Association, which represents approximately 30 merchants in the area.
"I don't want San Francisco to lose its character and become a city of strip malls. ... That's what Starbucks is all about," Fink said in a hearing before the board.
Kudos especially to organizer extraodinaire Bryan McKeon, Toy Boat's Jesse Fink and his family, and Meg Lynch of Velo Rogue Cafe and the many richmond district small business folks that supported and built this campaign from 2 people to over 4700 united voices in a few weeks. Thanks also to David Tornheim, Dean Preston -, Eric Brooks -, Kathryn Roberts, and planning commissioner Christina Olague and others that provided key strategic advice. And Sue Hestor and Steve Williams for their legal advice as well.

Most of us were worried going into the 9/11 hearing, but by the time the Supervisors were deliberating we knew we had won. My 7 year old daughter Jade joined in the celebration last night too, not only because she thought there might be free ice cream from Toy Boat. I told her 'this is what democracy looks like' - and it's better than ice cream.

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