Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Victory at 8/7 SF Board of Supervisors Meeting & Testimony from longtime activist David Tornheim

Dozens of Inner Richmond District residents and small business owners testified today to urge the SF Board of Supervisors to vote against the granting of the conditional use permit to STARBUCKS. Bryan McKeon presented some 2976 signed petitions against the STARBUCKS to the Supervisors.
And, we won our first victory when D1 Supervisor Jake McGoldrick's motion for a continuance of the vote was approved by the Board. Starbucks supporters were against the continuance but the Board voted unanimously in support of delaying the vote until 9/11.
Mark Your Calendars for the Tues, September 11th meeting [4:30 pm or after] where the Board will vote on our appeal of the Starbucks permit. We need to turn out even more community folks for that meeting. More details later.
To view the testimony from today - go to SF Board Meeting Televised0 and click on Item 51 in the Agenda for 8/7/07 - 02:30-02:59.
Here's the testimony from one of our allies from District 5 David Tornheim -

Subject: No Starbucks on 4th and Geary
I OPPOSE the proposed Starbucks. I urge this matter will be continued. I will likely not be available to speak today and would like an opportunity to.

As for the merits of the appeal, I believe the study submitted by Appellants provides facts that support the kinds of concerns that residents like me have for opposing chain-stores like Starbucks:
* Money does not stay local
* Bad for Small independent businesses
* removes diversity from businesses
* Chain-stores are carnivorous--they try to eat the entire market share and drive out ALL other competition--e.g. Pharmacies and Gas Stations (independents are almost completely non-existent). In Washington, D.C., I believe there are far more Starbucks than ALL of the independent coffee houses combined. That's unacceptable.
* bland uniformity [chains make S.F. like every other town]
* employees are forced to act more like machines than humans, reciting well-rehearsed scripts (e.g. Safeway's "smiling policy") [See also Matt Smith's SF Weekly article about how Starbucks is more concerned with employees having burn victims fill out paperwork rather than attending to their injuries.]
* chain-stores add transportation costs and environmental impacts because they buy and distribute in bulk (from distant manufacturers) rather than purchases from smaller local producers.
David Tornheim
1890 Grove St #5

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