One week 'til Halloween and people are still QUITE emotional about "Halloween!"
I take that as a good sign, having always believed that emotional response (respectfully portrayed) is an indicator of someone who cares.
In that vein, I share with our blog readers an email I just received (with the sender's name kept anonymous) and my response.
My goodness -- can't we ALL just get along?
Mr. David Perry,Are you continuing this year to ban a Halloween celebration in the Castro? Is a part of your future goals to close all the neighborhood bars in the Castro, or to ban the Castro Street Fair? I find it amazing, being a businessman as yourself, that you continue to use and abuse bureaucracy over democracy and free-will to enforce your opinions in our community.
While I agree that we need better organization and preparation for an event in the Castro for Halloween, it is not necessary to create a ban- common sense tells us that is facism. A majority of residents whom are *natives* of San Francisco (unlike yourself), are excited to see the joy and good impression "Halloween in the Castro" makes within the community, and nationwide. I see your bureaucratic attempts at banning a celebration in our community as an attempt to distinguish our community from the "straight" community. We must begin integrating people into our community, and the straight community must start integrating the gay community into theirs. Are your efforts simply being used to boost your ego, and see what level of impact you can have in San Francisco politics?
Your opinion, nor that of anyone else, should have an impact on what occurs within the public domain- that is simple Constitutional sense. Do you plan a future career-candidacy as another socialist bureaucrat in our City?
Lastly, please answer to me your personal reasons for banning Halloween in our community? Are you another liberal disgusted with our cultural holidays? I can't wait until I amass a group, of lets say 1,000 people, and pile along the sidewalk in front of your home. Or possibly taking you to Court would be a more adult approach. Maybe we should build a site, titled, "www.nobusinessfordavid.com", requesting that people boycott your company until you read the Constitution and allow freedom in the Castro once again.
Being that Halloween in the Castro is such an advertising benefit for businesses, I am sure I can amass a large amount of capital to follow through with such an idea. I'll allow you to conclude.Trick-or-treat, David.
And my response...
Dear Anonymous -- thanks for your thought-provoking email. I appreciate your love for, and concern for, the place we both call home: San Francisco. I share it and honor it. Although I am not fortunate enough to have been born here, I have lived and worked here for 22 years. I am sorry you find our efforts -- done at the behest of the City of San Francisco -- as anything other than an attempt to keep Castro (and the entire City) safe and free from violence. This year, all Castro businesses are open and promoting their events. For this, we are all grateful. There very much WILL be Halloween in the Castro.
As for "cancelling a celebration:" the fact is quite the opposite. Businesses in the Castro are open, and will be doing a brisk business on Friday, October 31. The only thing that has changed is that a street party which over the last few years has attracted crowds in excess of 100,000 will no longer be allowed to spill off of public sidewalks to impede traffic, the rights of pedestrians, or the rights of those who live-and-work in the "94114." In effect, current laws are being enforced: quite the opposite of anything hinting at something un-constitutional. As part of last year's measures to stop the extreme crowds of years past, many bars and restaurants in the Castro closed in support of our efforts. They were the true heroes of last year, and took a financial loss because of it. I cannot imagine anything more selfless than their efforts on behalf of the commonweal.
We hope that the message of last year -- repeated this year -- that violent, homophobic and drunken behavior (none of which is conducive to business) is not welcome in the Castro "home" neighborhood, will again be heeded by those who would not respect our celebrated diversity. I hope that we can both agree on that.
Again, thanks for taking the time to write, and I hope you -- like all San Francisco residents and all people everywhere -- can enjoy a business-friendly, peaceful and respectful Halloween.