Monday, October 6, 2008

"Retail Campaigning" and Video Contest!

Wow! What a GLORIOUS day in the Castro! Yesterday's Castro Street Fair ( was one of those PURRRRRRRRRRRRfect San Francisco days. The Fair's founder, Harvey Milk, would have been proud. The weather was gorgeous and the Castro really glistened.

The crowds and questions were steady at our "Home For Halloween" ( booth throughout the day. The result: 90 % of the comments about our 2nd annual public safety campaignn, and reminder that -- like last year - there is no party in the castro -- were supportive. Common were such comments as "we're with you", and "thanks for helping keep the Castro safe on Halloween" or "it's sad that violence has marred what used to be a peaceful celebration but we understand."

There were a few (5) comments from people totally opposed to the campaign. One person accused me of being "homophobic" and "not understanding the neighborhood." When I politely informed him that I was a 22-year openly-gay-and-married resident of the Castro (18 years as renter; 4 years as a property owner) and someone who had started my business here, he said "well, you're not my type of gay person" and harumphed off.

Well...I honestly didn't have a response to that. :-)

Below - details about this year's "Home For Halloween" video contest. Get your cameras ready!

Dedicated Website Highlights Abundant Alternatives to Halloween Gathering in the Castro

Website features online video contest to encourage “home grown”
Halloween celebrations throughout the Bay Area

6 October 2008 – San Francisco, CA: Halloween is for everyone. This year, the second annual “Home for Halloween” campaign is spreading the word through a broad public awareness campaign, including an online video contest at

The website is part of a multi-layered media effort to discourage individuals who live outside of the San Francisco from coming into the Castro neighborhood the night of Halloween – Friday, October 31, 2008 -- while encouraging San Francisco and Bay Area residents to either stay home on Halloween or go to a venue with Halloween activities outside of the Castro. Like last year, the central feature of the website is a broad list of public activities taking place all around the Bay Area on Halloween evening – this year with an added feature whereby groups and individuals can enter their own event directly from the website. As with last year’s campaign, the site includes a blog with updates on the campaign and area activities, downloadable flyers in English, Spanish and Cantonese and the campaign’s video/audio public service announcements. Also, the site will feature an online video contest asking individuals to tell their stories of why they will be staying at home for Halloween.

“The main purpose of the Home for Halloween campaign and its website is to remind people throughout the Bay Area that the true spirit of this holiday is to be found celebrating in one’s own community,” said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. “There are so many wonderful and safe events happening in all parts of San Francisco and surrounding cities. This one central site allows people to find out what is happening in their neighborhoods, share their perspectives about home-grown Halloween activities and tell us why Halloween in their home area will be special through the online video contest.”

Videos that are submitted for the contest should be no more than one minute long, address the question of “My Home for Halloween is,” and also include the URL at some point in the video. A panel of youth judges from the ZeumMasters Program -- a teen internship and youth development program at Zeum, San Francisco’s multimedia arts and technology museum.-- will award three prizes: $ 750 first prize, $250 second prize, and $100 third prize. Winning videos will also be prominently displayed on the Home For Halloween website. To enter the contest, individuals submitting videos are asked to post their videos online to the hosting site of their choice (e.g. YouTube, Google Video, Vimeo, Blink, etc.) and email their video link to by Saturday, October 18, 2008.

For more information on Home for Halloween, contact
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