Control of Castro's Rainbow Flag?
(Bevan, multi-phone-tasking. Credit: Bill Wilson.)
If former supervisor and mayoral candidate Bevan Dufty has a position on a controversial issue that is different from yours, and you ask him what his stand is on the issue, to avoid overtly revealing what it is, here's how he signals his difference with your position. Bevan will ask, "What's the controversy about? Fill me in."
This happened to me when, after the San Francisco Chronicle had printed a page-one story about the campaign to reclaim the rainbow flag at the publicly-owned Harvey Milk Plaza, a stone's throw from his election office. I wanted to know if he supported the control queens at Merchants of Upper Market/Castro, or sided with democratic activists demanding transparent vetting process regarding flag lowerings.
"I'm not aware of the problem. Give me the details," Bevan said, as if he hadn't read the Chronicle or Bay Area Reporter or SF Weekly or SFist or other blogger coverage about the contentious flag matter in his backyard.
His non-reply clued me in to his siding with MUMC.
In the past week, I spoke with Bevan's communications coordinator, Robby Chavez, and made clear I wanted a written position from the candidate by the end of business on Friday. Robby gave me his word he would get back to me, after trying to assure me Bevan had been working behind the scenes to broker a compromise.
Told Robby we needed public discussion and debate about the flag, not behind-the-scenes talks lacking in transparency, and that Bevan could greatly benefit from seizing the issue as one of citizens reclaiming public space from a private, opaque group. Of course, I mentally noted that MUMC members have money to donate to candidates and Bevan was very unlikely to jeopardize the potential checks.
Here it is Labor Day Weekend, and Bevan and his campaign officially are silent about the flag problems, and there is no other way, IMO, to interpret that silence other than as acceptance of the status quo.
If I'm mistaken, and Bevan indeed has a public position about wresting sole control of the iconic LGBT community flag and pole at Harvey Milk Plaza away from MUMC, or creating a transparent, grassroots and merchants and DPW collaboration, or officially embraces MUMC rule, I'd like to see his written position.
Needless to say, if Bevan wants one of my three votes, he'll first have to address the rainbow flag and MUMC controversy.