Monday, September 26, 2011

MUMC Prez Gets Flag Criticism at City Hall;
NYT: Group has 300 Members

When it comes to the Merchants of Upper Market & Castro and their agenda for their illegitimate control of public property at Harvey Milk Plaza, the rainbow flag and pole, the top goal is to retain sole control. The second goal is refuse to engage in public discussion with other Castro and LGBT stakeholders.

Controversy over MUMC's domain began in early February and the president, Steve Adams (pictured), who's also chief at the local Sterling Bank, told the Bay Area Reporter that he was committed to public dialogue regarding the flag matters. All these months later, he and MUMC have failed to hold a single open forum for that dialogue.

Which is why I've attended two meetings at City Hall of the Small Business Commission, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Adams is vice president of the commission, heads up the permitting committee, and the body is required to take public comment. Reasons why I'll be at every future commission meeting.

I pack a lot of honest and constructive criticism into three minutes of public comment, related to the frayed and strained current community relations the small business of MUMC have with many activists, residents and consumers of the Castro. This vid clip is courtesy of San Francisco GovTV, an invaluable archived City Hall hearing with an easy to use clip-and-paste function.

This clip is from the September 12 regular meeting of the commission, with Adams present:

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In other related MUMC matters, Steve was quoted in the New York Times' story today about nudists in the Castro. The article was written by Malia Wallon, emphasis mine:

Businesses in the Castro are divided over the role that naked people play in the neighborhood’s economic and cultural appeal. Despite receiving some complaints about nudity from business owners, Steve Adams, president of the Merchants of Upper Market and Castro, says he often sees tourists posing for photographs with the nudists.

“Nudity really doesn’t impact business,” said Mr. Adams, whose group represents about 300 businesses. “In fact, it is kind of a draw for tourists. As long as the people who come to look spend money in the neighborhood, that’s all I care about.” 

Three-hundred businesses in the Castro, and they all belong to MUMC? News to me and I've asked the reporter to explain that figure and any verification of it. Seeing how Steve has tossed out lots of claims - written DPW contract, never receiving request regarding Liz Taylor's passing, promise to hold public dialogues - that were quite far from the truth, I'd like the Times to be transparent about the 300 number they reported.

When I hear back from the report, I'll update.

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