Wednesday, August 07, 2013

BAR: Housing for All on Muni Buses & Pride 2014 Theme?

Why is it for years the wealthy owners of sports teams with millions of dollars to spend on promotion of their names and messages, have been able to use the public property of City buses, and this affordable housing advocate with no budget to reach Muni riders can't have the same equal access to that property?

Answers may be coming soon enough from Muni, now that Matthew Bajko of the Bay Area Reporter has written about my complaints to the public transit public relations office.

Would be great if Pride members with voting privileges get behind my suggestion for the theme of next's year parade and celebration, and make Pride about something more than marketing queers to corporations, the military industrial complex and marriage, and mindlessly cheering ambitious electeds officials.

Here's an excerpt from Bajko's article in this week's paper:

As the B.A.R. has noted in a number of news articles this year, the cost of housing in San Francisco is increasingly a key concern for LGBT residents. Many are either priced out of the Castro district or fear being evicted from the gay neighborhood.

The numbers of LGBT homeless youth and adults are at alarming levels, yet LGBT-focused housing services are lacking. Attempts to construct LGBT designated affordable housing in the Castro, in addition to the Openhouse project for LGBT seniors, remains an elusive goal.

With housing a universal concern for many city residents, gay blogger and activist Michael Petrelis would like to see a "Housing for All" message displayed on Muni buses and be adopted as the theme for the city's 2014 Pride celebration.

He intends to push for the slogan to be adopted by Pride during next week's membership meeting set to take place Tuesday, August 13.

As for seeing the electronic destination signs on Muni buses display the message, Petrelis has encountered bureaucratic hurdles to his suggestion. According to an email he shared with the B.A.R. and wrote about in a recent blog post, the SFMTA is reviewing how it determines messages to be displayed on buses.

"We are currently establishing guidelines around the use of these signs beyond the bus' destination," wrote SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose in the July 30 email. "Conversations are taking place right now between various divisions and units within the MTA to explore this issue. As the conversation continues, I will be sure to include your request for consideration."

Petrelis said his request was modeled after one made by the B.A.R. 's Political Notebook in the spring of 2012 for Muni buses to adopt a pro-LGBT message [...]

In response, the SFMTA added "Equality for All" messages to certain bus routes. Since then "Go 49ers" and "We Stand With Boston" messages can also be found on certain buses [...]

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