This letter and the photos have been sent to the head of the Department of Public Work and several of his deputies down at City Hall. I'll let you know when I heard back from them.
Dear Mohammed Nuru,
This is a request to have your department quickly remove the filthy and faded rainbow flags currently on display attached to City utility and light poles around my District 8 neighborhood. Some say these banners were installed when Sup. Bevan Dufty represented the area at City Hall, but I can't pin the install date down.
Regardless, as you can see from these photos the rainbow colors are heavily washed out, some banners are torn and others caked with soot. And it's not just one or two but at least a dozen, perhaps more that I missed capturing on my camera, and they are clustered around a few cross-streets.
These four banners fly on 17th Street between Castro and Sanchez Streets, and they greet visitors arriving to the world-famous gay-boy-hood via the iconic and historic F car Muni line.
Along the much-traveled by all means of transportation Church Street corridor is where these banners hang, in all their dirtiness.
Here is perhaps the most in need of removal flag, located at Market and 14th Streets. It's faded, torn in several places and layered with filth. A real eyesore.
At the intersection of 16th, Sanchez and Market Streets is where your removal crews can find these rainbow banners.
I've heard talk that the Merchants of Upper Market Castro are the group responsible for replacing the banners on their dime when they become disreputable, and I can't figure out why this blight on public property has gone unnoticed for many years. Those banners didn't get that way overnight.
Please eradicate these and all other similar rainbow flags on DPW property as soon as possible. The Castro residents and visitors would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.
Eric Hoffer, San Francisco's mid-20th Century philosopher, proposed that the efficiency and dynamism of a society or country can be measured by its record of maintenance. The same might be said of a city or even a neighborhood. By that standard, San Francisco no longer measures up to many other world cities. And the deteriorating rainbow flags are one (out of many) pieces of evidence of the city's decline since Hoffer's time.
New leadership is sorely needed in this city -- leadership that can motivate and inspire the public to demand higher standards, both in the city government and in the attitudes of its citizens.
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