Thursday, February 28, 2008

Newsome Proposes Absurd and Oppressive Nightlife Legislation

So, according to this article in the Examiner, the best method that Gavin Newsom has come up with to combat the "problem" of nightclub violence is to have cops stand outside clubs with stop watches, and to force independent promoters to obtain permits from the city to have events in clubs that have already had to go through their own permitting process to have dance nights.

First, Newsom wants to make it illegal to "loiter" outside clubs for more than three minutes. People having cigarettes and waiting for cabs will be exempt (thank god, there's no way to get a taxi in under three minutes anywhere in the city), but I want to know how they are going to enforce this. Will doormen be required to time everyone who steps outside the club? Will cops be standing by with stopwatches? "I'm sorry sir, you've been here for 181 seconds, we're going to have to take you in."

Second, now they not only want clubs to have permits to have DJs and dance music, now they want to make promoters obtain permits too? And how much will that cost? And who is going to enforce whether every person who throws a bar night has a permit, the club owners? "I'm sorry Sir, but your papers are not in order."

This is an absurd solution to a problem that has been cooked up to make the Newsom administration look like it's doing something to deal with violent crime when, in fact, violent crime associated with club nights is more the exception than the rule. These rules will do *nothing* to stop an asshole looking for a fight from starting one, or to keep some idiot carrying a weapon from using it if he thinks his girlfriend had been ogled by another guy. Those are issues that have to be addressed on a much higher level than making up ridiculous rules and penalizing people who want to create more culture for the city of San Francisco. Unfortunately, this administration is much more about the photo op and the sound bite than substantial change. If you think this is as stupid as I do, send an email to your supervisor right now.

1 comment:

Vanguard said...

This is the most ridiculous proposal I've heard of in a long time.

The murder rate is skyrocketing, but the city doesn't know what to do about that. So how about harassing otherwise law-abiding club goers rather than addressing the city's real problems?

When the city's nightclubs, which are already struggling, close down, there will be room for more condos. Yay!

The part that requires promoters to get a permit from the city if they do only 2 nights a year will especially hurt the small clubs that never get in trouble with the law. These promoters, usually DJs themselves, often make no money on these events, but do them to expose others to their music. The large club promoters, whose clubs are responsible for more of the problems, will have the resources to get the necessary permits, but this will be another nail in the coffin for smaller, less commercial events.