Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Announcement from Terrance Alan of the San Francisco Late Night Coalition

Just got this via email from Terrance Alan of the San Francisco Late Night Coalition and the Entertainment Commission. If you're concernend about the new promoter permit legislation, this provides some good information about how it came about, what the next steps are, what the major issues are that have been raised by the promoter community, and what you can do to voice your concerns.


MARK YOUR CALENDARS – Tuesday April 1, 2008 at 4 PM in room 406 of City Hall @ Entertainment Commission

At 4 PM on Tuesday April 1, 2009, the San Francisco Entertainment Commission will hear public comment on legislation that has been introduced to create a permit for promoters. Please read the legislation so that you are informed on what is being proposed.

The idea of a promoter permit first came up a few years ago after the shooting of a 15 year old boy at a party at the YMCA. It turned out that the promoter had a series of violent incidents at his events all over the bay area and often misrepresented the nature of his events and his track record to venue management. Following that unfortunate incident there was discussion of venue owners being able to run a background check on a promoter to check for a criminal background. There was also some discussion of creating a list of problem promoters, but this was shelved primarily because officially labeling someone a “problem” by a city agency would require an expensive and cumbersome process to insure that the list was always accurate and current.

This past year has seen a serious upswing of violent incidents, some of them in the vicinity of nightclubs. Typically, two guys get in a dispute at a club, one goes back to his car, gets a gun, and waits for the other to leave. Some of these incidents may be gang related, but either way, there were 4 deaths last year and two deaths this year. That reality prompted a mayor's office/entertainment commission/club owner/promoter “Nightlife Safety Summit” to discuss ways to stem the violence. The promoter permit came out of suggestions made at that meeting.

The promoter permit was conceived to eliminate the fly by night promoters who come in, deceive club management about the nature of their events, have serious problems including shootings and death, then leave with no consequences and the club is left with the responsibility. The question before us is: “Does the legislation being proposed gets at that problem and at what cost?”

What we at the SFLNC have heard as the biggest issue with this legislation is that “problem" promoters will simply bypass this law by having someone with a clean record/event history, apply for the permit. Meanwhile the 99% of promoter/organizers who cause no problems will be forced to pay for a permit, go through a background check, file a security plan and get insurance; things that are traditionally the responsibility of the venue.

Others have expressed questions about how this permit will apply to the non-profit sector, where events are primarily used to raise money for community work. Any additional permit expense would take away dollars from the causes that are in need.

If this legislation is adopted as written there are many that believe it will financially burden the good and the few problem promoters will simply find ways around it. This is where you come in. Your testimony at the Entertainment Commission will be recorded and summarized. It will then go to the Mayor’s office and the office of Supervisor Maxwell who has introduced this legislation. Your testimony will shape the future of this legislative effort.

Since we are reacting to some serious incidents, we should remember that as you step up to speak, focus on creative ways to get at a solution for the “bad promoter” problem. Here are some suggested “Talking Points” to use in organizing your thoughts. Remember, this is in no way a complete list and that is where your experience, insight, real life stories and passion will come in.

Talking Points

  • Can a blanket solution such as a promoter permit deal with specific problem promoters or clubs?

  • What will the cost of this permit be and will there be a provision for the non-profit community to receive a discount?

  • Most club nights are promoted by small, independent promoters who make little or no money from their events, are well known within the communities they serve and create culture rather than problems. These promoters need no more regulation than what already exists between them, club owners, and the community. How can we take this working system and apply it to problem venues?

  • Security issues are the legal responsibility of the venue, which has already had to go through its own permitting process. How can a promoter have any responsibility for security that is not under their control?

  • Insurance is carried by the venue. What is the purpose of the insurance requirement for the promoter? What would that insurance cover?

  • The legislation would require a promoter to provide information pertinent to the promotion of the proposed event, including information as to management, lease arrangements, the size of planned events number of performers, a description of any amplification and etc. How can I give this information as a promoter when I promote events at many different venues and I don’t control any of those variables?

  • The real problem promoters will find ways around the permitting process. What kind of solutions can be created to deal with those promoters?

If you cannot make the hearing and still wish to be heard, please email your comments:

Entertainment Commission:

Commission Secretary crystal.stewart@sfgov.org

Board of Supervisors:

President Aaron Peskin Aaron.Peskin@sfgov.org

Supervisor Sophie Maxwell Sophie.Maxwell@sfgov.org

Supervisor Jake McGoldrick Jake.McGoldrick@sfgov.org

Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier Michela.Alioto-Pier@sfgov.org

Supervisor Carmen Chu Carmen.Chu@sfgov.org

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi Ross.Mirkarimi@sfgov.org

Supervisor Chris Daly chris.daly@sfgov.org

Supervisor Sean R. Elsbernd Sean.Elsbernd@sfgov.org

Supervisor Bevan Dufty Bevan.Dufty@sfgov.org

Supervisor Tom Ammiano Tom.Ammiano@sfgov.org

Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval Gerardo.Sandoval@sfgov.org

Terrance Alan


San Francisco Late Night Coalition

415.346.9165 t

415.974.1952 f

PO Box 77406; San Francisco, CA 94107

You must have long term goals to keep you from being frustrated by short term failures.
-- Charles C. Noble

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great article ! Also thanks for going the distance on this and getting the word out. It's nice to know that I may have some "real" nightlife to return to someday.