So, in old news recycled, we’re being reminding in various web-spaces that the City of San Francisco did indeed pass a non-binding resolution declaring a weekly “Meatless Monday” in order to “encourage” (love that word) people to be more holy or something. The people for it think they’ve really made a difference or something. Plenty of outsiders have seized upon this as another billy club to beat on Our Fair City with, and out-of-state Gate commenters are literally so angry and screaming mad they’re going to need their blood pressure meds re-upped early.
Calm down, people and take a nice deep breath before you blow a blood vessel, let’s review for a moment, shall we?
-Like any emotion inducing non-binding resolution, the key word here is non-binding. That means it’s nothing more than a majority of supervisors expressing an opinion, albeit under the aegis of the City of San Francisco. Still, if a majority of Supervisors were sitting in a bar, and all agreed they liked Guinness, that would have about as much legal impact as a “non binding resolution.”
The twist is, however when these things are doing at City Hall, emotional proponents and their feisty opposition scream and yell, cry and moan about this like it means something. IT DOES NOT! I can go to McDonalds, buy a big bag of burgers, and stand out on the street giving them out to anyone I so choose and the Man can’t crack down on me.
Hell, I can even SIT DOWN ON THE SIDEWALK and hand out burgers and (for now) no one can stop me. If I want to eat NOTHING, not even VEGETABLES but simply go breatharian, I can do that too!! The point is, nothing is going to change, aside from some dead trees to print this thing up. Ooh, how “revolutionary!”
-I have no problem with Supervisors expressing their views on current events, by the way. I can respect other people’s points of view, and I’m sure this had good intentions. There is an irony here, however – the resolution’s main supporter, Sup. Sophie Maxwell, currently lives in a district with no real grocery stores. Try finding vegan anything or just some fresh produce on a regular basis, and you’d be hard pressed to do so. During a recent trip on the T Line I took the time to walk the neighborhood, and news flash, one has to get in a car or take a train to get any decent food. I certainly didn’t see anyone thinking “Gosh we should stop selling meat on Mondays to save the planet” – because of course wealthy liberal types aren’t going to go take the T Line to dialogue on these – they’re too busy parking a Prius or something.
Now, had the Board used its power of the purse to mandate that the CIty no longer spend a dime or give a zoning variance to any grocery store chain that refused to start up a grocery in Ms. Maxwell’s district, THAT would have had some impact. (and yes, that’s not a great example but hey I’m not paid a six figure income to solve these issues, people at City Hall are, you come up with something better ok?). It would have also been a lot harder to do and a lot of well heeled lobbyists would have been crying and screaming.
But we didn’t help fight apartheid in South Africa with “opinions” – it was cities and universities using their real-world power of the checkbook to cause problems for big companies like HP and Polaroid and other Big Corproations which divested from South Africa. Yet in 10 years on the Board, we heard nothing from the Board, or District 10’s supervisor on the issue of fresh produce availability or access to healthy food whatsoever. Oh yeah, that non-binding resolution. RIGHT.
-Since “opinions” and “encouragement” and “feelings” play well with the electorate (after all we do re-elect these people constantly, yes?) may I propose my own non-binding resolution, one which will not cost anyone a thing.
I hearby declare Tuesdays at Noon to be the “Do The Hustle Tuesday.” At the sound of the noon siren, San Franciscans will be encouraged to gather in public spaces, and do the Hustle to encourage exercising and celebrate the heritage that is the 1970s. Of course, none of you need join me when I do this in front of City Hall, and in fact, you can safely ignore it, like you can any non-binding resolution. But mine is more fun, and mine is free and no trees were killed in the making of said resolution.
So who’s up for this?
(And yeah I know these prisoner dance videos are so 2008, but who cares? They are still cool.)