New Hurdle for SF Politicos: Appease the Music Fans

Categories: News, Only in SF
Joseph Schell
Arash Ghanadan is suing S.F. for false arrest and imprisonment after officers stormed a late-night party in SOMA.
Candidates vying for a San Francisco Board of Supervisors seat will face a brand-new challenge on the campaign trail this year: Placating local music fans and club owners who fear the recent crackdown on city nightlife.

Ten contenders for a supervisor's seat are set to appear September 27 at a forum that will be devoted to issues surrounding the local music scene. Hosted by the Recording Academy (the organization that gives out Grammy Awards), candidates will face questions about their positions on nightlife issues, and will be presented with results of a study on the economic importance of the nightlife economy to San Francisco.

The forum comes in a year when local police and agents from the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control have been accused of overly strict enforcement. SF Weekly's Lois Beckett documented the SFPD's crackdown on nightlife in a March cover story.

"There seemed to be a real lack of a cohesive response from the music community in terms of standing up for what is kind of the foundation of the music scene, which is our live music venues," says Chris Wiltsee, executive director of the Academy's S.F. chapter. "We're all coming together to bring the leading candidates into a forum where we can help to make them aware that this is the fourth biggest music market in the country. I don't think most of them are aware of that."

The Academy is working with San Francisco State University on the economic study, which aims to figure out basic information about the scene -- how many venues there are, how many shows there are, how many people go to shows, and what kind of revenues those shows bring into the city, Wiltsee says. It's the first piece of a several-part study that will continue over the next several years.

"Were confident that those numbers are going to be really significant," he says.

The candidate forum will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Yoshi's S.F. on September 27. More details here.

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