MUMC President’s Letter for November 2012
This has been a very hard month for MUMC and for me. I agreed to be your President this year because I felt like I owed it to the community for all the years of support that you have shown my business and my family. But, I was in no way emotionally prepared to have my name, reputation or face splashed all over the Internet and dragged through the mud as part of public dialogue regarding MUMC’s stewardship of the Rainbow Flag at Harvey Milk Plaza. For those of you who took the time to ask questions before jumping to conclusions based on untruths and half truths, I appreciate it. It was these little kindnesses that made it possible for me to breathe, think and problem solve.
As we head into Thanksgiving, I want to take a moment to thank a few people who have made my life a little brighter. I would like to thank our Administrator, Richard Magary, who not only keeps the piles of paperwork organized, but is an amazing and supportive friend. Without Richard, I would not be able to do this job. I would like to thank MUMC’s Board Members, who thoughtfully work through difficult questions and always put the best interests of the neighborhood before their own needs. I would like to thank MUMC’s Immediate Past President, Steve Adams, who did this job for 5 years and is still here to mentor and support me. Thanks also to all our nearly 250 current MUMC Members, even when individual opinions on important topics vary, for being involved, caring and supportive of our community. And last but never least, I would like to thank my family for keeping me laughing, smiling, breathing and always moving forward no matter what. I wish each and every one of you a very happy Thanksgiving and a prosperous Holiday Season.
And now down to the nitty gritty…..
After consultation with Theresa Sparks, Executive Director of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission (HRC), and Supervisor Scott Wiener regarding the future of the Rainbow Flag, MUMC’s Board has decided that the community would be best served by revisiting our current Rainbow Flag policy as soon as possible - at the November 1 Members Meeting instead of waiting until January, as indicated earlier. We have been counseled that there are only two acceptable, nondiscriminatory polices from which we can choose for MUMC’s continued stewardship of the Flag:
Option 1 – Only the Rainbow Flag flies at full mast every day, no substitutions,
no adornments at any time
Option 2 – Any group that can provide a flag made to the specifications of the flag pole may fly their flag at full mast.
We feel that, given the recent controversy, it is important that MUMC’s current Members make this decision, not the Board. The Board does not feel that MUMC has sufficient infrastructure to manage the flag, nor is it in our best interest to try, if the Membership chooses the second option. Therefore, the choice you will be asked to make on November 1 is between:
Choice 1 – Only the Rainbow Flag flies at full mast every day, no substitutions, no adornments. MUMC maintains stewardship of the flag.
Choice 2 – Any group that can provide a flag made to the specifications of the flag pole may fly their flag at full mast. In this case, MUMC returns stewardship of the Flag and pole to the City.
Either choice will become effective as of January 1, 2013. The decision will not affect our existing agreements, to fly the Transgender Flag on November 20, 2012, and to commemorate World AIDS Day with a red banner atop the Flag on December 1, 2012.
On Wednesday November 7, 2012 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce will host a “District 8 Neighborhood Business Summit” with Supervisor Scott Wiener at the SF LGBT Community Center (1800 Market Street @ Octavia Blvd.) This is an excellent opportunity to meet with elected and other City officials, network with other merchants from all parts of District 8, and strengthen neighborhood business ties. There is no fee to attend and complimentary refreshments will be provided. For more information contact Lydia Hernried of the Chamber at LHernried@SFChamber.com or call 415/352-8841.
On Monday, November 19, 2012 the Transgender community, friends and supporters will gather at Civic Center around 5:30pm and march to Harvey Milk Plaza where the Transgender Flag will be raised between 6 and 7pm. The flag will fly all day on November 20, 2012 for Transgender Day of Remembrance. I would encourage all of you to consider putting a Transgender Flag in your windows that day as a sign of welcome and support.
Please join us Monday, November 26, 2012 at 6:00pm for MUMC’s Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony. It promises to be a festive event, with Holiday music and carols; Santa and his elves; Mayor Ed Lee, Supervisor Scott Wiener, and other City officials; the traditional glittery blessings from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence; and more. We urge you to stay open late that evening to greet the crowd (about 300 last year), and to offer Holiday specials then. If you haven't yet sent in your sponsorship for MUMC’s 2012 Year-end Holiday Promotion, watch for a reminder in the mail this week, then send in your sponsorship right away! The final deadline has been extended only to 5:00pm on Tuesday, November 13 for your business to be listed on the big Holiday Banner that will hang from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day at 18th and Castro. If you have questions please contact Richard Magary at 415/431-2359.
Our next monthly Members Meeting is this Thursday, November 1 at 9:00am in the Auditorium at Eureka Valley Recreation Center (EVRC). See the Agenda posted at www.CastroMerchants.com. It is loaded with important topics this month: The Board will be asking you to vote on the new Rainbow Flag policy; Supervisor Scott Wiener is asking for a vote of support for his public nudity legislation; Chipolte is asking for a vote of support for its proposed project at 2100 Market Street (formerly Home Restaurant); and there will be a presentation for Small Businesses Saturday (November 26).
I'm not promising a quick Meeting this month, but I hope you will join us for these important discussions and decisions.
Congratulations to our own San Francisco Giants, World Series Champions! I'm beaming orange with pride!