Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 3 / 18 January 2018

Letters to the Editor


John Avalos – our choice for mayor

We were surprised by the vehemence of Wayne Friday's response to John Avalos riffing on the classic Harvey Milk line, saying that he wanted "to recruit you to help rebuild San Francisco to make it a city that works better for all of us" ["LGBT themes emerge at first mayoral forum," May 12]. The Bay Area Reporter quotes Friday: "That man couldn't shine Milk's shoes." Now Friday has contributed a lot to LGBT politics, but we believe he missed the mark on this one. We did not have the privilege of knowing Milk, but we cannot imagine that he would have expected Avalos – the Latino son of a longshoreman, former union organizer and champion of working people – to "shine his shoes," either literally or figuratively.

We are strongly supporting Avalos because of his history of working for social and economic justice and his dedication to open, transparent, and accessible government – commitments not so different from Milk's. And we are delighted to see Avalos – who hails from the now much-changed district that three decades ago produced the reactionary and murderous Dan White – uniting queer and straight progressives to win this year. Now that truly is change we can believe in. Count us among the recruited. Avalos for mayor!

Rafael Mandelman and Eileen Hansen

San Francisco

Supes should overturn AT&T exemption

AT&T wants to clutter our public sidewalks with more than 800 huge, refrigerator-sized utility cabinets in order to bring their U-verse digital TV service to San Francisco. While we support new technology and competition, we believe there are alternatives to using our sidewalks for these enormous cabinets.

AT&T's existing utility boxes have proven to be constant magnets for graffiti, which AT&T has done an abysmal job of removing. Does anyone really think that they'll do better once they install hundreds of additional cabinets? The boxes block car doors and functionally eliminate parking spots, which is a particular problem for the elderly and disabled. These new boxes contain fans and electronic hardware and will emit significant noise 24/7. All of these issues degrade the quality of life in our neighborhoods. The massive boxes are particularly out of place on our many historic streets.

We believe that AT&T has not fairly examined alternatives, including placing their equipment underground or on private property. They want to implement their service as cheaply as possible, and so they prefer to use our valuable public realm space rather than exploring less obtrusive (and more expensive) options. Allowing AT&T to put their 826 huge cabinets around the city will open the door to several other utility companies who are hoping to install hundreds or even thousands of their own cabinets. Where will it end?

Next week, the Board of Supervisors is considering an appeal of the exemption from environmental review that the city Planning Department granted AT&T. We urge our supervisors to overturn the exemption and require a thorough assessment of the environmental impact of this proposal, and most importantly, of the alternatives to these giant graffiti-covered sidewalk behemoths. Let's bring 21st-century technology not only to our homes but also apply current technology in a way that also protects our neighborhoods from blight.

Dennis Richards, President

Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association

Send letters to the Bay Area Reporter, 395 Ninth Street, San Francisco, CA 94103. Letters must be signed, and include an address and daytime phone number for verification purposes only. Unsigned letters will not be published. E-mail letters are accepted at Please put "letter to the editor" in the subject line, and also include an address and phone number. Letters may be edited for space.

Follow The Bay Area Reporter
facebook logo
facebook logo
Newsletter logo
Newsletter logo
ISSUU logo