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Thursday, September 23, 2021

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UncategorizedTom's Town: The 12 days of San Franciscmas

Tom’s Town: The 12 days of San Franciscmas

By Tom Temprano

DECEMBER 19, 2014 — The holidays are here, and despite this feeling like a tough year for many of us on San Francisco’s left, I can’t help but think that we got some incredible gifts thrown in with our lumps of coal.

48hillstomstownBecause every store I’ve walked into since Thanksgiving – or more accurately Halloween – has been playing Christmas songs (will I ever get Feliz Navidad out of my head again?) I’m going to write this week’s column in the spirit of a holiday classic.


On the first month of San Franciscmas, my city gave to me

Less barfly misogyny

 In January it was announced that prolific misogynist H. Brown was leaving the city for good. PS Does anyone know if this actually happened?

 On the second month of San Franciscmas, my city gave to me

Real Ellis Act(ion)

In February, one elected officials stopped talking about the Ellis Act and started doing something about it as David Campos introduced landmark Ellis Act relocation fee increases. The landlords managed to sue this one away for now, but our city attorney is working on an appeal of the court decision.

On the third month of San Franciscmas, my city gave to me

A queer manifesto

Local artist and drag performer Mica Sigourney had had enough this March, and laid out all the reasons San Francisco’s queers have to fight for our city in his gone-viral manifesto.  

On the fourth month of San Franciscmas, my city gave to me

Sensibly placed stadiums

In April it was announced that the Golden State Warriors were abandoning their highly controversial plans to build a stadium, complete with a high-rise hotel, mall etc., along the Embarcadero and instead move it to a much more accessible and sensible spot in Mission Bay.

On the fifth month of San Franciscmas, my city gave to me

A Latino cultural district

A long, hard fight by Latino residents in the Mission culminated in the May inauguration of the Calle 24, marking a large swath of the neighborhood around 24th street as a Latino cultural district and providing it with gentrification-mitigation protections.

On the sixth month of San Franciscmas, my city gave to me

A Bay that was America’s Cup-free

Sometimes the best gift is not getting one at all — which was certainly the case when, in June, Larry Ellison decided to take his boondoggle billionaire yacht race elsewhere, and with it declined to saddle San Francisco with another guaranteed embarrassment (and $11.5 million in debt).

On the seventh month of San Franciscmas, my city gave to me

Waterfront development camaraderie

Pier 70, which in July qualified for the ballot, gave developers and community groups an equation for how to successfully build large-scale housing developments in San Francisco (30% affordable housing + smart mixed uses +maintain historic buildings + thousands of hours of community outreach = success) and garnered near unanimous support from everyone that would usually oppose it.

On the eight month of San Franciscmas, my city gave to me

A sane Democratic Party

The most shocking endorsement moment of 2014 came when the city’s Democratic County Central Committee, which is lead by the lobbyist for the San Francisco Association of Realtors, narrowly endorsed Proposition G. Hijinks ensued and the lovefest turned awakward when it hit the mail


On the ninth month of San Franciscmas, my city gave to me

Drag queens raging

#MyNameIs became a rallying cry for drag queens, transgender people, privacy activists and others who banded together in September to successfully change Facebook’s misguided “Real Name” policy. As an aside, these San Francisco queens helped me to coin what I hope to be my forever catchphrase: Don’t fuck with drag queens. 

On the tenth month of San Franciscmas, my city gave to me

A fine Dianne Feinstein

In October pigs flew, hell froze, over and progressive groups found themselves aligned with Senator Dianne Feinstein as they fought a common enemy: Airbnb.

On the eleventh month of San Franciscmas, my city gave to me

Progressives in the streets

Despite ultimate losses in both the Assembly race and Prop G campaigns, progressives put together their best election day GOTV effort in a decade this November and laid the foundation for big victories in 2016, when the presidential election will bring out a more lefty electorate. Plus, every post-election progressive meeting I was in noted a need for a similarly robust absentee GOTV program, so I hope we’ll get that right next time too.


On the twelfth month of San Franciscmas, my city gave to me

Black Lives Matter

San Franciscans have spent much of the month of December blocking, marching through and dying-in on the cities’ streets demanding an end to police violence against black and brown people as the Black Lives Matter movement quickly becomes the social justice rallying cry of an entire generation.


To surmise in the form of a song—

In the twelve months of San Franciscmas my city gave to me

Black Lives Matter

Progressives in the streets

A fine Dianne Feinstein

Drag queens raging

A sane Democratic Party

Waterfront development camaraderie

A Bay that was America’s Cup-free

A latino cultural district

Sensibly placed stadiums

A queer manifesto

Real Ellis Act(ion)

and less barfly misogyny


Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.
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  1. Didn’t Brown have some issues related to alcohol substance abuse and other health challenges? With LBGT issues gaining wide acceptance across the US, I’m pleased to learn that those of us struggling with mental health issues can be the new whipping toys.

    The SF left always seems to thoroughly enjoy ripping apart other people, even people they barely know. The more public the venue for the beat down, the better. I was starting to miss the progressive hating marcos and his smelly bag of misanthropic ennui, so it’s most excellent Tom is taking up the lead. We should rejoice that the SF left continues with the difficult task of playing both jury and judge. The louder their shouts and the bigger their beating sticks, the happier they seem. No wonder their numbers and support are growing by leaps and bounds.

  2. Personally, I think Feinstein should be praised for her work on the torture memo’s and standing up to the CIA and a whole lot of other powerful interests, as opposed to some bullshit AirBnB nonsense, but to each their own… #priorities

  3. The Democratic Party in SF is a hollow shell dominated by Ed Lee and big money interests. I used to rely on its endorsements. Not any more.

  4. I’m not sure about “a sane Democratic party.” They endorsed Rodrigo Santos, real estate developer, for CCSF Board of Trustees. Now that Mayor Lee has showed his hand by proposing to build housing on the site of CCSF parking ( Balboa Reservoir), this strengthens the belief that Lee and the Democratic Central Committee have no interest in supporting the city’s community college and are gunning for selling off the college’s buildings. Short-term profits at an incredible long-term loss.

  5. “Gone viral manifesto” – well s/he only has 35 followers…if that’s viral for you then so-be-it. While I admire your earnestness for all your 12 things, it’s really just re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic here. The SF of the past is gone. Just as the Irish are gone from the Castro, the Italians and Irish are gone from the Mission, the Irish gone from the Sunset and Richmond districts except for a few holdovers and legacies.

    But cheer up, the Outer Mission & HP haven’t really been gentrified…..yet.

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