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News + PoliticsPoliceWill annual Dolores Hill skateboard event happen—and how will the cops respond?

Will annual Dolores Hill skateboard event happen—and how will the cops respond?

Plus: Finally, a vote on a critical landlord-tenant issue that could impact the mayor's race. That's The Agenda for July 1 to 7

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It appears the annual Dolores Hill skateboard bomb is going to happen, whether the city approves or not, on Saturday/6, according to a legal coalition and community group trying to prevent of last year’s police fiasco.

The response from the cops, the Mayor’s Office, and the office of Sup. Rafael Mandelman: Don’t show up, or risk arrest.

If the event happens, so will injuries, most likely: the city has installed traffic dots on Dolores Street, which will be dangerous if skateboarders hit them at speed.

The last event ended with mass arrests—and protests and a lawsuit.

City officials say they have tried to warn the mostly young skaters to stay away, but that rarely works.

From Rachel Lederman, a lawyer who is representing numerous young people who faced alleged police abuse last year:

San Francisco youth skaters are expected to participate in the annual Hill Bomb on the evening of July 6, as they have for the past decade. SFPD’s public statement indicates that its response will be the same or worse than last year instead of acting to protect youth safety and reaching out to the community, as it previously publicly stated it would.

It appears that once again, City agencies have not prepared for the event by reaching out to and working with skaters to address safety concerns and protect young people as they should. Instead, SFPD is already threatening another lawbreaking event by the police – a mass arrest. The SFPD is falsely claiming that the 2023 arrest was of “people who chose to continue to commit violence and property destruction” when the SFPD knows full well it conducted an indiscriminate arrest of youth by herding and kettling them. SFPD’s announcement that, “We will do the same this year,” shows that the SFPD is ratifying is prior unlawful conduct and has failed to heed the requests of the community or learn any lessons from its prior misconduct.

The Latino Democratic Club has signed on to that letter.

There is no formal organization representing the teenagers who show up to ride down the hill. That’s frustrating to the cops and city officials, of course—but the same was true of Critical Mass, and the city managed to keep that unsanctioned event safe.

I get the challenges, the insurance issues, the crowd-control, the possibility of violence.

But unless all the cops and the publicity keep the skaters away, it doesn’t appear that the current approach is going to be successful—which could mean more mass arrests, more injuries, and more lawsuits.

The issue of a statewide rent-control bill is again before the Board of Supes, and assuming all 11 members are present, we’ll see a vote Tuesday/2.

It seems likely, based on the comments the supes made the last time this came up, that at least six and probably seven or eight members will be in favor of putting the city on record in support of the bill.

Sups. Catherine Stefani and Matt Dorsey spoke against it. Sup. Joel Engardio is a possible third No vote.

If all the other supes vote Yes, then the mayor can’t veto the resolution. If one more votes No, then she can—if she wants to side with the big landlords and against every tenant group in the state.

The tenants at that point could make this a big issue in the mayor’s race. Sup. Aaron Peskin supports the bill; it’s pretty clear that Ahsha Safai is a Yes vote, or the sponsor, Sup. Dean Preston, would not have sough a continuance when Safai had to leave the last meeting before the vote.

I have asked Breed, Mark Farrell, and Daniel Lurie what their positions are, and have not heard back yet.

This one leaves no room for fuzzy answers; either you are with the tenants or with Big Real Estate.

That meeting starts at 2pm, but this will be one of the last items on the agenda.

48 Hills welcomes comments in the form of letters to the editor, which you can submit here. We also invite you to join the conversation on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Tim Redmond
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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