As I got ready to leave work last night, I couldn’t decide if I should attend a District 2 Supervisorial Forum at the Palace of Fine Arts. One the one hand, District 2 is near and dear to my heart for both being where my Nonie and Da lived/entertained me every day and being home to Pacific Heights. On the other hand, I was fucking tired and really wanted to go see Cairo Time. But I try and live by Woody Allen’s probably made-up quote: 90% of life is showing up.
So I went.
I’ll start with the positive. The Palace of Fine Arts is gorgeous. I’d forgotten.
And, er, um…now onto the forum. I found parking mere steps from the front door, knowing I was in the right place by the gigantic Janet Reilly and Mark Farrell signs arm-wrestling with each other. I pretended not to notice the sign-in sheet and looked around the foyer. A few candidate tables were set up off to the side, but no one seemed to be there. This is weird, I thought.
Then I realized I was waiting for the show in the lobby. There’s a huge auditorium through those doo…yeah. Here we are.
A couple hundred old people sat patiently in the theater. And when I say old people, I’m not exaggerating. They started 15 minutes EARLY. That’s how old they were. I don’t know why I was expecting Vanessa Getty to be dutifully taking notes in the front row. But I was disappointed. I kept scanning the crowd, looking for someone, anyone fabulous.
My search was in vain.
The only person I even knew there was Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier, whom I like very much. She never gets credit for it, but Michela is really funny. And really, I was just happy to have someone to say hello to, as none of the usual political wonks made an appearance. No Paul Hogarth, no Luke Thomas. Fine, nerds. Fine. It is obviously my duty to report on the Marina. I speak this language, I know this neighborhood, I like arugula.
Michela, who cannot run for re-election, spoke briefly, thanking everyone for coming out and reminding them that the new supervisors might get to pick the new Mayor, which would be in the great words of Rachel Zoe, bananas.
And now, the candidates. I could only stay for 3 questions (one full hour) as my brain was starting to melt, it was so goddamn boring. But here are my general impressions of those running for District 2.
Abraham Simmons: Mr. Simmons explains everything, including his introduction, like he was a Shakespearean actor presenting Civics 101 to a fourth grade class. “I then served on a civil grand jury! The civil grand jury is a group of citizens…” We know! Anyone coming to a political forum for a hyper-local election on a Monday night not only knows what a civil grand jury is, but has probably served on one.
Barbara Berwick: Barbara should be running in D6. Although she perked me up when she started talking about her old phone sex company and how she knows a lot about the law because, you know, phone sex companies have a lot of legal problems. Also, Ms. Berwick wants to rid the world of roofies. No more date rape!
Janet Reilly: Janet Reilly was good. She was boring and rehearsed, but she was professional and supervisorial. She lost me when she said the reason she’s running is because “I deeply believe in public service.” I felt like standing up, facing the crowd, and giving ’em my most dramatic eye-roll.
Kat Anderson: Mrs. Anderson was reading from note-cards and at one point almost started to rhyme. She seemed like she was running for Student Body President of a suburban high school. However, Kat Anderson babysat for Chelsea Clinton. It’s where she learned leadership skills, watching Bill and Hilary, and honestly, my favorite political experience of this election year is “I babysat for Chelsea Clinton.” I like it, I love it, I’d vote for it.
Mark Farrell: Mark Farrell, aside from cracking his knuckles into the microphone, went to the same high school as me. So I don’t know which is scarier; lovingly making fun of his performance or Janet Reilly’s. Either way, I could end up excommunicated. The most interesting thing Mr. Farrell had to say is that he is a “SURVIVOR” of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Now, I recall the Marina being torn up by the 1989 earthquake. My Nonie and Da had to come and stay with us, their house was so screwed up. But unless Mark Farrell was pulled from rubble, which he may very well have been, I don’t know that the term “SURVIVOR” is appropriate. I was at the dentist during the earthquake. And from now on, I’ll be reminding all of you that I’m a SURVIVOR. But then again, you probably are too.
Vilma Guinto Peoro: Vilma is my new favorite person on the planet. Dressed to the nines in a bright red suit with gold buttons, Vilma was wearing what I call a church hat. It too was bright red and featured exciting ruffles exploding from the back. All of Mrs. Guinto Peoro’s grandchildren are doing great in school, she’s been a widow for 28 years, she lives in a retirement home and she ended every answer with, “Thank you. It has been a pleasure.”
I only stuck around for 2 issues, because everyone took forever introducing themselves and it was clear no one planned to discuss the Matrix Fillmore or Fajitagate. The first was the Presidio, where apparently traffic patterns are wildly controversial. Only Kat Anderson had any love for the Presidio Trust, because it’s federal and evil and hello? Fabulous. The Presidio Trust has created some of the most beautiful public spaces in the world. Have you walked around Crissy Field? It’s fucking gorgeous. I found it ridiculous that a group of people who discuss their pilates classes over espresso at the Warming Hut are ticked off about a stop sign. But I really know nothing of this issue, save for being one of the commoners who drive through their precious neighborhood to utilize the fabulous grounds of the Presidio, as maintained by the Presidio Trust. To quote Kat Anderson reading from a 3×5 card, “You can do anything in the Presidio. Walk, run, stroll, ride your bike, roll on rollerskates.” Indeed.
Barbara Berwick pointed out that Doyle Drive is coming along great and she called the guy in charge, so she knows him. Should she be elected and any of her constituents have a problem with the work on Doyle Drive, Babs has the number of the guy. So, you know, what’s up?
The second issue is crime. Apparently it’s on the rise in District 2. Everyone running for Supervisor has apparently met with someone to discuss broken BMW windows and stolen iPads. Kat Anderson has met with the chief! Even Janet Reilly hasn’t met with the chief, but I got the feeling that error would be remedied immediately.
Basically, we can all relax because the crime isn’t gang crime. The auditorium breathed a collective sigh of relief. Thank God it’s not gangs! Basically, the “meth people” from Polk Street are breaking into cars. And by the way everyone, the security at Gravity is doing an absolutely lovely job at walking douchebags back to their Jeep Wranglers. Kat Anderson is all excited about the wonderful job Gravity is doing.
Gravity. The nightclub.
Oh! Oh! And there’s some King Edward Hotel that’s very controversial. Apparently, it’s going to be turning into a halfway house or disadvantaged youth hang out or similar. Everyone’s riled up about this. I mean, it doesn’t even have a kitchen! And only Barbara Berwick was like, you bitches are snobs! (I’m paraphrasing.)
As I left, the organizers at the check-in table asked me what I thought. I told them it was super boring and full of old folks, that I liked Barbara’s phone sex experience, that Mark Farrell is a courageous survivor, that Kat Anderson babysat for the Clintons, that Vilma is a snappy dresser and that, in my opinion, Janet Reilly was winning.
That being said, I admire anyone willing to put it out there and run for public office. I wish I could’ve stayed longer (lie) but I had to run to my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder group therapy. Not only am I a survivor of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, I’m also a survivor of the D2 Supervisorial Forum.