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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

"Warriors on the Waterfront" Rally Catches So-Called Allies Off-Guard

Posted By on Tue, Apr 16, 2013 at 9:05 AM

click to enlarge The Wilt Chamberlain Group labor union was not listed on the steering committee, though...
  • The Wilt Chamberlain Group labor union was not listed on the steering committee, though...

The battle for -- and against -- the Golden State Warriors' proposed waterfront arena is heating up. So it wasn't a surprise to see a group calling itself "Warriors on the Waterfront" throwing a noontime rally on the City Hall steps today. 

Unless you're a member of the group's "steering committee." 

"We've been getting calls about a rally or a group, and, I just gotta say, I have no idea what this group is or how our name came to be used in affiliation with them," says Josh Arce, executive director of the Brightline Defense Project, a local nonprofit focused on sustainability and local hiring issues. "I guess we'll find out at some point." 

On the Warriors on the Waterfront steering committee page, Arce's organization -- which is supporting the arena project -- is, oddly, listed as "Brightline Defense Group" and erroneously categorized as a labor union. 

The only actual labor union supposedly on board is the Carpenters' Local 22. No one at that union who picked up the phone this morning had heard anything about today's rally or being listed as a steering committee member -- but we are waiting for calls back from the union's top field organizers. 

Warriors on the Waterfront's chairs include former Golden State forward and general manager Chris Mullin and Chamber of Commerce head Jim Lazarus. Also listed as supporters are Ken Cleaveland of the Building Owners and Managers Association; Rob Black of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association; and representatives of SF Travel and SF Citi. 

SF Weekly's messages to the newly formed group have not yet been returned. 

Update, 9:30 a.m.: Joe Arellano, one of Mayor Gavin Newsom's platoon of former spokesmen, returned our message to Warriors on the Waterfront. 

He said the group was started when consultant Nicole Derse's group, 50+1 Strategies, "put together a small organization we believe will be energizing the project with support at community meetings, festivals, and neighborhood events." 

While Derse's group is working the official Warriors arena campaign, Arellano stressed that Warriors on the Waterfront would be "funded separately from the project itself." The group's expenditures thus far, he said, have been "fund-raised for" -- but he was unable to provide specifics of who fund-raised how much from whom. 

The members of the steering committee, Arellano continued, were amassed when "our organization asked them if they were willing to join the effort." As for groups who don't recall this, "there are probably going to be some people who were spoken to who didn't realize what was happening." 

But, he assured, "we'll have a great turnout today." 

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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