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People & Places

Best Musically Inclined Good Citizen 

Walter Paulson

San Francisco is a city whose government claims to prize ordinary citizens' input and participation. Yet some of that input comes from citizens who are anything but ordinary. The shining star among those who crowd the microphone to comment during various board meetings at City Hall is one such unusual soul: Walter Paulson. Rather than rhapsodizing on the needs of some neighborhood special-interest group or haranguing elected officials, he simply sings. The SRO resident regularly performs a cappella renditions of his observations about government business, set to recognizable tunes from the likes of Madonna, Paul Simon, and Barry Manilow. "When you did leave with the budget/You took away everything good in my life," he crooned plaintively to supervisors trying to hash out a solution to the city's financial woes in 2008. Some people try to imagine their lives as musicals; for San Francisco's civic-minded residents, Paulson has already made such dreams a reality.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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