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Friday, July 10, 2009

Tenderloin Residents Prepare Small-Claims Actions Against Violent Strip Club

Posted By on Fri, Jul 10, 2009 at 5:36 PM

Lightning rod
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Activists in the Tenderloin are preparing to file multiple small-claims actions against Pink Diamonds, a notoriously violent strip club on 220 Jones St. that city officials say has brought shootings, fights, and raucous crowds to the troubled neighborhood.

Elaine Zamora, manager of the North of Market/Tenderloin Community Benefit District, says she hopes to organize as many as 40 residents and businesses willing to file claims for damages from loss of peace and safety in their neighborhood against the club's owners. Plaintiffs can seek up to $7,500 in the city's small-claims court.

Pink Diamonds is already defending itself in a public-nuisance lawsuit filed by the city attorney's office. After a man was shot to death outside the club on June 27, City Attorney Dennis Herrera vowed to close it down.

Complicating the situation at Pink Diamonds is that the club pays rent to, and is partly owned by, Entertainment Commissioner Terrance Alan. The Entertainment Commission is responsible for managing nightclub permits, but Pink Diamonds has never sought such permits. Alan himself is active in a number of Tenderloin neighborhood organizations.

Zamora said she was not sure yet whether he would be named in the small-claims actions. "It creates difficulties, because there are relationships, and now they're obviously strained relationships," Zamora said. She said she had been aware Alan owned the building that houses the club, but only learned that he was the club's co-owner in this week's SF Weekly cover story.

"Right now we have no tools, no remedies," Zamora said. "We have to make a statement, and the neighborhood has to stand up."

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Peter Jamison

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