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Monday, October 26, 2009

S.F. Green Party Runs Short on Green, Abandons HQ. But There'll Be a HELL of a Party...

Posted By on Mon, Oct 26, 2009 at 12:01 AM

Whatever epithet you wish to toss at the San Francisco Green Party, "negative" doesn't seem to be applicable. The party has announced that it can no longer scratch together the rent for its downtown headquarters -- a sum spokeswoman Erika McDonald believed to be around $1,000 monthly. But inability to comfortably bank rent that would get you this charming smorgasbord of Craigslist offerings isn't a bad thing. Far from it. The party is spinning this as a positive move -- and they're tossing a massive party tomorrow to "celebrate" the local Green Party's escape from the onerous existence of holding down a regional office. "We really don't see this as a negative," confirms McDonald. "On Tuesday, when we say this is a celebration, we mean it."

Well, fair enough -- the old adage goes that possession of a bottle of champagne is reason enough for merriment. And the Greens are inviting everyone to their soon-to-be jettisoned office at 1028 Howard from 6 p.m. "until late" tomorrow. Artwork will be auctioned off -- though, astoundingly, there are no collages crafted by former party standard-bearer Matt Gonzalez.

(There's also a TV that will go to the highest bidder).

While McDonald was adamant that the Green Party's entry into a political walkabout was an unmitigated good, she admitted that this was a financially motivated move. If the party had the money it would keep paying rent and there'd be no talk about how it's great to not have enough money to pay rent.

"In no way is the Green Party going away," said former county council member Sue Vaughan. "We're just conserving resources."

The Greens have been at the Howard Street office since early in this decade after a spell at a location on Mission near 15th. While the party often brought in its rent money in the past by leasing out the office to serve as headquarters for candidate or initiative campaigns, McDonald notes that there's no shortage of available office space in San Francisco of late -- and this lucrative moneymaker has dried up for the Greens.

Instead, they'll hold their meetings and events at an assortment of local community centers or even restaurants. Instead of sinking money into rent, they'll be funding more community events and paying for fliers, pamphlets, etc. When asked where the party will receive its mail, or what phone number it will list as a contact, McDonald wasn't quite certain. But she noted that the local Democratic and Republican Parties don't have offices. So why should the Greens?

Well, perhaps the Greens will be able to sell the Dems and GOP on the merits of a political gypsy lifestyle -- because the two major parties do indeed have offices in this city. The Dems' is at 601 Van Ness Ave. while the Republicans' is listed at 110 Pacific Ave. (and a P.O. Box is also given on the local GOP Web site).

Either way, it sounds like a hell of a party on Tuesday. And, again, everyone is welcome -- even cynical journalists.

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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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