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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ain't No Party Like a Green Party

Posted By on Wed, Oct 28, 2009 at 8:30 AM

click to enlarge Green Party state co-chair Barry Hermanson brought his own beer -- literally - JOE ESKENAZI
  • Joe Eskenazi
  • Green Party state co-chair Barry Hermanson brought his own beer -- literally
Members of San Francisco's Green Party refused to exude the blues last night in the farewell bash for the party headquarters they can no longer afford to keep, dousing the place in one last coating of spilled soda, beer, and plenty of top-notch hard stuff. State Party co-chair Barry Hermanson even wandered the room with large bottles of his home-brewed ale and a pocketful of sample cups he foisted upon one and all. Here, at last, was a politician who truly served the people.

As anticipated, the mood was bittersweet. It's certainly not a thrilling realization that a matter of a $1,200 monthly office is an untenable drain on party coffers: "It'd be nice if we needed a bigger space because so many people were active in politics," admitted Paul Platt, a member of the party's county council. But, on the other hand, nobody was crying into their absinthe one room over as a DJ gyrated to the beats.

As the music temporarily faded, Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi -- the party's most prominent local member -- urged his contemporaries to keep on keepin' on.  

click to enlarge Lots of nice folks with dreadlocks for a political event, yes - JOE ESKENAZI
  • Joe Eskenazi
  • Lots of nice folks with dreadlocks for a political event, yes

Some of the party's best work, he said, came before it even had an office. This was a volunteer-driven party, he continued, and they were doing their damnedest to "compete with the big boys" and their "unchecked power" and money. Certainly that wouldn't change in the future, Mirkarimi noted.

click to enlarge Ross Mirkarimi urges the party faithful to keep up the fight - JOE ESKENAZI
  • Joe Eskenazi
  • Ross Mirkarimi urges the party faithful to keep up the fight

It was a perfect speech for the moment, sincere and heartfelt. And it was followed by others that were each incrementally less perfect for the moment until one man felt the need to bring up, apropos of nothing, that the Israeli diplomat who'd visited the party recently "was actually from Palestine." If ever you needed an example of how a third party can ensure its own marginal status via a spectacular inability to stay on-message and an incessant need to tie literally everything to contentious Mideast issues -- well, there you go.

But,then, the music and libations began flowing once again and the party -- and the Party -- got back on track. A number of attendees -- mostly female -- admitted they weren't sorry to give up the office at all. Located on Howard between Sixth and Seventh, this wasn't a stress-free place to walk home from late at night. Meanwhile, the Greens' first office-free meeting will be held tonight at Club Waziema Ethiopian restaurant on Divisadero. The party has reserved the back room, and Hermanson laughed at the notion of "back-room politics."

"But there will be no smoke," he assured, "By city ordinance."

click to enlarge Really -- ain't no party like a Green Party - JOE ESKENAZI
  • Joe Eskenazi
  • Really -- ain't no party like a Green Party

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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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