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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Anna Conda, Activist Drag Queen, Wants in on the Entertainment Commission

Posted By on Tue, Jul 19, 2011 at 2:45 PM

D. Gill Sperlein
  • D. Gill Sperlein

What will it take for a lawyer to defeat a drag queen in San Francisco? No, this isn't the start to a bad lawyer joke. The fact is that city supervisors are torn over whether to appoint local attorney D. Gill Sperlein to the Entertainment Commission or give the job to San Francisco's notorious drag queen Glendon Hyde, aka Anna Conda.

Although Sperlein might make a better case for why he should be selected to serve, there's no arguing that Anna Conda knows all about entertainment. But critics point out that the opening is for the position of neighborhood representative, and argue that the local drag queen is unsuited as the Commission's liaison with neighborhood associations.

According to the Chron, supervisors are evenly split on whom to appoint, with David Chiu holding the swing vote. SF Weekly called Chiu's office, but we have not yet heard back.

The Entertainment Commission, a seven-member panel charged with regulating and promoting city nightlife, has been highly criticized in the past for its inability to regulate nightclubs and for having members too close to the entertainment industry.Ongoing issues with nightclub violence has splintered the San Francisco community and put politicians like Chiu in a difficult position.

We were unable to reach the two candidates. However, Jim Meko, the outgoing neighborhood representative, was rather blunt when talking about who he thinks is best fit for his old job. "One's qualified and one's not," he said.

Meko made a point of noting that, besides the fact that Anna Conda has little experience as a neighborhood representative, five out of the seven commissioners already have links to the entertainment industry. 

"If Anna Conda were appointed, it'd be six out of seven," he said. "I asked Sperlein point-blank [if he had any ties] and he said 'no.' "

Readers might recall that Anna Conda ran for supervisor of District 6 last fall, coming sixth out of 15 candidates.

Anna Conda/Glendon Hyde
  • Anna Conda/Glendon Hyde
On her blog post about her current candidacy, Anna Conda says, "I have to try three times as hard as anyone else. When people see you as a drag queen it is very hard to be taken seriously. I know that and proudly bring my culture with me anyway."

On the other side of the entertainment spectrum is Sperlein, who has alluded to the fact that he likes peace and quiet. In a letter to the Board of Supervisors that he believes "those who operate street fairs and entertainment venues must show respect to the individuals and families who live in the affected communities." Sperlein also prioritizes "promoting open space and parks, traffic calming, [and] reducing unnecessary noise."

Here at SF Weekly, we think that a wrestling match between the lawyer and the drag queen would have higher entertainment value, but alas, the showdown will take place behind closed doors. 

Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly.
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Caroline Chen


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