Date: Thu, 3 Jul 1997 10:18:05 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Paul Dorn) Subject: Mayoral Mass Mess Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com Precedence: bulk Status: U Hi all, I'd hoped that the whole business about da Mayor and Critical Mass would have died down after a day. Sadly, I was wrong. For all his many flaws, Da mayor is a shrewd politician and isn't shy about being a calculating SOB. From what I can tell, this whole situation resulted from a talk radio station's efforts to stir up controversy and build its drive time audience. A reporter from KGO asked a question at a press conference and da mayor spouted his response. I think it was as innocent as that. However, Brown has gotten a lot of positive reaction and has recognized the political advantage of bashing cyclists. The SFBC is one of the leading proponents of a Downtown CalTrain station, plus we oppose the rebuilding of the Central Freeway. All this nonsense about Critical Mass has really put cyclists and the SFBC on the defensive. Instead of getting reporters calling to ask why we support taking CalTrain downtown, we're getting calls about CM. Anyway, how do we respond? First, we don't panic. Critical Mass and the SFBC were around long before Willie Brown was mayor and will be around when he's no longer mayor. Second, enjoy the coverage. How often does Critical Mass make it onto the front page of both dailies? Hasn't the shoddy journalism been fun? Especially the part about CM being an international organization with branches in Australia, Europe and Asia, and how secretive we are about our "leaders." Third, we need to do what we do well, which is make a lot of noise. Write letters, make phone calls, send faxs. Expose da Mayor's rhetoric for the scapegoating bunk it is. Willie has finally stopped sipping champagne with wealthy sports franchise owners long enough to discuss traffic issues. Great, Willie, let's talk traffic. Motorists are stuck in traffic every day of the week, not just the last Friday of the month. What does your Williness plan to do to fix that? Let's not be shy to remind everyone that Willie rides around in a chauffeur driven limo; what does he know about the difficulty commuters face? This is a great opportunity. The spotlight's on us. Let's shine baby. Finally, we need to think about July's CM. If the mayor goes through with his putative plans to "put the brakes on" or "curb" CM, what might that mean? Will he have the police announce an illegal assembly and attempt to disperse it? I've been at demonstrations like that, in which they allow people to leave in small groups. Let's say the cops don't allow CM to leave en masse from Justin Herman. Then we should designate an area, say South Park, to regroup and proceed as usual. Anyway, a few cents. Hasn't this been fun? We're finally "above the radar." Safe riding, Paul P.S. I was surprised to read da Mayor say he hasn't heard from any Critical Mass supporters. Of course he doesn't read his e-mail. So contact his aides, especially P.J. Johnston (554-6131, fax 554-4058); Stuart Sunshine (554-6181, fax 554-6160); and, if you have the stomach for it, Bill Maher (554-9811, fax 554-9834).