City Hall

Today I sat for six hours on a hard bench at City Hall, waiting to make sure my testimony would not be needed to preserve the Heart of the City Farmers’ Market, but I left after I discovered that hundreds of people were gathered outside the packed hearing room clamoring to be allowed to voice their support for the market.

It seems that some clueless underling on Mayor Newsom’s staff had come up with the idea of taking control of the market from the non-profit group that had successfully run it for 27 years, and then through an undefined process turning it into a source of revenue for the city.

Squealing ensued. The San Francisco Chronicle ran two editorials opposing the takeover, making a case for saving one conveniently located market where people can buy healthy food at reasonable prices.

Letters to the editor pointed out that the price of food is increasing dramatically, and that prices at the farmers’ markets will of necessity be rising as the prices of fuel and fertilizer skyrocket.

Others observed that using this market as a revenue center for the city would be equivalent to forcing SF General Hospital to turn a profit.

Singed in the firestorm, Mayor Newsom withdrew his support for the proposal this morning, but even so, hundreds of us showed up to make sure it didn’t go through.

At some point, all decency forces us to show some compassion. Well, some of us, anyhow.

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