So -- week one is done: several official and other community meetings listening and talking; talking and listening -- mainly listening: everyone wants to help keep the Castro what it's famous for: friendly and safe. Most of the people I speak with are incredibly supportive of our efforts. Yes -- we want people to find alternatives to Halloween outside the Castro. Yes - there is a very detailed plan in place to deal with those who still might show up. And yes - the City really means it: the Halloween party in the Castro has been CANCELLED. Over 18 businesses and bars have already agreed to close that night (yeah!) with more coming on every day. KRON TV and Clear Channel have signed on as media sponsors - helping us get out the public safety message - our thanks to them.
Went to the MUMC (Merchants of Upper Market & Castro) meeting this week: a group of concerned and interested business owners who are all on the front lines of the crowds that have over-taken Castro in years past. After the meeting, many approached us to say "how can we help?" We're asking all of them to tell people to download the "Home For Halloween" poster/flyer from the website we'll be posting shortly and spread the word: "This year -- Castro is CLOSED on Halloween - stay home!" We mean it folks: this isn't a debate. The decision has been made -- so let's all work together to make this work.
This Sunday is Castro Street Fair - my favorite of SF's open-hearted festivals. We'll be out in force, spreading the word and spreading flyers among the crowd to let people know that on Halloween night, these streets will NOT be the place to be.
On Tuesday, we'll be taping our TV / Radio public service announcements (tune back to this space to hear them online, even before you see/hear them on-air!) encouraging those "non Castro residents" who treat our neighborhood as their party space that this year -- that ain't the case. Stay in YOUR home for Halloween...do not come to ours! If you come to Castro with mischief on your mind, this year on Halloween night, you will go "home for Halloween"...in the back of paddy wagon. So -- save yourself the trouble. Celebrate in YOUR home neighborhood for Halloween.