By Suzy Loftus
Protest is Patriotic
If you’ve taken a walk in the neighborhood recently, you’ve likely noticed the incredible homemade signs on most blocks demanding systemic change in our country. As I walk down the avenues, I’m struck by the number of signs that include Black Lives Matter, We 💗 George, and one sign that simply read: “I want to stop racism.” On sidewalks in chalk, kids are writing: “Love is Stronger Than Hate” and “Be Part of the Change.”
And as we head into celebrating America’s independence, let us celebrate this exercise of free speech and support the many peaceful protests happening in our city and across the country.
Our neighbors and entire families are part of a movement that roars for justice. People are taking a hard look at how we fund public safety and asking if there is a better way. We have an opportunity to work together to invest in shared safety – taking a public health approach and investing in effective crime prevention. Now is the time to share your thoughts with your elected leaders, pay attention to the budget process at City Hall and get involved in the efforts to transform this moment into a movement for systemic change.
Advocating for change, protesting injustice and speaking up are some of the most patriotic things we can do – and just may help us give birth to an America where justice truly exists for all.
It is likely because my husband is an editor that I’ve been trained to stay at the end of the movies to watch all the credits. We don’t leave the theater until the last credit rolls. It is how we pay our respects to the people who made the film. This is likely why I continued on to read the acknowledgements at the end of the incredible book written by Chanel Miller, “Know My Name.” I wanted to know whom she would acknowledge after telling the gut-wrenching memoir of being raped and seeking justice through a system that prioritizes the rights of the accused over the rights of the survivor.
Chanel Miller’s powerful writing revealed many failures of our system – from her initial questioning by the police after being raped to being cross-examined by the defense attorney on the stand. She recounted the horrors of spending years seeking justice, but also lifted up the people who supported her along the way. She specifically thanked Alaleh Kianerci, the Santa Clara County assistant district attorney who prosecuted her case. She called Ms. Kianerci her hero and wrote that she wished all little girls would grow up to be like her. Chanel Miller reminds us that for many survivors, having a prosecutor who is prepared to fight the system, prosecute your assailant and stand up for you can be the difference in whether justice is served. They do not take the job because they expect a thank you. The great ones do the job because they are wired to standing up for someone else. I’m grateful that Chanel Miller got to work with such a prosecutor and took the time to remind us that one great prosecutor can help tip the scales toward justice.
Summer in the City
“The coldest winter I ever spent was a Summer in San Francisco.” The quote often attributed to Mark Twain’s is on the minds of many of our neighbors as we face down our summer staycation accompanied primarily by Karl the Fog. But, do not despair, Westsiders – there are still plenty of joys abound in the neighborhood that are guaranteed to melt the fog away.
Go find your coolest mask and consider taking one of these outings:
Take a trip to neighborhood favorite Polly Ann’s on Noriega Street for a delicious ice cream cone. The word on the street is that one of their milkshakes is linked to heightened levels of joy;
Make your way to the window at the hottest new spot on Judah – Cantina. Call ahead or walk up to pick up some tacos and the best frozen cocktail you’ve ever tasted;
Get your dog ready for a longer walk and head out to the United Irish Cultural Center to check out the newly opened Wawona Gates (the parking lot) that is now open on the weekends for some socially distanced Guinness sipping and cheeseburger eating. (They have other things to eat and drink — but I’m clearly biased.);
If you check out one of these spots, drop me a line and let me know how it was. Or find your favorite spot within walking distance of your house and send me the details. I’ll share the ways we battle the coldest winter. We can do it. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Suzy Loftus is a native San Franciscan and resident of the Outer Sunset, mother of three, former district attorney of San Francisco and elected member of the San Francisco Democratic Central Committee.
Categories: Tales of the Sunset