Last Call Fact Sheet
Last Call Resolution Passes...
Emails Still Needed to Support...
Supervisors Vote for Later Last Call
Mark Leno Introduces AB 2433
 


Moratorium
Action Alert: Help Needed...
Editorial: Our Legislators at Work
Get on the Bus to Sacramento...
AB-2433 Fails at Assembly Committee
 
Last Call Fact Sheet


1.         WHAT WILL AB 2433 DO?

AB 2433 changes last call for alcohol in San Francisco to 4AM. That would mean restaurants, bars, and nightclubs in San Francisco that already have after hours permits could hold last call at 4AM. The change in law will apply only to restaurants, bars and nightclubs that have special after-hours permits and are located in areas already zoned for late night operation. Neighborhood markets and liquor stores will not be affected. Every venue that currently closes at 2AM will be required to close at the same time, unless they resided in an area zoned for after-hours, and obtained a special after-hours permit. This change in law will simulate the revitalization of city entertainment while maintaining existing protections for San Francisco neighborhoods. 

2.         WHY IS THIS LAW NEEDED?

San Francisco is suffering its worst fiscal crisis in years. Unemployment is high, businesses are struggling, and tourism has been hit especially hard. Removing a serious competitive disadvantage on urban tourism will help lead San Francisco out of recession. San Francisco’s entertainment economy is a vital part of the city’s fiscal health. Eating and drinking places represent 8.3% of all private sector jobs in San Francisco, and generate 60% of all jobs in the city’s visitor industry. San Francisco’s citywide Hotel Occupancy Rate has dropped severely from 81.7% occupancy in 2000 to 65.4% occupancy in 2002. The largest employer in California is the restaurant industry, and tourism is the 3rd largest employer in the state with 84% of total trips being made by Californians traveling within the state. If the state allows a later last call time for San Francisco, the city can draw more Bay Area and in-state visitors to restaurants, bars, theaters, dance clubs, street fairs, conventions, and cultural events on a regular basis, helping to expand its success as the top visitor destination in the state. Hotels, taxis, and all of San Francisco’s service industries would gain from greater regional interest in nighttime entertainment, and international visitors would be drawn to a city with a vibrant nightlife that competes with New York, Sydney and other great cities. 

3.         DOES THIS IDEA HAVE ANY PRECEDENTS?

Yes. Tennessee, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, Hawaii, Alaska, Indiana, Georgia, West Virginia, are among the 18 states (and the District of Columbia) which allow last call later than 2AM. New York City, Dallas, Miami, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Honolulu, San Antonio, Indianapolis, Jacksonville FL., Columbus OH, Chicago, Memphis, Houston, San Antonio, Atlanta, Washington D.C., Nashville, Fort Worth TX, Portland OR, and Cleveland OH all allow last call later than 2AM. Additionally, San Francisco competes with global tourist destinations such as Tokyo, London and Sydney that allow venues to hold last call even later than 4AM.  

44.         4.       DOES THIS BILL INCREASE THE DANGERS OF ALCOHOL

The evidence suggests otherwise. Data from the U.S. National Traffic Safety Administration illustrates that states with last call laws of later than 2AM have fewer driving deaths related to alcohol than states which require patrons to leave establishments at 2AM or earlier. When establishments close early, patrons often rush to have a drink before the bar closes and drive shortly afterward. When establishments remain open later, patrons can leave at a time of their choosing, and this may moderate the pace of consumption. Additionally, states with late night transit availability such as New York have significantly better safety statistics than the national average. By holding last call at 4AM, San Francisco nightlife patrons could have new opportunities to use public transit since BART service ends at midnight but begins most days of the week at 4AM.

 

 
Last Call Resolution Passes at City Services Committee


The Last Call resolution introduced by Supervisor Aaron Peskin was unanimously approved today at the hearing of the City Services Committee and has been sent to the full Board for a vote on Tuesday, Feb. 10th. This resolution directs Assemblymember Mark Leno to develop state legislation that would allow extended last call hours in California's largest cities.

Testimony in support was given by representatives of the Entertainment Commission, the Late Night Coalition, a Taxicab Commissioner and Company owner, club owners, clubgoers and others. Two members of the Potrero Boosters were opposed and one was in favor, except that he had concerns about the zoning of his commercial districts.

Supervisor Peskin emphasized that this potential legislation would make no changes to the local zoning process, so that later last call would only be possible for businesses that are already allowed to be open after 2am.

Public testimony repeatedly emphasized the dire state of the local economy and the importance of giving San Francisco a level playing field with all the other major cities that allow alcohol sales after 2am.

New Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier, in her first Committee hearing, said that while we have to remain sensitive to the needs of neighborhoods, stimulating the economy must take precedence. Supervisor Fiona Ma said that she grew up in Manhattan and was shocked on moving to San Francisco how early the town closes shop. Committee Chair Bevan Dufty agreed and passed the resolution onto the full Board with his blessing.

The supportive emails for later last call have been flooding in to our city officials, but we need to keep them coming, since this proposal will almost certainly meet opposition. Please let City Hall and Assemblymember Leno know that we fully support later last call and that we expect their help in making San Francisco once again an amazing place to live and visit. Let them know that we can no longer allow the City to slide into mediocrity, that we need to actively support the artists, musicians and culture that have in the past given the City worldwide fame. Later last call hours will be a much needed step in that direction.
 

 
Emails STILL NEEDED to Support Later Last Call


In your email, it is crucial to include in the subject line the words "Support AB 2433".

Here are some important points about this proposal:

* Later last call hours will help to keep San Francisco a world class city

* Later last call hours will create additional revenue for the city and
the state of California

* San Franciscans should have the same rights as those in other major cities

* Many other cities have later last calls with out the problems imagined by the opponents of the legislation

* National Traffic Safety Association data indicates that later last call
hours do not increase and may actually decrease the number of alcohol related traffic fatalities.

* This proposal applies ONLY to on-site alcohol sales at restaurants, bars,
or nightclubs

* This proposal DOES NOT allow alcohol sales after 2am in supermarkets or
liquor stores

* This proposal applies ONLY to restaurants, bars or nightclubs in districts
zoned for late night businesses.

* This proposal DOES NOT override any local zoning controls.

Here are the email addresses of our San Francisco State assembly representatives:

assemblymember.leno@assembly.ca.gov; assemblymember.yee@assembly.ca.gov

PLEASE DO NOT SEND THE EMAIL TO THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS AND THE MAYOR. THEY HAVE ALREADY APPROVED LATER LAST CALL FOR SAN FRANCISCO.

Great Job! Thanks for doing your part to make San Francisco Fun again!

 

 
Supervisors Vote for Later Last Call


On Feb 10th, the Resolution by Supervisor Aaron Peskin calling for later Last Call passed the San Francisco Board of Supervisors by a vote of 8-3. Combined with the over 900 supportive emails that flooded City Hall, the City has clearly directed Assemblymember Leno to sponsor state legislation to allow for later last call. That legislation is expected in the next two weeks.

Supervisors voting for were Alioto-Pier, Ammiano, Daly, Dufty, Gonzalez, Ma, McGoldrick and Peskin. Supervisors Hall, Maxwell and Sandoval voted against.

Thanks to the more than 900 people who wrote individual emails in support of later last call. The response from the community was simply amazing and showed that many people want to see San Francisco recapture it's edge as an international place to be. We all see a later last call as an important step in the return of our city to entertainment prominence.
 

 
Mark Leno Introduces AB-2433...


On Feb. 19th, Assemblymember Mark Leno introduced Assembly Bill 2433, an act to amend Section 25631 of the Business and Professions Code, relating to alcoholic beverages. Here is a description of the Bill from the State Legislative Council Digest:

"The Alcoholic Beverage Control Act provides that any on- or off-sale licensee, or agent or employee of the licensee, who sells, gives, or delivers to any person any alcoholic beverage between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. of the same day, is guilty of a misdemeanor. This bill would, in the case of the City of San Francisco, change those hours to 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. of the same day, as provided. This bill would make a legislative finding and declaration of unique circumstances requiring a special statute" http://www.assembly.ca.gov/acs/acsframeset2text.htm

The State legislative process on this bill will begin with a committee hearing on March 20th, 2004. We'll provide more information on the specific committee and time once it becomes available.

 

 
Moratorium


Fact: There is a moratorium on extended after hours permits in San Francisco.

Fact: No one was ever given an opportunity to vote on this.

We are the San Francisco Late Night Coalition. We are dedicated to protecting and preserving San Francisco’s dance culture. Our goal is to be accepted as an integral part of the San Francisco community, and be appreciated for the diversity and culture we bring to this city. San Francisco is known as the "liberal city", home to a recognized music and dance culture.

Dance culture is the new art of this decade. The arts are a true expression of humanity. When channeled and focused, Art improves our community. Awareness is raised through the arts. DANCE CULTURE IS AN ART. It inspires everything from new ways of making music, to new ways of thinking and living; increasing the quality of life. Unfortunately, this major component of San Francisco culture is under attack. For the last ten years, San Francisco has experienced the development and growth of a new art movement DANCE CULTURE.

For a long time most critics and writers overlooked this new component of San Francisco culture, never taking it as a serious art form. In the past, this glossing over was advantageous, because it allowed dance culture to be left alone, flourishing as an industry and community. Dance culture is rooted in San Francisco’s nightlife. It has become the main livelihood of many. Recently, its achievements garnered the attention of the music industry. With this growing attention, people in other states and countries look to San Francisco, once again, for new sounds, trends and lifestyles. The new dance culture continues the San Francisco legacy of being the liberal city, a home to original thinkers.

Now local media is really starting to take notice of our clubs, our parties, our music, our lifestyles and our outlook. With so many people flocking to our city and taking part in what we do and how we exist, Dance culture has come under scrutiny. Dance culture is being associated with a negative image of what our local nightlife is all about. Do not believe the stereotypes. Who goes out at night? YOU GO OUT AT NIGHT. In any after hour’s event, you will find workers from a variety of industries- engineers, professionals, business people, renters, homeowners’ small business owners, captains of industry and most important VOTERS.

Dance culture is more than just dancing, more than just a party. It has grown to become a significant local industry that not only creates jobs but also gives back to our community. It is a responsible for inspiring such events as "The Aids Dance-A-Thon", raising millions for AIDS research and raising millions of people’s awareness. The gay community, a cornerstone of San Francisco Dance Culture, utilizes these events to raise millions of dollars every year, supporting such charities as: Communities United Against Violence, Asian Aids Research Project, The national Task Force on AIDS Awareness and The Children’s Miracle Network, just to name a few.

Dance culture benefits more than just the gay community. Every year local promoters do an annual toy drive, raising thousands of toys for local under privilege children. Each year hundreds of bay area organizations benefit from the generosity and community support raised by dance culture.

One of San Francisco’s main tourist attractions has long been night life, the home to a recognized music industry and club scene. We are one of many groups that create culture in and for this city. People from all over the world look to San Francisco and to it’s innovative and distinctive nightlife for cultural cues of all kinds. How long will the club closures continue? What will happen when the places where we gather to share our ideas and friendship are systematically closed down? When our cultural infrastructure is dismantled? Who is making our decisions for us?

DO YOU WANT ALL THE NIGHTCLUBS IN SAN FRANCISCO SHUT DOWN?
 

 
Action Alert : Help Needed on Proposal to Extend Last Call


The SFLNC needs your support for a proposal that could have huge benefits for the entertainment scene in San Francisco.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin has introduced a resolution at the Board of Supervisors encouraging State Assemblymember Mark Leno to develop legislation to extend the last call for alcohol in bars, restaurants and nightclubs in California's largest Cities. The SFLNC has previously introduced a similar resolution at the Entertainment Commission, which voted unanimously to support it.

Extending the last call hours for alcohol will give San Franciscans and visitors to our City similar rights to those enjoyed in New York, Chicago, Miami, New Orleans and other large cities that allow alcohol sales after 2am. This will also provide a much needed boost to our local entertainment scene and economy.

In your email to our elected officials, it is crucial to include in the subject line the words "Support Later Last Call Hours". Supervisors do not always read every email but they do count those for and against an issue. If you wish to contact your District Supervisor by phone or fax
click here for info

Here are some important points about this proposal:

* Later last call hours will help to keep San Francisco a world class city

* Later last call hours will create additional revenue for the city and the state of California

* San Franciscans should have the same rights as those in other major cities

* National Traffic Safety Association data indicates that later last call hours do not increase and may actually decrease the number of alcohol related traffic fatalities.

* This proposal applies ONLY to on-site alcohol sales at restaurants, bars, or nightclubs

* This proposal DOES NOT allow alcohol sales after 2am in supermarkets or liquor stores

* This proposal applies ONLY to restaurants, bars or nightclubs in districts zoned for late night businesses.

* This proposal DOES NOT override any local zoning controls.

Here are the email addresses of our local elected officials: Aaron.Peskin@sfgov.org; Jake.McGoldrick@sfgov.org; Michela.Alioto-Pier@sfgov.org; Fiona.Ma@sfgov.org; Matt.Gonzalez@sfgov.org; Chris.Daly@sfgov.org; Tony.Hall@sfgov.org; Bevan.Dufty@sfgov.org; Tom.Ammiano@sfgov.org; Sophie.Maxwell@sfgov.org; Gerardo.Sandoval@sfgov.org; gavin.newsom@sfgov.org; assemblymember.leno@assembly.ca.gov; assemblymember.yee@assembly.ca.gov

Thanks for helping the SFLNC in making San Francisco FUN again
 

 
Editorial : Our Legislators at Work


ARE THEY serious? Does Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, really think that extending "last call" at big-city bars is a good way to stimulate the economy and reduce -- that's right, reduce -- drunken- driving fatalities?

And does Assemblyman Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, really believe that a state with a budget shortfall in the tens of billions of dollars can think about adding feng shui principles to its building code?

Well, they are serious. Those are two of the latest proposals from San Francisco's representatives in the California Assembly.

We're not laughing, but we are a bit skeptical about whether either measure should be a priority in Sacramento right now. But we'll keep an open mind on both counts.

The usually sensible Leno is stirring up state legislation to extend "closing time" to 3:30 or 4 a.m. as a way to help San Francisco "compete" for tourist businesses with late-night party meccas such as Las Vegas, New Orleans, Miami and New York. He is getting a boost from Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who is pushing a City Hall resolution to support the party-on plan.

The proposal was originally designed to give the late-closing option to all California cities with populations of 500,000 or more, but Leno acknowledged that the reaction from elsewhere was decidedly flat -- so he will propose, in effect, to establish San Francisco as the state's "pilot project" for extended drinking hours.

Both Leno and Peskin point to statistics that show that states with later closing times have lower rates of alcohol-related traffic fatalities.

"The statistics actually are startling," Peskin said. The later the closing hour, he said, the lower the death rate.

A cautionary note for Leno and Peskin: A correlation does not necessarily prove cause and effect. California should conduct an independent review of those figures -- and consider variables that might affect them -- before taking that argument from the tavern to the statehouse. For example, hailing a cab at 4 a.m. in Manhattan is generally easier than getting one at any hour in San Francisco.

The later-is-safer theory is based on the premise that the crowds don't start showing up to many trendy clubs until just before midnight. Closing time comes fast in California. As Leno put it, "People start chugging at 1:30 a.m. and then jumping into cars," often for dancing or socializing at after-hours clubs.

But wouldn't a later closing time simply postpone the cocktail-slamming frenzy until 3:30 a.m. -- with two hours of drinking in between? Not necessarily, Leno and Peskin insist. Again, the theory is that the extended hours would lift the sense of urgency from the drinking.

One of the flaws in Leno's proposal is that, by limiting the late-hours option to one city, it might create a magnet for heavy drinkers, who would then hit the road for the suburbs after a longer night at the bar stool.

It is, moreover, a little hard to swallow Leno's contention that San Francisco needs the later closing time to compete with other cities for convention business. "This city pretty much rolls up at 2 a.m.," he said. "That's on the early side for many folks in the world."

Once again, it would be interesting to see how this promoting-tourism argument, which might make perfect sense after a martini or two, holds up to empirical research.

But Leno is pressing ahead with his plan as soon as the Board of Supervisors, which may take up the issue Tuesday, gives its blessing. He and Peskin emphasized that the late-hours option would not apply to all bars, but only to those with after-hours permits.

Meanwhile, Yee's feng shui proposal is drawing the predictable "only in San Francisco" quips and sighs, but he maintains that his resolution is widely misunderstood. He emphasizes that it won't really mandate anything. It would merely urge the California Building Standards Commission to consider adopting feng shui principles and publishing its standards in the building code. "I haven't gone off the deep end," Yee said.

Yee explained that his goal was merely to make building officials more sensitive to homeowners who wanted to use feng shui's concepts of harmony with the environment to guide their building design. Feng shui has a rich history of shaping architecture in China, and many Californians are firm believers in its positive effects on health and prosperity.

Then again, one neighbor's feng shui may mean another neighbor's blocked view. Yee said he recognizes that such conflicts are inherent in planning and zoning decisions, which is why he is not mandating anything.

Give Yee credit for this: It isn't often that a politician acknowledges that his proposal may not really do anything.

______________________________________________________________________

Letter to the Editor – Response to the Chron by the SFLNC

Editor -- Your editorial critical of extending last call in San Francisco ("Our legislators at work," Feb. 6) missed the mark entirely. The San Francisco Entertainment Commission is the sponsor of this proposal and we are working with the Board of Supervisors to invite public consideration of the idea. We are thrilled with the hundreds of San Franciscans who have written in support. Assemblyman Mark Leno has listened to us and is intrigued by the idea.

Sydney, Tokyo, London, New York, Chicago, Miami, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Cleveland, Memphis, Atlanta, Juneau, San Antonio, Fort Worth, Indianapolis, Columbus, Portland, Houston, Nashville, Honolulu and many other cities in 22 states allow last call after 2 a.m. San Francisco is at least as well equipped as these cities in terms of location, transit availability and public safety to deal with an extended nightlife.

Data from the U.S. Traffic and Safety Administration show that states with later last-call hours have fewer alcohol-related driving deaths. Transit appears an important factor in causality. BART service is offered at 4 a.m. most days of the week and late-night patrons could use transit if last call were held later.

TERRANCE ALAN,

President San Francisco Entertainment Commission

Chair, San Francisco Late Night Coalition
 

 
Get on the Bus to Sacramento for AB-2433 Hearing


A State Assembly hearing on AB 2433 has been scheduled for April 19th, 9:00 AM in the Government Organization Committee at the State Capitol. We need as many people as possible to come to Sacramento to show our support for a later last call in San Francisco. The SFLNC will provide coffee, donuts and the bus to take us all to Sacramento for the hearing. We'll meet at the End Up at 6am then be on the road by 6:30. To reserve your spot on the bus trip to Sacramento, contact Terrance@sflnc.com.
 

 
AB 2433 Fails At Assembly Committee


The SFLNC is disappointed to announce that AB 2433, state legislation to allow for a later last call in San Francisco, failed to make it out of committee at the State Assembly, effectively killing any chance of passage this year. While San Francisco officials were heavily in support of the bill, statewide anti alcohol groups lined up against AB2433, claiming that it would lead inevitably to later last call in other parts of the State.

Police Officers from Oakland also testified that later last call in San Francisco would create traffic accidents in Oakland that their Department was not prepared to handle. In addition, testimony from a mother of a person killed by a drunk driver clearly made the legislators uncomfortable in voting for the legislation.

Assemblymember Leno attempted to contest their claims, but the format of the assembly did not offer much chance for rebuttal. Many democratic legislators left the room and did not vote, so there were not enough votes to move the bill out of committee.

San Francisco was clearly in support of AB 2433, with Assemblymembers Leno and Leland Yee, Mayor Newsom, 9 of 11 Board of Supervisor members and District Attorney Kamala Harris all in favor, but that was clearly not enough to overcome the more conservative politics of Sacramento.

We did gain valuable experience with both the Sacramento legislative process and also with the claims of our opposition, so we more clearly understand the challenge if we attempt to bring back AB 2433 next year.

The SFLNC would like to thank the 100 committed individuals who showed up at the End Up at 6am to make the trip to Sacramento. We'd also like to thank Assemblymember Mark Leno and his staff for all their hard work on this and other pro-nightlife legislation. Make sure to vote for Mark Leno for Assembly in this falls Assembly elections.