Tuesday, November 13, 2007


My next boyfriend doesn’t have to be a genius. Speaking of which…

It doesn’t take a genius to understanding the value of having a supermarket in your neighborhood.

The supermarket, overflowing with every kind of food choice, in quantities that seem inexhaustable, is possibly THE strongest symbol of the American dream.

Choice, variety, freshness, and price, price, price. Oh, and did I mention… price.

It’s been understood, since I was a kid, that ghettos are underserved by the kinds of businesses that white middleclass people take for granted.

Without an accessible supermarket, mom and pop corner stores, with nothing fresh and sky high prices, or fast food, also expensive, are the only alternatives. Most nutritionists agree such diets tax not only the pocketbook, but reduce longevity and diminish actual quality of life.

So, the only surprise, to me at least, about a recent study reported in Fog City Journal, is that it was necessary in the first place. Read FCJ’s piece by Caitlin Cassady.

It starts:

A study released today shows that residents in San Francisco's Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood think access to fresh and health food is an urgent issue that needs to be addressed.

According to the study:

Over half of the residents surveyed say that they shop at Safeway stores in other neighborhoods.

What more do we need to know?

The rest of the report sounds like the biases of the Mayor’s office group that wrote the report, claiming the residents are willing to pay more for pesticide free food, or that they want some sort of neighborhood co-op market (or that they want a Birkenstock outlet?).

What they want is a goddamn Safeway. Pardon my gdmf French.

But it’s not either-or. BVHP needs a big old supermarket PLUS other food options, just like everybody else. While the report emphasizes dietary health, it’s an obvious issue of economic justice as well.

If Safeway can have all the indicated locations in San Francisco, why the heck can’t they have one in BVHP?

So, Mayor Newsom and Supervisor Maxwell, here is your assignment: get a Safeway opened in BVHP open by Jan 1, 2009. Also, as part of the deal, build a strip mall for alternative food stores (organic, specialty ethnic, etc.).

The benefit to the people of BVHP is obvious. So what’s in it for Newsom and Maxwell? How about the experience of a sense of decency?

If that’s not enough, Sophie, you need something, anything, to redeem the utter mediocrity that has been your tenure on the Board of Supervisors.

And Gavin, if you can get a Safeway built in BVHP, I’ll vote for your sorry white ass for governor.

Don’t wait. Get to work.

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