tv [untitled] April 2, 2011 1:30pm-2:00pm PDT
of us as humans. continue to work with the dance music community to provide a safe and positive environment as much as possible. with the rave ban, you may or may not see a decrease in the negative aspects that started the ban. you will definitely see a decrease in the positive aspects. this music has changed my life. i am older now. i can only hope to share the joy and love i have experienced to the wonderful music and culture. thank you. commissioner zukerman: i would like to call up joseph, red, travis. >> good evening, commissioners. i would like to take a moment to thank you for calling this -- calling this hearing today.
i will draw a parallel to the state upon -- in europe, where it is considered a public health issue rather than a law enforcement issue. we are on the brink of making the decision of making a transition from an enforcement perspective to a public health perspective. my key point tonight really is focusing on the emphasis that we should be creating safe alternatives for the youth to gather rather than driving it into the underground, where likely it will not be as safe and the youth will not be able to have an opportunity to express themselves in whatever manner they would like to that has the appropriate resources, with security, medical, and building codes that allow them to gather and celebrate in a safe manner. i am available for questions, should the commission have any.
thank you. vice chair joseph: how do they do it in europe? what does harm reduction look like? >> there is a strong public- private partnership. the government does not look at it from a perspective of coming at it from arrests or making permiting events to the public where it is difficult for them to financially -- the government supports them with security and medical resources so the event can happen in a safe manner. this is done from the nightclub level to the festival level. thank you very much. commissioner lacroix: next up is travis, andre, jessia adams,
michael miller, frank walburg. president newlin: come right up when you are ready. >> good evening, commissioners. i am health and safety officer of "save the rave." special events will no longer be tolerated in this city, said the mayor of boston. i request support for prohibiting any such event at any state-of building, a massachusetts state senator. does this sound familiar? the year was 1958. they were talking about rock- and-roll concerts. unlike other youth events, raves typically do not involve
assault. it discourages aggressiveness. they are safer places for young people, especially women, than conventional bars and clubs. there is heat, humidity, and loud music. there are organizers, ravers, and promoters. there is a police guide that has research-funded police practices in the u.s., u.k., canada, the netherlands, and other countries. the justice department recommends ventilation, air conditioning, drinking water, and education about the risks of drug use and over extension to ensure a safe event for you. we are nonprofit. we have been looking for been used to hold fund-raising youth
dances in san francisco for youth under 18. we have not meant able to find them so far. please help us. we believe that cooperation and education are key. we are looking forward to working with venues, promoters, and the city to establish education and safety at all types of mass events. thank you. >> you said you have tried to find venues and have failed to find any. what efforts have you made and what doors have been closed? >> the key criteria for finding the news has been to find outside venues since we do not want to charge teams outrageous amounts over $10 on weekends. we want venues that would be safe. that means there would be in close proximity to major streets and public press
protection -- public transportation, where we feel kids could come and leave without fear. we have tried most clubs in san francisco. very few want to do events for youth under 18. the few that do are prohibitively expensive. we have looked at parks and recreation facilities, and there is really nothing they have been able to find that is available. we looked at nontraditional venues such as churches. they tend to be really, really small. we have failed so far. >> given your experience and
efforts, what is your best suggestion? >> i believe the city has a number of properties which can hold the events, which can be safe. i think it would be beneficial for the city to the least those to the youth. it is key to educate the youth on the dangers of drugs and other unsafe behavior. such education would be best done at the events. then by the time they turn 18 they know what to expect. banning events, like previously expressed, with just cause them to move underground. kids are going to party, no matter what we do. if they do not have basic place to do so, the results can be unpredictable. president newlin: next speaker,
come right up if your name has been called. >> i am gery edelstein. i am a research fellow at california at space science lab. i am here with my professional peers to demonstrate the broad diversity of citizens who support electronic dance music events. state-permitted public musical events are a substantial and historic part of our identity as sentences since. it attracts tourists from all over the country, benefiting local businesses, and enhances the desirability of the bay area as a place to live and work. i have personally met with scores of folks at these events who came to town specifically to have fun at these events. the travel a long way. as a recruiter of professionals and post secondary students, i can attest personally to the
allure of this diversity in attracting those kind of people to our area. access to civic venues is a positive to the conduct of such events. application and enforcement of sensible submit regulations on capacity, access, sanitation, health, and conduct are an obvious benefit to the community and the city. my peers and i find the infectious excitement and positive behavior at electronic music events provides inspiration for us to maintain our youthful figure in body and spirit, and as an inspiration to the youth of positive community experiences. commissioner lacroix: thank you. next speaker, please. >> good evening. thank you for having us tonight. my name is michael miller. i have been throwing events for about five years.
i started organized chaos, which was founded in safety and security for venues. i work with so many teenagers. it is one of those things where they need safety. they need locations where you can do this safely, where you can support it so it does not go more to the underground, which will in the long run penalize and how they are and make it so there are more injuries and were held concerns. i have done harm reduction stuff. i am prior military. i never expected to be where i am now. i have gotten many teenagers out there who called and asked advice on how to do it safely. i really enjoyed it.
a lot of strength comes from everyone coming together with a common goal. i appreciate your support. thank you. commissioner zukerman: i would like to call-up benn schell, joseph, kendra, alexander, and robin ma. >> thank you for having us. i am one of those organized teenagers that was mentioned earlier. i ran away from home. i had nowhere to go. i was on the verge of suicide. my parents were abusive. there were drugs. i found my way to my very first grave. i found a new kind of family. i was accepted. the music was beautiful. people loved me and accepted the for the way i was. i found out it was more than a
giant party. it was a place where we could celebrate our lives. i really believe that this scene has saved my life. 18 years later, i am still very much a part of the scene. i have learned the news here that i carry throughout my daily life. really, i -- excuse. south acceptance, love, unconditional acceptance, unconditional love. i transfer these bodies to my students. i am an elementary school teacher. i graduate from college and got my master's degree. i got my teaching credential. in my heart, i knew i was finally home. i still know that. if you take that away from us, things will change. we are good people doing good things in the world.
we are taxpaying citizens. we transfer these bayous to our local and global communities. we do not go to these events so that we can hurt each other or ourselves. we appreciate the opportunity to keep doing that. >> i want to speak about a friend i met through electronic dance music. josh has been listening to the electronic music for 15 years. he started attending events when he was a teacher and has loved the aspect of many people dancing in unison. he told me that if you feel the music in your heart you all can group together, creating one big organism. two years ago, he was involved
in a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the chest down. today, he has an outstanding at two toward life and has still devoted his life to music. he is still asked by nurses in the hospital to turn of the music. he still attends events with family and friends and hired escorts. i realised that hope is something that we ourselves can choose to believe or give up. when you give up hope, you are looking down the people looking up to you. you're throwing away your purpose in life. rather than all of us giving up hope because of what has happened in the past, let us work together to expose the
beautiful genre of electronic dance music. >> good evening. i am from students for sensible drug policy from the state university. the electronic dance music scene has experienced bad press as light. although there has been much controversy, with overdoses and deaths, that will not be resolved by shutting down these venues. banning these events will drive them underground and unregulated venue, which will cause more death amongst our generation. i have been to these events since 2003. what we need is harm reduction. we need to require promoters to provide air conditioned and news and free water to prevent heat stroke overdoses. at times, they charge $5 a water bottle. i do not endorse the use of
illicit mind-altering substances. however, we cannot turn away from these issues and ignore them. i am concerned for my generation. i am concerned for the safety of the generation to come. it is impossible to completely stop the legitimate drug use. but we can decrease the amount and harm done through these events which do not practice harm reduction measures. we need to require air conditioning and free water at these venues. beening electronic dance music events will be counterproductive. let us not move backwards through policies. we need to provide it harm reduction information to all attendees. i am from students for sensible drug policy. it is not successful to shut down these events. i wish you would reconsider the initiative to ban these events
in san francisco and california. thank you. >> i would like to remark that free water must be provided, free, accessible water. that is something we would definitely work toward in the statute. thank you. >> hello, president newlin and members of the commission. i am a native and resident of napa valley. i journeyed here tonight because i wanted to speak and have my voice heard. i actually attended lots of events in the city. i buy tickets for the ballet and symphony every year, and i go to a lot of electronic dance events. i probably have to say that i have met more giving and open people at those events than the others. the people at these events actually come up to you and talk to you.
i have got friends who cover the range. that is what is great. i have friends now that are teenagers, as well as funds that go to these events that are in their 60s. i have met them all during these events. i think it would be a shame. really what we are talking about is a community. this is the idea of community. there are so many other events that are demographically narrow. these are actually events where we bring the whole community together and we actually can pass on to the younger generation, and the older generation gets to interact with that younger generation. it would be a real shame to try to make these not allowed any more, to not bring these people together. all it needs is a little more safe restraint, or things that make it reasonable for all these people to come together. it keeps me driving in all the way from halfpipe -- from napa
to be with all these people. when i grew up as a native, we did not have much of that. we suffer from that loss and i saw people go the wrong way because they did not have places to get together in a safe environment. it would be a shame to lose that. thank you. commissioner lacroix: next up is peter frazier, kevin collins, nickel, -- nicole, matt, and nathaniel fowler. >> i am a resident of the north panhandle neighborhood of san francisco. i am in district 5. i live for many years in new york, montreal, toronto, 10 years in europe. i am representing another
demographic, weigh on the other side of 30. i represent a significant demographic in the city as a taxpaying and civic-minded demographic that finds community inspiration and pleasure in raves. the evidence is overwhelming. just look at the data. global history and experience have shown that raves or other youth gatherings are remarkably peaceful and nonaggressive for the size of their crowds, especially compared to a call- fueled events. i think any perceived excesses should be dealt with through education and a reach rather than a blanket prohibition. i also want to remind you that san francisco is a global destination. it is in the leisure and tourist market and is competing with a lot of cities around the world that now offer far richer menus in electronic and night life
than we currently provide. san francisco is the gateway to the international electronica community and the burning and community -- burning man community. raves are an important economic development tool for our city. new york, paris, munich -- everyone loves dance music. we have to make sure we retain an electronic music scene that is transcendent in the city of st. francis. >> my name is kevin collins. i am representing students from sensible drug policy, san jose. i started raving in october 2007 with a rave down in l.a.
i am here because as many people said we find ourselves in these events. i worry, being part of the harm reduction idea of students for a sensible drug policy, that by pushing these underground what we are really going to do is fostered a -- foster an unsafe environment. there will not be emts. parents will have difficulty finding their children because we will not know where they are. we will not know how to make sure there is proper security and proper ways to keep children safe there. that is my first point. the second point is that i think we have not considered the fact that the promoters also hold a responsibility in this situation. we can go back to the promoters and say, "you are selling too many tickets. you have oversold the event.
it is too hot. water is not easily accessible, even though it may be free." other things like that. we have to remember that in l.a. last year, edc was about 160,000 people. if you consider that they are paying $100 a ticket, which is much more, we are talking $16 million. i think we can go after the promoters and ask them to provide some money to make a safer environment rather than shutting the raves down. i am from the community, so i can help any of you guys understand. thank you. >> thank you, commissioners. i am here tonight to support electronic dance music and the community. i serve on a board of the
burning man collective. we have run shows in the city for the last few years. my main role is event and communications coordinator. first of would like to read some comments from a former board member who is the owner of sunset promotions, who is traveling tonight. he says the key for everyone involved is safety. there is no way to make anything 100% safe. people get hurt at sporting events and political rallies. the giants celebrations were far more overcrowded and unsafe. curtailing a type of music for anything other than abject violence is ridiculous. these events are always peaceful and problems have always been self-inflicted damage. the promoters cannot control what the concertgoers in just before they even walk through the doors. ways to make it unsafe for have been instituted, with emts and
ample water supply. what cannot be controlled is people's access to drugs upside. people can do everything right and be blindsided by unforeseen circumstances. my role as event coordinator is one i enjoyed because i get to work with all aspects of the show -- the talent, the artists, and the venue staff. i do what i can to ensure safety and enjoyment for the audience. the role i take most to heart is being a leader in my community. i was given a compliment from a dj i work with who said the reason i am a good leader goes beyond delegating. people listen to me because they know i have the community's best interest at heart. when i think of the promoters and leaders of the electronic dance community, that sentiment could be provided to everybody here. we take care of each other. think of someone like me when you think of raves. thank you.
>> hello, everyone. i would like to think the entertainment commission and the commission, supervisor weiner, and representative from rpd. thank you to the members of the public who are here to express your concerns and views. i am the chairman of "save the rave." i am going to keep this brief because i feel the public has spoken and will continue to speak well on this issue. my personal story is not unique. i have had the opportunity to go to new wireless and help rebuild the city after katrina -- go to new orleans and help rebuild the city after katrina. i was able to go to guadalajara and build a playground in a dark patch. i have raised money for aids research and treatment. i have raised millions of dollars to buy multiple sclerosis.
the most important thing in my life and the thing that has made it possible for me to be here today is electronic dance music. i am a raver. i do not wear the bright colors or baggy pants, but it is in my heart and has informed my sense of moral and ethical responsibility to be part of this community. i love san francisco and california. i love all of you, as a matter of fact. in the future, i want young people to have the opportunity to be able to express that love to each other, to the community, and to be part of something as special as i was privy to as a youth. the idea of that going away threatens me. -- frightens me. i support supervisor weiner's proposal. >> the last speaker to speak before you -- promoters cannot control what people in just come
and get that. but that is what strikes fear into people and where the legislation comes from. how do you address that? >> as was mentioned by several people, education is key. we need to provide facilities for recreation. i think that has been demonstrated. when facilities are not available and education is not available, people will take to their own devices. as adults and taxpaying citizens, we have an ethical and moral responsibility to provide a framework for these young folks to express themselves and to do so in a safe and positive manner. >> thank you. president newlin: nick xavier, eric -- we are calling more people to go after you. nick laguara.
>> hello, everybody. i want to thank you personally for inviting this dialogue to happen. i also want to address your specific question about drug use and partying. i think a lot of the parties kind of conform people into a drug use situation. we need to have open, bigger parties, not gates around them. in san francisco, the free street parties are the best parties. a lot of times, electronic dance music festivals get caught upper and are closed -- caught up and are closed for the wrong reasons. it we have community-based promoters, looking and seeing which parties are thrown by combe, keeping an eye on what happens -- we d
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