Prior to the election, the San Francisco Chronicle ran several stories about how Republicans like Dennis Hastert and Bill O'Reilly were using the term "San Francisco values" to try and motivate their party faithful to vote. I don't know about you, but I find the terms "Iraq War," "protecting women's reproductive rights," and "corrupt hypocrites" much more galvanizing than "San Francisco values."
I don't think we'll see the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence welcoming dignitaries to state dinners or the gay marriage law enacted nationwide (unfortunately) or April 20th being declared a national holiday any time soon, but "San Francisco values" is far from a dirty term.
As much as I enjoy "calling our city out" on its smugness, child unfriendliness, and any number of things that are bugging me on a given day, there are times that I'm proud to be a San Franciscan.
San Francisco is not a perfect city. It's expensive. People need to learn a thing or two about customer service. It's freezing in the summer time. San Francisco is like an aging Hollywood actor: radiant from a distance or through a gauze filter, but get up close and you start to see evidence of too many patchy cosmetic fixes. Right now our city is being marred by horrific random acts of violence that have me scared shitless. Scared enough to have us contemplating moving again, but today, I'm proud to be here.
I'm proud to live in a city where our beloved Mayor McHottie said "Screw you, George Bush, " and married hundreds of gay couples, sparking a national trend. Obama-Newsom '08, anyone?
I'm proud to live in a city that Nancy Pelosi calls home.
I'm proud to live in a city that Dianne Feinstein calls home. The senator received more votes than any other candidate running for office.
I'm proud to live in a city where 77% of voters said, "Keep your laws off of our sisters' bodies," and helped to defeat Prop. 85.
I'm proud to live in a city where rainbow flags fly proudly.
I'm proud of Joe Montana.
I'm proud to live in a city where civil discourse is encouraged. People protest and march supporting their issues everyday. Even if people don't agree with the issues being touted, rallies are peaceful.
I'm proud to live in a city where people go to the symphony wearing jeans and no one bats an eyelash. We can be haughty, but we aren't fancy.
I'm proud to live in a city where people come to reinvent themselves or follow their dreams. Where anything seems possible especially if you are into computers or technology.
I'm proud to live in a city where San Francisco values are a reflection of me and the people that live here. We're quirky, fickle, and opinionated, but we're also inclusionary, compassionate, and independent.
And, you betcherass we'll fight to finish for what we believe in.