The following is a complete transcript of the
"Screen-side Chat with DaMayor" at Cyborganic Gardens, November 4th, 1996.
The transcript has been formatted for legibility.

The Chat was organized by Neo Communications.
The text of what the mayor and his questioners said is public domain.

Sorry we don't have much more up on the mayor
and local politics yet, but hold on. It'll grow.

Mon Nov 4 17:33:04 1996: Damayor enters.

Mon Nov 4 17:34:04 1996: Moderator says, "the mayor is in the house!"

Da Constituents InquireDa Mayor Responds
Mon Nov 4 17:33:29 1996: Moderator presents the speakers with question #3 from Sommers:

Does the city have plans to develop the South of Market area into a multi-media "gulch"?

Mon Nov 4 17:34:08 1996: Damayor says,
"Yes. We do. We have appointed a task force made up of about 50 people from all walks of life in San Francisco. And particularly from video, audio, imaging, and computer world."

Mon Nov 4 17:34:28 1996: Damayor says,
"We have funded a survey contract that will give us a map on how best to achieve that goal."

Mon Nov 4 17:34:37 1996: Moderator presents question #8 from Sistah:

Mayor Brown--Do you foresee city investment in multimedia education?

Mon Nov 4 17:35:15 1996: Damayor says,
"I do foresee city school system investing in multimedia education. That is already the case at San Francisco State Univ and in part at the Community College (City College). There are currently some programs in the high schools along these lines."

Mon Nov 4 17:35:33 1996: Damayor says,
"The three pieces, however, are not coordinated. Hopefully the task force will recommend a method by which the coordination can occur."

Mon Nov 4 17:35:35 1996: Moderator presents the speakers with question #12 from Guest22:

What is the City doing to make it easier for small new media businesses to survive in this competitive and very expensive environment?

Mon Nov 4 17:36:21 1996: Damayor says,
"The City is taking advantage of the Federal government enterprise zone programs. The City is taking advantage of base closure opportunities. And the City is using its own resources, as directed and recommended by the small business network."

Mon Nov 4 17:36:33 1996: Damayor says,
"New entrepreneurs, particularly those that are considered to be small businesses."

Mon Nov 4 17:36:50 1996: Damayor says,
"An effort wil also be made by the city to find sources of capital for new and small entrepreneurs."

Mon Nov 4 17:37:03 1996: Moderator presents the speakers with question #14 from Rohit:

Would you support plans to sustain the growth through measures such as tax-free zones for web/computer related industry?

Mon Nov 4 17:37:45 1996: Damayor says,
"I would certainly support any of the recommendations that would come from the task force. And I would guess that they will be recommended, some form of tax consideration for multimedia industries and businesses. That may include computer web site tax preferences."

Mon Nov 4 17:37:55 1996: Moderator presents the speakers with question #22 from Curt:

Mr. Mayor, what efforts will you be making in the coming year to promote and foster San Francisco's nationwide dominance in the multimedia industry?

Mon Nov 4 17:38:21 1996: Damayor says,
"I believe that San Francisco must create a physical environment to nurture the mutimedia industry that currently exists."

Mon Nov 4 17:38:32 1996: Damayor says,
"Such physical environment must lend itself to huge expansion opportunities."

Mon Nov 4 17:39:02 1996: Damayor says, "I believe San Francisco must encourage the venture capitalists to make available funding for the expansion of the multimedia industry, and I believe that the government regulatory process must be made user-friendly."

Mon Nov 4 17:39:12 1996: Moderator presents the speakers with question #36 from Jennycool:

About multimedia education in school: Can we mandate connectivity for our schools, so they can be on the Internet?

Mon Nov 4 17:40:04 1996: Damayor says, "I believe that is already envisioned as a way in which to produce quality education for youngsters in the San Francisco School District. The Net Day activities heralded by Vice President Gore and President Clinton, plus the focused effort being made to have computers available to every child in the San Francisco school system is evidence of that effort."

Mon Nov 4 17:40:17 1996: Moderator presents the speakers with question #28 from Guest33:

Wouldn't this computer museum, that I've heard the mayor likes, be a good place for a sense of a multimedia community to develop?

Mon Nov 4 17:40:42 1996: Damayor says,
"A computer museum, I think, is a necessary part of a community that wishes to advertise itself as being the multimedia capital of the world."

Mon Nov 4 17:40:56 1996: Damayor says,
"Currently in San Jose, there's some form of technology museum that concentrates in part on computers..."

Mon Nov 4 17:41:15 1996: Damayor says,
"but it's not nearly as extensive as it needs to be, nor does it carry with it the educational component that every museum should carry."

Mon Nov 4 17:41:30 1996: Damayor says,
"It is my hope, as we go about producing such a museum in San Francisco, that it will reflect all those qualities."

Mon Nov 4 17:41:49 1996: Damayor says,
"Currently in San Francisco, we have the Exploratorium, which some people refer to as a museum of technology. But for me, that is not the case."

Mon Nov 4 17:41:58 1996: Damayor says,
"My vision of such a museum is dramatically different."

Mon Nov 4 17:42:17 1996: Damayor says,
"As a matter fo fact, in such a museum, there would be regular sessions for screen-side chats, not only with the mayor,"

Mon Nov 4 17:42:25 1996: Damayor says,
"but with other persons of political importance from all over the world."

Mon Nov 4 17:42:37 1996: Moderator presents the speakers with question #34 from Jefferson:

Will there be a day when San Franciscans can vote absentee "online"?

Mon Nov 4 17:43:20 1996: Damayor says,
"I do not know if that technology currently exists. I would assume it does, because if you can do numerical transfers of funds, including the acquisition and disposition of securities, you ought to be able to cast your vote thru the same process, using similar technology."

Mon Nov 4 17:43:53 1996: Damayor says,
"The registrar's operation in CA, from the Secretary of State down to all the sub-units, authorized to record and count ballots, seem to be in the late 60s and early 70s as it relates to computer technology and computer efficiency."

Mon Nov 4 17:44:09 1996: Damayor says,
"At this stage in my life, I'm not willing to risk a vote count from my registrar of voters as if it were an ATM."

Mon Nov 4 17:44:17 1996: Damayor says,
"That is not to say I don't think it's possible."

Mon Nov 4 17:44:23 1996: Moderator presents the speakers with question #39 from Curt:

Mr. Mayor, where do you stand regarding free speech and the Internet?

Mon Nov 4 17:44:45 1996: Damayor says,
"I am for free speech, period. Whether it's on the internet, or by way of the Guardian, Examiner, Chronicle, or on the stump."

Mon Nov 4 17:44:59 1996: Damayor says,
"Free speech carries with it a responsibility for utterances that must be vigorously respected."

Mon Nov 4 17:45:13 1996: Moderator presents the speakers with question #38 from Pants:

What is the city's position on making ground on providing equal access to all San Francisco citizens?

Mon Nov 4 17:45:50 1996: Damayor says,
"I don't believe the City is currently doing anything in that regard--except making sure that some of our City agencies, departments, and units are on-line. Whether or not individual citizens of San Francisco tap into that is an option exercised by the citizens."

Mon Nov 4 17:46:00 1996: Damayor says,
"We are doing support services for such organizations as City Search."

Mon Nov 4 17:46:15 1996: Damayor says,
"We are also doing in the Department of Public Works some serious mapping processes for various City services."

Mon Nov 4 17:46:44 1996: Damayor says,
"Hopefully at some point, you will not only be able to determine the status of permits, but ought to be able to get the MUNI schedule, the street closure schedule, and any other actions by City government that is of great significance."

Mon Nov 4 17:47:04 1996: Damayor says,
"That means that ultimately, by way of the fiber optic process... opportunities for connections for the maximum amount of information."

Mon Nov 4 17:47:24 1996: Damayor says,
"We are in the process of staffing a Department of Telecommunications, and one of its functions will be to complete the projects that I just outlines."

Mon Nov 4 17:47:42 1996: Moderator presents the speakers with question #50 from Guest79:

Hey Willie, what are your plans and visions on the developement of MultiMedia oriented offices on the Piers--especially those displaced by the new Ballpark?

Mon Nov 4 17:48:08 1996: Damayor says,
"That matter of whether or not we'll house some parts of the industry on the piers has just come to my attention in the last 10 days. I don't know whether it's a good idea or not."

Mon Nov 4 17:48:37 1996: Damayor says,
"I do know that I want our piers to do maritime activities. If we do office buildings there, since I'm casting about for physical space for the multimedia industry, I'm certainly open to dialog..."

Mon Nov 4 17:48:46 1996: Damayor says,
"on the piers being used."

Mon Nov 4 17:48:52 1996: Moderator presents the speakers with question #30 from Rohit:

Mr Mayor, do you own a personal computer?

Mon Nov 4 17:49:15 1996: Moderator says, "We're joking about Mac vs P.C. here..."

Mon Nov 4 17:49:23 1996: Damayor says,
"I do. It has every game you can think of. I seldom interrupt surfing for games to get real information."

Mon Nov 4 17:49:45 1996: Damayor says,
"I do news summaries thru the computer. And I occasionally communicate with my grandchildren through email."

Mon Nov 4 17:50:07 1996: Damayor says,
"I don't consider myself a nerd, because I haven't been able to figure out how to break into Fort Knox. But when I do, San Francisco will never have a deficit again."

Mon Nov 4 17:50:20 1996: Moderator presents question #11 from Guest33:

What can damayor tell me about how he might promote a sense of localized community for the multimedia and computer arts scene...dig?

Mon Nov 4 17:50:30 1996: Moderator says, "LOL!"

Mon Nov 4 17:50:31 1996: Damayor (laughs).

Mon Nov 4 17:50:59 1996: Damayor says,
"I think if we are able to put together the museum, a spin-off will be a number of opportunities for computer-related displays whether they be called art or otherwise."

Mon Nov 4 17:51:01 1996: Moderator says, "we're getting a lot of political questions, so we'll shift to that topic next."

Mon Nov 4 17:51:10 1996: Moderator presents the speakers with question #9 from Bruce: How will the internet effect San Francisco in the next 4 years?

Mon Nov 4 17:51:49 1996: Moderator says, "The Mayor will be here til about 6:10 PST..."

Mon Nov 4 17:51:31 1996: Damayor says,
"In the next 4 years, the Department of Telecommunications should have in place and operational all those things I spoke of earlier."

Mon Nov 4 17:52:13 1996: Damayor says,
"Whether they originate with (various departments) or whether they originate with City Search, there will be a menu of city services, both for one to partake, and in the separate categories (Children, Youth, Adult, etc)."

Mon Nov 4 17:52:36 1996: Damayor says,
"I would also hope that there could be, in the next 3-4 years, an opportunity for people to inquire for volunteering in community services through the internet."

Mon Nov 4 17:52:43 1996: Moderator presents the speakers with question #20 from Guest46:

What's your guess for Prop 209?

Mon Nov 4 17:53:12 1996: Damayor says,
"I think 209 is still in trouble, and I think it's in trouble because California is basically a very conservative state, and a state that's never really had a commitment to equal opportunity and equal justice under the law."

Mon Nov 4 17:53:33 1996: Damayor says,
"If the turnout is high enough, then people whose interest is best served by affirmative action will be inattendance and they will prevail."

Mon Nov 4 17:53:47 1996: Damayor says,
"If the traditional turnout happens, it always reflects the worst, and 209 will pass."

Mon Nov 4 17:54:16 1996: Damayor says,
"I don't believe the public opinion polls, because I don't think a majority of the people would want you to believe they are basically racists. So they will fudge on the answer to the question."

Mon Nov 4 17:54:27 1996: Moderator presents the speakers with question #54 from Citizenm:

Would it be possible for the city to simply issue more taxi permits directly, avoiding the byzantine propositions we seem to get each election?

Mon Nov 4 17:54:55 1996: Damayor says,
"Absolutely, and I've started to do that. I think I've caused to be issued over 100 new taxi permits. Part of those were paratransit. But at least 100 were general taxi permits."

Mon Nov 4 17:55:39 1996: Damayor says,
"I also intend to see that the fare box be adjusted to more appropriately reflect a fair return for the service they render. And I suspect we can do that by setting a flat fee for the airport, so that cab drivers will be encouragedto take the shortest cut possible."

Mon Nov 4 17:56:30 1996: Damayor says,
"We also have to demand that an electronic system be devised so that when a cab operator gets an assignment, only that operator knows about that assignment. The tracking process wil be such that the closest driver gets the call, rather than the current system, where cabs race all over town, just to grab a fare, because they heard it."

Mon Nov 4 17:56:54 1996: Damayor says,
"So all new cab permits should be issued with a requirment for computer technology requirement in that cab. And all existing permits ought to be required to come on line within 12 months."

Mon Nov 4 17:57:26 1996: Damayor says,
"At some point, we may wish to encourage one of our genius multimedia friends to go in the business of processing requests for cabs over the net, thereby creating a system that cab companies would subscribe to."

Mon Nov 4 17:57:52 1996: Damayor says,
"This would be far more efficient-- if a citizen could call one number, and any brand of cab would show up. You would begin to get a city that has a transportation system equal to none."

Mon Nov 4 17:58:12 1996: Damayor says,
"That is what I want to do in this city with cabs, then you'll have no more greedy propositions on the ballot expressing individual desires."

Mon Nov 4 17:58:17 1996: Moderator presents question #23 from Guest108:

Will the mayor be discussing his position on proposition 211?

Mon Nov 4 17:59:04 1996: Damayor says,
"Prop 211 is a measure that is being hard-fought by both the persons who are lawyers and those who own the companies. On balance I think there is a threat to the corporate headquartering in CA if 211 passes; therefore I conclude that that threat outweighs the necessity for 211."

Mon Nov 4 17:59:28 1996: Damayor says,
"I do believe the courts can determine when there has been some representation made, that turns out to be fraudulent, by people who sell securities or public dollars."

Mon Nov 4 17:59:45 1996: Moderator presents question #25 from Jennycool:

Mr. Mayor, I was curious to hear a little about how your plans to improve MUNI are coming. What changes can we expect in the coming year?

Mon Nov 4 18:00:07 1996: Damayor says,
"The plans to improve MUNI are taking longer than I anticipated. The safety features (avoiding crime) have been achieved...."

Mon Nov 4 18:00:33 1996: Damayor says,
"The complants about violence on MUNI are down by over 50%. The advent of police officers riding the buses, and former gang members being mentors, has added a great measure of security."

Mon Nov 4 18:00:50 1996: Damayor says,
"The buses are also cleaner, I'm told the roaches have been eliminated, and the drivers are a bit more courteous now."

Mon Nov 4 18:01:19 1996: Damayor says,
"Training programs, however, involving the drivers, will take a bit of time. The program involves retraining every single driver on a regular basis, so their skills remain upgraded to what the public demands."

Mon Nov 4 18:01:59 1996: Damayor says,
"The complaint process (and there were > 3560 complains unresolved when I took over as mayor) has been altered. I've secured a commitment from about 40 of the top lawyers with some dispute resolution skills on a pro bono basis to clean out the backlog of complaints."

Mon Nov 4 18:02:20 1996: Damayor says,
"When that's done, then we'll be in a position where 4-5 dedicated hearing officers will be able to process every complaint in 60 days."

Mon Nov 4 18:02:43 1996: Damayor says,
"The business of running the buses on time, that has not been achieved. We're about 50% home."

Mon Nov 4 18:03:03 1996: Damayor says,
"Most of the current problem is inadequate equipment, no equipment, or a lack of personnel to operate the equipment."

Mon Nov 4 18:03:50 1996: Damayor says,
"We will change the schedules so that in fact the published shcedule will be certain and not floatable, and we will be taking delivery before the end of the year on new metro rolling stock, so that the reliability of the metro ought to be 100%, and the time schedule on the dedicated tracks will be met."

Mon Nov 4 18:04:05 1996: Damayor says,
"By this time next year, in the screen-side chat, I will be praised for MUNI..."

Mon Nov 4 18:04:15 1996: Damayor says,
"and its efficiency, and its friendliness."

Mon Nov 4 18:04:38 1996: Damayor says,
"The bottom line is, we have the infrastructure of the finest municipal transport service in America. The shortcomings are being fixed."

Mon Nov 4 18:04:45 1996: Moderator presents the speakers with question #58 from Cuervo:

If President Clinton is reelected, how will this benefit San Franciscans?

Mon Nov 4 18:05:39 1996: Damayor says,
"If President Clinton is reelected, there will be a friendly White House and administration, and the various secretaries at the Cabinet level hopefully will demonstrate the same attention to San Francisco as Secretary Henry Cisneros has done, Donna Shalala has done."

Mon Nov 4 18:06:35 1996: Damayor says,
"The importance of a friendly White House and a friendly Cabinet was best demonstrated by the amount of homeless money that Undersecretary Andrew Cuomo delivered to San Francisco, the amount of money that Housing and Human Services delivered for Ryan White Care, and the amount of money hopefully that will come for job creation; that is really the answer to the homeless problem."

Mon Nov 4 18:07:09 1996: Damayor says,
"If Clinton loses, San Francisco is really in trouble: The diverse makeup of the people of this city, and their propensity to vote Democratic, will stamp us as lepers in the Republican world. We will receive almost no assistance..."

Mon Nov 4 18:07:12 1996: Damayor says,
"so Clinton has to win."

Mon Nov 4 18:07:23 1996: Moderator presents the speakers with question #78 from Rohit:

Brown/_____ in 2004 ?

Mon Nov 4 18:08:12 1996: Damayor says,
"I don't think 2000 or 2004 are possible. This nation doesn't deserve anybody with my talent. Because they could never elect anybody with my talent. I'm far too candid for the presidency."

Mon Nov 4 18:08:36 1996: Damayor says,
"You have to be kind of mainstream, willing to go to the Dakotas and convice them they should all live in San Francisco. I don't think that's possible."

Mon Nov 4 18:08:56 1996: Damayor says,
"Not just the Dakotas, could be anyplace. I think I'm just suited to San Francisco. I'm going to confine my political quest to this City."

Mon Nov 4 18:09:02 1996: Damayor says,
"Although the idea is not a bad one."

Mon Nov 4 18:09:09 1996: Moderator presents the speakers with question #65 from Jennycool:

Given the number of years you served in Sacramento, how long do you envision being Mayor of this fairest of cities?

Mon Nov 4 18:10:11 1996: Damayor says,
"I would hope to complete this term in 2000, and if the voters will have me, I'd be willing to serve a second term. I hope my 1st term will have been so impressive and productive and decisive in promoting San Francisco that I wouldn't have any opposition. What a lovely thought, to run for office on the basis that your performance has been appreciated, rather than explaining why you've failed."

Mon Nov 4 18:10:16 1996: Moderator presents the speakers with question #70 from Guest108:

How do you feel about being referred to as "damayor"?

Mon Nov 4 18:10:52 1996: Damayor says,
"I love it. A lady friend of mine on election night gave me a cap at the precise moment that the computers projected my victory. I placed that cap on my head and it said "Da Mayor."

Mon Nov 4 18:11:20 1996: Damayor says,
"That has become the nickname or the handle, and when people get comfortable referring to you by nickname or handle, and it's not derogatory, you know you've got it made."

Mon Nov 4 18:11:30 1996: Moderator presents the speakers with question #64 from Rich:

What are your plans for as a public facility?

Mon Nov 4 18:11:38 1996: Moderator says, "LOL!!!"

Mon Nov 4 18:11:47 1996: Damayor (laughs) Mon Nov 4 18:12:30 1996: Damayor says,
"I would hope we can stay on line, not just have screen-side chats. My Saturday morning meetings with the constituency are very limited by hours. Clearly such chats should be expanded utilizing the electronic process. Particularly!"

Mon Nov 4 18:12:34 1996: Moderator says,
"Mayor Brown, thank you very much for spending time with us..."

Mon Nov 4 18:12:46 1996: Damayor says,
"Thank you for having me. I enjoyed it. Give the typist a hand."

Mon Nov 4 18:12:56 1996: Moderator says,
"The mayor is congratulating the typist!!!"

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