Why I’m not renewing my membership to S.F.’s de Young Museum

Looks like I did the unthinkable for a journalist: miss a deadline. As the Art Museums of San Francisco keep reminding me, my de Young Museum and Legion of Honor membership expired in October, and it’s high time to renew.

As the emails repeat, memberships help pay for museum exhibits, programs and permanent collections. “We couldn’t have done it without your continued dedication, enthusiasm and support,” the appeals read.

Well, they’ll have to do it. I will not be renewing my membership as long as the museum continues to push for a car-free JFK Drive to revert to a dangerous highway used primarily by shortcut-takers who travel between destinations outside of the park.

What the museums don’t say in the emails is that members’ money helped fund at least $ 55,000 in lobbying to end the hugely popular 24/7 closure of JFK Drive to cars. Documents filed with the city’s ethics committee show that art museums have spent at least as much to pay Platinum Advisors to lobby supervisors, as well as San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency commissioners. and the Recreation and Park Department, to roll back the beautiful promenade. in a highway.

And lobbying could work well. Only three of 11 supervisors – Matt Haney, Rafael Mandelman and Dean Preston – have pledged to vote to keep the 1.5-mile stretch car-free, according to Walk SF, the nonprofit dedicated to street safety. for pedestrians. Making the pandemic shutdown permanent requires six supervisor votes, and Jodie Medeiros, executive director of Walk SF, said “anyone can guess” whether those votes will be voted on.

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