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Why SB-281?

The People Own The Cow Palace, And It’s Not For Sale


Would you allow the sale of Golden Gate Park, if an elected officials said it was underutilized? Well, as state taxpayers we own the Cow Palace and that is exactly what is happening to it right now. This storied venue is undergoing a self-funded Renaissance of sorts but getting no love from officials who say they know what we want. Thousands of letters and calls from Cow Palace fans to the contrary, they are steaming ahead with legislation that shoots first and asks questions later.


Senator Scott Wiener’s Senate Bill 281, purports to find “better use” for a public property that is already heavily used, and “give voice” to citizens who have already made their voices heard - by flooding his office and others with opposition. His idea is to take the Cow Palace away from the state fairground system and put it in the hands of an “Authority” for unknown purposes. Unsurprisingly, the people are not happy about this, and they have let him know loud and clear, for weeks.


So if the public has stood up against his plans, why does Wiener continue to push through his take-over? Budget issues? The Cow Palace is completely self-sustaining and operates in the black. Public relevance? The Cow Palace creates thousands of jobs per year by hosting dozens of shows, including the Grand National Rodeo, The Golden Gate Dog Show, The Great Dickens Christmas Fair and giant fundraisers like Dreamforce.


Safety? The Cow Palace is a key component of state and local disaster response plans, and will serve as a command post, field hospital, citizen shelter, and helicopter landing area during major emergencies. Tearing down the Cow Palace will cripple our response to the huge earthquake that is already overdue.


Opposition to the Gun Show? The Cow Palace Board cancelled them.


Affordable housing and retail development? Great idea! The Cow Palace Board just voted to begin a minimum 25 acre development for precisely this purpose. Local arts and culture? That’s what the Cow Palace does best. Families throughout the Bay Area flock there regularly as they have for decades, passing down the tradition of local culture from parents to children. Needs repairs? Already in progress. The Cow Palace is not just undergoing normal repairs, but the beginning of a full renovation.


So what’s left? Land grab? Desire to seize public property and hand it to private developers? With no design, no promises, and no public input? Sure sounds like it.


If that is not Wiener’s plan, then why does he ignore the community? After we already voiced widespread opposition to the sale, and every argument he has put forth is either moot or incorrect, why does he persist in moving forward?


We, the citizens of the community, and the owners of the Cow Palace, are raising our voices in opposition to the sale of the Cow Palace, and we say NO!

Please take action now.  Thank you.

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