Name: Glendon “Anna Conda” Hyde
Occupation: Drag Queen, Community Activist and Organizer
URL for website: www.annaconda2010.com
Neighborhood You Live In: I live on 5th street between Folsom and Harrison but have lived in the district for 14 years at various addresses.
Date Questionnaire Returned: August 17th, 2010
1. How often do you rely on Muni to get you around town? If not, what do you use instead? Â What would make it easier for you to choose Muni over other forms of transportation?
I have a bike so if I need to get around I usually use that. However if I am going somewhere in drag or my partner and I are going together we take Muni. I used to catch the bus every friday at 5th and Folsom to go to work at my club Charlie Horse on Upper Polk. People don’t expect to see a lovely 8 foot tall drag queen riding the bus. I recently used MUNI to go to the rally for the overturning of Prop 8 in the Castro. It was rush hour and the trains were packed. But there was plenty of room in the middle of the car. Why does everyone stand in front of the door and refuse to move even for a drag queen or old lady to get on the car? This town is crazy for real estate!
2. What are the primary concerns of Muni’s owners (aka riders) about transportation and Muni in your District?
I choose MUNI because it’s the right thing to do. During my research to oppose the ban on smoking patios the number 1 carcinogen and cause of asthma is car exhaust. 60% of our traffic is Inner City; meaning people who live in the city driving down town. There is no excuse not to be pro active and use MUNI. The more people who use MUNI the more money we get to run MUNI. Muni is essential to the elders, poor, ill, and on and on. I think our culture has to re evaluate it’s choices.
3. As a Supervisor, you will serve on the Board of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority. What is the role of the SFCTA, and what would you set as priorities for the agency in the next 4 years?
In District 6 I would say that most of the residents use MUNI like I do. I take MUNI when I need to go to the doctor or the distance is too far to travel. Because District 6 has many elders, disabled, and poor, we have a great need for MUNI in D6. Many people rely on services at General Hospital and MUNI is the mode of transportation to get them there. Elders are always standing at bus stops with loads of groceries or shopping that they could not get to their homes if they had to rely on walking. MUNI serves a basic need in District 6 and I look forward to the day when we have fast, clean, dependable service for these people.
4. Difficult decisions often have to be made regarding transportation in San Francisco. Sometimes a well-researched project may have loud, angry opponents, or a popular project may not be the best for City residents and for San Francisco’s transportation infrastructure.
How would you make a decision under these kinds of circumstances?
(Feel free to cite a similar situation from your past experience as an example – it doesn’t have to be transit related)
I think that we need to discourage use of cars in our city and charge by the weight of your car to get into San Francisco like they do in London. BART needs to run all night; at least on weekends; and MUNI needs to extend its hours till at least two on it’s lines. We are not thinking forward to solutions but instead pandering to the idea that its alright to drive everywhere in this city. More green areas and fuel efficient means of transportation need to be a high priority as well as limiting the number of cars on the road. Â We need to make MUNI a priority in this city and make it the easiest way to get around. Removing the number of cars encourages health, stops crowding problems and congestion, and save the city on the amount they have to spend on infastructure. When we look at the deficit there is no way we can not take these cost effective measures seriously.
5. What is the Fix Muni Now charter amendment? Do you support it? (Y/N) Why or why not?
There is a lot of talk about Congestion Pricing and they have spent Millions of dollars just talking about it and plan to spend more putting it into action. This is a big deal issue seems a bit far fetched. I would not support this idea even though its popular. My belief that we need to create a less car centric city and charge SUV’s and other large vehicles more in tolls and taxes is probably going to make me unpopular with some but I think they are selfish to drive such large cars. I think it’s time for people to take a stand for sustainability and hold to it.
6. One (of many) causes for Muni’s perennial budget woes was the illegal seizure of state gas tax money by Governor Schwarzenegger and the Legislature. This has left a large hole in Muni’s income (as well as every transit agency in CA).
How would you make up this gap in Muni revenue? Would you support
– a local funding source or sources (fees, taxes, or other type of revenue) to avoid future problems caused by the state?
– would you achieve savings through cuts to Muni’s budget, fare increases, etc.
– or, do you have other ideas on how to get Muni out of its annual financial woes?
(You can choose more than one option, but just explain it clearly)
I do support most of the fix MUNI now but I question weather Mr Elsbernd even takes MUNI.
MUNI revenue must not continue to be used as a slush fund for state legislators. The fact is that this is a very backward and irresponsible way to behave. At this time we should be investing in green energy efficient modes of transportation and creating a sustainable future. We need to push for free MUNI with corporate interests footing the bill. Our tax dollars should go directly into creating a better solution for the whole and not pandering for profits.
7. Finally, tell us a story about a funny or unique experience you’ve had on Muni.
My favorite memory on MUNI was when a bunch of us did a visibility day called “Hoku Mama Swamps Drag March”. We went parading through the malls down town and past Union Square and through the tenderloin. The police followed us everywhere because they were not sure if the drag queens we a threat to security. So to escape the pressure placed on our little parade we boarded a Street car and headed to the Castro. There was just something about all the laughter and smiles on the passengers faces that made the fear from down town fade away. Street Cars and drag queens, two great San Francisco tastes that taste great together.