American Apparel Says Peace


American Apparel just posted the above note in the window at 988 Valencia.


97 Responses to “American Apparel Says Peace”

  1. fsharp says:

    Oh, that space will be empty and vandalized for years to come. You can count on it.

  2. brittney says:

    Classy. Seriously.

  3. teamawesome says:

    does grove street count as mission?

  4. brittney says:

    Was wondering about Coleridge, my own self.

  5. Jeff says:

    What an evil, slimy, greedy, neighborhood-character-destroying corporation.

    (note, the above statement is sarcasm, internet-style)

  6. T1 says:

    Agreed, classy. Now the extra $ I would’ve spent on the Valencia corridor will instead go to the neighbors of the new Union Sq. store. Nice work, Mission-erinos!
    Chicken John as usual gets an A for performance art and an F for common sense.

  7. olu says:

    That is cool. My ironic T-shirts are going to be that much cheaper.

  8. njudah says:

    I never saw other chains, such as Starbucks or McDonalds do such a thing. Wow.

  9. simplesimonsez says:

    I live in the mission but I now really understand why my friends who don’t live here despise it. C’est la view.

  10. zinzin says:

    big box! big box! big box!

    (more sarcasm).

  11. reede says:

    Very classy response, and it seems like American Apparel really gets the issues.

    I’ll be happy when the comments here start to reflect the fact that others get the issues as well.

  12. K.S. says:

    I’m sorry to say that observing this whole fiasco really soured me on the Mission, which I have lived in for years. It no longer sees like a particularly friendly, welcoming, open, or tolerant place.

  13. I agree with K.S.

    As a business owner in SF (I own House Of Shields downtown), its hard enough to open a business in this town… having some of the stores chase you out while your landlord charges high rents just makes me want to open my next place in Oakland.

    Which is fine I guess, but I’d rather make a tiki bar in the Mission.

  14. 'Deep says:

    As a Mission resident, and right across the street from where AA would have been, I appreciate this response. I do care a great deal about the character of the Mission & believe that there are other, more appropriate, locales for American Apparel stores.

    Thank you for the gesture & I’ll be headed to an AA store soon.

  15. johnny0 says:

    Print out my Mission map and take it with you for ID. They’d better not screw La Lengua!

    Coleridge is pushing it — that’s far enough up the hill to be pretty solidly Bernal. (I think by definition if you have a view, you’re not in the Mission.)

  16. zinzin says:

    heh. depends on how you define “view”.

  17. Oh please… American Apparel is obviously an edge case, but it
    really is a pretty big chain, and it’s nice to see that *some*
    people care enough about their neighborhood to fight back against
    the continual, creeping spread of blandness throughout the world.

  18. johnny0 says:

    touché — valencia st has views alright.

  19. A Paul D. says:

    More hollow and cheap words from their marketing department. And you suckers are just eating it up.

    To underscore but one aspect of what gullible sheep you all are, you don’t even have a clue if this is actually real. Oh, but it’s posted on the Intertubes, it must be true. Yet you boast and pretend to understand this issue.

    SuckaFree city, bitches.

  20. foon says:

    25% off ain’t cheap. That’s just about as real as they can get about putting their money where their mouth is. You got them booted; they’ve given several apologies; what more are you looking for? Why are you still so antagonistic?

  21. Katie Ann says:

    what about the people who technically live in the mission, but right on the cusp so the zip code is actually not a mission one? retarded.

  22. Dave says:

    Interesting response, assuming it’s real. I recommend reading C.W. Nevius’ piece on sfgate about this. He reported the protesters wear AA clothing:

    “Everyone I know is wearing an American Apparel T-shirt right now,” said Chicken John Rinaldi, one of the protest organizers. “I wear one every day.”

    We’re entering a massive recession. Companies like the one I work for are shipping jobs to China. And the Mission rejects an American-owned business that pays Americans a fair wage, subsidizes health care, and — the kicker — one that gets their money anyway. NIMBY anyone? What a joke.

    Nevius also points out that accepting AA doesn’t mean opening the floodgates to chain retail because each case is considered individually thanks to Prop G. I hate chain stores as much as the next SF resident but it’s a far cry from Wal-Mart where the owners have become extravagantly rich by abusing child labor in China, undercutting non-chain stores, and directing their employees to use Medicare instead of offering them a livable wage and decent benefits.

    Now, if you want to talk about how the AA CEO is a sketchy perv who sexually harasses his employees, that might be a different story. Was that part of the protest?

    Sent from my American Apparel shirt

  23. Jane P says:

    My greatest wish is for this to be another “Dustin Cataclass” prank (his picture IS on the poster). How amazing if hundreds of Mission residents swarm the Union Square AA store demanding their 25% off, only to have the AA sales kids throw their hands up in bewilderment “aah WTF why is this happening”.

    if only…

  24. johnny0 says:

    I love how they appropriated Joaquin’s hipster-power fist photo for their flyer. I was hoping for George the hipster-trucker for the ultimate ironiconicity, but hey, I guess Valencia’s the new LA for hipster scum in this winter of our hardship.

  25. johnny0 says:

    Good point, Jane — is this real? that would be classic.

    Nothing in their blog (which is horribly fascinating in many other ways…)

  26. Jane P says:

    Quick, somebody head to AA for their discount, then report back! The people need to know.

    Remember kids: American Apparel don’t own helvetica… (yet).

  27. alicia says:

    My cynical side says they’ll be collecting data on how many purchases are made with the “Mission discount” and appealing the Planning Commission decision with that data. The voice of the silent majority, etc.

    At least that’s what I would do if I were in their position.

  28. Bob says:

    We would be thrilled to have an AA store in Uptown Oakland. There are plenty of empty storefronts within walking distance from the newly restored Fox Theater, and in the heart of Oaksterdam.
    Come on over, AA.

  29. Shawn says:

    @alicia This is real and I assure you that we’re not collecting data. We’re honestly not trying to open on Valencia Street anymore and anyone that’s interested in the space can contact the information above.

    If someone has a problem getting the discount, just email me (shawn[at] and I can contact the store for you.


  30. fsharp says:

    @Shawn – please consider opening a store on Mission st. Most of the people that hate you and your store so much don’t care much about Mission st. (It’s too ‘colorful’) so I think you would have fewer problems.
    It’s a fascinating and diverse street with great public transit. There are already other national retailers there. Moving there would be a positive force for good. The other retail shop owners would be much more welcoming (seriously).

  31. Jane P says:

    So you people are coming out of the woodwork NOW, begging American Apparel to come back, claiming that Mission St will welcome them with open arms?
    You could have come to the planning commission hearing and voiced your opinion while it still mattered.

    I wish people would stop anthropomorphizing huge companies (1 million tshirts produced per week, dudes). American Apparel aren’t “classy”. They just hire good PR guys.

  32. K.S. says:

    So, Jane P, only people who attend government hearings have the right to say anything on a subject of public concern.

    I’ll remember to remind people to stop anthropomorphizing companies next time I hear someone in the mission talking about “evil” corporations.

  33. fsharp says:

    @Jane P
    I’ve been consistent with my comments.
    I actually work during the day in the Mission(and I employ a lot of Mission dwellers).
    Also I didn’t feel like being spit on and yelled at by all of you. A lot of people were intimidated into avoiding that meeting because of the childish behavior.

    Anyway, I don’t give a crap about Valencia st. I don’t even consider Valencia as part of the Mission now. I’m talking about “The Mission”, not some magical boutique wonderland where working people can hardly afford to eat let alone buy a cup of coffee. The Mission needs jobs and wants companies with fair labor practices. Valencia clearly does not.

  34. zinzin says:

    only people who are able to take time away from work and / or family to attend government meetings in the middle of the day, actually.

    lucky people, those.

  35. T1 says:

    The thread seems to disagree about the “class” of the gesture, Jane P. the discount seems fair. the real losers here are the other Valencia merchants who won’t be getting the extra foot traffic.

  36. [...] is one story that never ends and American Apparel is another. AA posted this note on the window at 988 Valencia, offering a 25 percent discount for Mission residents. Folks are [...]

  37. Emmanuele says:

    So the same peeps who do not want the AA at the Mission because it could ruin the neighborhood and because its corporate will gladly go up there and suck up for a discount? Interesting, does the word hypocrite come up in the conversation while in line to get the discount?

  38. K.S. says:

    It’s not hypocritical because they don’t care about how increased demand for retail space impacts rent in other neighborhoods. They’ve been quite clear about this. They want to keep people out of the Mission to keep rents down there, even though those same people and stores will locate somewhere else and increase rents there.

  39. Brock says:

    i want to get some new socks. my current ones leave my toes chilly.

  40. redbearded says:

    I still don’t get it.
    What’s so friggin special about the Mission’s “character” anyway? It’s a neighborhood with shops like a lot of other neighborhoods with shops and it’s not the “only” neighborhood in this city without chain stores. And what’s with rewarding self absorbed elitist Missionites for their irrational childish behavior with a 25% discount??? Not necessary.

  41. redbearded says:

    I agree with you 100% about Valencia St. not really being a part of the Mission.
    what you say gives me an idea. I think that the shop owners of Valencia street should follow American Apparel’s example and pay respect to the many people they have displaced when they moved in and started to sell overpriced coffee and useless stuffed dead mice. They are lucky to be there and they need to be reminded of that. They should offer hefty discounts to the TRUE majority of Mission residents who really could care less about formula retails stores opening up in the neighborhood as a way of saying “Surrrrrryy! We were really just thinking of ourselves when we kicked the shit out of the big bad evil corporate formula retailer. Here’s a 25% off coupon so you can afford to buy the things that our totally rad “cool kid” friends with trust funds and disposable incomes can afford. We totally forget sometimes that you guys provide the grit and character that makes us look “edgy” and “real” so that we can seem like we’re down and out and have credibility when we wear our ironic fashions.”

  42. Allan Hough says:

    Sounds good, but what kind of ID card to you need to show to get that discount?

  43. zinzin says:

    let’s let this be a lesson: it pays to be organized, it pays to be vocal, and it pays to speak out for what you believe. or in this case…what you…uh…want. personally. for your own benefit.

    but like it or not, agree or disagree, the anti-AA contingent STOMPED this thing, with meetings, rallies, tea parties, letter writing campaigns, blogs, margaret cho, chicken john, campos, elsbernd, the shriners, king kong, et al. only thing they didnt do was trot out jerry lewis or the lubavitcher rabbbis for a telethon.

    really, you gotta give credit where it’s due.

    i myself am nauseated by the intent and directive, but the organization and mobilization was effective. this is a fact, not an opinion. it was well played.

    so…what are you gonna do about it?

    you don’t want a bunch of twee nimby fascists ruling your hood? you don’t agree that the mission is a “delicate flower” (barf)?

    you think business is better than blight? safety is more important than taxidermy mice? inclusion and opportunity are better than, well, exclusion and the limitation of competition?

    you think the mission is better than this?


    what are you gonna do about it?

    (i have a few ideas).

  44. piratesnack says:

    Zinzin, I would love to hear your ideas.

    My plan is to protest the next taqueria that tries to open in the Mission. After all, there are dozens of taquerias already here, all serving the same “formula” menu. They are using up the scarce commercial store fronts, preventing others from opening diverse businesses and art galleries. They need to stop increasing the demand for commercial space, driving up rents, and driving local vendors out of business. Further, they are creating undue competition for other local eateries. Can’t people just take the bus to the Haight to get their tacos? Why do we need another taco store in this city? Don’t we have enough?

    Isn’t this our neighborhood, not theirs?

    The fascism displayed by this whole thing is enough to make me consider joining the local chapter of the Libertarian party.

  45. zinzin says:

    Chicken John is a Libertarian!

  46. Tex says:

    I have not read one comment about how much american apparel just actually sucks. They have you all fooled. You are part of their marketing machine. Apart from them being a big chain…the founder is an absolute scumbag with pics of topless women on his office wall (yet “his door is always open” to workers. yeah right.) He has a handful of sexual harassment charges pending, made against him by former employees, they use photos of prepubescent children in ads to sell their crack inspired designs, their workers are not in a union, AND if you watch the documentary about them…they use pressure tactics to keep it that way. Said owner convinces next layer down to convince workers not to organize, then puts them all in a parking lot and bullhorns “if anyone wants to join a union step forward.” yeah right. American Apparel is the worst form of green washing happening right under all of your noses, but all you care about are your ironic t-shirts at cheap prices. Even posting this freaking note is part of their marketing, and here you all are, falling for it. You’re all suckers. American Apparel is a far cry from sweatshop free. I’ve lived in the Mission for over 10 years and am really freakin psyched they’re not moving here.

  47. piratesnack says:

    Chicken John a Libertarian? You blew my mind!

  48. piratesnack says:


    I don’t think that a zoning board is a good venue for deciding issues like sexual harassment and the merits of a unionization drive. Those topics don’t readily fall within their zone of expertise. It sounds like the courts will determine the merits of those accusations.

  49. Chuck says:


    I bet you make your clothes from cotton that you grow in your commune’s green knoll. Maybe you’re right that we’re all just tools, but I have the feeling that everyone else might think that the only tool here is you.

    You make friends fast.

  50. zinzin says:

    Tex, i think your points are well made, and you;re certainly entitled to your views. MANY people were against AA in the hood, and the process more or less worked…volume of voices won the day. AA will not open on valencia in the near future.

    i personally don’t have strong feelings about AA either way…fact is, most of the boutiques on valencia have racist hiring policies (predominantly white, in a latino hood), most of them were part of a gentrification wave that displaced many Latino owned businesses, very few cover health insurance, etc etc etc…

    and i am sure we could go on & on about how any business needs to make decisions & compromises to stay afloat, much less make money (which is what ALL business are supposed to do)…but honestly, it’s really not the point.

    AA is not a perfect business. go find me one that is.

    fact is, AA weren’t run out on a rail because of their poor business practices, or their CEO’s obvious looniness, or even the porn adverts.

    they were run out on a rail because of the misguided notions that AA on Valencia would i) open the floodgates for other chain retailers and ii) artificially raise the rents.

    both of these assertions are for the most part false. Prop G solves (i) and while there may be some truth to (ii), i would argue that these folks raised the rent 10 years ago, and what goes around comes around. rents go up. that’s how the world works. no one gets a pass on the free market.

    so all in all, i’d say that most folks that were FOR AA moving in…or even ambivalent about it…are not defending AA as a perfect business…

    but were put off by a very successful and vocal “movement” that made a stand, and got something done…but something that fails in any way to represent what THEY want in the hood, or THEIR values.

  51. zinzin says:


    well, he said he was. cannot corroborate.

  52. fsharp says:

    Ok, right on. I’m all ears. (seriously)
    My issues in order: murders, robberies, garbage, graffiti & blight. 7 people were shot on my block last year so my priorites are really really different from Valencia’s.

    I go to the Police Commission meetings. I hosted Campos at my house for a fundraiser. (he’s all-right though I remember you supported someone else). I work with HOMEY. I go to the police captain’s meetings. I’m a member of my block group where we watch each other’s backs, paint over graffiti, do a kick ass Halloween, garage sales and monthly street cleanups. I’m working on a project to get the city to clean up 23rd st. There are a bunch of empty Ellis Act buildings there that attract garbage and crime. Yes, many of us are active and many are more active than me. We just have a lot bigger problems to deal with than 1 empty storefront on Valencia. Like I said Valencia is not My Mission. Let them have it. PS How do we get together on this stuff?

  53. RandyR says:

    A loud minority trumps a polite majority in San Francisco, and in California. The Prop 8 supporters proved that.

    So the loud minority gets the herd among them to go along, because our DNA is programmed that way- we want to be seen as part of the tribe. But if secretly asked how we feel on the same subject, before the loud minority’s influence, we’d likely make a different decision.

    Except in this case, the loud minority is bored trust fund kids slumming in rent-controlled apartments in the mission. I’m not impressed.

    So go ahead and keep Valencia this bipolar mix of ghetto and boutique. We’ll see how well Ritual and its ilk fare when all the new media douchebags are out of money in the coming months. Maybe a Dunkin’ Donuts will open at 988 Valencia after everyone else is gone.

    Good thing the merchants on Mission street and even 24th street are open to more businesses coming their way. The more merchants on a shopping street, the better for all the merchants.

  54. zinzin says:

    fsharp you are speaking my language.

    i personally think that responsible development and tenants rights go hand in hand. it’s silly to pretend the future isn’t coming…the goal must be to get EVERYONE involved in shaping the future.

    i personally think that opportunity creation for EVERYONE should be the goal. again, the future and its associated changes are coming. let’s embrace it for EVERYONE.

    (what do i mean by “EVERYONE”? i mean people that live in the mission, young, old, rich, poor, brown, white, etc).

    i personally think that safety is THE NUMBER ONE ISSUE in the hood. just because no one got shot this week, well, that don’t make it “job done”.

    listen, i am no activist, and i’ve never done anything like this before. but Stephen Elliot and his “movement” aren’t fucking brain surgeons either.

    while, i am worried about factions & politics (the mission has over 75 NGO orgs well entrenched), i think that it’s worth the effort.

    i think the future is coming to the hood, like it or not….and unless we stare it right in the eye and meet it proactively, we will get STOMPED by fractious politics and shady opportunism.

    the alternative, as the anti-AA folks have shown us, it to be involved, be vocal, get organized, and make the future happen in the hood, not just stand there and watch it happen.


  55. [...] 2: American Apparel has posted a peace offering on the window of 988 Valencia. [update by [...]

  56. A Paul D. says:

    @zinzin, wrote: “…i personally think that opportunity creation for EVERYONE should be the goal. again, the future and its associated changes are coming. let’s embrace it for EVERYONE…”

    dewd, combined with other bombs like ‘proactive’ and ‘shaping the future’ you’re sounding like the janitor of Obama’s campaign headquarters finally getting around to reading aloud all the choice leaflets he swept up and stashed in between the bottles of pink hand soap and boxes of urinal cakes.

    Get a grip. You comment on a blog. That’s clearly the extent of your super-powers. Besides, getting a movement going actually requires you to, you know, like, leave the house.

  57. Shawn-

    If you guys had nothing to do with “Dustin Cataclaas” and those “Legalize Valencia” flyers he was brandishing, why did you put his image at the bottom of this message to the neighborhood?

  58. zinzin says:

    @ A Paul D..

    gosh, i….i…

    i’m positively stifled by your wisdom.

    really….i ….i’m reduced to jelly by your wit.

    fucking troll.

  59. Rachel says:

    I’ve lived in SF for almost 10 years now, and have seen all the neighborhoods (but especially the Mission) change a lot. Some of the change was for the worse but for the most part things haven’t completely fallen apart or been catastrophic. I was on Valencia the other day and made a point to note all the empty storefronts (more and more every day) and the places that have changed hands multiple times since I moved here. I miss Casa de libros, Das Pussycat, the coffeeshop that is now a Chinese place on 16th, and many more.
    That said, time marches on! Would AA really have killed the neighborhood? I don’t think so. Sketchers, KFC, Walgreen’s and other chains on Mission Street have not done anything to negatively affect the neighborhood, if anything I’d argue they employ many people and provide services that are needed.
    Not sure where I’m going with this, except to say this city could use more shades of grey, not just black and white absolutes.

  60. dstld says:

    Oh, that’s that empty storefront next to the empty storefront two doors down from an empty storefront.

    It would have been terrible to have a bustling, bright store providing jobs, driving traffic and having an interest in keeping the block clean. I’m glad it’s not going in.

  61. Shawn says:


    Companies can make jokes too.

  62. alistairmackinnon says:

    Are you that young and American form of foolishness
    if you are
    go work in south central, Englewood or even over here in the UK, better yet Bangladesh or the Gaza strip.. Apparel says peace…. hubris hubris and no skills

  63. Shawn-

    Thanks for clearing that up (sorta.) By the way, “Dustin” (or someone claiming to be him) contacted me. He had PDFs of those fake “Legalize Valencia” handouts. Let me know if you want them for your next joke.


  64. Scott says:

    Does anyone know how I can get a hold of Chicken John Rinaldi? I want a quick email interview for my blog.

  65. Scott

    Easy to find him. It’s [HisName]@[HisName].com

    Or just go to the Ask Dr Hal show at his place tonight.

  66. weaksauce says:

    this is really lame. I, for one, was for AA moving in. bringing jobs and more foot traffic to a neighborhood full of crime homelessness is one step towards revitalizing a neighborhood. call it gentrification if you want, at least AA are a thoughtful company (as this “later assholes” letter proves).

    so, we can now celebrate our victory (hooray for more empty store fronts! congrats!) but just wait until another damn T-Mobile or outrageously expensive boutique furniture store that none of us can afford to shop in moves in instead.

  67. eric says:

    god i hate blogs…cringe at this post…bunch of anonymous, self-important, whining, unaccountable, pseudo-intellectual behavior. Disgusting. (yes im a hypocrite, couldnt resist)

    Welcome to the the plight of the hipster. you all remind me of tiny children who think the world will end if you can’t watch saturday morning cartoons. Here are 3 options.

    1) if you care, do something
    2) if you dont care, DO somthing else
    3) in any event, talk a big game…

    please dont pick 3, for the sake of this country. O snap, too late for many of you…don’t be surprised when things don’t go your way.

  68. Jack says:

    as they say, opinions are like assholes. seems to be a lot of both in this thread.

  69. GhoulieBurger says:

    Uhh.. Hi, I don’t want you store in my hood, but i do want 25% off you fleece hoody!
    The Irony is staggering.

  70. anon says:

    I see both sides. On one hand, huge chains have defaced a good part of America and driven lots of small businesses into the ground such that no one really owns anything anymore. Drive across the US and all the new development is the same old crap. It is good to see some hold outs somewhere. I’d like to see more of it everywhere.

    On the other hand, it seems AA got the brunt of all that other commercialism when this particular store wasn’t much of a big deal. I can see why that’s a turnoff to a lot of people who see much much bigger problems in this city. SF is wildly screwed up in a lot of ways. And people seem more willing to get active when they are hating on a particular “other” than when they are contributing something productive. I have seen a lot of what I call “passive activism”. People who pass laws to curb mild behavior rather than using their own means to influence the world around them. As a liberal myself, it troubles me.

    There is definitely too much of big business steamrolling the USA, but I don’t think obstructing one store at a time from a single neighborhood based on that neighborhood’s historic character is the correct or scalable solution to the problem. Every neighborhood in the US should have character, not just the Mission.

    I feel bad for anyone who comes on here and ridicules others for taking action, or for expressing an opinion on the topic. It is like such a mammoth waste of time to type out something that has no potential to be of any use to anybody.

  71. piratesnack says:

    This debate reminds me of the quote:

    It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a “dismal science.” But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.
    –Murray Rothbard

    The regulation and allocation of a scarce resource — commercial real estate — is quintessentially an economic issue. Unfortunately, all we’ve heard is a lot of shouting and bullying by people with strong, but ill-informed economic opinions.

  72. foon says:

    Key quote from Chicken John, from the interview Allan linked to:

    … in the fight on Valencia Street, I’m pretty powerful. I can stop somebody from opening a chain store. And that’s a fucking great feeling.

  73. Jeff says:

    I live in the Mission very close to where the AA store would have been, and I find the opposition frankly ridiculous. Rents are so high along Valencia Street that the only businesses that can ever hope to survive are ones that sell $200 shirts, $1,500 end tables, or $100-per-person meals. I don’t have a problem with any of those types of establishments, but all this brouhaha about chain stores putting ma & pa stores out of business when ma & pa stores can’t even afford to open on Valencia Street to begin with smacks of hypocritical BS.

  74. [...] a company that listens, as this comments thread reflects. Can empathy beat cynicism? American Apparel might find out in the coming years. [...]

  75. Dave says:


    I’m glad I read this. Chicken John does make a pretty compelling argument for a virginal chain-free eight blocks of Valencia. It’s not like the NIMBY issue is where to put the town’s nuclear reactor. It’s like do we need a 4th nuclear reactor and do we need to put it right in the middle of a park.

    The comparison to Starbucks is weak though. Starbucks has a nasty reputation for encroaching on independent cafes that sell almost exactly the same product. AA isn’t exactly forcing out mom & pop stores sewing together their own blank t-shirts. Some may disagree but clothing stores are not as interchangeable as cafes.

    ps I live in Hayes Valley and where the hell can you buy a $10,000 piece of clothing? Not that it’s not a little bourgie but I think you guys have us confused with Pac Heights.

  76. piratesnack says:

    Really, what is “nasty” about opening a business near a competitor’s? Is it “nasty” for a gas station to open across the street from another gas station? Is it “nasty” because one is “independent”? Why should “independent” cafes be immune from competition?

    It’s called competition, and it’s what ensures that people get the products they want at the best prices. If an independent cafe sells coffee that people want at a price they will pay, Starbucks is no threat to it. The only thing that “forces” a cafe out of business is its customers deciding that they’d rather patronize another cafe. In fact, the only people using force in this entire debate are Chicken John, his following, and the zoning board.

  77. SFDoggy says:

    @zinzin: You are definitely right about the power of organization. It was reported that Bevan Dufty had received 200+ e-mails against AA and only 5 in favor. Now, I know that there were a lot more than 5 people on this blog alone who were OK with AA but most of them apparently did not bother to even send an e-mail. I did — even though I doubt that I would ever shop their.

    And, BTW, Chicken Little (he who says that that chain stores are falling down onto Valencia St.) is definitely not a libertarian. A true libertarian would not believe that anybody other than the property owner should have the right to comment on who should open a store there.

  78. snarkmancer says:

    There’s an interesting discussion over here too. Try to guess which one I am:

    My favorite of the bunch:
    “from the mother jones article… this has got to be mr j: Whoever it is.. well written and well spoken.

    Chicken John can obfuscate and puff up meaningless rhetoric like a real politician all he wants but he’s never going to get more than a few thousand votes for mayor until it least pretends to have some internal logic behind it.

    The fact of the matter is that “formula retail” is a label that was invented long before companies like American Apparel existed. In fact, the ban is designed to encourage businesses to make the “ethical” decisions that they do. And the nice thing about conditional use hearings is that their power is conditional and not universal. So does the opening of one store in a vacant storefront hurt independent businesses? Not in this lifetime.

    Community Organizing is wonderful when it’s used to do good. Chicken John apparently sees it as some shakedown tool he and his friends can use to get attention or bend successful people to their knee to beg or barter. Shockingly, count the “I”s in this interview and compare them to the “We”s.”

    That Mother Jones article is ridiculous. Chicken John doesn’t make a compelling argument at all. He just masturbates to his own ego for a few thousand words and makes the whole thing seem shameful and embarrassing for the city – literally on a national level now.

  79. [...] American Apparel Says Peace [Mission Mission] [...]

  80. [...] the San Francisco planning commission voted against allowing the store. American Apparel apologized and offered Mission residents discounts at their other SF [...]

  81. SFanon says:

    OOH! I love their reverse psychology! I can see all those “Mish” unconfoming, conforming residents running to their nearest AA stores with daddy’s credit cards now!!

  82. chicken john says:

    I disagree. With all of you. You’re all wrong.

    Actually, I only disagree with the people that don’t see this letter as DAMAGE CONTROL. They fucked up. They are gonna do some damage control. Of course they are. Does that mean that they are nice people who love little animals? No. They are a giant company run by lawyers. Period. The company does hundereds and hundereds of millions of dollars in business every year and employs thousands of people. Do you think Ryan runs the company? You people are pretty easy to fool.

    You can complain and bla bla all ya want. You wanna change things? Get off your fat ass and go to the planning department with a few hundred of like-minded individuals. But ya didn’t. We did. So we won. Commissioners voted 7-0. That’s unheard of.

    You love me. I’ve given you an enemy and something to complain about. Love me. Love Chicken John. Love hating me. Or don’t. No formula retail on Valencia.

    If you are activated on a topic, and need help… gimme a shout. You can acess to the tools that I have labored to build to get 700 people to a planning commisision meeting. I don’t even have to agree with you. Straight up.

    Enjoy ripping each other to pieces. It’s amusing.

  83. Matt G says:

    @Chicken John: I’m with you, No Formula Retail On Valencia and these people who are getting heated and complaining about the campaign winning are totally nuts. This letter is a pile of shit and the 25% discount is really just more of an ad than an apology letter.

    I’m annoyed that you are taking credit for winning this short campaign. Myself and other people tabled in front of ATA getting hundreds of signatures, telling people to write letters and come to the hearing. Ritual worked on this a bunch, Stephen from the Stop American Apparel blog was a major organizer, Monkey organized the protest, and there’s a bunch of other folks. Of the tons of people I knew that were at the hearing, none of them came because of you. I know you’re a popular guy, but please, get that ego in check a little bit dude.

  84. chicken john says:

    Yup. Draw the fire. That’s why I’m here. Paint a bullseye on me. Fire away. Pile on. See? It doesn’t bother me. Because that’s the design. And all the other people who worked hard can now all be left alone. You love me. Hate me. What’s the difference? Nothing. No formula retail on Valencia. Period. End of discussion. Really. Sorry it’s all so ugly. That’s just how it has to be. Ugly. Ugly, and no formula retail on Valencia. The only reason I’m even engaging this conversation is because it is the beginning of the next fight. I’m harvesting data. So are you. Pay attention. Bookmark the page. Sharpen the sword. We will be having this argument in perpetuity.

  85. johnny0 says:

    Chicken John, I ask you again – how do we make Valencia and the Mission better? What’s the next step beyond your epic victory on personally banning retail on Valencia?

    You obviously care about the neighborhood. Dare I ask if you have constructive suggestions on dealing with crime, never mind improving schools? Or are you too much the figurehead to delve into the details?

  86. chicken john says:

    Ya know, I’m not a politician. There are things to do, little things. We all do them. It’s not like a slam dunk do it thing. It’s all the little things we all do all the time. Improve the Mission? I don’t know how to do that. I can only do things one thing at a time. The Mission is a system. Like any neighborhood. Anyone who tells you they can “fix” the MIssion is trying to sell you something or trying to get elected. Just love it, and do things that make it interesting and fun. Be the cool thing that you want to surround yourself with. As for crime, I’d say that art is your best deterrant. Schools? Art programs make happier kids. Money for schools? You guessed it, it’s an art problem. Art is the first thing on the chopping block for a budget cut. Art for all purposes. That’s my thing. But I’m not pushing an agenda, it’s just my philosiphy.

    I guess the best way to destroy the mission is with the MMA. We can work backwwards too…

  87. meave says:

    Actually, considering that AA produces clothing made from only cotton and/or man-made materials, they are a company that loves little animals. That’s a big reason why I shop there.

  88. tko says:

    I must say, I was fooled. I seriously thought this issue was about making the Valencia Street corridor unique. But after reading these posts, I realize it was simply about Chicken John’s ego. The next time he mentions the hecurlean task of getting 700 people to show up at a meeting, you’ll realize it too. BTW, there is formula retail on Valencia so that makes the chicken mis-informed.

  89. POOP says:

    The discount applies to one item at a time and i believe is basically limited to clothing.

  90. Melissa says:

    Believe me, you made the right choice in stopping AA. I live near their retail outlet in the Haight and they are THE WORST NEIGHBORS. Their disregard for the neighborhood is becoming legendary. All night construction jobs, and total disrespect for the community are just a few issues. They are only motivated by profit by any means necessary. Please don’t shop at AA. The Haight is organizing a petition to get them out of here too.

  91. johnny0 says:

    The 25% Mission discount expires in 5 days. Run to the Haight and kill their margins!

    Has anyone actually tried to get the discount? (Presuming you are brave enough to admit it?)

  92. blackswan says:

    What exactly is the Mission trying to preserve?

    Last time I was there, all I noticed was dilapidated buildings, shops carrying junk, and vacant store fronts, derelict junkies that stank of urine, and thrift stores…

    Give me a break. Thank god I left SF years ago when it was still a creative and open neighborhood.

  93. jbabe says:

    redbearded, it’s comforting to know that someone really gets it. right on!

  94. Marcomaniac says:

    It’s mid July and the place is still empty. In fact there have been several stores shutter in the past few months in this area. Hey Chicken, maybe you can do some good for our neighborhood and open up a store? Bring some vibrancy back to our area? We love your creativity. Are you ready to take on something new, or are you going to
    keep sitting on your ass?

  95. Fred says:

    Yeah, what’s the matter….. r u chicken??
    (rim shot)

  96. Lynae says:

    Several stores/eateries have opened up in that area recently as well! Please help support them!

  97. Allene Joe says:

    I guess empty idle shops are better of for the community than a rent paying occupant.

  98. Martini Rossi says:

    Chicken John stole my weed.

  99. [...] not “formula retail,” so perhaps that explains why Levi’s was not rebuffed the way American Apparel was early last year. Explore posts in the same categories: Local [...]

  100. Boner Billy says:

    I remember it well but you should have seen what was there before the mission.

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