My Speech Before the Entertainment and Youth Commission of San Francisco

Thank you President and Commissioners for the opportunity to speak tonight. My name is Christina McKinstry and I’m 30 years old. I am an athletics coach/faculty lecturer at San Francisco State University. My degree is in environmental chemical engineering.

I have been attending raves since college, about ten years. I enjoy the light shows, the colorful people, the peace and love vibes, and the original and inspiring music. I love to dance and share that joy with others. It’s important to recognize that not all rave goers are irresponsible drug users, or drug users at all.

The city’s recent actions against safe and permitted dance parties are unjustified and are going to backfire. This affects more than just San Francisco’s youth. I attended a wonderful New Year’s party that was perfectly permitted, peaceful, and safe but officers shut it down before midnight seemingly on the basis that electronic dance music was being played. It was an exclusive well-planned party attended by mostly 30to40 year old professionals. Instead I ended up moving to a fun but less safe house party.

My understanding and concern is that the proposed CA legislation and unwritten city policies do not have any provision for safe, private, permitted parties, which is only going to result in more unsafe, underground parties that fewer responsible adults and role models will have interest in attending and traveling to our city for.

I want the city to recognize that people from all walks of life enjoy this music scene and to agree to provide safe opportunities for us to meet with our friends at large outdoor public venues or at small private parties to enjoy the music we like.

Thank you.