June 10, 2023

Not just hair salons. San Fran city gyms open to city workers, not the public

Speaker Pelosi’s salon-gate fiasco has another scandal to keep it company these days. After San Fran Nan brought attention to all of the hair and nail salons that were still being kept from resuming normal operations while a favored few were able to get their hair styled, some San Francisco residents learned that there were gyms that were open for business. Great news, right? Well, not if you were a member of the public. All of those commercial gyms were still locked down, but certain municipal employees had been able to hit the gym for months.

When the owner of one gym and fitness center reached out to local police asking if they wanted to arrange private workout sessions at her facility, she was informed that they had no need for her generosity because the police gyms had been up and running the entire time. The only words she was able to muster at that point were “shocking and infuriating.” (NBC News)

For months, the city of San Francisco health order has prevented local gyms from opening its doors, but some city-owned gyms have been back open for months and are allowing city employees to use them, crushing private gym owners.

“It’s shocking, it’s infuriating,” said Daniele Rabkin from Crossfit Golden Gate. She said she has done everything she can to keep her gym on Sutter Street alive.

“Even though they’re getting exposed, there are no repercussions, no ramifications? It’s shocking,” she said.

It’s not just the police gyms that we’re talking about here, either. When NBC News reporters dug a bit deeper, they learned that the Hall of Justice in the City by the Bay has been open since July 1st with modified rules mandating social distancing while working out. That gym serves judges, lawyers, bailiffs, paralegals and other employees of the municipal Justice Department. Good work if you can get it, I suppose.

As some of the local gym owners are pointing out, the city is demonstrating more than just hypocrisy and favoritism. They’ve shown that municipal leaders obviously believe that gyms can be open and safely operated provided precautions against spreading the novel coronavirus are in place. Unfortunately, they’re not offering the same opportunity to the private sector, despite the efforts of many owners to reconfigure their equipment layouts and implement sanitation procedures in preparation for reopening. Dave Karraker, the owner of MX3 Fitness in the Castro district, offered the following observation.

“What the city has unwillingly done is created this great case study that says that working out indoors is actually safe, So at this point, we’re just demanding that they allow us to have the same workout privileges for the citizens of San Francisco that the employees of San Francisco have.”

With Nancy Pelosi acting as a role model for her home city, this seems to be the current mode of operation. Privilege for me, but not for thee. Things have been at least somewhat back to normal for a couple of months now, provided you’re an elected official or an employee of the city. But for everyone else? Suck it up, buttercup.

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