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Special Interests

Stevanie Wazna-Blank | November 26, 2013 | Lifestyle Story City Life

Humanity Through Education
CAUSE: Educating the public about the treatment of animals used in the entertainment business, with the ultimate goal of spurring a national consumer boycott.
CRED: The organization was instrumental in getting Circus Vargas to stop using animals in its performances.
CURRENT CRUSADE: Convincing Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, its biggest adversary, to stop using animals.

Bad Rap
CAUSE: Protecting the lives and reputations of pit bulls, which the group argues have gotten, well, a bad rap.
CRED: When NFL quarterback Michael Vick was convicted of illegal dogfighting, the feds contacted Bad Rap to figure out what to do with the victimized pit bulls.
CURRENT CRUSADE: Educating owners on how to navigate renting with a dog and helping shelters adopt out pit bulls.

Save the Berkeley Post Office
CAUSE: The small picture: stopping the USPS from selling Berkeley’s historic main post office building. The big picture: preventing the privatization of the Postal Service.
CRED: Over the summer, the group formed an Occupy-style tent city in front of the post office that lasted for weeks. It has also launched a letter-writing campaign, and its members appear regularly at Berkeley city council meetings.
CURRENT CRUSADE: Scrutinizing the Postal service’s real estate agents to try to catch any procedural violations—and attracting media attention (here ya go, guys!).

The Hills Conservation Network
CAUSE: Preventing clear-cutting—especially of nonnative trees, namely eucalyptus—as a means of fire mitigation.
CRED: HCN sued the east Bay regional Park District three years ago for what it alleged was a botched environmental impact report—ultimately forcing the district to redraft parts of the review.
CURRENT CRUSADE: Challenging UC Berkeley’s plan to cut down nonnative trees in Strawberry and Claremont Canyons.

George Davis
CAUSE: Fighting for the right to “nonsexual social nakedness” and an end to San Francisco’s nudity ban.
CRED: Since being arrested for indecent exposure after a naked yoga incident at Fisherman’s Wharf back in 2004, Davis has become well known in the local pro-nudity community. In 2007, he campaigned (in the buff) for mayor, finishing with 0.45 percent of the vote.
CURRENT CRUSADE: Running against Scott Weiner, architect of the nudity ban, for District 8 supervisor. “My job is not to win,” says Davis. “it’s to see that he loses.”

The Wigg Party
CAUSE: Improving the neighborhood surrounding the Wiggle bike route via advocacy and community building.
CRED: Has organized several neighborhood community-building events.
CURRENT CRUSADE: Advocating for, among other things, the Idaho stop law (in which bike traffic treats stop signs as yields and red lights as stop signs) and creating a (very) local currency: Wigg Bucks.

Originally published in the December issue of San Francisco magazine.

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