I moved here five months ago from San Francisco to attend graduate school at Cal Poly. Never in my nine years living in San Francisco did I ever feel as threatened and paranoid to be outside than I experienced this past weekend. If anything, San Luis Obispo seemed to be under military occupation for the weekend. With checkpoints just a few blocks from my house, city officials, in my opinion, went extremely overboard. The city of San Luis Obispo lost revenue from “afraid” citizens and from tourists who would have spent the weekend in SLO. This would have provided revenue to hotels and restaurants, which would have fed the coffers of this city by receiving above average rates of sales tax revenue. SLO city officials showed a lack of creativity to manage a public event, where a clear majority of the people desired it, and where more people would have benefited than would have been harmed. City officials showed an utter lack of vision to create an “environment of peace.” Instead they successfully created an environment of “fear mongering.”

To city officials of SLO: Learn how to protect and have fun (it really is possible). Learn how to manage a public event with peaceful crowd control techniques. This is your community too. Violence begets violence.

Samuel Vengrinovich

Public policy grad student

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