the queen
Everyone wants to be Queen for the Day.

Our first pop culture quiz did not go well, and we had no winner. I’m to blame, as it was confusing: We don’t want you to identify Joe’s reference. We want you to come up with a better one!

So, here is another attempt, and an example of what we would like to see: Basically, an answer that would replace Joe’s reference. 

In this week’s column on San Francisco’s toilet paper spending, Joe describes the budgetary add-back process — during which organizations plead for city money — as “a spectacle: Competing community groups are made to line up and tell piteous tales during public hearings like a deranged municipal version of ‘Queen for a Day.’” 

Do you have a better pop culture reference in which someone has to plead their case? 

My candidate would be: Competing community groups … 

are made to line up and be as convincing as Chris Gardner (the Will Smith character) trying to get hired by a brokerage firm in “The Pursuit of Happyness.”

We will choose the winner on Friday and the prize is a Mission Local tote bag!

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Founder/Executive Editor. I’ve been a Mission resident since 1998 and a professor emeritus at Berkeley’s J-school since 2019 when I retired. I got my start in newspapers at the Albuquerque Tribune in the city where I was born and raised. Like many local news outlets, The Tribune no longer exists. I left daily newspapers after working at The New York Times for the business, foreign and city desks. Lucky for all of us, it is still there.

As an old friend once pointed out, local has long been in my bones. My Master’s Project at Columbia, later published in New York Magazine, was on New York City’s experiment in community boards.

Right now I'm trying to figure out how you make that long-held interest in local news sustainable. The answer continues to elude me.

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