Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 8 / 22 February 2018

Folsom Street Fair director gains support for entertainment seat

Folsom Street Events Executive Director Demetri Moshoyannis. (Photo: Rich Stadtmiller)

Folsom Street Events Executive Director Demetri Moshoyannis. (Photo: Rich Stadtmiller)

The executive director of the Folsom Street Fair, San Francisco’s yearly fetish event, has gained support for a seat on the city’s entertainment commission.

Demetri Moshoyannis won the recommendation of the Board of Supervisors Rules Committee Thursday, October 16.

Moshoyannis, who was out of town and couldn’t be at Thursday’s meeting, announced the “great news” in a Facebook post after gay Supervisor David Campos and Supervisors Katy Tang and Norman Yee voted unanimously in favor of him joining the oversight panel for the city’s nightlife and entertainment sector.

“Still have some work to do, but huge thanks to those who came out to support my nomination,” Moshoyannis, 43, said, expressing his gratitude to gay Supervisor Scott Wiener, former Entertainment Commission President Terrance Alan, and others.

Moshoyannis, whose application must still go before the full Board of Supervisors October 28, would fill the rest of the term of outgoing Commissioner Naomi Akers, who’s resigned. Akers, who couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Friday, had held the public health representative seat. The term for the seat ends July 1, 2017.

He had sought appointment to the commission’s industry seat in July, but the rules committee gave its support to reappointing nightclub owner Steven Lee to the seat.

In his application to the commission filed in September, Moshoyannis said, “As a gay man living with HIV since 1993, I have committed most of my career to addressing public health issues affecting the LGBT communities. These issues have included HIV/AIDS as well as substance abuse, mental health, sexual health, [and] homelessness. … Much of my work in public health has focused on dis-empowered demographics, especially teens and young adults.”

He added he’s been especially interested in the Castro district, where he lives, and the South of Market neighborhood, where he works.

“Both neighborhoods serve as hubs for nightlife and entertainment for thousands of residents as well as visitors and tourists,” Moshoyannis said. “It is particularly important to me that our venues continue to thrive and compete on a global scale. These businesses must meet the needs and address the challenges of the communities in which they exist, and I’d like to offer those perspectives on the Entertainment Commission.”

Wiener said Friday that Moshoyannis “absolutely” has a lock on the seat.

“I have ben pushing to get Demetri appointed to the entertainment commission for some time now,” Wiener said. “He will be a stellar addition the commission.”

He pointed to Moshoyannis’s “strong” backgrounds in public health, nightlife, and street fairs and festivals for his support.

“Street fairs are a key part of entertainment in San Francisco,” Wiener said. “They are important to our culture and economy, yet the city has not done a good job in helping them thrive.”

He added, “The entertainment commission has a key role to play in helping keep our street fairs alive and strong. It is overdue to have an entertainment commissioner who has significant street festival experience.”

Moshoyannis beat out Charles Stephanski, a licensed vocational nurse, for the recommendation.

In a brief call Friday, Stephanski, 52, who’s bisexual, said he was “disappointed,” but “it sounds like the guy’s imminently more qualified than I am.”

Matthew S. Bajko contributed to this report.


— Seth Hemmelgarn, October 17, 2014 @ 10:37 am PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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