Matchmaking on a Personal Level and a Citywide Level
By Kim Knox
- The organized will inherit the city.
- — Jake McGoldrick
In online matchmaking services, you have to choose
qualities that describe yourself and qualities that you want in a
Those qualities can range from "loves to travel" to
"spiritual not religious," from "latest books that you read" to "most
romantic scene in a movie." All of other superficial information (like
weight, color of eyes, color of hair) is of course included to create a
I've gotten responses from men whose main hobby is
exploring expensive but unknown wines and men who like country/western
bars in Boise, Idaho. Since a glass of wine per week is my usual intake
and I turn off country and western stations on the second note of a song,
this experiment has not been a smashing matchmaking success.
But it has been an interesting experiment in learning
how your definition of yourself can create a response that you didn't want
And it raises a question about politics and the state
of our city — when faced with an $84 million budget deficit, is the
reality that we see determined by the way that we define our city and its
For example, do we see our city providing the most
vulnerable with services such as counseling, shelter, food, and job
training, or do we see it providing tax credits to companies that want to
build large housing developments at Treasure Island, Hunters Point, and
Do we see our city providing opportunities for all
people in all areas to play and explore nature, or do we see it allowing
millionaires to create a garage so that those who can afford cars may
drive into our city's largest park rather than walking into it and
exploring the nature there on foot?
Do we see our city listening when the community
members, including parents, aunts, uncles, church leaders, and others,
talk about stemming the violence that took the lives of 87 people in
homicides last year, or do we see this violence as an intractable problem
that can only be solved by a troubled juvenile justice system and the
police (so that we continue to fund the overtime costs of the police
department without a murmur)?
Is that why we allow cuts in the recreational
programs that serve children in the Mission, Bayview, Western Addition,
OMI, and other primarily low-income parts of the city? Is that why we
ignore the students who attend our Community Schools after being expelled
or dropping out of other schools?
Because we want to continue to give revised and
lowered tax assessments to large corporations with skyscrapers in downtown
San Francisco? Because we shy away from amending our business tax program
after large downtown interests sued the city for setting up a more
progressive tax five years ago?
who we are, we have the power to define ourselves — whether we are
participants in an online matchmaking service or residents and
shareholders of a city. And how we define ourselves and our city is how we
define our future.