San Mateo County District 5 (Daly City) Supervisor David Canepa has called for demonstrations and protests against the opening of a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Redwood City (District 4). Without question, Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy’s position opposing same-sex marriage is not mainstream. However, is that a good reason for Canepa to mobilize his supporters in a way that may pose a hazard to public safety? Even the ACLU, while disagreeing with Cathy’s position, still believes he is entitled to express it openly.

There may be a better way for Canepa to express his opposition to Chick-fil-A’s founder. Instead of promoting negativity, why not focus on positive advocacy for the LGBTQ community in our county? Let’s make sure everyone is welcome at the table. As LGBTQ folks are affected by the same problems everyone faces in San Mateo County, wouldn’t everyone be better served by improving housing, easing traffic congestion, helping the homeless, and cleaning up the environment in an equitable manner instead of picketing a restaurant?      

When this controversy first emerged in 2012, there were nationwide protests and Chick-fil-A’s sales rose 12%. Even so, Mr. Canepa (who is running for re-election in nine months) has the right to openly oppose Mr. Cathy’s position while abstaining from eating at Chick-fil-A. If the Redwood City restaurant is unprofitable, then it will close. In the end, maybe Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s reflection about Chick-fil-A said it best when he remarked last March: “I do not approve of their politics, but I kind of approve of their chicken.”     

Ray Fowler

Redwood City

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(6) comments


I am not in Canepa's District 5 but as a resident of San Mateo County, I am one of his constituents. He does not speak for me. I wish I were in District 5 so I could vote for his opponent in next year's election.


I honestly think Canepa is just trying to bring attention, TO HIMSELF! If the residents don't want a Chick-fel-A they won't go and they won't be open long. On the other hand who is he to speak for the residents who are not even in his district?


If he's trying to bring attention to himself and the issue, he's done a good job. We'll vote him out of office ...permanenttly, and bring busses of positive supporters to Chick-fil-a when it opens!

Terence Y

All hail King Canepa! If you don't agree with his views, you're on the wrong side and you must be destroyed. Send the homeless and illegal aliens to Mr. Canepa's residence - maybe he'll set an example by housing and supporting them financially. EAT MOR CHIKIN!


I'm going to have a delicious Star Bird Chicken sandwich in Foster City today. Mmmmmmmmmm good.

Seasoned Observer

I appreciate Mr. Fowler's thoughtful and respectful submission. Mr. Canepa, on the other hand, is clearly grandstanding.

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