The Great Measure R Sales Tax Debate

We at Flying Pigeon LA believe that a free society is made stronger by an ol’ fashioned debate (and bicycles too!), so we’re hosting one in our shop to help voters decide whether Measure R is worth the 1/2 cent sales tax increase. After the debate, we’ll be screening a funny and touching movie from China called “Please Vote For Me” about a classroom election in a Chinese elementary school (communists teaching kids about democracy = awesome!).

The Great Measure R Sales Tax Debate and Movie Screening will take place on Wednesday, October 29, 2008 at 7 p.m. at the Flying Pigeon LA bike shop located at 3404 N. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90042.

The debate will be sizzling! It will start with introductions at 7 p.m. A coin toss will determine who gets to offer their argument for or against Measure R first, each speaker will get a chance to rebut the other’s argument..

In the “Yes on R” corner we’ll have Hank Fung, Treasurer of the Southern California Transit Advocates, a nonprofit transit advocacy group which is one of the supporters of Measure R listed in the ballot pamphlet. Fung, a licensed civil engineer, is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public administration at Cal Poly Pomona.

In the “No on R” corner, we’ll have Randall “BusTard” Fleming, a writer, public transit advocate, and regular contributor to The Bus Bench, a Los Angeles-based blog. A former magazine publisher (Angry Thoreauan, 1987-2001), with 20 years of experience in the print industry, he has also contributed to a great many books, periodicals and newspapers in Los Angeles and New York: New York Post, Working World Magazine, Brooklyn Spectator, Discover Hollywood!, Home Reporter, Ben Is Dead, Flipside, Los Feliz Ledger, Sabotage in The American Workplace (Pressure Drop Press), Notes From the Underground: Zines and the Politics of Alternative Culture (Verso), and several of the Unreinforced Masonry Studio books about Los Angeles. He presently resides in downtown Los Angeles but is occasionally at large, lurking about in the Lower East Side and Brooklyn.

Following the lively debate, the film “Please Vote For Me” will be screened. “Please Vote For Me” is a Chinese-language documentary about an elementary school “class monitor” election, meant to teach the students about democracy, in a 3rd grade class at Evergreen Primary School in the bustling city of Wehun, China.

The debate will be available for viewing online via Google Video before to the upcoming November 4 election.

The event is being hosted at Flying Pigeon LA, an exclusive retailer for China’s cultural revolution-era “Flying Pigeon” brand bicycle. The shop is owned and operated by two brothers, Adam and Josef Bray-Ali. The brothers hope to encourage discourse and political organization around transportation issues.

The Great Measure R Sales Tax Debate and screening of the Chinese documentary “Please Vote For Me” will begin at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 29, 2008 at 3404 N. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90042.

For more information, please contact Josef at 310-902-5439 or send an email to

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  1. […] Here’s a description of the debate in Josef’s own words.  To read an even more full description check out his blog at Flying Pigeon LA. […]

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