On Tuesday, Supervisor and mayoral candidate David Chiu told the San Francisco Bay Guardian that he and fellow Supervisor Jane Kim would be attending this year's Burning Man festival.
Even though tickets to the highly coveted festival have sold out for the first time ever this year, The Huffington Post confirmed the claim with Chiu's office.
Though fellow burners will certainly welcome Chiu and Kim's attendance, the two aren't exactly immersing themselves into Burning Man culture. "It'll be a super quick trip," Chiu told The Guardian. The 24-hour itinerary includes a flight aboard a private jet, two staffers (Sunny Angulo and Dan Nguyen-Tan) to escort the pair through the playa, overnight accommodations and a morning flight back to SF.
"For several years, I've wanted to visit the Black Rock Desert to learn about how Burning Man is building a 21st Century community, creating art and fostering sustainability," Chiu told The Guardian. But unless that jet is powered by biodiesel, the trip is hardly "fostering sustainability."
Veteran burner Supervisor Eric Mar (alright, fine, he went once), however, will be attending the entire week. As SF Weekly reported last year, Mar returned from a "great 'burn'" last year and vowed to return — and not via private jet. (Though in fairness, Mar does not have a campaign to attend to.)
Chiu's trip comes on the heels of Mayor Ed Lee's collaboration with Burning Man organizers to create a nonprofit organization here in the city to help fund the annual event, as reported by The Examiner. Plans include an urban cultural center that will provide meeting and gallery spaces, classrooms and sites for rituals and ceremonies.
It seems Burning Man has finally won the hearts of San Francisco's legislators. Maybe next year they'll actually camp.