City Council was recently hit by an "uproar" (as Councilman Brown called it) from friends of Cake Crumbs Bakery and the Denver Cupcake Truck. It seems that Denon and Sean Moore, owners of the bakery, who are modern-day entrepreneurs who use Facebook and Twitter to keep their customers informed about when and where their Cupcake trucks will be located, attempted to meet all of the City requirements for the operation of the trucks, but were constantly harassed by City inspectors. The rules, spread out among 5 different City agencies, were impossible to understand. Fortunately, Denver Cupcake Truck's 8,679 friends proved to be a force to be reckoned with, and City Council and the bureaucracy took note, calling a special meeting to start a special task group, now headed by Councilwoman Carla Madison, with the mission of making it "easier to do business in Denver".
The meeting itself (from Channel 8), edited below for your viewing entertainment, has many gems. One thing I continue to notice is the number of bureaucrats claiming "I wasn't around then" as an excuse for not knowing how things got to be the way they are. Apparently institutional memory is in short supply and 1994 is ancient history. Another gem emerges when Councilman Linkhart (and Mayoral candidate) notes that "you can't sell a cupcake within 300 feet of a park, but you can take over a park for a festival for 30 days". The current schizophrenic set of rules, as Denver Parks and Recreation continues its efforts to privatize the parks, leaves us all in the dark as we wonder what is, and what is not allowed in the parks that supposedly belong to us.
The Power of Social Media
As first Tunisia and now Egypt erupt with daily riots, fueled by Twitter and Facebook (now turned off in Egypt), it's interesting to note how powerful these tools can be for "the people". Bureaucrats, dictators, and tyrants everywhere, take note, the people are no longer sleeping.