Gay Paris Mayor Visits SF
The gay mayor of Paris visited San Francisco last week and signed an updated sister city agreement, visited the headquarters of Twitter, and went to the Castro.
In an interview with the Bay Area Reporter , Bertrand Delanoë also talked about France’s move toward legalizing same-sex marriage and his plans for the last year and a half of his term.
Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë, left, and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee are all smiles after signing a new sister city agreement last week at City Hall. (Photo: Bill Wilson)
Delanoë, 62, said he is excited about bringing new high tech business to Paris, and noted that the founder of Twitter would be going to Paris. He discussed incubators - spaces common in Silicon Valley where startups can work with nominal overhead costs.
"Young startups find office space in Paris ... and pay almost no rent so they can develop and find their own place and spread. At the same time we want business from California," Delanoë said through B.A.R. publisher Thomas E Horn, who served as translator during the interview. Horn is also the chair of the San Francisco-Paris Sister City Committee and accompanied the mayor to various appointments during his stay.
The new sister city agreement, Delanoë explained, merely updates the long-standing agreement between two world-class cities. Delanoë said that under the memorandum of understanding that he and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee signed, "we’re moving things to more relevant ... the 21st century" with "resources necessary" for economic development to "create a favorable atmosphere for business, science, and research."
"To profit from the best experiences of each city," he added.
Delanoë has been mayor of Paris since 2001. He survived an assassination attempt a year later when he was stabbed and won re-election to a six-year term in 2008. He is a member of the Socialist Party, as is his friend, Francois Hollande, who was elected president of France in May. Hollande promised if he was elected that the law banning same-sex marriage and adoption of children by same-sex couples would change and he is now making good on his commitment, Delanoë said.