Try Googling “Wigg Party” and it’ll most likely ask you if you meant “Whig Party.” The parties have a few things in common – a group coming together to stand against “authority” and make changes for the greater good and the donning of awesome powdered wigs, a nod to the original American Whigs – but the Wigg Party is all about sustainability, and using one particular section of SF as a model for change. Morgan’s been working with other urban sustainability guerrillas under the Wigg Party for over a year now and hopes to make The Wiggle the next San Francisco landmark:
SCOUT: We know it’s your world, but a lot of people think the Wiggle is that Australian children’s musical group. Give us the Cliff’s Notes on what The Wiggle is.
MORGAN: The Wiggle is a bike route that jaunts through the Lower Haight and out into the Panhandle. Its popular use is owed to the fact that it’s the flattest way to get to the Western half of the city. It has a lot of history too: before it was paved over, the route was a seasonal creek-bed and the local Ohlone tribe used a similar route to travel between villages. In addition, San Francisco’s first Farmers’ Market was along the Wiggle at the site of the current Church Street Safeway.
SCOUT: Is it hard to fit a helmet over your wig?
MORGAN: Ha. Yes it can be difficult. I think there’s some semi-embarrassing photo documentation of that floating around somewhere. I am, however, working on a hair-met and/or hel-wig inspired by Flight of the Conchords.
SCOUT: When someone’s really good at something, they say they could “do it with their eyes closed.” Could you ride a bike with your eyes closed?
MORGAN: I could, but probably not for very long without getting hit by a car or running someone over. Maybe that should be the measure for our city’s bike infrastructure: Can I ride my bike through the city with my eyes closed and be safe? Then we’d really have something.
SCOUT: You’ve been quoted saying, “We are working to make the community that uses and lives around the bike route known as the Wiggle a leader in the transformation to sustainability.” What are some of the accomplishments you’ve made in that realm?
MORGAN: I would say the most important thing we’ve done is simply building a community explicitly focused on a local response to the planetary crises. Our very existence not only inspires our individual members, but it subtly provides everyone who hears about us tacit permission to pursue their own community building projects. We will all rise together. The best is yet to come.
Duboce Park Carrotmob
SCOUT: You not only focus on the area around the Wiggle, but businesses as well. We’re pretty much down for anything with the word “mob” in it, so when we heard about your Carrotmobs, we were all over it.
MORGAN: The Carrotmob is something that was created here in San Francisco by Brent Shulkin. The idea is to “mob” a business on a particular day/time and spend as much money as you can because that business has committed a percentage of the profit to reinvest in their business to make it more sustainable. We participated in a Carrotmob at Duboce Park Cafe and then produced our own at Matching Half Cafe in October. They committed 200% of their profits to buy a cargo bike, more local food, switch to organic milk, and purchase reusable food storage containers so they didn’t use so much plastic wrap at the end of the day.
SCOUT: You recently started the Urban Eating League. We assumed it had something to do with cramming copious amounts of food down your gullet, but then that didn’t seem too in line with the “transformation to sustainability.”
MORGAN: We wanted to get people to sit down and eat together more often, but not with the potluck circuit. Enter the Urban Eating League. We get five host-sites to commit to making a meal and creating an experience for thirty eaters organized in ten teams of three. We tally all the scores at the end and give out prizes to each host site. It’s kind of like a roving neighborhood-wide dinner party with costumes, gift-giving and shenanigans.
SCOUT: What’s the next Wigg Party-sponsored event?
MORGAN: Let’s see... we have our regular Wigg Party Party every second Thursday of the month, we’re planning to produce a fundraiser at the Red Vic to help support our art projects (date TBD), and our next UEL is July 31st.
SCOUT: Where can we cruise for more Wigg Party info?
MORGAN: We use Facebook. You can also check out our website and follow us on Twitter @WiggParty.
Photo of Morgan by Julie Michelle.