Sunday, April 24, 2005

Oh Gavin, you're such a bitch!

Chris Daly’s April 12 blog post gives us a progressive spin on what’s happened politically in San Francisco over the past four years. Entitled “Right Turn to Dead End,” the piece discusses Daly’s sense of betrayal by Gavin Newsom.

According to Daly, in 2001 he and then-Supervisor Newsom were working well together on the Audit, Labor, and Governmental Efficiency Committee to solve the homeless problem, when Newsom abruptly veered off with his Care Not Cash proposal just so he could be elected Mayor: “So much for cooperation between the District 2 and District 6 Supervisors.” Oh, Gavin, you’re such a bitch! We were working on it! We could have solved the homeless problem together!

What Care Not Cash has that Continuum of Care did not: a real sense of urgency about homelessness in the city. Newsom realized that allowing people to live and die on city streets is an outrage, a social emergency that should have priority over everything else. Not blinkered by a delusional ideology, Newsom saw too that city voters were getting restless about homelessness, while progressives fiddled and defended the "right" of the homeless to live on our streets and in our parks. Progressives like Daly, Matt Gonzalez, and Tom Ammiano viewed homelessness with equanimity as something we just have to live with, like the weather and Critical Mass. Daly still sees homelessness as “one of San Francisco’s most important and difficult issues.”[emphasis added] As long as homeless people are dying on our streets, what other issues are even close in importance?

Daly on the Continuum of Care Plan: “Long on community input and process, the Continuum of Care Plan was the outcome of over a year’s worth of meetings and represented a consensus of government and community stakeholders.” Well, yes, years of past meetings and no doubt years of future meetings, while everything was run by the Coalition on Homelessness and other "stakeholders" for their approval. This is no doubt what Newsom saw---an endless “process” that was failing to come to grips with the sheer, shocking emergency of homelessness.

Interesting too to ponder Daly’s sense of betrayal and his new-found deference to “process” in light of his betrayal of Mayor Brown when, as acting mayor, he appointed Adam Werbach to the PUC when Brown was out of the country.

Daly sees Care Not Cash as a turn to the right. Doing something about homelessness is right-wing, while not doing much of anything is left-wing? How true.

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