Care Not Cash---again
The other day I compared city politics to the Groundhog Day movie, an analogy that's been quickly verified by the progressive members of the board of supervisors, when they put a measure on the November ballot that would overturn Gavin Newsom's Care Not Cash, passed by city voters way back in 2002.
Supervisor Kim on the ballot measure to overturn Care Not Cash: "It’s an amendment to both clarify and actually strengthen Care Not Cash. It’s not our intent to dismantle Care Not Cash by any means."
If Kim and her prog comrades had held a hearing on the measure before voting to put it on the ballot, she and they might have actually learned something about Care Not Cash.
I've questioned Kim's intelligence before, and this does nothing to change that opinion. Politically and intellectually, she's Ross Mirkarimi in drag. The whole point of Care Not Cash was to stop handing out $400 every month to homeless people, since that only enabled them to continue to live on our streets, while providing money for drugs and alcohol but not enough to get a place to live.
We've already been there, done that. Recall that, as soon as Care Not Cash went into effect in 2004---it was delayed by a legal challenge---1,000 homeless people disappeared entirely from the welfare rolls. That seemed to verify suspicions that many of these folks were simply scammers who vanished once Care Not Cash eliminated the scam. Rachel Gordon did a story on the vanishing indigents, and Trent Rohrer promised a study to try to find out what happened to them, but if it was done, it's never been released. I suspect that many of the 1,000 were scammers, and others were unwilling to give up drugs and alcohol, which are prohibited in shelters.
After pointing out that neighboring counties don't hand out that much cash to the homeless, Randy Shaw notes
I do not know how many of those currently living in nearby counties will come to San Francisco to get a $422 monthly cash grant plus a free shelter space, but I doubt the proponents of the CNC repeal have considered the implications. Their measure would greatly increase homelessness in San Francisco, while sharply reducing funding for supportive housing and other solutions.
Care Not Cash has had some success in the past seven years, which was confirmed by reports by both the Controller and the Grand Jury. But city progressives have been in denial on the homeless issue for years. First, they failed to understand how restive city voters were getting about the growing squalor on city streets and in the parks. After Care Not Cash was passed and Gavin Newsom was elected mayor, they've maintained the mythology that the homeless were simply poor people who couldn't pay the rent.
More evidence that ideology is more powerful than reality itself for city progressives. City voters will have to give them another reality-check.