Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Supervisor Breed: Wrong again


Once again Supervisor Breed fails to get a grip on an issue. Breed explains in the Bay Guardian her position on closing the parks at night, which contradicts her support for the sit-lie ordinance that dealt with the street punk issue in the Haight, as she told Haighteration earlier this year:

I think we have to get aggressive with law enforcement. I’m not saying this as if I’m proud, but I’m the only one of the candidates who supported Sit/Lie. I didn’t support Sit/Lie because I thought it was going to fix the problem, I just thought it would bring attention to the problem in a different way so that the city could begin to really aggressively address it a little bit better from a law enforcement perspective.

Breed now seems to think that Supervisor Wiener's ordinance to deal with dumping, vandalism, and metal theft is really about homelessness:

As the supervisor for District 5, it would be irresponsible for me not to think about this, not to consider what will happen if homeless people are evicted from the parks and wind up sleeping on the doorsteps of my constituents in the Haight, Inner Sunset, or Buena Vista. This would be unjust for the homeless and worse for the neighborhoods.

Breed talks about the homeless issue as if it's a new issue and not a source of political controversy for years in San Francisco:

We have a political climate in this city which, for a variety of reasons, seems to default to the status quo on homelessness. Well, we need change. We need to acknowledge that not every call for service is a "handout," nor every call for enforcement a "criminalization." Relegating 4,300 people to a cold spot of concrete or grass every night is not compassion; working creatively to change it is not malice. It is leadership. And it is exactly what we need.

Over the objections of city progressives, Mayor Gavin Newsom implemented Care Not Cash, Homeward Bound, supportive housing, and Project Homeless Connect. It would in fact be helpful if Supervisor Breed, instead of blathering about "leadership," could get a report on how well these programs are working---or not working in the city. Her Guardian op-ed suggests that she's not even aware of current city homeless programs.

Breed on enforcing the ordinance:

Firefighters and others who work late shifts should be allowed to walk their dogs in the park when they get off work. Whenever I raise this point, I am told by the law's supporters, "Oh it won't be enforced against them." This is exactly the problem, and my fifth concern---that this law will be selectively enforced. If it's not intended to target the homeless, the firefighter, or the well-groomed neighbor, who is the law designed to target? Suspicious looking people? Teenagers? Young men in hooded sweatshirts?

This is similar to the silly arguments about enforcing the sit-lie ordinance. Gee, what if a tourist is tired and sits down on the sidewalk? This implies that city cops are morons who can't make any obvious distinctions. Anyone in the park after hours should simply be required to justify his/her presence in the park, not cited or arrested on sight.

(That dog owners use city parks as toilets for their pets is a chronic nuisance. People I know call Alamo Square "Dogshit Park." When I referred to that designation a while back, I was told, "Rob, every park in San Francisco is Dogshit Park.")

Maybe Supervisor Breed is "uncomfortable" about the homeless out of guilt, since, re-reading the Haighteration interview for this post, I was reminded that she lives in rent-controlled housing, even though as a supervisor she now makes $100,000 a year. Asked about the steep rise in the cost of housing in SF, she outed herself:

I’ll tell you, that’s a really really challenging one. I too am suffering from that. I pay a lot of money for rent, but fortunately I have rent control. And I had to get a roommate, especially because I was taking a lot of time off to run and just balancing everything, paying for school…And I want to stay here.

Other dumb policy positions by Breed: on Geary Blvd., on Japantown, and on Masonic Avenue

Still wondering why the city's map of Japantown extends two blocks south of Geary. 

Naturally city progressives see street punks as an oppressed class.

See Heather Macdonald's 2010 article on the sit-lie issue in City Journal.

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