[Hpn] San Francisco Homeless lose fight on cart seizures

blue unclescam@buskers.org
Tue, 23 Oct 2001 15:12:09 -0400

how bout if the poverty orgs took 10 percent of their boardmembers personal
wealth we're not talkin the grassroots here, and hired housless folks to
attend the belongings. or mayor willie could auction his nice suits and pay
some poor human to attend the belongings of others; and why is there no
industry making carts for the houseless using the model of the disabled, in
workshops that "pay" the worker to learn to be a slave(whoops!!), while
building their own home/cart. the rule, you snooze you lose. when i'm in
harvard sq and one of my foundling houseless pals needs to park his valise i
make a deal. i'm a well protected cynic. lets free up some money to get me
paid for watching these folks'  furniture.

----- Original Message -----
From: chance martin <streetsheet@sf-homeless-coalition.org>
To: Homeless People's Network <hpn@lists.is.asu.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, October 23, 2001 12:43 PM
Subject: [Hpn] San Francisco Homeless lose fight on cart seizures

> Homeless lose fight on cart seizures
> S.F. board rejects notice requirement
> Rachel Gordon, Chronicle Staff Writer
> Tuesday, October 23, 2001
> 2001 San Francisco Chronicle
> URL:
> http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2001/10/23/MN104506.DTL
> Over the objection of San Francisco homeless advocates, a split Board of
> Supervisors opted for business as usual yesterday and shot down a plan
> would have required the city to give 24 hours notice before confiscating
> unattended belongings from public property.
> The legislation, months in the making and endlessly discussed in public
> meetings, would have prohibited city workers from taking people's
> possessions and placing them in storage without a warning.
> Backers said the law was needed to protect homeless people from losing
> medication, clothing, bedding and the shopping carts and knapsacks that
> them. Under the current system, the city is supposed to remove unattended
> belongings from public property and place them in storage for 90 days,
> giving people a chance to retrieve them. Few of the items are ever picked
> up.
> The proposal, while seemingly simple on its face, turned into a battle
> civil rights, personal responsibility, poverty and the blow to the city's
> tourist-based economy since the terrorist attacks. Emotional views about
> homelessness, which has vexed elected officials and bureaucrats for well
> more than a decade, were woven throughout.
> Board of Supervisors President Tom Ammiano, who sponsored the bill, said
> was trying to address one tiny aspect of the problem -- how the city deals
> with homeless people's possessions -- but acknowledged that it grew into a
> debate over something much larger.
> "I think the public has the right to be frustrated with us. I think the
> public has the right to feel that we've been remiss. It is, truly, an 800-
> pound gorilla," Ammiano said of homelessness.
> The legislation, pushed by the Coalition on Homelessness, was opposed by
> business groups that want the city's streets cleaned up. Critics said the
> 24- hour notice requirement would hamper crews from ridding alleyways,
> sidewalks and other public spaces of shopping carts and other belongings
> that homeless people leave behind.
> One component of Ammiano's plan that will probably be resurrected is a
> proposal to increase the number of facilities where homeless people can
> store their possessions -- and to spread them around to various
> neighborhoods. That effort has widespread backing, including from the
> administration.
> Administrators of the departments most involved, along with Mayor Willie
> Brown, opposed Ammiano's notification plan. And in the end, Ammiano could
> get only three of his 10 colleagues to vote with him for the legislation.
> Joining him in support were Supervisors Chris Daly, Matt Gonzalez and
> Gerardo Sandoval.
> Opposed were Supervisors Tony Hall, Mark Leno, Sophie Maxwell, Jake
> McGoldrick, Gavin Newsom, Aaron Peskin and Leland Yee.
> "I think this legislation is promoting a way of life that we have to do
> something about," said Hall, the most vocal opponent.
> The city, he said, already spends nearly $650,000 a year to collect, clean
> and store shopping carts left in public places. Department of Public Works
> Director Ed Lee said Ammiano's plan would have added at least $500,000 to
> the cost.
> "I personally don't want to spend one more dime on a failed homeless
> program," Hall said.
> But Gonzalez questioned the estimate of added cost, and he suggested that
> the plan might actually save the city money.
> "The (city workers) are going to come back the next day and the property
> not going to be there," he speculated on the affect of giving people ample
> warning to move their belongings.
> If nothing else, he said, the city should give the proposed system a try.
> Ammiano's legislation called for a six-month test.
> Leno said he originally supported the plan but changed his mind after
> hearing from merchants that the shopping carts and other items left on the
> street sully neighborhoods and hurt business.
> "We're in this very challenged time. They (business owners) are in a lot
> more competitive situation, and the city, as a business, is in a more
> competitive situation," Leno said of the aftermath of the Sept. 11
> His position reflected remarks the mayor made earlier that if San
> is going to prosper, it has to clean up the city's image to attract more
> visitors, particularly those within driving distance.
> E-mail Rachel Gordon at rgordon@sfchronicle.com.
> 2001 San Francisco Chronicle Page A - 11
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