As per Bawsthun Tom's request...

Coalition on Homelessness, SF (
Sun, 17 Oct 1999 11:53:16 -0800

HOMELESS PEOPLE'S VIEWS, News, Alerts, Actions & Research
6,000+ ONLINE POSTS by or via homeless & ex-homeless people
Hey Folks-

Sometimes I find it difficult to describe how far-reaching the work
we do can be.  We got the police documents at 4:55pm last Friday
night(10/8), and Mara, Judy and I put together this press release and
got the word out on Saturday.  The two articles below were the payoff.  Willie
Brown shot himself in the foot big-time, and even with all the juice
he's got, he may be out of a job soon.

Big smiles all around this camp.

chance martin
Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco

PS- I tried to post this last week with a bmp of an editorial cartoon 
that ran in the CHRON, that's why it BOUNCED.

The cartoon depicted Willie Brown, sitting in a shopping cart and 
talking out of both sides of his mouth (oh, gee - THERE'S a switch), 
one side saying: "CONFISCATE SHOPPING CARTS!"  while the other side 
says: "WHO SAID THAT?"  There are two onlookers in the background, 
and one remarks to the other, "I guess homelessness really IS a 
mental health issue..."

From:  Coalition on Homelessness, SF  468 Turk Street, SF CA  94102
Contact:  Judy Appel or Mara Raider at (415) 346-3740

Mayor's Shopping Cart War Has Begun
police orders shed light on city's plans.

SAN FRANCISCO, October 11, 1999 - Beginning this week, Mayor Brown is
launching a new citywide policy directing the seizure of shopping carts
from homeless people under the presumption that the carts are stolen
property.  The Coalition received the first reports of people being
detained for pushing carts this morning, with some being brought in on
old warrants for anti-homeless citations.

The Coalition on Homelessness just received SFPD FOB General Order 99-03
and the corresponding operations order laying out the plans for
implementing this new policy.  The Coalition is available to provide
copies of these orders upon request.

Here Are The Facts:
o   Every individual with a shopping cart will be detained.
o   Despite the news reports that there will be no arrests, it will in
practice be up to the officer to determine whether an individual in
possession of a shopping cart will be admonished, cited or booked for
the following crimes:
		* Possession of Stolen Property (misdemeanor or felony);
		* Misappropriation of Lost Property (misdemeanor);
		* Possession of Property from which identifying
		numbers or marks have been removed, altered or obliterated 			(misdemeanor); or
		* Unlawful possession of shopping carts (misdemeanor).
The misdemeanors are all punishable by 6 months in jail and/or a $1,000
fine, the felony could be used as a third strike resulting in 25 years
to life.
o   Any person who fails to surrender a shopping cart will be cited or
o   A photograph will be taken of each person with a cart, and an
incident report filed for each detention.
o   Department of Public Works (DPW) and Department of Public Health
(DPH) workers will accompany officers in the field.  DPW will seize each
shopping cart and DPH will search the property in the carts for
"biohazardous materials".
o   DPW will supply the individual with two plastic bags for their
possessions.  Any possessions that can not fit in the plastic bags may
be taken and stored in a city facility or thrown away.  The orders claim
that there is storage available for people at the Pier 24 Annex, but no
such storage exists.
o   Assigned officers will be receiving overtime wages.
o   "This comprehensive operation will be a coordinated effort though
[sic] the Mayor's Office on Homelessness."

The SFPD orders fail to advise officers that there are only shelter beds
sufficient to serve 10% of San Francisco's homeless population and there
are waiting lists for most services. The telephone number for the
contact at the Department of Human Services (referred to as the
Department of Social Services in the orders) is incorrect.  The
Coalition on Homelessness has still been unable to identify what, if any
resources from DHS will be redirected to this effort, but it is clear
that if an outreach worker is assigned to work with the police they will
be taken off of their current duties.


S.F. Abandons Cart Retrieval
Mayor says he never intended to strip homeless of belongings
Phillip Matier, Andrew Ross, Chronicle Staff Writers
Wednesday, October 13, 1999
San Francisco Chronicle


San Francisco's plan to start confiscating shopping carts from the
homeless was abruptly held up yesterday -- the apparent victim of
politics, bad public relations and a mayor who supposedly OKd the plan
but now claims he never knew about it.

``I don't expect any police officer to initiate anything in reference to
shopping carts,'' a contentious Mayor Willie Brown said at a news
conference, just before putting the controversial shopping cart
``recovery'' program on hold.

In fact, Brown said he ``had no idea'' where the media got the
impression that police were planning to seize the carts in the first
place, telling reporters, ``I'm not familiar with anyone planning to do

Funny, just last Friday, Police Chief Fred Lau was quoted as saying that
the goal of the plan -- which was to have been implemented this week --
was to ``take back carts that have been stolen from stores and markets
around the city.''

Funnier still, last Saturday, before the issue blew up, Brown seemed
very familiar with the plan, telling KCBS's Bob Melrose that stolen
property is just that -- and stolen property should be returned.

``Whether they are homeless or not, that item must not be allowed to
remain in the hands of the person who has stolen it,'' Brown said.

It wasn't long before the storm of reaction came in. Rival mayoral
candidate Frank Jordan, who first broached the plan when he was mayor,
called it a mistake. And Supervisor Tom Ammiano called it wrongheaded.

By yesterday, Brown was blaming the media and his critics for the
``hysteria.'' The mayor said the last thing he needed was to pick a
fight with the left and appear hostile to the homeless with only three
weeks before the election. ``I'm not trying to get the Giuliani vote,''
he said. According to Brown, the media and his critics took a ``leaked''
document that was ``probably a legitimate, goodwill attempt to outline''
all the possibilities of such a recovery program and ``spooked people
into thinking that some kind of Nazi raid was about to come down.''

Brown was referring to a pair of very public city notices and memos sent
out last week, issued after a meeting in which the mayor supposedly gave
the nod for the cart program.

The first memo was signed by the heads of the Police Department, the
Department of Public Works and the Recreation and Park Department. The
notice outlines the ``recovery'' policy, right down to the city lockers
where the belongings of the homeless were to be stored after their carts
were seized.

The second memo is a police operations order, which instructs district
police on how to go about seizing the carts, even detailing what
citations could be issued if need be.

When showed the memos yesterday, Brown replied: ``You ought to go talk
to the Police Department. . . . I don't run any of those agencies

Whatever the case, mayoral spokeswoman Kandace Bender tells us that
instead of a crackdown, the city now will spend the ``next several
weeks'` doing ``outreach.''

In other words, rather than seize any carts from the homeless, cops and
social workers will instead try to talk them into voluntarily giving up
their carts.

The city will also work to get the homeless to go into various programs.

As for where the ``cart recovery policy'' will go after that is anyone's
guess -- although, off the record, city officials say the odds are the
program will be implemented ``as humanely as possible'' down the line.

Word of the suspension did little to assuage the fears of the homeless
or their advocates. ``It could just be suspended until the media is less
interested,'' said Judy Appel, a staff attorney for the Coalition on

At the perennial shopping cart encampment in U.N. Plaza yesterday, news
that the seizure program was being held in abeyance was greeted with a
chorus of lusty cheers.

``No way Willie was going to get this thing through -- no how,'' said
Tim Showalter, 29, as he lolled in the muddy grass at the west edge of
the plaza, surrounded by 30 carts parked end to end like a Conestoga
wagon train.

Now, over at City Hall, it looks like Willie's the one circling the

--and not everybody's pleased.

At the nearby U.N. Cafe, where owner Rick Chhiu starts his shift each
day by hosing off the urine and feces near his front door, word of the
aborted crackdown fetched a howl.

``What happened? I'll tell you what happened! No power, that's what,''
Chhiu said, waving his hands over his head. ``This city has no power to
clean up this mess!''

San Francisco Chronicle   Page A1


A cart with one stuck big wheel
Oct. 14,1999
San Francisco Examiner


MAYOR Willie Brown is in denial again. He denies he ever had a plan to
take shopping carts from the homeless, and he ordered the cops to stop
following the plan.

Basically, the Emperor is saying he never was naked, and would his
minions please bring him some clothes.

With three weeks to go before an election in which Brown has to run hard
to beat two of the least popular men in San Francisco, he decided to
finally do something about the homeless - namely, snatch their carts.

Unfortunately, he grabbed an issue with a stuck wheel and it started
swerving in the opposite direction. Not that many people care about the
homeless and their carts. It's just that the homeless have a way of
defeating San Francisco mayors, the way Vietnamese guerrillas defeated
one great power after another.

So now Brown is pulling out of his cart interdiction campaign and voter
pacification effort before he's even started, and denying he ever wanted
to take away the homeless' shopping carts.

Police Chief Fred Lau is taking the fall, saying he accidentally issued
the order - as if anyone from meter maid on up ever does or says
anything without getting the OK of Willie Brown.

Points to Lau for loyalty. But you have to wonder how long he'll put up
with Brown. You also have to wonder what this election would be like if
Lau, not Frank Jordan, were the former police chief running for mayor.

Naturally, Brown's PR machine shifted into gear with bananas in the
crankcase. His spokesperson said they weren't going to take carts away
from the homeless, they were just reaching out to help the homeless.

Sure. They could get in much better physical condition if they had to
drag duffel bags around town instead of pushing carts.

Brown told the press he had "no idea" where they got the impression cops
were about to seize carts. Once again, the press used an unreliable
source - the mayor.

=46or almost four years, Brown has been in denial about lot of things,
sometimes infuriatingly, sometimes entertainingly. But never has his
state of denial been stable or convincing.

Brown denied his responsibility for fixing Muni, despite his promise to
fix it within 100 days, and asked voters to "live in the real world."

Unfortunately, they do. He doesn't. This is one guy you can be pretty
sure never pushed a shopping cart, even in the most exclusive of gourmet

Brown denied he had ex-girlfriends, and denied he was turning Treasure
Island, where one non-ex-girlfriend lived, into a private pleasure dome
for his rich friends.

He denied he would use The Examiner as toilet paper. Not that he was
asked the question directly.

He denied that homeless were camping in Golden Gate Park - until live TV
footage of the homeless encampments caught him with his well-shod foot
in his mouth.

He denied he wanted heat-seeking helicopters to find the homeless in the
park - it just sounded like a good idea at the time, he said.

It sounded like a good idea at the time. That's the story of the Brown

Roust the homeless. Let them lie where they are. Let a developer throw
up a highrise, and another and another. Talk a lot about double-parking,
while eliminating single-parking.

Hey, it goes with the double-talking.

The irony of all this is that I feel just as divided over Mayor Brown as
I do over the homeless. I think that's the case with a lot of other

I want the homeless out of my face and someplace where they don't deface
the streets and parks of San Francisco, but I feel charitable toward
them. Most can't help their condition, and many are quite friendly

Similarly, I want Willie Brown to quit leading his band of well-dressed
aggressive panhandlers in defacing The City with highrises and lofts,
but I feel charitable toward him, too. He's so much fun to watch.

Brown is the Greg Louganis of flip-flops and the Brian Boitano of 180s,
360s and 720s. He has no fear of changing his mind and does it with such

When Brown denies something, he doesn't play with semantics or try to
redefine "is." He redefines his entire self.

Presto-spare-change-o, which Willie Brown are we looking at?

Is it the mean Willie who wants to take away the transport of the
wretched of the Earth? Or is it good, liberal Willie doing outreach to
save the poor?

Neither, of course. It's just a politician, a great
legislator-turned-mayor, trying to do in public in San Francisco what he
used to do in private in Sacramento.

Way back then, he didn't have to deal with poor people's carts. He took
away legislators' desks and gave them offices with no windows. He could
do what he wanted with impunity. No one watched. No one fought back.

You can intimidate, defeat and mess with the heads of legislators. But
the homeless don't have term limits. They've survived Camp Agnos and
Jordan's Matrix Program. They'll survive Brown's homeless cartwheels.

1999 San Francisco Examiner   Page A 2


**In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material
is distributed without charge or profit to those who have
expressed a prior interest in receiving this type of information
for non-profit research and educational purposes only.**
Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco
468 Turk St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
vox: (415) 346.3740
Fax: (415) 775.5639