Homeless People

Dufty fights Mayor Lee's dehumanization of homeless people

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I've had some pretty sharp disagreements with Bevan Dufty, but in this case, he's on the right track: Mayor Lee's idea of launching an ad campaign to discourage contributions to panhandlanders is ugly, dehumanizing, and a civic disgrace.

Homeless people are people. They're not animals at Yosemite ("please don't feed the bears.") They're not some sort of public-relations problem for downtown hotels. They're San Franciscans who for one reason or another have lost the ability to pay rent. That's not a crime and it shouldn't be the end of their humanity.

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Guardian editorial: Plazas are public space

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EDITORIAL The attack on public space has been underway for years now in San Francisco. Parks and recreation centers have been turned into pay-to-enter facilities rented out to private organizations. The sit-lie law restricts the use of public sidewalks. Occupy protesters have been evicted from a public plaza. And now, Supervisor Scott Wiener wants to put new restrictions on the mini-parks and plazas that have been a rare bright spot in the battle to reclaim the streets.

Wiener has introduced legislation that would ban camping, cooking, four-wheeled shopping carts, and the sale of merchandise in Harvey Milk Plaza and Jane Warner Plaza, near Market and Castro. He argues that the two parklets — one reclaimed from what had been roadway — are in legal limbo: They aren't parks, so the city's park codes don't apply, and they aren't sidewalks, so rules like the sit-lie law don't apply, either. Read more »