Sit-lie gets skeptical reception

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By Skyler Swezy

On Wednesday, the Coalition on Homelessness held a press conference on City Hall’s front steps to denounce the proposed sit-lie ordinance shortly before the Police Commission convened to discuss the topic. Symbolically choosing to sit, more than 35 members of various San Francisco rights and neighborhood organizations. Speakers passed the microphone before a sparse group of journalists.

Joey Cain, representing the Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Council, told the gathering, “There’s a lot of people from the Haight who oppose this law and we’re going to show up at every meeting to fight this thing.”

Inside City Hall, Assistant Chief Kevin Cashman gave a power point presentation before the Police Commission, explaining the sit-lie ordinance would prohibit sitting or lying on a public sidewalk between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. and emphasized a warning would be issued before a citation.

“Our goal with this ordinance is not to cite everyone. Our goal is to change behavior,” Cashman said.

He said the police receive constant complaints from business owners in the Haight about people lying in front of their stores, however these owners rarely file an official complaint because they say they fear retaliation. He said that under current law, willful intent to obstruct must be proven in court and a third party must testify, thus the law is ineffectual.

Commissioner Petra DeJesus was the most skeptical of the proposal and thorough in her questioning of the police. “So under this new law, just the act of sitting would be a criminal act?” she asked, drawing laughter from the audience.

“Do you have any examples of how many people are blocking the sidewalks and what their status is?” she asked.

The police could not provide related statistics.

Police Capt. Teresa Barrett, whose jurisdiction includes the Haight, said local business owner and resident complaints at community meetings prompted the push for a new ordinance.

“In November, we were starting to see a trend they [community members] had not seen in many years in the Haight,” she said. However, when pressed by Commissioner Dejesus, Capt. Barret could not produce statistics or numbers that would indicate a rise in thuggish behavior or community complaints.

“Let’s do our homework and gather statistics, and see whether or not we are really having serious problems,” said Commissioner Dejesus. She remained doubtful that proper enforcement of current laws would be unable to solve aggressive or criminal behavior in the Haight.

During public commentary, anti sit-lie speakers far outnumbered those in support of a new ordinance. The creation of a “forced march”, further marginalization of troubled youth and an open-ended law that could be abused in the future, were among the fears voiced.

One long-time resident in favor of the ordinance said 20-somethings she knew avoided the bars and restaurants of Haight because of the panhandlers. “Our economy is failing because of these aggressive thugs,” she said.

 

Ultimately, it is the Board of Supervisors who will vote on the issue, which was filed by the Mayor’s office on March 1 and is currently under 30 day rule.

 

 

 

Comments

"Commissioner Petra DeJesus was the most skeptical of the proposal and thorough in her questioning of the police. “So under this new law, just the act of sitting would be a criminal act?” she asked, drawing laughter from the audience."

Yes - just like it is in Berkeley. Sitting and laying on a street should be illegal. Yet the Guardian's position has long been that the homeless have a home - the street - so they have a right to do whatever any other person does in their home, but on the street. And that includes, cooking, eating, shitting, pissing, fucking, sleeping, lying, sitting, fighting, drinking, snorting, shooting up and various other sundry activities.

Posted by Lucretia the Trollop on Mar. 13, 2010 @ 10:18 am

One guy quietly sitting reading a book in the sun and taking minimal space is unlikely to fall foul of this new law.

It is clearly targeting the groups of youths with dogs who take over most of the sidewalk and intimidate passers by.

I trust the cops to implement this law fairly. And if the homeless advocates really want to help them, why don't they invest in some dedicated space for these kids to be? I'm sure they all have some spare space in thier homes.

Posted by Tom Foolery on Mar. 13, 2010 @ 12:16 pm

“Our goal with this ordinance is not to cite everyone. Our goal is to change behavior,” Cashman said.

-------------------------------------

You can change behavior under *current* laws. You can walk/patrol the sidewalks for a short time NOW, which is about as long as this new nonsense of a law would be enforced to begin with.

The streets/sidewalks belong to We The People and that includes people who sit and lie on the sidewalks.

OUR SIDEWALKS, OUR STREETS!

The rabid regressives won't be content and pleased until we are in full-blown fascism. They're not "conservatives," because they want to regress back to at least the 1930-40s...think Nazi Germany. We are currently under corporate fascism, where the corporations essentially write the legislation for the congress and the congress (both D and R, excluding real Democrat Dennis Kucinich) work for their corporate owners and are paid by their corporate owners.

Posted by Sam on Mar. 13, 2010 @ 5:18 pm

Lame argument and mention of the Nazis means he loses. As usual.

Posted by Lucretia the Trollop on Mar. 13, 2010 @ 8:16 pm

Thank you, Skyler Swezy, for covering the hearing on the sit-lie law last Wednesday before the Police Commission. This event, which I attended, deserved media coverage. Some observations follow.

You say:

"Symbolically choosing to sit, more than 35 members of various San Francisco rights and neighborhood organizations" [opposed the sit-lie law]

This is pretty much the same crew that opposed Care Not Cash. You saw how that turned out.

You say:

"Joey Cain, representing the Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Council, told the gathering, 'There’s a lot of people from the Haight who oppose this law and we’re going to show up at every meeting to fight this thing.'"

Joey Cain is a fringer who is not to be taken seriously.

In the mid 90s, I started organizing a campaign to make the Haight safer. Joey Cain organized a counter demonstration to these efforts.

He got a group of people together called "The Radical Faeries of the Haight." They went down Haight Street and handed out marijuana joints to the street people flopped out on the sidewalks.

He said that was the solution to the problem. I kid you not. This actually happened.

His action was absurd. The street people sell marijuana and use the money to buy heroin, crack, and speed for themselves.

Today this same Joey Cain is the president of the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council (HANC). A few years ago, I went to a public forum that HANC sponsored, attended by about 40 people from the neighborhood who were interested in the topic at hand but who weren't necessarily members of HANC.

During the meeting, HANC elected their board of 14 members. The facilitator asked that only HANC members vote. There were only 13 HANC members in the crowd of 40 attendees, fewer than the board slots to be filled.

HANC is a vestigal, fake organization. And Joey Cain, with his goofy record, is the perfect leader for this Monty-Python-like crew.

The real powerhouse in the neighborhood is the Haight Ashbury Improvement Association (HAIA), which supports the sit-lie law.

You say:

"Commissioner Petra DeJesus was the most skeptical of the proposal and thorough in her questioning of the police."

DeJesus called this hearing. After the police testified, she called only witnesses who were critical of the measure. Then she walked out, saying a family matter required her to leave. She did not stay for public commentary or to hear contrary views.

At a previous meeting of the Police Commission, she showed her ignorance. She didn't know about two General Orders of the Police Commission that forbid police to direct street squatters to move along unless the police have a formal civilian complaint.

At Wednesday's meeting, she said she doubted there was a public-safety problem in the Haight. A friend of hers, she reported, had walked along the entire lenght of Haight Street at night, and there were no problems.

That was the basis of her conclusion about public safety in the Haight. This is her pattern: When residents get up and testify about their real-life experiences, day after day, deJesus looks the other way or disappears.

She would be a terrible juror in a trial.

You say:

"During public commentary, anti sit-lie speakers far outnumbered those in support of a new ordinance."

Homelessness Inc filled the chamber, as usual. They used the same tactic in trying to defeat Care Not Cash.

They aren't fooling anybody. Don't let them fool you.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Mar. 14, 2010 @ 8:39 am
har

Part of the "they never bother me" bit is that the professional agitators look like the street thugs. They don't bother their own kind.

The street thugs pray on victims, not fellow anti-establishment types living on a trust fund or SSI.

I'm interested in why there is more talk of private security cameras at businesses on haight..

Using an; old computer, a 40$ card, a 50$ camera, and linux anyone could set up something that is overwritten once a week and can be burned to a CD or a good paper copy could be made.

Posted by glen matlock on Mar. 14, 2010 @ 11:54 am

The first time I read that I missed the part about 14 member board, that is amazing.

I suppose that would be typical of such an operation, considering the nature of the operation it's 14 people who;

make sure nothing gets down because they have never talked anything to death enough

show up 1/4 of the time and complain that things were done(a first) when they were not there

14 people who complain that no one listens to their ideas, just like everyone else on the board complains

complains that there are not enough "other voices" at meeting that agree with them

etc...

Posted by glen matlock on Mar. 14, 2010 @ 7:12 pm

It's the same rent-a-mob that show up for any public meeting on homelessness, Muni, bike lanes, Rent control, Iraq, no cuts, schools, save-the-whale and so on.

After a while, you recognize the "usual suspects".

These public meetings are a waste of time since they are held at a time when most people who have jobs can't be there, leaving the professional activists and slackers to show up.

Posted by Tom Foolery on Mar. 14, 2010 @ 10:02 am

If the Coalition for the Homeless is against it, I'm all for it!

Posted by Guest on Mar. 14, 2010 @ 7:29 pm

Just saying...Most people in the City are working during times that committee testimony is being heard. I would not look at the numbers of people testifying one way or another as an accurate barometer. I do not support the ordinance as is, but I do not think status quo is working. Nor is the pie in the sky community foot beat officer thought. There needs to be something, but its not there yet. If nothing comes out of this exercise a ballot initiative will be put forward and will be passed. I keep hearing this will target pan handlers. Pan Handlers sitting is so 1999. The majority follow people now and beg. Then go home to their SRO. The circles back to Care not Cash not providing jobs or adequate living money. Its all fucked up. What I will not stand for is punks sitting on the sidewalk harassing my wife, harassing people frequenting businesses, etc. Then they leave a mess behind them which other people have to clean up. Back to the point, at a min I would change the hours. 11-7 is too restrictive.

Posted by Chris on Mar. 14, 2010 @ 9:37 pm

Hi Tom and Chris,

Regarding your assertion that these meetings are "held at a time when most people who have jobs can't be there," I just want to point out that while this may the case with meetings held at midday on a weekday, this particular meeting of the Police Commission got underway at 5:30 p.m. Working professionals with 9-to-5 jobs in San Francisco would probably be able to make it there in time for public comment if they were so inclined.

Best,

Rebecca Bowe
Reporter
SFBG

Posted by Guest on Mar. 15, 2010 @ 8:49 am

Rebecca most 9-5 jobs are more like 8-7 (if your lucky) and on call evenings and weekends. The days of 9-5 are long gone for most SF workers.

Posted by Chris Pratt on Mar. 15, 2010 @ 11:05 am

There is no problem in the Haight, and this law is not needed.
The people arguing for this unnecessary law that robs Americans of their Constitutional Rights are utterly unable to offer proof of a need for the law. Only a few scary stories that are repeated without any specific names, dates, or Police Reports.
No factual support or documentation of any kind.
Just scary stories.
No photos or video of blocked sidewalks, or the supposed round the clock harassment of innocent mothers and babies and the elderly and the poor defenseless shopkeepers.
Just scary stories.

Not even the Police Department has bothered to compile statistics documenting the supposed problem:
Commissioner Petra DeJesus, who called Wednesday night's hearing and expressed concern about how the proposed law would be enforced, said she would want to see statistics about how many calls police actually receive for "that 10 percent," in order to enact a "draconian law."
"I would say it's an issue just about every night, and on the weekends," said Barrett, but she agreed to compile those stats.
http://cbs5.com/crime/sit.lie.ordinance.2.1552846.html

The Police Department and the handful of shrill sit/lie proponents from the Haight are unable to even explain their own proposed law:
“But Petra de Jesus, a lawyer and one of six police commissioners and the one who called the discussion-only hearing, was skeptical. "With the new law, just the act of sitting is a criminal act?" she asked them. The police department officials could not answer with a clear yes or a no.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/inthemission/detail?&entry_id=58919

Attention sit/lie proponents:
1. Get some evidence that this law is needed.
2. Be able to answer simple straight forward questions regarding your law. For example: "With the new law, just the act of sitting is a criminal act?"

If a law is broken, you should call the police.
If you are uncomfortable, maybe it is time for you to move.
If your property value is not what you expected it to be, or business is off at your shop, it’s not the fault of a couple of dreadlocked kids sitting on the sidewalk.
While it is obviously tempting to attack those around you, your energies would be much better spent going after the banks and insurance companies that caused this economic collapse, and who are continuing to steal from you right this minute.

This is the only post on this subject I will make.
Spending my time living a full and rewarding life admittedly puts me at a disadvantage when it comes to debating with bitter old people who have nothing better to do than try to control the people around them.

Posted by Samuel. C. on Mar. 15, 2010 @ 11:26 am

If a law is broken, you should call the police.
If you are uncomfortable, maybe it is time for you to move.
If your property value is not what you expected it to be, or business is off at your shop, it’s not the fault of a couple of dreadlocked kids sitting on the sidewalk.
While it is obviously tempting to attack those around you, your energies would be much better spent going after the banks and insurance companies that caused this economic collapse, and who are continuing to steal from you right this minute.

-------------------------------------------

I agree. Unfortunately, many people need a "scapegoat" and the "kids" on the sidewalk are an easy scapegoat. I've also suggested that people MOVE if they don't like where they live. If I didn't like where I lived, I'd move. That would be the intelligent and logical thing to do, rather than to stay where you are and continually whine, moan and complain about it and start foaming at the mouth over some people sitting on the sidewalk.

And if one or more of the "kids" on the sidewalk should "bait" someone passing by, have the intelligence and maturity to just ignore them---no matter what they do or say---as one would ignore the rabid trolls on here who put out their "bait" and say all kinds of hateful things and wait to get a reaction from the stuff that they write so they can get paid.

As for dreadlocks...I like dreadlocks.

Posted by Sam on Mar. 15, 2010 @ 9:13 pm

Says Samuel in a post above:

"There is no problem in the Haight, and this law is not needed."

Many residents of the Haight have come forward with personal accounts of the public safety crisis there.

Below are a sampling of six such accounts. The last is mine.

* * *
[1] I am a mother of two. On numerous occasions, I’ve been forced to jaywalk or walk into oncoming traffic with my baby in the stroller while trying to keep the hand of my four year old to get around the party happening on the sidewalk. These groups are intimidating.

I have been yelled at, harassed, aggressively approached for money and have almost been bitten by some of their dogs. When they do finally move on, there is almost always a plethora of trash, and often, dog and human waste left for the residents or merchants to clean.

[2] I've also been witness to the ever-escalating problem of aggressive street people taking over the sidewalks of Haight Street and its intersections with our other neighborhood streets.

These are not the same people as the poor homeless we see in the Carl Muni park or elsewhere - these are small gangs who openly panhandle for drug money, harbor threatening looking dogs, and take over complete sidewalks, making them impassable. More and more my family is having to avoid Haight Street altogether, despite our inclination to patronize local businesses.

[3] My toddler -- whom you saw briefly when you attended the recent HAIA meeting, Supervisor Mirkarimi -- has been spit on because I didn't give money to one of this newer crowd who was panhandling.

[4] I also find myself bypassing completely the first block of Haight Street with my family, and scoping ahead to determine which side of the street to walk on other blocks to best avoid the heckling and aggressive behavior of the youths that have taken up residence during the day. I have pushed the stroller with my baby down the street itself feeling that it was safer than going past a pit bull tethered by a frayed rope held by a not terribly attentive owner.

[5] I live just 1.5 blocks from Haight, and I generally do my best to avoid walking the gauntlet of youth lounging on the corners with their dogs. If I need to go to the bookstore or the post office on Haight with any of my 3 young children, I plot my route carefully to make sure we avoid popular hang-outs at Cole and Haight.

When I do find myself on Haight Street, I often wonder what the tourists milling around must think: “is this it? are pit bulls really the legacy of the summer of love?” The residents, tourists and merchants of Haight street deserve so much more - Haight Ashbury is an incredible brand and we have ceded it to a group of vagrants.

[6] I saw two young, thin gay men walking down Haight Street on a beautiful, sunny afternoon, holding hands and having a wonderful day. They passed a small group of sidewalk squatters. Unknown to them, one of them got up and started stalking them from behind.

He was a white male, about forty years of age, big, beefy, with long blond-brown hair, and drunk out of his mind. He gained speed, ran up in front of the two gay guys, spat in the face of one of them, and yelled “Faggot! I hope you die from AIDS!” The two gay guys ran away in shock and horror.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Mar. 15, 2010 @ 12:27 pm

I had a good laugh when I read this...

"This is the only post on this subject I will make.
Spending my time living a full and rewarding life admittedly puts me at a disadvantage when it comes to debating with bitter old people who have nothing better to do than try to control the people around them. "

Sadly I'm at work a troll by here way to much... as I'm not a fan of more laws to control the peasants I'm not a fan of this law, but it's odd that the author makes that dig on Guardian progressives who try to control our every waking moment.

Posted by glen matlock on Mar. 15, 2010 @ 12:46 pm

I only have one personal account, because I don't have the time to write multiple personal accounts.

Here's mine:

I was walking along Haight Street the other day and I saw a beautiful woman, about 30 years of age with limpid eyes, beautiful green bifocal glasses with transition lenses, shiny skin, 8g green ear plugs (perhaps Jade? with a tinge of white in them), she wore a long flowing dress---all cotton I do believe---of orange and red with a green belt. The belt was cotton too. I'm sure of that. Her hair caressed the glowing afternoon sun on the Haight, her shoes were a dark purple with a lighter purple strap and glistened as she walked. The shoe glistened, not the strap. She walked by a group of guys with their dogs on the sidewalks. I had already approached the guys and thought nothing of them and was checking my watch. She said to them, "how's it going dudes?" They said, "cool, peace out." I said to them, "right-on, dudes." They asked me, "man, you have a cigarette?" I said, "nope, I don't smoke, sorry." They said, "peace out dude."

The woman approached me and said, "from all I've read about the people sitting on the street here in the Haight I would have expected them to call me some nasty name, but they didn't."

I said to her: "well, some people will make up anything for their agenda, and even if they had called you or me some nasty names, the sit/lie law wouldn't stop that at all. And you can be called nasty names in any city or town anywhere. You would have to gag people physically to prevent them from calling you nasty names. That's part of what we call freedom and freedom of speech. "We" used to want freedom in this nation. However, I won't be surprised if a gag law is the next thing that the rabid regressives try to pass. Then there will be "thought" laws after that.

Posted by Sam on Mar. 15, 2010 @ 3:45 pm

#1 I find it hilarious that you think progressive's represent personal freedom, just hilarious.

#2 walking down Haight with my very old dog, street loser's dog comes up and attacks my decrepit dog. Street loser laughs, until I start pounding the shit out of him and his dog starts getting mauled.

I nor my very old dog needed this abuse from your golden society loser. I was happy that in my dogs golden years he could get it together enough to maul this shit bags dog, and I was a bit pleased that I had the chance to punch on such a shit bag.

#3 Most people don't get these chances in life, or can't accomplish them, so they are victims to your golden bums.

Posted by glen matlock on Mar. 15, 2010 @ 8:12 pm

Walking down Haight Street last night (Monday night), I had my kitness in a cat carrier. My cat happened to get out. My cat ran over to one of the street dogs and they began to play happily. My cat is very friendly. So was the street dog. I went over to the people sitting on the street and one guy said, "is this your cat?" I said, "yes, he got out of the carrier, but he seems to really like your dog." The guy on the street said, "yeah, my dog is very friendly with cats." So after we talked awhile, I invited him and his dog over for dinner last night and we had a nice time. We was a nice guy and I appreciated his help with my cat. Did I mention he had dreadlocks? HOT!

So while my cat and the dog were playing while we were having dinner, my cat said to the dog:

Instead of people fighting over homeless people and people sitting on the street, why don't people put their energies into getting the millions of jobs which have left this nation back from China and India, so that people can get back to work? So people wouldn't have to sit and lie on the sidewalk. That's quite a concept. Too bad the rabid regressives don't think of that.

The dog replied:

Yeah, the only thing the regressives know is the erosion of people's civil liberties and/or violence. They are the only "tools" in their very limited "tool box."

Posted by Sam on Mar. 15, 2010 @ 11:24 pm

An observation:

Did anyone notice that in the last paragraph of the comment of Mar. 15, 2010 @ 12:46 pm, the person said they "troll by here way to [sic] much...?" Did anyone catch that?

"TROLL by here..." That person finally admitted what I had suspected for the last couple of weeks which is why I stopped responding to any of the nonsense that they wrote because I didn't want that person to get paid for my response to them. They are a troll. Most, if not all, of the comments I have read from that person matched the definition of a troll. I could describe the comments I'm thinking of but the article below does a pretty job of summing it up. For those who didn't see/read the article I had posted previously about trolls, here it is. It's quite informative:

Trolls Exposed: What kind of troll is disrupting your online community?
Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard
Posted: 05/31/2009 01:27:12 AM PDT

Don't feed the trolls.

You know the ones I'm talking about. They prey on news forums, chat rooms, and other online communities. Their purpose: to disrupt any conversation or thread, and to get an emotional response from some unwary person. Ignoring them and not responding to their posts is your best option.

What kind of people are trolls? They're cowards. Lonely cowards. Their posts seldom show any real imagination and often resort to childish name-calling.

Trolls are often extremely pedantic and rarely answer direct questions. There are some exceptions, but most aren't smart enough to make a reasonable argument. They're not interested in reason. They repeat themselves and say stupid, off-focus things to disrupt conversations.

Some trolls like to brag about their IQ. They try to come across like rocket scientists to lure the unwary and then pounce with a verbal attack. Trolls count the responses they get. It must be highly pleasurable for the poor creatures to count coups if they disrupt other people's emotional equilibrium.

Trolls call it “Lulz,” a corruption of “LOL” (laugh out loud). Jason Fortuny is the most famous troll in America (using his real name in an interview). He was interviewed in the New York Times on August 3, 2008. This article is the best read I've found on the subject of trolls.

Fortuny's passion for “pushing people's buttons” made him the most prominent troll on the Internet according to the Times. He managed to thoroughly embarrass a lot of men with his infamous “Craigslist Experiment” as described in the Times article.

Like many trolls, Fortuny claims his pastime is just a big joke, a social experiment. He lives alone, spends countless hours anonymously insulting people, doesn't have a full time job, is 32 years old, and brags (to anyone who will listen) about being a troll.

For all of Fortuny's faults, no one has ever accused him of murder, like the woman in the Megan Meier cyberbullying case.

The suicide of a teenage girl highlights another type of troll. A deadly troll, sometimes called a cyberbully, took on a fake identity and seduced a vulnerable girl in MySpace. When the troll was sure she had fallen in love with the fake identity she (this woman posed as a man) broke up with the girl and said terrible things to her.

It was more than Megan Meier could stand and she killed herself. The warning is clear here. You never really know who you are talking with on the Internet, especially in online communities like FaceBook and MySpace.

For a guide on trolls go to flayme.com, which offers an Intelligence Test for Trolls. For an insight into cyberbullying check out the book “BullyBaby: Portrait of a Cyberbully,” by Andrew Heenan. “Dealing with Internet Trolls,” posted on lockergnome.com on April 17th, 2009, is another good information source.

Legislating cyberspace to go after trolls isn't feasible in my opinion. The web is a new frontier for freedom of speech and I don't want to see that changed by Orwellian laws that make it a crime to hurt someone's feelings.

So what do you do about trolls? Recognize that they are part of the Internet community and will be there as long as there are lonely misfits and people who have trouble communicating in the real world.

They crawl through cyberspace seeking to create chaos. It gives them a sense of power when they feel powerless in the real world. They get to say things they'd never dare say to people directly. At best, they are lonely cowards. Ignore them and don't let them spoil your use of the Internet.

Trolls are not hard to spot. For example, go to an online newspaper community like the Times-Standard's Topix Forum. In no time, you'll begin to recognize some names posted in every topic. Realizing this, trolls will sometimes change their identities, but their repetition and negative comments generally “out them” to an aware community.

There are also paid political trolls. They actually get paid to surf through online communities and disrupt meaningful conversations while touting their party line. Both Republicans and Democrats are guilty of this underhanded practice.

As It Stands, there's really only one practical way to deal with trolls: don't feed them!

Posted by Sam on Mar. 16, 2010 @ 2:48 am

I'm getting paid to laugh at your posts Sam, just not directly.

It's odd that I oppose the sit lie law and have posted that here and then you post saying that I'm attempting to take civil liberties, while you call me a troll, so I agree with you and you call me a troll.

It's also odd that progressives are concerned about eroding civil liberties, that is pretty comical as well.

Posted by glen matlock on Mar. 16, 2010 @ 9:22 am

After who-knows-how-many years of looking one in the face every morning in the mirror he's come to recognize them very well.

Hey Sammy - ever hear of projection? LOL.

Posted by Lucretia the Trollop on Mar. 16, 2010 @ 12:02 pm

Very few of the street people who squat on the streets in the Haight are Haight residents who have become homeless, or even San Franciscans who have become homeless. Another reality is in play here.

This is the overlooked reality:

There exist packs of migratory addicts and alcoholics in California. They move around the state, looking for areas where they can get an easy supply of drugs and which have ineffective law enforcement.

They have created a toxic subculture for themselves. It celebrates addiction and scorns recovery. It has its own values, symbols, and lingo.

And it's territorial. Its members colonize public spaces as their turf. They use their turf as bases of operations for selling marijuana and panhandling. With the money the get from these efforts, they buy speed, crack, and heroin for themselves.

These are not the flower children of the 60s. Despite their long hair, many are homophobic, misogynistic, racist, and age-ist. In terms of their behavior and values, many are skinheads with long hair.

They assault residents and each other, sell drugs, urinate and defecate on sidewalks, toss used needles into children's playgrounds, make noise around the clock, throw garbage everywhere, and set fires.

For the sake of the common good, it's time to start getting them under control. The proposed sit-lie law is a reasonable step in that direction.

It provides that first-time offenders be given only a warning, with no citation. It will mostly be a means of keeping the squatters moving and from creating lasting turf for themselves.

Sheriff Michael Hennessey, who runs the jail, said he doubts that the law will cause any increase in prisoners at the jail, since its application will mostly consist in giving warnings.

Stand up for neighborhood safety and sanity. Support the sit-lie law.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Mar. 16, 2010 @ 12:56 pm

I suspect that many people who incessantly attack people who are homeless and who self-medicate with street drugs and/or alcohol are in fact themselves suffering from some personal pathology. San Francisco is a beautiful city with great public libraries, beaches, museums, art, music. I can't understand why some individuals spend hours upon hours ranting about people who have nothing. Go see a movie, for Christ's sake. Have a drink. Get laid. Take a walk on the beach. Go read a book. Your venom and hatred for people who have less than you is not flattering. Get a new hobby.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 16, 2010 @ 8:52 pm

In a post above, guest says:

"I suspect that many people who incessantly attack people who are homeless and who self-medicate with street drugs and/or alcohol are in fact themselves suffering from some personal pathology."

The latest poll I saw indicated that 71% of the voters supported the idea of a sit-lie law. So are 71% of San Franciscans suffering from some personal pathology?

You may think so, but there's a more rational explanation.

Can you guess what it is?

Posted by Arthur Evans on Mar. 16, 2010 @ 11:23 pm

I don't like the Sit-Lie proposal, mainly becuz it's an obviously politically-opportunist attempt to re-curry favor for a failed Mayor. But let us not be trapped in ideology. Arthur Evan's observations in "the overlooked reality" are perceptive and accurate. As a longtime resident of the Haight, and relative of a family member seduced by the traveling skinhead crowd that menaces the street and GG park, I think his recognition of the reality of the situation in this area is astute. It's surely not the case for most other parts of the city, nor for the homeless issue overall in the city. But it very much describes the situation on Haight and in GG park.

How bout a better solution? Why not call his bluff and force Newscum to put his $ where his mouth is and truly enforce Care not Cash here? Offer these wayward kids an ultimatum: abandon socially-menacing, junkie ways, commit to rehab = no jail, get to stay in SF (away from Haight), get social services, and enlistment in job corps. Turn it down, or fail to follow through = get cited. Get cited again = bus ticket outta town. Cited again = jail time.

Posted by Ill-ish on Mar. 17, 2010 @ 1:09 am

...that was taken on this issue.

The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce took a poll. They polled only 500 San Francisco voters. They didn't poll me. 71% OF THOSE 500 VOTERS supposedly supports this crap. 24% oppose it. And considering it was the corporate Chamber of Commerce's poll (I assume they paid for the poll), how exactly were the questions asked and who was polled? West of Twin Peaks? I have talked with no one who favors this nonsense, other than the trolls on here (and I've stopped reading their comments). Whenever I bring this issue up when I'm out and about, the response is usually: "we already have laws for that...just enforce the ones we have."

The only accurate poll would be if the voters were allowed to vote on this and the voter turnout was high. Because polls can be made to look quite deceptive. And it all depends upon who's doing the poll. I've seen polls that say "80% of public supports such and such" on some issue. The next day, another company's poll completely contradicts the results of the other poll. So I take most polls with less than the value of a speck of dust.

Posted by Sam on Mar. 17, 2010 @ 1:51 am

In a post above, Sam, you say:

"The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce took a poll. They polled only 500 San Francisco voters."

This is a significant number for a poll. Which part of the poll's methodology to you object to?

You say:

"I have talked with no one who favors this nonsense ..."

Well then, that settles the matter, right?

You say:

"The only accurate poll would be if the voters were allowed to vote on this and the voter turnout was high."

That's coming, this November. It will be Care Not Cash all over again.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Mar. 17, 2010 @ 7:49 am

The Chamber Of Commerce has never said how the people were chosen to be polled.
Neighborhood?
District?
Registered Republicans?
No one knows.
If they polled people in San Francisco, they have discovered that 1 out of every 3,200 San Franciscans support a law that violates the civil rights of all Americans.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 17, 2010 @ 8:13 pm

The chamber Of Commerce has never said how the people were chosen to be polled.
Neighborhood?
District?
Registered Republicans?
No one knows.
If they polled people in San Francisco, they have discovered that 1 out of every 3,200 San Franciscans support a law that violates the civil rights of all Americans.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 17, 2010 @ 8:15 pm

The chamber Of Commerce has never said how the people were chosen to be polled.
Neighborhood?
District?
Registered Republicans?
No one knows.
If they polled people in San Francisco, they have discovered that 1 out of every 3,200 San Franciscans support a law that violates the civil rights of all Americans.

Posted by archer on Mar. 17, 2010 @ 8:16 pm

The Chamber Of Commerce has never said how the people were chosen to be polled.
Neighborhood?
District?
Registered Republicans?
No one knows.
If they polled people in San Francisco, they have discovered that 1 out of every 3,200 San Franciscans support a law that violates the civil rights of all Americans.

Posted by archer on Mar. 17, 2010 @ 8:17 pm

The chamber Of Commerce has never said how the people were chosen to be polled.
Neighborhood?
District?
Registered Republicans?
No one knows.
If they polled people in San Francisco, they have discovered that 1 out of every 3,200 San Franciscans support a law that violates the civil rights of all Americans.

Posted by Archer on Mar. 17, 2010 @ 8:19 pm

Progressives hardly support civil rights, I'm not much of a gun person and don't own one, but it makes me laugh every time an SF so-called progressive whines about rights.

from wikipedia
====
Proposition summary

"Proposition H sought to restrict handgun possession among San Francisco residents within city limits to police and certain security professionals, and to ban the manufacture, distribution, sale and transfer of firearms and ammunition within the city. Limited exceptions to the proposition would have allowed residents to possess handguns only if required for specific professional purposes. For example, San Francisco residents who are security guards, peace officers, or active members of the U.S. armed forces would be permitted to possess handguns while on duty. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors enacted penalties for violation of this ordinance, including mandatory jail time. Until April 1, 2006, residents would have been able to surrender their handguns to any district station of the San Francisco Police Department or the San Francisco Sheriff's Department without penalty.

The measure was placed on the ballot with supporting signatures from Supervisors Tom Ammiano, Chris Daly, Bevan Dufty and Matt Gonzalez.[1]

Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier initially supported the ordinance but formally withdrew her sponsorship on February 23, 2005."

========

Note the supporters, the cities most "progressive" "rights" oriented board members.

=======
"
Demise in the courts

Proposition H would have taken effect January 1, 2006, but enforcement was suspended by litigation.

On June 13, 2006, in the case of Fiscal v. City and County of San Francisco (Case No. CPF-05-505960), San Francisco Superior Court Judge James Warren struck down the ban, saying local governments have no such authority under California law. Judge Warren sided with the National Rifle Association, Second Amendment Foundation, and other petitioners represented by Chuck Michel of Trutanich-Michel, LLP, in Long Beach, California, who sued on behalf of gun owners, advocates and dealers the day after the measure passed.[2]

According to Judge Warren's 30-page ruling,
“ Proposition H is adjudged invalid as preempted by state law. [1] ”

The judge's decision was not without precedent considering a California appeals court nullified an almost identical San Francisco gun ban on the exact same grounds in 1982. [3]

The City appealed Judge Warren's ruling, but lost by a unanimous decision from the three judge panel in the Court of Appeals issued on January 9, 2008. On February 19, 2008, San Francisco asked the California Supreme Court to review Court of Appeal's decision. The state Supreme Court reached a unanimous decision on April 9, 2008 that rejected the city's appeal and upheld the lower courts' decision.

In October 2008, San Francisco was forced to pay a $380,000 settlement to the National Rifle Association and other plaintiffs to cover the costs of litigating Proposition H.[4]
"
=====

It was also written with the help of "rights" "progressive" David Campos, now on the board, to single out only citizens of the city. Meaning a gun owner passing through would not be subject to law, so the cities "progressives" just wanted to punish the law abiding citizens of the city with this law... While they sent illegal alien felons to boys camp at 7000$ a month.

So rights and are not really important to progressives in the least, not even remotely important, just a cynical attempt to get over, the ends justify the means.

On the federal level I suggest "District of Columbia v. Heller," which hopefully puts an end to the lefts attacks on our civil liberties.

Posted by glen matlock on Mar. 19, 2010 @ 10:51 am

The proponents should be ashamed.
If the "progressives" in San Francisco are wrong on another subject, that does not automatically make them wrong on this one.
For instance, a sit/lie law is a violation of our Constitutional Rights and should be thrown into the trash.
Give them credit for being right on this subject.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2010 @ 5:38 pm