DCCC: Thumbs down on sit / lie


San Francisco's Democratic County Central Committee voted last night in favor of a resolution opposing San Francisco’s proposed sit / lie ordinance, a law backed by Mayor Gavin Newsom and Police Chief George Gascon that would make it illegal to sit or lie down on city sidewalks. Gabriel Haaland introduced the resolution, and it passed with overwhelming support.

Here's a YouTube clip of Haaland's comments during the committee discussion, filmed by Linda Post.

The DCCC is the policy-making body for the Democratic Party in San Francisco, chaired by former Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin. The vote followed a lengthy public comment session in which a wide variety of people voiced their opposition to sit / lie, including homeless youth advocates, residents of the Haight, and surprise guest Malia Cohen -- formerly an executive staff member for Mayor Gavin Newsom. Some comments provoked laughter (“Sit /lie is like the fungus that won’t go away!” one Tenderloin resident exclaimed), while others framed their arguments in moral terms (“It’s hard to think of it as anything less than criminalizing poverty,” attorney David Waggoner charged). Cohen, for her part, called the ordinance “mean-spirited.”

The central committee members held a meaty discussion too, in which several members shared deeply personal stories to explain their feelings about the ordinance. Haaland described how, after graduating from law school in the mid-1990s, he found it so difficult to find work as a transgendered person that he worried about becoming homeless himself.

Committee member Tom Hsieh, who said he’d lived in the Haight for 10 years, spoke about his young daughter and expressed his discomfort about the “anything goes attitude” he’d seen people on the streets exhibit in her presence. Hsieh was one of a handful of committee members who voted against Haaland’s resolution. The others were Scott Wiener, Meagan Levitan, Mary Jung, and the proxy for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, while Matt Tuchow and the proxy for Assemblymember Fiona Ma abstained.  

Sup. David Campos addressed Hsieh’s concerns directly, saying that he did not believe the proposed ordinance actually addressed the sort of behavior that he found upsetting. “Sit / lie is the wrong focus,” Campos said. “The focus should be, how do we make policing better in San Francisco?” Noting that he had formely served as a police commissioner, he called for more effective community policing.

When he met with the mayor’s office about sit / lie, Campos added, he got the impression that the law was not actually meant to stop people from sitting or lying down on the sidewalk, but to target hostile behavior occurring on the street. “When you pass a law, you have to mean what it says,” he noted. He also pointed out that day laborers who wait on sidewalks for work would essentially be criminalized by the ordinance, since it’s unreasonable to expect that they wouldn’t occasionally sit down while waiting for a job.

Meanwhile, Scott Wiener’s resolution to endorse the Community Justice Center and encourage its expansion into the Haight failed with 14 voting against it and 10 voting to support it, while two abstained. While many committee members voiced general support for the CJC, a few said they resisted the idea of dictating to the Haight that it should install a similar court.

The DCCC also endorsed Linda Colfax and Michael Nava as candidates for Judge.


I saw something today in The Castro I found disgusting. A guy was sitting on the steps outside a restaurant on Castro near the Q Bar. He was sitting there listening to music on earphones. I saw one of the Jorge Gascón thugs talking to him and the thug's cop car was in front of the restaurant. I heard the thug say to this guy in a power-trip tone, "the problem here is....see that No Trespassing sign behind you..." There was a yellow "No Trespassing" sign on door leading up to the restaurant. I kept walking a ways and then stopped to observe the situation. Apparently the thug asked for the guy's ID (for sitting on the steps). The Gascón thug then went to his cop car and apparently did a check on this guy (for sitting on the steps). The guy remained sitting on the steps listening to his music. Then the thug brought the ID or driver's license back to the guy and the thug got in his car and very quickly drove away (speeding). The guy continued sitting there for a few moments and then got up and move 1-2 feet so that he was now leaning against the outside wall of the building and not on the steps. Later I saw this guy walk across the 17th Street Plaza area going in the direction of Harvest Market.

I noticed that all the businesses on Castro have these yellow "No Trespassing" signs in their windows. I thought the signs applied to being *IN* the premises and NOT being outside the premises on the sidewalk or on the steps. You know, the sidewalk that We The People own?

What the fuk is going on with this piece of bad news Gascón and his thugs? This piece of regressive work is determined to change this city (negatively) and he is doing so. Where is useless Bevan Dufty on this? It's his district. He's probably off partying somewhere. Oh, excuse, it's called "fund raising" for somebody.

So if you are listening to music sitting down in The Castro, you are in trouble. In recent months, I've also observed the Gascón thugs harassing street musicians and shutting them down and making them leave. I personally like to listen to music on the streets. It adds character and a sense of neighborhood to the area. The Gascón thugs have all this extra time on their hands to harass street musicians and people sitting on steps listening to their music, but of course we don't have any criminality of any kind going on here in The City for the Gascón thugs to direct their attention to instead.

NO on Sit-Lie.
NO to fascism.

Posted by Sam on Apr. 22, 2010 @ 4:31 pm

I'd like to note that there were at least three dozen members of the public who spoke during the comment period in favor of Haaland's resolution and against Sit-Lie.

Not one member of the public spoke in support of sit-lie.

There's no question that committee member Tom Hsieh spoke for members of the San Francisco community when he described feelings of intimidation and fear that some folks experience when walking through the Haight and other neighborhoods.

Certainly no one should have to feel afraid while walking down the sidewalk anywhere in our city. But as opponents of sit-lie have pointed out repeatedly, there are already laws in place to address threatening and violent behaviors. Sit-lie does not address these behaviors. Sit-Lie, as its name suggests, simply outlaws sitting and lying on the sidewalk.

Without in anyway dismissing fears and frustrations Hsieh and others have experienced, Supervisor Campos responded directly to Hsieh with a clear, reasoned, and devastating argument, explaining that Sit-Lie is simply not a rational legislative response to violence or intimidation on our sidewalks.

I think it was obvious to everyone in the room that he was exactly right -- even to C.W. Nevius.

Posted by Andy Blue on Apr. 22, 2010 @ 5:50 pm

I wonder what Malia's story is? Is she a progressive, moderate, conservative? One thing's for sure: she is burning up the campaign donations.

Posted by Matt Stewart on Apr. 22, 2010 @ 6:08 pm

Committee member Tom Hsieh, who said he’d lived in the Haight for 10 years, spoke about his young daughter and expressed his discomfort about the “anything goes attitude” he’d seen people on the streets exhibit in her presence. Hsieh was one of a handful of committee members who voted against Haaland’s resolution.


One would have to ask this guy: Why the hell did you move to the Haight in the first place then? Did you not know anything about the Haight or its history before you moved there? Duh! Don't get me started on people like this Tom Hsieh. He's like some of the people who moved to The Castro and then later claim, "it's too gay." Well what the hell did you expect, fool? You don't like it? MOVE. And then they try to change the area to suit them! The same with the SUV baby sheep who don't want their little children to see anything sexual displayed in sex store windows in The Castro so they ask the sex store owners to cover up the penis and ass pictures. Jesus fuking christ. Psssssssssst: What one tries to hide from children is what the children will have even MORE interest in---don't you remember anything from your childhood and how that was true for you?---because it's been described as "naughty" to the child and all that other nonsense that parents/guardians tell their children. Many (most?) parents/guardians apparently don't have the intelligence or ability or parenting skills to teach their children in an intelligent way about these things. They just pass down the dysfunctional crap that was brainwashed into them by their parents/guardians, and then we wonder why little changes?

Parenting and parenting skills should be mandatory courses in all high school.

Posted by Sam on Apr. 22, 2010 @ 6:09 pm

Sorry, but we're not listening anymore. We are tired of the panhandlers, bums, druggies, and assorted transiet con artists that infest this city and our streets. We want them gone. We've put up with this shit for 20 years and it's time for it to end.

Sit/Lie will be on the ballot and it will pass easily.

Next, a reduction of at least $100,000,000 in "services" for "the homeless", and a reduction of at least 75% in city contracts with non-profits who provide "services" with no accountability to anyone whatsoever.

The Lefties have no idea how tired of all this shit people are.

Posted by GuestScott on Apr. 23, 2010 @ 8:57 am

You should read it, Scott -- if you read. You would probably really relate. Or hey, watch the movie:

I mean, can't we just kill all these poor people and finally get rid of them for good? How dare they. Round them all up and put them in camps or something. Damn gypsies. As for all those addicts -- why can't they just spend 30 minutes in some mountain retreat rehab like Lindsey Lohan and go back to shopping? I mean, people like you Scott would NEVER become alcoholics or have mental problems. After all, you're better than everyone. Morally, that is. Better yet -- let's just put everyone in jail. Heaven knows none of our tax dollars are being misspent there. And everything's incredibly transparent in prison accounting. I bet you could break it down for us right now off the top of your head, you're so smart.

Really, you've had ENOUGH. "Those people" are seriously messing with your urban experience. 

Posted by marke on Apr. 23, 2010 @ 9:46 am

"prove a negative type people," as in setting up an issue in a certain way and then saying, "the other side has done nothing" or "the other side advocates for this type of thing by not agreeing with us." Such as right wingers who say that not agreeing with their view on the war in Iraq means you are pro terrorist. This arguments are pretty bad.

In this case, various unassociated groups in the city have complained about certain behaviors over the years. In response the city does nothing and the so called "progressives" trumpet out all of your above complaints and more.

So in this case the total lack of response from the progressive's, and an actual hostility to the people who are sick of this situation exists. The progressives now are on the defense here, their moralistic pronouncements are being exposed as so much hot air, so they have to resort to ad-homonyms. After years of being in control of the city they have no excuse for the sorry state of this issue. Their lack of effort means that they don't care, even after the steady stream of complaints has made them aware of the situation.

Oh and, I used to work in bars and clubs, 90% of our golden beggers and screamers know who they can and can not fuck with, and who to victimize. They are not victims when they are victimizing other people, that is just the topsy turvey world of the progressive at work there. I've seen them threaten tourist to the point I had to get involved, they get real sane and accommodating when confronted. In reality progressive are just enabling street level thuggery with their whining.

Posted by glen matlock on Apr. 23, 2010 @ 3:40 pm

Can someone post the sit/lie vote? Thanks.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 23, 2010 @ 10:04 am

THANK YOU, Marke! Whenever I think of that movie, I inevitably think of Gavin Newsom. The air, the voice, the sense of entitlement. Spot on.

Posted by Matt Stewart on Apr. 23, 2010 @ 12:38 pm

The trolls were out in force today. It didn't matter where I went, they were whining, moaning and complaining about "progressives" as per usual. One site after the other I read garbage about "progressives." (Well, actually I scanned most of it. Who wants to read all that stuff?) It's a campaign for them to whine about "progressives." No matter what the topic they will somehow turn the topic to "progressives" and start spewing their endless amount of bile and whining at "progressives." I have a few problems with some people who identify themselves as "progressives," (and have expressed that in the past) but I don't spend all waking hours in a vigilant campaign against them or about them ("progressives"). It would be like me going to a rabid right-wing site and spending hours and hours ranting about the rabid right-wing trash. Why the hell bother doing that? What purpose would that serve? To begin with, I couldn't stand to go to a rabid right-wing site. Which makes me think: If someone has so much anger, rage, and bile towards "progressives," don't they have anything better to do with their time than to come to a "progressive" site? Why would they even go there? Well, likely to get paid by trolling around and trying to bait people and get a reaction so they can rack up some $$. That's the only answer I can come up with. Other than that, why would a person who can't stand "progressives" even go to a "progressive" site? Duh. Does that make any sense to anybody? And they talk about how "progressives" are whining and whining?....meanwhile they are whining about "progressives," but they are too damn thick and dense to see that. Apparently they don't own any mirrors or an operative brain.

Posted by Sam on Apr. 23, 2010 @ 8:27 pm

Thinking that anyone is paid to not agree with him and his crazy cohorts.

Posted by glen matlock on Apr. 23, 2010 @ 11:25 pm

Where exactly are the homeless allowed to live now? Even though sit-lie is officially not policy of The City, the homeless are not allowed to sit on the sidewalks nor are they allowed to be on the median of streets (like under a freeway overpass). Yesterday, I noticed under the Central Freeway a new sign has appeared which reads, "No Panhandling." In the past I have seen people there with signs asking for $$ and some drivers would help them out. Yesterday, there were no people there. All I saw was the sign, which brought to mind "sit-lie." The homeless are not allowed in the parks. So where the hell are they allowed? And as this economy continues to tank there will be more and more homeless as people lose their homes to foreclosures and not able to afford rent.

Do "we" just exterminate them in gas chambers the way Hitler did? The rabid right-wing trash seem to imply that for the homeless and undocumented immigrants. The Divided States of North America (this nation) has sent most of its jobs over to China and India, so "we" cannot use jobs to fix the situation because those jobs are not coming back. So, I ask: Where are the homeless supposed to go? Where are the "unwanted" human beings supposed to go?

Posted by Sam on Apr. 24, 2010 @ 4:31 pm

Supporters of the sit-lie law (myself included) are delighted to see that Chris Daly is becoming ever more vocal in his opposition to the measure.

I hope that Chris's friends and supporters encourage him to continue along this track, to the point where the voters identify Chris as the poster person for the opposition.

The only person who could out-do Chris in helping to promote passage of the law, by opposing it, is Sam. Too bad Sam isn't a member of the board of supes, with all the media access that Chris has.

Hmmm, baby, wouldn't that be sweet!

Posted by Arthur Evans on Apr. 28, 2010 @ 11:09 pm

Your mouth is foaming again, Art. Please seek help.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 04, 2010 @ 1:37 pm

I have a feeling all who are opposed to this drink & drive foreign cars.. Correct me if I'm wrong... And if you don't have a car I would guess a fixie?

Posted by James on Sep. 30, 2010 @ 4:16 pm