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11/04/2002 Entry: "One Last Political Post, Then More Quizzes."

I've got a bit of reading to do, yet. I haven't cracked the massive voting pamphlet and want to try to vote in the morning tomorrow. The size of the San Francisco Ballot is a little daunting, but I'll vote. The hardest part for me is always choosing judges, which is when I use the rule: "When in doubt, vote no."

One of the few decisions I'm sure about is No on Proposition N. I don't believe the system we have now is great, but I also don't think that Gavin Newsom's plan is the right direction. I cannot accept as fair paying the non-disabled half of people on General Assistance $1.27 an hour for labor in the city. I don't think that Prop. N will help people secure housing; there simply aren't enough low-cost dwellings or even shelter beds available. I definitely notice an increase in panhandling before the 1st and 15th of the month; I think this will be worse if N passes, as we have yet more people running out of money during the month. (No, I also don't recommend giving out cash on the streets; that's what General Assistance is for. I do believe in giving to shelters or the San Francisco Food Bank to provide short-term help and to organizations like Habitat for Humanity for longer-term help.)

I hate to sound defeatist, but I suspect that N will pass. Even if it doesn't really affect the bottom line, the implication is there that it "stops waste." Oddly, I'm also voting no on Prop. O, the counter-proposal to Prop. N. I think O is closer to the right way to do this, but I'm not convinced that we've got the right plan yet. There's also a bit of me that thinks if San Franciscans really think that N is the solution, they should have to live with its consequences, but that's perhaps cutting off my nose to spite my face. I'm just hoping that the consequences don't include more people sleeping in the alley behind my apartment.

Note: I ended up voting for O—not that it mattered in the end, but figured that voting No out of spite was counterproductive.

Replies: 4 comments

You may have voted already, but I would ask you to reconsider voting no on O. The way i read it, since it looks like N will win, then O will take some of the sting out of it. At least, that's what I think was in Ammiano's head when he put it on the ballot.

Posted by Huntington @ 11/05/2002 10:06 AM PST

the "n" thing. i spoke to the people who are behind it and from what was explained to me is that the situation will be like this (if it passes):

homeless person: hello, i'm homeless. give me my 800 bucks.

the city: actually we have found an apartment for you for the next month. here's part of the money you would get. the other part is paying for your place to stay.


homeless person: hello, i'm homeless. give me my 800 bucks.

the city: sorry, there is no housing for you this month. here is ALL of the money.

so, if this is true i really don't think that this is a bad idea. i would much rather give a homeless person a place to stay where he can clean up and get some rest than to give him a lump sum that has the potential of being stolen, used for drugs or wasted.

what do you think?

Posted by vic @ 11/05/2002 10:40 AM PST

$320 for a single person, not $800. Plus the $59 emergency stipend if deemed necessary. As I read it, the bill allows payment of in-kind benefits if housing or meals were available but not used (i.e.,at a shelter where someone was queerbashed or assaulted, or was all the way across town.)
And N only affects about a quarter of the currently "homeless" population who are on GA.Of course I agree that theft, drugs and waste are the wrong use for GA money--sure, N will change that, but at a cost that I don't think is fair.

How about the What Fuzzy Creature Are You? quiz?

Posted by Casey @ 11/05/2002 12:47 AM PST

I am a Fox: "You are intelligent and highly curious, which sometimes makes people think that you are evil."

Posted by William Ted @ 11/05/2002 05:20 PM PST

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