Kim removes homeless shelter reform measure from ballot


Under pressure from the Mayor's Office, Sup. Jane Kim today removed her sponsorship of the Fair Shelters Initiatives, effectively killing the measure that was set to appear on the November ballot, according to activists working on the issue. Sup. Eric Mar reportedly followed Kim's lead and also removed his sponsorship, telling activists he was deferring to Kim's decision.

“We hardly expected the supervisors would put a measure forward and then cave in before the campaign had even started,” said Bob Offer-Westort of the Coalition on Homelessness, which had asked Kim to be the lead sponsor of a measure that he said is the homeless community's highest priority.

The measure would have removed shelter beds from the definition of housing under the city's voter-approved Care Not Cash program, thus freeing up beds for the larger homeless population that is often denied space in shelters even as beds reserved for CNC recipients – who give up most of their welfare support in return for housing and services – often remain vacant.

The measure -- which was sponsored by Sups. Ross Mirkarimi, David Campos, and John Avalos, in addition to Kim and Mar, giving it one more than the four votes it needed to make the ballot – had been harshly criticized by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and other downtown groups, as well as Mayor Ed Lee and other moderate politicians, who said it would somehow destroy CNC and attract more homeless people to the city.

In a recent email blast, Chamber head Steve Falk called the measure “alarming” and was “effectively dismantling the nationally-recognized program.” He tried to use the 100 nightly vacant shelter beds as a rationale against the measure (despite the fact that was the very problem the measure tried to correct), and wrote, “This measure is nothing more than pure politics to turn out progressive voters in a crowded mayoral race.”

Kim and her staffers haven't returned Guardian calls for comments, and neither Mar nor Mirkarimi could be reached. But Offer-Westort said the arm-twisting by the Mayor's Office shows just how little things have really changed at City Hall.

“It sets a really bad precedent when once again a mayor bullies members of the Board of Supervisors to get his way,” he said, noting that Kim still claimed to support the reform in her conversations with COH members. “It certainly wasn't because she changed her mind about whether this was right or wrong. It had more to do with her concerns over the board's relationship with Room 200.”


Why does the Chamber care so much about this? Stick to fighting Healthy SF guys. And a measure that removes shelter beds from the definition of housing for CNC purposes is supposed to drive progressive voter turnout? That is hilarious.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 26, 2011 @ 5:05 pm

I'm sure the SFBG would prefer a spineless lackey in that job instead but of course she lost badly after the SFBG endorsed her.

Chiu/Kim/Lee - the new axis of pwer in the City.

Posted by Walter on Jul. 26, 2011 @ 5:08 pm

I am glad that they removed this from the ballot because although it is the right policy, the fact that CNC was approved by the voters means that a consensus for an amendment had to have been secured before the measure was placed on the ballot rather than during an election.

Further, putting a measure on the ballot that appears as progressives challenging a popular voter approved measure would put the progressives on the unpopular side of a measure.

I hope that a consensus can be created that opens the door to this kind of amendment to CNC.

Posted by marcos on Jul. 26, 2011 @ 5:19 pm

The progressives' initiative to gut Care Not Cash was an effort to increase progressives' clout in the the November election. The idea was that a big turn-out on behalf of the measure would spill over into other races.

Now the measure has been pulled. At the same time, momentum is building around the city in support for a run by Ed Lee for mayor. And serious opposition has emerged against Ross Mirkarim in the sheriff's race. And The Guardian has deteriorated noticeably, both in quality and influence.

The irony in all this that, according to Chris Daly, progressives knew from day one that Ed Lee would eventually run for mayor. So why didn't they use this time to develop a counter strategy? And how is it that they have been unable to come up with a credible mayoral candidate. And why can't they put out a quality newspaper? And where are their first-rate thinkers?

Put all the above pieces together, and this is the picture that emerges on the composite:

Disaster for our local progressive sect in November, with repercussions that will last for years.

Of course, they will blame everybody else but themselves.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 26, 2011 @ 10:35 pm

Ayatollah Arthur Evans says:

"And The Guardian has deteriorated noticeably, both in quality and influence."

If you believe that why do you live on this site and saturate it with your opinion of hate for progressives throughout your comments by using your trademark "rubbing it in their face" sanctimonious style? That's civility to you? Why would you live on a site that has supposedly "deteriorated noticeably, both in quality and influence?" Is that the sign of a well-balanced, sensible and reasonable person? I think not. Just the opposite.

If the site has "deteriorated noticeably, both in quality and influence, it's because of your continued presence here and your use of word games, just like you used during the sit-lie "debate."

You say:

"Disaster for our local progressive sect in November, with repercussions that will last for years."

How exactly would that affect your life? Whatever happens with the progressives that you are tormented and possessed with, I suspect it will have no bearing on your life so, again, why does that concern you? Relax.

Ayatollah Evans, you behave like an out of control brat toddler in an adult body. How civil and reasonable is that? You are one walking contradiction. You lecture one thing, but do the opposite and despite all of your word games, I suspect most people see you for who you are.

You say:

"Of course, they will blame everybody else but themselves."

Like your saying that the Guardian has "deteriorated noticeably, both in quality and influence" but yet you don't see yourself at all responsible for that in the least by your continued presence here? I don't find your sanctimonious attitude at all becoming and it lacks civility and a lack of taking responsibility.

Let's be sensible, reasonable, responsible, intelligent, articulate, intellectual, non-sanctimonious, coherent, cogent with civility and maturity.

Posted by Artor Evons on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 1:41 am

Not only has our local progressive sect failed to develop an effective strategy to counter Ed Lee. The sect also remains in denial about the impending meltdown on other races and issues in November.

And yet the sect has believed since the beginning of this year that Ed Lee would run for mayor, according to Chris Daly.

We are dealing here with more than negligence and denial. This behavior reflects a suicidal streak.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 9:36 am

I think this is the sort of minor amending that should be handled internally by City Hall and elected officials, not by the voters.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 2:13 pm

too. Seems you want voter initiatives when you think you'll win them, and legislative action when you think you won't.

CNC was and is a huge success. No point in fixing what isn't broken.

Posted by Walter on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 5:39 pm