Bevan Dufty's all wet and woofy


I've had issues with Bevan Dufty. Oh, lord, I've had issues. He so often voted the wrong way on the Board of Supervisors and was the only major candidate running for mayor who answered No to the affordable housing question at the Guardian mayoral forum.

But I have to say, he's doing quite the creative job as the mayor's homeless coordinator. I've always liked the idea of the "wet house" -- a place where alcoholics can drink in safety. It's basic harm reduction, something that sometimes conflicts with the prevailing wisdom on sobriety but will almost certainly save lives. He's taking the right line on panhandling -- the other day, he told me, he spoke in front of the Interfaith Council and complained about the notion of refusing to give money to panhandlers because they might use it for drugs and alcohol.

"Well," he said, "there are people in this room who generate money for drugs and alcohol. What if that principle applied to your paycheck?"

(I always give money to panhandlers. I also spend part of my paycheck on Bud Light and bourbon. Deal with it.)

And now he's got the puppy plan.

You can laugh at this all you want, and a lot of people will, but I think it's a fabulous idea. It won't solve homelessness, and I know that these little side trips can divert attention from the massive social problem that is housing costs and homelessness in this city, but still:

There are dogs that need to be adopted. There are lonely people who are in SROs who can adopt those dogs. It might keep some of them from panhandling. It will certainly make a number of canine and human creatures a lot more happy.

Remember PAWS? (One of my favorite groups.) These folks figured out in the worst days of the AIDS pandemic that having companion animals around made people's lives better, and they worked to help people with AIDS keep their pets. Now they work with seniors and low-income people, providing support and services.

The dogs don't care if their owners are living in an SRO; they're happy to have a home. The people who might be isolated and stressed living alone and with very little money have a bit of light in their lives. Although a lot of SROs don't take pets (and I get it -- pit bulls on crack and fleas and shit), the Community Housing Partnership is working with Dufty on a pilot program, and if it works he cann push it further.

And that's not the end. Under Sup. Scott Wiener's recent legislation, dog walkers (thousand of 'em) are supposed to have some basic dog-training skills, and there aren't that many places that offer those classes -- but Dufty tells me he thinks maybe some low-income SRO residents can learn to teach dog training classes and make some money that way.

Again: Little stuff. I still want to tax the rich to provide housing as a human right for all. But things are not good on the streets of San Francisco, and every little bit helps.




imply that you don't want to tax the rich, as your last paragraph implies?

Or did you just want to ensure that every article of yours says "tax the rich" in there somewhere?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 15, 2012 @ 3:28 pm

There. I said it again.

Posted by tim on Jun. 15, 2012 @ 3:44 pm
Posted by Guest on Jun. 15, 2012 @ 4:11 pm

Tax the rich - it should happen, and will happen. Instead of them being allowed to give $ to tv networks to use the incredible power of tv to buy politicians who will do them favors (lower taxrates on the wealthy, cut regulations that protect the food and water and air of the general public but increase the wealthy's income, etc), a good portion of that money should be paid to the state & fed govt to be used to pay for schools.

Tax the rich much much much more - what a great idea!

Posted by Guest on Jun. 17, 2012 @ 9:43 pm

relatively small amount because there aren't many of them. That's why Jerry Brown had to add a sales tax hike into his November tax hike voter proposition.

There's a "tax the rich" item in there too but it won't and can't raise enough, hence the need for a regressive sales tax hike as well. The only way to raise a lot of tax is to make it a broad tax.

The rest, frankly, is just envy. People want to tax the rich because they resent those more successful than themselves. But envy isn't a sound basis for tax policy.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 18, 2012 @ 5:26 am

Whatever you call it, high marginal tax rates fueled the golden era of US economic growth and equitable distribution (for the unpoor white people, at least) from WWII until the 1980s.

It was military spending in Vietnam and the subsequent hijacking of government by the military and finance and incessant tax whining that sent us into the crapper.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 18, 2012 @ 6:38 am

Just because we once had a good economy and tax rates happned to be high at the time does not mean there is any relationshipm betwwen the two.

The main reason for US prosperity in the 1950's and 1960's was the aftermath of WW2. Our competitors were broken, Japan hadn't risen yet and the U.S. came out of the war as the strongest power.

That was a temporary advantage and had little to do with tax rates. In fact, the overwhelming majority of economists would argue that lower taxes are good for the economy, while high taxes stifle and decentivize innovation and enterprise.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 18, 2012 @ 7:21 am

Except for that damn investment in infrastructure and R&D made by sacrifice of the WWII generation which the boomers have since milked dry due to their selfish tax whining.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 18, 2012 @ 8:00 am

Any comment that dismisses and stereotypes an entire generation as being the same hardly merits commentary. Not to mention that the low tax philosophy has been around since Reagan, which was the generation before boomers. That same generation that fought in WW2, in fact.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 18, 2012 @ 8:27 am

And 1981 is when the US began its decline.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 18, 2012 @ 8:42 am

was deemed a weak president, and of course only won one term.

America has only declined in relative terms, and over a period of decades.

It's more because other countries have grown faster, but we have still grown.

You can't pin that on any president, as much as you might like to.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 18, 2012 @ 9:02 am

Disinvestment domestically encouraged by policy and by the globalization of capital has left a good chunk of Americans as disposable as pertains to the US economy.

I hope you vote for Romney or Obama in 2013 as well if you want to see more of this.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 18, 2012 @ 11:21 am
Posted by Guest on Jun. 18, 2012 @ 2:26 pm

They have greatly reduced the reliance of these chronic alcoholics on ER and paramedic visits - thus reducing overall costs. I'd support them in San Francisco.

Posted by Troll II on Jun. 15, 2012 @ 4:26 pm

I feel that Bevan Dufty is a corrupt politician because he changed his vote at the last minute from Michael Hennessey over to Ed Lee for mayor and was rewarded for his vote by getting this comfortable city job.

Its just so nasty.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 15, 2012 @ 10:04 pm
Posted by Guest on Jun. 16, 2012 @ 5:01 am

The guy used his connections to land the cush City job that pays, what, 200K a year? Something like that? The amt of work - either mental or physical - he does is probably trivial. But let's give him the benefit of the doubt and say he's trying hard to improve things and is at least coming up with ideas.

Fine. Then give him a 50K salary and stop this BS of giving every person who gets any higher up govt job from his or her political connections a salary that's close to 200K. That's what makes ppl angry at govt employees even though most of them aren't making that (besides the overpaid cops and firefighters and their ridiculous pensions).

When someone like Bevan Dufty can walk into a job that basically anyone who's gone to college can do and make 4 x what someone with a college degree who works his or her ass off everyday makes, that's not right.

I'm glad he's doing some thinking such as the puppy plan but with the amt of $ he's making, he should be coming up with good ideas.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 17, 2012 @ 10:42 pm

Dufty took how many hundreds of thousands of dollars in public financing to run for, Mayor, no, run for Homeless Czar while banking coin as CalTrain's government relations hack during the interstices?

Did any of the amendments to public financing after last year's outrageous abuses address the problem of using public dollars to not run for office and get a plum appointment? Of course not, that's how they roll with our tax dollars, suckers.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 18, 2012 @ 6:18 am

The idea was to have a caretaker mayor for one year.

Hennessey was know for his integrity in the Sheriff's office. No one thought twice that he would do what he promised.

Lee was known for adept office politics and weathering federal investigations.

After seeing how Lee won the vote it was completely predictable, actually no, it was likely, that he was of such poor character that he would renounce his promise and run.

What was unforseen, by me anyway, was the shockingly underhanded way he deflected attention from himself with that sham "Run Ed Run" campaign.

He claims he didn't support "Run Ed Run" but he certainly knows how to reward its chairwoman, Olague, the currently appointed D5 supervisor.

Poor Mirkarimi, with that snake after him. I hope we have all learned our lesson about Ed Lee and are no longer surprised at the complete lack of honor and integrity with which he comports himself. Expect him to play EXTRA EXTRA dirty at the Ethics Commission. You have been warned.

Crafty ferrets attract similar, ie scandalous social media IPOs, among other things to come no doubt.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 16, 2012 @ 3:12 pm

Couldn't agree with you more, Christina...

"“To me,’’ she added, “it sometimes comes down to how you play the game.’’

Posted by Guest on Jun. 16, 2012 @ 3:27 pm

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