Proposition C Carries the Day in Court

“The Court of Appeal Decision stands. Proposition C is valid.

That was the announcement I received via Facebook Messenger on Wednesday, September 8 about Prop. C taking effect.

After almost two years, the measure known as “Our City, Our Home” can now live up to the promise of its name, affirming that I’m part of a city committed to housing homeless people and keeping them housed.


Return to Sender: House the Bay Rallies Against UC Hastings Settlement

“Homes not barricades!! Homes not barricades!!”

These are the words chanted by protesters marching through the streets of the Tenderloin. Some were carrying police barricades, while others held signs that read ‘DEFUND SFPD,” “Rent is Theft” and “Black Homes Matter”. Others were equipped with medical supplies and sustenance, and in the back you could hear the Brass Liberation orchestra playing their instruments brightly to the beat of the chants.

Community organizations such as House the Bay,


Re-Fund the Community: San Francisco Budget Victories, 2020

An older woman stands with a face mask and a sign that reads "ring the bell to support funding for homeless families"

San Francisco, like many cities, is in a challenging place economically with over 200,000 workers on unemployment, a $1.5 billion deficit due to loss revenue, and exponentially higher needs for city services such as rental assistance, health care, child care and other city essential activities.    San Francisco has a very unique budget process, where the legislative branch receives the budget from the much more powerful executive branch and has the opportunity to cut things out of the Mayor’s budget in order to fund other things they deem as higher priorities. 


Ronnie Goodman, Artist with ‘a Visual Voice’ on Homelessness, 1960 – 2020

Almost prophetically, Ronnie Goodman made an etching of people marching in the street and carrying a banner that reads “No More Homeless Deaths,” one in a myriad of drawings, paintings and engravings he produced.  

After a lifetime of creating art while homeless or incarcerated, on August 7, Ronnie Lamont Goodman was found dead in his tent outside the Redstone Building in San Francisco’s Mission District, where he intermittently stayed and stored his drawings and illustrations.


A Little Lot for a Lot of Help: Despite Disputes, the Embarcadero Navigation Center Debuts

If your tickets to the Giants game are in sections 126 through 135 at Oracle Park, then you might meet Joanna Shober. 

She’s worked in guest services for the Giants the last eight seasons, guiding people to their seats and offering her assistance as needed. In between baseball seasons, she’ll take similar jobs at the Chase and Moscone Centers.

“I help people,” she said succinctly, seated at a lime green table last winter with a Giants ballcap shielding her from the sun and a Fitbit wrapped over her left wrist that she found one day on the street.


Paying Too Much for Rent? #30RightNow!

Starting in August, all tenants in Direct Access to Housing (DAH) program will pay only 30% of their income towards rent. Previously, while most supportive housing units — and all units that have come online since 2016 — were at 30%, 678 tenants in the DAH program were paying literally half their income towards rent, a legacy of backwards and cruel policies from the City and County of San Francisco.

The funding that was released came from a $1 million allocation that came as a result of me hunger striking for rent relief in 2019,


A Dangerous Message in Dangerous Times: HUD’s Transphobic Shelter Ban

We All Belong Here, We Will DEFEND each other

If you are a woman and happen to exhibit facial hair, a certain height or a noticeable Adam’s apple and you’re looking for a place at a federally funded single-sex or sex-segregated homeless shelter, you may soon be under particular scrutiny by the admissions staff. In other words, discrimination based on gender identity could become legal, especially discrimination that is based on stereotypical gender features – such as the ones listed above. This is according to a new proposal by U.S.


Amid a pandemic and housing shortage, can LA find homes for 15,000 people?

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic reached Los Angeles County, more than 66,000 of its residents were experiencing homelessness, and almost 600,000 low-income people were spending 90 per cent of their income on housing. The city ranked near the top of the list of places where renters experienced the highest cost burdens. And the state of California had one of the worst shortages of affordable housing in the country.


Before They Haul Your Home: Stories of Ending Poverty Tows

Towing practices have always been a particular plague for poor and homeless people, especially in San Francisco – the city with the nation’s highest towing fees, averaging $574 in the current fiscal year. However, when the current shelter-in-place order was issued, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) stopped what advocates call “poverty tows.” Normally, poverty tows occur when vehicles accrue five or more unpaid parking tickets, a vehicle’s registration has been expired for more than six months;


Beware the Budget Cuts, Cameras and Civilians: On the Future of Policing in San Francisco

Near the seven-hour mark of the July 8 meeting of the Board of Supervisors’ Budget and Appropriations Committee on the San Francisco Police Department budget for the next fiscal year, I realized I simply could not go on. After two long presentations, dozens of questions from supervisors and almost five hours of public comment, the end was not in sight. I was exhausted.

This was, for some organizers, the goal. Many of the over 400 callers used a script,