Someone to Watch over Sweeps? Monitors for Homeless Operations Proposed

Human rights monitors should observe homeless encampment clearances to ensure that residents who are being connected to services keep their belongings and City workers follow their own policies, according to a new report.

On June 16, the Latino Task Force released a study based on more than 100 surveys with unhoused San Franciscans in the city’s Mission District. Almost two-thirds of those who responded said they are often displaced in encampment sweeps,

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Federal Judge Blocks Fresno Ordinance Restricting Public Access to Encampment Sweeps

A tent is in the center of the frame. In front of it is what looks like a white dollhouse, laying flat on the ground. The image is in Black and White

A federal district court has issued a ruling that blocks the City of Fresno from enforcing an ordinance that puts unconstitutional restrictions on reporters, advocates, and other members of the public documenting how city workers treat unhoused people during encampment sweeps.

“The court recognized that this law was unconstitutional from the start because it is vague, over broad, and threatens to sweep in significant free expression protected by the Constitution,” said Hannah Kieschnick,

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Where’s the Care in the Proposed “CARE Courts?”

In early March, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the Community Assistance, Recovery and Empowerment (CARE) Court program, which would create yet another separate court for poor and unhoused people with mental health conditions and substance use disorders. Governor Newsom has explicitly discussed CARE Court as a tool to address street homelessness, and the proposal is consistent with a string of bills nationwide that seek to increase the power of the state to institutionalize unhoused people under the pretense of “compassion.” The devil is in the details,

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Advocates Fight to Codify Shelter Grievance Policy

On April 7, members of the Board of Supervisors  Government Audit and Oversight Committee considered whether to codify the Shelter Grievance Policy—a critical protection for homeless San Franciscans—in the City’s Administrative Code. Dozens of advocates turned out to make their voices heard in favor of the proposal, and the committee voted to send the proposal to the Board of Supervisors for a full vote. Given that six supervisors have joined Shamann Walton in sponsoring the legislation,

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Kidnapping the Tenderloin through Redistricting

Every 10 years, the U.S. Constitution requires all residents to be counted through the Census. The Census occurs every decade, and once it concludes, the redistricting process begins. Redistricting is the redrawing of boundaries to ensure that U.S. citizens in a given state or city have a relatively proportionate number of constituents to serve in legislative offices. The redrawing of district lines is done at every level of legislative government: city, county, state and federal.

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Laying Down and Waking Up a Slave in Texas

A cop with an evil grin points a gun as bodies and tents go flying, and a figure in the foreground stares at their phone looking distressed.

It’s poetic…
In Texas, we’re trapped in pits with small widdows.
Inside these cells, we’re funding our own imprisonment;
the chains are encrypted inside the chips and soup sales.
We’re inside of an identity crisis believing our souls out of favors,
So we accept the chains;
believing a greater change will come save us…
Can you dig that?!?!
I guess that Willie Lynch Syndrome dies hard in some places.
Since I’m older now,
In these younger guys I see my own reflection. … READ MORE

CART- A Compassionate Alternative Response to Homelessness

As the pandemic continues and the shelter-in-place (SIP) hotels made available to unhoused community members begin to shut down, the most marginalized are suddenly being forced back onto the streets. As this occurs, one can only imagine the influx of calls to 911 dispatchers requesting the presence of police for nonviolent unhoused folks. 

That is why it is so critical for San Francisco to implement the Compassionate Alternative Response Team, or CART,

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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,

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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,

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Defunding the Police: On the road to abolishing oppressive policing

Black Lives Matter and other abolitionist groups are leading communities across the country to recognize that the criminal justice system is a powerhouse of violence and white supremacy. Policing was racist at birth, with its origins in scalping Indigenous people and kidnapping Black people escaping slavery. It has a long history of keeping non-white, non-property owning people “under foot” and disempowered. From Reconstruction to Jim Crow and up to the present, police budgets across the country have continued to grow,

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